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AirAsia opens 3 Cebu-China routes; starts Clark flights from Cebu

To meet the demand of a fast growing Chinese travel market, Philippines AirAsia will start new routes to Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai in China from Cebu in May and July….

To meet the demand of a fast growing Chinese travel market, Philippines AirAsia will start new routes to Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai in China from Cebu in May and July.

The Cebu-Shenzhen daily flights will start on May 9, 2018 with promo fares from as low as P888 for bookings until April 22, 2018 and for travel from May 9, 2018 to October 27, 2018.

“Cebuano travelers will be delighted to experience Shenzhen’s modern metropolis and marvel at how the southern city that links Hong Kong to mainland China built the world’s largest electric bus fleet, massive malls, contemporary buildings, and amusement parks,” said Philippines AirAsia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dexter Comendador.

AirAsia’s first China route from Cebu will further strengthen the company’s network outside Metro Manila and open up new and exciting places to visit this summer, he added.

AirAsia new routes

NEW AIRASIA ROUTES. (From left) Allenie Caccam, AirAsia Senior Marketing Manager for International Routes; AirAsia CEO Dexter Comendador; Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Antonio Chiu; and Domestic Marketing Manager Cathy Cabahug.

“AirAsia feels strongly about developing tourism and trade outside of Metro Manila,” Comendador also said. In Cebu, he was grateful for the support of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

New domestic, international routes

One more route, Cebu-Hangzhou, will be opened in May and a third, Cebu-Shanghai, will start in July. Comendador said they’re still getting the necessary permits and will announce the inaugural dates for these flights soon.

Allenie Caccam, AirAsia Senior Marketing Manager for International Routes, said the new Cebu-China routes would invite more Chinese tourists and businessmen to visit Cebu and experience how wonderful it is as a destination. At the same time, more tourists in the Visayas and Mindanao would get connected to AirAsia’s international routes.

AirAsia new routes

NEW CEBU-CHINA ROUTES. Philippines AirAsia will start new routes to Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Shanghai in China from Cebu in May and July.

Philippines AirAsia will also start Cebu-Clark flights on May 11, 2018. Seats for this route are being offered from as low as P17 only for bookings up to April 22, 2018 and travel between May 11, 2018 to October 26, 2018.

“AirAsia is here to support the government’s flagship projects to boost tourism and trade. We aim to better connect Clark to secondary cities within the Philippines like Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Tacloban followed by inter-Asean connectivity where the AirAsia Group has massive network covering over 120 destinations in the whole of ASEAN, in greater Asia, Australia, United States, and beyond,” Comendador added.

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Ayala Center Cebu lines up craft, music, fitness activities for #SummerAtAyala

The school break promises to be a fun time for families as Ayala Center Cebu launches a plethora of activities to turn it into one #HappyColorfulSummer. Cebu’s premier destination for…

The school break promises to be a fun time for families as Ayala Center Cebu launches a plethora of activities to turn it into one #HappyColorfulSummer.

Cebu’s premier destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment has scheduled a lineup of entertaining pursuits for the whole family throughout the sunniest season of the year.

These include a range of play and learn activities for kids, fitness sessions, weekend fun events, and music fests.

Ayala Center Cebu summer

LAUNCHING. Celeste “Bong” Dy, Ayala Center Cebu general manager, talks about #SummerAtAyala during the launch.

Celeste “Bong” Dy, Ayala Center Cebu general manager, led the #SummerAtAyala launch where guests experienced a little of the enjoyable times ahead through craft flower assembling and a smoothie-making competition courtesy of Mooshi.

Kids’ workshops, play activities

The mall will offer voice, dance, painting, arts and crafts, sewing, and taekwondo lessons from April to May in the kids’ workshops. Children can also look forward to fun times at Bounce N Play Gleeful Moppets, My Little Craft Corner, Jumping Clay, Creative Minds, Hoverball, and KPUP Spritely Gym and Party Racer Go Carts. Kids who complete certain designated activities will get a premium prize.

Ayala Center Cebu summer 2018

CONTEST. Ayala Center Cebu held a smoothie-making competition courtesy of Mooshi to mark the launch of #SummerAtAyala.

For weekends, the mall will showcase marching bands and live mannequins, balloon twister and photobooth, bubble show, magic show, face painting and sticker tattoos.

Staying in shape will also be easier in the summer with Ayala Center Cebu’s zumba and capoeira classes as well as fitness bootcamp.

Nightly entertainment will come in the form of good music by local talents. It will be folk music every Wednesday from 8:00-10:00 p.m. at the Garden Area, and ACCoustic Sessions every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Level 2.

Ayala Center Cebu summer

CRAFT, SMOOTHIE. The launch included craft flower assembly and healthy refreshments from Mooshi.

 

Ayala Center Cebu summer

AYALA CENTER CEBU. The Ayala Center Cebu team led by general manager Celeste “Bong” Dy hosted the launch party for the mall’s summer activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mactan Doc starts expansion, breaks ground for Medical Arts building

To better cater to the growing local and tourist population, Mactan Doctors Hospital will undergo a three-phase expansion starting with the construction of a Medical Arts Building. Dr. Potenciano “Yong”…

To better cater to the growing local and tourist population, Mactan Doctors Hospital will undergo a three-phase expansion starting with the construction of a Medical Arts Building.

Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, chairman and president of the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, said it has been a longtime dream of the company to make Mactan Doctors in Lapu-Lapu City a major player in the health industry.

“One of the marching orders I’ve given down the line is don’t let the patients cross the bridge. For this to happen, the expansion must ensure that Mactan Doctors Hospital carry the complete facilities and offer affordable rates,” he added.

Mactan Doctors Hospital expansion

TIME CAPSULE. Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, chairman and president of the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, lead company officials and partners in laying down the time capsule to mark the groundbreaking of the Medical Arts Building at Mactan Doctors Hospital.

3-phase expansion

After the construction of a new Medical Arts building, the second phase of the expansion will be to transform the space currently occupied by the clinics into a two-storey structure that will house the emergency room with a 24-hour concierge.

Increasing hospital capacity from 160 to 300 beds will be the third phase of the expansion, added Larrazabal. He led the groundbreaking of the Medical Arts building last March 10. Once completed, the structure will have at least 50 shared clinics.

Mactan Doctors, which is part of a network of facilities under the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, will spend from P150 to P175 million for the whole development. According to Larrazabal, each phase of the expansion will take about six months.

Healthcare demand

This will be the fourth expansion by Mactan Doctors since its opening in 1993, said Medical Director Dr. Joselito Montesclaros. He added that the move is necessary because the demand for healthcare in Mactan has risen exponentially with the increase in the number of residents and tourists.

Mactan Doc expansion

CEREMONY. Mactan Doctors, which is part of a network of facilities under the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, will spend from P150 to P175 million for the whole development.

Mactan Doctors will also be introducing medical procedures previously offered only in Cebu City hospitals, such as a dialysis treatment, laparoscopic surgery, hyperbaric medicine, and positron-emission tomography (PET) scan. It will soon offer residency training programs as well.

Other members of the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals are also scheduled for upgrades and expansion. These initiatives will include a trauma center in South General Hospital and Mother and Child Center in North Gen.

Mactan Doc expansion

SIGNING. Officials led by Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, chairman and president of the CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, sign building plans and documents to mark the groundbreaking.

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Manang Juling’s Kilawan brings specialty seafood menu to Cebu City

A legacy of Cebuano flavors passed down through three generations of women continues on with the opening of Manang Juling’s Kilawan in Cebu City. Sisters Sarah A. Suizo and Alicia…

A legacy of Cebuano flavors passed down through three generations of women continues on with the opening of Manang Juling’s Kilawan in Cebu City.

Sisters Sarah A. Suizo and Alicia A. Daan said the family business of serving kinilaw and seafood dishes started as a single table in Tangke, Talisay with their grandmother Estel Labajo in the 1960s.

Hers was one of the first eateries to serve fish prepared through the “sutukil” or sinugba, tinola, and kinilaw method.

Manang Juling’s Kilawan

KINILAW or ceviche is a specialty of the eatery then known as Kilawan sa Talisay that started on a single table in Barangay Tangke in the 1960s.

Estel’s daughter Juling Abarquez took over the business that was known then by the generic name Kilawan sa Talisay together with a few other eateries that were serving similar fare.

New Kilawan branch

The small eatery grew and transformed into Manang Juling’s Kilawan in Tangke beginning in 1986, due in part to the family being able to buy the lot it was squatting on and build a more permanent structure.

Manang Juling’s Kilawan nilarang

Nilarang tasik.

Manang Juling’s Kilawan brings the experience closer to Cebuanos with the opening of a branch in Mango Square Mall (right across Century Plaza) in Cebu City.

Suizo said her promise to customers in both Manang Juling’s Kilawan branches is that they will be served the freshest seafood. The restaurant gets its supply of fish, shellfish, crabs, and shrimps directly from fishers immediately after they dock with the day’s catch in Tangke.

Manang Juling’s Kilawan

NEW BRANCH. Sisters Sarah A. Suizo and Alicia A. Daan at the new branch of Manang Juling’s Kilawan in Mango Square Mall in Cebu City.

Manang Juling’s menu

Manang Juling’s serves appetizers like kinilaw na tangigue, sinuglaw, kinilaw na sunlutan, kinilaw na lato, guso, or lukot. Soup orders include tinolang halaan or tangigue, sinigang na lapu-lapu or pasayan, and tinolang bug-atan.

Main courses range from seafood to sinugba as well as meat dishes. Diners can choose from inun-unan (tuna belly or tangigue), nukos adobao, steamed lambay, garlic shrimp, fried nukos, ginisang scallops, steamed bongcawil, and crispy ikog sa tuna.

Manang Juling’s Kilawan Mango Square Mall

Ginisang scallops.

There is also a wide selection of sinugba menu: tuna na panga, tuna belly, kitong, tasik, nukos, pork belly, and manok.

Restaurant hours

The main dining area in Manang Juling’s Kilawan in Mango Square Mall can seat around 50 people. There is additional space in the function room.

Suizo said they had refused partnership offers in the past for the opening of a branch in Cebu City. They were recently persuaded by members of the Yap family, who are also longtime customers of Manang Juling’s. This is why it took them 40 years to put up another branch, added Daan.

Manang Juling’s Kilawan also offers catering and packed meals. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. For reservations and catering inquiries, Manang Juling’s may be reached at +6332 254 2283. Get updates by following them on Facebook @manangjulingskilawan and Instagram @manangjulings.

More photos of Manang Juling’s Kilawan in Mango Square Mall

Manang Juling’s Kilawan

Garlic shrimp.

 

Manang Juling’s Kilawan Mango Square Mall

Crunchy delicious bagnet.

 

Manang Juling’s Kilawan Mango Square Mall

Sinugbang tuna belly.

 

Manang Juling’s Kilawan Mango Square Mall

Tinolang bug-atan

 

Manang Juling’s Kilawan Mango Square Mall

STEAMED BONGKAWIL. Sarah Suizo said her promise to customers in both Manang Juling’s Kilawan branches is that they will be served the freshest seafood. The restaurant gets its supply of fish, shellfish, crabs, and shrimps directly from fishers immediately after they dock with the day’s catch in Tangke.

 

Manang Juling’s Kilawan Mango Square Mall

Kinilaw na lato

 

Manang Juling’s Kilawan Mango Square Mall

Nukos adobao

 

Manang Juling’s Kilawan Mango Square Mall

More kinilaw and mini-turon.

