Categories
1521 Feature Heritage History

Cebu Archdiocese, CBCP to focus on first baptism, spread of faith in 2021 celebration

The baptism of Cebuanos led by Rajah Humabon will be the focus of the Archdiocese of Cebu and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in their celebration of the 500th year of the Christianization of the Philippines

On December 1, 2019, the church will start a 500-day countdown to April 14, 2021, the 500th anniversary of the first baptism in the Philippines. On that day in 1521, 800 Cebuanos under Humabon were baptized by members of the Spanish armada led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

On April 14, 2021, 500 children with special needs will be baptized as part of the reenactment of that first baptism.

Jubilee Cross sendoff

Also on December 1, church officials will send off the Jubilee Cross, a replica of Magellan’s cross made of tindalo wood that will have in it a relic of the True Cross. The Jubilee Cross will visit the different parishes in Cebu and the rest of the Philippines.

The activities were announced earlier today by church officials led by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and CBCP President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles during a press conference in the Executive Lounge of Oakridge Business Park in Mandaue City.

2021 EVENTS. Officials announce the official activities for the 500th anniversary of the Christianization in the Philippines. Present during the press conference in Oakridge Business Park are (from left) Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili; Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, who is also the CBCP president; Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who heads the Visayas Quincentennial Committee; and Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones.
2021 EVENTS. Officials announce the official activities for the 500th anniversary of the Christianization in the Philippines. Present during the press conference in Oakridge Business Park are (from left) Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili; Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, who is also the CBCP president; Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who heads the Visayas Quincentennial Committee; and Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones.

Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili said the 2021 celebration has three pillars around which events are organized – celebration, formation, and legacy. He said the 2021 celebration has many highlights – including the arrival of the Sto. Nino, for which the Augustinian community started a countdown today. He said the archdiocese chose to focus on the baptism because “it is when our faith was planted in our hearts.”

Open Holy Door

Fr. Balili said they requested Pope Francis for permission to open the Holy Door for plenary indulgence and extend this to the 9 oldest churches in Cebu. Archbishop Palma will also celebrate the Misa de Gallo in 2020 in these 9 oldest churches, which include Bantayan, Argao, Barili, Boljoon, Carcar, San Nicolas, among others.

Key events leading to 2021 including the holding of monthly jubilees involving church organizations, ministries, and sectors of society. The jubilees are pegged on feast days of saints.

Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones highlighted the importance of the events saying 2021 is unrepeatable, irreplaceable and irrevocable. He said it is a “once in a lifetime event.”

“If Bethlehem is point x of our salvation history, in the Philippines, Cebu – the cradle of Christianity – is the point x where faith spread,” he said.

HERITAGE WALK. Designer Kenneth Cobonpue, head of the Visayas Quincentennial Committee, discusses the heritage walk the Cebu City Government and various stakeholders want to put up in time for the celebration.
HERITAGE WALK. Designer Kenneth Cobonpue, head of the Visayas Quincentennial Committee, discusses the heritage walk the Cebu City Government and various stakeholders want to put up in time for the celebration.

Mission congress

Part of the preparation for the year-long celebration leading to the quincentennial is the holding of mission congresses in the different parishes from August to October 2020. The Archdiocesan Mission Congress will be held on October 24, 2020. This will culminate with the sendoff of 500 missionaries outside extra during the National Mission Congress on April 12-16, 2021.

On April 11 to 18, 2021, organizers will stage an Amorsolo Painting Exhibit. One of Fernando Amorsolo’s most important paintings is “The First Baptism in the Philippines.”

Triduum celebrations will also be held three days before the baptism anniversary. Preceding it is the arrival of the Jubilee Cross scheduled on April 10, 2021. The first day of Triduum on April 11 will be held at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The second day will be at the National Shrine of St. Joseph while the last day will be at the Sto. Niño Pilgrim Center. The Triduum will end with a procession around Cebu City.

First recorded Easter Mass

Valles said the church will mark the first recorded Easter Mass with a national celebration of masses. The Mojares panel is still looking into the question on where the first mass in the Philippines was held. Two previous panels have ruled in favor of Limasawa against the other claimant Butuan.

During today’s press conference, renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who is head of the Visayas Quincentennial Committee, unveiled the planned downtown heritage walk that would take people to historical buildings and locations, including churches, in Cebu City. (See separate story).

Valles said the CBCP will send an invitation to Vatican for Pope Francis but they said they are aware of how tight his schedule is. He said it is likely that a papal legate will attend the events for the Vatican. He said they will also be sending an invitation to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Categories
Business Feature Properties Travel

Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown opens

With its 547 guest rooms, Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown is the biggest hotel in terms of number of rooms in Mactan Island and the 2nd biggest in the entire Cebu.

The 18-storey hotel officially opened today. The hotel targets mostly business travelers and family vacationers because of its proximity to the beach and resorts around Mactan, as well as the new Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

“Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown is just 15 minutes away from the airport, which makes it a perfect choice for business travelers. Its location also allows one to experience the beach and the township at the same time, where restaurants, cafes, supermarket, spa, and other retail shops are just within easy reach,” said Megaworld Hotel Managing Director Raymundo Melendres.

Categories
1521 Feature History

Lapulapu statue implicated in deaths of Opon mayors

In the old town center of Opon, the old name of Lapu-Lapu City when it was still a municipality, stands a statue of Lapulapu carrying a staff. Far from being the warrior that is depicted in the bigger and more popular statue in Liberty Shrine eight kilometers away, this Lapulapu looks less menacing.

He’s more shepherd than warrior. It’s ridiculous, said historian Jobers Bersales in an interview, “alho man daw na.”

Lapulapu legends

That alho or pestle figures in the many legends and myths that obscure the historical Lapulapu, National Artist Dr. Resil Mojares said in a paper he read during the Symposium on Lapulapu at the University of San Carlos on April 21, 1979.

One of the legends had the mythical Datu Mangal, said to be Lapulapu’s father, asking the warrior to make an alho out of a biyanti tree and hurl it against a coconut tree and if the pestle pierces the trunk then it would serve as a good omen that he will be victorious in the upcoming battle with the Spaniards. Lapulapu did so and not only did the pestle pierce the coconut trunk, it went through five, according to some accounts.)

Mojares said that folk tradition has Lapulapu himself killing Magellan with a blow of the alho.

Lapulapu statue then and now.

While interesting, there are scant historical bases for the tradition, Mojares said.

The killing by Lapulapu of Magellan with a blow of the alho does not jibe with Pigafetta’s account of his killing. He was killed with a poisoned arrow, Bersales said.

Also, Oponganons during Lapulapu’s time may have been orang-laut or sea-nomads who inhabit the sea, Mojares wrote. “They were obviously more attached to the sea than the land,” he wrote.

Canuto Baring and stories of Lapulapu

“It strikes us therefore as strange that an alho, an agricultural implement, should figure prominently in the Lapulapu legend,” said Mojares.

The alho myth ties up with the stories of Canuto Baring “a popular source of Lapulapu legends who claimed direct descent from the hero.” He died in 1962.

Mojares wrote that in 1930, a giant alho and kuwako (pipe) said to be of Lapulapu and owned by Baring were put on exhibit. Kuwako ug alho ni Lapulapu ipasundayag sa Kamabal, reported Bag-ong Kusug on January 3, 1930.

His daughter Antonia, however, told Mojares in an interview that “these were just old artifacts that were dug up and “ascribed” to the hero.”

LAPULAPU. A photograph of the Lapulapu stature on October 10, 1949 by “Life” photographer Jack Birns. Beyond the statue is the old Opon church. (Photo from John Tewell’s Flickr account)
LAPULAPU. A photograph of the Lapulapu stature on October 10, 1949 by “Life” photographer Jack Birns. Beyond the statue is the old Opon church. (Photo from John Tewell’s Flickr account)

Deaths of Opon mayors

But when the statue was put up in 1933, Lapulapu was armed with a bow and arrow and aimed at the direction of the old Opon municipal hall across the town plaza.

