Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Author: engkanta

Great travel deals on offer at Cebu Travel Catalogue from Feb 15 to 17

Japan, Korea, and Taiwan continue to be popular travel destinations for Filipinos and those who come to the Cebu Travel Catalogue International (CTCI) 2019 can expect great deals on airfare…

Japan, Korea, and Taiwan continue to be popular travel destinations for Filipinos and those who come to the Cebu Travel Catalogue International (CTCI) 2019 can expect great deals on airfare and tour packages to these places.

But the three countries just make up a few of the international destinations on sale during the annual travel event, now on its fifth year, that will be held from Feb. 15-17, 2019 at Ayala Center Cebu, said Cebu Travel and Tours Association (CTTA) president Baby Dy.

Cebu’s top tour agencies will be offering big discounts and exciting incentives as well for travel packages to such places as Scandinavia and Russia, the Lapland, New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Spain and Morocco, Portugal and Spain for a Marian Pilgrimage, India, and South Africa.

Cebu Travel Catalogue International

TRAVEL CATALOGUE. Organizers of the Cebu Travel Catalogue International after their press conferences announcing the event.

 

International destinations

Dy added that many Filipinos travel to Israel as part of a Holy Land pilgrimage but the Israel Tourism Ministry is joining CTCI to promote its country for other activities as well. The three-day event is jointly organized by CTTA and CATOS.

According to Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (CATOS) Vice President Marget Villarica, a lot of tour packages to China will also be on offer particularly with several Chinese airlines opening new routes to Cebu from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Taiwan has also become a top travel choice after it waived the visa requirement for Filipinos, said Dy. The no visa policy for Philippine passport holders has been extended by the Taiwanese government to July 2019.

Eco-tourism products

For inbound travel, CATOS President Alice Queblatin said focus will be on eco-tourism products involving areas that are beyond the usual tourist attractions.

She added that the Cebu Provincial Government, one of CTCI 2019 exhibitors, has come up with and will heavily promote tour packages to northern and southern destinations beyond the usual go-to spots like Oslob or Moalboal.

It was also heartening to see that more destinations are joining travel events to promote themselves, Queblatin also said. The Cebu Safari and Adventure Park in Carmen and Danasan Eco Adventure Park, for example, have joined this year’s Cebu Travel Catalogue International.

Cebu Travel Catalogue

PRESS CONFERENCE. Organizers of Cebu Travel Catalogue International answer questions from the media during their press conference.

 

Travel Catalogue participants

A new resort in Romblon that is set for soft opening in March will also be at CTCI 2019 to offer half off on published room rates. The Oceans Edge Resort in Carabao Island can cater to a variety of holiday goals, from relaxation and wellness to adventure, said PR and Communications Manager Jonice Pangilinan.

The resort, which has Caticlan as jumpoff point, will start with 51 villas. Oceans Edge is one of over a hundred participants and exhibitors to this year’s CTCI.

Czech Tourism joins the event for the first time while the Korean Tourism Organization, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Hong Kong Tourism Board, and Singapore Tourism Board will return to promote their respective destinations.

Airline partners

CTCI 2019 will have nine local and international airline partners, including Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, EVA Air, Korean Air, Silk Air, Tiger Air, and Turkish Air. Guests can expect promo airfares when booking through the different travel and tour agencies.

There will be daily activities throughout CTCI, with Lapu-Lapu City bringing in 200 cultural performers for the opening ceremony, said Queblatin.

Other activities include a fashion show by Rustan’s and travel auction. The Korean tourism group will reportedly bring in a surprise celebrity on the second day.

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Primehomes launches exclusive housing community Luana Dos

With its wide roads, tropics-inspired amenities, and spacious homes, Luana Dos aims to create a community where families can live idyllic lives. This is exactly why the fifth and newest…

With its wide roads, tropics-inspired amenities, and spacious homes, Luana Dos aims to create a community where families can live idyllic lives.

This is exactly why the fifth and newest residential project of Primehomes Development Corp. is named after the Hawaiian word for “hayahay”, said Harold Vince See, the company’s business development manager.

He added that while Luana Dos will only have 55 homes, it will still have such amenities as a gazebo, basketball court, and swimming pool.

PrimeHomes

PRIMEHOMES. The PrimeHomes Development Corporation Team headed by President and CEO Benedict Que.

 

Luana Dos unveiling

Primehomes unveiled Luana Dos, located in the town of Minglanilla, at dinner or luau in Golden Prince Hotel and Suites last Saturday, January 26, 2019, where it also announced it held a blessing for the model units of the development earlier in the day.

Luana Dos spans an area of about 10,000 square meters and will be primarily composed of single attached and single detached units. The first development in the Luana series had 110 units and was sold out in a year.

“We want to be top of mind choice for medium to high income subdivision with our Luana series. All Luana developments will have a swimming pool, basketball court, lush greenery, community area, 24-hour security personnel, and property management team. We want our residents, the residents of Luana Dos, to have a place to relax, chill out, mingle with their neighbors as well as have peace of mind,” said Primehomes President and CEO Benny Que.

Primehomes

BLESSING. Officiating priest Fr. Jumao-as, President and CEO Benedict Que, Vice President Henry See, and Business Development Manager Harold Vince See.

 

Upper middle class

He estimated the project cost of Luana Dos, which is being targeted for the upper middle class bracket, to be around P200 million. The price of subdivision units ranges from P3.8 to P7.4 million. The smallest house will be 88 square meters while the biggest unit will reach 156 square meters.

According to Que, Primehomes was formed in 2008 with a mission to deliver quality, safe, and efficient homes.

Its first project was a 306-unit economic housing development named Henaville in Compostela. Henaville was the first residential community of its kind where homes came with a carport, a consequence of the company’s objective to be always on the lookout for innovative ideas.

 

Primehomes Benny Que

QUALITY, SAFE HOMES. Primehomes President and CEO Benny Que says the company was formed in 2008 with a mission to deliver quality, safe, and efficient homes.

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Bamboo Bay holds annual post-Sinulog celebration

Sinulog performances, street parade, reenactment of the arrival of the Señor Sto. Nino image in Cebu, and a feast of local cuisine marked the post-Sinulog celebration in the Bamboo Bay…

Sinulog performances, street parade, reenactment of the arrival of the Señor Sto. Nino image in Cebu, and a feast of local cuisine marked the post-Sinulog celebration in the Bamboo Bay Community.

The Halad Kaniño Sinulog Open House last Saturday, January 26, 2019, was in observance of an event that has become a yearly tradition for the community, said Jojie Benitez-Tajanlangit of Contempo Property Holdings, Inc.

She added in her welcome message that traditions of faith and culture like the Sinulog in Cebu serve to bind Cebuanos together and Bamboo Bay contributes to keeping the festival alive through its annual event.

Contempo is the developer behind the three-tower condominium Bamboo Bay Community.

Bamboo Bay Sinulog

SINULOG AT BAMBOO BAY. Dancers of Tribu Mabolokon from Mabolo perform a Sinulog number during the annual celebration at the Bamboo Bay Community.

 

Post-Sinulog party

Many homeowners showed up for the post-Sinulog 2019 celebration in colorful festival outfits and some had on the typical Sinulog headdress of lace, ribbons, and feathers. A few brought their Sto. Niño images for the street dancing.

They received a crash course on the Sinulog steps from the Cebu Normal University dance troupe shortly before the parade. To give the event more meaning, residents were also treated to a short historical explanation of the Sinulog through a reenactment of the arrival of Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

Performers comprising the Sinulog 2019 contingent from Mabolo, the Tribu Mabolokon, wowed guests with several performances. The group placed 7th in the ritual showdown and third in the street dancing categories during the Sinulog sa Barangay earlier this January.

Bamboo Bay Sinulog

Contempo Property Holdings Inc. Founder and CEO Beverly Dayanan with performers during the annual Sinulog celebration at Bamboo Bay Community. The housing community is a project of Contempo.

