MyCebu.ph: Cebu News & Features

Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018: One-stop-shop for travel

Whether you’re planning a local trip or going to any country in the world, get great deals in airfare and tour packages to your chosen destination during the Cebu Travel…

TAGA Your Origin shirts make fun, quirky Sinulog 2018 #OOTDs

Show pride of place in your Sinulog Festival 2018 street fashion by wearing customizable shirts that celebrate your origin courtesy of new online shop TAGA. Taga asa ka? Taga Opon?…

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu cooks up Sugbusog feast for Sinulog 2018

Cebu’s Sinulog Festival deserves a feast just as grand and Marco Polo Plaza Cebu obliges with the culinary experience “Sugbusog 2018: Gikan sa Bukid ug Dagat” at Cafe Marco. Up…

Islands Souvenirs highlights tribal fusion in Cut & Style Sinulog 2018 designs

Tribal fusion characterized by feathers and gems is this year’s theme for the Islands Souvenirs Cut & Style campaign as it returns for the sixth year with a new lineup…

Send PayMaya pamasko to loved ones with ‘aguinaldo’ service via Facebook Messenger

Sending “aguinaldo” or Christmas cash gifts to family and godchildren is now easier than ever as pioneering digital financial services company PayMaya today announced the launch of a “digital aguinaldo”…

With GCash Scan To Pay, transactions are quick, cashless

I ordered a pretzel and picked up a loaf of ciabatta to go yesterday at the Abaca Baking Company in Ayala Center Cebu. Instead of reaching for my wallet at…

PayMaya revolutionizes digital payments with Paymaya in Messenger

As a long-time PayMaya user and one who has experienced its many benefits especially in travel, I’m amazed at how this digital payment solution has gone one step further with…

This Christmas, New Year, give the gift of fitness with Fitbit

Whether as a reward for yourself for a great year or a gift to loved ones, Fitbit watches are the perfect fitness giveaway. Start your Christmas shopping by checking out…

Cebu students get coding intro in Hour of Code in Accenture

School principal Rosemarie Novabos was apprehensive. Her students at OPRRA National High School only started ICT classes this year and they were already being invited by Accenture to join Saturday’s…

Marco Polo whips up holiday feast in Festive Buffet

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu unveiled in a special preview its Festive Buffet set for the Christmas season, and it is another level of delicious. Available from December 16-23 and 26-30,…

Cebu students get coding intro in Hour of Code in Accenture

School principal Rosemarie Novabos was apprehensive. Her students at OPRRA National High School only started ICT classes this year and they were already being invited by Accenture to join Saturday’s…

School principal Rosemarie Novabos was apprehensive. Her students at OPRRA National High School only started ICT classes this year and they were already being invited by Accenture to join Saturday’s Hour of Code.

While she told ICT coordinator Vince Impel to “immediately say yes” to the invitation by Accenture, whom she described as an important stakeholder of their school, she admitted to being apprehensive because the activity involved “coding.”

Hour of Code Accenture Cebu

This will be fun, Accenture Managing Director, Technology Arvin Yason tells students of OPRRA National High School at the start of their Hour of Code session.

Excited by sessions

Her students, on the other hand, said they were excited by the opportunity. Most said in an interview that the only experience they had with computers before the Hour of Code at the Accenture office in Cebu IT Park was to play games. Impel said their lessons so far were only on how to use the PC and some office applications.

For Grade 10 student Marites Hagoyahay, time on the computer meant using Facebook and YouTube. But on Saturday, she was among the first to finish 2 modules for the Hour of Code – essentially 2 hours of work in less than an hour. One involved control of Disney characters on the screen by manipulating blocks of code and the other an introduction to concepts on artificial intelligence (AI).

Accenture Hour of Code Cebu

Grade 10 student Marites Hagoyahay works on the intro to AI module as Accenture employee Jon Alistair Ong looks on.

It was really fun and exciting and I learned from it, Hagoyahay said in an interview.

When asked if she is considering a computer science course, she nodded enthusiastically but said “mahal man kaayo if direct computer engineering. Plano nako is accountancy lang sa and then after, engineering.” (Computer engineering is very expensive. I plan to take up accountancy first and then take up engineering after.)

Encourage to take up STEAM

“We must give our students, our youth, that kickstart to encourage them to go to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics),” said Accenture Managing Director, Technology Arvin Yason. “This Hour of Code is a fantastic example, fantastic venue for organizations like Accenture.”

Yason said students should be exposed to code since “it’s a great first step towards a career in technology. It is a great first step towards a career in computer sciences.” He recounted how his father’s decision to buy a personal computer when he was young led him to try out coding and eventually guided him to a career in technology.

Accenture Hour of Code Cebu

FIRST TO COMPLETE. Kenth Bryan Suquib was first to complete the tasks in his group. Although he has been considering taking up Chemical Engineering, he said he is also looking into programming as a career option.

He said he’s hoping the Hour of Code will also have a similar impact on the students they hosted.

Accenture chose OPRRA National High School because it is a recipient of computers donated by the company.

“We’re very happy to know and see how technology is enabling these students and all it took is one yes and a commitment to say yes, we wanna do it. Now they are enabling more of their students with all these skills,” said Accenture Media and Analyst Relations Lead Grace Cuenca.

Hour of Code Accenture

AI CONCEPTS. For this year’s Hour of Code, Accenture built a module that introduced participants to concepts on AI.

Intro to AI concepts

Accenture has hosted Hour of Code in Cebu for 3 years, mostly with students of Passerelles Numérique. What differentiates this year’s session is the inclusion of an introduction to AI.

Accenture built a module for students to “discover how various AI techniques can teach a robot to explore a new planet — including recognizing animals and plants, understanding a new language, and conversing with inhabitants.”

Yason said encouraging the youth to take up coding is important in light of what he described as a “global war for talent.”

Shortage of talent

“There is a large demand for computer science professionals globally. In the US. for example, there are for any given year demand for almost half a million computer science jobs. And they only graduate 40,000 CS majors every year. Not enough to fill the demand,” he said.

In the Philippines, there is also a shortage of talent.

Hour of Code Cebu

VOLUNTEERS. Accenture programmer Joyce Anne Dreyfus gives Grade 10 student Clint Manolat tips in programming Elsa to move on the screen. When Accenture Cebu opened slots for volunteers to the Hour of Code, it was filled up in minutes, said Managing Director Arvin Yason.

“We see a problem if we don’t work with academia, we don’t work with government to really encourage students into a career in technology,” he said.

Yason said Accenture employees were also enthusiastic in volunteering for the program, with slots filled up in minuted.

“It’s providing opportunities to people. It’s a way for us to pay forward, invest in the youth, and invest in the country also,” he added.

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Marco Polo whips up holiday feast in Festive Buffet

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu unveiled in a special preview its Festive Buffet set for the Christmas season, and it is another level of delicious. Available from December 16-23 and 26-30,…

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu unveiled in a special preview its Festive Buffet set for the Christmas season, and it is another level of delicious.

Available from December 16-23 and 26-30, 2017 at Cafe Marco, the grand feast will include such holiday treats as prime beef, roast turkey, sugar glazed ham, English fruitcake, ensaymada, bibingka, pumpkin pie, black forest Christmas log, and assorted cookies.

