Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Alegre Beach Resort and Spa offers private beach escapade

Sogod is a Cebuano word that means beginning and locals say it is aptly named because coastlines made up of fine white sand like that in Alegre Beach Resort and…

Sogod is a Cebuano word that means beginning and locals say it is aptly named because coastlines made up of fine white sand like that in Alegre Beach Resort and Spa start here in northern Cebu.

The town hosts the first class resort of Alegre which also serves as jump-off point to the uninhabited island of Kalanggaman in Leyte with its long stretch of powder fine white sand beach.

While accommodations at Alegre Beach Resort and Spa are a little pricey, the cottages are big and comfortable. Built on the cliff top, Alegre Beach Resort and Spa rooms offer breathtaking views of the sea from the lanai.

Alegre Beach Resort and Spa's fine white sand beachfront, where aqua sports equipment are available.

Alegre Beach Resort and Spa’s fine white sand beachfront, where aqua sports equipment are available.

Private beaches

Guests can choose to swim or sunbathe at the private beaches formed by the irregular rock formation in the area.

On one of the beachfronts is The Cliff Seafood BBQ and Bar. Alegre Beach Resort and Spa guests can choose to have their lunch, snacks or dinner served at the al fresco tables set up close to the sea.

We had snacks at The Cliff as the sun was setting and the sky turned orange and then red before dusk finally set in.

When we returned for dinner, our table for eight was set up on the beach and lighted with candles. Alegre’s head chef cooked our dinner and explained the menu to us.

Fresh tuna served with herbs and spices and the chef's special sauce. This dish is exceptional. (Photo by Marlen Limpag)

Fresh tuna served with herbs and spices and the chef’s special sauce. This dish is exceptional. (Photo by Marlen Limpag)

For starters, we had fresh tuna served with herbs and spices and the chef’s special sauce. The combination of flavors was exceptional.

We proceeded with tomato soup, roasted beef for the main course, and cheesecake for dessert. The dishes were quite good.

Massage by the sea

Within this beachfront is a gazebo with beds for those who want to relax or have their massage done near the sea.

Alegre Beach Resort and Spa has another restaurant up on the cliff top called the Pavilion. Buffet breakfast is served here. Outside tables have breathtaking views of lush plants and the distant sea.

The Pavilion is located close to the pool, making it accessible for after breakfast swims.

Alegre’s AquaSports shop takes care of diving and island hopping activities. In our case, we opted for the trip to Kalanggaman.

Accommodation rates

Alegre Beach Resort and Spa cabana rates range from P8,000 to P19,000 plus for deluxe rooms for a range of packages like room only or with one, two, or full-board meals.

Alegre Beach Resort and Spa cabana rates range from P8,000 to P19,000 plus for deluxe rooms for a range of packages like room only or with one, two, or full-board meals.

Alegre Beach Resort and Spa cabana rates range from P8,000 to P19,000 plus for deluxe rooms for a range of packages like room only or with one, two, or full-board meals. (Photo by Marlen Limpag)

Rooms with ocean views are from P11,000 to P16,000 plus for various packages.

Ocean view rooms with a garden package, which is inclusive of breakfast, massage, scuba, and round trip transport start at P19,000 plus for an overnight stay. Garden packages longer than an overnight stay can include a trip to Kalanggaman with lunch in that island.

These rates are valid up to June 2013.

The resort charges P1,500 more during peak season which include holidays like the Chinese New Year, Holy Week, Japan Golden Week, Japan Obon Week, and Christmas.

The resort's pavilion.

The resort’s pavilion.

Photo gallery

Alegre Beach Resort and Spa location map

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Coming back to Pandanon Island

We went to Pandanon Island off the coast of Bohol in 2010 and found a postcard view of a tropical paradise. We went back last week to find it slightly…

ISLAND PARADISE. This photo was taken in 2010 when there were fewer visitors and beach huts on Pandanon Island you'd think you had the island to yourself.

ISLAND PARADISE. This photo was taken in 2010 when there were fewer visitors and beach huts on Pandanon Island you’d think you had the island to yourself.

We went to Pandanon Island off the coast of Bohol in 2010 and found a postcard view of a tropical paradise. We went back last week to find it slightly changed.

There are now more cottages on the beach, for one.

When we were there last week, another hut was being built. For someone smitten by the place, it’s cause for worry – whether it’s sustainable. A resident said the island is so full on weekends it’s hard to move around. It was lucky that we were there on a weekday.

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Kalanggaman Island boasts of powder fine sand, clean sea

Around 400 foreign tourists in a cruise ship that stopped by Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte were so blown away they stayed for 12 hours. Powder fine white beach. Clean…

Kalanggaman has a long stretch of powder fine white sand.

Kalanggaman has a long stretch of powder fine white sand.

