Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Music Festival livens up Guadalupe fiesta celebration

Bigger and more entertaining events highlighted by a Music Festival are in store for this year’s feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Cebu City. PowerUbec Productions has lined up several activities to accompany the religious celebration of the Guadalupe fiesta next month, including a music fest featuring Cebu’s top talents on December 12, 2015.

Bigger and more entertaining events highlighted by a Music Festival are in store for this year’s feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Cebu City.

PowerUbec Productions has lined up several activities to accompany the religious celebration of the Guadalupe fiesta next month, including a music fest featuring Cebu’s top talents on December 12, 2015.

Missing Filemon Sundayag sa Banauan

MISSING FILEMON will be among the bands performing during the Sundayag sa Banauan. (Photo taken from official Facebook page)

 

Sundayag sa Banauan

The Music Festival Sundayag sa Banauan will have DJ Kirby, DJ Bernard, and DJ Weigel and showcase such local talents as the UP Band, Emphatzu Band, Power Trio, Closet Dolls, and Missing Filemon.

A foam party and lights show by Zkyloulighting add to the excitement of the Sundayag sound bonanza.

Don’t miss out on this great night of music. Gather your friends and join the Music Festival. For only P200 per person, enjoy this party like no other. Event starts at 8 p.m. at the Guadalupe Gym.

Promo Ticket

From today up to December 2, 2015, get your tickets at discounted prices. PowerUbec has a promo offering that entitles you to two tickets for the price of one.

To avail of the promo, simply like PowerUbec’s official Facebook page @powerhouseubec. A party is best enjoyed with friends so gather yours now and pay only half the cost to the Music Festival until the second of December.

The Music Festival is made possible by major sponsors Globe Telecom and OLX and minor sponsors Zkyloulighting, Livetech, RRB, GMO Collections, Sky, and Qualfon.

For more information and ticket inquiries, visit www.fb.me/powerhouseubec or contact the following mobile numbers (tap on the numbers to call on your phone): 0922-8242316 (Louie); 0998-5679755 (Blue); 0925-7772757 / 0906-3500699 (Kevin); 0932-5244549 (Keith); 0977-7777651 (Sandy).

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Marco Polo Plaza Cebu offers exclusive 2016 wedding, debut packages with One Sweet Day

IF you’re tying the knot or holding your debut next year, mark November 28 on your calendar. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu will be holding One Sweet Day: A Day of Wedding & Debut Exclusives on that day.

IF you’re tying the knot or holding your debut next year, mark November 28 on your calendar. Marco Polo Plaza Cebu will be holding One Sweet Day: A Day of Wedding & Debut Exclusives on that day.

If you book your 2016 wedding or debut with Marco Polo Plaza Cebu on November 28, you will get all the benefits of the hotel’s well-crafted celebration packages, plus the added One Sweet Day advantage.

One Sweet Day premium benefits

This includes a 20% discount on the celebration package price. You will also get to choose two more premium benefits from the following: waived corkage for wines and lechon, additional complimentary night’s stay before or after the wedding or debut, a gift certificate for Chocolate Indulgence Spa treatment for two, in-room Champagne Breakfast during your hotel stay, or a gift certificate for an overnight stay with breakfast for two at Marco Polo Davao.

One Sweet Day will be held at the newly renovated Cebu Grand Ballroom where the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Banquet Sales Team will be at your service from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu One Sweet Day

If you are scheduled to wed next year, book with Marco Polo Plaza Cebu on November 28 with its One Sweet Day event.

 

Only on November 28

The offer is only valid on November 28 with the following terms and conditions: a reservation fee of P30,000 should be paid on that day, this is valid only for new bookings, the wedding or debut must be in 2016 and the benefits can only be availed of on the date of event upon confirmation and full payment on or before March 2016.

“Sweet things can happen in one sweet day. Allow our team of professional event specialists to help you make your dream celebration come true,” said the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu team.

For more information, you can call (032) 253-1111 local 8109 or email [email protected] For real time updates, like the Facebook page at facebook.com/marcopolocebu or follow on Twitter at @5StarInCebu. (Press Release)

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Food.ISH Food Festival serves local, international, even exotic cuisine

Couple BJ and JD Sulit learned how to make a mean pad thai while backpacking through Thailand and they’re sharing culinary learnings from their Southeast Asian travels at the ongoing Food.ISH Food Festival inside the Cebu Business Park.

Couple BJ and JD Sulit learned how to make a mean pad thai while backpacking through Thailand and they’re sharing culinary learnings from their Southeast Asian travels at the ongoing Food.ISH Food Festival inside the Cebu Business Park.

During weekends this November and daily on December, the Sulits’ Banana Pancake Trail (BPT) Cebu food stall opens to orders for such cuisine as chicken satay with peanut sauce of Melaka, Malaysia; banh mi sandwich of Saigon, Vietnam; chori burger of Boracay, Philippines; and even such exotic cuisine as deep-fried crickets and worms.

(Note: The organizers have informed us that they will be transferring to the park in front of UCC cafe and Belo Medical Group clinic inside the Ayala Center Cebu starting December 4. They will open during mall hours and until midnight.)

Items in the BPT menu are affordable and you can have a filling meal of Thailand’s stir-fried noodle dish for only P95 or a Vietnamese sandwich for P85. BJ said they loved to eat at the marketplaces of the countries they’ve been too and learned how to prepare the dishes from locals.

Foodish Food Festival Cebu

BJ and JD Sulit cook Asian food that they learned to prepare while backpacking together. Their Banana Pancake Trail serves food at the Food.ISH Food Festival inside the Cebu Business Park.

 

Foodish Food Festival Cebu

PAD THAI. JD Sulit prepares the pad thai that we ordered.

 

Foodish Cebu Pad Thai

Delicious pad thai at a generous serving all for P95.

 

Foodish Food Festival Cebu

BANANA PANCAKE TRAIL. The dishes served by BPT Cebu a the Food.ISH Food Festival in the Cebu Business Park.

 

Foodish Food Festival Cebu

The Banana Pancake Trail, dubbed as such by Westerners because this was common among these countries.

 

Beside BPT is the Lion’s Den food stall of best friends Mari Noelle Lim and Tessa Juanillo where you can choose from a combination of Filipino and foreign dishes with a new twist. Chorizo and chicken cordon bleu are served as meatballs and pesto pasta comes with sausage slices.

If you’re a fan of Indian food, The Spice resto in Banilad has joined the festival, selling the popular fare samosa for only P120 at four pieces per order.

Unique dining experience

An initiative of Chavial Productions, a company put up by three friends, the Food.ISH Food Festival aims to provide a different dining place for locals and tourists.

“The food here has its own uniqueness, it’s not the usual fare we encounter. Add to that the view and ambiance and we have a place where people can relax as well as enjoy the good food and great music,” said Vernon Villareal, one of the brains behind the culinary showcase.

Foodish Cebu pesto pasta

LION’S DEN. This food stall is run by best friends and whips up such concoctions as this scrumptious pesto pasta with sausage slices.

 

Foodish Cebu Food Festival

DELICIOUS COMBO. We had pad thai from the Banana Pancake Trail and pesto pasta and chorizo and chicken cordon bleu meatballs from the Lion’s Den. Tasty meal at an affordable price.

 

Foodish Cebu samosa

SAMOSA. You can buy 4 pieces of Samosa for P120 from The Spice’s stall.

 

Chavial has made use of the vacant Linear Park between the Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI) building and City Sports Club as venue for the event. It has set aside 56 of the 63 stalls for food displays and these are mostly filled up. The common dining places, placed in the center, are covered with clear plastic-roofed tents to allow diners an unobstructed view of the night sky.