 

Manang Juling’s Kilawan Mango Square Mall

The kinilaw was our favorite.

 

Manang Juling’s Kilawan

Sisters Sarah A. Suizo and Alicia A. Daan with their staff at Manang Juling’s Kilawan in Mango Square Mall. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Megaworld set to open La Salle-supervised school in Mactan Newtown

A student-centered learning institution under the supervision of the De La Salle Brothers will open this June for school year 20018-2019 within the Mactan development of property giant Megaworld and…

A student-centered learning institution under the supervision of the De La Salle Brothers will open this June for school year 20018-2019 within the Mactan development of property giant Megaworld and has been officially named “Newtown School of Excellence.”

Megaworld Cebu Properties, Inc. president Noli D. Hernandez said the school will initially offer classes for the nursery and kindergarten levels.

The Newtown School of Excellence is a partnership between Megaworld and the Lasallian Schools Supervision Services Association, Inc. (LASSSAI).

Newtown School of Excellence

Megaworld Cebu Properties, Inc. president Noli D. Hernandez (left) and Brother Narciso Erguiza Jr. shortly after the announcement of the opening of Newtown School of Excellence in the property giant’s township in Lapu-Lapu City.

It occupies around a hectare of space near the entrance of Mactan Newtown along the Mactan Circumferential Road. Megaworld has spent P240 million since it started building the school in 2014, according to Hernandez.

La Salle-supervised school

Brother Narciso Erguiza Jr., LASSSAI president, said a La Salle-supervised school is one that they don’t directly own but run for certain companies or groups under the same educational standards.

A De La Salle school operates with the learners as the central concept. Two other criteria they require for a school they run or supervise are that it must be a Catholic and there must be a good percentage of students from poor families, he added.

Newtown School of Excellence

Newtown School of Excellence. The school will initially offer classes for the nursery and kindergarten levels.

Erguiza cited they ensure that at least 20 percent of the student population are on full scholarships in all their schools. He added he would want to raise this to 30 percent in the Newtown School of Excellence.

“This school will primarily cater to the children of township homeowners, particularly those who live in our condominium developments. We will also cater to the children of the expat community and residents of Lapu-Lapu City and nearby towns and cities as well as the children of those working in nearby businesses and business process outsourcing companies,” said Hernandez.

Newtown School of Excellence

PRESS CONFERENCE. Harold Geronimo (right), Megaworld Senior Assistant Vice President and Head for Public Relations and Media Affairs, answers a question during the press conference to announce the opening of Newtown School of Excellence. 

Technology-based learning

The target is to add grade levels by school year until the Newtown School of Excellence will be running on full capacity up to Grade 12.

Erguiza said the school can accommodate around 1,000 students when it is fully operational.

Newtown School of Excellence

The Newtown School of Excellence, as with any De La Salle school, operates with the learners as the central concept.

The Newtown School of Excellence will have two main buildings when completed. The single-storey Kindergarten Building is composed of three classrooms, a library, playground, and multipurpose hall. On the other hand, the five-story Elementary Building will feature 21 classrooms, audio-visual rooms, computer rooms, music room, home economics room, prayer room, library and learning resource center, auditorium, covered court, physical education instruction room, science laboratories, clinic, and its own canteen.

According to Hernandez, the curricula in the different programs offered at the school will be technology-based and geared towards academic excellence and proficiency.

The Newtown School of Excellence will have two main buildings when completed. Megaworld has spent P240 million since it started building the school in 2014.

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SM Home out to beautify condos in weekend event in Cebu

Condo living has become popular in Cebu and SM Home helps unit owners make the most of the lifestyle through a series of talks by design experts this weekend at…

Condo living has become popular in Cebu and SM Home helps unit owners make the most of the lifestyle through a series of talks by design experts this weekend at the Northwing Atrium of SM City Cebu.

Cebuano designers Maybelline Te, Hannah Lim, Janet Lo-Lee, and Kate Ngo will share tips on choosing colors and furniture or hiring design help as well as secrets to maximizing space and sprucing up a starter condominium during the SM Home Design Series: The Essentials of Condo Living from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this February 24 and 25.

SM Home Design Series

DESIGN IDEAS. SM Home assistant vice president for marketing Tom Castañeda at the Northwing Atrium where home vignettes have been set up to showcase condo interior design ideas.

One goal of this campaign is to show customers that everything they need for their homes is available at SM Home, said the brand’s assistant vice president for marketing Tom Castañeda.

SM Home Design Series

Since a lot of people who come into the store may be overwhelmed by all the available options especially because they don’t have design backgrounds, SM Home launched the Design Series last September in Makati and brings it to Cebu for the first time this weekend, he added.

SM Home Design Series: The Essentials of Condo Living

BEDROOM AND LIVING ROOM. The bedroom was designed by Hannah Lim, the living room by Maybelline Te.

The event’s theme highlights the growing popularity of condo living not just in Makati but also in Cebu.

“These days, it’s common to see condo sizes diminish in size. They’re getting tinier and tinier! And as developers offer less space, homeowners have to figure out how to best maximize their spaces, how they can avoid sacrificing some of their needs without feeling cooped up,” Castañeda said.

Condo living essentials

Castañeda said those who come to the SM Home Design Series: The Essentials of Condo Living at the Northwing Atrium either today or tomorrow, Sunday, can expect free talks from a powerhouse of Cebuano design talents, check out styled home vignettes that demonstrate great condo design, raffle prizes, and an additional 10 percent off on all items at the SM Home in both SM City Cebu and SM Seaside City braches from Feb. 22 to March 8, 2018.

“Since small condos demand creativity when it comes to optimizing space, SM Home has turned to design experts to help highlight ways people can do that in their own homes through a series of condo-like setups, as well as expert-led talks,” he said.

