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OUT in stores

AUGUST 2017 / VOL. 35 NO.14


Amongst the clouds at Treasure Mountain 11 Discover one of Tanay’s bestkept secrets, spend the night, and get rewarded by the spectacle of its fabled sea of clouds.







Genki Sushi

Beyond the Hundred Islands Moviebnb

With its fourth branch in the country, Genki Sushi expands its fresh brand of experiencing Japanese cuisine.

Check out 7 destinations to visit in Pangasinan, and the myriad of activities that await in the Western Luzon province.

Enjoy all your favorite digital entertainment at this Airbnb studio, equipped with all the latest technology for the perfect indoor chill.





restaurants are highlighting Australian grassfed beef this August?

does a mixed-race mestiza love Manila? Allow her to count the ways.

should you pack with you to make the most out of enjoying the Philippine outdoors?

can you catch LANY, G-Eazy, West Side Story, and your favorite History channel personalities?






APRIL 12-25, 2015


British, Israeli Ambassadors vow closer ties with Cebu By RICHARD RAMOS


ithin a three-day span, two distinguished ambassadors touched base with the Cebuano community and local media practitioners in hopes of establishing solidified linkages with Cebu in various fields such as education, trade, and tourism. According to outgoing British Ambassador Asif Ahmad, they will await funding for the creation of 40 research fellowships this year to provide educational opportunities to qualified candidates, which is designed to enhance their intellectual capabilities and community involvement. “We have discussed possible partnerships with National University and other schools for the creation of joint degrees with 10 British universities,” Ambassador Ahmad revealed in a press gathering held at the Cebu Country Club. “This will eliminate the need for Filipinos to travel to Great Britain to study, since the degree can be

earned in the Philippines.” He cited the University of Nottingham, which has already established campuses in Malaysia and China, resulting in a rich supply of equivalent graduates who merit the same respect as their British counterparts. Such arrangements are common in Singapore, where several American and British schools have set up branches, earning the Lion City the distinction as the “educational capital of Asia.” As to possible venues for such learning institutions, the Ambassador revealed that Hans Sy of SM Properties has eagerly volunteered the rooftops of his malls as host to these schools, thus cutting down on expenses for such factors as land acquisition, water and power connections, and parking. In the field of business, Ambassador Ahmad expressed wonder on the capabilities of Philippine companies to buy out British companies for fruitful mergers and

acquisitions. “There are already a total of PhP70 billion worth of Filipino investments in Britain. Emperador Brandy and Monde Nissin are shining examples of the Filipino business acumen expanding their reach in the overseas markets,” the Ambassador beamed. Israeli partnership In another related event, Israeli Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau praised the Philippines as a fast-moving economy with great potential in developing such fields as Information and Communications Technology (ICT), education, food, and water security. He expressed keen interest in water-related topics, as he expounded on his country’s expertise in the field, and strongly hinted on assisting the Philippines’ poor management of water supply, as well as

with droughts and floods. “We can help out in water management and agricultural technology,” the Israeli Ambassador said. “For even if we do not have natural water supplies and agricultural products, we have converted our lands into flourishing oases,” he disclosed during a media event held at an uptown hotel. Another field of interest the Ambassador cited was cybersecurity. For this, he proposed a creation of digital signatures for all, in order to properly safeguard the confidentiality and sensitive nature of personal and corporate matters. “Israel is the land of creation. We don’t have much natural resources but we innovate. Our chamber will soon be more active as we invite more contacts and increase opportunities for bilateral trade. In doing so, we need to find big partners and products,” Ambassador Matityau added.

Lapu-Lapu City to see PhP677-B earmarked increased developments for tourism projects By RICHARD RAMOS


hile the Cebu economy has continued to sizzle ahead of the national economy, Lapu-Lapu City (often confused with Mactan) is definitely not far behind with its own enviable share of large-scale infrastructure, tourism projects and events aimed at drawing more global visitors to the island. It all started off with the massive PhP17billion renovation of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) under the management of GMR-CAC (Cebu Airport Authority) as a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) project. Completion rate of the new terminals are inching towards 70 percent, as the project is well on track to meet its self-imposed June 2018 deadline. The airport is also coordinating with the city government and tourism stakeholders for better networking and smoother industry relations. Growing developments “JPark Island Resort & Waterpark Cebu will construct over 200 rooms in a new wing in addition to its existing 565 rooms to cater to the rising number of tourists,” cited Hembler Mendoza, tourism operations officer of LapuLapu City. Also soon to rise is the JPark Casino, designed to cater primarily to international tourists in a bid to draw in high rollers from various


countries. Formerly known as the Imperial Palace Waterpark and Resort, the resort played host to the Miss Universe swimsuit competition early this year. “More hotel chains are coming to Lapu-Lapu,” Mendoza also announced. “One will set up shop with three properties at the 28-hectare Mactan Newtown area under the Megaworld Corporation.” In addition, Mendoza, who spoke at a press conference at the City Sports Club, mentioned the entry of Savoy Hotels to the Mactan scene, as well as the plans of an existing resort to compliment its existing facilities to build a convention center capable of hosting up to 1,500. “Regarding sports, the city is attracting electronic sports enthusiasts. There is also the dragon boat racing held at the Cebu Yacht Club, where several teams pit their skills against each other,” he added. To note, Lapu-Lapu recently hosted the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines event last August, which drew tens of thousands of participants, fans, visitors, security personnel, and schoolchildren in attendance. Mendoza was one of the speakers in a press conference centering on the Cebu Travel Exchange (CTX), a main highlight of the recently held Cebu International Travel Fair.


ourism stakeholders and practitioners can now breathe a long sigh of relief as the Duterte administration has earmarked PhP677 billion for tourism related projects in the Medium Term Plan, thus ensuring that the long-delayed tourism infrastructures and upgrading of services and projects may finally see fruition. While the tourism outlook remains optimistic despite the disturbing peace and order situation caused by the conflict in Marawi City, as well as the unabated killings of drug suspects, the tourism pie has nevertheless increased. Tourism projects According to Rita Jimenez, Tourism Undersecretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination and Resource Generation, funding will focus on large-scale infrastructure such as an intensified land-based transportation system, which will pave the way for accessibility and easy movement of local and foreign visitors throughout the country. “A total of PhP184.5 billion will be earmarked for tourism roads and highways for

Photo courtesy of Mactan-Cebu International Airport

the next five years, in cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways,” she declared during the Cebu Tourism Summit held at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel. Jimenez also mentioned that ports would be upgraded in preparation for the cruise ship market. Tourism Enterprise Zones (TEZ) and railways are also in the pipeline, intended to encourage more investments and mobility of visitors. The undersecretary added that the Department of Tourism would be targeting 160,000 airline seats this year for maximum visitor arrivals. The private sector is encouraged to invest more in the transportation and accommodations sector to close the gap in room requirements. Outside Manila, Cebu has accomplished more than its share by way of the MactanCebu International Airport. Present statistics confirm that the airport now hosts 21 local and foreign carriers that ply 29 domestic routes and 18 foreign destinations. “The icing on the cake would be the new immigration policies and procedures such as visa upon arrival and seamless visa applications,” Jimenez said. “These would go a long way in easing visitor restrictions and encourage more tourist movement.” The Bureau of Immigration has often been the target of complaints from many disgruntled foreigners due to alleged unreasonable policies and dubious personnel behavior. With the upcoming new immigration policies, it is hoped that more foreigners would be convinced to stay longer in the country and encourage their fellowmen to visit as well.


APRIL 12-25, AUGUST 2017 2015

The problem with a sharing economy


f you have Filipinos on your social media feeds, you’ve surely come across the uproar following the Philippines’ Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) mandate to ban Transport Network Companies (TNC, or basically ridesharing services Grab and Uber) unaccredited units. The order would’ve cut the TNCs’ available units to somewhere around 20 percent, which meant that it would’ve been close to impossible to book a ride had the order not been reconsidered. The angry middle class netizens decried the LTFRB for looking to take down one of the only two transport modes that are actually working in the country (with the other being P2P buses). The regulatory board, for their part, argued that the TNCs did not act in good faith by continuing to accept partner applications way after reaching their cap. Of course, as is with most of Philippine bureaucracy, nothing’s ever that simple. Just Imagine, a blog that provides a glimpse into the future for curious readers, recently published a post about the thriving sharing economy and its growing effects on

the overall economy, which gives an insight as to how this recent type of clash between the sharing economy and government regulations may only be the beginning. Below is an excerpt from the post. Mind the gaps The sharing economy is a fundamentally viral industry and, as such, it predominantly goes unmitigated and unchecked. The digital economy is evolving so fast it is outpacing the rate at which our policy makers can catch up. Car-sharing network gurus like Uber and Lyft, for example, are generally not yet adhering to the same taxes and insurance standards that taxis uphold. Accommodation for disabled passengers is generally sporadic; contractual obligations are not articulated; and in some countries it’s debatable whether drivers even make the minimum wage. Those subscribing to these platforms have to weigh up the privilege of making a buck on the side at their convenience versus the cost of being thrown in the cold if anything goes wrong. The same goes with online hospitality. Startup giant Airbnb has booked over 80 mil-

lion nights across 191 countries since its 2008 inception. But many of those homes or venues may not be situated or designed to anticipate the challenges of noise, congestion, and waste, and neighbours are occasionally (and understandably) irritated about the additional infringements on their privacy. While hotels are taxed and frequently inspected for health and safety, Airbnb hosts are not yet facing such inspections. Some city residents are now crying out for stronger regulation while, at the same time, many of their neighbours are greeting their Ubers with open arms. Cities such as Seattle, who were already feeling the housing crunch before online hospitality entered the scene, now have to compete with the new breed of Airbnb entrepreneur who buys up accommodation for short-term rental purposes only. The San Francisco property market has sky rocketed, thanks to the influx of

vacation rentals overtaking the city’s scarce housing inventory. All of it begs the question, is the sharing economy actually benefiting the economy at large? *Read the entire post titled “If making a buck meant not caring, would you still do it?” at

