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GCash launches Scan to Pay QR code payments in Ayala Center Cebu

You can now pay 50 stores in Ayala Center Cebu just by scanning a code via your phone using the GCash mobile app. The digital and cashless Scan To Code…

You can now pay 50 stores in Ayala Center Cebu just by scanning a code via your phone using the GCash mobile app.

The digital and cashless Scan To Code payment system was launched yesterday afternoon by Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu, who bought coffee and pastries in Abaca Baking Company by scanning a QR or quick response code near the cash register area.

Among the 50 stores that can accept payments via QR code scanning are Bo’s Coffee, Chika-an, Casa Verde, and Rose Pharmacy. By the end of the year, more than 100 stores will be able to use this payment option, the company said.

GCash scan to pay

SCAN TO PAY. Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu scans a QR code with his GCash app to pay for the coffee and pastries he bought from the Abaca Baking Company in Ayala Center Cebu.

Easy to set up

Officials said it is easy for vendors to integrate the payment system since all they need is the QR code.

“The people who have used it are amazed at the speed, amazed at the convenience of it,” Cu said in an interview during the launch. He flew into Cebu from Davao, where they also launched the system by partnering with the NCCC supermarket chain.

To pay using the system in partner stores, customers just need to open the GCash app then tap Pay QR, then choose Scan QR and then point the camera at the QR Code near the cash register then tap Pay.

“It is high time that our customers at Ayala Center Cebu experience the convenience of cashless transactions and offer scan to pay with GCash. This way, more people will have hassle-free options in making their transactions as they shop or dine at the mall,” said Ayala Center Cebu general manager Bong Dy.

Before the launch, Globe gave journalists and bloggers a preview on how to set up GCash and use the app to buy cellphone load. GCash allows its users to shop online, pay bills, and send money through the app.

GCash Scan to Pay

LAUNCHING. Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu answer questions of Cebu reporters during the launch of GCash Scan To Pay in Ayala Center Cebu.

Digital payments convenience

Cu highlighted the convenience of digital payments, saying cash “is a real burden for both the merchant and the buyer.”

“I heard a chain of 70 stores in the food business saying they accumulate 2 million pesos worth of coins before Christmas because they are afraid to run out. That’s a problem we need to solve,” he said.

Cu said he is “very confident” people will eventually adopt digital payments “because it solves a problem.”

“I personally have been using GCash for 4 years now. We started in the Globe tower. There was resistance in the beginning but then people used it and there was 99 percent satisfaction rating among employees,” he said.

Analytics for vendors

For merchants, satisfaction is even higher, said Cu.

“When merchants start the day, they just open up. There’s no need to prepare the cash register. And they get analytics, when is your heaviest transaction time? We can finetune the way we curate the vendors or the partners inside our food hall. Alam namin kung sinong malakas kung sinong mahina. Alam namin kung sinong malakas at the certain time of the day. We can do those analytics for them,” he said. “Which guy buys the most from you? Who are your repeat customers? You wanna do a campaign for them? Pwede rin. So many things we can do.”

He said digital payments create opportunities, especially for small business. “When I say small, I mean really small, kasi remember the GCash payment can be enabled for even your balut vendor, your cigarette vendor, your mais vendor. Kasi it requires no POS, just that particular QR code. That’s all you need,” Cu said.

He said the important challenge is to solve problems on cashing in. He said a key funder of GCash accounts are the more than 300,000 employees who receive their pay via the system.

GCash Scan to Pay QR Code

GCASH APP. You can Scan To Pay via the GCash mobile app.

Financial inclusion

Another key challenge is to raise awareness, he said.

“But we will hit the inflection point and it becomes the de facto standard of payment. I mean it happened in China, there was acceleration. It happened in India. Smartphones are coming with lower prices. A P3,000 gets you a decent Android now, which can make this happen,” Cu said.

He said the system is also a way to increase financial inclusion.

“As we gain records of your financial transactions, we are now able to give you a credit score. Together with your telco transactions, we can loan money in micro amounts, automatically. And say because of your transaction record you’re eligible for a loan of X pesos. You can also pay back through GCash. That way you don’t even have to enter a bank,” Cu said.