Food tents in one strip serve authentic international cuisine such as Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Singaporean, Indian, and Italian. Tents on the other side serve lechon, barbecue and other top homegrown food brands.

Villareal said they were overwhelmed by the number of people that showed up when they opened on November 13, a Friday. “They tell us we have a nice set-up and they’re happy with what we’re doing here. It’s very heartwarming,” Villareal further said.

The festival is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Sunday of November. By December 1, the food stalls will start serving at 4 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on weekends.

GELATO is served by Sheldon’s Dessert Factory in 25 flavors. They serve it in 3 scoops on a cone for P65.

GELATO is served by Sheldon’s Dessert Factory in 25 flavors. They serve it in 3 scoops on a cone for P65.

 

Foodish Cebu Briquito Silvanas

Briquito Silvanas

 

Cebuano comfort food

The festival also features the full range of Cebuano comfort and street food, from lechon to meat barbecues to chicharong bulaklak.

Kuzina Guadalupe carries Cebuano favorite lechon belly and even sells roasted turkey at its main branch in Banawa, Cebu City. Contact them at 0917-6317837 or 0923-5884424 for inquiries and orders.

Choobi Choobi, Apron Strings, Barbecue 14, and Yakski join the action with roasted and grilled meat and seafood dishes.

The Food.ISH Food Festival also has your desserts covered. There’s gelato in 25 flavors by Sheldon’s Dessert Factory, ice cream sandwiches by Frostbites, Belgian waffles, and Briquito Silvanas.

Foodish Cebu lechon

LOCAL FAVORITES such as lechon, tempura, squid rolls and fish balls are also available at the food festival.

 

Year-long food festival

Villareal said another goal of the event is to help promising chefs, individuals with culinary expertise, and food establishments get their menu out to a bigger audience.

The company said in a press statement that they plan to make the Food.ISH a year-long festival with themed months. They said they want it to become “Cebu’s own version of the very successful weekend food bazaars in Manila, examples of which are the ones in Mercato and Salcedo Village”

“We hope to invite not only local and international food merchants of Cebu but in other cities as well, such as Davao, Manila, Cagayan, or perhaps the nearby islands such as Bohol, Iloilo and Dumaguete,” said Food.ISH marketing director Franco Alvarez in the statement.

Foodish Cebu Food Festival

NOT JUST FOOD. There are also dry goods stalls in Food.ISH Food Festival like this dress shop. Organizers said they want a good mix of stalls to offer festival visitors and customers.

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Turning Wheels brews fine handcrafted beer in Cebu

Michael Nikkel of Turning Wheels Craft Brewery has big plans for craft beers in Cebu. Not only does he want to put up a taproom where people can drink beer and observe the brewing process, he intends to come up with home brew kits so people can learn to do it on their own.

Michael Nikkel of Turning Wheels Craft Brewery has big plans for craft beers in Cebu.

Not only does he want to put up a taproom where people can drink beer and observe the brewing process, he intends to come up with home brew kits so people can learn to do it on their own.

“Before I moved here (to Cebu) in 2013, I was already interested in craft beers. I’ve always wanted to open my own craft beer bar. When my wife suggested that I push through with it, I started brewing in May last year. I have to admit the first few drafts I brewed were not that good,” Nikkel said.

Turning Wheels craft beer

CRAFT BEERS. Turning Wheels Craft Brewery produces an average of 1,500 liters per month of such handcrafted beer styles as Summit Wheat Ale, Skyline White India Pale Ale (IPA), Derailed Pale Ale, Singletrack IPA, Turning Point Double IPA and Singlespeed Imperial Stout.

 

The beer eventually got better and better that it was ready for commercial distribution in June of 2014. When it opened, Turning Wheels was the first craft beer brewery in Cebu, he said. Now there are four, he said.

Beer, cycling passions

Before making his move to Cebu in 2013, Nikkel was working as a respiratory therapist for over eight years in Los Angeles.

Nikkel’s passion for cycling and beers led him to name the brewery Turning Wheels. Like many other cyclists, he loves to indulge in good beer after a strenuous ride as a way of rewarding himself for achieving his goals on the bike.

Turning Wheels craft beer

ROOM 801. Anya Unchuan, Cebu White Sands operations director, and Michael Nikkel of Turning Wheels Craft Brewery serve craft beers during the formal opening of Room 801. The restaurant in Cebu White Sands is among the few places in Cebu where you can buy Turning Wheels craft beers.

 

His brewery produces an average of 1,500 liters per month of such handcrafted beer styles as Summit Wheat Ale, Skyline White India Pale Ale (IPA), Derailed Pale Ale, Singletrack IPA, Turning Point Double IPA and Singlespeed Imperial Stout.

“We’re currently distributing to several places in Cebu, Manila and Iloilo and soon in Dumaguete and Boracay. We understand it’s a new style and people here are not that familiar with handcrafted beer. We want to create more brand presence in Cebu,” Nikkel said.

American style of brewing

According to him, what sets the Turning Wheels beers is its focus on the American, specifically West Coast, style of brewing.

West Coast ales are known for being citrusy, more of the pineapple flavor, compared to the malty taste of their East Coast counterparts, he added. The cost per bottle of craft beer produced by Turning Wheels ranges from P250-P300.

Turning Wheels craft beer

LAUNCHING. Turning Wheels Craft Brewery unveiled their website during the launching of Room 801 in Cebu White Sands.

 

Where you can buy Turning Wheels beers

Nikkel, who hopes to release his home brew kits by December, said he wants to make it easier for Cebuanos to make their own beer by providing them the necessary resources. There’s a strong community of craft beer lovers in Manila and Cebu adoption is not that far behind, he added.

Want a taste of fine handcrafted beer? Check out Turning Wheels brews at Irie Gastropubliko in Cebu IT Park or Room 801 of Cebu White Sands in Lapu-Lapu City. Learn how to order online from the Turning Wheels Facebook page or Turning Wheels Craft Brewery website.

Turning Wheels craft beer

CRAFT BEER. Turning Wheels craft beer are brewed in Cebu and can be bought in Irie Gastropubliko in Cebu IT Park or Room 801 of Cebu White Sands in Lapu-Lapu City or online.

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Bigger, grander Parkmall non-stop sale awaits shoppers

For the second straight year, Parkmall returns with the first and only 36-Hour Non-Stop Sale and makes it even grander. Catch hot celebrities and huge discounts of up to 80 percent in a non-stop extravaganza of shopping, dining, and entertainment that starts at 10 a.m. on November 14 and ends at 10 p.m. on November 15.

For the second straight year, Parkmall returns with the first and only 36-Hour Non-Stop Sale and makes it even grander.

Catch hot celebrities and huge discounts of up to 80 percent in a non-stop extravaganza of shopping, dining, and entertainment that starts at 10 a.m. on November 14 and ends at 10 p.m. on November 15.

Get a chance to win big in the raffle draws which have up to P120,000 cash prizes at stake. The more you shop, the more chances at winning. Also up for grabs are a furniture showcase from Living ‘n Style and an overnight stay for two at Crown Regency Hotel.

Parkmall 36-hour Non-Stop Sale

SALE, PARTY. Last year’s party during the Parkmall 36-Hour Non-Stop Sale.

 

Lucky Bag promotion

Parkmall’s non-stop sale also features the first ever lucky bag promotion in the Philippines. Each Parkmall Lucky Bag will contain great items and only cost at least half the total price of the items inside. Imagine getting twice, thrice, or even four times your money’s worth with every Parkmall Lucky Bag.

It’s non-stop excitement even at dawn when you can catch the stars, Robi Domingo and Teejay Marquez, as they shop in Parkmall from 2 AM to 3 AM. Get a chance to meet and greet them both.

Parkmall 36-hour Non-Stop Sale Lucky Bag

LUCKY BAG. Each bag will contain great items and only cost at least half the total price of the items inside.

