A story of a dying village saved by a magical blue star with the help of an innocent child played out in the colorful costumes of underwater creatures marked the start of the Wonders of a Seaside Christmas at SM Seaside City Cebu.
The grand tree lighting ceremony and opening of sea-themed Christmas park last Saturday, November 10, started with a magical dance that developed into a powerful tale of destruction and redemption to the delight of guests, young and old alike. Beautiful music was provided by the University of Cebu Chorus.
The mall’s Christmas theme pays homage to its seaside location in the South Road Properties. It also highlights now more than ever the need to conserve and preserve Cebu’s marine resource.
Digital theater with immersive video
SM Seaside City Cebu unveiled a towering Christmas tree decorated with jellyfish and corals and complemented by a huge cake dome with a digital theater that tells the story of Ting, the Butanding, in immersive 360-degree video.
Stepping inside the cake dome is like diving deep underwater where you get to swim past corals and the sea anemone which serves as the home of the clownfish. As a narrator explains the world underwater, you see turtles, dolphins, and whale sharks glide by or overhead.
The best thing about this sea-rrific adventure is it’s absolutely free, though you may have to line up for your turn. Check out the video showing schedules below.
SM Seaside City Cebu Christmas events
SM Seaside City Cebu also lets you experience the best time of the year with the following fun-filled and exciting activities:
Santa Meet and Greet
Come and meet the merriest man of Christmas. Whisper your wishes to Santa Claus and you just might get them to come true — but only if you’re nice.
Every Wednesday until December 19. The last Meet and Greet with Santa is on December 25.
2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The Wonders of Christmas: A Ballet Extravaganza
Enjoy Christmas stories acted out through the graceful movements of the dance. Witness dazzling performances by the Balletcenter Cebu.
November 14 | 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
November 15 | 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
November 28 | 6:30 p.m.
December 1 | 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Ding: The Great Butanding Show
Meet Ding, the Great Butanding, inside the sweet and decadent Cake House Digital Theater.
Monday to Thursday | 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday to Sunday | 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tim Ho Wan, Hong Kong’s famous Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant, is opening in Cebu at the Upper Ground Floor, Mountain Wing of SM Seaside City on Saturday, March 25. This will be its 7th branch in the country and first outside Metro Manila. It will be the first and only Michelin-rated restaurant in Cebu.
Tim Ho Wan started in 2009 when Chef Mak Kwai Pui and Chef Leung Fai Keun opened a modest 20-seater hole-in-the-wall eatery in Mongkok, Hong Kong. A year after, it earned the coveted star in the 2010 HK and Macau Michelin guide, the international benchmark of good food and highest form of recognition in the culinary world.
Since then, the restaurant branched out around Hong Kong and brought its delicious and affordable dim sum overseas with its first international location in Singapore in 2013. It then expanded to the Philippines in 2014, followed by Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Macau, and most recently New York.
Dim sum specialists
Its inclusion in the Michelin guide was unprecedented at a time when only fine dining and expensive restaurants dominated the list. Renowned as the “most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in the world,” the accolade was a testament to the affordable luxury that Tim Ho Wan consistently offers in terms of taste, quality, and value.
Tim Ho Wan, in Cantonese, translates to “additional good luck” but its brand philosophy is anchored on dim sum perfection from dish placement, service delivery, to specific sizing of every morsel, right down to the folds of the snowy skins for dumplings. This precision takes years of mastery to instill, and the consistency in taste and freshness across every Tim Ho Wan outlet is evident.
The dim sum is handmade-to-order, not pre-steamed and reheated, to retain its much-intended flavor and texture. About 70% of its premium ingredients are imported from Hong Kong.
Four heavenly kings
The Four Heavenly Kings are the stars in Tim Ho Wan’s menu that diners queue up hours for. Savor the famed Baked Bun with BBQ Pork, which gained Tim Ho Wan its success and international following, Steamed Egg Cake, Beancurd Skin with Pork & Shrimp, and Pan Fried Carrot Cake.
With no dish over P200 and exquisite flavors that make the experience well worth the wait, Tim Ho Wan continues to earn the acclaim of food critics and heart of epicureans well beyond Hong Kong.
To celebrate its arrival in Cebu, Tim Ho Wan Cebu will be giving 1 complimentary order of Baked Bun with BBQ Pork to the first 100 transactions with a minimum purchase of P500 during its opening week from March 25 to March 31.