Three successive mayors then died in office – Rito de la Serna, Gregorio de la Serna, and Simeon Amodia – all serving short terms. Superstitious townsfolk blamed the Lapulapu statue for their deaths.

It was modified during the term of Mariano Dimataga, who assumed as Open chief executive in 1938. The bow and arrow were taken away and replaced with the staff or pestle. Dimataga remained chief executive for the next 30 years, the longest serving town mayor of Opon and the first city mayor when the town became Lapu-Lapu City.

Categories
1521 Feature Heritage History

In Oslob, Fr. Bermejo looks out to sea he protected in his lifetime

Just outside the compound of the Inmaculada Concepcion parish church in Oslob, southern Cebu, stands a forlorn statue of a slightly hunched priest holding a cross — as if to offer a blessing — while looking out to the open sea.

The statue is that of Fr. Julian Bermejo, an Augustinian priest who played a pivotal role in protecting Cebu and other parts of the Visayas from devastating Moro raids in the 19th century.

He was called “El Padre Capitan” and served as the commander-in-chief of the defense network, centered in nearby Boljoon, against Moro raiders who staged regular pirate attacks for looting and slave raiding, said Paul Gerschwiler in his book “Bolhoon A Cultural Sketch.”

EL PADRE CAPITAN. The statue of Fr. Julian Bermejo OSA in Oslob stands in front of the ruins of the baluarte – the watchtower part of a network that he organized to protect southern Cebu towns from Moro raiders.
EL PADRE CAPITAN. The statue of Fr. Julian Bermejo OSA in Oslob stands in front of the ruins of the baluarte – the watchtower part of a network that he organized to protect southern Cebu towns from Moro raiders.

Behind his statue are the ruins of a watchtower, a defensive structure that he organized into a grid that served as sentinels against the marauding Moros. That network and the defensive system he set up ultimately stopped the pirate raids in the middle of the 19th century.

Categories
1521 Feature Heritage

You think you’re kinky? Wait till you read about sexual practices of ancient Cebuanos

(WARNING: this article tackles a mature subject in graphic fashion)

These people go naked, Italian scholar Antonio Pigafetta wrote in his account of the Armada de Molucca’s stay in Zzubu or Cebu, “wearing only a piece of cloth made of palm around their shameful parts.”

“They have as many wives as they wish, but there is always a chief one,” he added.

Then he wrote about a practice that, according to historian Laurence Bergreen, both fascinated and appalled explorers from around the world: palang.

“The males, both large and small, have the head of their member pierced from one side to the other, with a pin of gold or of tin as thick as a goose feather; and at each end of this pin some have a star-shaped decoration like a button, and others, one like the head of a cart nail,” Pigafetta said.

The middle of the pin has a hole through which they urinate, he added. “The pin and the stars always remain firm, holding the member stiff.”

Categories
Events Feature Lifestyle

Film screenings, workshops kick off Cebu International Film Festival 2019

Cebu’s filmmaking industry is young and fragmented and the Cebu International Film Festival (Cebu.IFF) is working to become the platform for showcasing and reviving love for local films.

Festival Director Peachy Fajatin said the Cebu film scene is growing but it’s in the early stages and divided into several small groups.

And while there are promising Cebuano filmmakers, many of them leave for Manila so they can practice their craft, added Cebu.IFF President Mel Allego.

Cebu International Film Festival (Cebu.IFF)

FILM FESTIVAL IN CEBU. Organizers of the Cebu International Film Festival (Cebu.IFF) hold a press conference on the event that will run from September 25 to 27. From left are Cebu.IFF President Mel Allego, Festival Director Peachy Fajatin, and Board Members Christelle Dychangco and Lilu Aliño.

One of the objectives of Cebu.IFF will be to encourage the creation of films with global reach, according to Board Member Lilu Aliño. She added that they continue to hold the festival to raise enthusiasm for filmmaking and improve the status of the industry.

Festival highlights

The Cebu International Film Festival 2019, which is the event’s 8th edition, will run from September 25-27 and takes on the theme “Celebrating 100 years of Philippine Cinema.”

Fajatin said they will be screening over 100 films that are competing under the full length and short feature categories for international and Philippine focus, animation, and student group.

This year, Cebu.IFF will introduce for the first time a pitching event that includes a workshop and pitch market where local filmmakers can find co-producers or funding for their films.

The workshops scheduled for September 25 are another festival highlight. These include the talk on “Setting up Your Animation Studio with No Capital” by Emot Amodia and “Film Storytelling and Animation Workshops: Ideas Into Action” by Crispo Mojica.

Cebu International Film Festival (Cebu.IFF)

Film screenings

Festival organizers urged Cebuanos to take advantage of free screenings of films submitted by filmmakers from 17 countries in the following venues: USC-SAFAD Theatre, St. Theresa’s College, and USC South Campus.

Aliño said one of the challenges of the local filmmaking industry is the lack of interest from the audience. She hoped that Cebuanos would make time to watch the full length, short feature, and animation film submissions by filmmakers from the US, Australia, Turkey, Russia, Japan, India, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Argentine, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, France, Germany, and the Philippines.

A special screening of Japanese Director Takuya Fukushima’s film “FLOATING” is also scheduled on September 25, 9 am-12 pm, at the USC-SAFAD Theatre.

Categories
Events Feature People

Kim Chiu diplomacy

It all started when Vladimir, our tour guide in Davao City, sang a Kim Chiu song over the bus PA system.

We were headed to our hotel from another full day of school visits and government courtesy calls. Traffic was terrible. To while away the gridlock, Vladimir asked everyone in the bus – students, teachers, and journalists from both the Philippines and China who are part of the Fujian Youth Exchange Program – to introduce themselves and answer a cliche beauty pageant question: if you were a fruit, what would you be and why?

Categories
Feature Properties Uncategorized

Federal Land unveils 5th tower in premier Cebu development Marco Polo Residences

Designed like two overlapping pearls with interiors that take inspiration from the surrounding greenery, Marco Polo Parkplace will soon rise within exclusive Nivel Hills as the fifth and final tower in the Federal Land development Marco Polo Residences.

The latest condominium building, which has just began construction, will have 350 residential units covering a selection of studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom with living spaces ranging from 30 to 79 square meters.

CEBU AS INVESTMENT DESTINATION. John Cabato, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing for Federal Land, Inc., said Marco Polo Parkplace will start accepting reservations for condo units within September.

CEBU AS INVESTMENT DESTINATION. John Cabato, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing for Federal Land, Inc., said Marco Polo Parkplace will start accepting reservations for condo units within September.

Categories
1521 Feature History

Is the original really encased inside Magellan’s Cross?

No, according to several historians. The panel placed at the foot of the cross makes two astonishing claims: that it contains the original Magellan’s Cross and that it was planted by the Portuguese explorer on that very spot.

Neither claim holds up to close scrutiny.

It is also interesting to note that the commemorative marker put up by the then Philippines Historical Committee in 1941 never made that claim.

MAGELLAN’S CROSS. This undated photo shows a view of the cross from Cebu City Hall. Behind it is the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño convent. (Photo from the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos)

MAGELLAN’S CROSS. This undated photo shows a view of the cross from Cebu City Hall. Behind it is the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño convent. (Photo from the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos)

Putting up of Magellan’s Cross

Antonio Pigafetta, chronicler of the Spanish armada led by Magellan, wrote that they put up the cross to mark the conversion of Cebuanos, led by ruler Rajah Humabon, to Christianity.

“A large cross was set up in the middle of the square. The Captain General told them that if they wished to become Christians as they had declared on the previous days, they must burn all their idols and set up a cross in their place. They were to adore that cross daily with clasped hands, and every morning after their custom, they were to make the sign of the cross (which the Captain General showed them how to make); and they ought to come hourly, at least in the morning, to that cross, and adore it kneeling,” Pigafetta wrote.