 

The excitement continues way until dawn of November 15 when shoppers get a glimpse of popular stars Robi Domingo and Teejay Marquez starting at 2 a.m. The Crazy Duo entertains shoppers with the best funny punchlines at 4 a.m.

Get to meet and greet author Marcelo Santos III during the launching of the Extended Edition of his book – “Mahal Mo Siya. Mahal Ka Ba?” – on November 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. together with Bekimon and Lloyd Cadena.

parkmall-36-hour-sale-4

Parkmall Enchanting Christmas Park

Bring out the creative artist in you with the WeWillDoodle illustrator, Nelz Yumul, who will doodle on a lifesize canvass which guests can color.

Witness the launching of Parkmall’s Enchanting Christmas Park as it closes its 36-hour sale on November 15 and welcomes the holiday season with a blast.

It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year with Parkmall’s 36-Hour Non-Stop Sale. For more details, check out Parkmall on Facebook or go to www.parkmallcebu.com. (Press Release)

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Cebu White Sands opens rooftop bar and resto Room 801

On a clear starry evening, the next best thing to dinner and drinks with friends would be to have them up high at Room 801 of Cebu White Sands with the multi-colored night lights of the metropolis spread out as far as the eyes can see.

On a clear starry evening, the next best thing to dinner and drinks with friends would be to have them up high at Room 801 of Cebu White Sands with the multi-colored night lights of the metropolis spread out as far as the eyes can see.

This rooftop bar and resto in Barangay Maribago is the first and only one in Mactan. It also holds the distinction of being among a few places that serve craft beers by Turning Wheels Craft Brewery, which follows the traditional American style of brewing.

Room 801, which is open for dinner, had its formal opening last Friday, November 6. The rooftop restaurant is located at the only high-rise structure in the resort called the Mabuhay Building.

Room 801 Turning Wheels Craft Brewery

CRAFT BEER. Anya Unchuan, Cebu White Sands operations director, and Michael Nikkel of Turning Wheels Craft Brewery during the formal opening of Room 801. The restaurant is among the few places where you can buy craft beer from Turning Wheels Craft Brewery.

 

Room 801 opening

Anya Unchuan, Cebu White Sands operations director, said they’ve opened the restaurant to the public after accommodating only select guests since January.

The resort, known primarily as a place in Lapu-Lapu City where one can relax, wants to make a guest’s stay livelier and more fun with the addition of new in-house activities and facilities like Room 801.

Set up as al-fresco dining, the rooftop bar and resto provides panoramic views of the seaside and the cities across the Mactan channel.

Handcrafted beers

One of the lures of the rooftop bar is its great craft beers courtesy of the Turning Wheels brewery of Michael Nikkel, Unchuan added.

“We want guests to have more fun. Turning Wheels makes great beers. Beers are fun,” she cited. The brewery comes up with such beers as India Pale Ale, Derailed Pale Ale, Summit Wheat Ale, Imperial Stout, and Turning Point Double IPA.

Turning Wheels Craft Brewery began brewing in May last year and started selling its products in June. One other place where you can have their beer is at Irie Gastropubliko in Cebu IT Park.

Room 801 Cebu White Sands

GREAT VIEW. Room 801 offers a panoramic view of Mactan Island and Metro Cebu. The rooftop bar and resto is located in Cebu White Sands. The photo was taken during the formal opening last November 6.

 

Cebu White Sands success

Cebu White Sands today is not what they envisioned it in the mid-90s, which involved a row of native beach huts all throughout the two-hectare property.

“Plans change and most of the changes here at the resort have been for the better,” said Unchuan. From being a day use facility in 1995, the resort was able to build its first five rooms in 1998. It currently has 86 rooms, with the Mabuhay Building being the newest addition to the resort.

She added that the loyalty, dedication, and service of the resort staff contributed a big part to the resort’s success.

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Smart, Airbnb partner to bring personal hospitality to hosts and guests in the Philippines

Smart Communications (Smart), together with PLDT, and Voyager Innovations, recently announced a partnership with Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company. Together, the companies will offer a complete and convenient travel experience for Filipinos, no matter what their destination in the country and overseas.

Smart Communications (Smart), together with PLDT, and Voyager Innovations, recently announced a partnership with Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company. Together, the companies will offer a complete and convenient travel experience for Filipinos, no matter what their destination in the country and overseas.

To kick off the partnership, Smart subscribers will be able to get as much as P2,500 discount when they book a unique home anywhere in the world via Airbnb. The same discount will soon be extended to PLDT HOME subscribers, as well as selected clients of PLDT Alpha Enterprise and PLDT Smart SME Nation.

“We’re excited to help bring yet another digital innovation closer to more Filipinos nationwide, this time with a global pioneer in travel accommodations, Airbnb. As more and more Filipinos, particularly the younger ones, find the time and resources to travel around the country and abroad, we are providing them convenient access to millions of the most unique accommodations around the world through our partnership with Airbnb, as part of the revolutionary ‘Smart Life’ experience,” said Ariel Fermin, EVP and head of consumer business at Smart.

Smart subscribers will get as much as P2,500 discount when they book a stay in Airbnb.

Smart subscribers will get as much as P2,500 discount when they book a stay in Airbnb.

 

PH among fastest growing Airbnb markets

“The Philippines is among the fastest growing markets for Airbnb in the region and we are excited to reach even more Filipinos through this partnership. Unforgettable travel experiences are literally just a few clicks away on Airbnb. With almost 2 million homes to choose from all over the world, tree houses, holiday villas or designer apartments are safely and easily booked on a computer, mobile phone or tablet,” said JJ Chai, Regional Director for South East Asia at Airbnb. “We can’t wait to see the unique accommodations around the world that Smart customers will book”

From today until January 2016, Smart subscribers will receive a P2,500 discount for any Airbnb booking with a minimum spend of P8,000. All they have to do is text SMARTAIRBNB to 2855 for FREE to receive a unique promo code. The discount is limited to once per registered Philippine user, but is open to all past and first-time bookers. The booking has to be made by March 31, 2016 and the date of travel must be between today and December 2016. More information about the terms and conditions at Airbnb.com/smart.

The partnership is not only targeted towards Filipino travelers, though. Airbnb and PLDT HOME and PLDT-Smart SME Nation are exploring partnership opportunities targeted towards homes and unique hospitality businesses that can easily list on Airbnb. Fully embracing digital technology will empower hosts, especially in the countryside, to expand their reach and allows them to become more successful entrepreneurs.

Convenient booking

Founded in 2008, Airbnb is revolutionizing the travel industry by connecting travelers seeking unique accommodation with local hosts who welcome guests into their homes. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and more than 190 countries.

Smart’s partnership with Airbnb comes on the heels of its back-to-back exclusive partnerships with the world’s leading brands in digital services – including the biggest names in entertainment such as iflix, FOX, MCA Music, Sony Music, and more recently, Uber, the world’s most popular ride-sharing service. As a partner of Airbnb in the Philippines, Smart’s expansive mobile network across the country coupled with the most innovative data packages will allow users to easily book their accommodations anytime, and wherever they may be in the country.

For more information on this partnership please visit smart.com.ph/airbnb.

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Uniqlo to open first store in Cebu on Friday

Uniqlo, a global clothing retailer out of Tokyo, will open its first Cebu store in SM City Cebu this Friday, October 23, with special promos on several products. More than value for money, Uniqlo clothes are made with emphasis on the Japanese traits of simplicity, quality, and longevity, said Katsumi Kubota, the brand’s chief operating officer in the Philippines.

Uniqlo, a global clothing retailer out of Tokyo, will open its first Cebu store in SM City Cebu this Friday, October 23, with special promos on several products.