SM Home Design Series: The Essentials of Condo Living

KITCHEN, DINING. The kitchen was designed by Janet Lo, the dining by Kate Ngo.

Beyond the weekend, SM Home also has a visual display person who is trained on interior design and offers free consultation to prospective customers.

Cebuano talents who designed the home vignettes now displayed at the Northwing are Te for the living room, Lim for the bedroom, Lo-Lee for the kitchen, and Ngo for the dining area.

More photos

Bedroom by Hannah Lim

Bedroom by Hannah Lim

A compact bedroom for a childless couple in their late thirties, interior designer Hannah Lim’s iteration of a husband and wife’s love for adventure are punches of refreshing pink and green, as well as rustic wood elements. Hannah Lim is the founder of HL Designs, a Cebu-based studio specializing in model units and common areas for real estate showrooms.

Dining Area by Kate Ngo

Dining Area by Kate Ngo

The furniture designer managed to apply depth to a limiting space. Instead of sticking to the basics, Kate injected drama to an otherwise fuss-free condo dining area by choosing a Scandinavian-inspired dining set which also complements the kitchen, amidst an overflow of leafy foliage and rose gold hang lights—an appetizing concoction of swanky and cozy.

 

Kitchen by Janet Lo-Lee

Kitchen by Janet Lo-Lee

A minimalist maven, the head designer of Janet Lo Lee Design Studio lends her signature style to her interpretation of a Scandinavian chic condo kitchen. An encompassing warm and inviting theme, the area intelligently makes use of space with streamlined, functional fixtures.

 

Living Room by Maybelline Te

Living Room by Maybelline Te

The layering of colors, textures and furniture is what makes Maybelline Te’s condo living room interpretation an exciting one. A designer and manufacturer of home furniture and accessories, Maybelline knows how to stir interest through the depth of decor elements—in this case, a blue tufted sofa bed atop a hot pink hairy rug, two differently-leveled coffee tables placed side by side, and the use of muted pinks and yellows that tempers a frivolous lounge area just right.

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Marco Polo Cebu marks Chinese New Year 2018 with traditional ceremony, food fest

Celebrating the Chinese New Year is tradition in Cebu, and no one does it better than Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. The hotel welcomed CNY 2018, the Year of the Earth…

Celebrating the Chinese New Year is tradition in Cebu, and no one does it better than Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

The hotel welcomed CNY 2018, the Year of the Earth Dog, with lion and dragon dances, eye dotting ceremony, Yee Sang Ceremony, firecrackers to ward off evil, coin toss, and a culinary celebration at Cafe Marco.

Cafe Marco serves up Chinese dishes in the food fest Culinary Impressions of China where diners can indulge in delectable creations for the Lunar New Year up until February 18.

Marco Polo Chinese New Year

CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION. Guests prepare to hold the Prosperity Toss as part of the celebration at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Prosperity toss

Former Philippine Ambassador to China Francisco L. Benedicto,  Cathay Pacific Marketing and Communications Supervisor Connie Cimafranca, and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Melanie Ng were among the guests of honor.

They joined Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager Brian Connelly in the eye dotting ceremony and the Prosperity Toss. It is said that the higher the toss, the better the luck.

On occasion of the Chinese New Year 2018 celebration, the hotel is giving away freebies for those who book a stay by February 28, 2018. They get to enjoy extra benefits, including breakfast for two plus early check in and late check out subject to availability, 30 percent discount on second room booking, and complimentary room upgrade for those staying for three consecutive nights or more.

More photos of the event

Marco Polo

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Former Philippine Ambassador to China Francisco L. Benedicto during the eye dotting ceremony.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Prosperity Toss.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager Brian Connelly leads the lighting of firecrackers outside the hotel.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

A traditional dragon dance at the lobby.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Chili Beef Ribs

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Pan-seared fish in green curry coconut and tomato sauce.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Stir fried beef.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Sauteed scallops.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Mixed seafoods.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Crispy noodles and pork

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Chinese cold platter.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Chorizo Macau salad.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Mushroom and corn salad.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Spicy tofu salad.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Lychee cream puff.

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New Mactan Cebu airport terminal set to open by middle of 2018

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to…

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to have it ready to operate by the first of June.

In the lead-up to opening day, GMR-Megawide will invite stakeholders to check out and test the facility through a series of activities that will be held from April to June, said chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison.

To be invited are representatives from the academe especially engineering students, media, and tourism industry such as those in the hotel, travel, and transport sectors.

There will also be open days when GMCAC, the consortium managing the terminal operations and other related areas of MCIA, will invite members of the general public to register for a tour of the facility, according to branding head JR Torres.

MCIA Terminal 2

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE. Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year.

Terminal 2 features

Harrison added that the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

It pays tribute to Cebu as a resort island and Cebuano heritage of furniture making in the terminal roof that uses glulam, first ever use of the material in an airport, and mimics ocean waves. Glulam, also called glued laminated timber, is made up of layers of wood bonded together with structural adhesives.

The new terminal will have a spacious and airy atmosphere, featuring ceilings that are 26 meters high and full glass walls. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Mactan airport Terminal 2

SPARKLING FLOOR. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Located on a separate floor from the arrival area, the departure level will only have two check-in islands but with several counters.

Increasing passenger traffic

MCIA eyes passenger traffic of 11.2 million in 2018, an increase of 12 percent from last year, with the opening of Terminal 2 and the launch of new flights out of Cebu.

The airport welcomed six additional airlines in 2017, including Air Juan, Juneyao Air, OK Air, Lucky Air, Sichuan Airlines, and Pan Pacific Airlines.

GMCAC credits the positive growth in MCIA’s passenger traffic to its destination marketing initiatives and its positioning of Cebu as gateway to the rest of the Philippines and major transfer hub to international destinations. Harrison said they will continue with their efforts in this direction.