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Rustan’s Supermarket in Ayala to hold paper flower art workshop

Make summer productive and creative by letting your kid join Rustan’s Supermarket’s paper flower art workshop on May 6 at 2 p.m. in Ayala Center Cebu. The workshop will be…

Make summer productive and creative by letting your kid join Rustan’s Supermarket’s paper flower art workshop on May 6 at 2 p.m. in Ayala Center Cebu. The workshop will be conducted by papercraft artist Stephanie Tudtud.

To join, present your Fresh Card at the customer service counter and register for P299 for two slots inclusive of workshop materials.

papercraft workshop Rustan’s Stephanie Tudtud

Exclusive workshops

Rustan’s Supermarket’s Everyday Creativity workshops are exclusive to Fresh Cardholders, their loyalty program. The workshops are geared towards creating a community of shoppers and an avenue for the family and like-minded individuals to bond.

In Cebu, Rustan’s Supermarket is located in Oakridge Business Park, 880 A.S Fortuna Street, Banilad, Mandaue City; Paseo Arcenas Estate in Banawa; and Basement 1 of the Ayala Center Cebu expansion wing.

It is open daily from 8am-9pm, 8am-9pm and 9am-9pm respectively. For inquiries, contact (032) 262 0680 (Ayala), (032) 412 4146 (Oakridge). For updates, follow @RustansFresh on Twitter, Instagram and Rustan’s Supermarket on Facebook or visit www.rustansfresh.com. (Press Release)

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BPI Family Auto Madness back in Davao, Cebu

BPI Family Savings Bank is again set to help fulfill every Filipino’s dream of getting their own car as it brings the second wave of mall-based Auto Madness sorties to…

BPI Family Savings Bank is again set to help fulfill every Filipino’s dream of getting their own car as it brings the second wave of mall-based Auto Madness sorties to the cities of Davao and Cebu this week.

The Davao leg will be held from Nov. 10-13 at the Abreeza Mall, while the Cebu event is scheduled to run from Nov. 11-13 in Ayala Center Cebu.

BPI Auto Madness

Last year’s BPI Auto Madness event.

BPI Family Auto Loan

Davaoenos and Cebuanos who dream of having their own cars get the chance to make it happen at the BPI Family Auto Madness, as BPI Family Savings Bank brings the car buying experience closer to everyone.

There are 20 car models to choose from all under one roof.

Owning your dream car is also made affordable through special rates and exclusive deals from BPI Family Auto Loan and partner car dealers.

Financial advice

BPI Family Auto Loan enables you one to own your dream car the soonest possible time through expert financial advice from BPI Family Loan Advisors present in any of the BPI Family Auto Madness sites, fast and easy application process, and affordable monthly payment terms.

With BPI Family Auto Madness, Davaoeno and Cebuano families may find the best way to make this Christmas season meaningful and complete.

For more details about BPI Family Auto Loan, visit bpiloans.com. (Press Release)

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7 ways to support fight vs. breast cancer: Ayala Center Cebu shows you how

Ayala Center Cebu celebrates wellness this Pink October, now on on its 8th year, as it takes the first steps in promoting healthy living with “Think Pink, Live Pink.” The…

Ayala Center Cebu celebrates wellness this Pink October, now on on its 8th year, as it takes the first steps in promoting healthy living with “Think Pink, Live Pink.” The first mall to embrace the cause, Ayala Center Cebu is giving everyone a chance to help raise awareness and support hundreds of breast cancer patients nationwide this Pink October.

1) Have your car washed

Contribute to the pink cause by having your car washed at the Basement Parking this month. In partnership with NDG Valet Innovators & Specialists, a portion of every car wash during Pink October goes to the ICanServe Foundation. Coupons are available at the main mall concierge and start at P170 for compact cars with P70 out of each carwash fee going to the beneficiary.

2) Catch an exhibit

From October 1 to 15, revel in a showcase of pink apparel from Plains & Prints, a nationwide campaign in collaboration with Rhett Eala, Rajo Laurel, Randy Ortiz, Maureen Disini and Vania Romoff. Dedicated to help raise awareness and defeat breast cancer, “The Heart of Fashion Capsule Collection” is at Rotunda 2, fronting Marcella. From October 17 to 28 at Rotunda 1, The Department of Trade and Industry presents “Pink Exhibit”, a display of local handicrafts with 18 participating exhibitors for the benefit of ICanServe Foundation Inc.

Ayala Center Cebu Think Pink3) Try out a new treat

Get special discounts on the featured beverage or dessert in select restaurants from October 14 to 31, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. This campaign encourages partners to support the cause and help raise breast cancer awareness by adding a pink treat to their menu.

