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
Categories
Events Feature Sports

Naga City hosts inaugural Sun Life 5150 Triathlon Cebu

Cebu is the “crown jewel in Asia” when it comes to triathlons, a race organizer said Friday.

That is the reason why when Sun Life Financial Philippines and Sunrise Events decided to stage the first Sun Life 5150 Triathlon Cebu, they knew “this is where we should be,” said Princess Galura during Friday’s press conference for the event.

Galura, who is the General Manager of Sunrise Events, said the 5150 is the Ironman brand for the official Olympic distance of the triathlon. It covers 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, and a 10-kilometer run.

Sun Life 5150 participants

All these segments will be done in host Naga City, said Galura. The City Government of Naga wanted all events within their boundaries so that they can have total control and jurisdiction in order to make sure participants are safe, she said. The event is also supported by the Cebu Provincial Government.

Princess Galura Sun Life 5150 Triathlon Cebu
SUN LIFE 5150 TRIATHLON CEBU. Sunrise Events General Manager Princess Galura talks about the inaugural Sun Life 5150 Triathlon Cebu to be held in Naga City on Sunday.

Galura said in Friday’s press briefing that there will be 300 participants on Sunday, including 7 professionals. The number also includes those who are joining the Go for Gold sprint distance.

She said the 5150 allows veterans to race and prepare for the longer Ironman event in Cebu later in the year. It also offers newbies who want to take up the sport an event to try things out.

Celebrities who will be joining the race include Sun Life ambassadors Piolo Pascual, his son Iñigo and fellow celebrities Paul Jake Castillo, who is a Cebuano, and Enchong Dee.

Handog Palangoy with Enchong Dee

Before the race, Dee will hold a swimming clinic called Sun Life Handog Palangoy on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Forty kids under the non-government organization Feed The Children will undergo the clinic led by Dee and other members of the Sun Life Tri Team.

“At Sun Life, we believe that preparation is key to a brighter future, especially with the many surprises that life may throw our way. This is perfectly exemplified in Handog Palangoy and Enchong’s cause,” said Sun Life Foundation Executive Director Kristine Millete.

There will also be a mangrove planting at 6 a.m. on the same day.

Sun Life Tri Team
SUN LIFE TRI TEAM. Members of the Sun Life Tri Team bannered by brand ambassador Piolo Pascual (center).

The 5150 triathlon is held as part of Sun Life Financial Philippines’ health and wellness efforts, said Sun Life Financial Philippines Institutional and Client Marketing Head Carla Chong. It seeks to encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and undertake multi-sport training for fitness.

Sun Life health, wellness journey

Chong discussed Sun Life programs and products that cater to various needs of people, from wellness to investment to retirement, among others.

“At Sun Life, we aim to provide Filipinos different avenues to enrich their health and wellness journey, whether they are already deep into their fitness goals or are just discovering their passion for it,” said Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa.

Sun Life employees will also be joining the event, including Business Development Managers Herbert Juaneza and Hilario Malapad, Sales Training and Development Head Ged Custodia, and Training Manager Aslagan Cuyugan. All these employees are Ironman finishers and are competing in the individual category.

Categories
Feature Sports

Hunat Sugbo returns for 9th year; organizers move to cut down trash

A fun run started by a hotel to call for justice in the killing of its top official is now on its 9th year. Hunat Sugbo has also taken on Cebu Parklane ‘s advocacy for protecting the environment.

The annual Hunat Sugbo is meant to encourage a healthy lifestyle, said Cebu Parklane International Hotel General Manager Cenelyn Manguilimotan. It also serves as venue to raise funds for the hotel’s medical missions,

Starting this year, they will ask runners to bring their own water bottles to cut down on the use of paper cups along the race route, she said. Manguilimotan, who is also a runner, said she notices large amounts of garbage, especially water cups, after every run.

Cebu Parklane recently announced its #ParklaneEcoWatch campaign. It includes regular cleanup drives, including along the Luyang River in Carmen, and a focus on cutting down on single-use plastic.

HUNAT SUGBO ORGANIZERS. Seated from left are Hunat Sugbo Chairman Nicanor Nacorda, Cebu Parklane General Manager Cenelyn Manguilimotan and Race Director Joel Baring. Standing are (from left) members of the hotel marketing team Trixie Raboy, Patricia Anne Alturas, Ervin Limpag, Marketing Manager Jaybee Flores Aquino, and Reena Cañada.

Manguilimotan said encouraging runners to bring their own hydration bottles is part of that campaign.

Hunat Sugbo will be held on June 23, said Hunat Sugbo Chairman Nicanor Nacorda. The run categories are 3K, 6K, 12K, and 21K. Registration fees are P400 for 3K, P500 for 6K, P750 for 12K, and P900 for 21K.

Nacorda said more than 200 signed up during the early bird registration in January. He said that was a record for the run. These runners got a special shirt.