Once the new terminal is operational, Torres said they will start a major renovation of Terminal 1. GMCAC had started initial rehabilitation of the old terminal when it took over management of MCIA and put up a rooftop solar power system that resulted in monthly savings of P1.2 million in electric consumption.

Mactan airport Terminal 2

INCREASED CAPACITY. GMR-Megawide chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison says the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

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SM2SM Run 2018 adds age categories, offers bigger prizes

The SM2SM Run returns for the eighth straight year with a new route, bigger prizes, open and age categories, and newer shirt and medal designs. Race organizer Joel Baring said…

The SM2SM Run returns for the eighth straight year with a new route, bigger prizes, open and age categories, and newer shirt and medal designs.

Race organizer Joel Baring said the SM2SM Run on February 18, 2018 will feature the 21k, 12k, 8k, and 4k categories but only those joining the two longest distances will get medals and have timing chips.

This will be the first time in the yearly running event that the 21k and 12k distances will carry the 40-49 and 50 and above categories, he added. The event was launched last January 24 with SM Prime Holdings Inc. Vice President Marissa Fernan and SM Supermalls Assistant Vice President for Marketing Jenjen Amigo in attendance.

SM2SM Run

MEDALS. Finishers of 21K and 12K in the SM2SM Run will receive these medals.

Encourage running

Fernan said she couldn’t believe how far they have gone after organizing the run for eight years. She said the SM to SM run was able to encourage people to start running and provide the Cebuano running community a quality race to look forward to yearly.

Beneficiaries of this year’s run are the Cebu Newspaper Workers Foundation and the Cebu City Task Force on Street Children.

According to Baring, they expect around 7,000 runners to sign up for the event.

SM2SM Run

SM Prime Holdings Inc. Vice President Marissa Fernan and race organizer Joel Baring during a press conference held for the SM2SM Run.

SM2SM Run prizes

The first male and female runners in the 21k open category will get P50,000 each. Other prizes in the same category: P30,000 for second placers, P20,000 for third placers, P3,000 for the fourth to 10th placers.

Cash prizes also await the top 3 foreign runners in the 21k open category (P15,000 – P10,000 – P7,000 for first to third) and 12k category (P10,000 – P7,000 – P5,000 for first to third).

The top 3 male and female runners in the 21k age categories will get the following prizers: P10,000 for first place, P5,000 for second place, and P3,000 for third place.

On the other hand, the 12k open category lists the following prizes: P20,000 (first place), P10,000 (second place), P8,000 (third place), P2,000 (4th to 10th). The 12k winners in the age categories will get: P5,000 (1st place), P3,000 (2nd place), P2,000 (3rd place).

Gun time, race route

Gun time is 4:00 a.m. for 21k, 5:00 a.m. for 12k, and 5:15 for the 8k and 4k distances. Depending on the distance, the race route will include such roads as S. Osmeña Boulevard, Osmeña Boulevard from Plaza Independencia up to the Provincial Capitol, Escario St., Gorordo Avenue, Salinas Drive, Archbishop Reyes Ave. up to Family Park, and Pope John Paul II Avenue.

The run will accept registrants only up to February 14 at the registration area outside of iStore in the 2nd level of the Northwing Atrium.

SM2SM Run route

Each runner will get a breakfast meal, loot bag, and ticket for the raffle draw.

Exciting prizes will be raffled off during the SM2SM Run, including 8 Cathay Pacific Cebu-Hong Kong roundtrip tickets, 8 Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and 8 Samsung LED TVs.

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Air Juan to start flights soon from seaplane terminal in SRP, Cebu City

Top Philippine beach and island destinations like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Gigantes in Iloilo, Panglao in Bohol, and Kalanggaman in Leyte will soon be minutes away with the…

Top Philippine beach and island destinations like El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Gigantes in Iloilo, Panglao in Bohol, and Kalanggaman in Leyte will soon be minutes away with the opening of Air Juan seaplane flights from Cebu.

Air Juan President John Gutierrez led the unveiling of the company’s seaplane terminal located at Filinvest’s South Road Properties on January 20, 2018. Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña was the guest of honor during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

He said they plan to start flight services from the seaplane terminal to the country’s most beautiful destinations within the first quarter of the year. These also include such places as Sumilon in Oslob, Malapascua, Candijay in Anda, and Lakawon.

Air Juan Cebu

The Air Juan seaplane terminal at the SRP.

Air Juan flights

Air Juan seaplane services from Cebu will supplement landplane services started last June 2017. Beginning in the middle of last year, Air Juan opened scheduled flights from Mactan International Airport to Bantayan, Biliran, Maasin, Sipalay, Siquijor, and Tagbilaran.

Gutierrez said they will soon fly to Catbalogan as well. The Air Juan fleet consists of six Cessna Grand Caravans, four of which are amphibious.

He added that the landplane can carry a maximum of 12 passengers while the seaplane can have as many as nine.

Air Juan Cebu

LAUNCH. Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña (center) was the guest of honor during yesterday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the Air Juan seaplane terminal at the SRP. (Photo from Air Juan Facebook page)

Competitive rates

Air Juan does not compete with other airline companies but with the country’s ferry service.

“Biliran is a five-hour boat ride but Air Juan reduces the travel time to 45 minutes,” according to Gutierrez.

He added that their landplane rates are competitive with ferry fares but seaplane flights are slightly more expensive. The average one-way fare from the Mactan, Cebu airport to Tagbilaran, for example, is from P1,500 to P2,500, while ferries charge around P800.

“We’re not a budget airline but the most convenient. You can’t put a price on a person’s time,” Gutierrez said, citing that they can do in around 20 minutes the four to five hours land travel to Kandaya Resort in Daanbantayan.