Also in the menu are traditional Filipino fares like puto bumbong, macaroni salad, chicken relleno, and Filipino macaroons.

Marco Polo Festive Buffet

Roast Turkey.

Festive Buffet rates

MyCebu.ph was among a group of media and bloggers invited to try out the Festive Buffet in a special preview of the culinary offering last December 5 at Cafe Marco.

The holiday season dishes included in the Festive Buffet are on top of Cafe Marco’s international spread.

Buffet rates start from P1,250 net per person during lunch and P1,540 net per person at dinner.

Marco Polo festive buffet

Christmas ensaymada

Roast turkey

During the special preview, Marco Polo Plaza sous chef Luigi Mangubat showed how to properly carve up a roast turkey. He said that turkey has both red and white meat.

Red meat makes up the thigh and leg part while white meat can be found in the breast area.

Cafe Marco’s roast turkey comes with a special cranberry sauce and you can have it at home, too.

Marco Polo Festive Buffet

Bibingka

Holiday favorites

Manna Alcaraz, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Communications Manager, said they now accept orders for USDA roast beef, roast turkey, pineapple glazed ham, and chicken relleno.

Why not complete your festive table at home with Marco Polo’s classic take on some of these holiday favorites?

  • USDA roast beef (7 kg) – P7,000
  • Roasted turkey (7 kg) with side dishes – P5,500
  • Pineapple glazed ham (4.5 kg) – P3,800
  • Chicken relleno – P2,500

Orders require a lead time of two days. For bookings and reservations, email hospitality.ceb@marcopolohotels.com or call (032) 253-1111 local 8429.

Marco Polo Festive Buffet

Marco Polo Christmas Festive Buffet

Stollen Bread

 

Marco Polo Plaza Christmas Festive Buffet

Cherry Christmas Ensaymada and Christmas Ensaymada

 

Marco Polo Christmas Festive Buffet

 

Marco Polo Christmas Festive BuffetWaldorf Salad.

 

Marco Polo Festive Buffet

Macaroni Salad

 

Marco Polo Festive Buffet

Sugar-Glazed Ham

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu festive buffet

 

Marco Polo festive buffet

Puto Bumbong.

 

Marco Polo Plaza festive buffet

Macaroons.

 

MArco Polo Plaza Cebu festive buffet fruit cake

Fruit Cake.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Festive Buffet chicken relleno

Chicken Relleno.

 

Marco Polo Christmas buffet

 

Marco Polo Plaza festive buffet

Pumpkin Pie

 

Marco Polo Christmas buffet

Christmas Log.

 

Marco Polo Festive Buffet

Marco Polo Plaza sous chef Luigi Mangubat shows how to properly carve up a roast turkey.

 

Marco Polo Plaza  |Christmas buffet

CHRISTMAS SPREAD. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Festive Buffet set for the Christmas season is available from December 16-23 and 26-30 at Cafe Marco.

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HMR launches special Visa credit card in partnership with Union Bank

HMR Philippines, Inc. has tied up with Union Bank to launch a co-brand Visa credit card that offers exclusive promos, exciting rewards, and cashback deals to shoppers. What’s even sweeter?…

HMR Philippines, Inc. has tied up with Union Bank to launch a co-brand Visa credit card that offers exclusive promos, exciting rewards, and cashback deals to shoppers.

What’s even sweeter? Union Bank waives annual fees for life for approved applications submitted by January 15, 2018.

Union Bank First Vice President Ana Aboitiz Delgado said during the special Visa card launch last December 1 that HMR is a recent addition to the over 60 companies that have co-brand arrangements with the bank.

HMR Unionbank Visa card

Union Bank First Vice President Ana Aboitiz Delgado (6th from left) leads the launching of the special co-brand Visa card for HMR.

Customer loyalty

The special HMR card will allow shoppers to enjoy 0.5 percent cashback on all retail spend anywhere as well as exclusive deals and promotions at HMR Trading Haus outlets.

Delgado added that the co-brand card is aimed at helping HMR enhance customer loyalty. It is accepted anywhere in the world where Visa is honored, and every P200 retail spend is equivalent to one reward point.

HMR credit card perks

The partnership with Union Bank will allow HMR to offer more to shoppers, according to HMR Philippines, Inc. chief executive officer (CEO) Sam Powell.

Customers with the special HMR Visa card will get 5 percent off on selected HMR items.

Special perks for Union Bank credit card holders during the launch include 50 percent off on gazebo tents, coolers, and director’s chairs. In addition, a 24-piece Wilmington dinner plate set was given free to customers with purchases worth P15,000. HMR also gave away an Aptus 32” tv as raffle prize for credit card applicants last December 1.

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Give the FitFlop gift of comfort and style for superwomen in your life

Looking for the right kind of gift for superwomen this holiday season? Give them the gift of comfort and style. Internationally recognized as a comfort footwear brand, FitFlop’s scientific research…

Looking for the right kind of gift for superwomen this holiday season? Give them the gift of comfort and style.

Internationally recognized as a comfort footwear brand, FitFlop’s scientific research into the position of the foot and how it affects the alignment of the body is second to none. While comfort-based biomechanics remains a priority, FitFlop believes there’s no need to compromise on style to enjoy comfort. FitFlop creates wardrobe essentials for women too busy for uncomfortable shoes.

Uberknit high-top sneaker

Space-Age Metallics

As FitFlop introduces metallic detailing, you will not only feel comfortable but you sure are on trend. Check out the Uberknit high-top sneaker and ballerina updated in pewter, rose gold and black metallic.

Channelling all things metallics, the Superballerina with sequins are graceful, low-cut, feather-light ballerinas smothered in shimmering sequins, on slimline SupercomFF midsoles.

Uberknit high top sneaker

The Superskate slip-on mule, a key shoe style of the season, is offered in buttery leather with The Uberknit high top sneakers and ballerina bow are our most exciting, not to mention best looking.

With unbeatable ergonomics, superlightweight, midsoles, breathable stretch uppers, and stretchy decorative laces, they’re so good, you may start every day getting dressed feet first.

FitFlop Uberkniy

Uberknit Superballerina

Fitflop is available in Fitflop stores in SM City Cebu, Ayala Center Cebu and ResToeRun. (Press Release)

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NEST Home and Fabrique Shop highlights Filipino creativity in arts, craft

Handmade shoes and bags, beautiful art pillows, novelty fabric, fashion accessories, and home accents curated by renowned Cebuano fashion designer Philip Rodriguez are available in the NEST Home and Fabrique…

Handmade shoes and bags, beautiful art pillows, novelty fabric, fashion accessories, and home accents curated by renowned Cebuano fashion designer Philip Rodriguez are available in the NEST Home and Fabrique Shop.

The shop, which opened yesterday, is located on 38 Gorordo Avenue, beside Ramen Kamekichi.

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

Door stoppers

“NEST is the ideal shopping destination or distinct gift items. It is a special collaboration of innovative artist-entrepreneurs where fashion meets home ware,” the company said in a statement.

In curating products for the shop, Rodriguez said he is on the lookout for “anything Filipino but very contemporary.”

Among the items sold in the shop are beautifully crafted furniture made of denim and driftwood and done by a group of women in northern Cebu.

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

Beautiful art pillows

“We want more artisan crafts,” Rodriguez said, “to preserve our heritage.”

Also available in the store are accessories made of sea glass. “These are broken glass that you see it in the shoreline and they polish it and with the help of the Dutch government they train the women to turn it into jewelry accessories,” he said.

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

OPENING. (From left) Patrice Uytengsu, Selina Romualdez, Vanessa Gaston, and Philip Rodriguez during the opening of NEST Home and Fabrique Shop.

The items, along with the artworks that are displayed, will be regularly updated.

“We will be regularly changing the theme. Every season there will be new personalities coming in whom we will highlight,” he said.

“NEST takes pride in promoting the integrity of Filipino creativity and supporting the advocacy of the Filipino artist by providing an accessible and fitting venue to showcase their works of art,” the company said.

NEST is open 11 am to 7 pm on Mondays to Saturdays. For more information, you can contact the shop at +6332 231 2590.

More photos of NEST Home and Fabrique Shop opening

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

SEA GLASS. This necklace is made from polished broken glass weathered by the sea and found on the shore.

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

 

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

 

NEST Home and Fabrique Shop

LOCATION. NEST Home and Fabrique Shop is located on 38 Gorordo Avenue, beside Ramen Kamekichi.

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Golden Prince Hotel and Suites relaunches Q Cafe with new look, more menu offerings

Q Cafe at Golden Prince Hotel and Suites strengthens existing recipes and adds more choices, as it refreshes the brand look with a miniature cup of coffee infused with a…

Q Cafe at Golden Prince Hotel and Suites strengthens existing recipes and adds more choices, as it refreshes the brand look with a miniature cup of coffee infused with a golden aroma.

“Relaunching the Q Cafe is part of efforts to step up our game through constant improvement of our services and amenities, especially now that Golden Prince Hotel has been awarded a 4-star status,” said Vice President for Corporate Communications Aaron Que.

Q Cafe Golden Prince Hotel

New menu offerings

Positioned as a trendy neighborhood cafe outlet, Q Cafe now serves meals in addition to the regular offerings of pastries, sandwiches, pasta and beverages like frapponillas and fresh fruit shakes. Other new additions to the menu include assorted cupcakes and various pies.

Under pasta, Q Cafe already carries bolognese, carbonara, and aglio olio.

Q Cafe, which is open 24 hours from Monday to Sunday, also now offers breakfast items and has brought back that well-loved Filipino specialty pochero in the menu.

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel

RELAUNCH. Vice President for Corporate Communications Aaron Que talks about the relaunching of Q Cafe at Golden Prince Hotel and Suites.

Q Cafe bestsellers

All-time favorites like the ube and cheese ensaimada, whole cakes or slices, and the five seasons halo-halo have been retained. Que said the five seasons stand for the top five halo-halo ingredients: ube, leche flan, nangka, mango, and buko.

The new and improved menu retains as well the signature specialty coffee.

According to Que, Q Cafe’s new brand look signifies their dedication to creating the perfect coffee shop experience for customers.

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel

Pochero

Season offerings

Perfect for home and office parties are the Christmas party-to-go packages that offer such selections as beef salpicao, fish fillet in sweet and sour, crispy fried chicken, beef caldereta, special bam-i, orange country ribs, chow pat chin, spaghetti bolognese, aglio olio, fried rice, and fruit salad.

At the end of every weekday, Q Cafe celebrates with Frapponilla Friday, when the espresso-based ice blended drinks only cost P100 per order.

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

On Frapponilla Friday, the espresso-based ice blended drinks only cost P100 per order.

Another sweet offering: You get a free cup of freshly brewed coffee for every purchase of a slice of cake priced at only P120.

Q Cafe is located at the ground floor of Golden Prince Hotel (Tower 2) at Acacia Street corner Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City.

More photos of QCafe relaunch

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe Golden Prince Hotel

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

 

QCafe at Golden Prince Hotel & Suites

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Axis Entertainment Avenue lines up fun activities for holiday season

Axis Entertainment Avenue transforms into a Christmas Candy Land and celebrates the festive season with live bands, holiday bazaar, and weekend farmers’ market. Ian Martin Borromeo of Vibo Place said…

Axis Entertainment Avenue transforms into a Christmas Candy Land and celebrates the festive season with live bands, holiday bazaar, and weekend farmers’ market.

Ian Martin Borromeo of Vibo Place said they have lined up several fun activities in time for the holiday celebration because they want the best experiences in the best surroundings for their customers.

Axis Entertainment Avenue is part of the two-hectare development along Escario St. that was rebranded to Vibo Place from its old name of Cebu Capitol Commercial Complex Corp. The area also hosts Cebu Grand Hotel, The Apartelle, and and CAIAA Center.

Axis Vibo Place Christmas

LAUNCHING. Ian Martin Borromeo (left) and Allen Andre B. Suarez during the launching of Christmas Candy Land at the Axis Entertainment Venue.

“We have live bands performing at the Axis Courtyard several times a week, a farmers’ market during the weekends, and holiday market where aspiring entrepreneurs get to display their wares,” he added during the Christmas Candy Land launch last November 30, 2017.

Christmas activities

The Christmas activities at Vibo Place are geared towards simple but joyful and meaningful celebrations, said marketing and leasing head Allen Andre B. Suarez.

He added that they were excited to offer more to customers, citing that new office spaces will be opened in Vibo Place and at a company-owned property just across the road in early 2018. Another plan for next year was to open residential spaces along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City.

Axis Vibo Place

This Christmas, guests can see large candy canes, giant lollipops, and peppermint candies spread throughout the place.

Axis Entertainment Avenue brims with good tidings for the Christmas season and guests can see over 50 large candy canes, giant lollipops, and peppermint candies spread throughout the place. The centerpiece decoration is the Gingerbread House, which is perfect for photos with families and friends.

As one of Cebu’s top dining and entertainment destinations, Axis Entertainment Avenue houses 22 tenants ranging from world-renowned brands to homegrown restaurants distributed among six clusters centered around the Axis Courtyard.

Axis Holiday Market

The Axis Holiday Market during the holiday season provides aspiring entrepreneurs and business-savvy professionals a venue to display their wares.

Axis Holiday Market

The Axis Holiday Market during the holiday season provides aspiring entrepreneurs and business-savvy professionals a venue to display their wares.

Axis has opened 24 slots, 13 of which have already been filled, for all manners of merchandise. Goods can range from clothes, perfumes, and accessories to various take-away dishes from all over the world.

A market slot with an area of 1.5 x 2m per costs only P2,000 per week and is open every Thursday-Sunday from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. Those interested in joining may reach out through the Axis Instagram and Facebook accounts, email axis@viboplace.com, or call (032) 412-2316.

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Rustan’s, HSBC offer exciting prizes in Christmas promo

Round-trip business class tickets for 2 to destinations such as London, New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, New York, and Sydney are among the exclusive prizes offered by the Rustan’s Extraordinary…

Round-trip business class tickets for 2 to destinations such as London, New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, New York, and Sydney are among the exclusive prizes offered by the Rustan’s Extraordinary Christmas Promo.