Nacorda asked those planning to join 12K and 21K to register early because they will no longer be adding slots to these distances. He said they set aside 500 slots for 12K and 700 slots for 21K.

Hunat Sugbo Race Routes

Race Director Joel Baring said there are no significant changes to the race routes. He said the race will start at 4 a.m. and will have cold water stations as well as Pocari Sweat stations for runners.

Hunat Sugbo registration will open today at the hotel lobby. Nacorda said registration is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. They will accept signups in SM City Cebu from May 27 to June 9 and in Ayala Center Cebu from June 10 to June 21.

Manguilimotan said those who finish 12K and 21K will get finishers’ medals. Baring said they will be using timing chips for these 2 distances.

Categories
Feature Travel

Macau in 2 days: Gambling, glitz, and old world culture

They strap you to your seats, turn the lights off so the whole theater turns pitch black, and—just as you start to wonder what comes next—your seats begin to rise.

All around you, dark and menacing Gotham City comes to life in the 4D flight simulation ride Batman Dark Flight in Studio City Macau.

You hear Gotham hero Batman telling you things both worrisome and reassuring as he takes you on a hair-raising ride through the streets and above or between buildings—sometimes narrowly missing objects, flying up and plunging down while the city burns and explodes, to battle villains and bring you to safety.

Fontaine de Mers

A replica of this iconic fountain greets guests at the cavernous Parisian lobby. Above it is a dome with classical paintings.

Roller coaster rides scare me so I avoid them at all cost and I went into the Batman Dark Flight ride thinking it would be similar to my previous 4D theater experiences. Boy, was I wrong.

Cebu-Macau flights

My first time in Macau some years back was through a ferry ride out of Hong Kong, but it’s now easier to travel to this special administrative region of China with Cebu Pacific Air direct flights from Cebu.

CEBU-MACAU FLIGHTS. Cebu Pacific flies to Macau every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. The flights leave Cebu at 6:50 pm, and arrive in Macau at 10:00 pm. The return flight leaves Macau at 10:45 pm and arrives in Cebu at 01:45 am the next day.

Since my first visit was just a day trip added to our Hong Kong itinerary, our must-go list consisted only of The Venetian Macau and Senado Square. We had to rush both.

Macau’s many casinos, currently over 40, have earned it the nickname “Las Vegas of Asia.” The biggest ones along the Cotai Strip are equalled only by the fancy hotels and plush clubs.

Our recent travel to this vibrant city, courtesy of Cebu Pacific Air and Klook, showed there is so much more to Macau than gambling and glitz

Ruins of St. Paul

Another facet of this vibrant city, one that traces back 300 years of Portuguese rule and influence, we discovered through the Macau Sightseeing Day Tour booked through Klook. Discounted down to a little over P3,000, the tour came with transport and buffet lunch and allowed us to cover most of Macau’s top attractions.

Our outing took us through the taste, sounds, and sights of old Macau with its mix of Chinese and Portuguese culture. Our guide regaled us with the idiosyncrasies of its rich and famous, pointed out the best souvenir shops, and enumerated delicacies that had us looking for soup, egg tarts, dim sum, and pork chop buns even late at night.

Ruins of St. Paul in Macau
BEST PHOTO SPOT. On the suggestion of our tour guide, we had our photo taken with the Ruins of St. Paul further down the stairs to where this arch can frame the image.

We didn’t just check out the Ruins of St. Paul, once a 16th century Portuguese church, we learned how the colonizers made it acceptable to the Macanese by building it with steps that summed up to the Chinese lucky number of 68.

Within Senado Square, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as it forms part of the Historic Centre of Macau, our guide led us along ancient cobbled streets with their names inscribed on Portuguese tiles, through buildings with European features, and to the other 16th-century St. Dominic’s Church.

OPULENT. The Venetian Macau is a picture of luxury and opulence and has replicas of various Venetian landmarks.

Macau sights

Through the Macau Sightseeing Day Tour, we had time for The Venetian with its replicas of Venice’s top sights: St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal, and ornate Venetian architecture. Of course, The Venetian also hosts Macau’s biggest casino.

A brief stop at the Macau Tower was also included in our itinerary. We had time to go up the tower and even bungee jump if we so wished.

The Macau Sightseeing Day Tour also brought us to the 14th century A-Ma Temple, one of three famous Buddha halls in Macau. It was along a sea promontory near this temple that the Portuguese landed in Macau over 400 years ago.

We took our lunch at a local restaurant that provides a buffet menu of Macanese and Portuguese food. It was there that I had my first taste of the popular Portuguese soup caldo verde.

SPOTLIGHT. Studio City’s premium restaurant serves a delicious buffet of international cuisine and seafood.

Studio City

Day 2 of our short trip was reserved for two top Macau activities: the 4D flight simulation ride Batman Dark Flight and Golden Reel Ferris Wheel.

The ferris wheel is shaped like a figure 8 suspended 130 meters high up Studio City’s facade. Make sure to schedule your ride on a clear day to make the most of the views from the glass cabins.