Magellan planting the cross. (Image from the New York Public Library)

National Artist and Cebuano historian Dr. Resil Mojares wrote in his book “The Feast of the Santo Niño: An Introduction to the History of a Cebuano Devotion” that it was the practice of Spaniards to plant crosses on land they “discover” to mark possession for the crown and signify divine presence.

But after Magellan’s death in the Battle of Mactan, which author Hugh Thomas described as “a gratuitous adventure that deserved to end badly,” the Cebuanos turned against the Spaniards, allegedly at the incitement of the explorer’s slave Enrique.

Humabon invited the surviving Spaniards to a feast on May 1. He promised them gifts and jewels to take with them to the King of Spain.

FERDINAND MAGELLAN. This portrait of the Portuguese explorer and captain of the Armada de Molucca is “believed to be one of the few accurate likenesses of Magellan,” wrote historian Laurence Bergreen in his book Over the Edge of the World.

FERDINAND MAGELLAN. This portrait of the Portuguese explorer and captain of the Armada de Molucca is “believed to be one of the few accurate likenesses of Magellan,” wrote historian Laurence Bergreen in his book Over the Edge of the World.

Pigafetta, who did not join because he was still nursing injuries from the battle in Mactan, said a quarter of the crew attended, including the two new co-commanders, Juan Serrano and Duarte Barbosa.

During the meal, the Spaniards were killed by Humabon’s men. The massacre culminated in a standoff at the shore where the Cebuanos held for ransom Juan Serrano, who pleaded with his compatriots to save him. After an initial negotiation on ransom when the Cebuanos kept asking for more, the armada decided to leave Cebu.

NO SUCH CLAIM. The official marker put up in 1941 by the then Philippines Historical Committee, which is now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, never made the claim about the original cross being encased in the one now at the site.

NO SUCH CLAIM. The official marker put up in 1941 by the then Philippines Historical Committee, which is now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, never made the claim about the original cross being encased in the one now at the site.

IS THIS ACCURATE? Thousands of tourists visiting Magellan’s Cross daily think, because of this panel, that part of the cross is still there and that it was planted at this very spot. Those claims don’t have historical support.

IS THIS ACCURATE? Thousands of tourists visiting Magellan’s Cross daily think, because of this panel, that part of the cross is still there and that it was planted at this very spot. Those claims don’t have historical support.

Tearing it down

“Only 115 men remained of the 260 who had left Spain, and as they fled to safety, their last sight of Cebu was of enraged islanders tearing down the cross on the mountaintop and smashing it to bits,” wrote American historian Laurence Bergreen in his book Over The Edge of The World Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe. (Emphasis mine. Note the reference on a mountaintop. I haven’t found a similar one but the Spaniards were reported to prefer to plant the cross on the highest point of a place.)

“Simultaneously, before the ships had cleared the harbour, amid cries of jubilation from the indigenes, another party of them was tearing down the great Cross which Magellan had erected. What the leader had achieved during weeks of careful and patient work came to naught in an hour,” wrote Stefan Zweig in his seminal book Magellan.

In her dissertation on the Santo Niño de Cebu for her doctorate in anthropology, Astrid Sala-Boza said “there is no archaeological or historical evidence that this cross is actually the original (or at least the site of the original) Magellan’s cross.”

“Instead, because of its proximity to the Basilica, the site of the finding of the Holy Image during Legazpi’s expedition, there is the possibility that the cross could be “Legazpi’s cross” (now encased in wood),” Sala-Boza wrote. She also pointed out that the Legazpi expedition did not mention finding a cross.

NO TEXT OF CLAIM. This photo after a restoration of the kiosk by the Knights of Columbus several decades ago (we’re still looking into date) does not show at the base of the cross the panel that contains the claims about the original cross and its site.

NO TEXT OF CLAIM. This photo after a restoration of the kiosk by the Knights of Columbus several decades ago (we’re still looking into date) does not show at the base of the cross the panel that contains the claims about the original cross and its site.

Rada cross

In 1565, the Spaniards returned to the Philippines under the leadership of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. They planted another cross, made of bamboo and measuring five fathoms.

“It is credited to the Augustinian Martin de Rada and has been called the cross of Rada,” wrote Mojares. He said Rada was known as the Apostle of Cebu because of his evangelization work here.

The cross of Rada was reputed to be miraculous because it “did not suffer the least lesion” in a fire that destroyed houses around the cross on November 2, 1565.

MAJOR TOURIST SPOT. Magellan’s Cross is a top tourist attraction in Cebu. It’s part of the tour circuit that includes the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Fort San Pedro, and Plaza Independencia. (Photo provided by the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu)

MAJOR TOURIST SPOT. Magellan’s Cross is a top tourist attraction in Cebu. It’s part of the tour circuit that includes the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Fort San Pedro, and Plaza Independencia. (Photo provided by the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu)

“Augustinian prior Juan de Albarran, during the construction of the current church complex in 1735-40, built an enclosure around the cross. In 1834, Santos Gomez Marañon, the Augustinian bishop of Cebu (1829-40), had an octagonal temple built to protect the cross from the weather and devotees who, regarding it as miraculous, were accustomed to chip away splinters from it as relics,” Mojares wrote. “The “original” cross is now contained in another hollow hardwood cross set in the middle of a stone altar inside the kiosk.

Sala-Boza said the cross was once referred to as “the cross on Magallanes street” and became eventually known as Magellan’s Cross.

Magellan's Cross in 1965. ({Photo provided by the Basilica Minore del Sto.  Niño.

Magellan’s Cross in 1965. ({Photo provided by the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

“The lack of definitive documentary evidence on the identification of this cross obliges us to admit that it is a relic from the expedition of Legazpi, and not from that of Magellan,” Sala-Boza wrote in her study, quoting Villanueva’s 1969 work.

Did you know?

Until our research for the interactive marker that will be installed at the site, I did not know that it was granted an indulgence. To Catholics, an indulgence is “a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.”

Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon granted the Magellan’s Cross plenary indulgence who those who pray before it every Feast of the Triumph of the Cross on September 14. The indulgence is gained by praying one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory to the Father for the intention of the pope in Rome.

PLENARY INDULGENCE. This framed document found in the basilica library is the actual plenary indulgence granted by Cebu Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon for the Magellan’s Cross.

PLENARY INDULGENCE. This framed document found in the basilica library is the actual plenary indulgence granted by Cebu Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon for the Magellan’s Cross.

Categories
Feature Food Tech

Bo’s Coffee launches advance ordering system via Facebook Messenger

Order your favorite caffeine fix from Bo’s Coffee even when you’re still on your way so that it’s ready for you when you arrive.

All you need to do is look up Bo’s Coffee Advance Ordering BOTTY on Facebook Messenger and follow the instructions for getting your preferred hot or cold drinks. After picking your drink and choosing your payment option, you will be informed how many minutes it would take to get your order ready and again when it is.

The system has been rolled out in 47 mostly company-owned Bo’s Coffee outlets across the Philippines, including 19 in Cebu.

SKIP THE COFFEE ORDER LINE. Bo’s Coffee allows you to order in advance via Facebook Messenger and pick it up at the store.

SKIP THE COFFEE ORDER LINE. Bo’s Coffee allows you to order in advance via Facebook Messenger and pick it up at the store.

Bo’s Coffee founder Steve Benitez said during the launch of the Advance Ordering BOTTY in Cebu that the move is intended to enhance the customer experience and a means by which he intended to bring his homegrown coffee chain to the future.

Bo’s Coffee tech innovations

“As we reach our 25-year mark, we want to cater to the fast-paced lifestyle of our customers. We want to make your daily coffee runs simpler, faster, and more accessible so you have more time for more important things in life – your passions, your advocacies, and your relationships,” added Benitez, who is President and CEO of WS & Landin, Inc., the corporation behind Bo’s Coffee.