4) Get in the pink of health

On all Wednesdays and Fridays of October, join the Pink Zumba movement with the Cebu Zumba Instructors Network at the Terraces from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. All proceeds of the P50 donation will go to ICanServe Foundation Inc. On Sunday, October 16, the annual Pink October Run will kick off at the Cebu Business Park at 5:30 a.m. Interested participants may register at the Think Pink desk located at the Active Zone near Krispy Kreme. Registration fee is P350 for the 3k, 6k and 12k distances. This is organized by The Philippine College of Surgeons – Cebu Eastern Visayas Chapter, and Philippine Society of General Surgeons Cebu – Eastern Visayas in cooperation with the ICanServe Foundation Inc., Rotary Club of Cebu Fuente, Rotaract Club of Cebu Fuente, Ayala Center Cebu, and Cebu Business Park. On Saturday, October 22, Crossfit Pintados, an all-in-one fitness center offering crossfit classes and mixed martial arts will hold a fitness competition that supports the breast cancer awareness campaign during mall hours at The Terraces. A part of their proceeds from the event will be donated to the ICanServe Foundation Inc.

5) Learn how to style a wig or donate your hair for a cause

Delight in a beauty and glamour workshop dedicated to people wearing wigs as Quota International of Cebu presents an afternoon of fun involving a talk on how to style your wigs with makeup artist and speaker Jessie Glova. Cancer survivors and wig owners are welcome to join the workshop on Thursday, October 20, 6 p.m. at The Gallery. The first 50 guests will receive a special giveaway. Bridges Salon will also be conducting free haircuts for those who wish to donate their hair to cancer survivors.

6) Get checked

Early detection is key. Together with its beneficiary, the ICanServe Foundation Inc., Ayala Center Cebu will be conducting the “Pink Check”, a breast-screening procedure and ob-gyne consultation for free at the Family Lounge on the 3rd level of the mall’s expansion on all Fridays of October from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

7) Celebrate Life

Learn more about health and good lifestyle changes at Cinema 1 on Saturday, October 29, 9:30 a.m. Before heading out to the forum, a Zumba session at 6 a.m. at The Terraces will take place. Apart from these events and activities, Ayala Center Cebu also held an informative talk on early detection and cancer prevention last October 1 at Cinema 1. The event was in partnership with the Philippine College of Surgeons, the ICanServe Foundation Inc., Rotary Club of Cebu Fuente, and Rotaract Club of Cebu Fuente. Join the Pink October movement to help in the fight against breast cancer at the region’s premier lifestyle destination for shopping, dining and entertainment. For the latest updates and promotions, like Ayala Center Cebu at www.facebook.com/AyalaCebu and follow @AyalaCenterCebu on Twitter and Instagram. For more information, contact the Ayala Concierge hotline at 231-5342 to 44 local 324 or 266-2535. (Press release)

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Ipanema Selfeet takes over Cebu Sunday

Ipanema Selfeet Sunday is happening this October 12 in Cebu. Take an #ipanemaselfeet, upload to Facebook or Instagram, and not only do you get a discount on your next Ipanema…

Ipanema Selfeet Sunday is happening this October 12 in Cebu.

Take an #ipanemaselfeet, upload to Facebook or Instagram, and not only do you get a discount on your next Ipanema purchase, you can win an overnight stay at Shangri-La Mactan.

ipanema selfeet

Ipanema holds Colorful Adventure with #IpanemaSelfeet at Ayala Center Cebu this Sunday.

Visit Ayala Center Cebu for a Colorful Adventure with #ipanemaselfeet.

With its stylishly chic and colorful designs reminiscent of Brazil, and its signature buttery-soft sole, Ipanema is a perfect fit for Filipinos who are adventurous-at-heart.

For more information about #IpanemaSelfeet, visit www.facebook.com/IpanemaPhilippines. (PR)

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Bigby’s brings back old favorites as it opens at The Terraces

Bigby’s Cafe and Restaurant features new dishes and brings back old favorites as it opens at a more visible location on the second level of The Terraces in Ayala Center…

Bigby’s Cafe and Restaurant features new dishes and brings back old favorites as it opens at a more visible location on the second level of The Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu.

Although smaller, the new spot beside BonChon Chicken provides better access to guests and can operate for longer hours because it’s no longer inside the mall, explained Henrik Yu, marketing manager of Bigby’s Quality Food, Inc.

He said the restaurant is bringing back the classic dishes it offered but later removed from the menu when it first opened at Ayala Cebu back in 1998, such as the seafood kebab as well as some salads and sandwiches and pasta.

Bigby’s bestsellers

Bigby's family platter

Ribs, chops and calamares in Bigby’s Family Platter.

Bigby’s bestsellers among others are still the ribs, which they gather all effort to get from suppliers in Cebu and other areas, fajitas and steaks.

“Our ribs are very choice cuts and you get only four pieces of such from one pig. We also get from suppliers in Cagayan de Oro,” Yu added.

Another favorite of diners – the Kimmy Chunky Stew – was introduced during Father’s Day in 1999 and remains among Bigby’s bestsellers.

kimmy's chunky stew

Kimmy’s Chunky Stew, a restaurant bestseller introduced during Father’s Day in 1999.

Bigby’s sinuglaw – a dish made of raw fish and grilled pork belly soaked in acids like vinegar and kalamansi juice and seasoned with herbs and spices – is special. It has distinctive seasonings – such as the tabon-tabon and biasong (local lime) that are available only in Cagayan de Oro – that provide the dish an added zing.

Titanic Treat

If you’re into desserts, try the Titanic Treat, an assortment of about 30 scoops of ice cream and various toppings. Better still, if you can eat this monster of a dessert in five minutes or less, you won’t need to pay for it.

Mango Shortcake

Mango Shortcake

With so many restaurants cropping up all over Cebu, Bigby’s continues to be popular because of its reasonable price and big servings, cited Yu.

Also, he added, Bigby’s international menu has gained a reputation for being comfort food that one wants to eat all the time.

According to Yu, possible new sites for Bigby’s are IT Park and the South Road Properties (SRP).

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Rustan’s Supermarket opens in new Ayala Cebu location

Rustan’s Supermarket opens today, August 9, at its new Ayala Center Cebu location with 2,800 square meters of space and special grocery offerings. The new Rustan’s store, which is at…

Rustan’s Supermarket opens today, August 9, at its new Ayala Center Cebu location with 2,800 square meters of space and special grocery offerings.

Olives on display at Rustan's Gourmet to Go section.

Olives on display at Rustan’s Gourmet to Go section.

The new Rustan’s store, which is at Basement 1 of Ayala’s expansion wing, displays its items by categories: poultry, meat, seafood, dairy, grains, pasta and the like.

Rows and rows of local and imported ice cream.

Rows and rows of local and imported ice cream.

“Rustan’s Supermarket is really a lifestyle and you can see it in the way we display and sell things. We don’t only sell local but we’re heavy on imported goods,” said marketing manager Selina Selma-Romualdez during a media tour on Friday.

Casale Paradiso products can only be found at Rustan's Supermarket, according to the store's marketing manager.

Casale Paradiso products can only be found at Rustan’s Supermarket, according to the store’s marketing manager.

According to her, there are many items at the store that can’t be found anywhere else. She cited as example their assortment of Italian brand Casale Paradiso’s products that include the risotto or rice varieties, polenta and cous cous, zuppa or soups, choices of salt, pasta and aromatic mixes.

The new supermarket features a delicatessen section and bakery. It also has shelves for cereals, baby care, pasta and noodles, cheese, yogurt and other items.

The wine and spirits section has a consultant (shown in photo) to help you choose.

The wine and spirits section has a consultant (shown in photo) to help you choose.

One innovation that Rustan’s has brought to its new supermarket is the presence of a consultant at the wine and spirits area. So if you’re confused over which of the top brands to pick, you can always get help from the wine consultant.

Romualdez said they will be carrying more imported items, adding the yogurt section will soon display products from the US and New Zealand.

Gourmet To Go offers prepared healthy salads and sandwiches.

Gourmet To Go offers prepared healthy salads and sandwiches.

Another special offering of Rustan’s Supermarket is the Gourmet To Go area, which ready to eat healthy sandwiches and salads. There are pre-prepared Russian and Greek greens, pasta with pesto, hummus, spinach dip, and quiches. Available sandwiches include hot ham and cheese, chicken galantina, seafood, deli sub and prosciutto with arugula.

Yesterday’s soups of the day were salmon n’ corn chowder and cream of wild mushroom.

Olive oil and special pasta.

Olive oil and special pasta.

At today’s opening and up to August 18, Rustan’s is providing big discounts and buy one take another one offers on many products.

Check out the new Rustan’s Supermarket at it’s opening today and avail of the special opening offers.

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Pepper Lunch Ayala introduces new dining concept in Cebu

My first time at Pepper Lunch soon after it opened in Ayala Center Cebu, they brought my beef still very red and looking raw. When I told the waiter I…

My first time at Pepper Lunch soon after it opened in Ayala Center Cebu, they brought my beef still very red and looking raw. When I told the waiter I wanted my steak well done, he explained I was still supposed to cook it on the hot plate.

This “zizzle-it-your-way” serving style is a distinctive Pepper Lunch feature and allows diners to have control over how their food is done and seasoned, explained chef Jeroen van Straten.

Straten’s company – Benmark Holdings, Inc. – holds the master franchise for Pepper Lunch Philippines. The Pepper Lunch in Ayala’s new wing is the 23rd and newest branch in the country, Straten added during a media get-together in Cebu this week.

The secret to the Pepper Lunch dining experience is the patented Iron Plate, which is heated up to 250 degrees Celsius using a special electromagnetic cooker in just 70 seconds. The plate remains hot for more than 20 minutes, ensuring that your food remains warm up to the last bite.

Van Straten of Pepper Lunch Philippines

Chef Jeoren van Straten of Benmark Group Holdings, Inc. pours Pepper Lunch’s signature sauce on its bestseller dish beef pepper rice.

Straten said this do-it-yourself fast-service dining concept was created by Japanese chef and inventor Kunio Ichinose. His goal was to provide fast and quality food even without a trained chef, and he realized this with the establishment of Pepper Lunch in Japan in 1994.

Signature sauces

Pepper Lunch servings also enjoy the advantage of the restaurant’s signature sauces, honey brown and soy garlic. Aside from beef dishes, other choices are chicken, pork and salmon.

At my first Pepper Lunch dining experience, I learned enough to grill the meat on the hot plate but I missed out on the sauce. The best way to have your beef pepper rice is to mix the steak with the rice with its pepper, corn and spring onion toppings and then season it with any or both of the signature sauces.

Not a fan of pepper? Just tell the restaurant crew to omit it from your dish.

I’m not a sauce person but they persuaded me to try it during Thursday’s media launch and it did go well mixed with the steak and pepper rice.

According to van Straten, Pepper Lunch delivers on its “fine steak, great value” promise through strict quality control standards on its imported US and Australian beef.

The restaurant also offers seasonal menus, and this time it’s carrying the typical Filipino fares of lechon and sisig.

Pepper Lunch Ayala

Van Straten said response of the Cebu crowd to Pepper Lunch has been favorable and two more branches are planned for next year. They’re also thinking of opening this year a Pepper Lunch Express, which is more like a food court stall where the portions are slightly smaller and prices cheaper.

The first Pepper Lunch branch in the Philippines was opened in 2008 in Rockwell and 22 others have been added since then. The latest one is the Pepper Lunch branch in Ayala Center Cebu’s new wing.

Although they wanted to put up a restaurant as early as two years ago in Cebu, van Straten said they weren’t able to find the right partner or place.

“Now is the perfect time for us to come to Cebu,” he cited, adding they found the perfect local partner in Pepper Up Cebu, Inc. led by Allen Arvin A. Tan.

Pepper Lunch at Level 4 Ayala Center Cebu is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and up to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Pepper Lunch has over 200 outlets in Japan and all over Asia, including China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

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Balik Cebu starts campaign to build houses for Pilar, Camotes community

This year’s Balik Cebu program that is among Sinulog 2014 activities will serve as the launching pad for a Balik Balay campaign that aims to help one of Yolanda-devastated communities…

This year’s Balik Cebu program that is among Sinulog 2014 activities will serve as the launching pad for a Balik Balay campaign that aims to help one of Yolanda-devastated communities in Pilar, Camotes.

Balik Cebu committee members led by group chair, Tetta Baad, said their objective is to build 50 dwellings in the style of the bahay kubo in Sitio Esperanza in Pilar as soon as possible.

The Balik Balay campaign will be officially launched during the Balik Cebu welcome party on January 16, 2014 which has served to welcome balikbayans during the Sinulog celebration for the last 12 years.

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