Categories
Feature Food

Menya Hachi cooks up union of Japanese, Hawaian flavors

With such ramen dishes as Cheese Bari Kote, Shoyu, and Oxtail and specials like Mochiko Chicken and Loco Moco, Menya Hachi in Ayala Malls Central Bloc aims to add diversity to Cebu’s culinary scene.

Couple Robert and Mary Tambis, who co-own the restaurant with two other family members, said they wanted to put up something unique in Cebu and felt that a Japanese-Hawaian restaurant would be a good fit.

Categories
Feature Food

Ding How pioneers digital innovation in Ayala Central Bloc branch

Ding How Dimsum House rolls out an innovative digital ordering system for its branch in Ayala Central Bloc to bring about a better dining experience for customers.

Harbour City Group Marketing Director Steven Kokseng said the innovation, which allows diners to browse the full menu and pick orders on touch-screen monitors that can be found in all 24 tables of the restaurant, is the first of its kind in Cebu.

Categories
Feature Heritage History

Sinulog a spectacle for tourists, ‘not authentic’ representation of indigenous roots: historian

The Sinulog grand parade is a spectacle for tourists and locals and devotees should just stay home and let visitors enjoy it, a historian said in a forum tracing the roots of Sinulog yesterday.

It is not authentic but a commercial celebration designed for outsiders, said Dr. Jose Eleazar Bersales, an anthropologist at the University of San Carlos, during the forum “Retracing Sinulog: A forum on the precolonial roots of the Sinulog dance” at the Palm Grass Hotel in Cebu City.

Categories
Feature Properties

Megaworld launches 5th residential development in Cebu

20-storey The Pearl Global Residences to add 222 residential units in the 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown

Property giant Megaworld is launching its fifth residential development inside the 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

The 20-storey The Pearl Global Residences will add 222 units in the existing 1,836 residential unit inventory in the township. It will be the 11th residential condominium tower to rise inside The Mactan Newtown, which boasts of its own beachfront.

Categories
Community Events Feature

Faithful spread devotion in Sto. Niño exhibit at Ayala Center Cebu

More than 40 images of the Sto. Niño are on exhibit at Ayala Center Cebu in time for the celebration of the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City.

The display showcases curated images of the Child Jesus in different representations but mostly as the Sto. Niño de Cebu.

Categories
Community Feature Tech

Cisco highlights disaster response, management solution

Drawing from lessons its TacOps response team learned during Typhoon Yolanda, Cisco has made available a response and management solution that taps its various technologies to innovate disaster response and management.

The product is Cisco KONEKTADO, an end-to-end solution that enables easy and effective collaboration and communication before, during, and after a disaster such as a strong typhoon.

Categories
Business Feature

Safe refillable LPG canisters launched in Cebu

A company has introduced in Cebu a refillable aluminum LPG canister that is government-certified as safe to use. The Gaz Lite Mate, a 230-gram version of the refillable LPG canisters of Pascal Resources Energy, Inc. (PREI), can be used with existing portable gas stoves and grillers in the market, company officials said in a press event.

The refillable canisters emerged from a corporate social responsibility initiative of PR Gaz, a pioneer in the Philippine LPG industry founded by Nelson Par. It is being produced and distributed by PREI, a social enterprise that continued the program after PR Gaz was acquired by another LPG company. Par serves as CEO and Chairman of PR Gaz.

Categories
Feature Food

Brick Lane Doughnuts brings a taste of London to Cebu

Young entrepreneur Andre Allen Suarez was traveling through New York and London in 2018 when he decided to look for the best doughnuts to bring home.

He found them in London.

Suarez liked the stuffed doughnuts so much, he took a short course to learn how to bake them. “I began to think about the business aspect of it. I believe it’s an underserved market that I can enter,” he said in an interview.

Categories
Feature Food

Tien Ma’s Cebu serves delectable Taiwanese cuisine

There’s no need to be in Taiwan to taste its delectable xiao long bao or even stinky tofu because both these and other iconic dishes are now available at the newly opened restaurant Tien Ma’s Taiwanese Cuisine along Ouano Avenue in Mandaue City.

The soup dumplings that are popular fare in Taipei’s dining establishments and night markets are made fresh and by hand at the Cebu branch of Tien Ma’s. They follow the recipe of Tien Liyuan, who was born in 1932 the Fang-shan township of Taiwan’s P’ing-tung county.

Categories
Feature Properties

Mandani Bay Quay launches 3rd residential tower

To keep up with the emergence of more discerning buyers, Mandani Bay Quay launched the third and last residential tower in the second phase of the waterfront development with its first ever fully-furnished units.

It will not just be throwing in furniture and appliances together though as the interior will be styled by world-renowned designer Ptang Studio Limited, said HTLand Project Director Gilbert C. Ang.

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.