Flying with Batman was a different kind of experience. They don’t just rush you into the activity, they prep you first by herding you into a holding room where you get a primer from Batman on the situation you’re in. For a moment, you get this crazy idea that whatever was going to happen will take place in that room and that made it even more scary.

Photos of our Macau trip

Klook activities

On our second day in Macau, we had lunch at Studio City’s premium restaurant Spotlight. With a cinema theme and Art Deco style, Spotlight serves a wide range of international cuisine and seafood in the buffet menu. Lunch came with unlimited coffee and drinks.

Availed through Klook, our sumptuous buffet lunch came at a great discount.

Booking our activities through Klook also made things easier. There was no need to line up for tickets; we simply had to present our Klook vouchers at the entrance for scanning.

CEBxKlookTravels Team Macau. Our group of Cebu bloggers and writers in front of the replica of Eiffel Tower in the Parisian in Macau. (From left) Ryan Calle, Deneb Batucan, Sweet Veloso-Selma, Jude Bacalso, me, Max, Sven Macoy Schmid Lysa Amor Diaz -Ota, and Miong Pelimon.
CEBxKlookTravels Team Macau. Our group of Cebu bloggers and writers in front of the replica of Eiffel Tower in the Parisian in Macau. (From left) Ryan Calle, Deneb Batucan, Sweet Veloso-Selma, Jude Bacalso, me, Max, Sven Macoy Schmid Lysa Amor Diaz -Ota, and Miong Pelimon.

More Macau experiences

This gave us time for a quick visit to the Parisian Macao with its replicas of the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees as well as hotel concierge made out like a gallery of the Louvre and a room in Château de Versailles.

A copy of the Fontaine de Mers under a painted domed ceiling decorates the Parisian’s spacious lobby.

We had time to look for pork chop buns at Taipa food street because we heard that one of the stalls there offers the tastiest servings.

Macau is definitely more than a day-trip destination, but we made the most of our two days by flying direct from Cebu via Cebu Pacific Air and booking experiences through Klook.

Egg tart Macau
Egg tart
Pork chop bun Macau
Pork chop bun
Categories
Feature Travel

Long layover, late night or early morning flight? Sleep, freshen up at Mactan Cebu Aerotel

If you need a place to freshen up, take a quick shower, or even a quick nap, head to Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Aerotel Cebu offers travelers comfortable solo and double rooms to rest or refresh themselves by taking a shower. It is open 24 hours daily and people can check in anytime and stay by the hour.

Aerotel Cebu shower
SHOWER. Each room has a bathroom that has a hot shower.

Coffee, tea and some light snacks are also available in the Aerotel Cebu refreshment counter.

Aerotel Cebu is run by the Plaza Premium Group, the pioneer and industry leader in providing airport hospitality solutions around the world. Aerotel is its international airport transit hotel brand.

Convenience, comfort

Aerotel Cebu is the Plaza Premium Group’s 7th airport hotel opening after Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou.

“We look forward to enhance the travel experience of the passengers with our service ethos of convenience, comfort, value and love and care when they travel through,” said Plaza Premium Group Founder and CEO Song Hoi-see.

Aerotel Cebu has 9 Solo rooms, which measure 7.2 square meters, and 2 Double Plus rooms, which measure 9.6 square meters.

All 11 rooms come with ensuite bathroom with hot showers and amenities, complimentary drinking water, towels, slippers, hairdryer, big-screen color TV with satellite TV and radio channels, complimentary Wi-Fi, centralized air-conditioning and complimentary coffee/tea making facilities. All rooms also come with a writing table and a USB charging port.

Aerotel Cebu
AEROTEL CEBU. Rest and freshen up in Aerotel Cebu located in Terminal 2 of Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Service Rates

Shower with amenities
1 hour walk-in P500

Solo Room
1 single bed with ensuite bathroom and shower
3 hours P1,500
6 hours P2,200
9 hours P2,800

Double Plus
2 single beds with ensuite bathroom and shower
6 hours P3,500
9 hours P4,500

For inquiries or reservations, contact: [email protected].

More photos of Aerotel Cebu

AEROTEL CEBU is located in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
AEROTEL CEBU is located in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
AEROTEL CEBU has 11 rooms.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
WRITING TABLE with power outlets for charging all your devices.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
Complimentary snacks.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
Free coffee and tea.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
Freshen up by staying in Aerotel Cebu by the hour or availing yourself of a 1-hour walk-in shower for P500.
Aerotel Cebu in Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport
AEROTEL CEBU is the Plaza Premium Group’s 7th airport hotel opening after Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou.
Categories
Events Feature Lifestyle

Newly opened CebuDoc Dental Institute offers complete lineup of services

As a way of evolving dentistry by incorporating it with other fields of medicine and including it among its wellness brands, the Cebu Doctors University Hospital opened the CebuDoc Dental Institute with state-of-the-art facilities.

