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1521 Feature Heritage History

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

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

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

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

Jubilee Cross sendoff

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

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

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

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

Open Holy Door

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

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

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

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

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

Mission congress

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

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

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

First recorded Easter Mass

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

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

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

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Feature Lifestyle Places

SM’s Sky Park: A colorful world of fun, play

“Follow me,” said our guide the Mad Hatter, in his large top hat and violet coat, as he led us into a wonderland of artistry and play that is the Sky Park of SM Seaside City in Cebu.

A parade of kids in all sizes and ages skipped along, past fountains and manicured gardens, giant flowers, beyond the magician’s place to a tall wide gate.

The way to the magical land was locked but little Alice came to save the day with her golden key.

And off we went to a whimsical and colorful world of sweets and pastries, multi-colored drinks, cotton candy, ice cream, playing card soldiers, dinosaurs and outer space.

SKy Park SM Seaside City
SM SEASIDE SKYPARK. World renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. vice president Marissa Fernan during the opening of Sky Park in SM Seaside City Cebu.

Wonderland theme

SM Seaside City adopted the theme Alice in Wonderland when it recently opened to the public Cebu’s “newest and most vibrant family playground.”

Kids came in their quirky hats and wonderland costumes and were treated to a fun-filled afternoon with entertainment provided by book characters come to life. Alice and the Queen of Hearts sang songs and playing card soldiers performed dance numbers.

Sky Park SM Seaside City
OPENING. The Mad Hatter leads the crowd in opening the gates to mark the launch of Sky Park in SM Seaside City.

The Sky Park is at the third level of SM Seaside City at the South Road Properties in Cebu City. SM executives led by Marissa Fernan, vice president of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., led the opening of the 20,000-square meter Sky Park last September 23, 2016.

Award-winning Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who designed Sky Play — one of the three playgrounds, was also present.

Sky Park SM Seaside City
Treats for those who attended the Sky Park launching.

Sky Park features

Other than Sky Play, kids can also enjoy the Fun & Play and Water Play at Sky Park.

Cobonpue’s Sky Play occupies 1,250 sq. m. and features dinosaur-shaped sheds and slides inspired by flying saucers and UFOs. Sky Play’s “modern and whimsical design brings to life the colorful world of children’s imaginations” and highlights the “specialized handiwork and weaving techniques” of Cobonpue products, a statement from SM Seaside City said.

Visitors can choose from a selection cafes and restaurants within or in the vicinity of the Sky Park, which provides magnificent views of Cebu City’s urban areas and mountainsides.

Sky Park also has three event amphitheaters with special features like foaming jet and interactive water features. They can host live bands and thematic events.

SM Seaside City Sky Park
FUN PLACE. Children had fun playing with the uniquely-designed slides and other play areas in the Sky Park.

Party, event bookings

The park’s wide open spaces, playground facilities, and fun attractions make for great venues for parties and events. For bookings and inquiries, visit SM Seaside City Cebu’s administration office located at the basement of the Seaside Tower or call (032) 340-8735 local 55. You may also check-out SM Seaside City Cebu (Official) on Facebook.

Sky Park SM Seaside City
WATER FUN. Bubbles filled the air at this section of the Sky Park.

Categories
Business Feature Lifestyle

Sun Life posts high growth, launches new campaign in Cebu

While a growing number of Filipinos now see the value of insurance products as a means of preparing for every life stage, a big majority has yet to achieve financial security, said top insurer Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc.

Citing a study conducted by the company in collaboration with the research institute Social Weather Stations (SWS), Sun Life chief marketing officer Mylene Lopa said 9 out of 10 Filipinos admitted experiencing financial shortage in the past 12 months from when the survey was done.

The company also found out that only 15 percent of households can manage the loss of a breadwinner, only 22 percent can shell out money in the next two years for car or house purchases, and only 43 percent can confidently say they can pay for their kids’ education all the way up to college.

“There is still so much work to be done when it comes to boosting the financial literacy of Filipinos. The challenge is to make them understand the intimidating and challenging topic that is insurance,” Lopa added.

Sun Life Cebu
CEBU CAMPAIGN. (From left) Deo Orpilla, Sun Life business development head; Kenneth Cobonpue; and Sun Life chief marketing officer Mylene Lopa answer questions during a press conference in Cebu.

#BrighterLife campaign

Sun Life has set a high target of insuring 5 million Filipinos in the next 5 years, said Lopa, citing that only 4 million are currently covered by insurance. Of this figure, 1.7 million are Sun Life customers.

Deo Orpilla, Sun Life business development head, said part of the company’s campaign to widen its reach in Cebu includes putting up more sales offices in the metro and even farther areas in the island, having world-renowned Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue as one of its brand ambassadors, and holding a series of financial literacy activities.

After opening two new sales offices in Cebu last year, Orpilla said the company was able to achieve a 25 percent growth in sales. Sun Life now has five sales offices in Metro Cebu.

Sun Life has lined up for the coming days a series of talks dubbed #LiveBrighter, a business opportunity forum that will feature Cobonpue and his journey to success through passion and the desire to touch lives.

Sun Life Kenneth Cobonpue
BRAND AMBASSADOR. World-renowned Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue is a brand ambassador of Sun Life. In his talk, Cobonpue said It’s not just about creativity and talent, it’s also about hard work and business acumen.

Sun Life opportunities

Orpilla said Sun Life envisions a brighter life for Filipinos, ensuring they’re able to achieve their life goals and ready for unexpected events.

At the same time, the company offers them a career with opportunity for big earnings, as a Sun Life advisor, that is also a noble endeavor as they are able to help fellow Filipinos secure their financial future, he added.

“Those who aspire to find fulfillment the same way that Kenneth did in his career are invited to join us as financial advisors. It could be their key to a more fruitful and a more rewarding career,” he cited.

Of Sun Life’s 1.7 million customers, most are concentrated in the 35-45 age range, according to Lopa. Many of the company’s new sales though, especially mutual fund products, are coming from those in their 20’s.

The average age range of Sun Life advisors today is also younger at 30, compared to 42 before 2012, the start of the company’s big campaign.

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Feature Food Lifestyle

Saintly or wicked? New lounge and bar Morals & Malice have you covered

Infused with cloves, cinnamon, a hint of of ginger and cardamom or a mix of cream cheese, salted caramel, blended oatmeal cookies or even honey, lemon juice, rosemary and fig syrup, your regular coffee, smoothie, or cocktail become so much more at Cebu’s new lifestyle destination Morals & Malice.

The lounge Morals and bar Malice aim to bring to Cebu the craft coffee and cocktail culture that is widely popular in Europe, said Morals & Malice marketing and PR director Paco Rodriguez. “This is something new in Cebu but already very big abroad. We feel that a place serving its own handcrafted drinks is what’s lacking in the metro,” Rodriguez said.

Located side by side on the second level of Tinderbox on Archbishop Reyes Avenue in Cebu City, Cebu’s newest premier lounge and bar have interiors designed by world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

Morals and Malice Morally Tea and carrot cake
TEA AND CARROT CAKE. Morally Tea is a blend of black tea and lemongrass infusion flavored with calamansi honey. It is best paired with the lounge’s signature carrot cake. (Photo: MyCebu.ph)

Cobonpue, Rodriguez, Glenn Soco, and Michael Yu, the persons behind Cebu Life Style, Inc., cooked up the intriguing concept of the contrary and complementary places that play up to either one’s saintly, Morals, or dark side, Malice.

Morals vs Malice

With trees springing from tables, grass accents made out of recycled aluminum blinds, and afternoon sunlight streaming in through the glass walls, the 25-square meter lounge gives off a Garden-of-Eden-before-the-fall vibe.

Served at the lounge are craft drinks and pastries that appeal to your morally upright side. According to Yu, Morals & Malice operations and finance director, the lounge currently has seven handcrafted drinks in the menu but serves as well the regular tea and coffee plus all day brunch starting at opening time of 11 a.m. and onwards to 1 a.m.

Morals and Malice Launch
COFFEE LIQUEUR. The Pumped Spice Latte is a concoction of white pumpkin rum with pinoy coffee liqueur and steamed milk topped with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. It’s best with the Chocoholics fudge cake. (Photo: MyCebu.ph)

The Malice bar, on the other hand, is an art installation of abstract nature, a dark cocoon with muted lamps and such uniquely crafted and named cocktails as Fall of Adam that make it super easy for you to give in to your wicked side.

With craft blends already a big hit in Europe, Malice provides Cebu with a taste of this budding culture with its handcrafted, signature libations made from local ingredients and specially concocted plant-based infusions created exclusively for the bar by Manila-based mixologist Kalel Demetrio. At Malice, guests get to pick from a variety of 15 craft cocktails and some surprise concoctions throughout the month aside from the regular alcoholic drinks.

Morals and Malice launch
PASTOR TOM’S cake is a combination of apple pie and moist pound cake that’s smothered in cream cheese frosting. (Photo: MyCebu.ph)

Timeless design

Malice now occupies what used to be the Z Bar, which Cobonpue designed 10 years ago.

“It looks like it could have been designed yesterday because it is rooted in nature and not in any particular style,” said Cobonpue. According to him, the combination of steel and hand-tied bamboo with rattan pieces that adds to the Malice mystique is not random but mimics the movement of molecules.

When Z Bar closed, Cobonpue said he was worried that someone else would come and destroy his design so he decided to save it by collaborating with friends to put up Morals & Malice. The timeless interior arrangement had been featured in a lot of coffee table books.

The bar, which encompasses 90 square meters of space, can squeeze in 80 people and regularly plays Top 40 hits and tropical house music, a Caribbean, relaxed version of the electronic dance music or EDM, said Yu, adding this is perfectly suited for a tropical paradise that is Cebu.

Morals & Malice
MORALS & MALICE TEAM. (From left) Michael Yu, Paco Rodrigues, Kenneth Cobonpue, and Glenn Soco are the persons behind lounge and bar located on the second floor of Tinderbox. (Photo: MyCebu.ph)

Morally inspired menu

Morals introduced three highly-recommended pairings of craft drinks and pastries to media and blogger guests during the grand launch last Friday, April 29.

Morally Tea is an innocent blend of black tea and lemongrass infusion flavored with calamansi honey. It is best paired with the lounge’s signature carrot cake, a moist concoction with delectable cream cheese frosting that’s free from wheat, gluten, trans fat, artificial flavors and colorings.

Malice bar Cebu
MALICE. The entrance to the Malice bar, which now occupies what used to be the Z Bar. (Photo: MyCebu.ph)

Yu said his personal favorite is the Crema de Manga, a morally inspired smoothie of fresh Cebu mango, oatmeal cookies, and cream cheese topped with whipped cream. Morals recommends a pairing with Pastor Tom’s combination of apple pie and moist pound cake that’s smothered in cream cheese frosting.

The Pumped Spice Latte is a Morals drink that comes with a hint of malice, the lounge’s signature creation of white pumpkin rum with pinoy coffee liqueur and steamed milk topped with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. It’s best with the Chocoholics fudge cake covered in Hershey’s chocolate butter cream frosting that also happens to be sans artificial colors, flavors, trans fat, and wheat.

Moarls & Malice launch
DESIGN MYSTIQUE. The combination of steel and hand-tied bamboo with rattan pieces that adds to the Malice mystique is not random but mimics the movement of molecules, said world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

Signature Malice cocktails

Equally intriguing and exquisite are Malice’s craft blends: muddled Granny Smith apples, rosemary syrup, Bombay gin, cilantro liqueur, honey and lemon juice finish called Fall of Adam; Bacardi Silver rum, ginger syrup, mint, lime, and citrus soda topped with pomelo aptly named Pomelo Spiced Mojito; Burning Bush concoction of ginger, liqueur, fig syrup, Yoichi single malt whisky, Makers Mark bourbon, salinated herb, lemon, and a burnt rosemary twig; an Oro de Plata mocktail treat of fresh mango goodness, basil, with a hint ginger and fizz for the finish.

Morals & Malice
One of the light fixtures installed in the bar. (Photo: MyCebu.ph)

A regular cocktail would have a maximum of five ingredients but craft blends can have as many as 10, said Rodriguez.

Since the soft launch of Malice in December, Rodriguez said they’re happy to see guests exploring and enjoying the craft cocktails that are on offer.

Although there is a period when the lounge and bar are open at the same time, from the opening of Malice at 6 p.m. up to closing time, Yu said there is no competition between the two spaces since they cater to different experiences.

Morals & Malice launch
LAUNCH. The bar prepares signature pairings of craft drinks and pastries during the media launch of Malice. (Photo: MyCebu.ph)