Air Juan Cebu

JUST MINUTES AWAY. Top beach and island destinations will soon be just minutes away from Cebu with the opening of Air Juan seaplane flights.

SRP seaplane terminal

Air Juan already has hubs in Manila, Cebu, and Puerto Princesa in Palawan. While Cebu services were started last year, Air Juan operated flights out of Palawan starting four years ago.

Gutierrez said they are targeting not just foreign guests but also locals for Air Juan land and sea flights.

The seaplane terminal in SRP will provide travellers with the most convenient way to island hop, he pointed. He promised that Air Juan scheduled flights will take off even with only one passenger.

Air Juan President John Gutierrez

CONVENIENT. “We’re not a budget airline but the most convenient. You can’t put a price on a person’s time,” Air Juan President John Gutierrez tells reporters and bloggers during yesterday’s event.

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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…

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 Catalogue International (CTCI) 2018 from Jan. 26-28 at Ayala Center Cebu.

The Cebu Alliance of Tour Operation Specialists (CATOS) and Cebu Travel and Tours Association (CTTA) strengthened their alliance to bring about an exceptional three-day travel show that will serve as a one-stop-shop for travellers.

CATOS President Alice Queblatin said the cooperation between the two organizations have resulted in member agencies coming up with tour packages for inbound and outbound that are varied and affordable for the Cebu Travel Catalogue International.

“The expansion of the airport and opening of more routes by domestic and international airlines will make Cebu a top travel hub. With all these, we see the need to strengthen not just tourism products but also the collaboration among industry stakeholders. We want to make travel to and from Cebu a dynamic experience,” she added.

Cebu Travel Catalogue

TRAVEL DEALS. Organizers of the Cebu Travel Catalogue International old a press conference on the three-day travel show that will serve as a one-stop-shop for travellers.

Tour, airfare, cruise deals

Tour packages to any point in the globe, promo airfares for local and international destinations, and luxury cruise deals are among the products on offer during the travel fair, according to CTTA Auditor Aida Uy.

The different travel and tour agencies will also offer discounted supplemental services for visa and other travel needs.

Uy said that those who show up during the three-day event will get freebies and have a chance to win raffle prizes.

CATOS Vice President Marget Villarica said the Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018 encourages Cebuanos to visit local places not just international destinations. The tourism offices of Central Luzon, Eastern Visayas, Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Visaya, Bohol, and Davao will also be present to provide information on travel to their respective areas.

With more domestic carriers opening new routes, it has become easier and more convenient to go from Cebu to such places as Batanes, El Nido, and Catanduanes, added CTTA Secretary Cookie Chan.

Popular destinations

For international destinations, Chan added, places with cool temperatures are popular with Philippine travellers during the Holy Week and summer break.

Travellers can expect fantastic deals on springtime travel to South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan when they book during the three-day travel fair. Jeju, which doesn’t require a visa from Filipinos, is also popular and tour packages to this South Korean destination on chartered flights will also be on offer.

CTTA Public Relations Officer Sheila Colmenares, who gave a rundown on the different activities during CTCI 2018, said there will be stage activities and entertainment shows. The travel fair will formally open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the first day, January 26.

BPI cardholders get the added advantage of booking airfare and tour packages under a zero percent interest three-month installment plan, according to CTTA Vice President Baby Dy.

CTTA President Alan Carvajal urged Cebuanos to take advantage of the exceptional offers by planning their 2018 trips during the Cebu Travel Catalogue International 2018 from January 26-28 at Ayala Center Cebu.

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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?…

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? Taga Mandaue? Let TAGA Your Origin shirts declare your hometown roots; they come in trendy, fun, and unique designs.

A brainchild of friends Maureen Eliot and Noreen Mondragon Tormis, the TAGA shirts provide people the opportunity to be proud of their origin by wearing it.

TAGA Your Origin

TAGA Your Origin co-founders Maureen Eliot (left) and Noreen Mondragon Tormis along with collaborator Carlo Rodriguez of LiliLa, which provided the accessories.

Another goal of the brand is to create quality clothing that connects people, through an apparel that makes a statement and initiates conversation.

Customizable Sinulog shirts

The shirts are of good quality cotton and perfect for Cebu’s tropical weather. They are sold at P348 each and come with a beautiful bag as packaging.

TAGA Sinulog shirts come with either a bracelet, dreamcatcher, or headdress through a collaboration with Carlo Rodriguez of LiliLa, which is the source of the accessories.

TAGA Your Origin

PRIDE OF PLACE. TAGA Your Origin sells shirts that show pride of place. All the shirts are sold at P348 and come with a beautiful bag as packaging. The Sinulog shirt comes with either a bracelet, dreamcatcher, or headdress.

Available in both men’s and women’s styles and a variety of colors, the shirts can be ordered via the brand’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TAGAyourorigin.

Interested buyers may also email them at [email protected]. Follow TAGA on Twitter and Instagram @taga_yourorigin for more info and updates.

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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…

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 until January 21, indulge in such local favorites as kinilaw na isda, puso sa saging, lato, and guto; ginamos and sinugba na buwad; manggang hilaw with hipon; monggos, humba and kaldereta na kanding; lechon belly and lechon kawali; inasal na manok and other Cebuano dishes raised to the level of a fine dining experience at Cebu City’s finest.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Sugbusog 2018

STARTERS. From chicharon or pork cracklings to itlog maalat salad, paliya salad, and manggang hilaw, Sugbusog 2018 at Cafe Marco in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu is a feast of Cebuano favorites.

Have your fill of Cebu street food like qwek-qwek, ginabot, ngohiong, balot and the local sweet staples for dessert. The Cafe Marco dessert station carries such delicacies as masareal, bokayo, leche flan, pichi-pichi, puto cheese, masi, kutsinta, and of course halo-halo.