The Bo’s Coffee Advance Ordering BOTTY is just the first of several technology innovations that are on the pipeline for Benetiz’s coffee shop chain.

BETTER EXPERIENCE. Bo’s Coffee founder Steve Benitez says they deployed Facebook Messenger chatbot to enhance the experience of their customers.

BETTER EXPERIENCE. Bo’s Coffee founder Steve Benitez says they deployed Facebook Messenger chatbot to enhance the experience of their customers.

According to Benitez, the goal is to integrate Bo’s Coffee rewards and even delivery services to Messenger-based system through Grab Express.

Digital payment options

While the Advance Ordering BOTTY allows customers to pay cash, its secure and cashless digital payment options through PayMaya as well as credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) allow customers to really skip the line, according to Bo’s Coffee COO Rachel Fallarme.

“In a developing world like ours, we have to do all we can to optimize our efforts and save time,” she added.

CHATBOT LAUNCH. Speaking during the press conference to launch the Bo’s Coffee Facebook Messenger chatbot are (from left) Bo’s Coffee COO Rachel Fallarme, founder Steve Benitez, and developer Cary Gee.

CHATBOT LAUNCH. Speaking during the press conference to launch the Bo’s Coffee Facebook Messenger chatbot are (from left) Bo’s Coffee COO Rachel Fallarme, founder Steve Benitez, and developer Cary Gee.

By paying via the system, customers can park curbside in strategic stand alone branches, get their coffee, and continue on with their day. Payment options like Grabpay and GCash will also be available soon.

Some of the Bo’s Coffee branches with the Advance Ordering BOTTY include Capitol, Banilad Town Center, Filinvest Cyberzone, Ayala Center branches, SM City Cebu branches, SM Seaside, and Mactan Domestic and International Airports.

CHAT TO ORDER. Look up Bo’s Coffee Advance Ordering BOTTY on Facebook Messenger and follow the instructions for getting your preferred hot or cold drinks.

CHAT TO ORDER. Look up Bo’s Coffee Advance Ordering BOTTY on Facebook Messenger and follow the instructions for getting your preferred hot or cold drinks.

Consumer market patterns

System developer Cary Gee, who was also present during the launch in Bo’s Coffee Capitol Branch last July 25, 2019, said the Advance Ordering BOTTY was initially developed for the Singaporean market.

He decided to bring the system to the Philippines when he saw similar patterns in the two consumer markets, both of which are fast-paced, in need of personalization while skipping the queue, and has a good percentage using Messenger instead of downloaded apps.

TRYING IT OUT. Ka Bino Guerrero tries out the Bo’s Coffee chatbot to order drinks.

TRYING IT OUT. Ka Bino Guerrero tries out the Bo’s Coffee chatbot to order drinks.

The system keeps a record of orders and helps the coffee shop push the right promotions to customers. It can also be used to engage customers for rewards purposes.

While it was created with customers in mind, the system will also free up some tasks for coffee shop employees.

Categories
Events Feature Lifestyle

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale returns to Cebu with more books, bigger discounts

After a successful first run last year, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2019 will happen in Cebu this month with over a million brand-new English books priced down by 50 to 90 percent.

Book lovers and new readers will have time to search for their favorite titles and authors as the BBW Book Sale will be open 24 hours daily from Aug. 16-26, 2019 at the IEC Convention Center (IC3) in Cebu City and entrance is free.

The Big Bad Wolf is not just a book sale but an organization that advocates reading and English literacy, its founder Jacqueline Ng told media and bloggers during a press conference yesterday, August 2.

Big Bad Wolf 2019 Cebu

BACK TO CEBU. (From left) Gawad Kalinga representative Toby Florendo, Big Bad Wolf Books founder Jacqueline Ng, and Philippines Country Manager Narisa dela Peña discuss the upcoming return of the book sale to Cebu in a recent press conference.

“The Filipinos are readers and know the value and importance of books. There are other people out there who don’t. The Big Bad Wolf creates the market for books—the desire to know more, learn more—and aims to convert the non-reader,” she added.

VIP Day passes

Ng said the Cebu leg of the BBW Book Sale in 2018 welcomed over 200,000 visitors. She added there had been many requests for the Book Sale to return to Cebu since then and they were more than happy to oblige.

Organizers have identified August 15 as VIP Day and around 4,000 passes will be given out to the public through the BBW social media pages @bbwbooksphilippines on Facebook and @bbwbooksph on Instagram.

The BBW Book Sale 2019 in Cebu will carry various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and rare titles. It will be adding eight more titles to interactive books with augmented reality technology that range from fairy tales to educational, bringing the total to 12.

Big Bad Wolf 2019 Cebu

“We’ve been to many places in the Philippines these past two years from Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Pampanga. It has been amazing to see droves of people, young and old, come together for the love of books. It surely affirms that reading is a beloved hobby, very much alive, and an effective tool for learning,” Ng added.

Book buying behavior

Big Bad Wolf Books Philippines Country Manager Narisa dela Peña said one of her realizations in the Book Sale is that Filipinos prefer fiction books.

She said she noticed from the book sales held in Manila, Pampanga, Davao, and Cebu that people buy more works of fiction over other genres.

The Filipinos are readers and know the value and importance of books. There are other people out there who don’t. The Big Bad Wolf creates the market for books—the desire to know more, learn more—and aims to convert the non-reader

Jacqueline Ng, Big Bad Wolf founder

Ng said book buying behavior is different in the Philippines compared to other countries where BBW Books also hold sales. In Taiwan, a country with high disposable income but with limited English proficiency, parents invest on their kids and around 90 percent of titles sold are children’s books. It’s the same situation in the Book Sale’s biggest market, Indonesia, where 75-80 percent of books bought are for kids.

The ratio for adult and children’s books is 60-40 percent in the Philippines, according to Ng, who added that Filipinos love fiction and are also into such range of categories as history, religion, music, health and wellness.

Big Bad Wolf 2019 Cebu

Community partnership

As a way of giving back to the community, BBW Books continues its Red Readerhood Programme partnership with Gawad Kalinga through a donation of 500 books to the group. They also appeal to customers to take part in the advocacy by doing their own donation.

Gawad Kalinga (GK) representative Toby Florendo said they believe that everyone, regardless of status and age, has a right to learn. His group has the same goal as BBW Books and that is to unleash an individual’s potential.

Toby Florendo Gawad Kalinga during Big Bad Wolf 2019 Cebu

“Big Bad Wolf Books always makes sure to give back and help make a difference in every place they visit. We share in their advocacy and are grateful to have worked with them since their very first sale in the country. Dozens of partner communities around the country have benefitted in their work to promote literacy and education with both children and adults discovering the joys and benefits of reading as we believe reading is meant for all, regardless of their status,” Florendo added in a statement released during the press conference.

BBW Books is now on its 10th hear and has held book sales in such countries as Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. It held its first event in the Philippines in 2018, specifically in Manila in February, followed by Cebu in July, and Davao in November.

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu press conference

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu press conference
Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu press conference
Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu press conference
Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu press conference
Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu press conference
Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu press conference
Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu press conference
Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu press conference
OVER A MILLION BOOKS. Big Bad Wolf Books Philippines Country Manager Narisa dela Peña, founder Jacqueline Ng, and Gawad Kalinga representative Toby Florendo.

OVER A MILLION BOOKS. Big Bad Wolf Books Philippines Country Manager Narisa dela Peña, founder Jacqueline Ng, and Gawad Kalinga representative Toby Florendo.

Categories
Business Feature Properties

Priland launches 2-tower Vertex Coast in Mactan’s resort neighborhood

Homegrown real estate developer Priland Development Corporation brings the resort concept to home and office with the launch of Vertex Coast in Punta Engaño.

The two-tower residential development will rise alongside Cebu’s most premier beach resorts and prime real estate in Mactan.

With a combined 738 units for residential and small office-home office (SOHO) use, Vertex Coast incorporates the 360 living concept that capitalizes on the spectacular views of the Mactan Channel, said Priland Sales Manager Irvin Paul Pastoriza.

Priland President Ramon Carlo Yap said they plan to break ground for the project by first quarter of 2021 and complete it three years after or in 2024.

Home office units

The mid-range development will offer customizable studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and penthouse units, making them the ideal investment for home, retirement, or source of rental income.

According to Pastoriza, three floors or 54 units in each tower will be set aside for small office-home office or SOHO use. SOHO units measure around 26 square meters for studio and 50 square meters for one-bedroom.

VERTEX COAST PRESS CONFERENCE. Priland President Ramon Carlo Yap (center) talks to reporters about Vertex Coast in Punta Engaño in Mactan. With him are Priland Sales Manager Irvin Paul Pastoriza (left) and Priland Chief Operating Officer Marcelino Relampagos.

VERTEX COAST PRESS CONFERENCE. Priland President Ramon Carlo Yap (center) talks to reporters about Vertex Coast in Punta Engaño in Mactan. With him are Priland Sales Manager Irvin Paul Pastoriza (left) and Priland Chief Operating Officer Marcelino Relampagos.

Yap added that the company decided to set aside a considerable number of SOHO units in its Punta Engaño development after observing a growing demand for office space, especially among small businesses.

Another Priland development, Paseo Grove Mactan, has been modified to incorporate two towers solely made up of spaces that can double as small offices.

Exceptional amenities

Purely residential units in Vertex Coast measure around 24-26 square meters for studio, 39-45 square meters for one-bedroom, and 53-67 for two-bedroom. Unit cost ranges from P3.1 to P15 million.

Encompassing a total area of 2,700 square meters, Priland’s mid-range development will feature exceptional amenities, according to company executives.

An amenity deck with a spacious lobby will allow residents to move between two towers with ease. Shared amenities include an infinity pool, kiddie pool, garden deck, gym, and game room. There will be multi-purpose rooms in both towers for functions.

Vertex Coast will also have commercial spaces open to establishments that will provide modern conveniences to homeowners.

Prestigious location

The Vertex Coast launch follows another successful Priland development administered under a similar group, Vertex Central in Cebu City. Pastoriza said Vertex Central is already 80 percent sold, with only the bigger and penthouse units still available.

In line with its goal to support a modern lifestyle, the company brings the Priland Advantage to every development.

Provisions for air-conditioning unit, telephone line, cable line, induction stove, and range hood are standard in all Priland Residences project, including Vertex Coast.

Located in Mactan’s prestigious barangay of Punta Engaño, the Vertex Coast neighborhood includes such top resorts as Mövenpick Hotel, Seagrove, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Mactan Newtown, Emerald Bay, Sheraton, Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu Resort, Arterra Discovery Bay, The Reef, and Crimson Resort & Spa Mactan.

About Priland

Part of a well-established and diversified group of companies that has excelled for over 20 years, Priland Development Corporation channels decades of business expertise into providing families and investors with quality real estate properties.

Categories
Events Feature Food

Rico’s Lechon opens flagship restaurant in Mandaue, to reopen Escario branch

Rico’s Lechon will open its biggest restaurant this Friday, June 28, in Cebu, bringing back the particular taste of its roasted pigs that has become popular with diners.

Meat Concepts Corporation President George N. Pua said in yesterday’s media preview for the Mandaue branch that Rico’s Lechon has changed ownership but the quality and taste of its roasted pigs remain the same. Pua heads the company that now owns the lechon chain.

NOT JUST LECHON. Rico’s Lechon will serve Filipino favorites on top of its renowned lechon.

NOT JUST LECHON. Rico’s Lechon will serve Filipino favorites on top of its renowned lechon.

The 500-square meter branch, which is the brand’s flagship outlet and newest restaurant, is located at Unit F1 Jamestown, Mantawi International Drive, Mandaue City.

Pua added they will soon work double time to have the branch in Axis Entertainment Avenue along Escario St. in Cebu City reopened by July.

Rico’s Lechon menu

Rico’s will continue to serve its famous lechon in two flavors, original and spicy. It will also offer such Filipino favorites like special boneless bangus, sizzling lechon sisig, monggos, Bicol express, kinilaw na tangigue, calamares, camaron rebosado, garlicky squid balls, sinigang, pinakbet, chopsuey, and pancit canton.

NEW OWNER, SAME LECHON QUALITY, TASTE. Meat Concepts Corporation President George N. Pua said in yesterday’s media preview that Rico’s Lechon has changed ownership but the quality and taste of its roasted pigs remain the same.

NEW OWNER, SAME LECHON QUALITY, TASTE. Meat Concepts Corporation President George N. Pua said in yesterday’s media preview that Rico’s Lechon has changed ownership but the quality and taste of its roasted pigs remain the same.

When it opens, the Mandaue branch will introduce as well new dishes like the grilled pork belly, grilled daing na bangus, ginataang laing, chicken binakol, beef ampalaya, sizzling adobong pusit, buttered mixed seafoods, seaweed salad, sisig fried rice, chorizo fried rice, sinigang na boneless bangus, sinigang na baka at baboy, and seafood sotanghon.

Pua said all their pigs are sourced from local suppliers, adding that they’ve hired the services of an abattoir and outsourced the roasting to another group.

Rico's Lechon

Flagship outlet

Rico’s flagship outlet in Mandaue is the second in Cebu, the other being in Mactan Promenade, and the seventh overall.

There are currently five Rico’s Lechon branches in Manila but two more — along Balintawak and in SM North Edsa — will be added soon, according to Pua.

Rico’s Lechon Mandaue has a seating capacity of 300, with  four VIP rooms for meetings, gatherings, and special functions with family and friends. The largest room can seat up to 80 guests while the other three can fit up to 20 persons each.

Pua said they wanted to achieve a fiesta ambience, hence the colorful restaurant interior. The chandeliers are made from lechon plates and are manufactured in Cebu together with the furniture.

Seafood sotanghon.

Seafood sotanghon.

Traditional Cebu lechon

Founded in 1997 by Enrico Dionson, Rico’s Lechon will turn 22 in August 2019. It serves traditional Cebu lechon roasted to perfection and mixed with garlic and leeks.

Some years back, Pua said he came to Cebu, which is known for having the best lechon, and tried the products of different outlets. He came to the conclusion that Rico’s Lechon has the best roasted pig and proposed a partnership deal.

Chicken binakol

Chicken binakol

He added that Dionson wasn’t interested then but later changed his mind and sold the restaurant chain six years after that initial proposal.

Follow @RicosLechonOFFICIAL on Facebook and Instagram for restaurant and other updates. You may also visit ricoslechon.com or contact 253-4650 or 0917-8238263 for more information.

Share your Rico’s Lechon experience on social media with the hashtags #DaBestGyud and #RICOmeback.

More photos of Rico’s Lechon Mandaue media preview

RICO’S LECHON in Mandaue is a 500-square meter branch located at Unit F1 Jamestown, Mantawi International Drive.

RICO’S LECHON in Mandaue is a 500-square meter branch located at Unit F1 Jamestown, Mantawi International Drive.

Buttered mixed seafood

Buttered mixed seafood

Chicken skin

Chicken skin

Chorizo fried rice

Chorizo fried rice

Ginataang laing.

Ginataang laing

Rico's lechon grilled pork liempo

Grilled pork liempo

Kinilaw Rico's Lechon

Kinilaw

Scallops Rico's Lechon

Scallops

Sinigang na baka at baboy Rico's lechon

Sinigang na baka at baboy

Sisig fried rice Rico's Lechon

Sisig fried rice

Sizzling adobong pusit Rico's Lechon

Sizzling adobong pusit

Rico’s Lechon’s mascot entertains bloggers and journalists who covered the media preview.

Rico’s Lechon’s mascot entertains bloggers and journalists who covered the media preview.

Categories
Events Feature Lifestyle Sports

DC Shoes ramps up Go Skateboarding Day 2019 in Cebu with parade, meet and greet, contests

DC Shoes turned the Go Skateboarding Day 2019 in Cebu City into a spectacular celebration with a fun parade attended by celebrity riders Alexis Ramirez, Shaun Paul, Alex Lawton, and Cyril Jackson.

DC Philippines partnered with GRND Philippines and Stance PH as sponsor to give the Cebu skate scene an unforgettable Go Skateboarding Day yesterday, June 21,2019.

The day started with a skateboarding parade attended by sport enthusiasts in Cebu and other areas. Back in 2017, DC Shoes held the largest skateboarding parade and broke the Guinness World Record.

Friday’s epic event in Cebu began in the Fuente Osmeña Circle and ended in Plaza Independencia.

Alexis Ramirez, Shaun Paul, Alex Lawton, and Cyril Jackson.

MEET AND GREET. Fans line up to have posters, skateboards, shirts, and other items signed by Alexis Ramirez, Shaun Paul, Alex Lawton, and Cyril Jackson.

Strong skateboarding community

Speaking at a fan event held later in the evening, Lawton noted the strong skateboarding community in Cebu and said he was happy that they showed up for the day’s activities.

Paul, who answered streets when asked about his favorite skate spot, added it was “pretty cool” seeing a lot of people skating on the road.

The group held a special Q&A and poster signing with fans. A few had their skateboards signed by the DC riders.

DC Skateboarding Competition

Today, June 22, the fun continues with exciting contests designed to challenge skaters to test their limits.

First off is the Game of Skate where a skater will do a trick that a competitor has to follow. A skater who performs a move that another skater can’t duplicate gets a point.

DC GOSKATEBOARDING DAY. (From left) Alexis Ramirez, Shaun Paul, Alex Lawton, and Cyril Jackson during the Meet and Greet event at the Ayala Center Cebu.

DC GOSKATEBOARDING DAY. (From left) Alexis Ramirez, Shaun Paul, Alex Lawton, and Cyril Jackson during the Meet and Greet event at the Ayala Center Cebu.

Another contest is the Longest Gap Challenge, which requires players to Ollie over 5 skateboards cleanly to get to the next round. A skateboard is added after every round and the one who jumps over the most skateboards win.

In the Highest Ollie, participants must Ollie or hippie jump over the bars cleanly to get to the next round. One bar is added after every round and the skater who can do the most number of bars wins.

Skateboarding demo with DC riders

Later in the day is the DC Amateur Competition and Pro Demo featuring DC riders Ramirez, Paul, Lawton, and Jackson. The group will showcase their skills and perform. skateboarding tricks.

The DC Amateur Competition will be the day’s main event and involves one minute runs for participants. Their performance will be judged on technicality, consistency, and creativity. Cash prize of P20,000 and a one-year contract with DC Philippines await the competition champion.

Skaters gotta skate and DC Philippines shake things up for Go Skateboarding Day. Like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dcshoes.ph and follow them on IG at instagram.com/dcshoes_philippines to know more about products and events.

Alexis Ramirez, Shaun Paul, Alex Lawton, and Cyril Jackson
Categories
Events Feature Food

Marco Polo features Flavors of Mindanao in Independencia culinary festival

From durian rice cakes to fish stewed in turmeric to slow-cooked beef in burnt coconut broth, an interesting and delicious range of dishes with Moro and lumad heritage are on the menu in Café Marco at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

The dishes are made available as part of Flavors of Mindanao, this year’s Independencia Culinary Journey from June 7 to 12.

PIYALAM is a Tausug dish of stewed fish with turmeric.

PIYALAM is a Tausug dish of stewed fish with turmeric.

Independencia is a celebration of the food of the Philippines, said Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Brian Connelly.

“We’ve featured cuisine in the past seven years from heroes of the country, actually also from the president himself who signed the proclamation. Last year, we did food of northern Philippines. This year we wanted to go south. And we wanted to do this in conjunction with our sister hotel in Davao, the Marco Polo Davao,” Connelly said during the opening last Friday.

“It’s part of our experience here in Marco Polo to share cuisine of different parts of the world, of different parts of the region, as well as different parts of our country. We’ve got this wide range of food and this year, it’s southern Philippines – Mindanao,” he said.

Chef Alex Destriza

Chef Alex Destriza

The executive chef of Marco Polo Davao has been studying the dishes for 2-3 years.

Marco Polo Davao Executive Chef Alex Destriza and Chef King James Tinio worked with the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu team of Executive Chef Juanito Abangan to create the menu.

Destriza said native Mindanao cuisine is divided into that of the Moros and lumads. The region is rich in rice and coconuts and they figure prominently in their cuisine. An example of this is the Tausug dish Tiyulah Itum, where beef is slow cooked in a broth made of burnt coconut meat.  The use of burnt coconut meat in the preparation of the food is widespread and includes dishes with chicken, beef, and fish, he said.

TIYULAH ITUM is a Tausug dish of slow-cooked beef in burnt coconut broth.

TIYULAH ITUM is a Tausug dish of slow-cooked beef in burnt coconut broth.

Many of the dishes, including Tiyulah Itum, are cooked in bamboo, a process that intensifies the flavors, Destriza said. The Marco Polo chefs just improvised to adapt the preparation in a modern kitchen and experimented with the cooking methods.

Coconut and rice also figure prominently in the desserts of the different communities with such treats as durian rice cake and a ball made of camote with bukayo or sweetened coconut meat strips filling.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Brian Connelly

OPENING. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu General Manager Brian Connelly welcomes guests to the opening of Independencia.

Destriza said he has been researching these dishes for two to three years. These are served mostly during special occasions like weddings and are rarely available outside their communities or region. He said, however, that slowly, the food is being introduced in other places of the country. Marco Polo Davao, for example, has a halal station with these dishes.

The dishes are available on top of the regular international lunch and dinner buffet spread at Café Marco until June 12. Lunch buffet rate is P1,300, while dinner is P1,600. For reservations, you can contact (+6332) 253 1111, email [email protected].com or link them up on Facebook or Twitter.

More photos of Flavors of Mindanao

Kulma baka

KULMA BAKA is Tausug dish of beef stewed in coconut milk.

Piassak

PIASSAK is cow liver cooked with burnt coconut.

Piyanggang manok

PIYANGGANG MANOK is a Tausug dish of grilled chicken in burnt coconut.

Riyandang kambing

RIYANDANG KAMBING is a Lanao dish of mutton with coconut and spices.

Piyaren Udang

PIYAREN UDANG is a Lanao dish of prawn with sauteed coconut.

Palapa

PALAPA is made of ginger and other spices that is then roasted.

Agal agal

Agal agal

Guava membrillo

Guava membrillo

Kagikit manok

Kagikit na manok

Kagikit na isda

Kagikit na isda

Kamatis patis
Kamias ug dayap

Kamias ug dayap

Kiyuning golden rice

Kiyuning golden rice

Pan-Pan Kamote
Pan-Pan Kamote

PAN-PAN KAMOTE has bokayo or sweetened coconut meat strips as filling.

Pan-pan monggo

Pan-pan monggo

Wadjet makadurian durian rice cake

WADJET MAKADURIAN is durian rice cake.

Daral sweet coconut pancake

DARAL or sweet coconut grating pancake.

Tuna ceviche

KINILAW na tuna or tuna ceviche.

Talong sa gata

Talong sa gata

Pomelo green papaya with prawns salad

Pomelo green papaya with prawns salad

MARCO POLO CHEFS. Marco Polo Davao Executive Chef Alex Destriza (center) talks about the dishes they prepared as part of Flavors of Mindanao. With him are Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Executive Chef Juanito Abangan (left) and Marco Polo Davao Chef King James Tinio.