European Congressmen visit Czech projects in Samar


ongressmen of five Central European countries recently visited the humanitarian and development projects provided to those affected by Typhoon Yolanda. During the three-day stay, the representatives were able to visit the Philippine Congress, as well as the people living in the infamous “Smokey Mountain” in Tondo, Manila. The visit likewise included an inspection of several Czech-run projects in and around Basey and Guian in Samar was made possible through the assistance of both People in Need and Caritas Czech Republic. The journey of the congressmen from Czechia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovakia was organized by the biggest Central European non-governmental organization – the Czech People in Need (PIN), headed by its Manila-based Philippine Country Director Canny Geyer. Assistance projects “Hats down to People in Need organization and to all those who helped not only in the Philippines, but around the world, in those countries most stricken by poverty,” Slovak congressman L’uboš Blaha said before bidding farewell to Manila. “What I am happily bringing back in memory are the faces of Filipinos, capable of enjoying life despite living in underprivileged areas in the country. They are beautiful, optimistic people of good and vibrant spirit.” PIN and Caritas Czech Republic have implemented projects in Samar Island, while the Czech branch of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) helped the people in Panay. PIN continued their long-term reconstruction and development programs in the sectors of livelihood and market develop-

ment, agriculture, land issues, and civil society development. For their part, Caritas Czech Republic followed their initial aid with the renewal of schools and support for agriculture, which includes cultivation of low cost rice and alternative crops and the use of natural fertilizers. ADRA Czech Republic transitioned their focus on shelter, livelihood and disaster risk reduction. The joint study trip was aimed to introduce the parliamentarians to the mechanisms of development cooperation’s implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and how it should be based on country and community needs. “I hope this visit shows that help from smaller countries are as much meaningful as the aid coming from the traditional large players. Optimistically, the journey would open doors to deeper appreciation of the benefits of aid and development projects,” said Jan Vytopil, Deputy Head of Mission at the Czech Embassy, The delegation was represented by Hon. Rainer Varka, Head of the Committee on Environment of the Parliament of the Republic of Estonia, Hon. L’uboš Blaha, Head of the Committee for European Affairs and Member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the Parliament of the Slovak Republic, Hon. Virginijus Sinkevicius, Head of the Committee for Economic Affairs of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania and Deputy Chair of Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, Hon. Rihards Kols, Deputy Head of the Committee for Foreign Affairs and Member of the Committee for European Affairs of the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia and Hon. Pavel Plzák, Member of the Committee on Petitions and Foreign Affairs of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.

Central European Congressmen with Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa Jr.

Central European Congressmen with PIN-Samar Provincial Manager Pavel Muron and Vice Gov. Marcelo Picardal


APRIL 12-25, 2015



Skywater Park Cebu presents “Space Out” a sizzling rooftop pool party at the 6th floor of JCenter Mall in Mandaue City on Saturday, Aug. 5, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event features Japanese DJ’s such as Yasuca, Ryuzo, and Tomoyuki Tanaka; pole dancers Momo and Mai; and local DJs such as Jade Hartman, Mike, Bright Side, Jong Garcia and Benny Rock. Four table rates are available – the SVIP at PhP15,000, the VVIP at PhP10,000, VIP at PhP8,000, and Premium at PhP4,000. Each table has their own corresponding benefits with regard to alcoholic beverages, usage of pool and facilities, event tickets, parking stubs, and food and drinks. PhP500-tickets inclusive of usage of waterpark facilities and one drink may be sourced through Lovely at (0977) 801-4227. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will conduct the 2nd Slingshot PH Cebu 2017 Conference on Aug. 8 to 9, at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. The event covers plenary talks, breakout tracks, sessions with experts on digital innovation, and exhibitions. Over 250 delegates consisting of tech startups/founders, entrepreneurs, academe, business support organizations, and others are expected to attend the event with the theme “Accelerating the Innovation Economy through Digital Transformation.” Slingshot PH intends to improve the capacity of MSMEs and startups by coping with

current industry trends, preparing brick and mortar enterprises for digital transformation, and linking enterprises with feasible ideas to investors. Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) held the Grand Chamber Awards as the finale event to the Cebu Business Month (CBM). Garnering the Entrepreneur of the Year was Jose Soberano, chair and CEO of Cebu Landmasters, Inc. Other awardees include the Don Bernardo Benedicto Foundation, Inc. as the CSR Institution of the Year; Ken Derrick Ngo, CEO of Travelbee Management Corp., as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Brian Noel, GM of Casa Verde Restaurant as the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year; and Miguel Tiongko, managing proprietor of Danasan Eco-Adventure Park in Danao City as the Countryside Entrepreneur of the Year. Special citations went to Antonio Aldeguer, founder of ALA Boxing, Inc. & Dr. Mila Espina. The Cebu Almanac 2017 was recently launched by the University of San Carlos (USC) Press at the Ayala Center Cebu. The book comprises a volume of analytical reports to respond to the need for evidence-based policy for Cebu Province. Also included are the defining news events of 2016 courtesy of Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo

of the Cebu Daily News, analysis of the voting habits of the Cebuanos during the 2016 local and national elections, population and housing reports, vital business issues of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce, and financial reports. The book is available for PhP1,000 at the USC Press (032-230-0100 loc. 290), USC Museum Shop (032-253-1000 loc. 191), and Phialo Trading Corp/Philosophia Library Café in Mandaue City at (032417-2819). Ding How Dimsum House finally reopened, after a hiatus of 20 years. Its new branch at the ground floor of Robinson’s Galleria Cebu offers its heirloom recipes reminiscent of its original location along Colon St. in 1969. Company president Raymond Kokseng said the place has always been part of the Cebuano culture. “Ding How is sure to invoke nostalgia and relive the old dim sum experience as they introduce a different service concept. The new generation of diners as well as patrons who have grown up with the brand will create fond memories,” he said. The classic steamed fried rice, the kuchay dumpling, baked shaopao, custard with salted egg buns, pork barbecue cake, crystal scallop dumpling, and many others are also available in signature push carts. Rogin-E held the Rogin-E Man Hub 2017

at the SM City Cebu. The whole-day event featured luxury cars and motorbikes, equipment for adventure sports, packages for exciting trips to Japan and New Zealand, and a selection of gadgets, sportswear, and hobbies. Lots of games, raffles, and competitions pitting men and women were also held with generous company prizes in tow. Geared toward active males, Rogin-E is a multivitamin containing Korean Panax Ginseng for endurance, Deanol for mental potency, and Royal Jelly for vitality. Rogin-E was developed by Bayer, a global enterprise with core competencies in life science fields of health care and agriculture. The Australian Embassy of the Philippines recently held the “Australian Grassfed Beef on the Menu,” promotion covering three noteworthy restaurants to spread awareness on the different ways grassfed beef is prepared in customized menus. The Anzani Restaurant in Nivel Hills offered its First Course composed of Himalayan smoked salted beef Carpaccio accompanied by wild kale salad and mustard cream. Second Course was homemade ravioloni filled with cube roll rib eye stew and “ricotta” tomatoes and parmesan fondue cheese. Main course was short ribs bone-in slow roasted for 36 years with porcini mushroom sauce. Dessert was a trio of chocolate-cherry baton, dark and white chocolate mousse, and Cebu mango sorbet.

Costabella Tropical Beach Resort fetes 36th year By RICHARD RAMOS


ostabella Tropical Beach Hotel in Mactan Island, Cebu recently commemorated its 36th year of fruitful existence with a grand bash at its newly-inaugurated ballroom with hundreds of close friends and valued clients in attendance. The Mactan resort’s management and staff took center stage to express their deep gratitude to the audience for their loyal patronage through the decades despite stiff competition posed by larger industry counterparts. Marita Arambulo, Costabella general manager, said that the resort has coped well with the times by way of introducing spanking new facilities that have gone a long way in retaining their long-time clients, while welcom-

A view from the seven-storey hi-rise structure, which hosts 66 rooms

ing new ones in their midst. “We always prioritize guest feedback as we recognize their value in the growth of the business. We are especially grateful that our Japanese and Korean clients have chosen to remain with us and have even brought in new ones,” she beamed. One particular event highlight was the awarding of Top Producers in various categories. These were HIS Phil. Travel Corp for the Japanese market, Hi-Star as the top Korean travel agency, Philippine Association of Realtors Board (PAREB) for the local market, Maersk-Filipinas Crewing Inc. as Top Producer for Banquets, and the Cebu Daily News as the Most Active Media Partner.