Aside from general dentistry, it also offers preventive and cosmetic dentistry, dental diagnostic laboratory services, orthodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, pediatric dentistry, TMD management, periodontics, dental implants, and oral maxillofacial surgery.

Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, CebuDoc Group President and Chairman, said their newest facility seeks to change the perception exclusively associating dentists with teeth and cavity.

We are known to innovate. Whatever is new in the industry, we provide. Our center has a CBCT, digitized x-ray system, three dental chairs, and one operating room.

Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, CebuDoc Group President and Chairman

Wellness brand

The newly-built CebuDoc Dental Institute becomes part of the developing Wellness Complex situated in the Medical Arts Building 2 of Cebu Doctors University Hospital. It is the second facility that will comprise the Wellness Complex since it was introduced last year with the opening of the Center for Aesthetics and Laser.

Cebu Doctors University Hospital CebuDoc Dental Institue
DENTAL INSTITUTE. CebuDoc Group President and Chairman Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III talks about the group’s Dental Institute during its launch. With him are Binibining Cebu 2018 Steffi Aberasturi (2nd from left) and CebuDoc Dental Institute Chair and College of Dentistry Dean Dr. Imelda P. Montuerto (2nd from right).

Larrazabal added that the healthcare system in the CebuDoc Group has been continuously upgrading so it could provide holistic care and the dental healthcare system is part of this.

CebuDoc’s latest wellness brand is made up of the most reputable and top-caliber dentists, starting with CebuDoc Dental Institute Chair and College of Dentistry Dean Dr. Imelda P. Montuerto.

Innovation leader

The multi-specialty institute, with its diagnostic laboratory services that include a dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) or what is commonly known as the CT scan for dentists, will have lower rates compared to other dental clinics, according to Montuerto.

“We are known to innovate. Whatever is new in the industry, we provide. Our center has a CBCT, digitized x-ray system, three dental chairs, and one operating room,” added Dr. Larrazabal.

He also intends the CebuDoc Dental Institute to further revolutionize the profession by offering a residency training program that will allow dentists to go into different specializations.

Binibining Cebu 2018 CebuDoc wellness ambassadors
WELLNESS AMBASSADORS. To help spread its wellness message in dental health, CebuDoc took in the Binibining Cebu 2018 queens as its wellness ambassadors.

Wellness ambassadors

To help spread its wellness message in dental health, CebuDoc took in the Binibining Cebu 2018 queens as its wellness ambassadors. The partnership, said Dr. Larrazabal, is to reach out to more people and inspire them to take care not only of their dental health but total well-being.

The CebuDoc Dental Institute is committed to delivering high quality healthcare and working to ensure that its dental services will be available to everyone who needs them.

“Having healthy teeth can boost someone’s confidence especially in dealing with other people. It brings out the best of your personality and, for me, that is enough reason for people to take care of their teeth,” said Binibining Cebu 2018 Steffi Aberasturi.

CebuDoc Dental Institute Opening
OPENING. Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, president and chairman of the board of the Cebu Doctors’ Group of Companies, leads ceremonies to mark the opening of the CebuDoc Dental Institute on the 5th floor of its Medical Arts building on Osmeña Blvd. With Dr. Yong are other members of the family, including his mother Zeny (2nd from left), and the board as well as Binibining Cebu winners who serve as wellness ambassadors.
Categories
Business Feature Lifestyle

Restaurant, gym and yoga centers, other lifestyle outlets planned for Axis in Vibo Place

Shared office spaces and more units for lifestyle outlets are just some of the new and exciting developments at Axis Entertainment Avenue on Vibo Place.

The Country Basket restaurant, which is known for its chicken dishes as well as breads and pastries, and an architectural showroom are set to open in May at a newly completed cluster expansion, said Axis General Manager Andre Allen Suarez.

Opening soon in another building cluster is a yoga studio and an eyelash extension facility.

Axis Entertainment Venue expansion plans

Axis General Manager Andre Allen Suarez says they plan to fill the new cluster building with a gym, spa or salon, convenience store or pharmacy and are currently looking for locators.

Axis expansion

Suarez added that they will also add 11 units in a new two-storey building that’s currently being constructed after Burger King. This will increase the gross lease area of Axis by 28 percent.

The plan is to fill the new cluster building with a gym, spa or salon, convenience store or pharmacy and are currently looking for locators.

“We already have several restaurants. What we’re looking for now are activities for our customers. We’re listening to their needs,” Suarez explained.

Axis Entertainment Avenue on Vibo Place
NEW DEVELOPMENTS. Shared office spaces and more units for lifestyle outlets are just some of the new and exciting developments at Axis Entertainment Avenue on Vibo Place.

He estimates the schedule of building completion to be around the end of 2019 or early 2020.

Shared offices

One other thing that is currently in development at Vibo Place is a shared office space that is intended for startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers.