MARCO POLO CHEFS. Marco Polo Davao Executive Chef Alex Destriza (center) talks about the dishes they prepared as part of Flavors of Mindanao. With him are Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Executive Chef Juanito Abangan (left) and Marco Polo Davao Chef King James Tinio.

Categories
Feature Food

Lunch break specials, dimsum parties, Chinese banquets and everything new at Hai Shin Lou Cebu

From its succulent roast goose and soyed chicken to the xiomai and xiao long bao dishes, Hai Shin Lou at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu can always satisfy any craving for authentic Cantonese cuisine.

As it unveils exciting culinary promotions, dining at Hai Shin Lou Seafood King Cebu becomes even more exceptional.

Cebu’s world-class Cantonese restaurant offers lunch break specials, all you can eat dimsum, and Chinese banquets for big celebrations.

Assorted dimsum

Culinary offerings

Turn your midday break into a feast of Hai Shin Lou’s best-selling dishes, with the curated set menu for groups of two to six that includes such favorites as spring rolls, white chicken, peppercorn squid, Yang Chow fried rice, and more. Lunch break specials are available from Mondays to Fridays, except for holidays.

Lunch break specials

If you’re craving dimsum, you’ll enjoy the dimsum lunch party from Mondays to Saturdays. It’s “All You Can Eat” dimsum from the restaurant’s dimsum menu at only P688+ per person. You can also opt for a 30 percent discount on Hai Shin Lou’s over 25 dimsum selections.

The dimsum creations are made even more scrumptious with the newest addition to the restaurant’s culinary team, Dimsum Chef Wong Hon Chau, who has 40 years of experience in several restaurants across Asia.

Chef Wong Hon Chau

The new dimsum chef has 40 years of experience in several restaurants across Asia.

Hai Shin Lou Cebu is open from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm for lunch and 6:00 to 10:30 pm for dinner daily. Call +63 32 234 8189 or email [email protected] for bookings and inquiries.

Chinese banquets

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s latest offering combines Hai Shin Lou’s delectable Cantonese cuisine with the hotel’s excellent service and top of the line banquet rooms.

Whether it’s to celebrate a wedding, anniversary, birthday, reunion, or corporate events, you can’t go wrong with the hotel’s Chinese Banquet packages covering a minimum of 50 to a maximum of 400 persons.

Chinese banquet setup

Choose from carefully curated menus prepared by Hai Shin Lou’s three Hong Kong chefs in charge of wok, dimsum, and roasting. From their kitchen to your banquet, you and your guests are assured of high quality dishes truly fit for the best of occasions.

To request for the Chinese Banquet menu and other inquiries, email [email protected] or call (+63 32) 253 1111 local 8109.

Categories
Business Feature Tech

Tap social media, digital tools to grow your business, Facebook tells Cebu companies

Businesses that embrace technology and social media grow at incredible rates, according to an official of Facebook Philippines.

With platforms like Facebook, there has never been a better time to have a business idea or solution and connect that idea with someone who will need it, Facebook Philippines Client Partner Chay Mondejar-Saputil said in a media briefing last Friday in Cebu City.

Facebook Philippines held last Friday an Accelerator Workshop to train Cebu businesses on online marketing, branding, and digital tools provided by the platform. Saputil said the business tools offered by the social media giant “level the playing field” for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB).

Reach potential customers

“Whereas before only big businesses were able to reach out to a large number of people, now even small businesses can reach hundreds of thousands” of potential customers using Facebook and its tools, she said.

More than 50 million Filipinos are connected to an SMB page on Facebook, the company said in a press statement. About 130 million people outside the country are connected to a Philippine-based SMB on the platform, it added.

The biggest shift right now is how we are so connected to our mobile phones

Chay Mondejar-Saputil, Client Partner, Facebook Philippines

Saputil said a survey of small businesses showed that by using technology and social platforms, 86% were able to sell their products outside their geographic boundaries and to customers in other provinces and even abroad. The same survey also found that 91% of businesses saw these tools as having helped them attract customers and 73% said they were able to hire more people. She said 82% of businesses reported increased sales because of the Facebook platform. She also said that 60% of these companies built their businesses on Facebook.

Saputil also shared what she said were the four Cs that are important to do well online: community, curation, conversation, and commerce.

Facebook Accelerator Workshop Cebu

Empower SMBs with training

Facebook Philippines said the digital skills training they conducted for SMBs started in 2017 and have trained over 5,000 small businesses in 23 cities all over the Philippines.

“We are glad to be working with Facebook in helping create inclusive, innovation-led growth for Philippine SMBs. Ninety-nine percent of businesses in the country are SMBs and they are the backbone of the Philippine economy. Together with Facebook, we will continue to empower SMBs as their success ultimately translates into more jobs and economic opportunities for Filipinos,” said Department of Trade and Industry Central Visayas OIC Assistant Regional Director Ma. Elena Arbon.

Jackie Morales of Digital Printing PH said platforms like Facebook allowed their company to operate fully online. Digital Printing PH started with two physical locations in Manila. Morales said that with the shops, they were limited by their location and their customers were mainly students. By going online, they were able to attract corporate customers from all over the country and even abroad.

Fully online, relocate to Cebu

She and her husband eventually decided to go fully online and relocate to Cebu, having been attracted to the province after spending their vacation here. Morales said her biggest consideration in going online is her being a mother. With the physical stores, she barely had time with the responsibilities of running their operations while raising a child. By going fully online, she now has more time for the family and for herself. She said she was able to travel more since she could run the business from anywhere.

EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS. (From left) Jackie Morales of Digital Printing PH; Gina Romero, CEO and co-founder of Connected Women; Facebook Philippines Client Partner Chay Mondejar-Saputil; and Facebook Philippines Communications Manager Michelle Fojas brief reporters and bloggers about Friday’s Accelerator Workshop for Cebu businesses.

EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS. (From left) Jackie Morales of Digital Printing PH; Gina Romero, CEO and co-founder of Connected Women; Facebook Philippines Client Partner Chay Mondejar-Saputil; and Facebook Philippines Communications Manager Michelle Fojas brief reporters and bloggers about Friday’s Accelerator Workshop for Cebu businesses.

Gina Romero, CEO and co-founder of Connected Women, said technology is empowering to women and allows them to connect with other female entrepreneurs and share tips and experiences. Romero used to be a flight attendant while selling used laptops on eBay. With technology, she was able to run the business wherever her assignment was. She later on started organizing sessions for women entrepreneurs. She has brought that online by tapping Facebook and her community now has 35,000 members.

Saputil said tools like Messenger foster interaction with the community and potential customers. She said this “conversational commerce” drives business and will be increasingly contributing to transactions in the coming months.

Mobile is biggest shift

Romero said they had to hire a dedicated employee to handle chats and would be adding another person soon. She said people prefer to use Messenger chat than other avenues like email and contact forms. Morales said she often has a deluge of chat messages that she has to use the “away” option because she is unable to deal with all messages.

Saputil said tools like chatbots will enable entrepreneurs like Morales to deal with the volume of customer inquiries.

Romero said platforms allow her members to interact with each other. She shared how a post or question by a member would often generate hundreds of answers by others in the community by the time she reads it when she wakes up in the morning.

Saputil also emphasized the importance of thinking mobile in doing business in today’s digital and connected world.

“The biggest shift right now is how we are so connected to our mobile phones,” Saputil said, citing a study by We Are Social that indicated Filipinos spent up to 10 hours a day online, mostly via phones.

“Most of our users are on the phone. Think of what your photo will look like on the phone, if you can’t read what’s on the photo on the phone then I would say 90% of our users won’t be able to read it as well. If it’s on the phone, the rule is the bigger the better,” she said.