 

Festival food

Bamboo Bay’s sales and marketing team showed interested guests around the community. The condominium also accepted model unit viewing after the Halad Kaniño Sinulog Open House.

The Sinulog celebration entails a feast and Bamboo Bay prepared a sumptuous one for homeowners and guests. Lechon and other local food were served in the lunch buffet held at the community’s multi-purpose hall.

A Halad Kañino exhibit featuring the works of Celso Pepito and several other artists was also ongoing at the Contempo Art Gallery. A few lucky guests won portrait sketching prizes during the event.

 

More photos of the Sinulog celebration at Bamboo Bay Community

 

Sinulog dance

SINULOG DANCE. Residents get a quick lesson from performers on how to dance the Sinulog routine.

 

Sinulog at Bamboo Bay Community

 

Sinulog at Bamboo Bay

 

Sinulog at Bamboo Bay Community

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The Abaca Group rewards diners with free treats in promo cards

The Abaca Group of great food comes up with an appealing offer for diners: a promo card for every order at any of its dining establishments. Get a card for…

The Abaca Group of great food comes up with an appealing offer for diners: a promo card for every order at any of its dining establishments.

Get a card for a Jake’s chicken sandwich or luncheonette burger for an order of P1,000 or more at Red Lizard, a free corn chien fried rice or phat cooler when you spend P1,000 or more at Phat Pho, and either a free pasta pomodoro or hand tossed pizza with orders of P750 or more.

I particularly love the freebies offered by the Abaca Baking Company: getting your second frozen or hot coffee drink for only P50 or free and a complimentary boxed retail with your first two orders.

Abaca Group promo cards

PROMO CARDS. The Abaca Group promo cards with appealing offers to diners.

 

Signature treats

Nina Olalo, Events and Marketing Coordinator, said they wanted to reward diners with signature treats in The Abaca Group’s restaurants through a series of cool and distinct cards.

The promo cards come with fun scripts like “Have a brew-tiful day” and “I like you a latte” for the ABC coffee treats or “This is nacho ordinary snacks” for the mini nacho freebie at Red Lizard. There’s even “You & me pho’ever” for a free large pho with orders of P750 or more at Phat Pho.

Abaca Group promo cards

The launching of the promo cards was held in Red Lizard.

 

Promo cards

Receive one of these 21 unique promo cards when you dine in at any of The Abaca Group restaurants, including Maya, Abaca Baking Company, Phat Pho, and Tavolata.

Other sumptuous treats offered for free or at a huge discount with #TheAbacaGroupPromoCards — chicken taquitos, mini nacjos, tacos, burritos, and queso dips at Red Lizard; corn chien fried rice, phat cooler, banh mi sandwich, egg rolls and phos at Phat Pho, and margarita at Maya.

The Abaca Group made the announcement during a gathering of media and bloggers at Red Lizard last Friday, January 25, 2019.

 

Photos of the launch at Red Lizard

The Abaca Group promo cards

 

The Abaca Group promo card

 

Tha Abaca Group promo card

 

The Abaca Group promo card

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China Southern Airlines starts direct Cebu-Guangzhou flights

China Southern Airlines opened a direct route between Guangzhou and Cebu believing it was time for greater people, business, and cultural exchanges between the two places. “Cebu’s strategic location, cultural…

China Southern Airlines opened a direct route between Guangzhou and Cebu believing it was time for greater people, business, and cultural exchanges between the two places.

“Cebu’s strategic location, cultural heritage, and beautiful beaches make it an attractive destination that serves to complement Guangzhou’s cosmopolitan character,” said Mr. Pan Feng, the general manager of China Southern Airlines Manila.

Feng welcomed the inaugural flight of China Southern from Guangzhou when it arrived at Terminal 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport on Jan. 22, 2019. The plane from Guangzhou arrived way ahead of schedule at a quarter past 3 p.m.

China Southern Airlines Cebu-Guangzhou

NEW CEBU-GUANGZHOU CONNECTION. Launching the China Southern Airlines flight connecting Cebu and Guangzhou are (from left) Department of Tourism Central Visayas Director Shalimar Tamano, China Southern Airlines Manila General Manager Pan Feng, Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu, Janette Cordero of the Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc., and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. Chief Commercial Adviser Ravishankar Saravu.

 

Cebu-Guangzhou route

China Southern Airlines will serve the Cebu-Guangzhou route with thrice weekly flights scheduled every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

It will depart Cebu at 17:15 and arrive in Guangzhou at 20:25. The Guangzhou-Cebu flight is from 12:25 to 16:05. To mark the opening of the new route, China Southern offers Cebu-Guangzhou return tickets starting from USD49.

Guangzhou, China’s third biggest city after Beijing and Shanghai, combines colonial-era and avant-garde architecture. The numerous traditional dim-sum eateries that can be found throughout the city have contributed to its reputation as one of China’s tastiest cities.

China Southern Airlines Cebu-Guangzhou route

CELEBRATING NEW CONNECTION. Officials led by Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu and key leaders of the Cebu business community and tourism sector make a toast to celebrate the launch of the China Southern Airlines Cebu-Guangzhou route.

 

Strategic development

Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu described the Guangzhou-Cebu direct flights as comprehensive, strategic, and a welcome development. Consul Li attended the short ceremony at the airport and the dinner event in Radisson Blu to celebrate the launch of the new flights.

Improved relations between the Philippines and China have resulted in the steady growth of Chinese tourists in Cebu and this will increase even more with China Southern’s new route, Consul Li cited.

He added that other than contributing to Cebu’s economic development, this will also pave the way for a better understanding of one another’s culture. Consul Li said he looks forward to the opening of direct flights to more cities in China from Cebu.

China Southern Airlines Cebu

CEREMONIAL CAKE. DOT 7 Director Shalimar Tamano, China Southern Airlines Manila General Manager Pan Feng, Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu, and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. Chief Commercial Adviser Ravishankar Saravu slice the traditional ceremonial cake to mark a new route.

 

Business opportunities

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Antonio Chu in his message talked about the wealth of opportunities in Cebu in such key sectors of tourism, business process outsourcing, transport and logistics, manufacturing, and retail.

He added that the presence of more international airlines like China Southern goes a long way towards beefing up investor confidence.

This newest route will serve to bring in Chinese tourists from one of China’s biggest metropolis and cater as well to the growing number of Filipinos who are flying to various destinations in China. Foreign and domestic guests visiting Cebu to swim with the whale sharks can now put Guangzhou as part of their travel itineraries.

China Southern Airlines Cebu

IN CEBU. The China Southern Airlines plane that flew from Guangzhou. The airline will serve the Cebu-Guangzhou route with thrice weekly flights scheduled every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

 

About China Southern Airlines

China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd. is a direct affiliate of China Southern Air Holding Company Ltd., which specializes in air transportation services.

It has built an extensive network that covers all of China, radiating throughout Asia and linking Europe, America, Oceania, and Africa. It operates more than 3,000 daily flights to 224 destinations in 40 countries and regions across the world.

The airline is committed to building up the Canton Route, making Guangzhou as an international air hub.

China Southern Airlines

SINULOG. Sandiego dancers perform a Sinulog number during the celebration after the inaugural flight.

 

SKYTRAX four-star rating

On June 15, 2018, China Southern Airlines was honored with the 2-Star Flight Safety Diamond Award by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), becoming the leading Chinese carrier to maintain the highest safety records in China.

In 2011, China Southern Airlines earned its four-star status from SKYTRAX, the world’s most prestigious airline performance evaluation organization.

China Southern was also recognized as the Top 50 Most Admired Chinese Company by “FORTUNE China Magazine” in 2012 and 2013.

 

China Southern Airlines

LECHON CEREMONY. Consul General Jia Li of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu and retired Ambassador Frank Benedicto, who was once assigned to China, cut the lechon to mark the start of evening celebrations for the new route.

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Klook to host Sinulog Beach Festival at Happy Beach in Mactan

Fast growing travel platform Klook will hold its very first Cebu event, the Sinulog Beach Festival, at Happy Beach in Lapu-Lapu City in time for the island’s grandest festival Partygoers…

Fast growing travel platform Klook will hold its very first Cebu event, the Sinulog Beach Festival, at Happy Beach in Lapu-Lapu City in time for the island’s grandest festival

Partygoers can expect a lot of fun under the sun with on-ground carnival games, water activities, and live music performances by Cebu’s homegrown musicians and Manila’s top DJs at the Klook Sinulog Beach Festival from 2 p.m. onwards this January 18, 2019.

The music personalities and groups performing at the festival will include Mandaue Nights, Sepia Times, Lourdes Maglinte, and Eco plus Manila DJs Deuce and Nix Damn P! along with John Bosque, Renzo Senining, and Victor Jao.

Klook Sinulog Beach Festival

The event is part of Klook’s mission to help build local tourism and promote local destinations, said Klook Philippines Market Lead Michelle Cruz.

“A lot of our efforts in the past year have been focused on attracting different key destinations in the Philippines,” she added, citing that Klook has entered into exclusive partnerships with Ocean Park, Enchanted Kingdom, Aqua Planet in Clark, and Happy Beach in Cebu. The company already has over 70 partners in the Philippines, 10 of which are in Cebu.

Happy Beach

Klook targets to gather around 5,000 guests to its Sinulog Beach Festival in Happy Beach.

Carnival games, face painting, henna tattoo and such water activities as kayaking, parasailing, waterboarding as well as sidewinder, jetski, and banana boat rides are just some of the fun activities they can expect during the event.

Klook Philippines Market Lead Michelle Cruz

PROMOTE LOCAL. The event is part of Klook’s mission to help build local tourism and promote local destinations, said Klook Philippines Market Lead Michelle Cruz.

 

Klook’s festival partners include Cebu Pacific, Havaianas, and Happy Beach.

Cruz said they’re working with other merchants to provide festival guests with a wide selection of food and drinks.

She added that Klook has a lot of plans for Cebu, beginning with its very first activity Sinulog Beach Festival. They also hope to bring a mobile-led experiential travel festival that Klook first introduced in Manila last September 2018.

Klook Sinulog Beach Festival

The inflatable island.

 

Festival tickets

Early bird admission ticket is priced at P795, but only P500 each for groups of four under the Barkada Bundle offer. This already includes an admission ticket to the Sinulog Beach Festival, one drink, and point-to-point transportation to and from Happy Beach. Pick-up points start at 11 a.m. from SM City Cebu and Parkmall in Mandaue City.

The Sinulog Beach Festival will run from 2:00-10:00 p.m.

Founded in 2014, Klook provides travellers a seamless way to discover and book attractions, tours, local transportation, best food tours and must-eats, and other unique experiences around the world. Download the Klook App and enjoy P200 off on your first booking when you use promo code <KLOOKIT200>.

Visit their website at www.klook.com and follow them on Facebook at @klookph and on Instagram at @klooktravel_ph.

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Co-working facility Workplace Cafe opens new branch in Banawa

Sturdy desks, comfy seats, high-speed fiber internet, soft music, warm lights, abundance of power outlets, plus good food and coffee, the WorkPlace Cafe in Banawa, Cebu City is designed as…

Sturdy desks, comfy seats, high-speed fiber internet, soft music, warm lights, abundance of power outlets, plus good food and coffee, the WorkPlace Cafe in Banawa, Cebu City is designed as a place where one can be most productive.

Couple Aden and Gretchen Sigue were looking to start another line of business and came upon the Workplace Cafe in Ramos St., Cebu City.

Mr. Sigue said they reached out to the Workplace Cafe owners and suggested a franchise agreement.

WorkPlace Cafe

WorkPlace Cafe is designed as a place where one can be most productive.

 

Co-working cafe

Kristoff Villanueva, CEO of the company that owns the brand, said the facility is intended as a co-working cafe for students, creative sector, and freelance community.

“The Workplace Cafe is meant as a space for study and work within a coffee shop experience,” he said during the grand opening of the Workplace Cafe in Banawa yesterday, July 8, 2019.

Since the best ideas always come about when one is well rested, the facility provides a power nap station that allows customers to relax or doze off on comfy bean bag seats.

The newest cafe is only its second branch, added Villanueva, chief executive officer of Rise and Grind Equity Ventures, Inc. They plan to open a third Workplace Cafe, company-owned this time, in Mandaue City by next month.

Workplace Cafe

The Workplace Cafe is meant as a space for study and work within a coffee shop experience.

 

Workplace Cafe Banawa

Workplace Cafe Banawa, located at Unit 2, Autogas Station, R. Duterte St., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. the following day. It offers three options for customers: hourly, daily, and monthly.

The hourly rate is only P50 and it comes with complimentary beverage of either iced tea or brewed coffee. Additional hour costs P35. A customer who orders a handcrafted beverage automatically gets a free stay of one hour.

WorkPlace Cafe

 

If you choose to stay for the day, you pay only P280. This also comes with one complimentary drink. Mr. Sigue said customers who opt for the daily rate need only to add P70 to have access to unlimited coffee.

Customers may also avail of the monthly rate of P4,000, which is inclusive of locker use.

WorkPlace Cafe

WorkPlace Cafe opens its 2nd branch in Banawa, Cebu City.

 

Cafe menu, amenities

The Workplace Cafe in Banawa all-day breakfast sets, several kinds of pasta, and short orders that range from green salads, fries and chicken wings, to pastries.

It can accommodate 120 customers and has two function rooms for those who wish to hold meetings and sessions. One function room can seat up to 10 people while the other can host up to 16. Rates start at P550 for the first hour and P450 for succeeding hours and come with one-time credits of P200 consumable on food and drinks.

Since it first opened along F. Ramos St. last November 2016, the Workplace Cafe has adopted a Plant and Grow program. For every bag of Bukidnon-sourced Hineleban coffee beans consumed, a tree is planted in return.

WorkPlace Cafe Cebu

 

WorkPlace Cafe Cebu

 

WorkPlace Cafe power nap station

The power nap station.

 

WorkPlace Cafe

FRANCHISE. Couple Gretchen and Aden Sigue (center) and CEO Kristoff Villanueva along with other business partners during the launch of WorkPlace Cafe in Banawa, a franchised branch.

 

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Dairy Queen brings best selling ice cream to Cebu

Touted as one of the most delicious ice cream brands in the world, Dairy Queen begins serving its signature soft serve products to Cebuanos as it simultaneously opens its SM…

Touted as one of the most delicious ice cream brands in the world, Dairy Queen begins serving its signature soft serve products to Cebuanos as it simultaneously opens its SM City Cebu and Robinsons Cybergate branches today.

The Dairy Queen Cebu branches carry the bestselling Blizzard, which is soft serve ice cream mixed with such ingredients as fruit, chocolate chunks, cookie, and nuts, as well as ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwich, and dilly bar.

One of the unique features of the DQ Blizzard is it is served upside down and there are two reasons for this, according to Lorent Adrias, Chief Marketing Officer of Philippine Pizza, Inc. (PPI).

Dairy Queen Cebu

RED SPOON. Each serving of Dairy Queen comes with its iconic red spoon. A company official says customers have come to look at it as the “pathway to happiness.”

 

Served upside down

The brand wants to make the customer experience fun and at the same time show the quality of its ice cream, he added. Aside from Dairy Queen, PPI also holds the franchise for Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in the Philippines.

“Serving the Blizzard upside down is an affirmation of the quality of our ice cream. The thick and creamy consistency of the ice cream makes it possible,” Adrias also said.

