MyCebu.ph: Cebu News & Features

Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Author: Marlen Limpag

Art materials, workshops featured in National Book Store ‘Make and Create’ festival

Fine art paper, journals and notebooks, colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolors, and pens of all kinds and functions, the National Book Store Make and Create Arts and Crafts Festival had…

Fine art paper, journals and notebooks, colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolors, and pens of all kinds and functions, the National Book Store Make and Create Arts and Crafts Festival had everything that budding artists and art fans could possibly need.

For the two-day event, the Prestige Paper Brands sold journals, notebooks, and sketchbooks at a discount. All the products displayed at the festival are also available at the National Book Store branch in SM City Cebu.

Arts and Crafts Festival Cebu

ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL. The 2-day event by National Bookstore featured fine art paper, journals and notebooks, colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolors, and pens of all kinds.

Buyers were able to choose to have their plain-covered journals personalized with their names or favorite quotes. This was done for free by the brand’s calligraphy expert.

Limelight notebooks are made of paper that´s up to 120 gsm so it’s thick and perfect for sketches or art works using watercolor.

The company also carries the Fabriano and Acquarello fine art paper products that have cotton in their composition. Fabriano has 20 percent cotton while Acquarello is made of 100 percent cotton. This makes both paper lines capable of holding water.

Arts and Crafts Festival Cebu

Limelight notebooks are made of paper that´s up to 120 gsm so it’s thick and perfect for sketches or art works using watercolor.

Art and crafts materials

Sam Josef Abatayo, Sharpie brand management trainee, said they have specialty pens that can be used on various materials including fabric.

Sharpie markers can be used for artworks on shirts, bags, and sneakers, he added. To make the design more permanent, it will have to go through a heat setting process.

Marvy Uchida is a Japanese brand that retails calligraphy, drawing, coloring, brush, and specialty pens.

Sharpie.

It sells ball point and chisel and bullet types as well as gel pens and highlighters for school and office use, according to May Janine Fernaneo, Marvy Uchida marketing officer.

The brand also carries drawing and calligraphy pens as well as fabric and other markers for hobbies and crafts.

Professional art brands

Prismacolor has a colored pencils set with a staggering 150 hues for professional use.

There are National Book Store products like Chameleon’s one pen blends and multiple tones and Caran D’Ache’s oil pastels and colored pencils.

Arts and Crafts Festival Cebu

Faber-Castell also has a lot of materials for children and students, from the soft touch brush sets and tri-grip brushes and watercolors to colored pencils and crayons.

Elmer’s Glue offers more choices now as well and has a colored line for more interesting artworks.

When it comes to pens and markers, Uni carries a diverse range of products. There are the Jetstream, Uniball, Click Gel, and Signo lines. It also has drawing pens, mechanical pencils, correction pens, highlighters, as well as several kinds of markers for a host of functions and uses.

More photos of National Book Store Make and Create Arts and Crafts Festival in Cebu

National Book Store Make and Create Arts and Crafts Festival Cebu

 

National Book Store Make and Create Arts and Crafts Festival Cebu

 

National Book Store Make and Create Arts and Crafts Festival Cebu

 

National Book Store Make and Create Arts and Crafts Festival Cebu

 

National Book Store Make and Create Arts and Crafts Festival Cebu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Real estate firm CEV ties up with Norkis for property projects

Two strong homegrown companies forged ties recently to undertake real estate developments in Cebu. The Cañedo Equity Ventures, Inc. (CEV) and the Norkis Group of Companies officially sealed their partnership…

Two strong homegrown companies forged ties recently to undertake real estate developments in Cebu.

The Cañedo Equity Ventures, Inc. (CEV) and the Norkis Group of Companies officially sealed their partnership only last August, and two big projects are already in the works.

These include a 10-hectare residential community targeted at the middle market bracket and a six-hectare memorial park in the northern town of Compostela, company executives said in a recent press conference.

CEV, Norkis partnership

CEV chair Filomena Cañedo and Norkis chair Dr. Norberto Quisumbing, the two pillars of the conglomerates, affixed their signatures to the partnership during a separate and much earlier signing ceremony held at the Cebu City Sports Club.

The collaboration is in line with CEV´s mission to address the housing backlog, catering in particular to the rising middle class made up of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and BPO employees and their families.

“Compostela used to be a small and quiet town. Then the Cañedos came with all their ideas and development projects,” Quisumbing was quoted as saying in a press statement released by CEV. He also reportedly expressed high confidence in the venture.

Cañedo Equity Ventures, Inc. Norkis Group

PARTNERSHIP. Cañedo Equity Ventures, Inc. chair Filomena Cañedo and Norkis Group of Companies chair Dr. Norberto Quisumbing seal the partnership between the two companies in the presence of company officials.

Compostela property developments

Land development for the residential community in Compostela will take around two years, said Rey Maribao, CEV VP Strategic Corporate Planning and Business Development, during a talk with journalists.

The project is first in line for the Philippine Paramount Property Ventures, Inc. (PPPVI) and Norkis partnership. It is scheduled to be launched by the last quarter of 2017.

Norkis, a motorcycle manufacturer and distributor with land properties throughout the country, will benefit from horizontal, vertical, and mixed use development projects through CEV´s real estate arm PPPVI.

Compostela is the best place for PPPVI to expand, according to Maribao, citing indicators showing that the third-class municipality is working to become a high growth area in Metro Cebu and a booming population growing at a yearly average of 2.27 percent.

More progressive town

Norkis will likewise partner with CEV’s memorial parks development company, Celestial Meadows and Developers Corporation.

Quisumbing said people will very soon see a progressive Compostela. Cañedo, for her part, thanked Norkis for partnering with CEV.

“We are very honored to partner with the reliable Norkis Group. We are one with you in transforming Compostela into a better community. We look forward to working with you in developing Compostela and other parts of Cebu,” she said in the same press statement.

CEV is a conglomerate in Minglanilla that oversees eight companies performing highly in the fields of real estate, parks and memorial, construction, food, training, and education.

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Space age metallic, modern heritage, spunk inspire new FitFlop collection

FitFlop introduces its autumn and winter 2017 collection of sandals and closed shoes silhouettes in Cebu, and they come in elegant metallic, lightweight breathable fabric, and high street fashion. In…

FitFlop introduces its autumn and winter 2017 collection of sandals and closed shoes silhouettes in Cebu, and they come in elegant metallic, lightweight breathable fabric, and high street fashion.

In line with the brand’s mission to be the most comfortable and addictive footwear in the world, it creates products based on biomechanics research but without compromising on style, said Primer Group of Companies regional brand manager Maria Soledad O. Aquino.

FitFlop´s autumn and winter collection took inspiration from space age metallics, modern heritage, and a fashion rebel attitude that makes sandals perfectly fine for autumn wear.

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

NEW FITFLOP COLLECTION. Primer Group of Companies regional brand manager Maria Soledad O. Aquino explains features on one of the new FitFlop collection during the launch in Cebu. With her is senior marketing associate Irene Trajano.

Autumn, winter collection

Senior marketing associate Irene Trajano said metallic embellishments can be found across several FitFlop styles for the season, from the glittering discs on toe-thong sandals to the pewter, rose gold, and black touches in the popular Uberknit fabric for ballerinas and sneakers.

Modern heritage details are incorporated in FitFlop mules, ballerinas, and sneakers, which perfectly complement the season’s fashion styles.

Fitflop autumn winter collection

NEW FITFLOPS. The new line comes in elegant metallics, lightweight breathable fabric, and high street fashion.

This season’s collection also highlights spunk and one’s inner rebellious streak. One doesn’t have to limit the Lumy “slides and Banda” to summer; wear your pairs with their punk stud detailing paired with skinny black jeans and big jumpers during autumn, too.

FitFlop products inspired by high street fashion come in the muted and grandiose colors of fall: deep plum, midnight navy, tan, and black. Of course, the patent, snake, and suede and stud finishes on those sandals and closed shoes silhouettes definitely make them stand out.

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

IN CEBU. The new collection was unveiled in Cebu last week.

Legendary cushioning

According to Aquino, the story behind the brand started 10 years ago with FitFlop founder Marcia Kilgore who looked but failed to find footwear that she can wear through her daily routine.

¨She met with two biomechanics in London and, within a year of research and development, the first FitFlop that boasts of a triple-density microwobble system was released,¨ Aquino cited.

 


 

The technology makes possible the legendary super cushioning in FitFlop classic styles. It provides three levels of targeted cushioning for all-day comfort, and allows wearers to walk all day without feeling any impact on the foot.

FitFlop has since come up with the supercomff, anatomicush, and iqushion cushioning technologies for other product designs. FitFlop created the supercomff for people who prefer fewer inches on their footwear and anatomicush for the athletic styles like loafers and sneakers.

New Fitflop autumn and winter collection

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

FitFlop Banda TP Studs

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Boogaloo

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Honeybee

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Lumy Leather Sandals

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Lumy Leather Sandals Studs

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Lumy Leather Slide

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Lumy Leather Slide with Studs

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Superballerina with Sequins

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Superbendy Ballerina

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Superbendy Mary Jane

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Superskate with Sequins

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Superskate Slip Ons

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Uberknit Ballerina

 

FitFlop autumn winter collection Cebu

Uberknit High Top

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Heavenly flavors define Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Signature Six

Get ready for a mouthwatering experience coming your way, as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu makes easily accessible to dining guests its Signature Six culinary creations. The hotel bestsellers adobo, mango…

Get ready for a mouthwatering experience coming your way, as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu makes easily accessible to dining guests its Signature Six culinary creations.

The hotel bestsellers adobo, mango cheesecake, ensaimada, malicious cookies, silk road iced coffee, and earl grape iced tea are now available in the different Marco Polo dining outlets.

Diners can have their daily fill of an all-time favorite Filipino dish, the adobo, since it now forms part of the extensive Cafe Marco buffet. Whether it’s pork, chicken, seafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic, guests are sure to have their adobo fix anytime at Cafe Marco.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s renowned Malicious Cookies.

Best dessert

Aside from being served in the buffet, Marco Polo’s award-winning malicious cookies can be had at the Lobby Lounge to pair with your favorite coffee or tea. Guests may also choose to order a box or two to bring with them when they go.

These maliciously tempting chocolate chip cookies have received several recognitions and have been hailed as one of the Best Desserts in the Philippines.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

Silk Road Iced Coffee

Silk Road Iced Coffee

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu brings coffee to another level with its blended iced frappuccino that combine overnight-infused coffee with cinnamon syrup and milk, marshmallow, and Italian meringues.

The delectable concoction is then topped with cinnamon s’mores that is warmed to perfection.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

Adobo

Earl Grape Iced Tea

Not a coffee person? Try out the refreshing Earl Grace Iced Tea. It’s earl grey tea flavored with crushed seedless green grapes and elderflower syrup. It is served in a gorgeous set-up that’s perfect for an Instagram post. Or two.

Th blended coffee and earl grey tea may be ordered from any of the hotel’s dining outlets including the Blu Bar and Grill.

Luscious pastries

When it comes ensaimadas and mango cheesecake, Marco Polo has both down to perfection. The ensaimadas are the perfect merienda and pasalubong treats. You can enjoy it as a solo or for takeaway in a box of three or six.

The hotel mango cheesecake is sweet, creamy, and topped with luscious Cebu mangoes. You many not know it but the cheesecake’s crust is made of crushed malicious cookies.

More photos of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six Launch

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu is also known for its delicious ensaimada, which is a favorite pasalubong item of guests.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

Earl Grape Iced Tea

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

S’mores for the Silk Road Iced Coffee

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

Mango cheesecake

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

Silk Road Iced Coffee is delicious and not overly sweet.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

A demonstration on how to prepare Silk Road Iced Coffee.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

Mango cheesecake

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Signature Six

This is how Earl Grape Iced Tea is prepared.

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AboitizLand opens Foressa Trails with trail run, bike event

To mark the opening of its new adventure park Foressa Trails in Balamban, AboitizLand has partnered with the Primer Group of Companies to bring the Salomon Xtrail Race to Cebu…

To mark the opening of its new adventure park Foressa Trails in Balamban, AboitizLand has partnered with the Primer Group of Companies to bring the Salomon Xtrail Race to Cebu on October 15, 2017.

Foressa Trails in Cansomoroy, Balamban was developed according to international standards and now has a hiking path system of 27 kilometers with varying levels of difficulty, said AboitizLand Projects in Planning Manager Eduardo Aboitiz.

The mountain park, which used to be known as Canso X, is an hour and a half drive from Cebu City through the TransCentral Highway.

Foressa Trails

FORESSA TRAILS. Present during the press conference announcing the Salomon Xtrail Race are (from left) Andre Borromeo of Motor Ace Philippines-Kawasaki, Cyrel Canedo, Primer Group Area Operations Head-Visayas; Eduardo Aboitiz, AboitizLand Projects in Planning Manager; Joey Zamora of AboitizLand; and Jason Gabrinao, GreenStrat Inc. (Photo by Marlen Limpag)

Aboitiz said it is intended as a place not just for homeowners of the AboitizLand’s 257-hectare residential development Foressa Mountain Town in the same area but for anyone who loves nature and adventure. Foressa Trails will offer hiking, biking, and camping, among other activities.

“With Foressa Trails, we hope to give everyone an experience that will allow for fun memories and priceless moments within a well-designed community that nurtures life,” he added.

Foressa Trails

Foressa Trails is seamlessly integrated into Foressa Mountain Town, where one can escape into an adventure.

Salomon trail run

AboitizLand will mark the opening of Foressa Trails on October 15 with the first-ever Salomon Xtrail Race in Cebu in the morning and a trail ride organized by Motor Ace Philippines-Kawasaki in the afternoon.

Cyrel Canedo, Primer Group Area Operations Head-Visayas, said the Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2017 will feature two distances — 11 and 21 kilometers.

Foressa Trails Bike Trails

The Bike Trails extend up to 17 km and is designed based on standards of the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

He added that registration is ongoing for the 11K, which costs P700, and 21K, at P1,200, in Salomon SM Seaside Cebu and R.O.X. Ayala Center Cebu. This comes with a Salomon race bib, jersey, race cap for all 21K runners and first 50 registrants for 11K, and medal for 21K finishers who complete the run within the cut-off time of 5 hours.

Mandatory gear

According to Canedo, 21K registrants will need to present a medical certificate. Runners for both categories also have to prescribe to the mandatory gear that includes a whistle and hydration pack with at least 1,000 ml of water.

 

Primer is targetting 250 to 300 participants for the mountain run.

Motor Ace Kawasaki, meanwhile, will announce registration details for the Motor Ace Track Day in the next few days.

Foressa Trails

At Foressa Trails, you can hike, bike, camp, stargaze or sight-see. It will definitely be the best location for your outdoor experience, making nature your playground.