Satisfy your craving for seafood like saang, pasayan, and sinugba na isda throughout Sugbusog 2018, which runs from January 12-21 at Cafe Marco.

The Cebuano favorites are served on top of the regular international buffet spread at Cafe Marco. Buffet prices are P1,150 net for lunch, P1,440 net for dinner, and P1,450 net for Sunday brunch.

Marco Polo Sugbusog 2018

Lato and guso.

The Sinulog-inspired decorations and creative food presentation add to the rich festival atmosphere at Cafe Marco and the rest of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

A replica of the popular Cebu attraction Magellan’s Cross with a Sto. Niño inside now decorates the hotel lobby. Sto. Niño patrons Helen Ynclino-Bucag, Val San Diego, Ben Chua, Ed Tan, and Josie Pereyra have loaned out their Sto. Niño image collections for exhibit at Marco Polo Cebu.

For inquiries and reservations, contact Marco Polo Plaza Cebu at +63 32 2531111 local 8249 or [email protected].

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Sugbusog 2018

SUGBUSOG 2018. The culinary festival at Cafe Marco in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu runs until January 21.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Sugbusog 2018

Buwad nukos.

 

Sugbusog 2018 Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

More buwad.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Kinilaw

 

Sugbusog 2018

Chicharon

 

Sugbusog 2018

Kinilaw na paliya

 

Sugbusog 2018 kaldereta kanding

Kaldereta na kanding.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Lechon belly

 

Marco Polo 2018 Sugbusog

Saang and other sea shells.

 

Marco Polo Sugbusog 2018

Inasal na manok and piniritong tiil sa baboy.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Dinuldog na kalabasa

 

Sugbusog 2018

Pasayan or shrimps.

 

Sinanduloy.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Lechon kawali.

 

Marco Polo Sugbusog

Tinunuon nga monggos with alugbati.

 

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Sugbusog 2018

STREET FOOD MAINSTAYS qwek-qwek, bola-bola, ngohiong, and ginabot.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Ginamos

 

Sugbusog 2018

Buwad nukos or dried squid.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Linung-ag nga saging, ginamos

 

Sugbusog 2018

Argao torta

 

Sugbusog 2018

Mandaue bibingka

 

Sugbusog 2018

Pichi pichi and kutchinta.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Bocayo and ampao from Carcar.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Biko and maja blanca.

 

Sugbusog 2018

More local desserts.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Masi and bocayo.

 

Sugbusog 2018

Dessert station.

 

Sugbusog 2018

LOBBY. A replica of the Magellan’s Cross greets guests at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu lobby.

 

Sugbusog 2018

STO. NIÑO. One of the images on exhibit at the lobby.

 

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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…

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 of designs for your Sinulog 2018 #OOTDs.

Personalization and customization are still very much in trend, and this year’s styles and accessories are new and have never been used in the past, said Islands Group executive vice president Camille V. Aldeguer.

Islands Souvenirs launched its Cut & Style campaign last Friday, January 12, at the Northwing in SM City Cebu. It is one of the places where one can pick a Sinulog shirt from over a hundred designs plus embellishments like feathers, studs, and beads and have it cut and styled.

Sinulog Cut and Style

SINULOG CUT & STYLE. Islands Souvenirs incorporates tribal fusion characterized by feathers and gems in this year’s campaign.

Customers can also choose to paint their shirts with safe and washable festival dust for a more colorful Sinulog 2018 experience. The Cut & Style gives festival-goers tons of options to create an unforgettable Sinulog experience.

Cut & Style fashion show

Islands Souvenirs will hold the Cut & Style Grand Fashion Show on January 19, 2018 at the SM City Northwing featuring this year’s Cut & Style Ambassadors, Binibining Cebu Queens Apriel Smith, Samantha Ashley Lo, and Maria Gigante.

Sinulog Cut and Style locations

LOCATIONS. Islands Souvenirs Cut & Style is available in SM Northwing (shown in photo) and Islands Souvenirs stores in SM City Cebu upper ground floor, SM City Cebu Atrium, Robinsons Place Fuente, SM Seaside City, Sinulog Square (Magallanes St., across Magellan’s Cross).

Master couturier and fashion icon Cary Santiago will also feature his exclusive Cut & Style creations on the runway.

Celebrity siblings Donny and Hannah Pangilinan, plus other celebrity guests, and local Cebu celebrities will perform during the fashion event as a special treat.

Aside from Northwing, Cut & Style is also available in Islands Souvenirs stores in SM City Cebu upper ground floor, SM City Cebu Atrium, Robinsons Place Fuente, SM Seaside City, Sinulog Square (Magallanes St., across Magellan’s Cross).

More photos of Sinulog Cut & Style Launch

Sinulog Cut & Style

6TH YEAR. Islands Souvenirs Cut & Style campaign as it returns for the sixth year with a new lineup of designs for your Sinulog 2018 #OOTDs.

 

Sinulog Cut & Style

TRIBAL FUSION. This year’s theme is tribal fusion characterized by feathers and gems.

 

Sinulog Cut & Style

SINULOG #OOTD. The Cut & Style gives festival-goers tons of options to create an unforgettable Sinulog experience.

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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…

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 #PayMayaInMessenger.

Although I’ve known about this update for some time, I only found time today (a few minutes ago, actually) to link my existing PayMaya and Messenger accounts.

Linking PayMaya, Messenger accounts

I clicked on this link – m.me/PayMayaOfficial – that was provided by the official PayMaya Facebook account and followed the instructions. Pardon the cliche, but it really was a walk in the park.

Less than a minute after I put in the mobile number associated with my PayMaya account, I received notification that I would already be able to buy load, pay bills, send money, and deposit cash through PayMaya in Messenger.

PayMaya Facebook Messenger

BUY LOAD ON CHAT. With PayMaya, you can buy cellphone load, pay bills, and send money on Facebook Messenger.