The resort has since embarked on a massive renovation project as all rooms by the poolside have been significantly upgraded in answer to market demand and cope better with local and global competition while still retaining that old familiar family charm, Backgrounder In an earlier interview, Arambulo recalled the old days when the resort started out with a mere 16 rooms to cater to day-trippers seeking out a beach when the island was mostly marked with rocks and desolation. Known then as the La Marina Beach House, the resort has always been a familyowned and managed resort, where levels of

authority are kept to a minimum and where recommendations can get translated into action at once. Spanish and Filipino influences characterize the resort interiors, reflective of the family’s storied past in their four other hotels –Montebello Villa Hotel, Sophia Suites, and Cebu Grand Hotel. A must-see resort highlight is the newly opened Luna Bar & Tapa. Open from 6 p.m. 2 a.m. daily, the cozy bar has pool tables and dart boards for added entertainment. Artworks of local artists and the Sarimanok centerpiece are found at the resort foyer, depicting a taste of homegrown culture and talent.

The magnificent Luna Bar and Tapas is a great place for island nightlife, even for non-resort guests


APRIL 12-25, AUGUST 2017 2015

Ricardo Preto brings ’U’ effortless elegance The renowned Portuguese designer showcases his creation exclusively for U at Rustan’s By ANGIE DUARTE


Effortless elegance + a hint of allure Even on cursory glance of Preto’s collection, one thing is evident: his style exudes an effortless elegance which is timeless, with just the right amount of trendy. His recent Spring-Summer collection, exclusively for U by Rustan’s, was a capsule of his latest European collection. “It is inspired by beauty and harmony, which are the things that inspire me, all the time,” Preto recounted at the launch of the line. “As the architect of the collection, I try to pass these ideas to my clothes, and to capture the feeling that you are very comfortable, but at the same time, very well put together – like you dressed with care.”

tary – my pieces, no matter the collection, can harmonize with each other,” he pointed out. The result of this creative mindset is an enduring quality that Preto’s apparel embodies. “I am a man who wants you to have pieces in your closet for a long time. Don’t get me wrong – I am completely in love with fashion, it is my world. But, for me, it should go beyond, be more than just a season,” he explained further. Preto’s recent SpringSummer collection – a capsule of his European collection, exclusively for U by Rustan’s, highlighted his design aesthetic. “My work always aims to inspire love. My philosophy is about being sensual, without being vulgar.” Slip into U by Ricardo Preto’s effortlessly elegant fashion that complements and calls attention to the wearer, beautifully. Only at Rustan’s.

Transcending seasons Top on the list of Preto’s priorities is to create clothes and accessories that transcend seasons. He envisions pieces that are timeless in nature and can seamlessly transition from trend to trend. “I am not a believer in fast fashion. My collections are complemen-

Ricardo Preto Exclusive for Rustan’s and U by Ricardo Preto are available at Rustan’s Ayala Center Makati, Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Rustan’s at Gateway Mall Cubao, Rustan’s Alabang Town Center, and Rustan’s Ayala Center Cebu.

hose who belong to the fashionforward set are surely familiar with the name Ricardo Preto. The young Portuguese designer made his mark on the ever-evolving scene in 2007, showcasing his collections at Lisbon Fashion Week under his own label. Shortly thereafter, his designs were spotted on the streets of Milan, to rave reviews from industry insiders, critics, and the media. Preto’s sophisticated sartorial sense is not difficult to love – in fact, his easyto-wear yet ethereally elegant clothing line has endeared him to style aficionados, the globe over.

On Fatima: Ricardo Preto Cardigan Ricardo Preto Top U By Ricardo Preto Bottom On Lindsay: U by Ricardo Preto Top U by Ricardo Preto Top

American Standard collabs with Rajo Laurel


merican Standard, the brand known for innovation in bathroom design and technology, partnered with renowned fashion designer, and a brand in his own right, Rajo Laurel. The two well-loved brands let customers indulge in stylish showering with American Standard’s multi-tiered consumer promotion dubbed as “Showers of Happiness.” Every purchase of select American Standard shower systems from until August 31, 2017 entitles customer to premium items, which include a signature Rajo Laurel luxury towel and a Bath Essentials set

(consisting of perfume, hand soap, body wash and lotion) personally created and curated by Rajo Laurel for American Standard. Included in the promotion are the three collections of American Standard shower systems individually titled as Enjoyment, Essential and Experience. Participating stores include Wilcon Depot, CW Depot, All Home and select home depots nationwide. Visit their Facebook page at @AmericanStandardPH for more details about American Standard products and customer promotions.

On Katarina: Ricardo Preto Top Ricardo Preto: Bottom Fatima, Lindsay, Ricardo Preto and Katarina


APRIL 12-25, 2015


Itadakimasu! Newspaper The Philippines’ forum for international readers since 1981

Murray Hertz Founding Publisher (1928-2014) Butch C. Bonsol President & Managing Director Suzette Defensor Managing Consultant Timothy Jay Araneta Ibay Editor-in-Chief Richard A. Ramos (Cebu) Via Baroma Staff Writers Angie Duarte Ching Dee Writers-at-Large Nikki Joy Habana Macjanry Imperio Design & Layout Leah Egamino-Palaña Sales & Advertising Officer Fevelyn Bucio Admin and Accounting Staff Vicky Soto Sales & Advertising Executive Our Headquarters: Unit 305 Cristina Condominium, 143 Legaspi cor. V.A. Rufino Sts., Legaspi Village, Makati City Our telephone numbers: (+632) 840-2996 or (+632) 812-0987; Fax (+632) 840-2988 You can also reach us at: and for sales and advertising: Cebu Mailing Address: MJ. Cuenco Avenue cor. C. Mina St., Mabolo, Cebu City Telefax: (032) 412-8000 Statements, views and opinions expressed by the writers, contributors, and advertisers are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or the management. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material.

A new and exciting Japanese dining experience awaits at Genki Sushi By VIA BAROMA


ess than two years after the opening of its flagship branch in Bonifacio Stopover, Genki Sushi continues its innovative Japanese dining experience with the opening of its fourth branch in SM Aura. Known for its affordable sushi and donburi, its newest branch in SM Aura serves as a straightforward casual dining place with a Japanese minimalist vibe. It also pairs two distinctly Japanese traits – minimalism and techsavvy, as its subtle ambiance is complemented with a unique service concept. Diners can take their orders through an iPad, which is then delivered by their Kousoku Express Train System within five to 10 minutes. Expat recommends To celebrate its fourth branch, Genki Sushi added a delectable medley of new items to its already extensive menu, one that ensures every dish served is prepared, and cooked using fresh, high-quality, imported ingredients that will surely satisfy every Japanese craving. The new additions are fried dishes, which are recommended as appetizers. There’s the tasty Kushi-Age (five different kinds of deepfried skewered meat and vegetables in special Japanese batter); Coconut Shrimps (deepfried shrimps in panko bread crumbs rolled in coconut flakes); Fried Salmon Skin with a squeeze of lemon; and four new selections of their sumptuous Sushi Trio. For those who’ve yet to sample Genki Sushi, some of the favorites include their renowned Chirashi Don, Seared Salmon with Black Pepper, Chicken Teriyaki Don, River Eel Rice Bowl, and their healthy sushi selection. Also added are six new takeaway sushi part sets that are sure to be a hit in any group gathering.

Shrimp Coconut

Salmon Trio

The Super Supreme Sushi Set

For a sweet ending to a scrumptious meal, Genki Sushi also leveled up its dessert menu with Caramel Mochi, the Maki Dessert, and the Vanilla and Strawberry Mille Crepe: a perfect pair with their Matcha and Strawberry Ice Cream. Looking for an exciting place to indulge

your love of Japanese fare? Head off to Genki Sushi and satisfy your Japanese cravings. Genki Sushi is located at Lower Ground Floor, SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; UP Town Center in Quezon City; and Ayala Malls The 30th in Pasig.

Dine in culinary paradise at Diamond Hotel’s Yurakuen Discover this secluded Japanese restaurant inside one of Manila’s most iconic spots Text and photos by CHING DEE


hen people hear about Diamond Hotel in Manila, they instantly think about Corniche (their buffet hall) or their fluffy, cheesy ensaymada. But tucked behind their lounge café is the deliciously whimsical Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant. Upon entry, you’ll be greeted by a gorgeous kimono, and as you walk down the marble hallway to the main dining area, you’ll see their private Teppanyaki Room and Yakiniku Room — perfect for fun gatherings with friends and family, or for unique corporate meetings. Golden honeycomb doors open up to the 70-seater main dining room, whose piece de resistance is the glass cherry blossom tree, creating a whimsical look any time of the day, while morphing into something especially lovely come nighttime. Yurakuen is the Japanese word for “paradise” – and at the Diamond Hotel dining outfit, it truly is the perfect metaphor for the experience you’re about to have in this authentic Japanese restaurant. Expat recommends Upon Yurakuen Manager Shinji Sato’s recommendation, we started our meal with their Sashimi Platter (with nine different kinds of

seafood like salmon, scallops, mackerel, and tuna) and their signature Yurakuen Maki (with soft shell crab, prawn, tobiko, cream cheese, mango, and cucumber). For the main course, we had the highly recommended Grilled Salmon in Teriyaki Sauce. The sauce alone could’ve launched a thousand other dishes! The salmon was pink and sweet, moist yet flaky. The smoky flavor perfectly complemented the teriyaki sauce. Their Chahan ( Japanese fried rice) went really well with the grilled salmon. It’s subtle saltiness cut into the sweetness of the teriyaki. For dessert, we had Yurakuen’s satisfyingly creamy Matcha Ice Cream. The sweetness was just right that you can still taste the goodness of the green tea. Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant is located at the ground floor of Diamond Hotel, Roxas Blvd. cor. Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations, call (02) 528-3000.

Sashimi Platter

Signature Yurakuen Maki


APRIL 12-25, AUGUST 2017 2015

Experience Australian grassfed

The leading source of grassfed beef showcases their healthier meats to over 60 restaurants in Manila, Cebu and Davao Text and photos by VIA BAROMA


culinary experience treated diners in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao as over 60 restaurants participated in the second Australian Grassfed Beef on the Menu promotion. Following the success of its first Australian Grassfed Beef promotion in 2015, the Australian Embassy in in Manila collaborated with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the Victorian State Government, and Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) for the carnivorous culinary trail, highlighting true Aussie beef. Experience the plethora of ways Australian grassfed beef can be prepared in customized menus by the participating restaurants – from steaks, meat pies, burgers, pasta dishes, among others – until Aug. 20.

Shangri-la The Fort: Raging Bull Chophouse Downtown & Halsted, a bar that features 8 Cuts Burger Blends, home to some of & Bar, a modern American steakhouse, high- different art pieces, treats both your appetite the juiciest burgers in town, serves the Grasslights premium quality meat sourced from sustainable farms. For those with adventurous palates, Expat recommends Cape Grim Beef Tartate – a dish made with grassfed raw meat, with confit quail egg yolk, capers, parmesan and croutons. For mains, indulge in Tenderloin (Cape Grim grassfed, Tasmania) and Striploin (Robbins Island 22 day dry-aged Wagyu MS 7+ grass raised, Tasmania), which come with sides of creamy mashed potatoes and cauliflower gratin – coming together to perfectly compliment your palate. As a counterbalance to all the meaty goodness, try their passion fruit pulp and mango sorbet topped with a white fluffy cotton candy.

and your sense. The trendy watering hole serves an array of dishes such as Chili con Carne on Potato Skin, where the savory beef blends perfectly with the baked potato skin; Australian Beef Slider and Braised Barbeque with Mashed Potato – braised beef burgers, packed and juicy, with a taste of blue cheese (the bar’s bestseller). For more information on the Australian Grassfed Beef on the Menu promotion, check out “Australia in the Philippines” on Facebook, @AusAmbPH on Twitter or the official campaign hashtag on social media #TrueAussieBeefPH.

fed Blend as part of the promotion – a healthier alternative to their popular House Blend. Other mouthwatering delights at 8 Cuts are Piggy, Four Cheese and Q-daddy sliders.

At The Fireplace at New World Manila Bay, indulge in their succulent Tenderloin, and Rib eye – both of which are quite literally fork tender. Expat recommends finishing off the meal with their Fruit Tart with Gelato and Panna Cotta.

The carnivorous trail the good people from the Australian Grassfed Beef on the Menu promotion took us on showcased a diverse selection of restaurants, from casual to fine dining. The equally wide range of tastes that treated us at every stop is a testament to the quality and versatility of the beef. “We wanted to make sure that people understand that when it comes to Australian grassfed beef, it doesn’t mean that it has to be a super-expensive meal. You can actually have very affordable, quality beef served in all kinds of dining settings,” said Australian Trade and Investment Senior Commissioner Elodie Journet.

Discover Northern Chinese fare at Jing Ting City of Dreams Manila brings something new to the table Text and photos by CHING DEE


e Filipinos cannot deny our fondness for Chinese cuisine — whether it’s noodles, dim sum, or stirfried, Chinese fare has always had a special place in Pinoys’ palates. But while there are a slew of Chinese dining options across the Metro, City of Dreams Manila has brought something new to the table with Jing Ting. We the North Offering authentic dishes from China’s northern region, City of Dreams flew in Yang Chen Fei (or Chef Allan as he is fondly called) to be Jing Ting’s chef de cuisine. With him is his sous chef Yang Zhan Hui. For Chef Allan, this is his first time to be away from China. He’s spent years learning and perfecting pastry arts, which includes making hand-pulled noodles and dim sum. Jing Ting’s open show kitchen is another sight to behold. Here, Chef Allan gave us a demonstration of how he made hand-pulled noodles in less than two minutes. The 92-seater Jing Ting is “a quick and casual dining restaurant” reminiscent of the “hutongs” from China. A hutong is an area in northern China where locals gather to chat over food and drinks. And just like your neighborhood foodie spot, the dishes at Jing Ting have bold flavors— a fusion of sweet, savory, and spicy. Despite its five-star location, a filling experience at Jing Ting is pleasantly affordable. Most servings are already good enough for two hungry foodies, so it’s a great place to bring friends and family. Here are some of the dishes you should

definitely try at City of Dreams Manila’s newest foodie spot: “Jiao Zi” or Beijing Dumplings Jing Ting offers authentic Jiao Zi (dumplings) with delectable fillings like beef and celery, pork, vegetables, and even a fusion version containing kimchi. Whichever variety you choose, make sure to dip it in their intoxicatingly good sauce made of black vinegar, chili and sesame oil, and soy sauce. Freshly made, hand-pulled Noodles Despite only being a month old, Jing Ting is already making a name for itself as a home for fresh, hand-pulled noodles made from scratch. Every noodle dish means expert hands spent time and effort to make those glorious strands. Using the lamian technique, it produces firm yet tender noodles that hold heavy and flavorful sauces really well. Make sure to try the Pork & Mushroom Noodles and Sweet Soy Noodles. Genghis Khan Short Ribs Chef Allan also takes pride in their meat dishes, which usually entails hours and hours of prepping and cooking to achieve the perfect flavor and texture. Chilled Honey and Red Bean Cake The best way to end the meal is with this simple yet sublime treat. Jing Ting is located at the Upper Ground Floor of City of Dreams Manila’s retail area. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 800-8080.

Noodles with Pork and Mushrooms

Genghis Khan Short Ribs


APRIL 12-25, 2015


Manila Mania (Literally, Figuratively) By ANGIE DUARTE


h, Manila! With your traffic and noise, pollution and potholed streets, hustle, bustle and musky aroma... how (and why?!?) do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Vibe for all I love you for your world-class cheap and cold beers, served below zero, at one-too many establishments, it would seem, with an affinity for the night and all things rock and roll. And what is an ice-cold beer without hot music to go with it? Throw a guitar on your dusty streets, and some talented soul is bound to pick it up and play a kick-ass riff or two, for such beats the heart of many a Filipino. Your music scene and night lights run the entire spectrum; from the Magic Sing Karaoke session on the street corner, to the live rock band playing the underground circuit; the show band at the local borderline sleazy bar, to the 80s retro-revival band playing the posh, wellcoiffed districts; the London-inspired DJs dropping beats at trendy dance clubs, to their not-so-sophisticated counterparts missing beats in a dive with red lights. Aaah Manila... Treats of the streets And what is the night scene without the awesome street food to match? Balls of all sizes, with sauces for every palate – sweet and spicy, vinegar, toyo-mansi (soy sauce with citrus), fish sauce, ketchup, and gravy (not mixed together, unless you so desire). And don't you worry, the balls are relatively safe, at least I think they are: a mashup of fish, squid, and other such sea dwellers. Duck eggs, fertilized and otherwise, the former being balut, the other, its decidedly less adventurous cousin, penoy. Served nice and warm, with a happy pinch of communal rock salt and spicy vinegar. And who can resist the lure of bagnet? Pork, soaked in salt and fried twice? Such is the stuff of which lard dreams are made. Ice cream in bread buns, powdered milk with strawberry syrup, crushed ice and crunchy rice bits, steamed corn and milk; these are but a few of the sweet treats off your streets. And dare we mention the more extreme, yet equally yummy delights, like fried pork blood cubes, twisty chicken guts, and scrawny chicken feet? Perhaps we should whisper these to the more seasoned, or should we say, more reckless palate. You redeem yourself to the less adventurous with your lovely restaurants, Manila. From Chinatown to downtown, in respectable mall strips or tucked away in nooks and crannies, you teem with gustatory pleasures. Your lovely food is served up with equally lovely hospitality, even if everyone you serve is “Ma'am/Sir” in your eyes. Forced androgyny takes a back seat to good food, in my books, anyways. Cacophony of art and style And what of the fashion horse? Where else in the world can we dress like pure bred fillies on a donkey's budget? Nowhere but Manila. Thank you for making me look richer than my means, allowing me to dress above and beyond the limits of my freelance writer's budget. From your many malls, to your sidewalk “ukay-ukay” (mix-mix, dig-dig)

thrift shops, you are a clothing-lover's dream come true. I don't mind your clothing bins, with your impossibly mixed-up stuff through which I must dig, because Paul Smith is in there somewhere, to be had for dusty hands and a song. You not only cater to my fashion-forward self, but enrich my personality, helping to make me a tad more interesting, as well. For you, Manila, are rich in culture. Mini art galleries and independent creative labs showcase budding young talent. Experimental art abounds, from the performing to the performance, you stimulate the senses with color, verse, dance, film, sound. Your art abounds, some pieces even having found their way on the very skin that I wear. Those who say you are void of art and culture are simply misled and short-sighted, perhaps because their turned-up noses limit their eyesight. Your streets are filled with art on jeepneys driving around like they all learned from Evil Knievel. Street hawkers call their wares out in varying tones and chord progressions: “Sapatooooos, damit, sapatoooos!” cries the man peddling shoes and pre-loved clothes. This mingles with the cries of the lady selling dried fish, “Tinapaaaaa, Da-eeeeeng, Tinapaaaaa!” in an interesting cacophony of melodies and rhythms. The beat of the street; your unique Street Beat, of which the kaleidoscopic jeepney is King Of the Road, making its way down winding roads and ending up on Hollywood celluloid. The pretentious bow down to the grit of your reality, in awe and respect of the

mountains. I love how I can go on a seemingly never-ending road trip, at a price I can afford, then return when I am ready for more of the paradox which defines you. You are my Rubik's Cube: though I may tire of trying to make your parts match up, I eventually pick you up again, determined to figure you out. And like an understanding lover, you welcome me back with open arms. Never questioning my absence, just overjoyed at my return. Holidays and festivals are unparalleled in your midst, Manila. You know how to kick up your heels and party like it's 1999, with no fear of 2000. Festivals abound within your borders and beyond, and lucky the traveler who finds him or herself caught up in the merry mayhem. It is at once fascinating as it is mind-boggling to me how – in your furtherflung territories – succulent spit-roasted pig gets dressed in haute couture and paraded on the streets before being devoured. As if that were not spectacle enough, you feel the need to douse onlookers with buckets of water. Perhaps to “wet” their appetites? My, my. Fashion week with a definite Porcine, aquatic twist. Only in the southern regions of Greater Manila. Your creativity and merriment are showcased in many ways, on many such occasions. Then, there's your more pensive side. Closer by, pre-war bamboo organs still sound, once a year, accompanying magical voices sung in well-placed chorale parts, creating haunting melodies to bring a tear to the eye.

surreal becoming real. Your rich heritage lives in pictographs on cave walls not too far away; as it also does in museums, old churches and pre-war walls of stone, with optional, pre-arranged guided walking tours by a well-versed and humorous man in a hat with a boom box. How very New York of you, Manila. I love how your history, art and culture move me. How your sensory overload is almost cathartic, in a world where too many are jaded and weary.

Ah, and let's not forget how you take every excuse that you get to dance. You are never the soiree's wallflower, ever. “Dancing in the Streets” is more than just on old hit song to you, Manila, it is a way of life; your people have been doing it since the days of the ancients. You are the author of brighter Christmases, more noisy and colorful New Year's Eves. Even Day of the Dead at the local cemetery is a celebration of life. And I need not worry about where to enjoy the lavish feasting each holiday brings, thanks to the oh-soextended families that make up my Manila. Lunch at my second cousin's aunt's house on the other side of the bloodline, dinner at my grandfather's brother's nephew's daughter's, and my belly is happy.

Curious, festive spirit When your “in-your-face-love-me-orleave-me” personality becomes a bit much, I love how you are one air-conditioned luxury bus ride away from pristine beaches and cool

Note from the columnist: Penned this rather quirky piece for a contest which I joined, some years back. Placed a close second, but had fun, in the process of writing this, nonetheless. Thought to share this with you here, as it is fitting. Enjoy!

Of perspective and semantics Your love of all things festive is evident, even in hard times. And I thank you for putting a smile on my face, for by nature, I am one to mope and lament. Floods are swimming pools, never mind what the Department of Health will tell you. Blackouts are a chance to play flashlight tag or learn a new shadow animal. A tight food budget is the perfect time for a diet. In your eyes, it's perspective and semantics. Although at some point, I do hope you realize the need for radical change for the better, from the roots. And knowing you, you will keep a stiff upper lip through it all, though it may feel like pulling teeth. Your humor, indeed is infectious, and evidenced in the most unusual of places. Salons with names like “Perm Foundation,” where Afro meets biblical truth, and “Douche Salon,” because douches need haircuts too. Bread shops called “Peter Pandesal,” the Disney version of your salted airy bread rolls, and of course, corner burger joints called “Mang Donald's,” lest we be rude to the older gentleman named Donald who owns it. The missing “D” (as in ‘Sorry, we are close’) on a sign is made up for by the extra “S” (‘Watch your steps’). Your self-defined grammar rules and tongue-incheek ways are priceless. Passengers are reminded not to betray the driver by pocketing their fares with such gems as “God knows Hudas ( Judas) not pay,” and the more direct “Do Not Steal” above pictures of a smiling former president before she got the neck brace. You, Manila, are a laugh and a half in an oft-dismal world. How and why do I love you, Manila? Had I a penny for each time I've wanted to flee, I'd be rolling in dough. I grew up on your streets, the mixed-race mestiza, “fake white chick” enduring countless “Hey Joe's!” from urchins uncaring that I am neither American nor am I male. Often, I feel like a character in some unpublished Carlos Castañeda novel, what with the paradoxical, beyond quirky nature of daily life in your midst. Even your weather can be a cruel task mistress; your sticky humidity and piercing heat turn me into a literal poster child for Steampunk. Truly, you are not for the fainthearted. And for this, I love you. You have made me a person of true substance, one who appreciates the good and lovely wherever and whenever, in whomever. Therefore, I stay, Manila. This is how, and why, I love you. At least half of the time, anyways! (Smile!)


APRIL 12-25, AUGUST 2017 2015

LET'S GO CAMPING! From sturdy tents to a versatile cook set, here are the bare essentials you need to make the most of the Philippine outdoors Text by Celine Reyes Photos by Jed Rosella


he Philippines is in no short supply of wild spaces. From lofty peaks to pristine beaches, the country affords a plethora of options for adventure travelers. And while there is much to be said about doing things upon whim, it’s undeniable how the proper implements can make the experience so much better.

Cook set Just because you’re spending the night in the wild doesn’t mean you have to forage for food, or settle for canned goods and instant noodles. You can make like a wilderness chef by bringing a compact stove and cook set with you. Not only will you be able to prepare meals, you’d also minimize your impact by not having to create a bonfire just to cook. Kovea Dual Flame stove only weighs 23 grams and has excellent thermal efficiency because of its double circle of flame. Pair it with a Max Sun Premium Butane to avoid unexpected compression and leaks in high elevation. For cook sets, the Fire Maple Feast 3 is highly recommended. It comes with two pots and a fry pan made from hard anodized aluminum, plus two PP bowls, a scoop and a cleaning sponge. Believe it or not, these three items had been used to cook crispy pata (deep-fried pork trotters or knuckles) and adobo up in the mountains. With the right gear, you can have a fiesta up there.

Here are 5 basic gears you need for spending time in the Philippine wilderness.

Shelter Spending the night in the Philippine mountains is an experience one shouldn’t miss, for (personally) no beachside dawn or country sunrise could ever rival a morning in the mountains. To fully enjoy the experience, you must bring a suitable shelter with you. Some opt for hammocks and tarps because they weigh significantly less than tents, but the latter is still advisable for maximum protection. One thing you have to know about tents is that they’re not all created equal. A beach tent would only bring you woe if you take them up a mountain like Mt. Pulag – Luzon’s highest peak and one of the country’s most unforgiving. BaseKamp’s Ridge 2 is a nice option for a tent. It could fit three people comfortably while remaining relatively lighter than most tents. The tent is built with a snap-on mechanism, so setting it up is easy. Plus, the aluminum poles are durable and light. It also comes with a flysheet that you could attach directly to the poles even without the inner tent – serving like a sturdier tarp. Because of this, the Ridge 2 is also perfect for the beach and for “glamping.”

Rain protection Even in the summer, rains can make an impromptu appearance. One moment, the sky’s all blue and brilliant; the next, you’re scrambling for cover as it starts to drizzle. So avoid getting bogged down by the weather and by your wet equipment by bringing rain gear. Since you’d want to keep your hands free as much as possible, an umbrella is not really suitable to bring in the wild. The best option would be a poncho. It’s lightweight, barely takes up any space in your pack, and easy to wear. Some ponchos, like BaseKamp’s, are built well enough to double as an emergency shelter.



Of course, you mustn’t forget to bring water when camping. Options for carrying drinks range from hydration packs to the usual water bottles. Nalgene is a popular brand known for virtually unbreakable water bottles. Some of their products are also glow-in-thedark, which prove handy come nighttime. Another product is Corksicle – a stainless steel insulated water canteen that could keep drinks cool for up to 25 hours! Nothing like ice cold water to keep you going. And oh, it also keeps hot drinks for up to 12 hours. Awesome, since coffee tastes better up in the mountains. Bear in mind, though, that it really doesn’t matter how you carry drinks. What matters is you’ve brought enough of it to keep you hydrated. As you know, water is essential for survival – we can last three days without food, but not without water.

“A mountaineer is no better than his feet,” wrote Margaret Craven in Walk Gently This Good Earth. And for a country like the Philippines, whose terrain is so varied and unpredictable, having the right shoes could spell the difference between having a great time and going home with mangled toes. For quality hiking footwear, homegrown brand Sandugo is a great choice. Their sandals and shoes are not only suitable for the Philippine outdoors, but are also very affordable. The Eiger, for example, is great for river trekking. A number of mountains in the country requires crossing rivers and waterways, making the Eiger perfect. Its open mesh and synthetic uppers make for supreme breathability. It also dries quickly because it has some sort of drainage system right on its soles. No more wrinkly feet!

All the items mentioned above are available at BaseKamp – a local retailer of quality outdoor gears. They carry both local and international brands like Deuter, Amihan, and Sandugo. They have branches in Trinoma, Ali Mall, Robinsons Galleria, Glorietta 3, Fairview Terraces, Market Market, Starmall Alabang, Isetann Recto, Ligaya, Gaisano Mall Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.


APRIL 12-25, 2015


Where summer never ends Beyond the its famed Hundred Islands, Pangasinan still has hundreds of natural endowments. Check out the 7 places you can visit when in the Western Luzon province. Text and photos by BERNARD SUPETRAN


ummer might be officially over, but that doesn’t mean beach bumming and out of town trips need to come to an end. On the brighter side, the month of July might even be better because there (at least in theory) would be less people on the road to holiday destinations, hotels and resorts have “lean sea-

son” rates and the sun isn’t as excruciating as Don Johnson’s The Long Hot Summer. Among the easier beach destinations a few hours away from Manila is Pangasinan, which can now be easily reached with the recentlyopened Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), making the province’s interior

Umbrella Rocks of Agno by Pangasinan Tourism

Masamirey Cove


This municipality is largely known as a pit stop when buying dried fish and local food products at the roadside stalls. But with the recent opening of the cozy Masamirey Cove Resort in the town’s picturesque and serene cove, there’s a reason to linger a little bit longer in Sual.

towns and lesser-known attractions more accessible. The pre-colonial empire province of the legendary Princesa Urduja, the province is a vast expanse of 44 towns and four cities scattered into 5,451 square kilometers, extending from the foot of the Cordillera mountain range


An old settlement, which the mighty Agno River and Agno Bay were named after, this town is home to Sabangan Beach, where the iconic geological formation called Umbrella Rocks stand proudly. These mushroom-shaped boulders dotting the mouth of the Balincaguing River were formed over time by the lapping of tidal waves against the shore. In addition to the picture-perfect rock formations, Sabangan is also noted for its long fine grey beaches, and an old lighthouse which affords you a panoramic view of the bay.

to the West Philippine Sea. There is so much to uncover in this getaway beyond the famed Manaoag Shrine and Hundred Islands National Park. Here are some of the off-the-beaten path wonders of this countryside playground where summer seems to be eternal.

Cabongaoan Tidal Pool in Burgos by Patrick Panlilio


With the rough, lengthy roads leading to it, Cabongaoan Beach is one of the best-kept secrets playgrounds of the province. What’s unique about this beach is the so-called “Death Pool,” a small deep tidal pool that forms whenever the crashing waves come in, while just a few meters away is the Date Pool, a smaller dipping pool minus the heart-pounding thrill. The coastal area is punctuated with jagged rockscapes and beige-colored sandy beaches for a lazy stroll. Also within the town is Sangbay Falls, which boasts of a tall drop and deep icy basin for lazing around.

Ifugao-themed village at Dasoland


This bucolic seaside town is noted for its vast salt beds, but what makes it more enticing is the Dasoland Family Adventure Park, a 408-hectare eco-tourism destination set in a remote orchard of some 3,500 mango trees. Dasol also has a heritage park with a series of gardens and topiaries, a Christmas Village, swimming pools, an artificial lake for boating, and mini galleries of curio items from yesteryears. At the Dasoland Zoo, you can have up-close encounters with flamingos, the “roaming” camels, feed the ostriches, pet the people-friendly deers, or feel regal for a day while riding horses. It also houses two of the rarest, endemic crocodiles in the archipelago.

Aquatica Marina's giant pail


Balungao Hilltop Adventure Park


Sunflower Maze


This agrarian town became the center of flower power last February when Allied Botanical Corp., a leading Filipino seeds company, opened its 2.1-hectare Sunflower Maze, made with 8,000 plants. The three-hectare farm also features different vegetables, from staples to rare varieties, some of which are products of their own research and development. Visitors can harvest their own fresh crops from the edible landscape, with the farm’s pick-and-pay scheme. The first of its kind in the country, it is now an accredited Day Farm by the Department of Tourism.

This once obscure town is predominantly known as north Luzon’s “goat capital,” owed to its wealth of goat farms where you can buy live animals if you intend to go into backyard livestock raising, or enjoy their fresh meat. Their annual Goat Festival held every March is a feast for one of the most tender meats you can sink your teeth in, and a showcase of culinary talent where participants display their creative takes on goat dishes. More recently though, Balungao has made its impression on adrenaline junkies with the Balungao Hilltop Adventure, which boasts of a dual zipline (620 meters and 1.4 kilometers [one of the longest in the country]), an ATV trail, a bungee trampoline, and a hot and cold spring. As a side note, the town is where you can find one of the tastiest tupigs you can find, the local grilled sticky rice delicacy.

Pangasinan’s charming capital town, Lingayen takes pride in its eclectic blend of urban living and rural charm. You can stay at the provincial government-run Capitol Resort Hotel, which has a mid-sized swimming pool, restaurant, and driving range with a view of the Lingayen Gulf. The resort is also within walking distance of spicand-span heritage edifices such as the Provincial Capitol, Sison Auditorium, Princesa Urduja House, Aguedo Agbayani Park, the Capitol Park along Maramba Blvd., and the Veterans Park, where Gen. Douglas McArthur and the Allied Forces landed in 1945 to liberate Luzon from Japan. The complex is acclaimed as the country’s most picturesque government office and has become a showcase for guests. For a glimpse of Lingayen’s checkered past, swing by the recreated birthplace of former President Fidel Ramos, the Bengson Yuzon Ancestral House, the Epiphany of Our Lord Church and its massive Spanish bells, and the Casa Real – the colonial-period capitol building. If you’re in town, check out the baywalk, which stretches to the adjoining villages, is ideal for jogging, biking, aerobics and beach recreational activities, while El Puerto Marina Resort and Spa, a Balinese-themed accommodation and the Aquatica Marina Water Park, are the only one of its kind in the province. For souvenirs, shop at the public market for bagoong (fish paste), as well as agricultural produce and delicacies from all over the province.


APRIL 12-25, AUGUST 2017 2015

Amongst the Clouds

A weekend retreat up one of Tanay’s best-kept secrets marked by watered down vodka, a comforting lunar spotlight, and the fabled sea of clouds. Words by Celine Reyes Photos by Dennis Murillo


t was a Sunday and we had the campsite all to ourselves. My three companions and I had spent the night inside a roomy BaseKamp Ridge 2 tent. We were comfortable, but we didn’t exactly fit; our feet were all sticking out, and the ground was damp and a bit bumpy. It didn’t matter though, for the night had been cool and beautiful. On our commute to this place known as “Treasure Mountain,” we opted to clamber up a jeepney’s roof. I’ve been to Tanay many times but I’ve yet to ply its roads this way: by means of what we Filipinos call “toploading.” It seemed like a great idea at the time. And it was, for the ride was scenic, the air fresh, and the sweep of mountains made me wishing, even after three jeepney rides, that it was longer. After we got off the third jeepney, we still had to go on a trek. As we made our way across a path of orange soil, our destination loomed far, taunting us. But the trek turned out easy, and took us only about 20 minutes. It was a little past 5 p.m. when we arrived. Lunar blessing After a humble dinner of canned corned beef, we were herded up a partially constructed gazebo. At the center of it was a fire pit, and there, a bonfire was lit. Since it was drizzling, we thought to set up our tent there, but later decided it defeated the entire purpose of us being up in the mountains. So, when the bonfire sizzled back into embers, we made our way down on the other side of the hill and surveyed for a patch of even ground. We found the perfect spot, but it was dark then, so we pitched our tent with just a flashlight and a whole lot of fumbling. Once we were settled in, we found the tent to be very cozy. Its material lets just the right amount of balmy air. A good thing each of us brought a couple of bottles of watereddown vodka – the kind that tasted like an iffy cola. It was just what we needed that evening. Inside our shelter, we drank and had a round of fun games. We spoke with accents and enumerated bands with female vocalists. I had to keep my hands up for five minutes just because. After each of us finished all two bottles of our vodka-cola, we briefly went outside. It was 10 p.m. The sky was starless and heavy with clouds, but we could see the distinct outlines of the mountains and the white vapor gathering in their folds. We were filled with hope and joy. Yet strangely, that night, I had trouble sleeping. This was my third camping trip in the last two months, and thrice have I found myself tossing and turning – I should probably spend more evenings in the mountains. In any event, there was a moment I was staring out into the meadow through the opening in the tent, laying prone and wide awake, when I noticed it was suddenly bright outside. I estimated it was just a little past midnight. I got up and took a peek and saw that the thick clouds had started to dissolve, forming ripples in the sky. The full moon shone right above, casting a natural spotlight on us. It was magical, like a blessing. After this lunar scene, I finally was able to get some sleep. Spectacle of mists It was a few moments right before dawn when I came to. Roused by the shuffling of my companions who were keen on taking photos of the unbelievable event that was forming before our eyes. The fog had crept down the mountains

A mass of mist rolls towards the edge of the limestone-rimmed hill

The sky cracks to give way to a multicolored dawn

The sea of clouds swarming right at the edge of the hill

When the clouds retreat, a pastoral scene is revealed

The sky was tinged with orange and purple. Stems of white cogon and dewy blades of grass swayed in the early morning breeze, and critter songs mingled with gentle rain-patter. I sat in the comforts of our tent, savoring this much sought-after scene. A mass of mist came rolling towards us. There it was: a sea of clouds. in the night. The sky was tinged with orange and purple. Stems of white cogon and dewy blades of grass swayed in the early morning breeze, and critter songs mingled with gentle rain-patter. I sat in the comforts of our tent, savoring this much sought-after scene. A mass of mist came rolling towards us. There it was: a sea of clouds. I don’t know what it is about this natural spectacle but many a traveler dream of coming to such a wondrous sight. They go far and take long, often arduous, journeys to see it, and sometimes, their efforts aren’t rewarded. This was what happened to me in Mt. Pulag. I took the Akiki Trail, also known as the “Killer Trail,” to Luzon’s highest peak, hoping to witness its fabled sea of clouds, only to be met with freezing rains and murky skies. Fortunately, here in my home province of

A scattering of limestone formations adds to Treasure Mountain's dramatic morning landscape

Rizal, views like this are easy to come by. In Treasure Mountain, for example, it’s practically effortless. In this place, the oft-elusive sea of clouds is a mainstay. Some days it’s wispier, but it’s always there. That Sunday, it was a gush. The vaporous sea stopped right at the edge of our hill. Over the clusters of limestone, the haze poured, slithering and somewhat eerie. By now, the sky had cracked to bring the first rays of dawn. A light so precise, all looked sharp and sure. “There are experiences of landscape that will always resist articulation,” the great Robert Macfarlane once wrote. And try as I may to articulate that experience I had on Treasure Mountain that one Sunday morning, these words only offer a remote echo, for, in fact, at that exact moment, the only response I thought appropriate was this:

silence. Getting there: Treasure Mountain is located at Sitio Maysawa, Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal. The easiest route would be to ply through Marcos Highway via Cogeo. This scenic route will pass through Baras and notable landmarks such as Palo Alto Subdivision and Foremost Farms. The path to Treasure Mountain will be on your left, just after Masungi Georeserve. For inquiries and reservations, you may contact Sarah Tobato at (0918) 422-4877.


APRIL 12-25, 2015















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Physician’s Tower 533 U.N. Ave. Manila 524-7287/5214962/ (0908) 5575726


Anita Bldg., G/F Quezon Avenue corner Timog Avenue, Quezon City 351-6041/ 425-0005 Angeles City (045) 6256663/ (0916) 475-0365

UNION CHURCH OF MANILA A Church of all nations - United, Centered, Maturing in Christ Worship Services: 8:30 am Contemporary 10:30 am Traditional 12:30 pm Contemporary with Communion Children's Sunday School: (for kids grades 1-6) 8:30 am ; 10:30 am ; 12: 30 pm Youth Service (for grades 7 - 12) 10:30 am - 12 noon Wednesday


151A way St., Tel: Cell:

Friendship Highcorner Lena Angeles City (045) 625-6663 0916-4750365

12:15 pm - 12:45 pm

Visit or follow UCM on Facebook (Union Church of Manila Like Page)


GUIDE TO ABBREVIATIONS AC - aircon BR - bedroom comm'l - commercial condo - condominium f-furn - fully furnished flr - floor prkg - parking resd'l - residential rm - room sqm - square meter TB - toilet & bath

INVESTORS BEST BUY IN BULACAN Fast Growing Commercial/Industrial Area 17 HECTARES AVAILABLE - 2KM AWAY FROM NLEX-BALAGTAS BY PASS EXIT 0919 838 4103 / 0956 219 3449


APRIL 12-25, AUGUST 2017 2015

Celebrating Filipino ingenuity French-Filipino international luxury brand Jewelmer Joaillerie, helmed by group chairman Manuel Cojuangco and group president and CEO Jacques Branellec, recently co-hosted a fashion show in partnership with The Philippine Embassy in Japan, Rajo Laurel and Philippine Airlines. The fashion show, held at the Imperial Hotel in Chiyoda, Tokyo, was attended by 500 guests and was an unforgettable celebration of fine Filipino design and craftsmanship. The models walked the runway garbed in Rajo Laurel’s stunning creations, each paired off with some of Jewelmer’s most prized pieces. Miss Universe-Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina led the show, wearing one of the brand’s most iconic creations: the Miss Universe Philippines headpiece. The evening also commemorated the inauguration of ambassador Jose Laurel V as the new Philippine ambassador in Japan. Congratulations to Jewelmer for another successful event!

Moripearl Co., Ltd. general manager Yutaka Fujii and president Katsuyuki Mori with Jewelmer international sales manager Franck Ferrari

Celebrated Filipino fashion designer Rajo Laurel presents the couture gowns from his different collections perfectly paired with the stunning Jewelmer Joaillerie jewelry pieces

Philippine ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V and Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization, Minister in charge of Total Reform of Social Security and Tax and Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Nobutera Ishihara toast to celebrate the strong ties between the Philippines and Japan

Rajo Laurel is the first Filipino designer since 1964 to lead a fashion show hosted by the Philippine Embassy in Japan

Dressed in Rajo Laurel’s Pintados-inspired gold gown with metallic beadwork, Miss Universe-Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina takes the center stage with the vinta-inspired headpiece by Jewelmer and golden South Sea pearl stud earrings

A revolution in skin care

Fanny Serrano Elite Salon, Makati Central Business District’s one-stop shop for beauty and spa needs, has just revolutionized the skin care game with “Exuviance by Ross,” a line of facial and body treatments which offers effective solutions to any and all dermatological woes. Led by husband and wife tandem owners Peter and Ross Licup, the luxury salon and spa launched a series of treatments that include Classic Radiance Revitalizing Protocol, which brings new life to dull, stressed skin and restores youthful radiance, suppleness and complexion; Clarifying Acne and Pore Refining Protocol, which clears out acne-prone, blemished skin and minimizes the appearance of oiliness and enlarged pores; and the Age Reverse Anti-aging Protocol, which addresses all signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, poor texture, uneven pigment and loss of firmness. Congratulations to Ross and Peter Licup for this new accomplishment! Fanny Serrano Elite Salon is located at the 2nd floor of 818 Bldg. Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. For inquiries, call (02) 772-8126 or 0916-5641647.

Mennie Bello listens to Ross Licup’s talk about Heliocare Purewhite Radiance Max 240, a revolutionary oral capsule clinically proven to promote skin fairness and radiance

Fanny Serrano Elite Salon owners Peter and Ross Licup

(From left) Doctors Mabelle Colayco and Vangie Espiritu, madam Lizia Lu, Joyce Pilarsky and DermAsia product specialist Edgar Elot

Madam Dao Songsaeng and your columnist with mesdames Wang Qi, wife of European Union ambassador Franz Jessen and Lizia Lu, former ambassador of Panama to Vietnam and wife of Israeli ambassador Effie Ben Matityau

Pamela Licup with Lesley Geronimo


APRIL 12-25, 2015


Compiled by VIA BAROMA



•G-Eazy Live in Manila

•West Side Story

Aug. 18; The Palace Pool Club, 11th Ave. cor. 38th St., Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig; for inquiries and table reservations, call (0917) 689-8888

Aug. 10 to 27; The Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort & Casino, 1 Aseana Ave., Entertainment City, Paranaque; for more information, visit or call (02) 891-9999

Blazing the rap game with his iconic dapper style and timeless sampling, G-Eazy is bringing his West Coast flavor for the first time in Manila! The American rapper’s biggest hit to date – the platinum track, “Me, Myself, & I” from “When It’s Dark Out,” peaked at number 7 on the Hot 100 chart. G-Eazy is currently collaborating with more artists and releasing chart toppers such as the "The Good Life" featuring Grammy nominated artist Kehlani. He has worked with the biggest names in the industry, opening for megastars such as Drake, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, before eventually have headlining tours of his own. Tickets are priced at PhP2,400

•Marshmello at Valkyrie Nightclub Sept. 22; Valkyrie Nightclub, The Palace Manila, 11th Ave. cor. 38th St., Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig; for table reservations, call (0917) 680-8888. Tickets are available at Lose yourself in a psychedelic flurry of trap beats as international DJ Marshmello makes his way to Manila! The enigmatic masked artist takes his grooveoriented, synth and bass-heavy brand of EDM to get Valkyrie partying all night this September. Despite the masked anonymity, Marshmello's career blew up in 2015 when he began releasing tracks online, including remixes of Zedd's "Beautiful Now," Jack Ü's "Where Are U Now," among other hits. In 2016, Marshmello released a compilation of his previously released tracks, “Joytime,” which reached number one on a digital top electronic albums chart. Included on the album was the single "Keep It Mello," featuring rapper Omar LinX. Tickets are priced at PhP2,400 for Regular Pass and PhP1,900 for Early Bird Pass available until Aug. 31

•LANY live at Ayala Malls Aug. 4 - Glorietta Aug. 5 - Greenbelt 5 and Alabang Town Center Aug. 6 - Market! Market! and Trinoma For more information about the ticket mechanics, call (02) 795-9595 or visit After their successful Wanderland Festival performance last March, the trio is set to return to Manila for a series of shows at the Ayala Malls. LANY, an acronym for “Los Angeles New York,” is an American three-pieced alternative band composed of Paul Klein, Jake Goss and Les Priest. Head over to the Ayala Malls and sing to LANY’s hit songs that include “ILYSB,” “Pink Skies,” “Good Girls,” and “Hot Lights.” For the Glorietta show, tickets can be availed through purchase of four Glorietta Cinema gift cards valued at PhP250 each from the Cinema ticket booth from July 28 – Aug. 2; for BPI Amore Prepaid/Credit, VIPINOY and Ayala Reward Circle Card Holders, call (02) 625-5149 for the chance to get two tickets) limited slots). For the Greenbelt show, tickets can be availed through purchase of four Greenbelt Cinema gift cards valued at PhP250 each from the Cinema ticket booth from Aug 1 to 5; or for every single non-food purchase receipt of PhP2,000.00 from Aug. 1 to 5; for ARC and BPI Amore Credit Card Holders, call (02) 7292137 for the chance to get two tickets (limited slots). For the Alabang Town Center show, tickets can be availed through purchase of two Alabang Town Center Cinema gift cards valued at PhP250 each from the Cinema Ticket booth; for BPI Amore Prepaid/Visa, VIPINOY and Ayala Reward Circle Card Holders, call (02) 795-9595, (02) 869-3141, or (02) 527-7272 for the chance to get two tickets (limited slots).

Described as “The Greatest Musical of all Time” by The Times, West Side Story is coming to Manila following wild acclaim and sold-out seasons around the world, from London to Tokyo, and Sydney to Johannesburg. Inspired by Shakespeare’s tumultuous love story, Romeo and Juliet, and set amidst the vicious rivalry of teenage gangs in 1950s New York, West Side Story's groundbreaking choreography and unforgettable score changed the face of musical theatre forever when it burst onto the Broadway stage in 1957. An outstanding international cast will electrify audiences with their passionate high-energy dance routines, and their astounding vocal range showcased in classic songs as “Maria,” “Tonight,” “Somewhere,” “America” and “I Feel Pretty.” Tickets are priced at PhP7,000 for VIP; PhP5,800 A Reserve; PhP4,500 for B Reserve; PhP3,500 for C Reserve; and PhP1,500 for D Reserve.


•HISTORY Con 2017 Aug. 10 to 13; World Trade Convention Center, Gil Puyat Ave. Ext. cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City; for more information, email makehistory2017ph@ or visit www.historyasia. com The ultimate entertainment convention that took Manila by storm last year is here again with many more exciting activities lined up! HISTORY Con 2017 comes back bigger than ever, with over 300 exhibitors, and interactive. Expect to be entertained with something for everyone: meet your favorite HISTORY & FYI celebrities; featuring iconic local personalities; basketball tournaments; breaking world records attempts; live musical performances; FYI Food Fair & Tutorials; An immersive Tiny House Nation experience; workshops and more! Tickets are priced at PhP10,000 for History Maker VIP (Photography workshop with Award-Winning Professional Photographer Justin Mott, Special Screening, Guest Speaker talks/ lectures, Special talks with Guest speakers NASA Astronaut Barry Wilmore, 1 reserved seat for 1 “In Conversation with Your HISTORY Celebrity” session, 1 reserved seat to an exclusive dinner with History/FYI celebrities, 2 guaranteed meet and greet with History/FYI celebrities); PhP1,500 for History Maker Pass (Photography workshop with Award-Winning Professional Photographer Justin Mott, Special Screening, Guest Speaker talks/lectures, Special talks with Guest speakers NASA Astronaut Barry Wilmore, 1 session of Jordan Kilganon exhibition, and 1 reserved seat for 1 “In Conversation with Your HISTORY Celebrity” session); and PhP250 for General Admission (Photography workshop with Award-Winning Professional Photographer Justin Mott, Special Screening, and Guest Speaker talks/lectures).


•Color Manila Blacklight Run Davao Leg Aug. 12; SM Lanang Premier, Davao; for more information, visit The biggest obstacle fun run in the country is headed to Davao! Participants may choose between three race categories: 3K, 5K, and 10K. They also have the option of choosing between Deluxe, Rockstar and the Superstar race kit. Be there and experience a night run like no other filled with kaleidoscope of colors, music and fun. Registration fees are priced at PhP1,500 for Superstar (Drift Shirt, Race bib, Headlamp, 3 Drawstring Bags, CMR3 Headwear, CM Sticker, Color Packet, Finisher’s Medal); PhP1,050 for Rockstar (Drift Shirt, Race bib, Headlamp, Drawstring bag, Color Packet, Finisher’s Medal); and PhP750 for Deluxe (Costume singlet, Costume prop, Race bib, Costume Drawstring Bag, Finisher’s Medal, Color Packet).


APRIL 12-25, AUGUST 2017 2015


Looking for a different way to hangout? Thinking of treating yourself to an Android TV? Or perhaps you just want to shut out the world’s noise for a while, put your feet up, and just literally chill? We’ve got the perfect spot for you. By TIMOTHY JAY IBAY


t was around 2012 when I decided that I would live my life without the trappings of my own TV – the mindless channel surfing, the mind-numbing stream of supposed entertainment, and the daily ignorance mongering spewed by the local news. In the five years since, the very concept of TVs, and how people consumed their entertainment have vastly changed. People now want to get their shows when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it. On demand, and binge-watched if adult life permitted. The mind-numbing stream shifted from being sat on a couch flipping through channels, to scrolling aimlessly to the bottomless pit of your social media feeds. Ignorance of actual TVs was pretty much bliss. Or at least that’s what I thought. Until I came face to face with a 65-inch 4K Ultra High Definition Android TV and all its spoils. I had spent the last five years without my own TV. I think that might come to an end real soon. Moviebnb My TV perspective shift was brought about by a weekend staycation over at Sam&Karms’ place on Airbnb. Dubbed Moviebnb, it’s a standing invite to gather with your buddies and enjoy whatever kind of entertainment you want through the best technology has to offer. Whether it’s the latest movies, the hottest series, the big game, or just enjoying your own music playlist—Sam&Karms’ Moviebnb provides you with an incredible way to enjoy the things you love. Located smack in the heart of the Ortigas Business Center, in the recently opened Currency Residential Tower, Sam&Karms’ studio unit is fitted with everything you might think you want in a movie/ game night staycation, and all else that you never knew you did. A voice operated remote control that allows the TV to grant the entertainment wishes you speak; a wireless keyboard if you prefer to search the old fashioned way; digital sound bar and subwoofer that deliver virtual surround sound for that authentic cinematic experience; bias lighting to help reduce eye strain; and even four wireless game controllers (to help you settle who needs to go on the beer/ food run). Sam&Karms’ Moviebnb truly is an entertainment haven, and a perfect way to switch up a night (or three) in.

It’s a standing invite to gather with your buddies and enjoy whatever kind of entertainment you want through the best technology has to offer

Home comforts While the shiny entertainment toys set Sam&Karms’ place apart from other Airbnb units, it’s still a living space – and as such, has all the comforts you’ll need in your staycation. Two sofa beds (extremely comfortable for four, and a pullout bed for two additional guests); the basics—rice cooker, oven toaster, microwave, coffee maker, kitchenware, shower, satellite TV, and of course, high speed internet. As is standard practice, Currency Residential Tower also has a pool and gym, and being in a central location, dining and lifestyle options are all around (if you ever manage to step out of the room during your stay). To find Sam&Karms’ place on Airbnb, you can search for Currency Residential Tower and look for Moviebnb. You can find them on Facebook @moviebnb, or contact 0921-2922815. Rates start at PhP2,000++ for two guests, and just PhP300 per additional guest.

Most streaming services off free trials, so you could enjoy an endless stream of entertainment absolutely free!

Both sofa beds are extremely comfy for two people – ideal for intimate double dates!

More of a gamer than bingewatcher? Not a problem.

And just in case you want to stretch your limbs for a bit, there’s a gym and pool a few floors down.


Expat Newspaper Volume 35 No. 14 Expat Newspaper August 1 - August 31, 2017


Expat Newspaper Volume 35 No. 14 Expat Newspaper August 1 - August 31, 2017