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Waterfront hotels in Cebu highlight modern Cebuano flavors in food fest

Ordinary bread, the common danggit, and dried green mango become the creme de la creme of appetizers under the expert hands of celebrity chef Tristan Encarnacion in a food feast…

Ordinary bread, the common danggit, and dried green mango become the creme de la creme of appetizers under the expert hands of celebrity chef Tristan Encarnacion in a food feast featuring the Flavors of Cebu at the Waterfront hotels in Cebu and Mactan.

The Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino and Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan have extended the culinary celebration of “Modern Filipino Taste” at the two UNO branches up to November, adding more Cebuano choices in the wide selection of Pinoy dishes available at the buffet.

Watrfront Flavors of Cebu

APPETIZER. Chef Tristan Encarnacion prepares an appetizer of danggit atop crispy bread and topped with diced green mangoes and tomato sorbet.

Chef Tristan revealed during the media launch of Flavors of Cebu that the bread, the base of his starter concoction, can be easily sliced and rolled thin if it is chilled first.

His newest appetizer creation involves putting ground danggit atop the crispy bread and topping it with diced green mangoes and tomato sorbet.

Waterfront Flavors of Cebu

Chef Tristan presents the new appetizer he whipped up from danggit and bread.

Cebuano food flavors

Guests during the launch also saw Chef Tristan in action as he hatched up the favorite dessert of Waterfront Cebu City General Manager Anders Hallden.

Vanilla ice cream got wok-fried and rum-glazed. A topping of cashew nuts and caramel syrup finished off the delectable treat.

Waterfront Flavors of Cebu

WOK-fried and rum-glazed vanilla ice cream with a topping of cashew nuts and caramel syrup.

Mr. Hallden said they’ve added to the UNO buffet food creations of Chef Tristan that highlight Cebuano flavors given a new delicious spin.

Pinoy culinary treats

On top of these dishes, both UNO branches in the Waterfront hotels in Cebu City and Mactan continue to serve the menu of traditional Filipino treats injected with mouth-watering twists by culinary world power couple Chef Roland and Chef Jackie Laudico.

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

Paella.

Diners get to enjoy such culinary treats as the pinahungawang isda sa mangga, lechon baka sa kalabasa at mangga, ampalaya na may itlog, des pancit toh, paella one and two, bacon bagnet, and kinilaw.

Buffet rate is P898 per person and the Waterfront hotel in Cebu City has an ongoing promo where 15 guests in a group pay only for the price of 10.

More photos of the event

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

Different kinds of dried fish and squid.

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

Pinahungawang isda sa mangga and lechon baka.

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

Bacon bagnet

 

Sisig.

 

Different kinds of sauces.

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu.

More appetizers.

 

Waterfront Cebu Favors of Cebu.

Ensaladang talong.

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu.

Different types of cheese and nuts.

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

Local desserts.

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

More desserts.

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

Mousse

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

Appetizer with mangga and cheese.

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

Waterfront Cebu City General Manager Anders Hallden and chef Tristan Encarnacion

 

Waterfront Cebu Flavors of Cebu

Chef Tristant and Waterfront Cebu City staff with bloggers and writers who attended the event.

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Casa de Cacao offers tablea tales, chocolate indulgence

A short lesson on the cacao plant that turns into a decadent feast, Raquel Choa’s The Chocolate Journey at the home she calls Casa de Cacao is an experience that…

A short lesson on the cacao plant that turns into a decadent feast, Raquel Choa’s The Chocolate Journey at the home she calls Casa de Cacao is an experience that is not to be missed.

Imagine an afternoon of sikwate (chocolate drink) in any flavor you can think of: sweet, dark, spicy, flavored with hibiscus, jasmine, or mint.

Mix and match your warm cup with variety of chocolate-based goodies: cookies, crispies, brownies, cakes.

Settle down as the woman behind Ralfe Gourmet and The Chocolate Chamber (TCC) tells you the bittersweet story behind her love affair with chocolate and the need to recreate Maria Cacao’s palace in her Cebu residence.

Raquel Choa Casa de Cacao

SIKWATE. Raquel Choa prepares sikwate, a traditional chocolate drink, using a batirol inside Casa de Cacao, her recreation of the legendary Maria Cacao’s palace in the mountain.

Chocolate journey

This particular culinary indulgence, Ralfe Gourmet marketing manager Edu Pantino said, starts fittingly enough with the American evergreen tree that bears the beans from which chocolate is made.

“The Chocolate Journey of a thousand miles begins with one cacao step,” he cited, in reference to the intricate chocolate-making process and Choa’s journey as the woman behind the artisanal cacao-based food and products that are marketed under the Ralfe Gourmet brand.

Our welcome drink was sikwate with hibiscus.

He shared how the cacao plant grows large fruit pods from tiny flowers, what conditions allow it to flourish, and the process the beans go through – fermentation to roasting – before these are finely pounded and formed into the bitter chocolate rounds we call tablea.

Choa, aided by her kids and long-time staff, shows how they make tablea the old-fashioned way at Casa de Cacao. She then uses the newly-formed chocolate rounds to make Cebu’s famous sikwate using the wooden beater called batirol.

Cacao beans on different stages of fermentation in preparation for roasting.

Sikwate flavors

My favorite was the spicy sikwate which she made by grinding pieces of chili on a small platter, adding atsuete as flavor enhancer, and straining the mix into a jug of chocolate concoction simmering over a hot stove.

We tried a variety of flavors: sikwate with hibiscus, with mint, with jasmine.

Roasting of the beans.

The hot sikwate pairs perfectly with Choa’s cake creations baked without milk, eggs, and water: the torta de cerveza uses cerveza negra while torta de Francisco (hatched in anticipation of the visit of Pope Francis) is made with olive oil and wine.

When I thought I couldn’t take another bite, out came the choco ryza (chocolate crispies), cookies, and brownies courtesy of Choa’s kids and they were just too scrumptious to pass up.

Raquel Choa

Raquel Choa tells the story of Maria Cacao.

Casa de Cacao

Choa grew up with her grandmother’s stories about Maria Cacao, with her golden ship and resplendent palace in the balete tree. Although no human can ever see or visit this place, it didn’t ever stop Choa from wishing.

Casa de Cacao, venue of The Chocolate Journey, is Choa’s creative recreation of Maria Cacao’s palace in the mountain.

“Mi casa, su casa (My home is your home),” she would tell guests who go on The Chocolate Journey with her, adding it is the realm where chocolate is the artist’s medium.

Interested in joining The Chocolate Journey? Call +63917 827 2318 or email info@ralfegourmet.com for inquiries or reservations.

Casa de Cacao

Raquel Choa forms a cacao de bola while her son molds tablea during a press tour at Casa de Cacao.

Chocolate events

Some details:

The Chocolate Journey
Cacao Bean Evolution
Trails and Tales of Maria Cacao
Tablea 101

The rate is P1,500 per person for groups of 11-15, P1,800 for groups of 6-10, P2,100 per person for groups of 4-5, P3,000 per person for groups of 2-3, and P4,800 for one person going on The Chocolate Journey.

Casa de Cacao

Casa de Cacao, venue of The Chocolate Journey, is Raquel Choa’s creative recreation of Maria Cacao’s palace in the mountain.

Chocolate Stop
Hot choco at The Tsokolate Bar
Chocolate tasting
Rate is P550 per person.

Sikwate Ceremony
Tablea-making
Savoring Tablea
Rate is P1,000 good for five persons.