PayMaya in Messenger transactions

I had a field day trying out the many options. I bought load and sent money to my husband just for the fun of trying the transactions out.

Stoked to find out I can actually now pay my PLDT bill and Pru Life UK premiums through PayMaya in Messenger. The Visayan Electric Company, NSO, Skycable, Manulife, Cignal were in the long list of billers, too.

PayMaya Messenger

SEND MONEY. You can send and receive money via PayMaya in Facebook Messenger.

PayMaya Refer and Earn Promo

What’s even more exciting? There is an ongoing PayMaya Refer and Earn Promo where you get to earn P50 when someone uses your referral link to open or link a PayMaya account on Messenger. Your friend gets P50, too.

Here’s how you refer and earn:

  • Go to your PayMaya account in Messenger by clicking on this link: http://pymy.co/get50
  • Click on the promo notification or go to “Promos” in the menu and select “Refer Friends, Get P50” and share the promo message with your Messenger contacts (open to both Smart and Globe subscribers)
  • Get a maximum of 25 successful referrals, and earn a maximum of P1,250 worth of incentives

When you click on the link to PayMaya in Messenger, you actually have two options: link your PayMaya and Messenger accounts or open a PayMaya account in Messenger if you still don’t have one.

#PayMayaInMessenger Contest

Wait! There’s more. If share this post and tag 5 of your friends to create or link a PayMaya account on Messenger as a comment, you get a chance to be one of five people to win P1,000 each in PayMaya credits. So what are you waiting for? #PayMayaMoNow.

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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 [email protected] 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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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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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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Blu Bar and Grill pairs great food, fantastic wines in Moonlit Wine Dinner

Seafood on ice, it said on the menu. It doesn’t quite describe the delight of an appetizer that formally started our Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill…

Seafood on ice, it said on the menu. It doesn’t quite describe the delight of an appetizer that formally started our Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Smoke enveloped the dish as it was brought to the table over exclamations of amazement, a pair each of fresh shrimps, mussels, scallops served atop a block of ice shaped like a bowl.

Marco Polo Moonlit Wine Dinner

MAIN COURSE. Marco Polo chefs slice roast tenderloin for serving to those who joined the Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill.

It came with the perfect complements: half a slice of lemon wrapped in a dainty net to trap the seeds when squeezed, spicy tomato-based dip, and a glass of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Reserva Especial Chardonnay from Chile.

Our wine-pairing dinner just started, but it was easy to see we were in for a treat.

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

SEAFOOD ON ICE. Smoke enveloped the dish as it was brought to the table over exclamations of amazement, a pair each of fresh shrimps, mussels, scallops served atop a block of ice shaped like a bowl.

Culinary creations

We savored the foie gras paté with a glass of carmenere in between conversations that hopped from good food to family and reminisces of travel, in particular Taiwan, because we happened to be seated near a Taiwanese working for a Japanese IT company in Cebu.

The main course was Churrasco, and it included freshly roasted tenderloin slices and lamb cubes, sausages, pork belly, and fish fillets. We enjoyed the meat selections from both land and sea with another glass of red wine, this time poured from a bottle of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo.

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

MAIN COURSE. The main course was Churrasco, and it included freshly roasted tenderloin slices and lamb cubes, sausages, pork belly, and fish fillets. This was paired with a bottle of Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Moonlit Wine Dinner combined creations by the culinary geniuses of the Blu Bar and Grill and wines from Chile distributed by Titania Wine Cellar, Inc., said General Manager Mr. Brian Connelly.

“It’s not just the fact that the food and wine are both great, but the way we put them together to complement each other,” Mr. Connelly told dinner guests shortly before the start of the dinner.

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

PISTACHIO ice cream on warm choco lava topped with vanilla sauce, paired with a glass of merlot.

Dinner with moonshine

Manna Alcaraz, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Communications Manager, said the wine-pairing dinner was intentionally scheduled last October 27, 2017 when it was waxing towards a full moon.

She added that the initial plan is to hold it one night every month when there is a lot of moonshine but they would probably start with quarterly Moonlit Wine Dinner events for now.

The first Moonlit dinner introduced wines manufactured under the Baron de Philippe de Rothschild brand and distributed in the Philippines by Titania Wines.

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

ROAST PORK. One of the many highlights of a great evening: delicious food, good wines, and great company.

Fine wine selections

Mr. Connelly said the wines that accompanied the food, from the chardonnay and escudo rojo to cabernet sauvignon, include some very fine selections from Chile.

From a full main course, we feasted on a selection of cheeses washed down with the Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dinner ended on a sweet note with pistachio ice cream on warm choco lava topped with vanilla sauce, made all the sweeter by a glass of merlot.

Interested in this incredible extravaganza of food and wine? Call Marco Polo Plaza Cebu at +6332 253 1111 for the next wine pairing dinner schedule.

More photos of Moonlit Wine Dinner

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

GOOD FOOD, GREAT COMPANY. Our table with Manna Alcaraz (raising wine glass), Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Communications Manager, writer Dr. Nestor Alonso (standing) and staff of Titania Wines.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

CHEESES. This plate was paired with Baron de Philippe de Rothschild Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

FOIE GRAS PATE paired with a glass of carmenere.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

MAIN COURSE. Meat selections.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

FOOD, WINE PAIRING. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Mr. Brian Connelly watches fireworks after opening Moonlit Wine Dinner. “It’s not just the fact that the food and wine are both great, but the way we put them together to complement each other,” he says.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

MARCO POLO CHEFS get a much-deserved applause from the dinner guests.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner

MOONLIT WINE DINNER combined creations by the culinary geniuses of the Blu Bar and Grill and wines from Chile distributed by Titania Wine Cellar, Inc.

 

Moonlit Wine Dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

MEAT SELECTIONS.

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