More than value for money, Uniqlo clothes are made with emphasis on the Japanese traits of simplicity, quality, and longevity, said Katsumi Kubota, the brand’s chief operating officer in the Philippines.

“We don’t make regular fashion, we create lifewear,” he added during an interview shortly before the pre-opening party and sake ceremony at SM City Cebu’s The Northwing earlier today, Wednesday.

Uniqlo SM City Cebu

FIRST OUTSIDE LUZON. The Uniqlo store in SM City Cebu is the 25th in the Philippines and first outside of Luzon.

 

The Cebu branch, opened under the clothing brand’s LifeWear concept, is at the first level of The Northwing. It spans 1,000 square meters and carries everyday wear like jeans, stylish leggings, dresses, and and shirts as well as Uniqlo’s unique and proprietary collections.

According to Kubota, the Cebu store is the 25th in the Philippines and first outside of Luzon. The target is to open eight to 10 more stores in the Visayas within the next five years.

Uniqlo COO Katsumi Kubota

LIFEWEAR. Uniqlo doesn’t “make regular fashion, we create lifewear,” says Katsumi Kubota (above), the brand’s chief operating officer in the Philippines.

 

Uniqlo opening promos

For the Friday opening, Uniqlo is offering its fleece jackets for only P790, cropped leggings for women at P690, and men’s chino shorts at P790.

“After three years in the Philippines, we feel we have the fundamentals to open a branch in Cebu. We are in 16 countries and regions and we are welcomed anywhere we go. We are confident that our clothing line is suitable for Cebuanos,” said Kubota.

Uniqlo SM City Cebu

VALUE, FASHION. More than value for money, Uniqlo clothes are made with emphasis on the Japanese traits of simplicity, quality, and longevity, said chief operating officer Katsumi Kubota.

 

A second Uniqlo store in Cebu will open when the SM Seaside City at the South Road Properties starts operations on November 27, 2015. He said they’ve already hired the personnel for both stores and all 140 of them are currently helping out at the SM City Cebu branch.

Uniqlo is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures, and sells clothing under seven brands. Its other brands are Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam, and Theory.

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Marco Polo Hong Kong hotels offer new perks, packages for travelers

The Marco Polo hotels in Hong Kong consider the Philippines a key market and want to provide Filipinos their best stay in the cosmopolitan city with several new perks and offerings.

The Marco Polo hotels in Hong Kong consider the Philippines a key market and want to provide Filipinos their best stay in the cosmopolitan city with several new perks and offerings.

Philippine travelers staying at the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Gateway Hotel, and Prince Hotel get a complimentary service in the form of a handy smartphone that provides free calls within Hong Kong and to their country. Unlimited complimentary calls to China, Japan, United States, and United Kingdom are also available.

Sonny Ang, Marco Polo Hong Kong head of sales and marketing, said the phones are found in all rooms of the three hotels and come bundled with unlimited mobile internet, instant access to hotel concierge, popular social media apps like Facebook and WeChat, and dining and city guide. It can be turned into a Wi-Fi hotspot that other mobile devices can connect to.

Marco Polo

Marco Polo Gateway

 

Business and other travelers are assured that they get incoming room calls wherever they are in Hong Kong through the handy phone, he added. Guests can call the hotel concierge while they’re out exploring to arrange such personalized services as transportation or travel tips.

The Marco Polo Hotels-Hong Kong led by general manager James Ong hosted a dinner at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu last October 9 to present new offerings and packages. He was accompanied by Ang and Director of Communications Samantha Poon.

Marco Polo Hongkong

Marco Polo Hotels-Hong Kong general manager James Ong, Director of Communications Samantha Poon, and head of sales and marketing Sonny Ang during a dinner they hosted at the Blu Bar and Grill of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

 

Great Winter Escape

With its Great Winter Escape package, the Marco Polo Hong Kong hotels make the months from October 2015 to February 2016 the best times to visit.

A guaranteed room upgrade, free extra bed for rooms with three guests, and complimentary breakfast for two are among the features of the winter offering. It also comes with a 20 percent discount on food and beverage at Cucina, Cafe Marco, and Lobby Lounge at Marco Polo Hongkong, Three on Canton at Gateway Hotel, and All Day Dining at Prince Hotel and on laundry and dry cleaning services.

Other perks for staying at the Marco Polo hotels include discounts or complimentary gifts from 12 shops at Harbour City, Hong Kong’s largest shopping complex of more than 450 shops featuring leading luxury brands.

At Gateway, guests get a free mini-bar with their stay. It is replenished daily with refreshments that include two bottles of water, two cans of beer, Coke drinks, and orange juice.

Marco Polo Hongkong, Gateway, and Prince are located in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon and form part of Harbour City. The three hotels have a total of 1,461 guestrooms and suites.

Marco Polo Prince

Marco Polo Prince

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New Shangri-La Mactan GM to focus on quality customer service

As new general manager Nicholas Smith takes over the helm at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, he intends to build on past achievements to ensure that visitors continue to have unique experiences. The new Shangri-La general manager, a seasoned hotelier, said the resort’s overall focus will continue to be customer service.

As new general manager Nicholas Smith takes over the helm at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, he intends to build on past achievements to ensure that visitors continue to have unique experiences.

The new Shangri-La general manager, a seasoned hotelier, said the resort’s overall focus will continue to be customer service.

“We will provide our guests tailor-made offerings, whether they’re for wedding, birthday, anniversary, or beach celebrations,” he said during a recent event at the resort to welcome him to his new post.

At the same time, Shangri-La in Mactan plans to work closely with existing partners to further develop overall experiences that will serve to attract a diverse group of clientele, he added.

Cebu attractions

According to Smith, the local touch adds an element of uniqueness to destinations and the beachside resort aims to capitalize on the many things that Cebu has to offer.

“We will look at how we can bring our offerings up to date. We have a fantastic chef at Cowrie Cove who can easily arrange farm-to-table and sea-to-table dining experiences. Over at Acqua, we’re putting together cooking classes for our guests. We have one for children already. Our guests can go out and explore Cebu and even cross the water to other islands,” he added.

TOUR DE MACTAN. Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa general manager Nicholas Smith joins the Tour de Mactan event at the resort held to welcome him to his new post. (Contributed photo)

TOUR DE MACTAN. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa general manager Nicholas Smith joins the Tour de Mactan event at the resort held to welcome him to his new post. (Contributed photo)

 

Smith said there are unique attractions and activities in Cebu, citing its Spanish period churches, spectacular sea and mountain views, whale shark watching, and sea fishing.

The hotel is also constantly renovating to meet the demands of the market, and it intends to focus on bringing the Ocean Wing rooms to new standards. The renovation work, according to him, will involve 186 rooms and take from 18 months to two years.

He added that Shangri-La’s recent hosting of several of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 top-level meetings also reinforces its reputation as a world-class facility for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) events.

Shangri-La Mactan visitors

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa guests are an eclectic mix of nationalities, led mainly by visitors from Korea and Japan but with an increasing number coming from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia as well as some countries in Europe.

“The domestic market is very healthy as well. From what I’ve heard, it seems that you get to meet half of Cebu during weekends,” he said.

Smith had just come from leading a renowned hotel in cosmopolitan Shanghai, according to a press statement from the resort. It added that he has been with the Shangri-La family for several years and has managed several of the hotel group’s properties across Asia.

In the span of his 20-year career in the industry, Smith opened a total of total of three reputable five-star hotels across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He was the hotel manager of Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai, a post that succeeded tenures at Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai and Futian Shangri-La, Shenzhen, both of which are in mainland China, and at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu.

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BPI opens auto, housing, and lifestyle event at Ayala Center Cebu

BPI makes it easy for Cebuanos to avail themselves of bank products and services during its ongoing Auto, Housing, and Lifestyle Madness event at Ayala Center Cebu. The bank brings the whole range of its financial services – from account opening and deposits to personal and business loans – in one place from September 3-6, 2015 for the convenience of Cebu residents, said BPI-Cebu Capitol Cluster relationship manager Maximo Rey S. Eleccion.

BPI makes it easy for Cebuanos to avail themselves of bank products and services during its ongoing Auto, Housing, and Lifestyle Madness event at Ayala Center Cebu.

The bank brings the whole range of its financial services – from account opening and deposits to personal and business loans – in one place from September 3-6, 2015 for the convenience of Cebu residents, said BPI-Cebu Capitol Cluster relationship manager Maximo Rey S. Eleccion.

For 2015, he added, BPI has set aside a total of P11 billion for consumer loans, including credit card, auto, personal, and housing loans, for the Cebu Business Center, which covers Cebu and the cities of Tagbilaran, Tacloban, and Ormoc.

“BPI has had a long and lively relationship with Cebu, and since Cebu City is at the heart of the Visayas and is accessible to everyone in the region, the Lifestyle Madness will always be here,” said Cebu and Eastern Visayas area business director Joseph Sidney Quimbo in a press statement.

BPI consumer loans

The bank has partnered with the country’s top automotive, real estate, franchising, and electronic brands to give Cebu and the rest of the Visayas the convenience of a one-stop-shop “for a new car or house, new business, new investment opportunities, or simply a lifestyle upgrade.”

Eleccion explained that anyone planning to buy a new car can pick from a variety of brands and even get lower rates or freebies when they take out an auto loan during the Lifestyle Madness event.

In terms of interest rates and appraisal, BPI’s housing loan is one of the most competitive in the industry, he cited, adding this is made possible by their partnership with several of the top property development companies.

At the same time, BPI is waiving the annual membership fee for life of credit cards applied for at the Auto, Housing, and Lifestyle Madness fair, Eleccion added. Other products the bank is offering during the event: BPI Family Ka-Negosyo franchising loans, asset management, zero percent installment plans or buy now, pay later options for gadgets and appliances.

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Brique introduces new dishes, to open Ayala branch

As Brique opens its second branch at Ayala Center Cebu in a few weeks’ time, it will introduce six new dishes to the menu in consultation with a New York-based chef.

Chef Noel de la Rama, who is consulting for the restaurant, said the new items in the menu include an appetizer, salad, pasta, fish, and meat dishes.

As Brique opens its second branch at Ayala Center Cebu in a few weeks’ time, it will introduce six new dishes to the menu in consultation with a New York-based chef.

Chef Noel de la Rama, who is consulting for the restaurant, said the new items in the menu include an appetizer, salad, pasta, fish, and meat dishes.

Crab cake sandwich Brique

CRAB CAKE SANDWICH is among the new menu items Brique will soon be serving. Consulting chef Noel de la Rama said the crabs are sourced locally, specifically from Bantayan Island.

 

When he came up with the flavors and arrangements for the new menu additions, de la Rama explained that he looked at locally available ingredients and considered the taste preferences of Cebuanos.

“When I cook, I use local as much as possible. I also did research on what Cebuanos like and came up with something that would suit their taste,” he added during a food tasting over the weekend at the Brique branch along Salinas Drive in Lahug, Cebu City.

Salmon served with rice pilaf.

Salmon served with rice pilaf.

New Brique menu

According to de la Rama, the crabs for the crab cake sandwich, an appetizer, are sourced from Bantayan in the north, and the chorizo in the penne pasta is locally made in Cebu.

Derek Dytian, the Brique chef and one of the owners, said the dishes will be available in three weeks at the latest, which is also their target for the Brique Ayala opening.

Penne pasta Brique

Penne pasta with local chorizo.

 

He introduced to a small gathering at Brique in Lahug their new corn, bacon, and potato chowder, crab cake sandwich, vegetable salad with fried chicken that comes with either blue cheese or vinaigrette dressing, salmon served with rice pilaf, penne pasta, and cerveza negra braised short ribs.

Instead of the usual plating where food is arranged beside each other, de la Rama said he opted to add height by putting dish components on top of the other, such as by positioning the braised ribs over the mashed potato and finishing these with buttermilk-soaked onion rings.

Chef Noel de la Rama and Derek Dytian

FORMER CLASSMATES. Consulting chef Noel de la Rama (left) explains to journalists and writers the new food items that will be served by Brique. With him is Brique chef Derek Dytian. The two were culinary school classmates in New York.

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Yakimix Cebu offers ‘biggest, most affordable’ Asian food buffet

A few days after opening day, Yakimix Cebu is filled with diners attracted to its wide buffet selection. Robert Chua, Yakimix Cebu owner, said they offer the biggest and only smokeless grill buffet in Cebu City at a very affordable price.

A few days after opening day, Yakimix Cebu is filled with diners attracted to its wide buffet selection.

Robert Chua, Yakimix Cebu owner, said they offer the biggest and only smokeless grill buffet in Cebu City at a very affordable price.

The newly opened Yakimix branch at Capitol Square, Escario St., Cebu City is the first in Cebu but the 13th nationwide, said regional manager Chito Manlapaz. There are already 10 branches in Manila plus one each in the cities of General Santos and Davao.

Yakimix Buffet

GRILL. Yakimix offers a wide choice of marinated meat and seafood that diners can cook on the smokeless grill found on every table.

There are 150 to 200 dishes of mostly Asian food, specifically Cantonese, Korean, Japanese and Filipino, in the Yakimix buffet, he added.

Part of the eat-all-you-can offering is a wide choice of marinated meat and seafood that diners can cook on the smokeless grill that can be found at every table.

Yakimix Cebu buffet grill

CHOICES of meat and seafood for grilling.

Yakimix Cebu buffet rates

Yakimix Cebu buffet rates are very affordable at P499 for lunch and P599 for dinner from Monday to Friday and P599 for both lunch and dinner during weekends and public holidays, said Chua. Your lunch or dinner already comes with bottomless drinks.

According to Manlapaz, the restaurant accepts reservations and can seat a maximum of 250 people. It has a function room that can accommodate 36 diners.

Yakimix is open from 11:30 am to 3 pm and 5:30 pm to 11 pm, Manlapaz said.

Hong Kong chefs Tony Lao, the executive chef, and Ken Diao – whose specialties are Cantonese or traditional Chinese food – take charge of the Yakimix kitchen and ensure that every dish is prepared just right.

Yakimix Cebu buffet

LAUNCHING. Robert Chua (right), Yakimix Cebu owner, talks to journalists during the launch of the restaurant. With him are (from left) regional manager Chito Manlapaz and chefs Ken Diao and Tony Lao.

Competitive advantage

The name Yakimix is taken from the Japanese word “yakiniku” which refers to grilled meat dishes and “mix” or to put together. It describes the fusion of Asian cuisine that makes up the Yakimix buffet, explained Chua.

Chua said the Yakimix Cebu branch is his first venture in the restaurant business. His company, which supplies fruits and vegetables for the restaurant chain, partnered with the Yakimix owners to put up the branch in Cebu.

He added that his business is related to the restaurant business and even gives him a competitive advantage over his competitors.

Yakimix Cebu buffet selection

WIDE SELECTION. Yakimix offers a wide selection for its buffet.

The reason why they can afford to offer the Yakimix buffet at such an affordable price is because they source food ingredients directly from suppliers, Chua said.

“Our seafood, for example, is from Pasil. Since we buy from the suppliers directly, we have to go there at 2 a.m. If we rely on delivery, the supply would be more expensive. It’s hard but it makes our food more affordable,” he cited.

Since opening on Saturday, May 16, 2015, Chua they already have a minimum of 450 diners daily.