Raquel Choa Casa de Cacao

Raquel Choa’s cake creations baked without milk, eggs, and water: the torta de cerveza uses cerveza negra while torta de Francisco (hatched in anticipation of the visit of Pope Francis) is made with olive oil and wine.

 

Casa de Cacao

Spicy sikwate. Raquel Choa made this by grinding pieces of chili on a small platter, adding atsuete as flavor enhancer, and straining the mix into a jug of chocolate concoction simmering over a hot stove.

 

Cacao fruits.

 

Cacao beans

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DTI leads moves for digital transformation of MSMEs

An online campaign that accompanied an e-commerce mentoring program by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu generated leads from as far as London for a furniture company….

An online campaign that accompanied an e-commerce mentoring program by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu generated leads from as far as London for a furniture company.

The fact that potential buyers visited the Cebu-based company to check out its products shows the reach of digital marketing, said DTI Cebu Provincial Director Maria Elena C. Arbon during the Digitize Cebu conference in Cebu last August 30.

As the agency tasked to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), DTI is now focused on getting them to undergo digital transformation.

“Last year, we went into the startup space. We interfaced with them and developed some programs for tech startups. This year, we’re trying to mix together startups and tech communities with brick and mortar MSMEs,” Arbon said.

Digitize Cebu Maria Elena C. Arbon

PROGRAMS. DTI Cebu Provincial Director Maria Elena C. Arbon goes over the different programs for micro to medium enterprises of her office. Key parts of the program revolve around technology tools and digital developments.

Digital transformation programs

DTI has several programs for micro to medium enterprises, three of which revolve around technology tools and digital developments.

These include startup ecosystem development, digital transformation for brick-and-mortar MSMEs, and e-commerce mentoring.

According to Arbon, the e-commerce program is an intense 6-week, 12-module course that aims to get companies online. Close to the end of the training activity, the enterprises are required to undertake a 3-week selling campaign using what they’ve learned from the course.

The ecommerce campaigns have resulted in sales amounting to as much as P2 million for the first batch and P3 million for the second batch of enterprises. Furniture buyers from London also came to visit a furniture company in Cebu when it went online as a consequence of the e-commerce course.

Cebu startup ecosystem

Arbon cited that DTI also just recently held the Slingshot Conference, a tech event that aims to bring together traditional businesses and startups so they get to serve each other’s needs.

Early this year, she said they came up with a startup ecosystem development program. Part of the process involved using existing tools to determine the maturity of the startup environment taking into consideration talent, capital, and infrastructure among other things.

“On a scale of 1 to 5, we’ve determined we’re at 2 plus,” Arbon added. One of the ongoing campaigns of DTI is to create a master list of existing startups in Cebu.

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Diamond Rent-A-Car executive: Digital marketing a must for SMEs

When Diamond Rent-A-Car first tried out digital advertising several years ago, it was a relatively new thing in the Philippines. Quincy Buenaflor, the company’s vice president for operations, said he…

When Diamond Rent-A-Car first tried out digital advertising several years ago, it was a relatively new thing in the Philippines.

Quincy Buenaflor, the company’s vice president for operations, said he was able to successfully sign up for Google Adwords just by following the required steps.

“Just a few minutes after our company ad was posted, we already started getting hits,” he shared during Wednesday’s Digitize Cebu conference, which aims to empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through digital marketing tools.

The family-owned Diamond Rent-A-Car, which was started by Buenaflor’s parents around 40 years ago, had relied heavily on traditional media like newspapers and billboards for its advertising needs.

Digitize Cebu Google Ads

DIGITAL ADS. Diamond Rent-A-Car vice president for operations Quincy Buenaflor shares his experience on using Google ads to grow their business in a talk with Rebeca Siccardi, strategic partner manager for Google Sales. The case study was among the sessions in today’s Digitize Cebu event.

Digital marketing

Buenaflor said that when they tried digital advertising, specifically through Google ads, they found it to be very effective in reaching out to potential customers. The company now spends 80 percent of its budget on digital platforms and only 20 percent on traditional methods.

“With digital marketing, I reach the right person,” he added, citing that he believes it provides the same opportunity in general to SMEs.

According to him, digital marketing should be part of every company’s advertising campaign. Diamond Rent-A-Car operates 1,600 rental vehicles and manages another 4,000 for various clients.

Google AdWords

The Google AdWords campaign helps with the company’s expansion by reaching the target market in a specific location.

Buenaflor said having AdSpark manage the company’s digital ads made the campaign more effective.

“It’s different working with a group with expertise on digital marketing. With AdSpark, we now have peace of mind. We know that for every little bit we spend, AdSpark makes it work for us,” he added.

AdSpark is a digital and mobile advertising company that’s fully owned by Globe.

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Utility companies work to rid Cebu City of ‘spaghetti’, dangling wires

Power, telecommunication, and cable companies have banded together to remove unsightly “spaghetti” and dangling wires from Cebu City streets to prevent accidents and as part of a clean-up drive. The…

Power, telecommunication, and cable companies have banded together to remove unsightly “spaghetti” and dangling wires from Cebu City streets to prevent accidents and as part of a clean-up drive.

The Visayan Electric Company, Inc. (VECO) is leading the initiative in collaboration with PLDT, Smart Communications, Skycable, Globe, and Eastern Telecom Philippines.

VECO cleanup

CLEAN-UP DRIVE. Anton Mari Perdices, VECO chief operations officer, answers a question during a press conference on the effort to clean up the city of “spaghetti” and dangling wires. With him are (from left) Richard Trasmonte, technical manager of Eastern Telecom; Rene Lescano, PLDT and Smart customer service and operations zone head; Niño Rey Sarabosing, Skycable general manager; and Edlin Jose delos Reyes, Globe regional manager for cable engineering.

Anton Mari Perdices, VECO chief operations officer, said he was asked by Mayor Tomas Osmeña a few weeks ago to oversee efforts that will address concerns over low-hanging power and cable wires.

When VECO called for a meeting to discuss the mayor’s concerns, PLDT and Smart customer service and operations zone head Rene J. Lescano said he suggested that they form a group like what they did in Iloilo to tackle the same problem.

VECO wires cleanup

TEST AREA. The group first focused on a portion of Gen. Maxilom Avenue, specifically from the corner of F. Ramos St. to the corner of Juana Osmeña St., as a test area for the clean-up.

The group first focused on a portion of Gen. Maxilom Avenue, specifically from the corner of F. Ramos St. to the corner of Juana Osmeña St., as a test area for the clean-up.

Globe regional manager for cable engineering Edlin Jose delos Reyes said that after assessing the situation, they took out the dead wires and bundled the active ones together with clamps.

Clean up drive

UNSIGHTLY. Power, telecommunication, and cable companies in Cebu are working together to remove unsightly “spaghetti” and dangling wires to prevent accidents and as part of a clean-up drive.

The next step will be show it to Mayor Osmeña and get his approval on their solution before coming up with a timeline for clean-up works all throughout the city starting with its main thoroughfares, added Skycable general manager Niño Rey Sarabosing.

Representatives of the utility companies agreed that an underground installation of power and cable wires would be very expensive and not a fitting solution for many areas in Cebu City.

VECO clean up

WIRES gathered after the clean-up.

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Celebrity chefs reinterpret local cuisine in Waterfront hotels’ Filipino food fest

What happens when you dip kangkong leaves in a special batter with ground tamarind before deep-frying them to crispy pieces? You get sinigang bites, a new take on an old…

What happens when you dip kangkong leaves in a special batter with ground tamarind before deep-frying them to crispy pieces? You get sinigang bites, a new take on an old favorite, as the Waterfront hotels in Cebu give homage to homegrown Filipino food in a culinary festival that runs up to August 31, 2017.

The Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan and Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Lahug joined forces to celebrate Cebuano and Filipino cuisines in a food festival called “UNO’s Modern Filipino Taste: A Filipino Feast for All Senses.”

Waterfront UNO's Modern Filipino Taste

SINIGANG BITES. Chef Roland Laudico dips kangkong leaves in batter that includes ground tamarind as he explains their new take on traditional Filipino food. At left is Chef Jackie, the other half of the celebrity chef couple.

Culinary world power couple Chef Roland and Chef Jackie Laudico worked with Waterfront to come up with a menu of traditional Filipino treats injected with mouth-watering twists.

Mr. Anders Hallden, general manager of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, and Mr. BenHur Caballes, hotel manager of Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan, led the opening of the event at UNO, popular international buffet and a la carte cafe and restaurant.

Filipino cuisine reimagined

In another event held in line with the food festival, Chef Roland and Chef Jackie showed media and bloggers how the regular crispy kangkong can take on a novel taste with a new or extra ingredient.

The batter for the kangkong leaves is made up of the usual flour and baking soda but flavored with fine tamarind (sampaloc) powder to give it that extra kick.

Waterfront UNO's Modern Filipino Taste

KINILAW. With a sauce made of bell pepper roasted and pureed and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil, this kinilaw is one you should try. Dijon mustard tops the dish.

The chefs also give the common table fare sisig a makeover, replacing pig’s head and liver with lechon leftover. It is spiced up with garlic, onions, chili, and kalamansi juice and topped with the Laudicos’ own sauce creation.

The kinilaw na isda gets a boost, too, in both methodology and ingredients. Soaking the fish in kalamansi and vinegar changes its taste so the Laudico chefs add these to the kinilaw last. Other differences in the kinilaw: the bell pepper is roasted and pureed and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil. Dijon mustard tops the dish.

Chefs Lau, Jackie culinary creations

The celebrated husband-and-wife culinary geniuses updated old-time favorites, popular comfort food, and classic dishes by the subtle addition of new and enticing flavors and presenting them in ways that catch attention and whet the appetite.

“Cooking, like any facet of culture and art, keeps evolving and transforming in tune with changing lifestyles and the development of technology. The tastes we presented find a delicious common ground between heritage and technology. Thus, the flavors are familiar but surprising,” a press statement released by Waterfront quoted Chef Roland as saying.

Waterfront Chefs Roland and Jackie Laudico

CELEBRITY CHEFS Roland and Jackie Laudico with Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino general manager Anders Hallden.

The Laudicos reinterpret such delicious selections as Balut Napoleon (layers of balut flavor plus shots of its savory juice), Ngohiong Cones served with a spicy sauce, Sinigang Bites (tamarind-spiced kangkong chips topped with bangus mousse), Palabok Bites, (the goodness of palabok topped with Carcar chicharon), Seafood Paella Negra (made with fresh seafood and squid ink), Paella Valenciana, Spicy Bellychon (oven-roasted pork belly with labuyo chili), Sushi Noy (Filipino maki topped with matambaka flakes), Queso de Bola Cheese Cake, and Tsokolate OH with Peanut Butter Mousse.

All throughout August, diners get to partake of these culinary creations at popular Cebu dining spot UNO in both Waterfront hotels in Cebu City and Mactan.

SISIG MAKEOVER. Chef Roland prepares their new take on the sisig, this time using leftover lechon, and served on a pouch made of dumpling wrappers.

 

More photos of UNO’s Modern Filipino Taste: A Filipino Feast for All Senses

 

 

Ngohiong cones and sinigang bites.

 

Paella

 

 

Sisig basket.

 

Spicy lechon belly

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Sushisake at Radisson Blu Cebu pairs fine sushi, sashimi with premium sake

When Radisson Blu Cebu flew in Chef Jeff Yalung from the Middle East for a taste test, they asked him to create Japanese food that’s more than the usual fare….

When Radisson Blu Cebu flew in Chef Jeff Yalung from the Middle East for a taste test, they asked him to create Japanese food that’s more than the usual fare.

His creation is now the centerpiece as Radisson Blu Cebu merges traditional Japanese cuisine with modern flavors and came up with new dining concept Sushisake.

Located at the upper lobby of the hotel, the newly-launched restaurant is small and intimate and offers a fine selection of sushi and sashimi prepared in traditional Edomae style as well as an impressive collection of premium sakes.

Sushisake Radisson

DYNAMITE SUSHI. Chef Jeff’s specialty combines tuna, salmon, grouper, and a creamy crab as topping.

Sushisake features the traditional and specialty rolls of Chef Jeff, who has over 10 years culinary experience with international hotel brands in the Middle East, said Radisson Blu Cebu director for sales and marketing Ann Olalo.

Sushisake menu

The menu carries sushi servings that deviate from or improve upon traditional flavors and ingredients.

Sushisake Radisson Blu

TRADITIONAL AND SPECIALTY ROLLS. Sushisake features traditional and specialty rolls paired with a premium sake collection.

One example is Chef Jeff’s dynamite sushi, which combines tuna, salmon, grouper and has creamy crab as topping.

“When you take a bite, something explodes in your mouth. That’s why we call it dynamite,” Yalung said during the restaurant’s recent launch.

Chef Jeff Yalung Radisson Blu Cebu

CHEF JEFF YALUNG has over 10 years culinary experience with international hotel brands in the Middle East.

Chef Jeff also offers the special california, so called since it combines ingredients other than the usual crab sticks and cucumber plus a secret sauce.

A few other specialties include the surf and turf, spicy crab roll, and dragon roll.

Sushi specialties

Olalo said Chef Jeff can do over 50 sushi varieties infused with his own rich sauces and marinades and even welcomes the opportunity to create more. This is what makes Sushisake different from other Japanese restaurants in Cebu.

Sushisake Radisson Blu

INTIMATE VENUE. Located at the upper lobby of the hotel, the newly-launched Sushisake is small and intimate.

She added that they envision Sushisake as innovative and trendsetting, and took great pains with the restaurant layout and furnishings.

The restaurant lights were inspired by chopsticks and the menu incorporated certain design elements: waves of the sea, a fishnet, and rice grain.

Sushisake is open from 6:00-10:00 p.m.daily. Guests are encouraged to make dinner reservations by calling (63 32) 402 9900 or by sending an email to reservations.cebu@radisson.com.

More photos of Sushisake

Radisson Sushisake

SAKE. Sushisake features an impressive collection of premium sakes.

 

Radisson Blu Cebu Sushisake

KANI SALAD of crabstick, cucumber, white cabbage, and orange tobiko with Japanese mayo and ponzu dressing.

 

Radisson Blu Sushisake

Fresh fruits.

 

Radisson Blu Cebu Sushisake

Mochi ice cream.

 

Radisson Blu Cebu Sushisake

Yuzu tart with sake meringue and green tea ice cream.

 

Radisson Blu Cebu Sushisake

Sesame seed panna cotta and coconut ice cream.

 

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Oakridge holds Fitstrip Bazaar to promote wellness lifestyle

Fitness and healthy living advice from experts and athletes and access to wellness products marked the first Oakridge FitStrip Bazaar held from July 22-23, 2017 at Oakridge Garden Plaza. The…

Fitness and healthy living advice from experts and athletes and access to wellness products marked the first Oakridge FitStrip Bazaar held from July 22-23, 2017 at Oakridge Garden Plaza.

