A blast of brass brings a festive atmosphere to the welcome ceremony.
With a Fourth Degree honor guard standing in formation to greet him at the airport and a local college band playing traditional Filipino tunes, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson arrived April 15 at Cebu International Airport, in the Visayas region, for his second visit to the Philippines.
He and his wife, Dorian, were welcomed during a brief airport reception by the three Philippines deputies, Dionisio Esteban of Visayas, Alonso Tan of Luzon and Sofronio Cruz of Mindanao.
The Supreme Knight made the long trip to southeast Asia for the eighth Knights of Columbus Philippine National Convention, to be held Friday to Sunday in historic Cebu City, which is centrally located among the 7,000 islands that make up the archipelago nation. Five years ago, he had visited the capital city of Manila for the centennial celebration of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines.
“Mabuhay!” said Esteban, offering a welcome in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines, during the welcoming ceremony outside the airport terminal.
“Welcome to Cebu, Worthy Supreme Knight and Mrs. Anderson,” Esteban added, after placing a lei of flowers on Anderson’s shoulders. Fe Esteban, his wife, presented a bouquet to Mrs. Anderson.
Addressing the crowd of well-wishers, the Supreme Knight said, “It is wonderful to be in the Philippines for the second time, especially to be here in Cebu City, which is such a historic location for the Knights of Columbus.”
In addition to hearing reports on the state of the Order in the Philippines, the Supreme Knight will deliver the keynote address at the convention banquet on Friday night. The theme of the convention is “Volunteerism: Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”
Cebu City, known as Asia’s cradle of Christianity, is the place where the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in 1521. Historic sites include the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Magellan cross and the Basilica of Santo Niño, the oldest church in the Philippines.
The National Convention, held every three years in the Philippines, brings together some 2,000 delegates from the three Knights of Columbus jurisdictions. The first council was chartered in the Asian country in 1905 by U.S. citizens who were there after the Spanish-American War, but Filipino men began to join in 1907. Today, there are more than 250,000 Filipino Knights in some 2,000 councils.