For inquiries or reservations, call Yakimix Cebu at these numbers: (032) 254-7499 or (032) 254-7501.

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Book Jpark rooms at discount with ‘Jpark SummeRush Sale’ promo

Summer’s not over at Cebu’s only five-star waterpark resort, Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark (JPI).

Summer’s not over at Cebu’s only five-star waterpark resort, Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark (JPI).

Have your fill of sun, sea, and fun for only P5,300+++ overnight stay in a deluxe room and P5,800+++ in a deluxe ocean view room in the Jpark SummeRush Sale ongoing from May 15 to May 31, 2015.

Your stay comes with free buffet breakfast for two adults and two kids below 12 years old plus unlimited use of the all-time favorite Jpark waterpark.

Designed by Dream Park International, USA, the waterpark features six themed pools and three exciting pools, all yours to enjoy for the ultimate water adventure.

 Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark

BALM FOR THE SUMMER HEAT. With the soaring temperatures, resorts like Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark offer a much-need and fun respite. (Photo provided by Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark)

There’s more! The promo comes with an option to avail of a 1 + 1 lunch or dinner buffet. You and one other get to have that sumptuous lunch at the Abalone Buffet Restaurant for the price of one at P1,530 nett. Dinner buffet for two persons is only P1,770 nett.

The Jpark SummeRush Sale is exclusive for all JPI Facebook fans and followers so don’t forget to like the official Jpark Resort FB page.

“It is the first time we are doing an exclusive promo for Facebook. This is our way of saying thank you to our fans and followers, hence we are offering them special rates,” said JPI general manager Sean Noh.

Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark

ROOM PROMO. You can stay at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark for P5,300+++ for an overnight stay in a deluxe room and P5,800+++ in a deluxe ocean view room by booking through its Jpark SummeRush Sale ongoing until May 31, 2015.

Here are five easy steps to getting the ultimate summer rush at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark.

1. Like the official JPI Facebook page
2. Fill out the online booking form
3. Receive a confirmation letter by email from the Reservations team
4. Make a payment to confirm your booking
5. Have your fill of Jpark summer

For more details of the Jpark SummeRush Sale, head on to the JPI Facebook page or send an email to [email protected].

Located on the white sand coastline of Mactan in sunny Cebu, Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark strikes the perfect balance between urbane sensibilities and vibrant tropical island fun.

Within its 9.5-hectare expanse are 508 of the region’s most spacious and luxurious rooms and suites.

Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark

ALL-TIME FAVORITE. The Jpark waterpark was designed by Dream Park International, USA, and features six themed pools and three exciting pools.

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Calayan Medical Group opens in Cebu

With little funfare, the Calayan Medical Group opened in Cebu last week and made available some aesthetic and wellness as well as dermatology services. The company started operations at Oakridge…

With little funfare, the Calayan Medical Group opened in Cebu last week and made available some aesthetic and wellness as well as dermatology services.

The company started operations at Oakridge Business Park in a limited capacity as a way of testing the market and correcting kinks in its operations, said Lalen Calayan, who is overseeing the operations in Cebu.

In a month or so, she added, the plan is to already operate full-blast and this involves making available all possible services, including body treatments, injectables, laser and light treatments, stem cell therapies, and cosmetic surgeries.

Calayan Medical Group Cebu

CEBU BRANCH. The Calayan Medical Group in Cebu is located at Oakridge Business Park in Mandaue City.

According to Lalen, the Calayan Medical Group is a family-owned company operated by a family of doctors spanning three generations.

Professional image

“We’re trying to change our image into one that’s really professional. We want to highlight that we also do reconstructive, not just plastic surgery,” she said, citing that their surgeons are among the best in the country but she couldn’t name them because medical ethics prevent them from advertising themselves.

The Calayan Surgicentre Corp. in Manila is a household name in the cosmetic surgery industry, counting top Philippine celebrities among its endorsers.

Lalen said her grandparents are doctors and started the business and many of their children and grandchildren followed in their footsteps. For Lalen, though, the interest is in the operations and not the medical side of the business.

Calayan Medical Group

TREATMENT ROOM. One of the treatment rooms in the Calayan Medical Group in Cebu.

She added that the Calayan Medical Group’s plastic and reconstructive surgeons are from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and will come over to Cebu to do surgeries, in charge of the stem cell therapies is a former president of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), and dermatological services will be handled by a resident dermatologist and two visiting dermatologists.

Opening promo

Certified estheticians will be in charge of aesthetic and wellness services like facials, peels, and body treatments.

One of Calayan Medical Group’s estheticians is Selina Sevilla, a 1990s singer who was among the first beneficiaries of the Calayan Surgicenter Foundation.

Sevilla said she was inspired by what the Calayan foundation is doing and studied to become an esthetician and become part of the business.

Lalen Calayan

CHANGING IMAGE. Lalen Calayan, who overseeing the operations in Cebu, stresses they also do “reconstructive, not just plastic surgery.”

Lalen believes there is a market for Calayan’s services in Cebu but the rates take into consideration the value for money characteristic of Cebuanos.

“The prices (for our services here) will be reasonable,” she said, adding it will be cheaper than in Manila.

As part of its opening promotions, the Calayan Medical Group is offering facial services for only P688 until June 8, 2015.

Facial services

Having been invited to try out any of the company’s aesthetic and wellness services during its soft opening last May 8, 2015, I picked out the ultima biodynamic facial and it was the ultimate in skin pampering.

It was a thorough and relaxing process that lasted close to two hours and involved cleaning, exfoliating, and nourishing the skin. When it came to removing whiteheads and blackheads, the process was surprisingly pain-free.

Calayan Group Cebu

EGYPTIAN ROOM. The medical group’s Egyptian room in Cebu. Figuring prominently is the image of Cleopatra, which they say is the epitome of beauty.

Since the Calayan Medical Group believes in being thorough and there are a limited number of beds, Lalen advised potential customers to schedule appointments to ensure they would be accommodated.

For the whole list of services being offered by the Calayan Medical Group, check out www.calayanmedicalgroup.com. For inquiries or to schedule an appointment, the Calayan Medical Group contact numbers are (63-32) 263-7056 and (63-917) 890-8306 (tap on numbers to call on your phone).

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Make Your Own Havaianas Cebu 2015 pays homage to Hawaiian heritage

Paying tribute to its roots, this year’s Make Your Own Havaianas (MYOH) in Cebu goes on longer and takes on a Hawaiian feel. The MYOH 2015 in Cebu started May…

Paying tribute to its roots, this year’s Make Your Own Havaianas (MYOH) in Cebu goes on longer and takes on a Hawaiian feel.

The MYOH 2015 in Cebu started May 7 and will go on up to the 17th of the month to give customers more time to pick their favorite combination of Havaianas pair or pairs, said A.L. Amizade, Inc. marketing director Leanne Florendo.

“The Portuguese who came up with Havaianas were inspired by the Hawaiian lifestyle, which is about being laid back and enjoying life,” she said.

MYOH Cebu 2015

HAWAIIAN LIFESTYLE. The Portuguese who came up with Havaianas were inspired by the Hawaiian lifestyle, which is about being laid back and enjoying life, said A.L. Amizade, Inc. marketing director Leanne Florendo.

Havaianas is Portuguese for Hawaiians, according to Florendo, citing that the MYOH theme for its 10th year is Hawaii-inspired in homage of the brand’s heritage.

MYOH Cebu 2015

Still being held at the Northing Atrium of SM City Cebu, the MYOH Cebu 2015 is set up like a typical day at the beach, with the cabana, surfboard, bike, and lounger decorations.