The weekend activity was intended as a family event and to promote a wellness lifestyle, said Oakridge Realty and Development Corp. Director for Sales and Marketing Estee Marie Plunkett.

She added that they’re looking at holding it on a more regular basis.

Oakridge Fitstrip

Organic vegetables and fruits.

On the first day of the Oakridge Fitstrip Bazaar, Mary Deen of Love Yoga World shared her fitness journey in “Getting Everyone on the Mat.” She also led an hour of outdoor yoga for interested guests at the garden plaza.

After Deen, Pio Gerardo Solon of Epic Performance Fitness talked about getting physically and mentally fit for the Ironman triathlon event.

Oakridge Fitstrip Yoga

Mary Deen of Love Yoga World holds a yoga session.

Oakridge Fitstrip Bazaar exhibitors

Held in partnership with Rustan’s Supermarket Cebu, the event also served as an opportunity for small-scale wellness entrepreneurs to display their wares, added Plunkett.

Made available were beauty and wellness products by Human Nature, Mary Kay, and Gale’s Garden, which sold refreshing desk cacti and succulents.

Oakridge Fistrip

Fruit juices.

Macology 101, which made available its Salted Egg Potato Chips by Little Chef; Ultra Green Coffee Cebu, an organic product whose benefits include weight loss, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and natural detoxification; Leylam Shawarma for shawarma overload; and Thirsty Juices and Shakes for refreshing fruit juices were among the food exhibitors.

A food preparation demo happened on the second day of the Fitstrip Bazaar. Chef Geoffrey Broutin of L’Artisan showed how to make “Quick Healthy Meals on the Go.”

Oakridge Fitstrip

Desk cacti and succulents.

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Ding How: oldtime Cebu favorite Chinese restaurant reopens

The restaurant that introduced dim sum to Cebuanos in 1969 reopens at Robinsons Galleria Cebu and brings back the popular dishes from the old Ding How menu. “When we talk…

The restaurant that introduced dim sum to Cebuanos in 1969 reopens at Robinsons Galleria Cebu and brings back the popular dishes from the old Ding How menu.

“When we talk about our first experience with Chinese food, we think of steamed rice, siomai, and spring rolls. Cebuanos got to know dimsum through Ding How and it is an experience that is unique to Cebu,” said Steven Kokseng, marketing manager of Harbour City Dimsum House, Inc. The company owns and operates the Harbour City, Dimsum Break, Ding Qua Qua and Ding How brands.

Ding How reopens in Cebu

Steamed rice is a Cebuano favorite.

Ding How Dimsum House opened along Colon Street in 1969 but a shift in the Cebuano preference for fastfood in 2000 prompted the company to replace it with Dimsum Break.

Steven said they noticed over the past few years a growing sophistication among Cebuano diners characterized by an openness to try new things and feel this is the right time to bring back the Ding How brand.

Ding How reopens in Cebu

Egg tarts.

Ding How menu

Today’s Ding How is for customers who want to relish dim sum and eat at a more leisurely pace, according to business development manager Christopher Kokseng.

He said the company’s three other brands are more associated with quick dim sum fixes, adding that a good location was one of the things taken into consideration when they brought back their “grandfather brand.”

Ding How reopens in Cebu

Ding How spread.

The company also looked into the old recipe books and did research and development so it can serve Ding How’s “heritage” dishes with a modern spin.

Dim sum orders like the crystal scallop and kuchay dumplings, baked shaopao, pork trotter, custard with salted egg bun are revived from the old menu and exclusively offered at Ding How.

Although they looked at what people enjoyed before and made it available again, Christopher said they also continue to serve the current favorites throughout their restaurant brands.

More photos of Ding How reopening

Ding How reopens in Cebu

Cabbage pouch.

 

Ding How reopens in Cebu

HERITAGE DISHES. Ding How looked into the old recipe books and did research and development so it can serve “heritage” dishes with a modern spin.

 

Ding How reopens in Cebu

Custard with salted egg bun.

 

Ding How reopens in Cebu

Crystal scallop and kuchay dumplings.

 

Ding How reopens in Cebu

Baked shaopao.

 

Ding How Cebu

Pork trotter.

 

Ding How reopens in Cebu

 

Ding How Cebu

Harbour City Dimsum House, Inc. business development manager Christopher Kokseng and marketing manager Steven Kokseng answer questions in a press conference on the reopening of Ding How.

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Tutelage Learning Center brings progressive education to south Cebu

With its small class sizes, individualized program for regular and special education students, child-centered curriculum, Tutelage Learning Center is every parent’s dream school. What’s even better for preschool and elementary…

With its small class sizes, individualized program for regular and special education students, child-centered curriculum, Tutelage Learning Center is every parent’s dream school.

What’s even better for preschool and elementary kids, Tutelage Learning Center (TLC) will start classes on August 1, 2017 in a second and bigger branch in Pakigne, Minglanilla.

Ava Kristine Rosello, vice president for administration, said they offer all levels of instruction from playgroups to sixth grade as well as early interaction programs for children with special needs.

Tutelage Cebu started out in 2006 with tutorial programs to aid schoolchildren and added classes gradually until they were able to offer the complete primary education levels. Its first school is located on Edros Road, Cebu City.

Tutelage Learning Center

PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION. Officials of the Tutelage Learning Center talk about their school in a press conference. TLC will start classes on August 1, 2017 in a second and bigger branch in Pakigne, Minglanilla.

John Dewey philosophy

TLC espouses the John Dewey method of instruction, which follows the progressive rather than the traditional way of teaching, explained senior curriculum advisor Lanore V. Suico.

She added that aside from the fewer students in Tutelage classrooms, they are also active participants, problem solvers, and planners in classes.

“John Dewey believed that kids learn best if they are doing the activities firsthand. At Tutelage, children express their thoughts and ask questions,” Suico also said.

Curriculum adviser Yollymar Lemente said that aside from the learning they get from academic lessons, kids are also taught such competencies as finance and life skills.

Teacher-student ratio

Riza Sorbito, TLC director, said their ratio per teacher is six to eight kids for the playgroup and nursery levels and 12 for the graders.

She said Tutelage is K-12 ready and has accreditation from the Department of Education (DepEd).

The school, she assured, has zero tolerance for bullying but teachers promote positive discipline.

Tutelage Learning Center decided to open in Pakigne, Minglanilla to cater to residents of the town as well as those in Talisay and Naga.

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Philippine chocolate queen Raquel Choa shares life journey, passion

She didn’t know it then but Raquel Choa spent her childhood days in a place that shaped what she would become: Philippine chocolate queen and the amazing woman behind Ralfe…

She didn’t know it then but Raquel Choa spent her childhood days in a place that shaped what she would become: Philippine chocolate queen and the amazing woman behind Ralfe Gourmet, The Chocolate Chamber (TCC), and just recently, Batirol.

At a young age of seven, Choa went to live with her grandmas in a secluded mountain in Cebu when her parents separated.

It was in that remote community in Balamban in the early 1980s that she first encountered tablea, the bitter chocolate rounds that were popular with the villagers.

Chocolate Chamber Batirol Raquel Choa

BATIROL. The kiosk store concept is named after the wooden beater used to mix the tablea to make the sikwate. This is the latest project of Raquel Choa, who is dubbed the Philippine chocolate queen.

The Chocolate Chamber founder

Today, Choa is recognized for her work to elevate the quality of the products made from local cacao beans, starting with the chocolate buffets she organizes at her home in Cebu City and through her artisan chocolates and chocolate-flavored food and drinks that are available at The Chocolate Chamber restaurant.

The next step in her chocolate journey will be to make mainstream and add a new spin to tablea-based local delicacies such as “sikwate” and “champorado” through the Batirol.

Choa said the Batirol is a kiosk store concept created for franchising and it is a part of the business that her children will manage.

It is aptly named after the wooden beater used to mix the tablea to make the sikwate and was a fixture in households of old Cebu, said Choa’s right hand man Edu Patino.

Raquel Choa Batirol

PUTO-SIKWATE, CHAMPORADO. The puto sikwate and champorado used to be mainstays of the Cebuano dining table. Raquel Choa aims to make these mainstream again.

Food, drinks in Batirol menu

Batirol menu includes local favorites like sikwate, a drink made from tablea dissolved in water, and Chocondense, which is sikwate sweetened with condensed milk. Chocomallow is a chocolate drink topped with mallows.

This new twist to Ralfe Gourmet, Inc. intends to draw in the millennial crowd so drinks come hot or chilled. Since Batirol also seeks to reintroduce the wonders of tablea to young Filipinos, it makes available such delicacies as puto sikwate or sticky rice sprinkled with unpolished sugar and paired with sikwate and champorado or chocolate porridge.

Raquel Choa

Raquel Choa shares her life story.

The 41-year-old Choa also adds to the Batirol menu her soft rolls flavored with chocolate and baked with fillings like bacon and such Filipino favorites as longanisa and tocino.

In addition, she will also introduce one other use of a cacao-based product and that is using chocolate lava for painting, which will be one of the activities offered through Batirol.

Chocolate Chamber Batirol

SOFT ROLLS. Raquel Choa and her children with soft rolls flavored with chocolate and baked with fillings like bacon and such Filipino favorites as longanisa and tocino.

Maria Cacao tales

The journey from her early years to founder of Ralfe Gourmet, Inc. took a circuitous route but Choa said the bedtime stories of her grandma, Nanay Nila, sustained her all through those years of hardship.

“Oh, she was a great storyteller. I grew up with her bedtime stories. One in particular was about Maria Cacao. She was the queen of the cacao forest and she travels through the river to the open sea on a ship that turns to gold when she docks. That magical story of Maria Cacao warmed my heart and my love for the chocolate drink made with tablea, sikwate as we call it, remained even when my parents got back together and brought me back to the city after six years,” she said during a small gathering in May.

Chocolate Chamber Batirol

COSMETICS. Raquel Choa introduces her cosmetics line that include cacao butter for skin care.

During a trip she made to New York late in 2016, Choa said she met a lot of chocolate makers as well as boutique and shop owners.

“I realized that what makes us unique is we have a story to tell. Our chocolate has life, soul, and spirit and it comes from our ancestors,” she said.

Chocolate Chamber Batirol

SIKWATE. Just add hot water and these sticks turn into sikwate.

Casa de Cacao chocolate tours

Ralfe Gourmet holds chocolate appreciation tours at Casa de Cacao, which is also her residence in Casals Village in Mabolo, Cebu City.

Woven into these events is her chocolate story and the circumstances that led to her passion for creating products out of cacao. These are not limited to artisan chocolates or even chocolate-flavored food and drinks but include beauty products as well.

“The mountain where I came from, it was beautiful. The river was clear, it had a lot of rocks. I remember swimming there. In that mountain, there were a lot of treasures,” she added, recalling how they would collect banana leaves to sell for one peso a sack and coconut shells to turn into charcoal just to be able to buy kerosene for the house lamps.

Chocolate Chamber Batirol

RICE CRISPIES and peanuts make for a tasty chocolate snack.

Tablea beginnings

The mountain lass left Balamban but she would return decades later, grown up and married with eight children, to her grandma, Nanay Nila, and her other grandmothers, Nila’s sisters, to remember her childhood and learn more about the tablea that had featured prominently in her younger years.

“I got married when I was 16. I became a housewife. I stayed home and raised my children. I brought them to picnics in Ayala and I painted. I’m an artist by heart. I became an interior designer. Then our house in Cebu City was burned down in a fire. We had to stay in Lutopan for two years while we recovered. My kids had to transfer to La Salle,” she said.

It was there that she developed a friendship with the mother of her daughter’s classmate who was from Argentina.

Chocolate Chamber Batirol

CHOCOLATE PAINTING. Raquel Choa shows a painting done by a friend and using chocolate lava, one of her latest products.

Chocolate journey

Choa introduced the tablea to her Argentinian friend who had reservations about it at first because it looked dirty. She recalled how they decided to produce quality tablea and make a business of exporting it but it never took off because her friend had to return for good to Argentina.

“She left me with 300 kilos of tablea. I said to myself, ‘I’m a fighter’. I’ve been through so many challenges in my life. I can’t afford not to tell the whole world that we Filipinos know how to make chocolate in our own way,” she added.

She vowed that once her house in Cebu City was finished, she would focus on making chocolate as her artist’s canvas. About five years ago, she organized the first chocolate buffet at Casa de Cacao and that had been the beginning of her chocolate journey.

Chocolate Chamber Batirol

PAINTINGS. Raquel Choa and her kids with their paintings that use chocolate lava.

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Among Cebu CEOs, technology solutions have yet to make an impact: survey

Despite innovations in the field of finance, e-commerce, consumer services, transport and logistics, only a third of Cebu entrepreneurs believe that technology should be a business priority. Results of the…

Despite innovations in the field of finance, e-commerce, consumer services, transport and logistics, only a third of Cebu entrepreneurs believe that technology should be a business priority.

Results of the PwC Cebu 2017 CEO Survey showed that only 35 percent of business leaders look at how technology can help in the company’s overall strategic plan.

Less than half or only 48 percent of the 108 Cebu CEOs surveyed by Isla Lipana & Co./PwC Philippines feel threatened by the speed of technological advancements.

PWC Cebu CEO survey

Factors for successful innovation

The sentiments of Cebu businessmen are in contrast to the 80 percent of 2015 Philippine CEO survey respondents who consider technology breakthroughs like robotics, automated supply chain, enterprise solutions, and digital platforms as crucial to business transformation.

A slightly higher number or 50 percent of Cebu CEOs, which PwC Philippines calls Cebu’s next generation business leaders, see the need to continuously innovate to stay relevant for the long term.

The CEOs cited strong visionary leadership, right culture, willingness to challenge norms and take risks, capacity for creativity, and close collaboration with customers as factors for a successful innovation.

PwC Cebu 2017 CEO Survey

CEO SURVEY FINDINGS. Aldie Garcia, PwC Philippines lead branch operations partner, presents findings of the PwC Cebu 2017 CEO Survey. On stage are Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Melanie Ng and PwC Philippines chairman and senior partner Atty. Alexander Cabrera.

Technology as threat, opportunity

Aldie Garcia, PwC Philippines lead branch operations partner, said that for these CEOs, technology is both a threat and an opportunity.

“Our next generation business leaders believe the first to adopt will be the first to succeed,” he added.

Atty. Alexander Cabrera, PwC Philippines chairman and senior partner, said during a forum to share survey findings that “building a lasting legacy for the organization and the people they serve while growing the business is fundamental to our CEOs’ success.”

Vision for Cebu

Sought for their thoughts on how they envision a new Cebu, CEOs said focus should be on stronger partnerships between government and the private sector (83 percent), better investment incentives (63 percent), and maintaining and growing the local Cebu brands (49 percent).

PwC also found out that close to half of business owners were not originally from Cebu but moved here because of trade and economic opportunities.

Many of them or 77 percent worked for top companies as junior executives (40 percent), management executives (32 percent) , and board executives (10 percent) before going into business for themselves.

Series of CEO surveys

The survey was conducted by PwC Philippines in partnership with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and marked the first of a series to be done on Cebu business leaders.

Melanie Ng, CCCI president, said the undertaking is “envisioned to benchmark the changes in how our CEOs think and innovate.”

She added that the CEO Survey will provide a glimpse into the entrepreneurial journey of business owners that hopefully will inspire more entrepreneurs in the region. Respondents in the first CEO survey represent about 12 percent of CCCI members.

Other CEO Survey findings

Other survey findings showed that:

  • Majority of CEOs started their business in trading but have diversified to manufacturing, retail and wholesale distribution, and consumer and food beverage.
  • Over the next three years, business owners plan to enter the following industries: real estate and construction, tourism, food manufacturing, and consumer retail and technology.
  • Business leaders consider infrastructure, tourism, and technology as industries that need priority.

Survey presentation

PWC Cebu CEO survey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Discounted airline fares, tour packages offered in Grand Travel Bazaar

Plan your international trips out of Cebu with promo fares from top local and international airline companies available at the Grand Travel Bazaar that is ongoing at The Gallery in…

Plan your international trips out of Cebu with promo fares from top local and international airline companies available at the Grand Travel Bazaar that is ongoing at The Gallery in Ayala Center Cebu.

SilkAir and Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Korean Air, Emirates, and PAL offer seat sales to several destinations across the globe from July 7 up to July 9, 2017 at the BPI-exclusive travel event.

Grand Travel Bazaar Cebu

GRAND TRAVEL BAZAAR. The event is ongoing at The Gallery in Ayala Center Cebu until Sunday.

Southeast Asian countries

Economy class return fares to Southeast Asian countries on SilkAir and Singapore Airlines start from US$190 per person, for a minimum of two passengers booking tickets. Single ticket purchase for the same destination is slightly higher at US$240. The quoted fares include government taxes and surcharges but do not include the Philippine travel tax.

For travel to places in North Asia, including Fukuoka, Haneda, Narita, Osaka, and Nagoya in Japan, Incheon in Korea, and Hong Kong, promo fares range from US$230 to US$360.

Discounted fares to countries in West Asia and Africa, Southwest Pacific, and Europe as well as several US destinations are also available.

Grand Travel Bazaar Cebu

The Grand Travel Bazaar is exclusive to BPI Credit, Debit or Prepaid Cardholders. BPI cardholders may avail of the travel deals at zero percent interest rate for up to three months.

Exclusive to BPI cards

Cathay Pacific fares to Hong Kong start from US$75 for economy class but these do not include service and insurance charges and other taxes. Other destinations on sale include China, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, West and East Coast, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

Taipei flights out of Cebu on EVA Air start from US$195 while low season economy fares to US destinations range from US$648 for Los Angeles and Seattle to US$802 for Houston.

0% interest for 3 months

Top travel and tour agencies in Cebu are also selling discounted packages.

The Grand Travel Bazaar is exclusive to BPI Credit, Debit or Prepaid Cardholders. BPI cardholders may avail of the travel deals at zero percent interest rate for up to three months.

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Celebrity chef Tristan Encarnacion talks burgers

An afternoon of burger-making with celebrity chef Tristan Encarnacion at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino demonstrated three distinct ways to prepare this very American fare sans the beef patty….

An afternoon of burger-making with celebrity chef Tristan Encarnacion at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino demonstrated three distinct ways to prepare this very American fare sans the beef patty.

Waterfront Cebu prepares a line-up of activities in its “4th of July” celebration of Filipino-American Friendship Day, from the American food buffet available at UNO up to July 4 and the exhibit of American retail brands to the make your own burger event with chef Tristan today, July 3.

Chef Tristan’s ultimate chicken burger featured chicken marinated in buttermilk. The pulled pork adobo with “mungga,” meanwhile, combined baby back ribs cooked adobo-style until tender flavored with mung beans gravy and topped with sweet mango.

BURGER FLAVORS. (From left) Cardava banana peels as patty, pulled pork adobo with monggo gravy and topped with diced mango, and ultimate chicken burger.

Taste of the burger patty

He told media and bloggers who attended the event that the trick to making burgers is to consider the amount of fat to lean meat in the patty.

“The taste of the patty depends on the doneness of the meat. Those who want rare to medium rare patties should ensure more lean meat in the mix,” he added.

A third burger had of all things banana peel as the main ingredient.

Chef Tristan Encarnacion

Chef Tristan Encarnacion demonstrates the making of burgers in an event for bloggers and journalists at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

Cardava banana

To make it, chef Tristan said he boiled the peels of the cardava banana for about an hour, removed and washed them, and simmered them again in boiling water until tender. The peels are minced with a knife before spices and seasoning as well as eggs and bread flour are added.

Once formed into patties, these can be stored in the freezer to cook later. To complement the banana peel as patty, he added tomato salsa as topping.

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino

Pulled pork adobo burger with “mungga” combines baby back ribs cooked adobo-style until tender flavored with mung beans gravy and topped with sweet mango.

To give it the smoky taste of beef, one can choose to add a dash of steak sauce or mix meat with the banana peel to form the patty.

Waterfront Cebu is looking into making the burgers available in the menu.

chef Tristan Encarnacion

The ultimate chicken burger features chicken marinated in buttermilk .

 

chef Tristan Encarnacion

BANANA PEEL. This burger has a patty made of cardava banana peels boiled, minced, and cooked with spices.

 

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ITF 2017: Travel deals to Philippine, international destinations up for grabs

A special section showcasing luxury resorts and a “super seat sale” by Cathay Pacific are just a few of the travel deals available in the upcoming International Travel Festival (ITF)…

A special section showcasing luxury resorts and a “super seat sale” by Cathay Pacific are just a few of the travel deals available in the upcoming International Travel Festival (ITF) 2017 from July 14-16 at Ayala Center Cebu.

Stephanie Villahermosa, ITF project director, said that over 80 exhibitors had already signed up for the travel event a day before its media launch last June 21.

They include hotels and resorts, tour and travel agencies, as well as local and international airline companies.

Seat sale

Cathay Pacific Cebu manager Catherine Sin said they will offer promo fares to destinations like Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand and super discounted rates to Southeast Asian countries, China, and Korea during ITF 2017.

International Travel Festival 2017

TRAVEL DEALS. A special section showcasing luxury resorts and a “super seat sale” by Cathay Pacific are just a few of the travel deals available in the upcoming International Travel Festival 2017 from July 14-16 at Ayala Center Cebu. Photo shows organizers, partners, and guests during the media launch.

During the travel event, national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will offer a seat sale to domestic and international destinations as well. The company already has an ongoing seat sale for its recently started Cebu-Tagbilaran route starting at base fare of only P500 up until October 2017.

SilkAir, regional wing of Singapore Airlines, will also join ITF 2017 and offer low fares to various destinations.

Luxury resorts

Now on its fourth year, the travel show organized by MyEventology grows even bigger and will now include a special section featuring several luxury resorts throughout the country.

According to Villahermosa, these include Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa, El Nido Resorts, Manila Hotel, and the Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa in Bohol.

She added that previous ITFs had enjoyed high foot traffic based on the official visitor count by Ayala Center Cebu to an average of 90,000 persons daily for the three-day event. Over a hundred exhibitors, including tourism offices of the different Philippine regions, signed up for ITF 2016.

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