Tim Ho Wan Cebu
In the Philippines, Tim Ho Wan was brought in by Foodee Global Concepts, the food authority responsible for Todd English Food Hall, Pound by Todd English, Hook by Todd English, FOO’D by Davide Oldani, MESA Filipino Moderne, Llaollao, and Sunnies Café.
Tim Ho Wan Cebu is located at the Upper Ground Floor, Mountain Wing of SM Seaside City Cebu and is open daily 10 am to 9 pm. Seating for dine-in is on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit www.facebook.com/timhowanph and follow @timhowanph on Instagram for the latest events and updates. (Press Release)
Your choice of ice cream dipped in thick, creamy chocolate and coated with any three of 18 topping selections, as the Magnum Cebu pleasure store opens to the public today at SM Seaside City.
When you Make Your Own Magnum, you get to choose from milk, dark, and white chocolate as ice cream coating and drizzle and any three of 18 toppings that range from classic, special, to experimental.
Diane Kimberly Tan, senior brand manager, said during a Magnum Cebu preview for media and bloggers that they are introducing for the first time in Cebu the sun-dried rose petals in addition to other toppings like chili flakes, pistachio, roasted almonds, dried raspberries, and caramel or dark chocolate crunch balls.
Magnum ice cream bar
She added that three toppings are the maximum number needed to stick to and fully coat your Magnum ice cream bar.
At the Magnum pleasure store in Cebu, your ice cream bar becomes even more decadent and pleasurable.
“We believe this is the perfect time to come me to Cebu. It’s the Christmas season and people are in malls,” said Drew Tan, assistant brand manager. Magnum Cebu is the first Magnum Cebu pleasure store outside of Manila.
He added that the Magnum ice cream bar at the Magnum pleasure store costs P120 but you get your money’s worth as the brand makes sure that the dips, drizzle, and toppings are of premium standard.
Combination of dips, drizzle, toppings
“The Make You Own Magnum elevates the whole pleasurable experience as you get to create one that’s distinctly yours. With the selection of dips, drizzle, and toppings, there are over 250,000 possible combinations for a Magnum ice cream bar,” he cited.
Since the Magnum pop-up store is an open kiosk or bar, customers get to see the Magnum pleasure makers create one based on their choices.
Andrea Huang, brand manager, said it usually takes a minute or two to create the ice cream bar for clients. Some people may have their favorites already but others ask the pleasure makers to suggest combinations.
“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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Etude House Philippines will open its first concept store in Cebu, at SM Seaside City, this December, a company executive said.
Andrea Amado, Etude House Philippines president, said the Korean brand has created a new concept for its skin and makeup products and they decided to implement it first in Cebu, citing their big customer base here.
According to her, the fantastic thing about Cebuanos is they love color and this coincides with the Etude brand philosophy.
New Etude House concept
Speaking about the newest Etude store that is set to open this month at SM Seaside, Amado said the colors and even the furniture and furnishings will be different.
“All the furniture (pieces) are being shipped from Korea. There will be three shades of pink, even a hint of green at this store. It will be for a more mature princess,” she added.
Amado of the Amado Group Company, which distributes the Tony Moly and Etude brands in the Philippines, made the announcement last Sunday, November 29, at SM Seaside City. Two specialists from Etude House in Korea came to the event to teach some Korean techniques in makeup application.
Princess in every woman
Etude brands its makeup products as fit for the princess in every girl since it started marketing to young customers. Amado said it was a surprise to find out when they tracked purchases that their number one customers were women in their forties.
“It might appear that Etude caters to the young because we are into bright colors but what our products do is make it easy for women to apply makeup. No matter her age, there’s a princess in every woman and it’s not about being beautiful or vain but more about being confident and acting better,” she pointed out.
Including department store kiosks, the Etude House store in SM Seaside City will be the sixth in Cebu.
Korean urban lifestyle beauty brand Tony Moly opened its first Cebu branch at SM Seaside City in the South Road Properties (SRP) to bring its top skincare and makeup products to Cebuanos.
The Tony Moly Cebu store carries a full range of products, including the very popular snail line that uses the regenerative effects of snail slime to bring out supple skin and remove blemishes, a company official said.
Donna Gonzales, Tony Moly Philippines vice president for retail and operations, said their stores have specialists who are experts in skincare to advise customers on the best products for their skin types.