Around 400 foreign tourists in a cruise ship that stopped by Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte were so blown away they stayed for 12 hours.

Powder fine white beach. Clean sea. Long, long sandbar. This in a nutshell is Kalanggaman, an uninhabited island between the northern Cebu mainland and Leyte.

Locals call it paradise and they’re not far off the mark.

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La Vie Parisienne is newest Cebu French bakery, deli, wine store

Our visit to La Vie Parisienne was quick and unplanned but checked out we did this new Cebu French bakery, deli, and wine library. La Vie Parisienne, which translates to…

Our visit to La Vie Parisienne was quick and unplanned but checked out we did this new Cebu French bakery, deli, and wine library.

La Vie Parisienne, which translates to Parisian Life, sits along the right side of Gorordo Avenue if you’re going towards JY Square and near where the temple of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) is in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

It’s within the same compound as the La Maison Rose restaurant.

We arrived just when the croissants were almost done so we had some of those and they were the best we’ve tasted.

Aside from croissants, other baked goodies on display at the new Cebu French bakery La Vie Parisienne include bread like faluche, platine, and baguette.

Aside from croissants, other baked goodies on display at the new Cebu French bakery La Vie Parisienne include bread like faluche, platine, and baguette.

Cebu French bakery

They were flaky on the outside and melt-in-your mouth soft on the inside. I don’t like bread in general but I devoured two of those croissants that this Cebu French bakery sells for 25 pesos each.

Croissants fresh from the oven at La Vie Parisienne along Gorordo Avenue in Lahug, Cebu City.

Croissants fresh from the oven at La Vie Parisienne along Gorordo Avenue in Lahug, Cebu City.

A glass display of different kinds of French and other cheese, among them bleu d'auvergene, gouda, bre lafontane, rondin great, comte badoz.

A glass display of different kinds of French and other cheese, among them bleu d’auvergene, gouda, bre lafontane, rondin great, comte badoz.

At the left side of the door is an oven where you can watch the staff cook the bread. It was croissants when we were there. Other baked goodies on display include bread like faluche, platine, and baguette as well as macaroons.

There was a glass display filled with different kinds of French and other cheese, among them bleu d’auvergene, gouda, bre lafontane, rondin great, comte badoz, that sell from P100 to P200 per 100 grams.

Shelves of fruit preserves and spreads adorn a side of the wall. There is a small enclosure within La Vie Parisienne – about a fourth of the store’s area – that is chilled and filled to the rafters literally with wine.

Wine library

La Vie Parisienne's wine library.

La Vie Parisienne’s wine library.

I guess it’s an easy enough assumption to make that this is the wine library. I wanted to check out the bottles but we were pressed for time.

What I couldn’t miss are wines under the Michel Lhuillier label. That’s not surprising, of course, since the Lhuillier family owns the place. This is according to the store staff I talked to who also told us that La Vie Parisienne just opened on the fourth of this month, May.

The space is a bit small so it gets really cramped when there are 10 or more people inside.

However, the back door opens to a spacious garden where tables have been set up but they were already filled up when we were there.

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Camping out on Basdako beach in Moalboal

Sand is not the most comfortable of beds but our weekend camp-out on White Beach or Basdako in Moalboal, Cebu had its benefits. It was cheap as a tent cost…

Sand is not the most comfortable of beds but our weekend camp-out on White Beach or Basdako in Moalboal, Cebu had its benefits.

It was cheap as a tent cost only P500 to rent, afforded us a front seat to a spectacular view of the night sky, and gave us first crack at the morning sea.

What’s even better was that all of us, kids in our party included, had a lot of fun.

Moalboal White Beach

Moalboal’s Basdako or White Beach is a long stretch of coast covered with fine white sand. It hosts a lot of cottages and resorts that offer a range of accommodations, from spartan to luxurious.

In our previous trips to Basdako in Barangay Saavedra, Moalboal, Cebu, we stayed in resorts like Hale Manna and Barefoot so it was our first camp-out experience on the beach.

CAMPING ON THE BEACH. You can rent tents for P500 a night and camp out in Basdako or White Beach in Moalboal. (Photo by Max Limpag)

CAMPING ON THE BEACH. You can rent tents for P500 a night and camp out in Basdako or White Beach in Moalboal. (Photo by Max Limpag)

Since our party of seven adults, four teenagers, and eight children travelled on a weekend to Moalboal with no prior reservation for a room, we went directly to White Beach to find somewhere to stay for the night.

Moalboal town center

The 100-kilometer drive to the Cebu town from Lapu-Lapu City took us close to three hours, including a short time spent at Molave Milk Station in Barili to stretch our legs.

From the Moalboal town center, we proceeded another six kilometers to Basdako. Along the way, we stopped by a barangay outpost to pay a P5 charge for each person in our party, small kids included.

Upon arriving at a public area of White Beach, where the cottages are located, the adults in our party had to pay P10 each and a parking fee of P60 for both vehicles.

Austere accomodation

We were able to get a cottage for only P1,200 but it was austere at most. It had one medium-sized bed, a fan, and a comfort room but it was not clean. You had to buy water for your toilet and shower needs at P25 per container.

What we did was use the common toilets and shower rooms for a fee per use.

Since we couldn’t fit in the room, some us decided to rent tents. We saw some group with their tents already up and thought it would be a great idea to sleep out under the stars.

WHITE BEACH. Basdako in Moalboal is one of the best white sand beach coastlines in Cebu. This one's at the public beach area. (Photo by Max Limpag)

WHITE BEACH. Basdako in Moalboal is one of the best white sand beach coastlines in Cebu. This one’s at the public beach area. (Photo by Max Limpag)

Camping out on the beach

My husband and I and our two kids decided a tent would be fun so camped out we did. All the sleeping bags were taken so we made do with oversized beach scarves and towels.

Down on the sand with only the tent and thin piece of cloth between you is not the most comfortable of arrangements but we still managed to get a good night’s sleep after a wonderful swim in the warm sea.

We had a lot of company on the beach in the huge number of tents put up. Others lay down on mats in the open.

Starry sky

While we were grilling our dinner on the beachfront, there was a power outage. Locals say the outages are common but they only last an hour or so.

It happened while we were cooking so there were exclamations of exasperation.

One of the children silenced us by saying ‘look’ and pointing at the sky. Up there, with the electricity out, is a black sky twinkling with a million stars and it was the most beautiful sight we’ve seen in a long time.

Getting there

You can choose to drive or commute by bus to Moalboal. Buses leave for the southwestern town of Cebu several times daily from the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City.

Bus fare is a little over a hundred pesos. Passengers pay a fee of five pesos each at the terminal.

If you have time, take a side trip to Barangay Matutinao in Badian. It is one town farther away and home of the popular Kawasan Falls.

Moalboal's Basdako or White Beach is a long stretch of coast covered with fine white sand. It hosts a lot of cottages and resorts that offer a range of accommodations, from spartan to luxurious.

Moalboal’s Basdako or White Beach is a long stretch of coast covered with fine white sand. It hosts a lot of cottages and resorts that offer a range of accommodations, from spartan to luxurious. (Photo by Max Limpag)

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Marco Polo Plaza Cebu offers culinary treats at Cafe Marco

When they served my buko shake in its original green shell, I knew I would enjoy my lunch at Cafe Marco in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. Anyone who spends extra…

When they served my buko shake in its original green shell, I knew I would enjoy my lunch at Cafe Marco in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

Anyone who spends extra effort on such details as presentation would pay even more attention to taste as well. I was right.

I’m not that into food so it would have to be exceptional fare to tempt me to a hearty feast. I haven’t remembered a time when I’ve eaten so much for lunch like I did at Cafe Marco.

Marco Polo Culinary Journeys

CAFE MARCO has been named one of the top 5 restaurants in the Philippines by Miele Guide, a guide to Asia's best eateries. (Photo by Max Limpag)

CAFE MARCO has been named one of the top 5 restaurants in the Philippines by Miele Guide, a guide to Asia’s best eateries. (Photo by Max Limpag)

Every three months or so, Marco Polo goes on a culinary journey and our lunch at Cafe Marco happened during “The Great Media Cookout” from April 12-21, 2013.

Media personalities brought out family recipes and transformed them into five-star dish with the help of Marco Polo consultant Jessica Avila and chefs.

We were told diners had lined up for the jade green prawns of The Freeman’s Dr. Nestor Alonso II so we tried some of that. We understood why it had become a hit.

JADE GREEN PRAWNS of The Freeman food writer Dr. Nestor Alonso II. (Photo by Max Limpag)

JADE GREEN PRAWNS of The Freeman food writer Dr. Nestor Alonso II.

I like crispy pata and kare-kare so I had to have some of the dish that combined both. It was from the recipe of the blogger brothers – Doyzkie, Reymond and Edd Buenaviaje – behind iluvcebu.com. The crispy pata with kare-kare sauce was an unusual but not bad combination.

Other dishes by media personalities: Alexis Yap’s (RCTV) Kinilaw and Mango Float, Tonee Despojo’s (Cebu Daily News) Grilled Boneless Bangus and Steamed Lapulapu with Sunflower Oil, Noel Villaflor’s (Sun.Star) Sisig with Kesong Puti, Ann Marie Tan’s (GMA Cebu) Chicken Binakol and Humba with Egg, Honey Jarque Loop’s (The Philippine Star) pollo ala chilindron and Lapulapu al horno, and Alonso’s second recipe named Crispy Squid Rolls and Beef in Perpetual Sauce.

KINILAW. Alexis Yap of RCTV contributed Kini ang Kinilaw in The Great Media Cookout. (Photo by Max Limpag)

KINILAW. Alexis Yap of RCTV contributed Kini ang Kinilaw in The Great Media Cookout.

We had some of the kinilaw, sisig, grilled boneless bangus and, for dessert, mango float.

Cafe Marco buffet

Dishes featured during The Great Media Cookout are on top of the usual Asian, Japanese, and Western buffet spread at Cafe Marco, said Marco Polo Plaza Cebu e-marketing manager Yumny Mariot .

Net buffet prices during The Great Media Cookout were the Cafe Marco regular rates of P1,099 for lunch and P1,299 for dinner. The rates exclude drinks but come with free hot tea or coffee.

SISIG by Sun.Star Cebu Weekend editor Noel Villaflor.

SISIG by Sun.Star Cebu Weekend editor Noel Villaflor.

Yumny explained the buffet rates remain the same even if they are offering new dishes, local or international, that come out only on culinary journeys.

On the choice of getting media personalities to cook, Yumny said they thought of giving time and attention to people who come to Cafe Marco during culinary journeys.

“They take pictures and write about the food. We thought of giving them a break in the kitchen. We asked them if they have recipes,” she added.

1 of top 5 restaurants

According to Yumny, an exciting development for Cafe Marco was getting picked by the Miele Guide, a guide to Asia’s best eateries, as one of the top five restaurants in the Philippines.

Since there are customers who prefer to eat salad or have dessert only at Cafe Marco, the restaurant offers these selections as well at lunchtime. Net rates are P350 for sweets only and P852.51 for a selection of Japanese, greens, and soup and fruits of the day. Dessert only offering starts at 2 p.m.

Cafe Marco is open seven days a week. Buffet hours: lunch is from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner is from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Call (63 32) 253-1111 for inquiries and reservations.

CULINARY EVENT. Every three months or so, Marco Polo goes on a culinary journey and our lunch at Cafe Marco happened during "The Great Media Cookout" from April 12-21, 2013.

CULINARY EVENT. Every three months or so, Marco Polo goes on a culinary journey and our lunch at Cafe Marco happened during “The Great Media Cookout” from April 12-21, 2013.

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Kawasan Falls perfect balm to summer heat

If you’ve ever been caught in a cloudburst, when huge drops of rain suddenly fall on you, multiply that feeling a thousand times and you know what it’s like to…

If you’ve ever been caught in a cloudburst, when huge drops of rain suddenly fall on you, multiply that feeling a thousand times and you know what it’s like to stand under Kawasan Falls in Cebu, Philippines.

The tallest of the seven Kawasan Falls is just the right height and has just enough volume to allow visitors to stand under the falling water without it being too painful.

Enterprising locals rent out sturdy rafts made of bamboo for only P300 and ferry groups to cruise under two waterfalls that flow down beside each other.

Rising temperatures drive people to nature sites like Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu.

Rising temperatures drive people to nature sites like Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu.

They tell you that the P300 is for your whole group and for as many times as you want. They probably know from experience that groups only want to go under the water once and only a few ever choose to take a second turn.

Kawasan Falls shower

Local guides brought maneuvered our raft to the smaller of the two waterfalls, probably to get us used to the pounding water.

You think you know how it would feel but nothing prepares you for that great rush of water falling on you. It’s like something solid and heavy has fallen on you, only it does not bounce away but continues down.

It forces your head down. The water is so thick as it falls you must hold your breath or take in water. You stagger to get away but take it from me, you’ll soon get used to it. You will even get to like it.

Our raft travels behind the tallest of the Kawasan Falls so we can take a shower underneath.

Our raft travels behind the tallest of the Kawasan Falls so we can take a shower underneath.

The good thing about the raft is it’s big so you get to step away. We had children with us and soon they were shouting their enjoyment, standing again and again under the water. My 10-year-old son Lennon likened the waterfall shower to as many as 500 water bullets falling down on you at once.

From the small waterfall, we proceeded on to the bigger one. Our raft approached from behind the waterfall and the only way out was to go through it.

Water massage

This second waterfall is much bigger and stronger and the pounding water really hurts when it hits you. So when the raft goes through it to get to the other side, it will hit all of you. There’s no stepping away this time.

If there are children in your group, the guides can shield them from much of the water.

The cool and refreshing water from Kawasan Falls is a perfect balm to the summer heat.

The cool and refreshing water from Kawasan Falls is a perfect balm to the summer heat.

Their advise is for all of you to lie face down on the raft when it goes through the falls. That way, the water does not hit your face and falls evenly all over like a massage. A very hard one, though.

Children or people in your group who can’t swim must wear life vests. It’s easy to fall from the raft into the water which is deep at the foot of the falls. Vests are being rented out for P50 each.