Unlike in past events, where customers rushed through creating their favorite flipflop pairs because of the huge turnout and limited days, the Make Your Own Havaianas 2015 in Cebu allows them to take their time with their choices as they have 10 days to do so.

MYOH Cebu 2015

10 DAYS. Unlike in past events, where customers rushed through creating their favorite flipflop pairs because of the huge turnout and limited days, the Make Your Own Havaianas 2015 in Cebu allows them to take their time with their choices as they have until May 17 to do so.

“Those who came to our past events hardly enjoyed creating their Havaianas pairs as they found themselves lining up the whole time. They walked away with a Havaianas product but didn’t really have a Havaianas experience,” Florendo pointed out.

A.L. Amizade, which is the exclusive distributor of Havaianas in central and western Visayas, wants Cebuanos to have the Havaianas experience in MYOH Cebu 2015.

MYOH Cebu 2015

HAWAIIAN SOLE. In Cebu, A.L. Amizade is offering only the Hawaiian sole of blue skies, palm trees, and hibiscus flowers, which is designed by Havaianas artists.

Hawaiian sole

Since Havaianas establishments were given a lot of leeway with their MYOH arrangements this year, the event now differs from city to city.

In Cebu, A.L. Amizade is offering only the limited edition Hawaiian sole of blue skies, palm trees, and hibiscus flowers, which is designed by Havaianas artists.

“The beauty of this is the strap changes the personality of the sole. Our choice of strap allows us to communicate our personality even with this one sole design,” said Florendo.

The simultaneous holding of MYOH 2015 events across major cities in the Philippines is also another thing that’s different this year.

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Eight fun things to do at Papa Kit’s

A nondescript gate by the roadside in Liloan leads into the resort called Papa Kit’s, named after the family patriarch Papa Kito or Democrito Mendoza Sr. Though the way in…

A nondescript gate by the roadside in Liloan leads into the resort called Papa Kit’s, named after the family patriarch Papa Kito or Democrito Mendoza Sr.

Though the way in is cramped and narrow, it is an entirely different story once you are inside the Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon.

The whole complex is huge; it is nine hectares of floating cottages, fishing ponds, and adventure activities.

Papa Kit's

Papa Kit’s overnight rooms have sea views from the front and back windows.

Merissa Soco Bregente, sales and marketing officer-in-charge, said the total area of Papa Kit’s is actually 92 hectares but only nine hectares have so far been developed.

If, like me, you once thought that there’s only fishing at Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon, you couldn’t be more wrong. The resort has been continually adding outdoor adventure and other activities for its guests.

Here are some of the fun things to do at Papa Kit’s:

1. Bird watching from the resort’s overnight rooms

Accommodations at Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon come in the form of two-storey structures built alongside the water. Room rates range from P2,500-P2,800. The ground floor rooms are cheaper compared to the upper level ones. Both rooms are good for two but can accommodate a maximum of four. They come with free breakfast.

Papa Kit's mangrove plantation

Birds come to roost by late afternoon at this mangrove plantation at Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon.

Rates for an extra person in the room: P800 if with breakfast and P500 if without.

All rooms have a view of the mangrove plantation along the coastline.

Giovanni B. Enecio, resort manager, said migratory birds make their homes among the mangroves. The best time to do bird watching is at 4:00 in the afternoon when they start to roost.

Floating cottages

If you don’t want to stay overnight, Papa Kit’s has floating cottages available for day use hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The rate for a floating cottage is P1,000; guests need only to pay the entrance fee of P100 per person and corkage for their food is free.

2. Learn wakeboarding or wakeskating

One of the concessionaires at Papa Kit’s is the Cebu Wake Park, which is one of a few establishments in Cebu that offer wakeboarding or wakeskating activities. In wakeboarding and wakeskating, riders skim over the sea using a board and and a cable that pulls them from one point to another. The difference between these two water sports is the kind of board used.

Papa Kit's Cebu Wake Park

A rider displays his wakeboarding skills at the Cebu Wake Park in Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon.

Cebu Wake Park wakeboarding rate per hour is P400 on weekdays and P500 on weekends. The fee already includes the use of equipment and guidance from an instructor, especially for beginners to the sport.

The Cebu Wake Park operates the wakeboarding facility at Papa Kit’s.

3. Ride a zipline over the sea

The zipline at Papa Kit’s takes riders over the sea to an islet some distance away from the main resort site. You have to take the zipline back. The two-way zipline rates are P200 for the first ride and P100 for the succeeding ones.

Enecio said the zipline is one of a few activities being run by Papa Kit’s. The others are being managed by concessionaires.

4. Go on an ATV ride

Exploring the nine-hectare resort on an ATV is possible. An ATV ride is P550 per 30 minutes. The rate is P650 for two people riding tandem, and they can take turns driving the ATV.

The ATV rides and other adventure activities are a big hit with the Korean schools. Bregente said some schools bring 100 of their students to the resort during weekends.

5. Walk on the treetops using the canopy bridge

A canopy bridge allows guests to explore the resort’s treetops. For security reasons, climbers have to wear a harness attached to a cable that runs alongside the hanging bridge. The narrow wooden span with ropes for the railing is quite safe even for little children.

Papa Kit's canopy walk

One of the adventure activities at Papa Kit’s is the canopy walk on a hanging bridge.

It costs only P50 per person. The hanging bridge forms part of a more challenging activity called the Jungle Obstacle Course.

6. Conquer the jungle obstacle course

After reaching the end of the hanging bridge, you don’t go down the wooden staircase but continue on by swinging from a platform to a climbing cargo net. You climb up the net and walk onwards on a tightrope, with only rope rails on either side to hold on to.

This is the part where you have to walk slowly. Don’t worry, you’re still wearing a safety harness attached to a steel cable.

My personal tip for this activity: Don’t look down. I did and it wasn’t my best move.

7. Acquire some equestrian skills

There are horses at Papa Kit’s and they are for riding. Also a hit with the kids, horseback riding is one of the fun activities to do at the resort. The rate for horseback riding is P100 for 15 minutes.

There are areas in the resort devoted to this activity.

8. Reel in some fish for your meal

Needing some off time from all those strenuous adventure activities? Try fishing at the Papa Kit’s lagoon.

Pay P100 and you already have unlimited use of the fishing rod with bait. The kinds of fish in the Papa Kit’s pond are bangus (milkfish) and tilapia (catfish).

Open cottages are built by the sides of the fish pond and guests may rent it for P500. They may also opt not to get a cottage but it would be a good place to take their meal after having their catch cooked.

Papa Kit’s restaurants

The fishing pond is near Resto 1, one of the two restaurants inside Papa Kit’s. It charges a cooking fee of P75 per dish.

Another resort restaurant is the Clubhouse, which is located alongside Silot Bay. According to Bregente, it is a two-storey structure that can accommodate 150 to 200 guests in the upper level. The lower level can host parties and receptions for 50 to 80 people.

Resort shuttles

Since the resort is big, it is a long way off from one activity or site to another. Papa Kit’s has two shuttles that take guests from one point to another in the resort for free.

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Marco Polo Cebu offers special package for graduates, March celebrations

Graduations and recognitions, whatever grade or education level, are milestones and Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu lets you celebrate this special event in your or your loved one’s life with…

Graduations and recognitions, whatever grade or education level, are milestones and Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu lets you celebrate this special event in your or your loved one’s life with a promo package that includes three fine delights.

For the whole month of March, it’s “Bed + Breakfast + Burger…Baby” at five-star hotel Marco Polo to make your end-of-school or start-of-summer celebrations more enjoyable.

The package comes with an overnight stay, buffet breakfast, and ultimate pizza burger for two for P3,999 net.

marco-polo-bread-breakfast-burger-promo

Cebu City’s finest hotel treats you to a deluxe mountain view room and the best buffet breakfast.

Finally, enjoy an El Viento bestseller – the Ultimate Pizza Burger – with your overnight stay.

It’s pizza with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese, freshest tomatoes, olives, onions, and juiciest patty in a Challah Bun sprinkled with sesame seeds.

This El Viento delight is perfect for relishing by the pool.

An overnight stay with buffet breakfast plus the ultimate burger from March 1 to 31, 2015 at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. Your celebrations couldn’t be any better than this.

Book online or learn more about this amazing five-star package by calling the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu at (63 32) 253 1111 (tap on number to call on your phone) or the Marco Polo Manila Sales Office at (63 2) 887 1263.

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Marco Polo ushers in Chinese New Year with Yee Sang, Chinese buffet

It began with an eye dotting ceremony for the guests of honor, was followed by the lion dance and firecrackers, moved on to the Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss, and…

It began with an eye dotting ceremony for the guests of honor, was followed by the lion dance and firecrackers, moved on to the Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss, and ended with the dragon dance as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu welcomed the Chinese New Year in lively ceremonies last Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

These are all Chinese traditions performed to usher in the Lunar New Year, which fell on February 19 this year, and bring good fortune, said hotel public relations officer Mia Ali.

For the Yee Sang, five-star hotel Marco Polo prepared a wok-shaped container but multiplied several times in size and filled it with a mix of shredded colorful vegetables, raw fish, condiments, and other ingredients.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Chinese New Year

DRAGON DANCE. A traditional dragon dance at the Marco Polo Plaza Cebu lobby.

Prosperity Toss

Twelve people led by Marco Polo Plaza Cebu general manager Julie Najar led the Yee Sang ceremony, which involved tossing the salad mix as high as they can using chopsticks and saying (or thinking) out dreams and aspirations as called for by the tradition.

Other guests in the Yee Sang ceremony include Cebu notables: Candice Gotianuy, Consul Samuel Chioson, Jessica Avila, Connie Cimafranca, Marlinda Angbetic-Tan, Doctors Henry Chua and Pocholo Yrastorza.

I see now why they call it the Prosperity Toss. It was my first Chinese New Year celebration so it was all very strange but interesting nonetheless.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Chinese New Year

YEE SANG. The Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss was among the highlights of the celebration. The ceremony  involved tossing this salad mix.

Culinary Impressions of China

Another way that Marco Polo welcomes the Chinese Year of the Sheep is through another Cafe Marco culinary journey featuring the best of Chinese cuisines. Up until February 22, 2015, Cafe Marco will serve a grand feast of authentic Chinese dishes on top of its international spread for the same price as the regular buffet.

Hainanese chicken

HAINANESE CHICKEN. This dish is among the many Chine food specialties on the menu as Marco Polo Plaza Cebu celebrates the Chinese New Year. (Photo provided by Marco Polo Plaza Cebu)

Among the Chinese food in the menu: bean curd, fish lip, ngo kong, black chicken herb, samsi for soup; shrimp ball, pica-pica, steamed fish, pork spare ribs, braised pork leg, crispy chili chicken, pork and shrimp dumpling at the carving station; crab meat, misua noodles, yang chow, Hainanese chicken, beef steak or brisket, sweet and sour pork, szechuan chicken, fookien fried rice, loohan chai vegetables for main course dishes; chicken, beef, pork, stir fry noodles; plus a dimsum trolley with siomai, shrimp ball, and kikiam.

Cafe Marco serves buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner and from the first day of the Chinese Year of the Sheep up to Sunday, February 22, it’s including more Chinese dishes in the spread.

Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Chinese New Year

DRAGON. This can be found at the hotel lobby.

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Wakeboarding, skateboarding, surfing enthusiasts form community

You stand or kneel on a board at a platform built on the shallows, hold on to a cable for dear life, and go skim over the sea in a…

You stand or kneel on a board at a platform built on the shallows, hold on to a cable for dear life, and go skim over the sea in a water sport called wakeboarding that’s gaining popularity in Cebu.

One of the places that offer wakeboarding activities is the Cebu Wake Park inside the Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon.

Wakeboarders met with other board riders last Saturday, February 7, at Papa Kit’s to launch the Cebu Boardriding Community, for now an informal grouping of 670 members.

The group includes wakeboarding, wakeskating, skateboarding, and surfing enthusiasts and professional riders in Cebu, said Noel Quiño Quisan of the Lazion Skateboarding Community.

Cebu Boardriding Community

CEBU BOARDRIDING COMMUNITY. (From left) Boeing Paras, Joselito Yuson Jr., Willysys Gomez Manlukot, Francs Daryl Abella, Helmut Estremos, Noel Niño Quisan and Carl Kevin Gasal during the launching of the Cebu Boardriding Community in Cebu Wake Park inside the Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon in Liloan.

Wakeboarding

At the Cebu Wake Park, the wakeboarding and wakeskating facility uses a 2.0 system that pulls the rider in a straight line from one point to another and back again, explained Helmut Estremos.

Along the way, there are ramps called sliders or kickers that wakeboarders can glide on or jump from and execute difficult maneuvers.

According to Estremos, who works at the Cebu Wake Park, wakeboarding is when you use a board with shoe attachments and wakeskating is when it is just a plain level board.

One hour at Cebu Wake Park costs P400 on weekdays and P500 on weekends. The fee already includes the use of equipment and guidance from an instructor, especially for beginners to the sport.

Cebu Boardriding Community

DRONE SHOT. Members of the Cebu Boardriding Community pose for a drone shot at the Cebu Wake Park inside the Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon in Liloan.

Skateboarding

Many of Cebu’s boardriders started with skateboarding and transitioned into other board sports, said Boeing Paras.

Paras, one of Cebu’s pioneers, started skateboarding in 1990 and went into surfing in 2003.

Like Paras and the others, Francs Daryl Abella, who is now into wakeskating, had once been into skateboarding.

He explained that once you have a feel for and balance on a board, it’s easier to take up a sport that uses a similar equipment.

Cebu Wake Park

CEBU WAKE PARK. The wakeboarding and wakeskating facility in the Cebu Wake Park uses a 2.0 system that pulls the rider in a straight line from one point to another and back again.

Surfing

“When you know how to skate, the transition to surfing for example is faster,” added Paras. There really are areas in Cebu where surfing is possible, he said, citing Carmen in the north and San Fernando in the south.

Surfing is possible when the north wind (amihan) blows and create swells in Carmen, which usually happens from December up to March, and the south wind (habagat) does the same in San Fernando from June until October.

Paras said they hold a 5-day surfing camp in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur every April for only P9,800. The camp is on its sixth year now.

Another surfer, Carlo de Asis of the Aframe Surf Company, said a lot of those who surf and join competitions in Lanuza come from Cebu. Aframe manufactures made-to-order surfing boards in Talamban, and de Asis said the price ranges from P16,000 to P25,000.

Cebu Wakeboarding

WAKEBOARDING FEE. One hour at Cebu Wake Park costs P400 on weekdays and P500 on weekends.

Boardriding community

Quisan said they’ve also invited longboarders to join the community. The idea to create a group for boardriders came about during the Lazion Skateboarding Competition in October 2014.

“We invited and asked for the support of the wakeboarding and surfing community and they showed up during the competition. It was then that we discussed the idea of creating a community,” he added.

They started organizing the Cebu Boardriding Community by creating a Facebook page in November and holding a soft launch in December. Quisan said they’re still compiling requirements for the group’s registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

He added that boardriding sports are becoming popular in Cebu, especially since there are wakeboarders, skateboarders, and surfers who’ve won competitions and caught the interest of sponsors.

Cebu Wake Park

FOR BEGINNERS. The fee charged by the Cebu Wake Park covers the use of equipment and guidance from an instructor, especially for beginners to the sport.

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