Suarez said they have converted what used to be a serviced apartment spanning 800 square meters into small office spaces that can fit a minimum of three to five people. An events space and a bar are two unique features of the new facility.

According to him, shared office locators will have the advantage of a strategic address in Cebu City.

Categories
Business Feature Food

The Abaca Group plans expansion while keeping quality of products

Amid baking challenges and overcoming the perception of being expensive, The Abaca Group has managed to achieve healthy growth—starting out in 2006 with a boutique resort + restaurant and expanding to eight brands with over 20 outlets in Cebu today.

Several more will be added to the number this 2019, including Red Lizard branches in Manila that will be opened through a franchising agreement, said The Abaca Group Founder Jason Hyatt.

“The only requirement for expansion is that customers can’t notice,” he added, citing the need to maintain the group’s exceptional food and service.

Chef Patrick Corpuz, Director for Business, credited their consistent growth to a strengthened team. The company is set to open another Abaca Baking Company in Ayala Center Cebu and Luncheonette outlets in SM City Cebu and Ayala Center Cebu.

The Abaca Group
COMPANY GROWTH. The Abaca Group Director for Business Chef Patrick Corpuz (left) and founder Jason Hyatt discuss with reporters the company’s expansion plans.

 

Filipino restaurant at The Reef

The Reef Mactan Hotel and Residences, where Abaca plans to put up a Filipino restaurant, is also scheduled for completion and opening this year.

Mr. Hyatt said their vision for the Filipino restaurant is it should replicate home cooking and showcase local ingredients.

“Isn’t it strange that we don’t have Filipino restaurants in our hotels?,” he asked, adding that tourists who come to the country usually ask for places where they can try local food.

The Abaca Group founder also announced he has been tapped to handle the food and beverage management of the upcoming “apart’hotel” Citadines in Cebu City and has created a separate business for this purpose.

According to him, what they wanted to do was create partnerships with developers that will allow them to open commissary kitchens in hotels to aid in their expansion.

The Abaca Group
CHALLENGE. The Abaca Group Founder Jason Hyatt says the requirement for their expansion is the need to maintain the group’s exceptional food and service.

 

Expansion opportunities

To put up an Abaca Baking Company in other areas, added Mr. Hyatt, the challenge is to figure out how to make baked goods travel.

Since ABC prides itself in fresh breads and pastries, it needs to find a way to bake everyday and bring the products across great distances.

Partnerships with other businesses that will allow them to put up their own kitchens in hotels and similar developments will help solve this particular challenge, said Mr. Hyatt, adding that The Abaca Group will need such collaborations to grow nationwide.

Mr. Corpuz said they have several concepts in mind for additional brands that will probably be introduced in the next two years.

“We’re streamlining our product line and trying out different techniques,” he cited. The different Abaca outlets serve to cater to different business segments.

The Abaca Group

 

Challenges to growth

Through its growth years, The Abaca Group also had to contend with a reputation for being expensive.

While this has hounded them for a few years, Hyatt said they see it as working to their advantage now.

According to Corpuz, the typical business model of targeting a specific price point has worked well for their restaurants.

All through the years of serving quality and exceptional food, albeit at prices seen in the past as costly, the market is now finally ready for The Abaca Group.

The Abaca Group

 

The Abaca Group

 

The Abaca Group

 

Categories
Business Feature Travel

Cebu Pacific starts Cebu-Shanghai route by April 15, offers 1 peso promo base fare

CEBU Pacific Air has opened a new international route to Shanghai from Cebu, offering promo base fare of 1 peso until the end of the company’s anniversary month of March.

Cebu Pacific’s Cebu-Shanghai and return flights will be six times weekly starting April 15, 2019.

Charo Logarta Lagamon said the new route will make Cebu a bigger international hub, as it also connects other Visayas areas like Dumaguete and Iloilo as well as Mindanao cities like Davao and Cagayan de Oro with Shanghai via Cebu. Logamon is Director for Corporate Communications Corporate Affairs of Cebu Pacific.

Logamon and Director for Marketing Blessie Cruz led today’s announcement in Hai Shin Lou in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

The new Cebu-Shanghai route increases the airline’s international destinations out of Cebu to six.

Cebu Pacific Cebu-Shanghai
TO SHANGHAI. Charo Logarta Lagamon, Cebu Pacific Director for Corporate Communications Corporate Affairs, announces the start of the Cebu-Shanghai route.

 

Cebu-Shanghai flight schedules

Cebu Pacific will fly the Cebu-Shanghai route six times weekly, departing Cebu every Monday and Friday at 6:45 p.m., every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:05 p.m., and every Wednesday and Saturday at 11:55 p.m. Flight arrives in Shanghai at 10:45 every Monday and Friday, 11 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, and 11:10 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday.

Flights to Cebu leave Shanghai at 11:45 p.m. every Monday and Friday and 11:55 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Arrival times in Cebu are: 4 a.m. every Monday and Friday and 4:10 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Cebu Pacific currently has a network of 37 domestic and 26 international destinations with 2,100 weekly flights.

Cebu Pacific Cebu-Shanghai
ANNOUNCEMENT. Cebu Pacific Director for Corporate Communications Corporate Affairs Charo Logarta Lagamon and Director for Marketing Blessie Cruz led the announcement of new routes.

 

What to do in Shanghai

Shanghai is a major industrial and commercial hub in China with quite a colorful colonial history.

That ancient network of trade routes called the Silk Route which connected East and West started out of Shanghai, and visitors can check out such attractions as The Bund, Yuyuan Gardens, and Shanghai Tower, added Lagamon.

Cebu Pacific said it is committed to growing the Cebu hub, by continually increasing flight frequencies and adding more domestic and international routes.

Categories
Business Feature Travel

Lite Ferries launches bigger ship for Cebu City-Ormoc City route

A new and faster roll-on roll-off or RORO passenger ship will service the Cebu City to Ormoc City route starting Monday, March 25.

M/v Lite Ferry 19 will be launched tomorrow as the twin sister ship of m/v Lite Ferry 18. It was built in 2002 and is the youngest vessel to ply the Cebu-Ormoc route. It is also the fastest ship on the route, with a travel time of 4 and 1/2 hours.

The vessel is equipped with 2 new Ningbo diesel engines built in 2017, with a total power of 7,800 HP. It has a maximum speed of 16.8 knots and service speed of 15 knots.

m/v Lite Ferry 19 Cebu Ormoc
CEBU-ORMOC. M/v Lite Ferry 19 will be the fastest ship to service the Cebu City-Ormoc City route, covering the distance in 4 and 1/2 hours.

Lite Ferries President and Chief Executive Officer Lucio E. Lim, Jr. said the ship is intended to improve their servicing of the existing Cebu to Ormoc route. The acquisition of the new ship is also part of Lite Ferries’ efforts to contribute to the modernization of the country’s shipping industry.

“This is in answer to the call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to modernize the Philippine domestic fleet. By the end of the year, 50 percent of our fleet will be either brand new or 20 years below upon acquisition,” Lim said.

A ceremonial ribbon cutting is scheduled during tomorrow’s launch aboard m/v Lite Ferry 19. Guests scheduled to join the ceremony are Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Labor Undersecretary Renato Ebarle, and Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez.

Lim will lead the launching together with COO Fernando A. Inting, VP for Ship Management Jonathan Lim-Imboy, Assistant Manager for Operations Jethro Lim-Imboy, and other members of the Lite Ferries management.

M/v Lite Ferry 19
ACCOMMODATIONS. M/v Lite Ferry 19 can accommodate a total of 856 passengers.

When it starts servicing the route, m/v Lite Ferry will leave Cebu City for Ormoc City at 11 a.m. daily and from Ormoc City to Cebu City at 11 p.m.

The company said in a press release that m/v Lite Ferry 19 has interior-designed accommodations with hotel like features and amenities including an air conditioned 40-seater restaurant, a fully stocked canteen that will open overnight, an information desk, and multi-purpose kiosk.

It has two economy passenger decks, tourist class, business class, and four executive cabin rooms that can accommodate a total of 856 passengers. Its deck pathways have bigger spaces than Marina standards and its facilities are compliant with international maritime standards.

M/v Lite Ferry 19 Cebu Ormoc

Lite Ferries continues to improve its existing fleet by acquiring more vessels, with deliveries expected later in the year.

Lite Ferries’ main ticketing office is located at the Lite Ferries Corporate Building, Lite Port Center, M.J. Cuenco Ave., Barangay Tejero, Cebu City. For booking and inquiries, you may visit our website at www.liteferries.com.ph.

Categories
Feature News Travel

MCIA to build Airport Village ‘to improve travel experience’

It takes a village to welcome home or send off a Filipino traveler and authorities at the Mactan Cebu International Airport want to create the space and ambience for that by building an Airport Village.

“We all know in the Philippines one person arrives, half the barangay comes to meet them. So we are creating the space that will allow all of these people to be there, to meet them and welcome them home,” said GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation Chief Executive Advisor Andrew Harrison.

“Our culture has always been for people to meet and greet our visitors as many of us as possible. No airport has that kind of facility – this is the first airport that will allow that,” said Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Steve Dicdican.

Mactan Cebu Airport Village
PEDESTRIAN ZONE. The old MCIA arrivals road will be permanently closed and designated a pedestrian zone as part of the Airport Village.

 

Better experience

Harrison said, “the Airport Village is designed to provide a much better arrival experience for passengers and significantly expanded waiting areas for meeters and greeters.”

The Airport Village is scheduled to be completed by September 2019.

Escalators and high-capacity elevators will link arrivals and departures in the Airport Village.

The Airport Village is part of the renovation of MCIA Terminal 1 based on designs by Architects Budji + Royal Design. The terminal “will have its own unique identity further building on resort-airport themed concept seen with the newly-opened Terminal 2,” GMR Megawide said in a press statement.

Harrison said the Airport Village will have a range of services, tourist counters, transport counters, and various concessionaires.

Mactan Cebu International Airport arrivals pick-up zone
PWD-FRIENDLY. GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation Chief Executive Advisor Andrew Harrison demonstrates the ramp that people on wheelchairs can use to get on the bus that takes people from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 with stops on the car park. With Harrison is Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Steve Dicdican.

 

Pedestrian zone

Dicdican said the increased space will allow the airport to have more local stores and products. He said it “is important for this resort-themed terminal to feature local products.”

Harrison said the Airport Village will be located at the arrivals area. The whole arrivals road will be closed to vehicles and “become a pedestrian zone.”

The increased space will also allow the airport to double the capacity for reclaim bags. Previously, 3 belts were set aside for domestic baggage and 3 for international. After the renovation, all 6 will be for domestic baggage.

Harrison said passengers might encounter “minor inconveniences” with work on the terminal and asked them to be understanding. He said the challenge with the project is that they are working with a “live terminal.”

MCIA Pick-Up Zone
NEW PICK-UP ZONE. Airport authorities recently opened this new Pick-Up Zone for passengers at Terminal 1.

 

New arrivals pick-up zone

Harrison and Dicdican led the inauguration on March 14 of the new Arrivals Pick-Up Zone in Terminal 1. The zone has several bays where passengers can be fetched by private vehicles. Waiting time in the bays is limited to 2 minutes.

With the opening of the new Pick-Up Zone, the old Arrivals Pick-Up Road in Terminal 1 will be permanently closed. Vehicles fetching passengers have the option of using the main car park between Terminals 1 and 2 or the new Pick-Up Zone.

 

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Business Feature Tech

POSIBLE brings digital payments, financial tech to neighborhoods

Rather than drive to a mall and get stuck in traffic to pay your VECO dues, you can soon just go to your nearest sari-sari store that has a POSIBLE system in place and settle your electricity bill there.

POSIBLE is a Filipino financial technology company that seeks to drive financial inclusion by bringing these services to communities by working with micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“We are talking micro – sari-sari stores, your neighborhood bakeries, auto shops. We are community-based as opposed to those that you can see in the mall. Our thrust is inside the community, your neighbor,” said POSIBLE CEO JG Puzon.

POSIBLE Cebu
DIGITAL PAYMENTS. POSIBLE CEO JG Puzon demonstrates the use of their digital payments device in an interview with Cebu journalists.

 

Digital payments centers

Puzon was in Cebu last February 19 to formally launch the system here.

POSIBLE is a system that allows small neighborhood businesses to become digital payments centers.

Those interested to become agents can sign up by paying P45,000 for the package, which comes with the device and marketing materials. After that, they will need to pay P150 as monthly fee.

The device is “Filipino-developed and very localized. It was designed to work with how small Filipino entrepreneurs do business,” Puzon said.

The device offers more than 300 services from bills payment, remittances, prepaid loading, bus ticketing, bank deposits and even government transactions for NBI clearances, SSS, birth certificate and passport payments.

POSIBLE Veco
PAY VECO. Among the utilities you could pay using the POSIBLE device is VECO, the power company servicing Metro Cebu.

 

Bridging the gap

“We want to make the digital world accessible to people who do not necessarily have access to digital. A lot of people have smartphones but they don’t have bank accounts. This bridges that gap,” Puzon said.

He said the system allows stores to become online shops because they are able to sell via a catalogue and purchases are then delivered to their location.

Puzon said there are 3,200 POSIBLE agents nationwide, mostly concentrated in the General Metro Manila area, where they started in 2016. There are 50 agents in Cebu and, after last week’s formal launch, they are targeting 100 in the next 3 months. They are then planning to get 30 to 40 new agents per month as well as expand to nearby areas like Bohol and Dumaguete.

Puzon said they are confident with the prospect of the system in Cebu, which shares a lot of problems with Manila, especially on traffic. He said the ability to pay and transact in your neighborhood will be a big help to consumers.

Like any business, Puzon said potential earnings depend on things such as location and efforts put in by the business owner. The average earnings of their agents run to P4,000 to P5,000 a month. Some, however, earn as high as P30,000, he said.

POSIBLE Cebu
CEBU LAUNCH. POSIBLE CEO JG Puzon during the launch of their financial technology platform in Cebu City.

 

Expand quickly

POSIBLE has now processed more than P5 billion worth of transactions, the company said in a statement.

Partnering with POSIBLE will help companies expand quickly throughout the country, Puzon said.

“It’s like having 3,200 branches right away. You can imagine how much it costs them to put up a branch – you rent a place, put a security guard, pay workers, put up aircon, etc. If they go on board with us, they are immediately nationwide,” Puzon said.

“It works both ways, it helps the small entrepreneurs, it also helps the big service providers,” he added.

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Business Feature Tech

If everyone has gone digital, how do you stand out? Accenture report points way

Digital is no longer a differentiator for enterprises but “the price of admission to do business,” a top official of a global technology company said in a briefing on Tuesday.

Digital technologies are already an expectation and no longer a differentiator, said JP Palpallatoc, Managing Director and Accenture Digital Lead in the Philippines in a briefing for media.

“Now that everybody is doing digital, what will differentiate you?” Palpallatoc said in a briefing in Manila and connected via video conferencing with one of their offices in Cebu City.

Palpallatoc gave an overview on key technology trends in the next few years as identified by the Accenture Technology Vision 2019 report. He said the time we are in is “post-digital,” because using technologies is already a given in the enterprise.

“Just as people no longer say they live in the “age of electricity,” the days of calling something digital to insinuate that it is new and innovative are numbered,” Accenture said in its report.

The company said the “post-digital” era means companies need to “double down on completing their digital transformations to get the most value from those investments—and at the same time, turn a strategic eye toward what’s next.”

What’s next, Palpallatoc said, are a new set of technologies that will make a major impact in the next 3 years.

Accenture Tech Vision 2019

 

1) New technologies

Accenture lists these technologies as DARQ for Distributed ledger or blockchain, Artificial intelligence, extended Reality, and Quantum computing.

“Future-minded leaders know that mastering the next set of technologies will give them every advantage,” the company said in a video clip explaining DARQ.

Palpallatoc cited as example Volkswagen, which “uses quantum computing to study traffic flow optimization analysis and looking into the chemical structure of batteries to find out how to make better ones.” He said they are also using AI for its vehicles and extended reality through googles that guide its workers in repairing units.

Volkswagen also extensively uses the blockchain to increase the security of its system as well as for payments. Palpallatoc cited UnionBank of the Philippines as a local company “deep into the blockchain,” using it to connect rural banks and for internal processes.

2) Technology identity, individualized experiences

People’s use of technology creates an identity that enriches their demographic, which can then be tapped to created individualized experiences, Palpallatoc said.

“In the past, what we talked about in getting to know your consumer was called personalization. We used traditional demographics – are you female are you male do you live here, etc? ” he said.

“What we’re seeing from a post-digital area is going beyond personalization to individualized experiences and leveraging technology identity. These are the technology choices that individuals make as well as how they are using those technologies. That information is being used to enrich the demographics,” he said.

The Accenture report said 83% of respondents found that digital demographics allow them to identify unmet needs of customers.

Palpallatoc cited as example the SlicePay lending platform in India that targets unbanked students. By going over their social media for information on the vacations that they take or the restaurants they visit, they are able to identify to whom they lend money.

Another use case is the John Hancock Vitality Program, an insurance package that uses wearables like smartwatches to offer consumers discounts on their premiums if they meet fitness goals.

3) Empowered human workers

Empowered by technology and with improved skills and expertise, workers are becoming “human+,” said Palpallatoc.

“In a post-digital era, people are still central to the innovation agenda. We need to keep people front and center,” he said.

He said technologies like AI, analytics, extended reality are extending the capabilities of employees. Companies, however, “still recruit, hire and manage for the workforce of years past,” according to the Accenture study.

Palpallatoc said, “71% of respondents said digital workers are more mature now compared to their organizations. Workers are waiting for the company to catch up. There is a need for company to change the way they organize their work to be able support the human+ workers and enable them.”

He cited as example the use by Unilever of technology and AI for interviews and assessment of entry-level hires. This resulted in a 90% increase in job applications and the shortening of time it took to fill the job from 4 months to a few days, he said.

Accenture Technology Vision 2019
TECH VISION BRIEFING. Reporters in Cebu join via video-conference a briefing on the Accenture Technology Vision 2019 by Managing Director and Digital Lead in the Philippines JP Palpallatoc.

 

4) Ecosystem security

Enterprises have found that security today requires that they also keep an eye out beyond their premises.

“In the past, their approach to security was my company first, secure your walled garden, make sure nobody gets in,” Palpallatoc said. “What we’ve seen with the advent of ecosystems is that you cannot just protect yourself, you need to protect each one of your ecosystem as well.”

Security is a team sport and enterprises have to protect each other, he said.

He cited as example the decision by Netflix to open source its security tools.

5) My Markets

Technology and data now allow companies to customize products and services and deliver them fast and on demand, Palpallatoc said.

This trend is “about using technologies like IOT (internet of things) on being able to capture the reality at that point in time and being able to respond,” he said.

“Technology is creating a world of intensely customized and on-demand experiences, and companies must reinvent their organizations to find and capture those opportunities,” Accenture said in its report.

The company reported that 85% of executives they surveyed said “that the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage.”

Palpallatoc cited as example of hyper-customization a beverage company in India that offers different flavors depending on where these are sold. He said the company even has a custom flavor sold only for a few days a year – during a festival.