Saputil also said that based on feedback and their experience in attending and holding events in Cebu, “I feel and I see that digital transformation is happening here.”

Categories
Feature Food Heritage

Golden Prince highlights heritage month with Kabilin cuisine

Simple and authentic, the Humba Cebuana of Golden Prince Hotel and Suites exemplifies the Filipino dishes that it has made available in its ala carte menu beginning in May to highlight the celebration of National Heritage Month.

The dish is the typical humba that can be found in Cebuano homes: cooked slow to make the meat tender and prepared with boiled egg and saba (a banana variety), said Aaron Que, Vice President for Corporate Communications.

Humba Cebuana and other Filipino dishes like pochero and sinuglaw can now be ordered for lunch or dinner from 12 noon to 10 p.m. at Golden Prince’s Kabilin Heritage Lounge.

Humba

Humba Cebuana

Golden Prince’s Pochero Cebuano uses uses beef shank since Cebuanos love to feast on the marrow in the bones. To bring out the flavor of the beef, it’s simmered for no less than an hour. Corn, banana, string beans, and cabbage are added to the mix.

The vegetables in Cebu’s pochero differentiates it from a similar dish in Luzon called bulalo, according to Louella Alix, the hotel’s heritage ambassador.

Other items in the menu include the sinuglaw, a dish originating from Mindanao that combines grilled pork with fish ceviche, shrimp halanghalang, and Pescador, which takes inspiration from escabeche. Golden Prince’s main fish dish is deep fried grouper with sweet and sour sauce on the side.

Sinuglaw combines grilled pork with fish ceviche

Cebuano cooking is based on the freshness of the ingredients and this is one thing that Kabilin can guarantee for its newly launched ala carte dishes.

Alix likened dining at Kabilin as being a dinner guest of a Cebuano home as the food items are family favorites,

With the launch of its ala carte menu, Kabilin also introduced a new line of iced and hot tea drinks by Signature Estate. The tea varieties are of single origin from the Assam Estate in India.

HERITAGE DISHES. Louella Alix, Golden Prince Hotel and Suites heritage ambassador, and Aaron Que, vice president for corporate communications, with two of the hotel’s chefs during the presentation of their Filipino dishes.

The tea selections, blended with such spices as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and pepper, are said to be good pairing for the heavy Filipino cuisine.

Kabilin, described as the “first heritage home in a hotel,” was awarded early this year with the Best Merienda Buffet in Cebu. The merienda or snack buffet is served daily from 2p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Kabilin Heritage Lounge is located at the ground floor of Golden Prince Hotel in Acacia Street corner Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City.

For bookings and inquiries, call (032) 230-1588 or 230-1500. You may also check it out at facebook.com/KabilinHeritageLounge.

More photos of food, drinks at Kabilin Heritage Lounge in Golden Prince Hotel and Suites

Categories
1521 Feature

Is Colon really the oldest street in the Philippines?

No, writes Dr. Resil Mojares in Integracion/Internacion: The Urbanization of Cebu in Archival Records of the Spanish Colonial Period.

There were already streets even before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, Mojares asserts in the book’s opening chapter Calle Colon and the Sites of Public Memory.

“In a commonsensical way, one can say that where a sufficient number of people pass, a street is made,” explains Mojares, a National Artist for Literature.

“But even when one requires that some premeditated design, apart from being trodden, is what makes a path a street, it can be assumed that there were already streets in the country’s populous centers when the Spaniards first came,” he says.

OLD COLON. This archival photo shows the corner of Mabini and Colon streets. This is the point of view were you to stand across the obelisk that stands on Colon. According to the text that accompanied this photograph at the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos, the building at the end of the road used to Hijos del Pueblo. It is where the present-day Gaisano Main is located.

OLD COLON. This archival photo shows the corner of Mabini and Colon streets. This is the point of view were you to stand across the obelisk that stands on Colon. According to the text that accompanied this photograph at the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos, the building at the end of the road used to Hijos del Pueblo. It is where the present-day Gaisano Main is located.

Historical marker

The historical marker installed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines on the obelisk on Colon Street proclaims it as the oldest in the country.

“Colon St., known also as Parian, is the oldest street in the Philippines. It was built by the Spaniards who arrived in Cebu in 1565 on the fleet composed of the vessels San Pedro, San Pablo and San Juan under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi,” says the marker published in English, Filipino, and Cebuano. (Emphasis mine.)

It is the only street in the country recognized as a national historical landmark, Mojares writes. What may be distinct, Mojares writes, is “Spanish colonial urbanism” and the deliberate planning of the settlement.

HISTORICAL MARKER. Three markers proclaim in English, Filipino, and Cebuano that Colon is indeed the oldest street in the Philippines.

HISTORICAL MARKER. Three markers proclaim in English, Filipino, and Cebuano that Colon is indeed the oldest street in the Philippines.

The street was known as Calle del Parian before it was named after Christopher Columbus or Cristobal Colon.

Colon is a short street, Mojares writes, extending from the corner of present day D. Jakosalem Street to the Mabini deadend (see photos).

Postcards, books

Present day Colon, especially the area of the old Calle Parian, is dirty and stinky. It’s strewn with litter, including cigarette butts and plastic wrappers. It’s not an area that Cebu City can proudly show off to tourists.

The book traces popularization of the claim to postcards and school books published at the turn of the 20th century. Among the first post cards was one published in 1910 by American Bazar labeled “oldest street in Cebu.” It used a photograph taken by a discharged American soldier who put up a photo studio in Cebu, the book said.

PRESENT DAY. Colon from the point of view of where the old photographs show the old street to be.

PRESENT DAY. Colon from the point of view of where the old photographs show the old street to be.

In 1914, William Boyce, a publisher from Chicago, wrote about the “many reminders of the earliest Spanish days in Cebu. Colon with its tiles and arcades, is the oldest street in the Philippines.” His book printed a photo of Colon with the caption “Calle Colon, Cebu, the oldest street in the Philippines.” (Emphasis mine.)

Mojares said that after Boyce, travelers would subsequently refer to Colon as the oldest street in the country.

That Colon became “an icon of Spanish colonial urbanism,” a fame founded on error, provides “fine irony,” writes Mojares. It lies outside the intramuros of Spanish settlement envisioned by Legazpi, in the periphery where the Chinese and Chinese-mestizos lived.

“The case of Colon suggests that urbanism is not the pure product of Legazpi’s mental map of what a civilized settlement should be,” Mojares writes. Colon is what “Cebuanos made it to be.”

OLD COLON. According to the information card that came with the photo, the presence of wires strung on the electric poles indicated that the power plant of Albert Bryan and RR. Landon was in operation. Their company is the forerunner of the current utility Visayan Electric Company Inc. or VECO.

OLD COLON. According to the information card that came with the photo, the presence of wires strung on the electric poles indicated that the power plant of Albert Bryan and RR. Landon was in operation. Their company is the forerunner of the current utility Visayan Electric Company Inc. or VECO.

Categories
Feature Travel

Are you #Ready2Go? Travel the Philippines with 2Go Travel, 2Go Supercat

With the Philippines being an archipelago, going around the different destinations by ship is often the best and most scenic way to get anywhere.

In the Philippines, the top shipping company, whether for travel or logistics, is 2Go. It is the biggest cargo mover with close to a quarter of the market share. In passage, it corners 95% of the market coming in and out of Metro Manila.

With 2Go Travel, you can head to Manila, Cagayan and Butuan and vice versa. (Check schedules below). You can get 60 kilos free baggage allowance with free meals when you book your passage.

With 2Go Supercat, you can travel to Ormoc and Tagbilaran and vice versa several times daily. Passengers get 15 kilos free baggage allowance.

To contact 2Go Travel, call Cebu +6332 233 7000 | Tagbilaran +6338 501 9472 | Ormoc +6353 561 9818.

2Go Travel and 2Go Supercat schedules Cebu