The promos are a partnership between Rustan Group of Companies (RGOC) and Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). It offer 165 exciting prizes.

Rustan's, HSBC Christmas promo

Samsonite Luggage Set

Those who wanderlust will rejoice, as travel tickets from Philippine Airlines are up for grabs. Six lucky winners will be chosen to receive Business Class Tickets for two to the most amazing destinations:

  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to London
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to Auckland, New Zealand
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to Kuala Lumpur
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to Bangkok
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to New York (exclusive to HSBC Cardholders)
  • Round-trip Business Class tickets for two to Sydney (exclusive to HSBC Cardholders)

Aside from the grand prizes, 165 luxurious picks and gifts are up for grabs when you shop from fragrances to jewels, luggage and pampering treatments from across the RGOC stores.

Rustan's, HSBC Christmas promo

Sentry Safe

Win exciting items from Samsonite, Ascot Chang, Swarovski, Bvlgari, Hermès Fragrances, Bergamo, Sentry Safe, Jewelmer, Tumi, Lego, Dooney & Bourke, Rayban and Kipling. Not forgetting gift sets from Rustan’s the Beauty Source, La Prairie, Estee Lauder, Burt’s Bees, Rustan’s Home, Rustan’s Children and Royal Duty Free, and vouchers from Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Rustan’s Flower Shop, Sta. Elena Properties and Starbucks Coffee.

Grocery partners such as Rustan’s Supermarket and Shopwise are also giving away impressive shopping sprees. For the top prizes, look forward becoming one of five winners of P65,000 shopping sprees from Rustan’s Department Store, while one winner will be credited P65,000 on their HSBC Credit Card.

For the first time ever, Rustan’s features an online/electronic system for customers to enter raffle entries for the whole RGOC group. Rustan’s Extraordinary Christmas promo is open to all customers shopping at any of the participating RGOC stores.

Burt’s Bees Gift Set

Joining the raffle is simple! Earn e-raffle codes and enter the raffle entries online through www.rustanspromo.com. One e-raffle code is given for every P3,000 single-receipt purchase from Rustan’s Department Stores, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Adora and participating brands from Stores Specialists, Inc., while one e-raffle code is given for every P1,000 single-receipt purchase from Rustan’s Supermarket, Marketplace by Rustan’s, TWG, Oliviers & Co., SaladStop!, Royal Duty Free Subic, and Rustan’s Flower Shop. To triple chances of winning, use an HSBC credit card to earn x3 raffle codes.

Shop until Christmas Eve (December 24) and upload the codes until December 31, 2017, end of day at 12MN. Winners will be drawn via Electronic Raffle Draw on January 10, 2018, and will be notified via registered mail.

Rustans, HSBC Christmas Promo

Stay at The Guesthouse in Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate.

Another exciting upgrade this Christmas, Rustan’s opens its Christmas Registry, making the gifting season the best – and the most convenient – one yet.

From Christmas to every special occasion throughout the year, give and receive the most heartfelt and desired gifts through the Rustan’s Gift Registry. Make important events and occasions even more memorable with the help of the most preferred consultants from the Rustan’s Christmas Registry.

For more information, visit www.rustans.com.ph or follow @RustansPH on Instagram and /RustansPH on Facebook. (Press Release)

Rustan's, HSBC Christmas Promo

Swarovski

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Cebu Link Joint Venture issued Notice of Award for Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway

The Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV) has been issued the Notice of Award for the “Design and Build” contract of the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), the much-anticipated bridge project…

The Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV) has been issued the Notice of Award for the “Design and Build” contract of the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), the much-anticipated bridge project that will connect Cebu City to the Municipality of Cordova in the island of Mactan.

CLJV is a joint venture of Spain-based Acciona Construccion S. A., and Philippine-based First Balfour Inc. and D. M. Consunji Inc., all of which have proven track records in major infrastructure projects.

Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC) issued the Notice of Award to CLJV on November 23, 2017 at an agreed contract amount of P22.6 billion.

CCLEX will have two lanes in each direction and will feature the main navigation span bridge, along with viaduct approach bridges, a causeway, roadway and toll facilities.

CCLEC is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), a publicly-listed infrastructure holding company. MPTC is the largest toll road concessionaire and operator in the Philippines that has now expanded its business in other Asean countries namely, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. The CCLEX is the first of MPTC’s envisioned toll road expansion projects in Visayas and Mindanao.

Acciona’s Ruben Camba, representing the CLJV, said: “We are delighted to be part of this landmark project. We have put together a very experienced team, and are looking forward to working closely together with the customer to deliver a new toll bridge that will benefit both local communities and the Philippines.”

“We are very confident that we can deliver a quality state-of-the-art bridge that will provide not just travel efficiency but also drive economic growth and productivity in the entire Visayas region, and improve the overall welfare of the Cebuanos,” said CCLEC President and General Manager Allan Alfon.

“We are happy to be given this opportunity to bring to Cebu and share with the Cebuanos and the people in the Visayas in general, our company’s expertise in building and operating world-class highways and bridges to create more opportunities and spur economic growth,” MPTC President Rodrigo Franco said.

The CCLEX will give Cordova direct access to Cebu City and is envisioned to decongest the traffic in the two existing bridges between Mactan and Cebu.

CCLEC will build, operate and maintain the toll bridge through a joint venture agreement with the local governments of Cebu City and Cordova Municipality.

CCLEX will have two lanes in each direction and will feature the main navigation span bridge, along with viaduct approach bridges, a causeway, roadway and toll facilities. The span of the bridge allows for shipping traffic and the link is expected to serve at least 40,000 vehicles daily. It will give Cordova direct access to Cebu City and is envisioned to decongest the traffic in the two existing bridges between Mactan and Cebu.

President Rodrigo Duterte led the groundbreaking for the project in Cordova, Cebu last March 2, 2017. (Press Release)

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Robotics Cup builds foundation for future tech workers

“Failure in our school is not an option,” said Ana Mariolla Martinez-Quijano. “It is a necessity.” Quijano is the founder and managing director of Compass Education, which promotes STEAM education…

“Failure in our school is not an option,” said Ana Mariolla Martinez-Quijano. “It is a necessity.”

Quijano is the founder and managing director of Compass Education, which promotes STEAM education and 21st century learning skills built on creativity, innovation, collaboration and critical thinking. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

“Failure in a STEAM classroom is a necessity because we’re trying to inculcate in our kids, as young as they are, that sometimes the most profound lessons they will learn are actually in their mistakes,” Quijano said during the media briefing for the 3rd Robotics Cup at the Accenture office in eBloc 2 at the Asiatown IT Park.

Accenture, Compass Robotics Cup

MEDIA BRIEFING. (From left) Accenture managing director Arvin Yason, Compass Education managing director Ana Mariolla Martinez-Quijano, and engineer Tristan Abando of DOST 7 during the media briefing on the 3rd Robotics Cup held last month.

Hands-on learning

The 3rd Robotics Cup was held last November 11 and 12 at the SM Seaside City.

Winners of the event included student teams that offered solutions to such issues as trash, transportation, weather monitoring and health. (See photos below)

Quijano stressed the need for students to learn in a hands-on environment.

“When you just let your kids sit down and memorize, you waste their brains. We believe in hands-on learning. Children are hungry for that,” she said. “We can’t sit down the whole day listening to facts. I don’t get that.”

The Robotics Cup was supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Accenture.

Better understanding

“We believe in Accenture that there is a need to bolster efforts to create a better understanding of these technologies,” said Grace Cuenca, Media and Analyst Relations Lead of Accenture in the Philippines, during the press briefing.

The partnership to support the event “is growing,” said engineer Tristan Abando of DOST 7.

“We are very happy because it’s really the private industry that’s spearheading to introduce this to our young kids. Robotics is one of the areas where the DOST is a delving into, especially for our research and development,” Abando said.

Accenture managing director Arvin Yason said the partnership for the event does not just lead to students understanding technologies like artificial intelligence or AI but to actually “build skills for AI.”

Accenture AI

FACIAL RECOGNITION. A demo of a system built by an Accenture employee that is able to scan a crowd and deduce demographic data such as age and moods. Among potential applications are for use by retail establishments or even a quick survey of people’s responses.

Opportunities on AI

Yason said Accenture defines AI as any system that can, on its own, sense, comprehend, act, and learn.

“Three of these core components of AI are already part of the kits that the participants are using,” Yason said. “What differentiates true AI is the learning portion.”

He said AI is an important technology because it can increase profitability of companies. “We’re looking at AI doubling the profitability in the next 10 to 20 years,” he said.

Yason said AI can also boost productivity.

He said Accenture has identified 4 imperatives that industries, organizations, and even nations need to focus on to maximize opportunities in AI.

“I’ll focus on the first one: preparing the next generation for artificial intelligence. There is a need to consciously focus actions and ensure that the upcoming generation of people not just developers but also artists etc. are prepared to maximize the AI potential,” Yason said.

He said Accenture is doing this through various initiatives internally and externally. Supporting events like the Robotics Cup, he said, is among the key initiatives.

Robotics Cup winners

PULSO. Krisha Suico, Gwyneth Seciban, John Hora of the Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas Campus built Pulso, an Arduino-based pulse rate monitoring device. It alerts registered guardians via SMS and contacts the nearest hospital whenever the user’s pulse rate reaches a critical limit. The team won 1st place in Everyday Solutions.

 

Robotics Cup Accenture

WEATHER MONITORING. Gregory William Liu, Charis Philip Palacio, and TG Giles Geonzon of Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas Campus built ARAW or the Arduino-Powered Assistive Weather Monitoring Device. The system seeks to provide accurate and real-time information on “health influencing weather parameters.” They won 1st place in Growing City Solutions category.

 

Robotics Cup Cebu

RECYCLING. Hyeonseo “Rose” Kim, Clarice Alexandria Asero, and Chelsea Megan Sim of SAGE Prepschool House built a model of a recycling facility with a claw machine that picks up and segregates trash for cleaning and recycling. They won 1st place in the Loving Our Planet category.

 

Robotics Cebu

MONORAIL. Cowan Noel Adlawan, Andre Paramide, and Sean Lerin of Blessed Trinity Achiever’s Academy built this model of a monorail. “If people ride it, there will be less cars on the road. It is similar to a train but it will be helpful to our environment because it will not run on fossil fuels,” they said. They won 1st place in Traffic Solutions.

 

Robotics Cup Cebu

GripAID. The Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas Campus team of John Burtland Allosada, James Gabriel Casia, and Cleo Agustein Sevilla created GridAID as a way to help people with grip disabilities by providing them additional grip strength. The team said GripAID is lightweight and low-cost and can be powered by a consumer power banks such as those used for phones and other portable gadgets. They got an Accenture Innovation Prize.

 

Robotics Cup Cebu, Accenture

SAFETY FOR BIKERS. The team of Mike Payo, John Burtland Allosada, and Jojemar Janea of the Philippine Science High School-Central Visayas Campus built Safemo, a proximity-sensing device with GPS tracker for bikers. The Safemo alerts the biker whenever a vehicle is near. The team also won an Accenture Innovation Prize.

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Marco Polo Plaza marks season of giving with Christmas Tree of Hope

Amid joyful songs and graceful dances, Marco Polo Plaza lights up one of the most beautiful Christmas trees in Cebu to mark the beginning of the festive season. But this…

Amid joyful songs and graceful dances, Marco Polo Plaza lights up one of the most beautiful Christmas trees in Cebu to mark the beginning of the festive season.

But this isn’t just any ordinary holiday decoration; it is the Christmas Tree of Hope.

Marco Polo Tree of Hope

CHRISTMAS POEM. Marco Polo Plaza general manager Brian Connelly reads a Christmas poem to mark the lighting of the hotel’s Tree of Hope.

During this season of giving, the Tree of Hope accepts donations for underprivileged Filipinos through hotel partner GMA Kapuso Foundation.

Marco Polo Plaza General Manager Mr. Brian Connelly said during the lighting of the Christmas Tree of Hope last November 25, 2017 that it has given more than a million pesos to aid in such projects as Unang Hakbang sa Kinabukasan, Give a Gift Project, and Operation Bayanihan.

Marco Polo Tree of Hope

One of the performances during the event.

Christmas Tree of Hope donations

Becoming part of this exemplary enterprise is easy. All you need to do is buy a Christmas ball for 200 pesos each and you get to hang it on the Tree of Hope with your good wishes, said Marco Polo Plaza Communications Manager Manna Alcazar.

The hotel has partnered with one of the world’s top airlines, Cathay Pacific, for Christmas 2017 so donors get a chance to win something for themselves when they donate to the Christmas Tree of Hope.

Those who buy two or more Christmas balls get a raffle ticket and a chance at the round trip flight to Hong Kong prize care of Cathay Pacific.

Performances by the Children’s Paradise Montessori Choir, Cebu Centre for Dance, Dreamcatchers, and GMA’s Migo Adecer entertained guests during the tree-lighting ceremony.

Tree of Hope

Marco Polo Plaza Tree of Hope

GMA 7 Cebu station manager Ann Marie Tan.

 

Connie Cimafranca of Cathay Pacific.

 

Marco Polo Tree of Hope

 

Marco Polo Plaza Tree of Hope

 

Marco Polo Plaza Tree of Hope

 

Marco Polo Plaza Tree of Hope

DONATION. Buy a Christmas ball for 200 pesos each and you get to hang it on the Tree of Hope with your good wishes. If you buy 2 or more, you get a raffle ticket and a chance at the round-trip flight to Hong Kong prize care of Cathay Pacific.

 

Marco Polo Tree of Hope

The beautiful Tree of Hope dominates the Marco Polo Plaza lobby.

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Waze now offers motorcycle as vehicle type

Waze has added motorcycle as new vehicle type in the traffic app “to ensure that all motorcyclists are able to navigate through roads more safely.” In addition to enjoying the…

Waze has added motorcycle as new vehicle type in the traffic app “to ensure that all motorcyclists are able to navigate through roads more safely.”

In addition to enjoying the standard suite of Waze benefits, including alerts on police, speed-camera and speed traps, road closures, restrictions and more – motorcycle drivers will also enjoy:

  • Improved routes based on information from fellow motorcyclists
  • Better arrival time estimations that may vary from automobile ETAs
  • Routing on narrow roads where cars are not permitted
  • New motorcycle cursor for vehicle type; new motorcycle moods available to all Wazers
  • Easy navigation without touching the phone – to ensure a safe ride, all motorcyclists can utilize voice commands so they don’t need to touch the phone while docked/they’re driving.

Waze Motorcycle

To turn on routing for motorcycles, visit Settings > Vehicle type and tap “Motorcycles”.

Drive times, routes and roads vary between automobiles and motorcycles. By including a new vehicle type, Waze expands its support to include a driving experience unique to motorcycle navigation.

Motorcyclists play an important role in mobility, the world over.

Due to their size and agility, motorcycles are an efficient and economical solution for many living in busy urban centers. They are becoming more useful in European cities, where automobiles are barred from accessing narrow roads. In Asia Pacific countries, motorcycles are a primary mode of transportation.

The new feature answers a call made by countless Waze fans the world over.

By adding a distinction within vehicle types, and adding motorcycles to the group – data collection will increase in accuracy. All drivers, regardless of car type, will also will benefit.

(Note: All Wazers are encouraged to enter their destination as they are stationary in a safe spot before following directions to an end destination.) (Press Release)

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Detox Bar health drinks, food now in TONIQ Juice Bar

Health drinks, cold-pressed juices, vegan smoothies, and whole foods by the Detox Bar will be available in TONIQ Juice Bar. The Detox Bar and TONIQ Juice Bar not only want…

Health drinks, cold-pressed juices, vegan smoothies, and whole foods by the Detox Bar will be available in TONIQ Juice Bar.

The Detox Bar and TONIQ Juice Bar not only want to offer better food choices but also help educate and promote lifestyle change as a way to wellness and environmental well-being.

TONIQ Juice Bar is located at the 4th floor of Ayala Center Cebu and at the upper ground floor of SM City Cebu. Orders may also be made at online delivery service via Food Panda.

Detox Bar Cebu TONIQ

TONIQ Juice Bar is located at the 4th floor of Ayala Center Cebu and at the upper ground floor of SM City Cebu. Orders may also be made at online delivery service via Food Panda.

“Partnering with TONIQ team provides better opportunity for me to realize my vision of the company in extending opportunities to the farmers and everyone in the company to the local community. This is my commitment that in every product and service that we offer resonates my uncompromising advocacy towards health and the environment,” said Anne Dala, the founder and owner of The Detox Bar.

Through the partnership, TONIQ will soon become an all naturally-farmed and locally produced health and wellness place that will serve a unique variety of crafted health drinks and plant-based food which will be affordable and accessible to everyone, the company said.

TONIQ will offer The Detox Bar’s comprehensive healthy menu from breakfast to dinner such as Superbowl Breakfast, Oats Champorado with Cacao Nibs, various Rice Bowl options, organic salads, pasta, pizza, soup, wraps and sandwiches, and desserts.

Detox Bar Cebu

HEALTH DRINKS. The Detox Bar’s products are now available at TONIQ.

Starting November 25, aside from The Detox Bar’s signature plant-based meals and brewed health drinks, its flagship product “3-day Detox Program” for natural healing and weight-loss will be also available in TONIQ Outlets.

“These products are 100% all-natural which is guaranteed safe and healthy for people of all ages. Even kids would love our detox juices and meals. Aside from that, I conduct wellness coaching and cooking demos with my clients for me to be able to help them assess their health needs too,” Dala said.

Dala shares her knowledge in integrative nutrition through Food Revolution, an international movement that aims to combat malnutrition and obesity. She also expanded her services by providing customized diet-plan packed meals through her Real-food Delivery for busy people who have no time in preparing good food.

Anne Dala Detox Bar Cebu

ADVOCACY. The Detox Bar owner and founder Anne Dala says their products “are 100% all-natural which is guaranteed safe and healthy for people of all ages.”

“God intended to create fruits and vegetables for our consumption and this isn’t only limited to filling and satisfying our tummies but more than anything, to heal us naturally as well,” Anne remarked.

To learn more, Like Detox Bar-Cebu and TONIQPH on Facebook. You may also contact them at (6332) 2547864, 09985893356, or 09171580984 or info.thedetoxbar@gmail.com.

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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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Ashima: A simplified, flexible payroll system on cloud

Whether you are to file, track, and manage your leaves or get paid for an overtime and view your payslip, all these can now be done online and even on…

Whether you are to file, track, and manage your leaves or get paid for an overtime and view your payslip, all these can now be done online and even on mobile with the newly released payroll system called Ashima.

Ashima integrates Human Resource (HR) processes from employee onboarding to payroll management, that is government compliant, and in a user-friendly platform. It is highly flexible to suit company’s needs.

Joe Mercado, the CEO of Cebu-based IT company Konsum Technologies Inc., said that the strength of Ashima is its ability to customize. “Ashima means ‘limitless’. Everything here is parameterized. You can make employees’ passwords expire or not. Everything depends on you.”

Transparency is another thing. With Konsum’s payroll system, employees who go on field are able to clock in.

Mercado said there are three ways to logged in the app and these are via kiosk, desktop, and mobile.

“If you use mobile, it automatically takes your GPS and snaps a selfie of you. It’s transparency,” he added. “When you file an adjustment and its pending and your supervisor doesn’t act on it, his or her head will know.”

Ashima Konsum

MOBILE. Screenshots of the Ashima app.

App features

Aside from the leave and overtime application online, Ashima is also able to accommodate change schedule requests, give real-time count of available leaves, view work schedules, access payroll history and many more.

The payroll system is highly configurable, easy to setup and can even carry more than one company.

“It sits on cloud, hence no security issues. All data are encrypted so nobody can see it. The communication is also secure via ssl,” said Mercado.

He added that Ashima can handle all pay scenarios from weekly, semi-monthly or monthly.

For the side of the HR department, it becomes easier to consolidate employee data as Ashima captures information real time and goes on a cloud storage.

With all the features mentioned, Ashima is reasonably priced starting at P50 per employee per month for a minimum of 25 employees.

Ashima payroll

Konsum Technologies Inc. CEO Joe Mercado (third from left) talks about the features of their newly released payroll system Ashima.

First clients

Mercado meantime shared that it took his company almost three years to develop Ashima.

“Very late last year, we started offering the system to Cebu companies. Most of our first clients are from the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry. They are adaptive to technology. Then we had Construction companies,” he said, adding that they are now offering Ashima to Manila.

To learn more about Ashima, visit its website at www.ashima.ph or get in touch with their Sales Team at email address sales@konsum.ph, telephone number +63.32.4127888 or mobile number +63.9176258603.

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Shangri-La’s Mactan lines up festive events in Yuletide Bliss

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu transforms into a whimsical oasis as it celebrates the Christmas holidays with a generous bundle of five-star dining experiences and exhilarating recreational fun in…

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu transforms into a whimsical oasis as it celebrates the Christmas holidays with a generous bundle of five-star dining experiences and exhilarating recreational fun in “Yuletide Bliss.”

The seaside resort brightens up for the festive season with adornments of blue and gold, seen nowhere more clearly than in the cluster of magical Christmas trees and hot air balloon decor in the lobby area.