The two tallest Kawasan Falls are part of seven formed by the Matutinao river system in the town of Badian in Cebu as it makes its way to the sea.

Getting there

From the main road, the first two falls are 1.3 kilometers away. If you’re bringing a vehicle, you will have to leave it at a parking area in front of the barangay church. Parking fee is P100.

If you’re just visiting for the day, entrance fee to the falls is P10 for each person, from seven years up. At the waterfall area, you can rent a table for the whole day at only P300.

Staying overnight is possible since there are air-conditioned and fan rooms that can accommodate from two to 15 people and cost 1,000 to 3,500 pesos. Kawasan Falls room rates and contact numbers listed here.

If you don’t want to bring a vehicle, commuting to Kawasan Falls in Badian, which is about 100 kilometers from Cebu City, is easy. Buses regularly leave for the town daily from the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City.

The journey on an air-conditioned Ceres bus is comfortable. Passengers are charged 5 pesos each as terminal fee.

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Kadaugan features Battle of Mactan reenactment

We arrived as the fight raged on. Although it was only a reenactment of the Battle of Mactan, it combined just the right amount of history and flair to make…

We arrived as the fight raged on. Although it was only a reenactment of the Battle of Mactan, it combined just the right amount of history and flair to make it enjoyable.

When we got there, soldiers dressed in Spanish armor were making their way to shore in boatloads. Others had reached land and clashed with village men under the leadership of Mactan chieftain Lapu-Lapu.

While women and children ran around in a frenzy, loud blasts rent the air. Makeshift huts built in the shallows caught fire.

I don’t know if it was because of a lack of expectation on my part or that special pass that allowed me a front seat view of the action, but I found myself quite impressed.

Battle of Mactan reenactment at Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City.

Battle of Mactan reenactment at Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City.

A lot of preparation and forethought had obviously gone into the reenactment of that battle between Spanish forces led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and native chieftain Lapu-Lapu and his band of village warriors on April 27, 1521.

The Battle of Mactan reenactment happened on the coast of Barangay Mactan, which is now a park named Liberty Shrine in memory of the event that transpired there 492 years ago.

For purposes of this year’s commemoration of what Opon residents call the Kadaugan sa Mactan (Victory in Mactan), the beach was transformed into a scene straight out of a movie set. It had its share of actors, most of them native Oponganons. A few others though were popular celebrities: Lapu-Lapu was played by Polo Ravales, Reyna Bulakna by Yam Concepcion, and Magellan by Troy Montero.

I used to wonder why they go to all that trouble of flying in celebrities to portray the leading roles but I realize it’s part of the event’s draw.

At that time on the battlefield when Lapu-Lapu clashed with Magellan, the spectators were screaming their support, egging on Polo Ravales to finish off Troy Montero. Even the children got in on the act. They certainly know their celebrities.

If there’s one thing this reenactment has achieved successfully, it is that this part of history – where untrained island natives represented by Lapu-Lapu repelled a much superior invading force – will continue to live on.

Village warriors of what was then Maktan meet Spanish soldiers in the shallows on April 27, 1521, reenacted here by local actors.

Village warriors of what was then Maktan meet Spanish soldiers in the shallows on April 27, 1521, reenacted here by local actors.

During a press conference shortly after the Battle of Mactan reenactment, the actor who played Lapu-Lapu, Polo Ravales, said the important lesson here is if you want something badly enough, you must fight for it.

Troy Montero, on the other hand, said it is important that we know ofour past and reliving history through events like the Kadaugan sa Mactan or historical movies help us remember.

This year’s Kadaugan sa Mactan is the 13th edition of the celebration. And it does not stop with the reenactment. The whole thing is a week-long event that features food, music, street parties, and a whole lot of fun.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz C. Radaza said they are finding ways to make the celebration better every year. Crowd control, I think, could do with some improvements.

Here with the actors who played Lapu-Lapu (Polo Ravales), and his lady love, Reyna Bulakna (Yam Concepcion). Photo on the left is courtesy of Maria Armie Sheila Garde.

Here with the actors who played Lapu-Lapu (Polo Ravales), and his lady love, Reyna Bulakna (Yam Concepcion). Photo on the left is courtesy of Maria Armie Sheila Garde.

In this year’s Kadaugan sa Mactan battle, several people had come down from the bleachers and crowded around on that small stretch of beach where the event that led to Magellan’s death was being played out.

Nevertheless, since my first experience of the Kadaugan sa Mactan came with 13 years worth of lessons, the Battle of Mactan reenactment could only get better in 2014.

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Bathalad, InnoPub Media launch free Bisaya poetry e-book

Literary group Bathalad Inc. and journalism start-up InnoPub Media have released an e-book anthology of Cebuano poems for smartphones, tablets and e-readers.

Literary group Bathalad Inc. and journalism start-up InnoPub Media have released an e-book anthology of Cebuano poems for smartphones, tablets and e-readers.

“Skina Balak” can be downloaded for free from certain websites, including MyCebu, and through QR or quick response code scanning of posters and offline download stations.

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CJJ7: How newsrooms cope with the new media

This year’s Cebu Journalism and Journalists looks into how newsrooms in Cebu cope with the new media. To download the magazine in e-book format, click on the appropriate file format…

This year’s Cebu Journalism and Journalists looks into how newsrooms in Cebu cope with the new media. To download the magazine in e-book format, click on the appropriate file format for your device below.

 

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Minerva letterpress

Letterpress printing, which is printing from raised metal type, was the norm in printing for 500 years from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century. The image or…

Letterpress printing, which is printing from raised metal type, was the norm in printing for 500 years from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century.

The image or printing areas are raised above the non-printing areas.  The reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to get a right-reading image.

A letterpress operator prints numbers on receipts using a Minerva letterpress in Tudtud Print Arts in the Citi Center near Sanciangko St., Cebu City.

A letterpress operator prints numbers on receipts using a Minerva letterpress in Tudtud Print Arts in the Citi Center near Sanciangko St., Cebu City.

Letterpresses are now being replaced by faster and more efficient printing presses like the offset lithographic press or the flexographic press.

Minerva letterpresses are still running in some print shops near Sanciangko St. in Cebu City.

These presses, however, are mostly used to number receipts, said Tudtud Print Arts owner Lito Tudtud. He said Risograph and offset printing are faster and more efficient. The lack of a working Linotype machine, which produces the slugs used for letterpress printing, also limits the use of Minerva presses, Tudtud said.

(This article is part of a series on Cebu tourism and heritage supported by Smart Communications, Inc., the country’s telecommunications leader.)

Play the video below to see a Minerva letterpress in action.

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Royal Typewriter: Small, compact and efficient writing machine

Cebu Daily News publisher Eileen Mangubat used this typewriter before she became Sun.Star news editor. She then passed it on to Edralyn Benedicto, a Sun.Star reporter at the time, who…

Cebu Daily News publisher Eileen Mangubat used this typewriter before she became Sun.Star news editor. She then passed it on to Edralyn Benedicto, a Sun.Star reporter at the time, who gave it up when the paper shifted to computers.

On this typewriter, Mangubat wrote stories about the abduction of Fr. Rudy Romano, the fall of the Marcos regime and various key events of Cebu’s recent history.

This typewriter was a second-hand unit purchased by Sun.Star in the eighties. Pachico A. Seares bought it when the company disposed of its typewriters with the advent of PCs in its old newsroom at the leased building on Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City.

Play the video below to listen to Mangubat talk about how it was to write news stories on a typewriter.

Play the video below to listen to Mangubat reminisce about stories she wrote on this typewriter.

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The Linotype Machine: Hot affair blows cold

(This article was written by Mayette Tabada for the CJJ Media Gallery and is reprinted here with permission) For generations, men slaved over heated metal for love of the printed…

(This article was written by Mayette Tabada for the CJJ Media Gallery and is reprinted here with permission)

For generations, men slaved over heated metal for love of the printed word. Then the affair turned cold.

Before the advent of computer-aided publication, newspapers were printed using a Linotype machine. When it was introduced in 1886, Ottmar Mergenthaler’s invention was hailed by Thomas Edison as the “eighth wonder of the world.”

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Cebu Journalism and Journalists Gallery

The Cebu Journalism and Journalists (CJJ) Gallery officially opened on September 24, 2010 to showcase the vibrant journalism in Cebu. It is the first community media museum gallery in the…

The Cebu Journalism and Journalists (CJJ) Gallery officially opened on September 24, 2010 to showcase the vibrant journalism in Cebu. It is the first community media museum gallery in the country.

On June 25, 2009, Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) executive director Pachico Seares had obtained approval for the project from the CCPC en banc, following initial talks between broadcaster Bobby Nalzaro and Seares with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on locating the gallery in the Cebu Provincial Government-owned Museo Sugbo.

OPENING. Guests view displays in the gallery during its opening. The Cebu Journalism and Journalists Gallery is the first community media museum gallery in the country. (SUN.STAR CEBU PHOTO)

OPENING. Guests view displays in the gallery during its opening. The Cebu Journalism and Journalists Gallery is the first community media museum gallery in the country. (SUN.STAR CEBU PHOTO)

Then congressman Raul del Mar (Cebu City, north district) offered P200,000 from his Priority Development Assistance Fund to finance the exhibit.

Last March 11, 2010, the CCPC en banc approved the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Province of Cebu, represented by Garcia, and the CCPC, represented by its president, Dr. Pureza Oñate, to use this space in the Museo Sugbo for the exhibit for 25 years, free of charge. The contract is renewable for another 25 years.

The gallery contains photo frames with captions of pre-war and post-war journalists of Cebu with captions on their contributions to Cebu journalism. It also contains equipment like a Minerva letterpress, an ink knife, radio microphones and a Royal Quick Deluxe typewriter.

NEWSFLASH FROM THE PAST. Antonio Tormis Jr. takes photographs of a display focusing on his father, the editor and columnist Antonio Abad Tormis of The Republic News, inside the Cebu Journalism and Journalists Gallery. Tormis was gunned down on July 3, 1961, following his pursuit of stories about local government corruption. (SUN.STAR PHOTO)

NEWSFLASH FROM THE PAST. Antonio Tormis Jr. takes photographs of a display focusing on his father, the editor and columnist Antonio Abad Tormis of The Republic News, inside the Cebu Journalism and Journalists Gallery. Tormis was gunned down on July 3, 1961, following his pursuit of stories about local government corruption. (SUN.STAR PHOTO)

Play the video below to listen to one of the gallery’s curators.

(This article is part of a project on Cebu tourism supported by Smart Communications, Inc., the Philippines’ telecommunications leader)

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Battle of Mactan: history and myth

This spot is revered by Mactan Island residents more than any other place. A marker says it was on that site that a man who had sought dominion over the…

This spot is revered by Mactan Island residents more than any other place. A marker says it was on that site that a man who had sought dominion over the island in the name of the Spanish king had died in the hands of the brave warrior chieftain Lapu-Lapu 485 years ago.

Lapu-Lapu’s deed is fact but it spawned legends about the man–how he defeated the Spanish forces with their powerful artillery (guns, swords, cannons, cross-bows, body armor) and killed their leader Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan–and what became of him.

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Cebu Pacific takes university students on ‘ultimate Backpacker Challenge’

Attention adventure-loving university students! Pack your bags and prepare for the ultimate travel adventure, courtesy of the country’s largest airline. Cebu Pacific invites college students who are passionate about traveling…

Attention adventure-loving university students! Pack your bags and prepare for the ultimate travel adventure, courtesy of the country’s largest airline. Cebu Pacific invites college students who are passionate about traveling to join the Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge, a five-day cross-country adventure competition from August 29 to September 2, 2012.

The Juan for Fun Backpacker Challenge brings 5 teams of 3 university students to six exciting and scenic destinations all over the Philippines. Armed with P30,000 in cash, the teams get to test their resourcefulness and adventurous spirit in select Philippine destinations, with some challenges along the way. The team that gets to do the most number of challenges in each destination and ends up with the most travel savings wins the challenge. To join, teams composed of three college students who are 18 years old and above must submit a video that showcases their love for travel and adventure. Entries must answer the question: “How far will your team go for a fun adventure?”

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Treasured recipes from Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

As one of the highlights of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Culinary Journey, the hotel asked two of Cebu’s culinary icons, Cristina “Tina” Ebrada and Señorita Teresin Mendezona, to share their…

As one of the highlights of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s Culinary Journey, the hotel asked two of Cebu’s culinary icons, Cristina “Tina” Ebrada and Señorita Teresin Mendezona, to share their treasured recipes. The recipes have been compiled into an e-booklet for smartphones, tablets and E-readers.

To download the recipes for free, click on the book cover of the appropriate format for your device below.

epub format for iPhones, iPads, Android devices

Treasured Recipes in .epub version for iPhones, iPads, Android devices and other smartphones and e-readers. You may need to install an e-reading app like iBooks, Aldiko or Stanza in order to read the ebook.

Treasured Recipes in .epub version for iPhones, iPads, Android devices and other smartphones and e-readers. You may need to install an e-reading app like iBooks, Aldiko or Stanza in order to read the ebook.

.mobi format for the Kindle

Treasured Recipes in .mobi format for the Kindle.

Treasured Recipes in .mobi format for the Kindle.

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Cebuano musical heritage comes alive at Halad Museum

(Information for this article was provided by Halad Museum curator Audrey Tomada) Halad means “tribute” or “offering” in Cebuano and the Halad Museum of Jose “Dodong” R. Gullas in downtown…

(Information for this article was provided by Halad Museum curator Audrey Tomada)

Halad means “tribute” or “offering” in Cebuano and the Halad Museum of Jose “Dodong” R. Gullas in downtown Cebu City serves to immortalize Cebu’s musical heritage.

The museum displays memorabilia of Cebuanos who contributed to the formation of Cebu’s musical culture with their compositions celebrating the Visayan language and their favored instruments.

Standing at a corner, a piano used by no less than Ben Zubiri, that popular ’50s-’60s Visayan entertainer and radio personality behind the timeless piece “Matud Nila.” On a glass case is an original music sheet of Maning Velez’s “Sa Kabukiran,” popularized also by his daughter, the actress Lilian Velez. Then there’s a guitar, not just anyone’s but Minggoy Lopez’s, the artist behind the folk song Rosas Pandan that has become a favorite choral contest piece even in international competitions.