Another Dairy Queen icon is the red spoon, which comes with every serving of soft serve ice cream. Customers have come to look at it as the “pathway to happiness,” he cited.

Dairy Queen Cebu

Dairy Queen’s ice cream sandwich.

 

Oldest franchise

Dairy Queen has been around for 78 years, making it the oldest franchise in the whole world, said the brand’s VP for Operations Erryl Ramos.

Including the two newly-opened branches in Cebu, DQ now has 108 stores all over the Philippines.

Ramos said during a media preview last night that he believes the opening sales for Cebu will surpass the highest store opening record held by SM City Clark.

Dairy Queen Cebu

CEBU BRANCHES. In Cebu, Dairy Queen is available in SM City Cebu (above) and Robinsons Cybergate.

 

Dairy Queen Cebu branches

The Dairy Queen Cebu stores are the first outside of Luzon, said Adrias, adding they decided to open here because the Cebuanos have been very active in asking for a DQ branch in Cebu on social media.

Adrian said they want Dairy Queen to be the Filipinos’ treat of choice for life’s little and big victories.

The SM City Cebu branch is located beside the newly renovated Pizza Hut restaurant. New Pizza Hut features include a different look, new menu, takeout window, and open kitchen. It can accommodate about a hundred customers.

Dairy Queen Cebu

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Tretorn, Fantasy Sandals now in Res|Toe|Run lineup of brands

Those who grew up in the 90s will remember the popular Tretorn sneakers with the classic gullwing accent that were often the footwear choice in PE classes. The Primer Group…

Those who grew up in the 90s will remember the popular Tretorn sneakers with the classic gullwing accent that were often the footwear choice in PE classes.

The Primer Group of Companies brings back to the Philippines the stylish whites manufactured in Sweden that now incorporate new technology innovations for maximum wear comfort.

Carlo Cecilio, Tretorn brand executive, said the company has upgraded its classic Nylites with EcoOrtholite technology that puts more support in the heel and ankle.

He added the gullwing accent now comes in more hues, including such school colors as yellow, blue, and green.

The Tretorn Nylite line, which offers leather and canvas choices and colors other than white, is available at all Res|Toe|Run outlets in Cebu.

Tretorn Cebu

Classic sneakers, chic sandals

According to Cecilio, the Primer Group continues to bring in more brands in line with its mission to provide an exciting range of comfortable footwear that will cater to different styles and personalities.

Aside from Tretorn, it now also carries chic and comfy leather sandals for women that are manufactured in Greece. Fantasy Sandals is produced by an established Greek brand that also makes leather bags.

The sandals have full polyurethane outsoles so they are lightweight and resistant to abrasions. Fantasy Sandals footwear also utilizes the bubble sole technology, where the air trapped during the moulding process provides extra cushioning. These are also available at Res|Toe|Run branches in Cebu.

The Res|Toe|Run stores, with its unique and out-of-the-box concepts and impressive selection of rare and iconic brands, has come to be a top-of-mind choice among the youth and the young at heart.

Tretorn Cebu

 

Tretorn Cebu

Your Kind of Comfort campaign

Knowing best that millennials value style as much as comfort when out shopping for the perfect pair, it comes up with the “Your Kind of Comfort” campaign for the season.

In the active comfort category, those who love engaging in various fitness activities can find such footwear brands as FitFlop, DC and People. On the other hand, lazy weekend mornings are best paired with easygoing footwear from Native and Faux Pas Paris.

Stylish comfort footwear offers a diverse mix of brands that embody edgy style without the wearer needing to sacrifice comfort. Check out the latest designs by Dr. Martens, Tretorn, Native, Regetta Canoe and FitFlop.

Believing that footwear must be comfortable no matter what the occasion, the polished comfort category carry styles that can fit a wide range of activities. Think Faux Pas Paris, Fantasy Sandals, FitFlop, Kickers, Sledgers, and Flossy for work, business meetings, and other special events.

Fantasy Sandals

Carlo Cecilio of the Primer Group of Companies talks about Tretorn and Fantasy Sandals in a media briefing in Cebu.

 

Res|Toe|Run branches

From ensuring the most optimal shopping experience all the way to housing the latest in comfortable footwear, Res|Toe|Run will always make sure that you enjoy nothing less than “Your Kind of Comfort.”

Res|Toe|Run branches may be found in the following locations: Banilad Town Centre, Ayala Center Cebu, and Robinsons Galleria Cebu. You may also shop for the latest footwear offers by Res|Toe|Run through its official e-commerce website, www.restoerun.ph.

Fantasy Sandal

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Israel ambassador sees big potential for trade, tourism with Philippines

Israel sees a big potential for stronger trade, tourism, and diplomatic ties with the Philippines, said new Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz. An important role of government, he added, is to…

Israel sees a big potential for stronger trade, tourism, and diplomatic ties with the Philippines, said new Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz.

An important role of government, he added, is to create the conditions for nurturing business and one way to do this is to cultivate good political relations with other nations.

He explained during his courtesy call to the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) that his activities in the Philippines, which involved meeting local executives and business groups, serve to complement the four-day visit of President Rodrigo Duterte in Israel.

Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz

OPPORTUNITIES. Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz talks about trade and tourism opportunities with officers of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) during a courtesy call last October 23. Beside Harpaz is CCCI vice president for external affairs and relations Charles Kenneth Co.

 

Harpaz said there were special agreements signed between Israel and the Philippines during that visit, including business to business and government to government deals. He mentioned the oil exploration agreement that the Philippine government entered into with an Israeli company.

Israel has a lot to offer the Philippines, from innovations in agriculture and water management to new technology products, the Israeli ambassador also said.

“Your challenge is water management and quality. We can help you with this. Our challenge is not having enough water so we developed new sources. Saving water is also in our DNA,” Mr. Harpaz added, citing that Israel also excels in agriculture. Food security is one area where Israel and the Philippines can work on together.

He said his country also appreciates the role of Filipino caregivers, and the two countries recently inked a deal to regulate their working conditions. It is also looking at opening the hotel industry to Filipino workers, he further said.

Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz

TRADE LINKS. Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz with officials of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

 

According to Mr. Harpaz, the two countries can also benefit from increased tourism activities, noting that Filipinos do not need a visa to visit Israel. Many Filipinos travel to Israel as part of a pilgrimage tour to the Holy Land.

He also said they’re working on having direct flights between the Philippines and Israel as one way of further boosting tourism, adding he is confident that it will serve to increase visitor arrivals in both countries.

Israel might not manufacture mobile phones but it is responsible for many applications running on these devices. Waze, after all, was created by an Israeli startup, which is also behind other technology products pertaining to travel, transportation, and finance.

The Philippines in general and Cebu in particular can benefit from big companies in Israel outsourcing the manufacture of new products born out of research and development in Israel.

Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz

PRESS CONFERENCE. Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz answers questions of Cebu journalists during a press conference after a courtesy call with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. With him are Honorary Consul of Israel in Cebu Emily Benedicto-Chioson (standing), his wife Shulamit, and Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov .

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Snow World, theme park to open in Minglanilla in December

Tropical Cebu will soon get a taste of snow and winter weather when Snow World opens in December as one major attraction of the province’s first integrated family entertainment complex…

Tropical Cebu will soon get a taste of snow and winter weather when Snow World opens in December as one major attraction of the province’s first integrated family entertainment complex Belmont One.

Snow World will cover 2,000 square meters and feature temperature of negative 15 degrees Celsius, ice sculptures, a slide, snowfall and form part of the theme park Anjo World, said Belmont One President Chester Lim during the project’s recent groundbreaking.

The 3.5-hectare commercial complex in Calajoan, Minglanilla will open in phases its facilities that will include hotels, restaurants, retail and shopping centers, and theme park with rides, food stalls, and game booths.

Lim said they are working to have Belmont One complete and fully operational by 2019.

Anjo World Minglanilla

ANJO WORLD. Belmont One President Chester Lim leads the groundbreaking of the Anjo World theme park in Calajoan, Minglanilla.

Anjo World attractions

Together with Snow World, the theme park Anjo World will open with 10 of its 12 rides already operational by December. The two other rides, a 60-meter ferris wheel and bumper boats, will be ready by the summer months, added Lim.

When the family agreed to put up a theme park, Lim said they looked for a worthwhile attraction and decided on Snow World. Snow World was also looking to expand in Cebu, added its operation manager for Cebu Jonas Mateo.

Around 15 food stalls will also open by the end of the year. Other dining facilities include six restaurants and food carts selling such theme park staples as hot dog, popcorn, and cotton candy.

Lim said they named Anjo World after their parents, Antonio and Josephine, who suggested that they bring the enjoyable experiences they’ve had during their foreign travels to Cebu. The theme park has developed its own line of characters and will have a child mascot named Anjo.

Belmont Anjo World

BY SUMMER. The park’s 60-meter ferris wheel will be open by summer, officials said.

Commercial complex

According to Lim, Belmont One is currently in talks with local chains for the hotel component in the complex. Other establishments to rise up in the complex include Belmont Hardware and Robinsons Supermarket.

Lim estimates the project cost for Belmont One to be around 500 million pesos. He added that while the company has diversified into housing development in 2010, this will be its first commercial venture of this scale.

He added that Belmont One is expected to generate about 500 jobs. It took them five years to come up with the concept of an integrated entertainment complex that will cater to the whole family.

Anjo World plans

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

Belmont One Anjo World

 

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A weekend in Huni Sicogon

Rough waters turn gentle and the cerulean deep gives way to aquamarine shallows as a speck in the distant horizon transforms into Sicogon Island. Our destination slowly appears as a…

Rough waters turn gentle and the cerulean deep gives way to aquamarine shallows as a speck in the distant horizon transforms into Sicogon Island.

Our destination slowly appears as a towering mass of green bordered by a strip of white that glistens under the noonday sun.

Nearer still, we can make out a gently sloping mountain with a curious peak that tapers down to an expanse of coastline with creamy sand.

Huni Sicogon

HUNI SICOGON. The spring water swimming pool looks across the seas to Islas de Gigantes.

 

The tide was high enough to allow our motorized outrigger boat to dock on the beach right where the makings of a modern and upscale resort have taken shape.

Huni Sicogon

Huni Sicogon, our home for three activity-filled days, sits right before the coastline and where in the far distance a grouping of islands called Islas de Gigantes forms the shape of a sleeping giant.

From our spot on the beach, we can make out a huge pool with bar, open-air restaurant, and sprawling two-level building with rooms that look out either to the sea or the green foliage of Sicogon’s iconic Mt. Opao. Parched from the journey, we gladly downed the drinks offered by a resort welcoming party led by resident manager Bayon Abescola.

Huni Sicogon

Our room in Huni Sicogon opens to the beach,

 

Huni currently testing out amenities, facilities, and services with half of the total of 52 rooms open in preparation for grand opening day sometime in the last quarter of 2018, according to Abescola. MyCebu.ph was among those invited to the resort’s soft opening.

We were billeted in spacious deluxe rooms that can accommodate a maximum of three and offer varying bed sizes. Family rooms are good for four and come even bigger at 53 square meters.

Huni Sicogon Island

HUNI SICOGON will have 52 rooms when all phases are done. It sits on a beautiful beachfront looking across the Islas de Gigantes.

 

Tourism estate

Named for the humming sound of the sea, Huni is a central figure in the Sicogon Island Tourism Estate in Carles, Iloilo. The tourism estate is a development born out of a partnership between Ayala Land and the Sicogon Development Corp., said Jonah Villena, Marketing and PR supervisor of the Ayala Land subsidiary Ten Knots Development Corporation.

Soon enough, a fully completed airport on the 1,100-hectare Sicogon Island will welcome the first commercial flight from the capital while a jetty port will make it more accessible to seaborne visitors. Bayon said he expects two motorized outrigger boats for island transfers and e-jeeps for travel within Sicogon.

Huni Sicogon Mt. Opao

SCALING MT. OPAO. One of the fun activities you should try when in Sicogon Island is to scale Mt. Opao. Huni Sicogon arranges hikes to Mt. Opao and provides local guides.

 

Ayala Land will also bring in a four-storey Seda hotel as well as a 77-bed hostel called Dayon to be conveniently located right beside the Sicogon airport within the next three years. A resort town center with retail shops surrounding a 4.3-hectare lagoon is also in the pipeline.

For now, though, there is Huni Sicogon with its easy access to warm sea and unspoiled mountain.

Island activities

Imagine afternoon walks by the coast, a cool dip in the freshwater spring pool, cocktails and karaoke. There are also such activities as kayaking, stand up paddle, and snorkeling to satisfy a craving for more energetic sport.

A trek through the dense undergrowth up Mt. Opao is a must-try but be warned that it does require a certain fitness level. The nearby islet of Tumaquin offers the more challenging cliff jumping activity.

Antonia Beach Islas de Gigantes

ISLAND-HOPPING TOUR. Huni Sicogon is the perfect jumpoff point to a tour of Islas de Gigantes, including to Antonia Beach, where you can eat scallops for P1 apiece.

 

Off site, there are the popular islands that make up the Gigantes group: the selfie island Cabugao Gamay, Bantigue Sandbar, and Antonia Island. Sicogon’s location makes it the perfect jump off point for hopping from one island to another.

Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the seafood in the islands. Whether you order it as part of resort fare or from a local community in a Gigantes island, you are always assured it is the freshest it can be.

 

More photos of our Huni Sicogon weekend

 

Huni Sicogon Island

BEACHFRONT. Huni Sicogon has an expansive beachfront that looks across to Islas de Gigantes.

 

Huni Sicogon Island

SOFT OPENING. Our group of writers from Cebu at the Huni Sicogon all-day dining restaurant.

 

Huni Sicogon Island

HUNI SICOGON ROOM. Our room during the weekend stay.

 

Huni Sicogon Cabugao Gamay

SELFIE ISLAND. Rock formations on Cabugao Gamay, more known as the selfie island for its iconic spot for taking selfies.

 

Huni Sicogon Bantigue Sandbar

1-PESO SCALLOPS. Feasting on scallops, sold by the tray at P1 apiece, on the Bantigue sandbar.

 

Huni Sicogon beach

DINNER ON THE BEACH. First night’s dinner on a the beautiful Huni Sicogon beach.

 

Huni Sicogon

FRESH SEAFOOD is always on the menu on Sicogon Island.

 

Huni Sicogon dinner

 

Huni Sicogon restaurant

 

Huni Sicogon dinner

Gising gising

 

Huni Sicogon dinner

 

Huni Sicogon Mt. Opao

TO MT. OPAO. Our group heading to the summit of Mt. Opao.

 

Mt. Opao Sicogon Island

AIRSTRIP. The airstrip and lagoon, which will have retail shops in the future, can be seen from the peak of Mt. Opao.

 

Balay Kogon Sicogon Island

BALAY KOGON. The beachfront of nearby Balay Kogon, which is part of the tourism estate.

 

Balay Kogon Sicogon Island

CHICKEN BINAKOL is chicken soup with coconut meat and water. We had this delicious dish in Balay Kogon.

 

Huni Sicogon

PINA COLADA

 

Huni Sicogon

THE WINNICK. This cocktail is named after Katheryn Winnick, an actress known for her role in Vikings. It’s her favorite drink and she requested the resort to make it during her stay. It has since become part of the drinks menu of Huni Sicogon.

 

Huni Sicogon Mt. Opao

HUNI SICOGON. The beachfront of Huni Sicogon and Mt. Opao on the background.

 

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Cebu Journeys 2018 showcases local destinations, products

Local delicacies and travel products in 20 Cebu towns and cities are showcased at the Cebu Provincial Capitol during the 3-day travel fair Cebu Journeys 2018. The fair closes tomorrow,…

Local delicacies and travel products in 20 Cebu towns and cities are showcased at the Cebu Provincial Capitol during the 3-day travel fair Cebu Journeys 2018. The fair closes tomorrow, August 30.

On display at the Capitol Social Hall are homemade rhums and jams from Samboan, Guilang’s tablea from Argao, cranberry juice from Santander, ground and roasted coffee beans from Tuburan, rice cakes and budbud from Asturias, podreda cookies from Oslob, cassava cookies from Tudela, and a wide range of specialty merchandise produced from abundant local resource.

Cebu Journeys Argao torta and tableya

Torta and tableya from Argao.

Travel made easier

There are such products as hablon from Argao, decorative pieces made using upcycled materials from Naga, baskets from Tabogon and San Remigio, woven mats from Pilar, soap and polvoron with goat milk as main ingredient from Bogo, and turmeric tea from Alegria.

Through Cebu Journeys 2018, which is initiated by the Cebu Provincial Tourism Office, travel to top local destinations has also been made easier.

Cebu Journeys Tuburan coffee.

Tuburan coffee.

Ever wanted to visit or go on a repeat trip to Camotes? You can get all the information you need from representatives of local government units that make up the Camotes Group of Islands present at the travel fair.

The town of Dalaguete offers a tour package that includes excursions to historical landmarks, cold spring and mountain, flower and strawberry farms, and vegetable market.

Cebu Journeys Cranberry juice from Santander

Cranberry juice from Santander

Town destinations

Oslob showcases island getaways to Sumilon, waterfalls experience, and whale shark adventure.

Aloguinsan offers the Bojo River Cruise with sumptuous lunch and snacks as well as handicraft demo.

Want a more adventurous tour? Alegria has you covered with its canyoneering experience.

Cebu Journeys Hablon from Argao.

Hablon from Argao.

South of Cebu, the Naga boardwalk is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. That’s not all it offers, though. It also has treks to Mt. Naupa and world class sports facilities that include an eight-lane Olympic size swimming pool.

The dive paradise that is Moalboal also offers beach and island hopping experiences as well as caving and heritage site visits.

Cebu Journeys 2018

OPENING. Cebu First Lady Jobel Davide and Department of Tourism Central Visayas Director Shalimar Tamano lead the opening of Cebu Journeys 2018 at the Capitol Social Hall.

Guests get a passport stamped with the 20 participating Cebu towns and cities. They will need to have all these signed by local government representatives. In the passport are three questions about Cebu that they must answer before they can submit it with their details to organizers for a chance to win great prizes.

Cebu Journeys 2018

MUSIC. Trixie Anne Alturas of Parklane with her colleagues perform during the event.

The event is sponsored by Smart Communications Inc.

Get all the details to top Cebu destinations and enjoy local delicacies while you’re at it when you check out the Cebu Journeys 2018 Travel Fair.

Cebu Journeys

THE CHEFS. These chefs of different Cebu hotels showcased Cebuano cuisine with a high-end twist. The chefs are June Fernandez of Parklane, Melba Pranza of Golden Prince, Deofrey Vistal of Radisson Blu, Coke Semblante of Radisson Blu, and Richard Hao of USJ-R.

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Cebu Landmasters launches mixed-use Astra Centre in Mandaue

Two high-rise towers with a world-class hotel, residential units, and office spaces linked by a podium hosting an upscale boutique mall will make up Cebu’s upcoming lifestyle hub Astra Centre,…

Two high-rise towers with a world-class hotel, residential units, and office spaces linked by a podium hosting an upscale boutique mall will make up Cebu’s upcoming lifestyle hub Astra Centre, Cebu Landmasters, Inc.’s second full-range mixed-use development.

Jose Soberano III, CLI chief executive officer, said during the launch of the P3.6-billion project yesterday, August 8, that Astra Centre is “an astounding, aspiring, and all-in-one development” well suited to the dynamic lifestyle of the Cebuanos.

Astra Centre Landmaster Joe Soberano III

CHANGE LANDSCAPE. Jose Soberano III, CLI chief executive officer, says Astra Centre “will change the landscape of Mandaue City.”

 

Mandaue growth corridor

It will rise on a 1.2-hectare lot along AS Fortuna St., which Soberano described as Mandaue City’s new growth corridor.

“Astra Centre will change the landscape of Mandaue City “ he added, citing that the project espouses a compact community concept where everything is within walking distance—from residence and workplace to shopping and entertainment.

First Radisson RED

CLI plans to finish the first phase of the project, which will include the 30-floor first tower and lifestyle mall, in three years or by 2021, according to the company’s chief operations officer, Jose Franco Soberano.

Astra Centre Jose Franco Soberano

LIFESTYLE HUB. CLI COO Jose Franco Soberano talks about upcoming lifestyle hub Astra Centre during its launch.

 

He said the high-rise building will host both the first Radisson RED in the Philippines and the residential component One Astra Place.

The 146-room hotel, to be operated by the Radisson Hotel Group, will have a unique design and upscale service offerings that will be informal, aspirational, and targeted towards millennials, according to a press statement released during the launch.

One Astra Place

One the other hand, One Astra Place will occupy 15 floors consisting of 478 units with such amenities as an infinity pool, kiddie pool, function rooms, gym, al fresco area, and skydeck.

The three-level Astra Centre Mall will be a new concept as well, with half of retail spaces located outdoors, said the younger Soberano.

Tower 2, which is part of the development’s second phase, will combine Astra Corporate Center’s 12 floors of modern office spaces and residences.

 

Astra Centre Cebu Landmasters

LAUNCH. Jose Soberano III, CLI chief executive officer, leads his team in unveiling Astra Centre.

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3-day Grand Travel Bazaar offers top deals on airfare, travel packages

Tick off that elusive dream destination in your bucket list as the Grand Travel Bazaar opens today at The Gallery in Ayala Center Cebu with the best deals on plane…

Tick off that elusive dream destination in your bucket list as the Grand Travel Bazaar opens today at The Gallery in Ayala Center Cebu with the best deals on plane fares and tour packages.

Book flights with such premier airlines as Cathay Pacific, SilkAir, EVA Air, Korean Air, Turkish Airlines, and Philippine Airlines at super discounted rates.

The Grand Travel Bazaar, which brings together Cebu’s top travel agencies and their premier airline partners, is an exclusive sale for BPI Cardholders and allow them to enjoy real zero percent interest rate for 3 months installment payments.

Cebu Grand Travel Bazaar

ZERO PERCENT INTEREST. The Grand Travel Bazaar, which brings together Cebu’s top travel agencies and their premier airline partners, is an exclusive sale for BPI Cardholders and allow them to enjoy real zero percent interest rate for 3 months installment payments.

 

Longer installments are also available with a little add-on interest rate, said BPI Cards Visayas Regional Marketing Head Fe Emlyn Boltron-Aleonar. She said flights booked during the event already include travel insurance.

Cathay Pacific bestsellers

For the 3-day event up to Sunday, July 8, 2018, Cathay Pacific offers travel deals out of Cebu on economy class to Hong Kong for as low as USD185, to Narita, Osaka, Nagoya, Seoul, and Busan for as low as USD335, and to Taipei for as low as USD225.

Cathay Pacific District Sales and Marketing Manager Hazel Tagimacruz urged Cebuanos to take advantage of the really good deals offered up to Sunday.

North America destinations out of Cebu via Hong Kong start from USD695 while Australia flights start from USD460. Cathay Pacific fares to several European cities from Cebu are priced around USD700.

Cebu Grand Travel Bazaar

OPENING. Organizers cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the 3-day Grand Travel Bazaar in Ayala Center Cebu.

 

Extensive SilkAir network

Jake Jeow, SilkAir Country Manager, said they are offering discounted fare rates for economy, premium economy, and business class flights to more than 100 destinations in their network.

SilkAir flights to Singapore go for as low as USD168 for travel in 2018 and USD184 in 2019.

Promo fares to SilkAir’s Southeast Asian destinations like Phuket, Vientiane, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur is at USD237 for travel in 2018 and USD243 in 2019 for return trips.

Return flights to London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Barcelona, Paris, Dusseldorf, Munich, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Milan, Moscow, and Rome are at USD737 all-in for travel within 2018.

Grand Travel Bazaar Cebu

TRAVEL ESSENTIAL. Customers get discount coupons for Delsey products courtesy of the Primer Group.

 

More Europe destinations

Turkish Airlines joins the Grand Travel Bazaar with flights out of Manila to Europe and Asia.

Patricia Villagracia, airline sales executive, said they fly to more destinations in Europe and their extensive network even includes Belarus, Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, and other key European cities. Return fares on economy class range from USD600 to USD800. From Manila, flights to the Turkish Airlines hub in Istanbul is only about 12 hours with layover of 2-3 hours before proceeding to the final destinations.

 

Facebook Livestream of opening

 

International, local flights

EVA Air offers the lowest return flights to Taipei at USD200. Other airline destinations on sale include the US cities of Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Houston, and Chicago.

Direct return flights from Cebu to Narita, Osaka, Nagoya, and Incheon via Philippine Airlines go for as low as USD209. PAL’s Cebu-Bangkok round-trip fare is at USD149.

PAL is also offering discounted rates to 14 local destinations from Cebu, with one way-fares starting from P699.

Korean Air also joins the bazaar for the second year with flights to the West and East coasts going for as low as USD697 and USD789.

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Need a cab? Micab app now provides ride-hailing service for 3,000 Cebu taxis

Getting a taxi is now easier in Cebu, thanks to ride-hailing platform Micab that was developed by a team of young entrepreneurs. If you haven’t installed it yet, download the…

Getting a taxi is now easier in Cebu, thanks to ride-hailing platform Micab that was developed by a team of young entrepreneurs.

If you haven’t installed it yet, download the Micab app from the Play Store or App Store to get access to 3,000 taxis enrolled in the platform for Cebu alone.

Micab Systems Corp. was granted accreditation as a transport network company (TNC) by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) last April 30, said founder and CEO Eddie Ybañez.

What makes Micab different from transport networks like Grab and Uber is it doesn’t charge a booking fee when you hail a taxi using the app.

Micab founder Eddie Ybañez

INTERVIEW. Micab founder and CEO Eddie Ybañez answers questions during an interview by Cebu journalists.

 

Taxi 2.0

Ybañez said taxis subscribed to the Micab platform pay P500 a month and the fee covers the tablet and data that drivers need to run the app.

Without the booking fee, Micab Systems Corp. plans to get its main revenues from MiAds advertising. It has partnered with ad agencies to get companies to advertise on the tablets in the taxis.

Ybañez said the Micab platform, which he co-founded with Kenneth Baylosis during the Startup Weekend Cebu in 2012, came about as a solution to the perennial difficulty of getting a taxi that he used to frequently experience.

The TNC accreditation is a step forward in the company’s vision of a Taxi 2.0, which will involve clean and modern cabs driven by polite and friendly drivers. Although drivers can see a passenger’s destination in the Micab app, they won’t be able to cancel a booking once they’ve accepted it.

Micab target

The Cebu-based Micab company also now covers Metro Manila, Baguio, Bacolod, and Iloilo. In Manila, taxi bookings through Micab now go as high as 10,000 per day.

Although 80 percent of taxis in Cebu are already covered by the Micab platform, it still has to catch up with Manila in terms of usage, said Ybañez.

He added that they will continue to work with LTFRB and other government agencies “to innovate how Filipinos commute across our cities” to reach a shared goal that is the convenience of the country’s riding public.

Micab Eddie Ybañez

NO BOOKING FEE, NO SURGE PRICING. Micab founder and CEO Eddie Ybañez says their app does not charge a booking fee.

 

Digital hailing stations

Ybañez said they will also be soon deploying what he described as digital taxi hailing stations in major malls in Cebu City. Through these stations, commuters without the app can book a Micab unit.

The target for the year is to increase the number of taxi units enrolled in the Micab platform from 5,000 to 15,000.

Ybañez also said they will be building a system based on Micab for route-based units like buses, jeepneys, and vans-for-hire. He said this would likely be deployed early next year.

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Tholons chair: Cebu must embrace, see opportunities in digital disruptions

Cebu needs to improve in the areas of digital credentials and skills to move up to the top 10 in the Super Cities of the World list of Tholons, Inc….

Cebu needs to improve in the areas of digital credentials and skills to move up to the top 10 in the Super Cities of the World list of Tholons, Inc.

Avinash Vashistha, Tholons chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), said Cebu continues to score low in such areas as open innovation, startup culture, cybersecurity, and digital competitiveness.

A Tholons team computed the average scores of the top three and bottom three of the top 20 in the Super Cities list and measured where Cebu fell within the range.

A panel (from L) composed of Jonathan de Luzuriaga, moderator, and resource persons Cebu City Councilor Joy Augustus Young, Symph CEO Dave Overton, Tholons Chair Avinash Vashistha, and Accenture, Inc. Cebu Delivery Center Lead for Technology Arvin Yason discusses Cebu City’s ranking in Super Cities of the World list.

He said Cebu did not fare well in the following areas: 3.5 against a high of 7.2 in digital credentials and 3.8 against a high of 7.14 in quality of life, citing political, social, natural, and commercial risks. Vashistha was one of the speakers of the 2018 Transformation Summit held today, May 16, at Bai Hotel in Mandaue City.

Digital, talent skills

For digital skills and scale, Cebu was in the 4.6 range against the top average score of 8.12. This category looks at the digital talent and evolution of a particular place, also taking into consideration as well the prevalence of mobile and Internet users and patent grants for technology ideas or products.

“All industry in the future will be technology-enabled. We can’t ignore the impact of digital because it is transforming the way business is done,” Vashistha added.

When Cebu thinks about what it needs to do in the area of digital, it has to look at the examples set by Singapore and Seoul. Tholons ranks the two cities as among the top 25 digitally competitive cities throughout the globe.

Compared against the average high score of 8.9, Cebu’s ranking of 6 for talent skills and quality could do with some improvement, according to Vashistha. Cebu rose to seventh place in the list of best outsourcing sites but fell to 12th place in 2017 when Tholons added new digital categories.

New tech opportunities

2018 Transformation Summit Speaker Avinash Vashistha, Tholons, Inc. chair and CEO, talks about what it takes to be part of the top Super Cities of the World list.

He added that Cebu should also focus on the opportunities instead of threats posed by digital disruptions, citing that trillions of dollars in new technology investments from 2013-2022 will result in the creation of more than 200 million jobs. India and the Philippines currently hold close to 5 million jobs in the IT-BPM industry.

These jobs will come in bulk from three main areas, including robotic process automation, big data analytics, and mobile app testing.

Vashistha said during the summit that digital shifts will also require upskilling and reskilling the industry workforce. Degree programs must also include cultivating the culture of innovation in universities through innovation labs and partnerships with industry stakeholders. Other ways will involve utilizing digital media for Cebu’s branding initiatives and collaborating with a global network of startups through mentorship programs.

The 2018 Transformation Summit is organized by the Cebu IT BPM Organization (CIB.O) in partnership with the Cebu City Government and Sykes. Other sponsors include Accenture, Lexmark, and Cognizant.

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CCCI forges partnerships for Cebu Business Month 2018

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) will celebrate Cebu Business Month 2018 with public and private sector partners. CBM 2018 is organized by CCCI in partnership with the…

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) will celebrate Cebu Business Month 2018 with public and private sector partners.

CBM 2018 is organized by CCCI in partnership with the Cebu Provincial Government, Cebu City Government, and several other partners.

CBM 2018 sponsor Waterfront

SPONSORSHIP. Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino General Manager Anders Hallden (center) during the ceremonial signing of the sponsorship contract for Cebu Business Month 2018. With Hallden are (from left) Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Executive Director May Ybañez, CCCI President Antonio Chiu, CBM 2018 Chair Benny Que, and CBM 2018 Publicity and Ways and Means Chair Lilu Aliño.

Below is a complete list of CBM 2018 sponsors.

Event Partners

Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
Department of Tourism (DOT)
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)


Omnibus Co-Presenter

Cebu Holdings, Inc./Ayala Center Cebu
PLDT Enterprise/Voyager/Paymaya
Robinsons Land Corporation/Robinsons Galleria Cebu
SM Prime Holdings, Inc.
Unionpay International Southeast Asia
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino


Omnibus Platinum

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu


Omnibus Diamond

Cathay Pacific
Cebu Landmasters, Inc.
F2 Logistics Philippines, Inc.
Golden Prince Hotel and Suites
Lexmark Research and Development Corporation
Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation
Philippine AirAsia
Taiheiyo Cement Philippines, Inc.
The Insular Life Assurance Company, Ltd.


Omnibus

Treasure Island Industrial Corporation


Prime Partners

ABS-CBN
Alcordo International, Inc. (Alcordo Advertising)
Businessworld Publishing Corporation
GMA Network, Inc.
Manila Bulletin
Ocean Fast Ferries, Inc. (Oceanjet)
Skycable Pacific ATV


Media Partners

Brigada 93.1 News FM CEBU
Cebu Daily News
Expat Travel Lifestyle Phils.
Graphicstar Imaging Corporation
Greenworld LED Solutions, Inc.
InnoPub Media
Mynimo.com
NU107
Sonshine Radio
Sun.Star Publishing
The Freeman


CBM 2018 Specific Event Sponsors

Aboitiz Power Corp.
Bank of the Philippine Islands
BDO Unibank, Inc.
Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp.
Cebu Pacific Airlines
CT4 Philippines, Inc.
Eastern Communications
Global Business Power
GT Cosmetics Manufacturing, Inc.
Hyundai Cebu, Inc.
Ng Khai Development Corporation
Oakridge Business Park
Philippine Airlines
Seaoil Philippines
Security Bank Corporation
Tsuneishi Technical Services Philippines


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CBM 2018 schedule highlights innovations for business

Organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Cebu Business Month (CBM) was envisioned as the engine of Cebu’s growth towards global competitiveness. Now on its 22nd year,…

Organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Cebu Business Month (CBM) was envisioned as the engine of Cebu’s growth towards global competitiveness.

Now on its 22nd year, CBM 2018 banners the theme Innovate Cebu to underscore the importance of innovation in all aspects of business.

CBM is one of CCCI’s flagship projects. It is held yearly on the month of June.

Below is the full CBM 2018 schedule of activities:

June 1

Grand Opening Salvo
The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu


June 1-3

One Town, One Product Exhibit
Organizer: Department of Trade and Industry
Ayala Center Cebu


June 8

Cebu International Film Festival (Cebu.CIFF) Curtain Raised
Organizer: Cebu.CIFF
SM Seaside City


June 10-12

Lumba’g Laag sa Sugbo: A Race to Cebu’s Hidden Attractions
Organizer: CBM 2018
SM Seaside City to South of Cebu


June 14

Tourism Innovation Forum
Organizer: CBM 2018
Marco Polo Plaza Cebu


June 19-20

Innovation Summit
Organizer: CBM 2018
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino


June 21

Business-in-Golf Tournament
Organizer: CBM 2018
Alta Vista Golf and Country Club


June 22

MSME Industry Educational Tour
Organizer: CBM 2018
Different Companies


June 23-24

Sugbo Entertainment Expo (SEE) Cebu
Organizer: Enigmaworkz
Robinsons Galleria Cebu


June 29

Grand Chamber Awards and Fellowship Night
Organizer: CBM 2018
Oakridge Pavilion

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CCCI forges partnerships, lines up big events for CBM 2018

To help inspire, promote, and grow the business community, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) partnered with top companies and government agencies and invited high-profile personalities for Cebu…

To help inspire, promote, and grow the business community, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) partnered with top companies and government agencies and invited high-profile personalities for Cebu Business Month (CBM) 2018.

AirAsia Group chief executive officer (CEO) Tony Fernandes and Utah Valley University president Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez will be among the speakers of the month-long business event scheduled this June 2018.

Benedict Y. Que, CBM 2018 chair, said this year’s business month theme is aimed at helping local companies deal with digital disruptions.

“Today, we see and hear of the paradigm shift facing businesses. On our 22nd year, we align with the needs of companies through the theme Innovate Cebu,” Que, who is also Golden Prince Hotel and Suites president, said during the CBM 2018 Grand Launch last May 10.

CBM 2018 sponsorship

SPONSORSHIP. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager Brian Connelly (center) during the ceremonial signing of the hotel’s sponsorship of Cebu Business Month 2018. With him are (from left) Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Executive Director May Ybañez, CCCI President Antonio Chiu, CBM 2018 Chair Benny Que, and CBM 2018 Publicity and Ways and Means Chair Lilu Aliño.

Innovation Summit

The Innovation Summit, Tourism Innovation Forum, Grand Chamber Awards, and Lumba’g Laag sa Sugbo are just among the activities throughout June 2018 for Cebu Business Month. Check out the full CBM 2018 schedule here.

Scheduled for June 19-20, the Innovation Summit aims to bring together policy makers, industry business sectors, academe, innovators, and other business support institutions essential to creating an ecosystem that supports enterprise development and increase innovation capabilities of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Benny Que

CBM 2018 CHAIR Benny Que speaks during the launch of the event at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Fernandes, who is behind the highly-successful budget airline company AirAsia, will talk about “Flying Open in the Skies” during the two-day forum. Tuminez, first woman president of Utah Valley University and Microsoft External and Legal Affairs Regional Director for Corporate, will touch on “A Technology Revolution for All.”

Other Innovation Summit speakers: Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña, Department of Science and Technology (DOST); Research and Development Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, DOST; Dr. Soontorn Piromsartkoon, GlowGlobe Lighting System Co-Inventor; Robert Y. So, President and CEO, Eco-System Technologies, Inc.; Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr., Department of Information, Communication, and Technology (DICT); David Lim, Senior Vice President, Solid Group, Inc.

CBM 2018 sponsors

CCCI forged partnerships with top businesses as well as government units and agencies to bring about a CBM 2018 that will have a huge impact on Cebu businesses especially the small and medium enterprises.

The month-long business event is organized by CCCI in partnership with the Province and City of Cebu and with the support of DOST, Department of Tourism (DOT), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Antonio Chiu

CEBU BUSINESS. CCCI President Antonio Chiu gets interviewed after the ceremonial signing with CBM 2018 sponsors.

CCCI also collaborated with Cebu Holdings, Inc. and Ayala Center Cebu; PLDT Enterprise, Voyager, and Paymaya; Robinsons Land Corporation and Robinsons Galleria Cebu, SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; UnionPay International Southeast Asia; and Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino.

Another sponsor, the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, will host the Tourism Innovation Forum on June 14, 2018. The event is a venue for tourism industry stakeholders to network, interact, and discuss issues and concerns as well as share relevant information and solutions for the continuous growth of the sector throughout the country. Here is the complete list of CBM 2018 omnibus partners and sponsors.

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