Memorable moments await all guests, who are encouraged to share their holiday stories with the #AlwaysMerryHere tag.

Christmas is also the season of giving and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa pays it forward with a generous donation to the completion of the Sustainable Garden of Children’s Haven Orphanage.

The resort also contributed to the orphanage in behalf of media guests who attended the tree-lighting ceremony held last November 24, 2017.

Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa Christmas

CHRISTMAS LIGHTING. Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa General Manager Rene Egle listen to Christmas carols during a performance held to mark the lighting of the resort’s Christmas Tree.

Christmas dinners

No celebration is ever complete without a feast, and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa has lined up a variety of options for guests at its world class restaurants.

Tides will serve a world of flavors in a Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet at P2,650++ per person and a Christmas Day Dinner Buffet at P2,450++ per person. It includes free-flowing red, white, and sparkling wine, plus a meaningful serenade by a Christmas choir.

Italian restaurant Acqua and seafood al fresco Cowrie Cove will both have Christmas Eve set dinners available at P2,250++per person and P2,650++ per person, respectively. Both are four-course set menus inclusive of a celebratory glass of Prosecco.

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu tree lighting

#AlwaysMerryHere. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu general manager Rene Egle welcomes guests to the resort’s tree lighting. The resort encouraged guests to share their holiday stories with the #AlwaysMerryHere tag.

Wine Bar offers a breezy seaside nightcap with Flair Tending Shows by its very own bar talents on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Christmas Day in a tropical wonderland is all about fun and even Santa gets in on the action. Instead of a sleigh, Santa Claus will come at 11 a.m. on Christmas Day in a thrilling parasail ride to the beachfront. He will visit the Adventure Zone gardens and Tides to greet guests.

CELEBRATION. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa General Manager Rene Egle and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza.

New Year feasts

The coming of the New Year brings with it its own tantalizing celebrations. Shangri-La’s Mactan welcomes 2018 with a combination of scrumptious food, free-flowing wine, and marvelous entertainment.

At Tides, there will be a New Year’s Eve Dinner Buffet at P2,650++ per person and New Year’s Day Sparkling Dinner Buffet at P2,250++ per person. Both come with free-flowing wine and marvelous performances by a Flash Mob and Strolling Band.

As midnight draws near, guests may enjoy the night away in glamor and wonder at the Under the Stars Countdown Party. The event starts at 11 p.m. at The Marquee with door charge of P2,500 net per person. A spectacular fireworks follows at the beachfront.

Shangri-La's Mactan Yuletide Bliss

Festive activities

Early on January 1, the resort arranges a refreshing start for 2018 with the New Year’s Day Yoga from 7 a.m. at the beachfront. A fit and fabulous day continues in the afternoon through the New Year’s Day Aqua Aerobics at 4:30 p.m. at the Main Pool.

Other activities lined up for the festive season: holiday wellness package at CHI, The Spa; arts and crafts at Adventure Zone; Movie Under the Stars on Christmas Day; and 12 Days of Christmas Instagram contest for resort guests.

For inquiries and reservations, guests may call (63 32) 231 0288 or send an email to fbreservations.mac@shangri-la.com.

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Cebu Parklane goes green, gives hope, saves lives this Christmas

Cebu Parklane International Hotel gives more meaning to a traditional Christmas celebration by lighting a beautiful tree made purely out of recycled materials and starting a fundraising campaign for kids…

Cebu Parklane International Hotel gives more meaning to a traditional Christmas celebration by lighting a beautiful tree made purely out of recycled materials and starting a fundraising campaign for kids with leukemia.

The celebration of Christmas is about giving life and hope, and the hotel aims to do both this festive season, said Parklane general manager Cenelyn Manguilimotan.

Christmas Tree lighting Parklane

LIGHTING THE TREE. Cebu Parklane International Hotel officials led by general manager Cenelyn Manguilimotan (3rd from left), former Department of Tourism 7 director Dawnie Roa (center), and Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale toast the lighting of the Christmas tree at the lobby.

“For past five years, Parklane has embarked on a campaign to go green. We have used water bottles and other trash we’ve collected to make beautiful things,” she added.

Parklane lights up a towering tree made out of Coca-Cola tin cans last November 14, also as a way of showcasing its partnership with the beverage company.

Coca-Cola will donate a chemotherapy vial for sick children helped by the Cancer Warriors Foundation for every trinket sold through the hotel’s “I can go green, I can save lives, I can because of a can” Christmas 2017 campaign.

Cebu Parklane International Hotel Christmas lighting

HELPING THE KIDS. Cebu Parklane International Hotel officials hand over a mock check to signify its donation of funds to help the treatment of children with cancer through the Cancer Warriors Foundation, Inc.

Manguilimotan said kids with leukemia have the highest chances of surviving the cancer.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale was among the hotel’s tree-lighting guests. The hotel served a delicious spread of its unique take on favorite Cebuano food, including pungko-pungko and street food fare like fishball and squidball, during the well-attended event.

More photos during the Christmas Tree lighting at Cebu Parklane International Hotel

Christmas tree lighting

TREE LIGHTING. Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale speaks during the lighting of the Christmas tree.

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

Parklane general manager Cenelyn Manguilimotan.

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

Parklane Christmas Tree lighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bestselling YA authors Jennifer Smith, Jasmine Warga sign books for Cebu fans

Young Adult (YA) author Jennifer Smith was at a queue in a convenience store when the inspiration for her latest book Windfall came in the form of a man with…

Young Adult (YA) author Jennifer Smith was at a queue in a convenience store when the inspiration for her latest book Windfall came in the form of a man with stocks of lottery tickets in his hand.

“I’ve always been interested in moments of change, that exact time when someone’s life changes. There’s not a better example of that than through winning the lottery,” she explained in an interview shortly before a book signing event at Ayala Center Cebu.

National Book Store brought another two bestselling authors, Smith and Jasmine Warga, to the Philippines. NBS hosted the book signing events for Smith and Warga last November 11 in Cebu and on November 12 at SM Aura Premier in Taguig.

Smith authored several bestselling young adult novels, including “The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight,” “This Is What Happy Looks Like,” and “The Geography of You and Me.” Warga wrote such books as “My Heart and Other Black Holes” and “Here We Are Now.”

Jennifer Smith, Jasmine Warga

BOOK SIGNING. Jasmine Warga (left) and Jennifer Smith talk to Cebu journalists before their book signing session with fans in Ayala Center Cebu.

Young Adult book themes

Windfall, which was published in May 2017, revolves around a young woman, Alice, who buys a lottery ticket for her best friend Teddy. It ends up winning him the $140 million but the money soon creates a gap between them.

Warga’s new book Here We Are Now tackles the life of Taliah, who recently meets her biological father Julian. He asks her to go to Indiana with him to meet her dying grandfather. Taliah goes on a journey with her father, and soon learns he wasn’t the father she hoped for all these years.

Her other book My Heart and Other Black Holes touches on such topics as teen romance, mental health, suicide and has been translated into over 20 languages.

Warga said music, though she has no aptitude for it in the way that musicians have, is a common theme of her book because she considers it the closest thing to magic in this world.

Jennifer Smith, Jasmine Warga

IN CEBU. Jennifer Smith and Jasmine Warga sign books for fans during an event in Cebu.

Writing inspirations

Smith and Warga talked about how they became writers, their writing process, inspiration for their books, and favorite authors.

The two said they had a great experience and already tasted a variety of Filipino food. What they haven’t done yet but wanted to do was try the local Jollibee branch.

All of Smith’s and Warga’s books are available at several National Book Store branches in the Philippines.

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Ford Philippines trains Cebu drivers on safe, smart driving

You are twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt, Cebu drivers and traffic enforcers were told during the Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) of Ford Philippines…

You are twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt, Cebu drivers and traffic enforcers were told during the Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) of Ford Philippines in SM City Cebu earlier today.

Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in an accident by 50% for front seat passengers and up to 75% for rear passengers, the instructor told the packed room. Everyone has to wear seatbelts because those who don’t are usually thrown off their seats during accidents and can injure or even kill those who buckled up, he said.

Ford Philippines driving skills for life

DON’T USE PHONES, GADGETS WHILE DRIVING. Ford Philippines AVP for Communications EJ Francisco taks about the #ParkYourPhone social media campaign to remind people not to use phones and other gadgets while driving.

Philippine situation

The DSFL “is a global program aimed at teaching drivers the necessary skills for safe and smart driving beyond what is learned in standard driver education programs,” said Ford Philippines AVP for Communications EJ Francisco.

Many Filipino drivers and even enforcers do not know existing traffic laws, fail to practice basic road courtesy, and disobey traffic signs, leading to accidents and traffic congestion, Francisco said.

Although the DSFL is a global program, it is customized to the driving environment and road condition of the Philippines. It’s long-time partner in the country is the Tuason Racing School.

Ford Philippines Driving Skills For Life

BLURRED VISION. A volunteer struggles to walk straight while wearing beer googles, which simulates the effect of drinking 4 bottles of beer, during a demonstration to show the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Dangers of distracted driving

The DSFL has classroom sessions and actual driving time to teach attendees safe and fuel-efficient driving. This year, the program added modules on the danger of distracted driving. This is partly to support the implementation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Law in the country, Francisco said.

Ford Philippines is also doing a #ParkYourPhone social media campaign to remind people not to use phones and other gadgets while driving.

“At Ford, we want drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times because nothing is worth losing that special connection for,” the company said.

Since its launch in 2008, more than 20,000 Filipinos have joined DSFL sessions, Francisco said.

Ford Philippines

WHEN TO CHANGE TIRES. Driving Skills for Life Instructors show how to spot indicators on when to change your tires.

2017 program targets

For 2017, Ford Philippines is targeting to cover at least 1,500 participants with specific focus on public utility drivers like those for buses, jeepneys, taxis, and transport network vehicle services, “recognising their critical role as motorists in ensuring that roads and passenger journeys are safe.”

The program is also expanding to more areas outside Manila.

“We have always valued road safety at Ford, so we’re happy to bring our DSFL program to Cebu, mindful of the fact that there is a growing need to install to drivers the importance of safe driving,” Francisco said. “We are hopeful that through this program, drivers will be able to understand the critical role they play in ensuring that our roads are safe.”

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Voyager brings biggest online deals to Pinoys for Singles’ Day

Huge discounts are ahead for Pinoy online shoppers as they pick out their Singles’ Day purchases with the help of various digital apps and platforms from Voyager Innovations and its…

Huge discounts are ahead for Pinoy online shoppers as they pick out their Singles’ Day purchases with the help of various digital apps and platforms from Voyager Innovations and its business arms, including PayMaya Philippines, FINTQnologies, Inc. (FINTQ), hatch, and Takatack Technologies.

To kick things off this November, PayMaya is giving its users an exclusive 11% rebate from all their purchases on November 11, also known as Singles’ Day. Originating from China, Singles’ Day was established as a way for Chinese to celebrate being single. It turned into one of the biggest annual e-Commerce events the world over.

PayMaya users can use their Visa cards, Smart Mastercards, and in-app virtual cards to qualify for the 11% rebate whenever they make purchases in-store or online, whether they’re in the Philippines or abroad.

Biggest online shopping discounts

Aside from the Singles’ Day rebate promo, PayMaya is also giving all its users a massive 20% discount for the entire November in three of the country’s biggest online shopping destinations – Lazada, Zalora and Takatack.

For Lazada, shoppers only have to key in the promo code PYMYNOV upon checkout to get an extra 20% discount for a minimum purchase of only P500, valid for use multiple times with a maximum discount of P400 per transaction. This will come handy during Lazada’s Online Revolution shopping event, when Filipinos stand a chance to get big discounts on their favorite items and wish lists.

For Zalora, all they have to do is key in PAYMAYAHOLIDAY when they make purchases worth at least P1,000 to get 20% off upon checkout. They can use the code multiple times for the whole month of November to help them complete their OOTDs.

Shoppers can also get a huge 30% discount across all items when they shop at Takatack, the largest online discovery platform of Voyager, from November 9 to 11. They can get a maximum discount of P2,000 for purchases, with free shipping for purchases above P2,000.

But when shoppers use their PayMaya card to shop at Takatack this November, they can get an additional 20% off (maximum P500 discount) their purchase by entering the code 11+[First four digits of their PayMaya card] (ex. 114404)! This means they can get as much as 50% discount on items for Singles’ Day weekend, from November 9-11.

To complete the experience, when they register for an account on FINTQ’s digital lending platform Lendr.com.ph, users will also automatically get a P150 discount voucher which they can also use for Lazada, as well as a promo code for an 11% discount which they can use to shop at Takatack.

Shop without data charges

To make Filipinos’ online shopping experience convenient and hassle-free, free Internet platform freenet has partnered with Lazada to give free data access to their app for Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers.

All they have to do is download the freenet app on their Android or iOS device, register with their mobile number, and click the sidebar menu to turn on the Free Access toggle to begin setup. Once done, they can proceed to the Lazada app to enjoy a worry-free shopping experience without data charges.

And to spice things up more this shopping season, freenet is rewarding shoppers with free MB credits whenever they download or access various Voyager platforms starting November 11. Simply download the PayMaya and Takatack apps or access the Lendr website under the “Missions” tab within the freenet app to get an instant 100MB credit, which they can use to purchase data packages from the freenet Shop.

“This is our way of giving back to all our customers and partners. As we see adoption to our platforms grow, we hope more Filipinos get to enjoy the digital life and more businesses also get to benefit from the opportunities presented by digital. As the whole ecosystem grows, everyone grows too,” said Orlando B. Vea, President and CEO at Voyager Innovations.

Voyager Innovations, the digital innovations arm of PLDT and Smart, has been leading the way in enabling consumers and enterprises to access the digital life with its unique and comprehensive suite of platforms in the areas of financial services, eCommerce, and marketing technologies.

Download PayMaya now:
iOS – https://goo.gl/T012hs
Android – https://goo.gl/9XYTsb

Get freenet:
iOS – http://frnt.ph/ios
Android – http://frnt.ph/android

Visit Takatack: www.takatack.com
Sign up for Lendr: www.lendr.com.ph

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