MUSICAL HERITAGE. The Halad Museum displays memorabilia of Cebuanos who contributed to the formation of Cebu's musical culture with their compositions celebrating the Visayan language and their favored instruments. It is located in the old The Freeman building on Manalili St. in downtown Cebu City. Click on image to enlarge. (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

MUSICAL HERITAGE. The Halad Museum displays memorabilia of Cebuanos who contributed to the formation of Cebu's musical culture with their compositions celebrating the Visayan language and their favored instruments. It is located in the old The Freeman building on V. Gullas St. in downtown Cebu City. Click on image to enlarge. (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

These are just some of the wide ranging and enduring legacies of Cebuano cultural heritage expressed through music and available for everyone to see at the museum. There are also old photographs, musical scores, lyric sheets, vinyl records, awards, and personal items from gowns to gadgets of Visayan musicians.

Behind this laudable undertaking is Jose Gullas through his Tipiganan sa mga Handumanan (Treasury of Memories) Foundation. The idea came to him in 2007 when he started a series of concerts that were to serve as tributes to Filipino composers.

Treasuring Cebuano songs

Gullas explained he created the museum as a way of preserving and treasuring beautiful Cebuano songs that would otherwise have been lost or forgotten and honoring the memory of his parents Vicente and Inday Pining.

The museum has something for the younger crowd, too, with its video screens and sound stations where Cebuano classics can be played in its various interpretations — whether by Pilita Corrales, Susan Fuentes, or Dulce.

Indigenous musical instruments of Mindanao tribes like the Manobo, T’boli, Yakan, Subanon, Talaandig, and Kulmanon are new acquisitions.

In contrast, a high-tech phonograph from Europe is also on display.

Aside from the Halad Music Gallery, the museum also hosts other exhibits including the:

Kinaiyang Sugbuanon Gallery

A walkthrough is a rediscovery of Cebuano traditions from the distant to near past. Every image tells its story, and the photo collection depicts Cebuano life cycles, popular practices, and religious expressions.

Jose R. Gullas Memorabilia Gallery

The life of the man behind the museum. A section that traces his story, lineage,and passion.

Permanent Exhibitions

Cebuano songs played on old-school phonographs and digital music stations. Imagine a time in old Cebu when serenades were common and expected. See a vast collection of LP records and journey back to a time when life was and afternoons were spent listening to music. Touch and play instruments like no one’s watching. Explore displays that will bring you to a magical musical journey.

Changing Exhibitions

Thematic exhibitions aimed at capturing the spirit of prevailing events. These change year round and promises something for everyone.

How to get there

The Halad Museum is located on the corner of V. Gullas and D. Jakosalem Streets in Cebu City. The site is the old offices of The Freeman, Cebu’s oldest newspaper, and taxicab drivers know where it is. It is less than 30 minutes away from Cebu City’s big shopping malls.

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Mövenpick offers free sunset cruise for overnight guests

An overnight stay at the Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts-Cebu in Lapu-Lapu City comes with a free sunset cruise for local tourists. The promo is good up to the end of May,…

An overnight stay at the Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts-Cebu in Lapu-Lapu City comes with a free sunset cruise for local tourists.

The promo is good up to the end of May, said Mövenpick Assistant Director of Communications Joanna Cuenco.

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Bigger, more colorful Gabii sa Kabilin this May 25

One event that should not be missed in Cebu this May is the annual Gabii sa Kabilin, which is bigger this year since it will involve 21 heritage sites and…

One event that should not be missed in Cebu this May is the annual Gabii sa Kabilin, which is bigger this year since it will involve 21 heritage sites and include children’s activities as well as an exhibit of Cebuano delicacies.

Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)-Culture and Heritage, said they are aiming to attract 10,000 people to the May 25 event that will start at 6 p.m. and end at midnight.

Tickets cost P150 and allow participants access to the 21 sites where cultural performances, exhibits, art fairs, food markets, and interactive demonstrations will be held.

TOUR THEMES. Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)-Culture and Heritage, says this year's Gabii Sa Kabilin offers different tour themes. Click on photo to enlarge. At right is Cebu City Police Office Director Ramon Melvin Buenafe, who assured participants of their safety. (PHOTO PROVIDED BY RAMON ABOITIZ FOUNDATION INC.)

TOUR THEMES. Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)-Culture and Heritage, says this year's Gabii Sa Kabilin offers different tour themes. Click on photo to enlarge. At right is Cebu City Police Office Director Ramon Melvin Buenafe, who assured participants of their safety. (PHOTO PROVIDED BY RAMON ABOITIZ FOUNDATION INC.)

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