“Most Filipinos are into instant effects so they usually just buy our makeup products. Others just ask for a facial wash and toner. We’re slowly trying to teach them there’s more to skincare, especially if you want to have flawless skin like the Koreans,” she added.
Another popular line features a whole gamut of products, from facial wash and toners to serums and creams, with goat’s milk ingredient. According to Gonzales, it not just any goat’s milk but is actually imported from Switzerland.
Tony Moly skincare, makeup products
Of Tony Moly’s more than 20 product lines, 70 percent are devoted to skincare while the remaining 30 percent feature makeup products. At the same time, about 50 percent of the brand’s skincare products are for facial care.
Other than snail and goat’s milk, it also has a list of products that uses bamboo for extensive moisturization.
The Tony Moly Cebu branch is the eighth in the Philippines and the first in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Gonzales said the brand was well received by Filipinos because it entered the Philippines when there was a rage for KPop culture, from music to telenovelas, in 2011. The Amado Group of Companies distributes products by Tony Moly and an affiliated brand, Etude House, in the Philippines.
AGC’s plan, added Gonzales, is to open five more Tony Moly stores in the country, specifically Visayas and Mindanao, by 2016.
Tony Moly’s Cebu store is located at the right side on the Upper Ground Floor, across National Bookstore, in the newly-opened SM Seaside City.
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.
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 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.
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.
Since the Pope already recently visited the Philippines, he is less likely to visit Cebu next year for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), according to a Vatican envoy. Still, the Cebu Archdiocese remains hopeful that the Pope will consider attending the congress.
This afternoon, a grand staging of the Kaplag reenactment or the discovery of the Sto. Niño de Cebu will be held in downtown Cebu City.
For the SM Seaside City, the Cebu City Council has endorsed eight bus stations for the high-quality public transport system (HQPTS) route from the South Road Properties to the North Reclamation Area.
Tribu Lumad Basakanon, representing the Sinulog of Cebu City may have failed to defend its title in the 13th Aliwan Festival in Pasay City last Saturday after coming out second next to Manaragat Festival (Tribu Katbalaugan) from Catbalogan, Samar, but for the group, it was their best performance since they started joining the national festival competition.
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Here are the top stories for today, April 27, 2015:
Cebu to reenact Sto. Niño de Cebu discovery; heavy traffic expected in downtown Cebu City this afternoon
Parts of downtown Cebu City have been transformed into a pre-Hispanic village as part of this afternoon’s reenactment of the Kaplag or the discovery of the Sto. Niño de Cebu, the country’s oldest religious icon.
Cebu Daily News reported that 300 local actors and actresses will be joining the reenactment that is being supervised by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
Renowned Cebuano choreographer Val Sandiego, award-winning playwright Floy Quintos, and Trina Cayabyab– daughter of renowned composer Ryan Cayabyab — are working together to stage the performance that will show the Christianization of the Philippines that started in Cebu.
A 5:30 p.m. mass that will be presided by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the Basilica del Sto. Niño will follow the reenactment.
Authorities warn of heavy downtown traffic with roads around the Basilica being closed to vehicle traffic.
“I’d like to tell all Cebuanos that this is a very big event. Everybody should take part in the celebrations. The next time we’ll have a celebration as grandiose as this will be in 2065. I just can’t wait for another 50 years because I may no longer be alive by that time. Let’s, therefore, make the most out of this.” — Augustinian priest Fr. Harold Rentoria, executive director of the 450th Kaplag celebration, as quoted by Cebu Daily News
“At a certain point the Holy Father has expressed intentions of going to Cebu for the Congress because it is a tradition. It’s a tradition that the Holy Father attends the Eucharistic Congresses. Because the IEC requires the presence of the bishop of Rome. Given that the Holy Father has already come to the Philippines, I doubt if he will be able to be here since he already visited the victims of the typhoons.” –Vatican envoy Monsignor Piero Marini
Pope Francis also has several trips to different countries this year and in 2016. Cebu will host the 51st IEC in January 2016.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said that the pope might consider returning to the country.
The Pope came to the Philippines in January 2015 to visit Tacloban and Manila to personally pray for and bless super typhoon Yolanda survivors.
“Up to the last minute we are not sure yet. Originally, there was really intention pero with what happened, the typhoon and earthquake, he came. Still we are hoping because one possibility is that if he comes to a country in Asia, because of a big event, he might pass by. We are not sure unless there is final word.” — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma