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February 12-25, 2017 Vol. XXXV No. 6



A herd of sheep grazes at PMP Paradise Farm in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija. Located at the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, the farm stands as a great alternative for holiday seekers looking for a breather from the cacophony of the metro. For inquiries about the farm’s offerings, contact (044) 958-3010 loc. 104. Photo by Martin San Diego courtesy of the Northern Philippines Visitors Bureau

Sex in the city

How archaic mindsets and failed policies are nurturing the HIV epidemic By TIMOTHY JAY IBAY


dding to the Philippines’ continuing plight to curb the worsening HIV epidemic, as well as the still prevalent archaic mindset when it comes to all things sex, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial recently flip-flopped on the department’s support for the distribution of condoms among senior high school students, saying “It was only an option raised for consideration.” Instead, Ubial, who announced in December that her department would be distributing condoms in 2017, plans to urge the government to take measures designed to block pornographic websites from the country’s internet system. Similar to a number of high level officials' logic that the distribution of condoms promotes promiscuity among the youth, Ubial based her plan of action on the assumption that

pornography encourages increased sexual activity among the youth. Last month, the Philippine government blocked several major porn sites, citing the country’s anti-child pornography law. According to a Philippine Star report, Ubial said she is considering the distribution of print materials showing actual photos of people with sexually transmitted diseases as a deterrent to sexual promiscuity. HIV epidemic In early February, the Department of Education similarly rejected the proposed distribution of condoms and other contraceptive products, with Education Secretary Leonor Briones saying, “The parents can relax… there will be no condom distribution in schools.” But parents might find a hard time try-

ing to “relax,” as just this past December, the Philippines recorded an average of 24 new HIV cases (750 in total). Of those 750 reported cases, 72 have developed into fullblown AIDS, according to the Department of Health. As pointed out by Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Philippines is one of the fastest-growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia-Pacific region, citing official statistics showing that HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men have increased tenfold in the last five years. “President Rodrigo Duterte has inherited a legacy of failed or counterproductive policies [from] previous administrations that are contributing to the alarming increase in HIV infections among men who have sex with men,” HRW page 3 Philippines researcher Carlos

Biz forum bemoans exclusive economic growth By RICHARD RAMOS


hile the numbers indicate impressive and enviable economic growth in the region, business leaders agree that so much more has to be accomplished in order for qualitative growth to take place and for the economic benefits to be evenly spread throughout three provinces in the Visayas region. These three provinces are Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor. Negros Oriental, formerly part of Region 7, joined Negros Occidental to form a new Negros Region, before going back to Region 7 a few months ago due to lack of financial resources. Exclusive numbers In a business portion held during the weekly 888 Media Forum, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Efren page 3 Carreon rattled off big num-




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

Isla de Sta. Cruz named one of world’s best


epartment of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo is thrilled over the inclusion of the Great Sta. Cruz Island (also called Isla de Sta. Cruz) in Zamboanga City in the list of the 21 Best Beaches in the World by National Geographic. “We are so proud about this citation and happy about its very timely announcement, which comes right after our visit in December when I had pushed for the island’s immediate improvement and development as an ecotourism destination,” the Secretary said. The DOT chief has instructed DOT Region 9 Director Antonio Blanco to coordinate with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority to assist the local government in undertaking facilities upgrade, provision of additional cottages and offering more nature-based recreational activities. “The planned development will highlight its conservation and preservation, it being a

protected area. Nonetheless, the outcome should enable locals and foreign visitors alike to enjoy the island’s beauty but still strictly maintaining it as a day destination. We would like to attract genuine eco tourists as they take ‘responsible, ethical and sustainable tourism’ to heart,” Teo said. On its website, NatGeo described the Isla de Sta. Cruz, “Hardly lacking in gorgeous beaches, the Philippines claims a pink-sand variety, too. The blush color comes from billions of pieces of crushed red organ-pipe coral, seen in every handful of sand. The number of visitors to the island is regulated, and advance arrangements should be made through the tourist office in Zamboanga.” Other beaches cited on the list are: Playa del Amor in Marietas Islands in Mexico; Cathedrals Beach in Ribadeo, Spain; Anse Source d’Argent in La Digue, Seychelles; One Foot Island in Aitutaki, Cook Islands; Sunset

Beach in Brunswick Islands, North Carolina; Lazy Beach in Koh Rong Island, Cambodia; Bowman’s Beach in Sanibel Island, Florida; Shell Beach in Shark Bay, Western Australia; Lyme Regis in England; Cannon Beach in Oregon; Carmel City Beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California; Noordwjk Beach in The Netherlands; Papakolea Beach in Hawaii; Reynisfjara Beach in Iceland; Pelican Beach in South Water Caye, Belize; Blue

Fine white sand for days

Bay in Mauritius; Cas Abao Beach in Curacao; Sleeping Bear Point in Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan; Piscinas Beach in Arbus, Sardinia; and Corniche Beach in La TesteDe-Buch, France.

Ascott offers sweet Valentine’s staycations Jump at these amazing deals for a romantic urban getaway


his Red Letter Day, take a romantic getaway at Ascott properties around the metro. Surprise your special someone with a complete urban staycation for an unforgettable Valentine’s gift. Ascott Makati is offering “A Lovely Valentine’s Package” at PhP12,000 nett available from Feb. 10 to 14. The package is inclusive of an overnight stay at a luxurious Studio Executive Suite, which comes with a special couple’s 4-course dinner at premier restaurant Myron’s, buffet breakfast, and complimentary access to the Elite Lounge, as well as late checkout at 2 p.m. (subject to room availability). Add PhP500 for a special romantic setup of wine and chocolates. Also available from Feb. 10 to 14 is Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila’s “A Valentine’s Extravagance” package, which covers an overnight stay at a Studio Executive at PhP13,000 nett or a One-Bedroom Executive at PhP13,500 nett, both of which come with a romantic Italian set menu dinner for two at Alta by renowned Chef Margarita Fores. A breakfast buffet for two is also part of the package. Citadines Salcedo Makati, for its part, offers a vibrant Valentine’s with it’s “XOXO, Citadines” promo. Enjoy an overnight stay in a Studio apartment at PhP5,000 nett or in a One-Bedroom unit at PhP5,500, which comes with a couple’s welcome chocolate drink packets, pillow preference for a restful sleep, breakfast for two at Flying Pan, and shuttle service to and from malls in Makati. “A Romantic Escape” awaits in Somerset Olympia Makati. An overnight accommodation in a Studio Executive is at PhP4,300 nett or in a One-Bedroom Premier unit at PhP5,300nett, with upgraded amenities, continental breakfast, complimentary fondue at

The inviting Ascott BGC pool

Old Swiss Inn, plus 10 percent discount on food orders, and 30 percent discount at Salon Beauvoir for selected services. A girls’ slumber party package (four pax) is also available at PhP7,700 nett in a 2-bedroom Deluxe Room with breakfast for four and discounts at Old Swiss Inn and Salon Beauvoir. These special rates are valid until Feb. 18. For all weekends of February (Friday/Saturday/Sunday), Somerset Millennium Makati is offering an overnight stay in its newly-renovated Studio Executive at PhP4,500 nett/night or One-Bedroom Deluxe at PhP5,500 nett. The package includes breakfast for two and 10 percent discount at Abuela’s Restaurant and John Barbers. Late check out can be availed until 2 p.m. (subject to room availability). If you want to get away from it all (or at least the noise and haze of the metro), Somerset Alabang Manila in the south is the perfect place to go. Book its “Charmed with Love” Valentine’s promo from Feb. 10 to 19 to enjoy an overnight stay at the property’s beautiful Studio at PhP 4,500 nett or in a One Bedroom unit at PhP5,500 nett, both of which come with continental buffet breakfast for two, 20 percent room discount for in-room couple’s massage and late check-out (subject to availability). Add PhP1,888 for a romantic couple’s set dinner at Café Madrigal and Bar. All of Ascott’s Valentine’s and February packages include Wi-Fi connection (one account) and access to the respective properties’ recreational facilities such as a swimming pool and fitness centre. For more information and booking, contact (02) 550-3200 or email

Ascott Makati's Studio Executive Suite promises the most relaxing stay

New CanCham ICT Awards to boost team talent By RICHARD RAMOS


fter a fruitful decade of existence, the 2017 International Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Awards Philippines, headed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CanCham) in the Philippines, promises to be a much livelier event by way of broadening the range of team talents in different fields and further encouragement of provincial entries to join the event. “The focus this year on team participation has been brought about by many industry changes and innovations which reflect on the new ICT situationer beyond the usual and traditional categories,” declared CanCham president Julian Payne in an intimate huddle with media reporters gathered at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel. Among the major changes implemented are the Best C-Suite of the Year Award, Best New First-Time Nominee of the Year, Best Mobile App Developer Company, Best Frontline Team of the Year, and others, to encourage more team participation and give a profile of the expanding range of new ICT services and trends. Judging criteria still remains strict with the selection of seven judges, four of which are industry-based and three are outside stakeholders. Judges are changed every two years to avoid familiarity and affinity with the credentials of the entries. Categories which have been discontinued include the Cities for ICT Award, Best Indi-

vidual Contributor of the Year, Best CEO of the Year, Most Popular Team Leader of the Year, and others in accordance with the updated Mission and Vision of the event. Among the many categories which have been retained are Best Voice Excellence Company, Best Software Company, Most Innovative Company, Best Company outside NCR, Best Company of the Year, Best Filipino-Owned Company, etc. Payne also emphasized that the rare participation of Smart and Globe in one event highlights the credibility issue of the awarding ceremonies as both companies are quite cognizant as to the high talent level and impact of the event on the industry as a whole. The IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) also plays a major role as a co-organizer of the event for the past several years since the stakeholders are responsible for the industry’s accomplishments and stellar performance over the last decade. Moreover, the IBPAP has recently launched the Accelerate PH Roadmap which projects the creation of an additional 654,000 jobs generating approximately US$40 billion in revenues by 2022. Nominees, especially winners, are required to attend the awarding ceremonies to be held at the Marriott Resorts World Grand Ballroom on March 17, 2017. For more information, contact the CanCham national secretariat at (02) 843-6466, 843-6457, or email




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

Biz forum bemoans exclusive...from page 1

Sex in the city...from page 1

bers in reference to financial growth in the region. These are a 7.2 percent GDP average growth rate in the past five years, the lowering of poverty incidence from 30.7 to 23.6 percent within a five-year period, a 100,000 BPO workforce, and the expected upturn of tourist arrivals in the region in the next few years due to the completion of the new Mactan-Cebu International Airport terminal and the upcoming Panglao International Airport in Bohol. Dondi Joseph, president of the Cebu Business Club, pointed out that urban growth usually leads to social problems, which have remained unaddressed in the country. “What use is economic growth if poverty remains widespread? Poverty alleviation should lead to inclusive growth where the effects trickle down throughout the region. Unlike in other cities in the world where they address their problems effectively,” he stated. Joseph also bemoaned many local government units that are reluctant to resettle voters and refuse to spend public funds in doing so. Such a situation could prove detrimental in the next elections where the settlers tend to vote as a bloc and target those who affect their daily lives. He said that such is the case when urban regeneration leads to infrastructure development and, unfortunately, slum resettlements where the occupants are often transported to distant areas from their place of origin. “Better if they could follow the example of Jollibee. This fast food giant bought all the potatoes from Luzon farmers, thus assuring the farmers of a steady income. Likewise, Nestle is targeting cacao farmers in Mindanao for its tablea needs and requirements. Glenn Soco, president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, agreed with Joseph, saying that the growth of the countryside is of vital importance in the Visayas-Mindanao region for quality development. He batted for the alignment and collaboration of the islands in the Visayas, plus the proper establishment of the state of infrastructure in order to see more business grow in the region as a whole instead of just one or two entities. “While a bustling economy can cre-

H. Conde said. “Reducing HIV transmission isn’t rocket science. But it does require the Duterte government to implement an HIV prevention program and remove obstacles to condom and HIV testing access so that young Filipinos – particularly men who have sex with men – can protect themselves from an otherwise preventable illness.”

ate millionaires and billionaires, there are still a lot of poor sectors that need to be addressed. The smaller sectors need to be given more chances and opportunities in order to grow and develop, and not just the established counterparts,” he added. As an example, he cited that malls in Japan and Korea reserve their choice spots for smaller players to give them more chances to grow and acquire more experience. Much unlike the situation in the Philippines where malls reserve their strategic locations only for the rich concessionaires while relegating the smaller counterparts to less lucrative spots. Another example is a comprehensive tax program where the wage earners pay fewer taxes than the bigger ones for a more equitable tax distribution scheme. Other concerns Meanwhile, NEDA Regional Director Carreon cited that President Rodrigo Duterte’s 10-point agenda, which is designed to focus on the agricultural and fishery sectors, the most poverty-stricken sectors of the total pie. Irrigation has been given more teeth to increase the number of harvests, raise the income of farmers, and enable him to cope better with climate change. It remains an interesting situation, however, since the average age of the farmer is over 55 years old and their children have shown no interest in following his footsteps due to the labor-intensive process, the lack of quality farm-to-market roads, and the youth preference for white-collar jobs. The state of the fishing industry isn’t any better due to the over-exploitation of fishing grounds, and the deteriorating quality of marine life brought about by dynamite fishing, abuse of corals, and pollution. Yet another problem that needs to be addressed is migration to urban areas. While migration itself is not a problem per se, it can turn bad if the people are not productive, resulting in social problems such as overcrowding, petty crimes, and scarcity of resources. Everyone agreed that countryside development is crucial to reverse the overcrowding of cities, thus the need to provide livelihood and employment opportunities in the countryside to reserve the city’s resources and reduce migration.

British Chamber engages in a business dialogue with Senator Zubiri British Chamber of Commerce Chairman Chris Nelson joined business leaders and other European Chambers in a business dialogue with Senator Miguel Zubiri, Senate’s Chairman of Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship. The event was organized by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

Sex mis-education Those from developed countries may find it unfathomable why condom distribution remains a strong point of contention in 2017. But in a country that has a senator who cites the Bible to support his stand against gay marriage one moment, then points the same Bible to support the re-imposition of the death penalty the next, it’s not too difficult to imagine why supposedly rudimentary issues like sex education and contraceptives remain contentious subjects. “We respectfully appeal that our teachers be more diligent in teaching sex education and teach the students how to protect themselves,” National Youth Commission chair Aiza Seguerra said recently. “We’ve had reports that even if it’s part of the curriculum, these are still not taught and are being avoided because there are teachers who think it is taboo. We cannot protect our young people if we don not give them the right information.” Seguerra has previously slammed the country’s conservative culture as the root cause of the country’s unwillingness to discuss sex, which has led to the continued unavailability of basic reproductive health

services. Empirical evidence Meanwhile, state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) recently produced a paper disproving claims that age-appropriate sex education would lead to increased rates of sexual activity. The paper, written by Michael Abrigo and Vicente Paqueo, cited studies that not only show the lack of evidence for the above claims, but also evidence for the opposite. As noted by a PIDS release, evidence from studies and surveys by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Medical University of South Carolina, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the University of California, and the Philippine Statistics Authority all support the efficacy of sex education in delaying sexual initiation among young people. The paper’s authors noted that it is better to develop a sex education program based on a deep consultative process with key stakeholders than preventing government from providing students with opportunities to learn from professionally developed sex education programs solely because of pre-conceived ideas of their consequences. “Moral beliefs and good intentions alone are not enough to determine whether a policy position is beneficial or detrimental to the well-being of the country’s citizens… Empirical evidence is necessary to protect them against the unintended consequences of well-meaning but misinformed policy stance,” the authors concluded.




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017


Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino recently feted the Year of the Rooster with a bang as the sprawling hotel lobby rocked with a raucous Dragon Dance, Café Uno teemed with hungry diners feasting over the delectable dishes, as the hotel gardens shimmered with the wondrous fireworks display. For Valentine’s Day, La Gondola and Tin Gow offer a set dinner for two at PhP2,899; while a moonlit special set garden dinner for two is priced at PhP5,899. A strictly singles party at Treff Resto Bar and Pool Aquarius goes for PhP350.00, which includes one beer; while a special wine festival along the Gourmet Walk (which passes through the hotel’s food and beverage outlets) is slated until Feb. 19 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

TIMOTHY JAY IBAY Board has announced Avalon Waterways, in cooperation with By Singapore Tourism Globus, a leading tour operator, introduces the lineup of exciting events and attractions river cruises as a travel novelty in the indus- feting the Year of the Rooster. The Gardens try. The cruise ships boast of wall-to-wall by the Bay introduces “Dahlia Dreams,” windows, roomy balconies with comfort- new floral display trails in various colors able furniture, 200 and 300-square-foot set in a Chinese-inspired garden. Madame suites, near-soundproof rooms, van- Tussauds Museum highlights well-known ity bathrooms, deluxe Comfort Collection celebrity look-alikes. Foodies may browse Beds, and many other plush amenities. over the Singapore Michelin Guide for Dining is a treat with high-quality prime noted eateries and hawker favorites, as well cut beef, fresh fish, and handpicked fruits as the Open Farm Community for innoand greens. Dinner buffets feature a spe- vative farming trends. Concerts featuring cialty dish and wine from your destination, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay, Sting, while lunches have hand-carved meats, and Journey have set play dates. As well, local delicacies, and salads into their buffet there’s the decade-long Formula One Sinspreads. One has his choice of 40 itinerar- gapore Airlines Grand Prix scheduled later ies, and a dozen special interest cruises on within the year, plus year-round shopping six continents. sprees all over the place.

Clintkamms, the publisher of over 35 Cebuano books, has come up with its latest coffee table book on Martino Abellana, Cebu’s foremost artist. Dubbed “Kamingaw” (loneliness), the title doesn’t necessarily refer to the emotion itself, but more on the description of Visayan art in relation to national recognition. Prof. Raymund Fernandez, columnist of the Cebu Daily News, is the sole author who professed his deep admiration and respect for the artist and has spent a lot to preserve his works in hopes of Abellana to be declared as a National Artist by the National Commission for the Culture and Arts (NCCA). Abellana is best known for his landscape and nature works that has survived modern trends.

Cebu Landmasters, the number one local housing developer in Metro Cebu, boasts of 25 developments situated all over the Visayas-Mindanao region. The company targets Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, and Cagayan de Oro as the sites for their next wave of investments and will launch into the Intellectual Property Offering (IPO) in the next few months to support their many projects. Project mix reveals that 84 percent of their total is residential developments projects, which are still divided into 46 percent for the vertical side, and 38 percent for horizontal. The company has also partnered with Ascott Group as their hotel chain. By 2020, the company aims to nab the topmost spot as the “Most preferred local developer in the Visayas-Mindanao.”

Enhance Visa, a veteran immigration consultancy firm, recently spearheaded Nursing Career Expos in Cebu, Bacolod and Iloilo to fill the labor shortage in Canada. Guest speaker was Tony Burke, vice president of Omni College of Nursing in Vancouver, Canada who spoke highly of the quality of nurses from the Philippines. He declared that there exists a real need to fill in the nursing opportunities in Canada since the average age of Canadian nurses is 55. Qualified applicants will also undergo further training to meet Canadian standards and prepare for the Licensure Exam. The three most preferred schools mentioned by the organizers were the University of San Carlos, Velez College, and the Cebu Doctors College.

Golden Prince Hotel & Suites presents its Valentine promos to fete the season of love. From Feb. 13 to 15, the Le’Mon Restaurant has its“Eat Your Heart Out”promo, where couples get a romantic lunch buffet, roses for the ladies, and a glass of champagne. The promo is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for only PhP528/head. In Bulawan Kuche, the rooftop outlet, enjoy “Romance at the Top”with a buffet dinner and freeflowing wine for only PhP598/head from 6 p.m. to 10 pm. Add a romantic overnight stay for PhP3,143 in a deluxe room for two with breakfast and late check-out (when available), flowers for the ladies, free bottle of wine, spa services for two and a merienda buffet. Terms and conditions apply.

Resorts World Sentosa comprises six uniquely themed hotels with a total of 2,500 rooms. The Lunar New Year featured its “Gong Sea Fa Cai” festive programs where visitors went on interactive trails, got up close to rare sea creatures and also witnessed an Underwater Dragon Dance show with special lighting effects. Just 25 minutes from the airport, the seven-year old hotel has earned two Michelin Star Awards for its 60 dining outlets. Among its more popular hotel brands are the Hard Rock Hotel Singapore for its throwback theme, the Genting Hotel Jurong for budget-conscious travelers, and the Festive Hotel ideal for families with kids. Resorts World Sentosa is a three-time TTG awardee.

‘The Monk and the Peasant’ launched in Manila Coffee table book offers a nostalgic journey of Sri Lankan traditions and culture By VIA BAROMA

In an effort to present the concept of traditional villages – one that is fast disappearing – Prof. J.B. Disanayaka and Manila-based Sri Lankan photographer Tilak Hettige give a nostalgic glimpse of that time when culture, religion and tradition was the focus of everyday life in their book entitled “The Monk and the Peasant.” In recognition of the work, the Embassy of Sri Lanka held a launch for the coffee table book at the Sri Lankan Ambassador’s residence last November. Ambassador Aruni Ranaja paid tribute to the authors and said that the book is a journey of discovery of the rich cultural and social milieu in a simple narrative with captivating visuals. “Professor J.B. Dissanayake’s skillful narrative coupled with Mr. Tilak Hettige’s brilliant photography has resulted in a quintessential reflection of Sri Lanka’s cultural, religious and social milieu in this first ever publication to be co-authored by the eminent Sri Lankans. It is an important documentation of the relationship between the Sinhala Village and the temple, and a poignant [capturing] of our traditions and relationships which existed and that

which is still witnessed in society in varying degrees,” Ambassador Ranaja said. “The Monk and the Peasant” pays homage to Sinhalese culture and tradition that somehow is parallel to other customs around the world, including the Philippines. Hettige, who has been living in the Philippines for almost two decades, said that the book can bring Filipino and Sri Lankan communities together because of the similar customs of both countries. “Just like the Philippines, religion also played an important role in Singhalese villagers’ lives. In these traditional Singhalese villages, the people and the monks pretty much survive side by side,” Hettige added. For more information and to purchase the book, email Mr. Tilak Hettige at or call (0998) 5570188.

Photographer Tilak Hettige and Sri Lankan Ambassador Aruni Ranaraja




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

A ‘Wicked’ return

Award-winning musical ‘Wicked’ comes back to Manila for more magic and wonder Text and photos by CHING DEE

Cast performing "One Short Day"


fter a successful 2014 run, awardwinning musical Wicked is back in Manila to once again spread magic and wonder to thousands of Philippine fans. Recently, members of the press were treated to a preview of the performance, an exclusive backstage tour, and a sit-down interview with the cast of the critically acclaimed Broadway and West End musical. According to company manager Anthony Fields, Wicked still tells the same tale that people the world over know and love, but with a few new performances to keep it fresh. Also, since they use a live band every show, the experience could be different every time. "In a way, you will never hear the same show twice," Fields said during the backstage tour. For Jacqueline Hughes, who plays the

emerald green-skinned witch Elphaba, and Carly Anderson, who plays the effervescent Glinda, Wicked is more than just the story before The Wizard of Oz. "It's a story about how different people can come together and be really good friends," Hughes said. "And in some ways, they could change each other for the better." "I think this would be great for children, so they'd learn how to treat people who are a bit different from them, how to be kind and see beyond someone's looks," Anderson shared. As for Bradley Jaden, who plays Elphaba and Glinda's love interest Fiyero, his previous role as Enjolras in another award-winning musical Les Miserables helped him with his preparations for Wicked. "The dancing was a bit challenging and

Hughes and Anderson performing "For Good"

the songs from Les Mis are the type of music I would normally sing, but it definitely helped me prepare for my role as Fiyero," Jaden said. And in case you're wondering, we asked the most important question of all: Elphaba or Glinda? "This doesn't mean my preference between the two women," Jaden joked. "But it's Glinda, because I think she's always happy and positive and that's the kind of energy I want to be around with." Iddon Jones and Emily Shaw play the conflicted couple Boq and Nessarose. For Jones, he said he had no problem internalizing his role — thanks to his past heartbreaks, which he could now laugh about. As for Shaw, she understands Nessa is coming from a place of so much love that it "well, drove [her] to do crazy things."

Iddon Jones (Boq) and Emily Shaw (Nessarose)

Kim Ismay (who plays the truly wicked Madame Morrible) and Steven Pinder (who plays Doctor Dillamond and the titular role of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) are thrilled to be in the Philippines and loved the audience. "They were laughing in all the right places and they got even the small jokes," Ismay gushed. "There was no language barrier, so we had no problem interacting with the audience," Pinder agreed. They are also wickedly excited to try Filipino food. We urged them to try our mangoes (of course) and sisig, because sisig is life. ‘Wicked’ runs until Mar. 12, 2017 at the Solaire Theatre, Aseana Drive, Parañaque City. Tickets available at




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

POP! Goes the Cuisine Newspaper The Philippines’ forum for international readers since 1981

Murray Hertz Founding Publisher (1928-2014) Butch C. Bonsol President & Managing Director Timothy Jay Araneta Ibay Editor-in-Chief Suzette Defensor Consultant Richard A. Ramos (Cebu) Via Baroma Staff Writers Angie Duarte Ching Dee Writers-at-Large Leah Egamino-Palaña Advertising Coordinator Jennifer Codera Billing, Credit and Collection Supervisor Nikki Joy Habana Macjanry Imperio Design & Layout 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

From Milan to Manila, Chef Davide Oldani’s renowned Cucina POP is appeasing appetites with its accessible, appealing offerings By ANGIE DUARTE


he culinary world is as creative and dynamic, as it is exciting and revolutionary – some ways more delicious than others. Our tastebuds have been tickled and tantalized (perhaps on occasion, even traumatized?) by food trend after food trend. Foodies the globe over salivate in anticipation of the next big thing in gourmet goodness. From unusual epicurean treats like gold leaf ice cream and sushi donuts, to concepts that have changed the landscape of the food realm (food trucks, “delivery only’ restaurants, molecular cuisine, pre-measured “cook-it-yourself ” meal packs, vegan this and organic that, to name just a few), and those that have left us doing a double take (dining in the dark, and dining in the nude, for instance), food crazes come and go, then come around again; with the truly satisfying ones lingering for way longer. One food trend that is likely here to stay is acclaimed Italian Chef Davide Oldani’s Cucina POP (or, POP Cuisine), which he simply defines as a seamless fusion of essential but quality ingredients in dishes that are made accessible to popular culture – hence, POPular cuisine. Through his dishes, Oldani brings forth his straightforward, yet oh-so-delicious philosophy: from start to finish – from every ingredient that goes into each dish, to its preparation and final presentation – each meal should be put together with simplicity, excellence, and passion. Essential meets well-made “My Cucina POP comes from the desire to blend the essential with the well-made, to create something good that is accessible, to combine tradition with innovation. I am convinced that the greatness of Italian cuisine lies not only in the variety and flavors, but also in its openness to continuous re-interpretation,”

function. The talented chef likewise continues to spread his palate pleasing philosophy through his weekly column in Sports Week, and ongoing collaborations with culinary magazine, La Cucina Italiana. POP Cuisine on the Manila Scene In December of 2016, Oldani’s first restaurant outside of Milan opened its doors in the heart of upscale Bonifacio Global City. In partnership with dynamic restaurant group, Chef Davide Oldani during his FOODEE Global Concepts, open kitchen demo FOO'D by Davide Oldani is fast becoming the go-to destination for excellent meals that will cershares Oldani. Chef Oldani brought Cucina POP to tainly whet the appetite but won’t break the the forefront of the gustatory scene when bank. Recently, Oldani visited Manila for an he opened his first restaurant D’O, in 2003, in Comaredo, near Milan. Having honed his Open Kitchen Demo, which ran from Jan. 22 craft under the tutelage of such luminaries of to 23. Diners were feted with one scrumpthe culinary industry as Chef Alain Ducasse, tious dish after another, prepared by the Chef Michel Roux Jr., pastry chef Pierre Hermés, himself and by the restaurant’s skilled team. “The aesthetics of FOO’D by Davide and Oldani’s mentor Gualtiero Marchesi— the first chef in Italy to earn three stars from Oldani is minimal, but it’s enveloped by the warmth of Italy. I chose the Philippines to Michelin. become the home of my first restaurant outside of Milan because it’s a country with great The Explosion of Cucina POP Shortly after the opening of D’O, the res- economic development. I was lucky to have taurant received the Michelin Star recogni- met talented entrepreneurs like Eric and Rotion, and Oldani was deemed one of the great- dolfo e Nicolò and to bring my vision to life,” Oldani relates. “Here at FOO’D by Davide est chefs of modern Italian cuisine. The awards poured in from thereon: Oldani we combine the highest quality (of Oldani was named Ambassador Expo for ingredients) with an affordable price for the 2015, Food & Sport Ambassador by CONI Manila market.” We can talk on and on about the culinary and was selected as chef of Casa Italia for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. To boot, he was genius that is Cucina POP, but as Oldani so personally selected by fashion mogul, Giorgio concisely puts it: “I do not know any other Armani, to be the culinary consultant of the way to appreciate a dish other than to eat it.” Board this food-trendy bandwagon for Aman Resort in Venice. Oldani has since expanded his passion for yourself, and see what all the POP is about. For more information, follow FOO'D by DaCucina POP to include innovatively designed utensils, kitchen and table pieces that – like vide Oldani on Facebook @FOODbyDOMahis food – are a masterful fusion of form and nila and on Instagram @FOODbyDO_PH. SAFFRON FREGOLA (Fregola from Sardinia, to be well creamed/ "ben mantecato" with 24 months old Grana, Butter and White Wine Vinegar, swirled with Saffron(from lombardy) Sauce

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.

SURF AND TURF (USDA Wagyu Beef Cheek, Lobster Jus, Horseradish)

Foo’d by Chef Davide Oldani Restaurant at the Shangri-La The Fort, BGC

FAUX EGG (Cauliflower Velouté, Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Carrot and Orange Sphere)




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

Take a bao at Don Bao

The metro’s first bao-themed resto and its fully loaded rice bowls and steamed buns arrive in Kapitolyo Text and photos by CHING DEE


ust when you thought Kapitolyo has reached peak foodie haven status, Don Bao joins the party and opens its doors. Long-time buds and certified foodies Kevin Te, Larrissa Ong, Melissa Tan and Carl Ventura opened Don Bao on Nov. 30, 2016, just in time for the holiday rush. While the friends have been playing with the idea of opening a restaurant together, plans started taking a more serious turn on May of last year. Their menu took roughly two months to finalize. “It was really a group effort, more of trial and error to find out which dish works and what doesn’t,” Te tells Expat. The most challenging part, they found, was winding their choices down to their current menu, which has eight dons (rice bowls) and seven baos (buns). “These are flavors that we really enjoy, we personally like. We made sure that we also love what we serve,” Ong said. Here’s what we had at Don Bao. Fair warning, though: If you’re on a diet, this is going to be rough. Stay strong. Or not. Go and enjoy Don Bao. It’s worth it. Starters Spam Musubi A Japanese-inspired Hawaiian classic has reached Kapitolyo, thanks to Don Bao. Kick off your meal with this sweet and tangy savory treat. Wagyu Beef Cubes Succulent and tasty, their Wagyu Beef Cubes burst into a party of flavors after one bite. Oh yes, one stick won't be enough. Best paired with ice-cold Asahi beer. DON A don or a donburi is a Japanese rice bowl dish often topped with meat, seafood, or vegetables. Aside from using authentic Japanese rice, what makes Don Bao’s dons so sinfully good is

their unlimited rice! You can almost hear all those doing the low-carb diet moaning, ‘Oh, Lord, have mercy.’ Katsu Curry Don For those intimidated by curry spice, this is a great gateway dish. It's mild enough that you taste every component of the curry — especially that giant pork katsu. According to Ong, guests will soon be able to choose the spiciness level of their curry. Can't wait to come back for that! Crispy Chicken Don The dish features a generous serving of crispy chicken katsu on a bed of fluffy Japanese rice topped with shredded cabbage and their secret sauce. It's tangy and creamy and everything that goes well with the crispy katsu. Special Tendon A definite must-try, this don has ebi (shrimp) and kani (crab) tempura drizzled with their special sauce. Even the rice gets a special kind of sauce that compliments the tempura, making you crave for more. They also serve the classic Chicken Teriyaki Don, Katsudon, Gyudon, Hamburger Curry Don, and Salmon Belly Teriyaki Don (which makes me want to go back as soon as possible). The bao A bao is a steamed bun filled with various

awesome stuff like meat, seafood, vegetables and sauces. In its simplicity, the bao makes a great platform for any ingredient — any flavor or texture — to shine. Currently, Don Bao has Crazy Bao seven different baos, from the classic to the crazy. But according to Ong and Te, they will soon add new flavors to the menu — an inevitable event when foodies come together. Piggy Bao Ride This is where it all started: Don Bao's version of the classic pork bao. It has pork katsu with home-made teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, shredded cabbage and nori strips. Fire Bao Don Bao's classic pork bao married with tangy and spicy sriracha mayo gave birth to the Fire Bao. The addition of home-pickled radish and carrots balances out the spicy mayo, letting you enjoy its rich flavors in every bite. Bao Chika Bao Bao Get dirrrty with Don Bao's signature Bao Chika Bao Bao: crispy and juicy chicken katsu with kimchi, coriander, and black sesame. An explosion of flavor in your mouth. Trust us, you'll come for more. P. King Bao We all the know the worst thing about peking duck is its price. Thanks to Don Bao, this

P. King Bao isn't only affordable, but it's also lip-smackingly good! It's got grilled chicken with hoisin sauce, cucumber, crushed prawn crackers for added texture and topped with spring onions. All hail the King — the P. King. Crazy Bao A certified winner at the Ultimate Taste Test, this Crazy Bao will drive you cray-cray with its complex flavors (Is it sweet? Is it salty? Is it zesty?) and a myriad of textures in a single bite. This bao is packed with kani in eel sauce, Japanese mayo, tobiko, crunchy tempura flakes and spring onions. This is definitely the favorite out of last night's feast. Yes, we tried them all except their Good Morning, Bao! and Go Fish! Bao. DESSERT Fried Bao with Nutella S’mores Between two halves of fried bao is a giant toasted marshmallow sitting on top of Nutella covered graham cracker. Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds. Other sweet treats include fried bao with Milo and Condensed Milk, and Ice Cream and Salted Caramel. Make sure you also try their Sake Bomb. It is exactly like a Jaeger Bomb, except with sake. So bang on that table and get ready to chug. They owners also have several bazaars lined up this year, so you can catch them on various locations around the metro — just make sure you follow them on social media for updates. Apart from their resto and bazaars, Don Bao also accepts orders for parties... or just a lit Friday night at home. Don Bao is located at 1 Brixton Street (beside Ace Hotel and Suites), Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City. They are open from Monday to Sunday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. For orders and inquiries, call (0998) 863-8671. Follow them on Instagram

The timeless taste and charm of the Old Swiss Inn Swiss treats with Filipino charm in the heart of the metro Text and photos by CHING DEE


t is truly an achievement when a restaurant survives a decade in the industry, but to stay alive for seven fruitful decades could only mean there’s something special behind its doors. The original branch of Old Swiss Inn in Paco, Manila has been treating diners to authentic and delicious Swiss food since 1946 when Swiss national Emil Landert opened it to the public. In the 80s, Filipino businessman Felix Limcaoco Jr. purchased the Paco branch and developed the Old Swiss Inn brand further. Limcaoco’s daughter, Katrina LimcaocoAlcuaz, joined the family business in 1994 and opened the second branch in Makati City. “I remember being scared because I was joining an already established business,” Alcuaz recalled. “But now, 22 years later, I learned that we owe a big part of our success to our hardworking and loyal staff, some have been with us since opening day.” Aside from bringing Swiss food to more people with their expansion, the Makati branch is also open 24/7 — perfect for night owls looking for a substantial meal after a night of partying, or a long graveyard shift.

Being around for seven decades is no easy feat, but one meal at the Old Swiss Inn and you’ll find out why diners have supported this quaint little restaurant for so long. Expat recommends A visit to the Old Swiss Inn wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the heart of the restaurant: Cheese. They are currently offering tabletop raclette platters, which come with your own cheese melter. The melted raclette is served with baby potatoes, gherkins and pearl onions. They also offer raclette parties for when fellow cheese lovers come together for a great time. Their Grison Beef Stew is not just huge, but it’s also hearty and comforting. The forktender beef chunks are nestled over a rich sauce of married flavors, the product of slowcooking it for hours. To cut the richness of the beef stew, potatoes and carrots are tossed in the dish. Another bestseller at the Old Swiss Inn is their homemade Corned Beef. The day of my visit, they served the corned beef in a warm vegetable soup, much like the Filipino dish called Nilaga (beef broth). The greens, po-

tatoes, and clear tasty broth allowed the unbelievably flavorful and tender corned beef to really shine. It shows that a lot of technique and care was placed in the dish. “Our corned beef is one of our best sellers,” Kai Palomares, Old Swiss Inn operations manager, told Expat. “Guests always come back for more of it, they always look for the corned beef. We’re glad so many people appreciate how much work we’ve put into it.” Do not leave the Old Swiss Inn without having the authentically Swiss dish called Zurich Geschnetzeltes, a seductively delicious dish made of shredded pork tenderloin and mushroom cream sauce, served with crisp potato rosti. Aside from their bestsellers, Alcuaz also shared her personal favorites from their menu — their iconic cheese fondue, the pepper steak, and spaghetti bolognese. “Despite being here for so long, we real-

Signature Corned Beef Nilaga

ized that no one is indispensable. We treat our staff how we want them to treat our guests and it pays off,” Alcuaz explained. “Our guests love the food, but the whole Old Swiss Inn experience will always include excellent service.” So, the next time you have a craving for fondue or homemade corned beef at three in the morning, head on over to the Old Swiss Inn. It’s definitely worth the trip. The Old Swiss Inn is located at Somerset Olympia Building, 7912 Makati Avenue, Makati. They are open 24/7. For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 818 8251. Check them out on Facebook (/oldswissinnrestaurant) and




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

Chef AJ Reyes wows with intimate gourmet dinner at Privatus Text and photos by CHING DEE


earning from the likes of Chef Chele Gonzalez of VASK Tapas Room and Bruce Ricketts of Mecha Uma fame, Chef AJ Reyes found his own cooking style using his culinary influences from Filipino, Spanish and Japanese cuisine. Reyes’ love for homegrown flavors and desire to uplift Filipinos in the culinary industry gave birth to a private catering business, which eventually turned into Radical Culinary Inc. — capturing the experimental approach of his cuisine. Radical Culinary Inc. hosts private dining experiences in clients’ homes, but in Novem-

ber of 2016, Reyes and his business partner, mixologist Mark Marquez, opened Privatus, the newest addition to the culinary scene in Pasig City. Privatus boasts of industrial chic interiors, a beautiful combination of rustic concrete with wooden accents and furniture, decorated with pots of real herbs and warm lighting. According to the owners, Privatus is a “premium fine dining restaurant in a casual setting.” At a recent Privatus’ media night, we were treated to a sumptuous dinner courtesy of Reyes, complemented with drinks by Marquez. Here’s what we enjoyed.

Inasal Stew

Sisig Croquetas Filipino and Spanish influences shine in Reyes' Sisig Croquetas – tangy and creamy with just the right amount of heat from the chili mayo. This appetizer is dangerous because once you have one, you just gotta have more. I had at least eight.

Local Wagyu

Squash Blossoms Reyes’ Squash Blossoms is filled with luscious seafood mousse and creamy uni mayo. The vinegar (center) cuts into the creaminess and gives it a nice acidity. Shrimp & Singkamas You tell me something has aligue (crab fat) and I am instantly sold. Reyes' Shrimp & Singkamas further ups the ante on that aligue godness, with this dish that has cabbage-wrapped shrimp and sinful aligue sauce, leading to a bite that’s light yet utterly satisfying. The pickled radish and singkamas (jicama) gives it a nice contrast of texture and acidity. Local Wagyu Every chef worth his/her salt knows how to treat meat with the respect it deserves—especially a cut as exquisite as this Kitayama Wagyu. Reyes nailed this medium rare local wagyu steak—perfectly seared outside and still pinkish and tender inside. It yielded to our knife like butter. While it is unnecessary for a steak this awesome, the glazed onions and sautéed mushrooms added a new layer of flavor to the dish, rounding it up and making it one of our favorite dishes of the evening. Squash Blossoms

Fried Ice Cream

Sisig Croquetas

Inasal Stew Reyes' Inasal Stew was definitely a hit at Pri-

Shrimp Singkamas

vatus Manila's media night. The chicken was smoked and slow-cooked using the sous vide method and the inasal broth itself was a beautiful marriage of Visayan flavors: sweet and savory with a touch of sourness and just a hint of bitterness in the end. This dish hit all the right spots and we just couldn't get over it. Reyes also torched some (I want to say) lemongrass to bring the flavors home. Fried garlic Risotto The Fried Garlic Risotto stands alone very well, but also becomes an effective wingman for any main dish to shine. Strawberry Shortcake Tangy, sweet, and definitely irresistible. Privatus Manila's Strawberry Shortcake is for chocoholics, fruit lovers, and ice cream fanatics. The chocolate dome is filled with strawberry mousse with a sponge cake base and finished with strawberry sorbet on the side. Fried Ice Cream Underneath this beautiful chaos of fried shoestring sweet potato is fried homemade mango ice cream. Yes, Reyes and his team made everything from scratch. This salty-sweet combo is a personal favorite. Privatus Test Kitchen is located at 8 F. Legaspi Street, Barangay Maybunga, Pasig City. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations and inquiries, call (0998) 590-0996 or email For more info, visit Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @privatusmanila).

Strawberry Shortcake




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

Beyond Roses By ANGIE DUARTE


hile I do not recall the exact moment that I stopped being a fan of Valentine’s Day, I do recall an incident that stuck the knife and twisted it in its befrilled, lace-trimmed, highly commercialized heart. Flashback some years ago, to a day in life that brought this point home in a way that hurt – and angered – my sensibilities, as a mother, but also as a woman: Valentine’s Day 2011. My daughter was in fifth grade, and she came home, visibly upset, but doing her best not to let on. A bit of prodding and a big hug later, the beans came spilling out: “Why did some girls get roses, and I didn’t, Mama? The school sold roses today, and some of us didn’t get any…” Now mind you, my daughter is absolutely gorgeous by any standard (not just by the “I’m her mother, and she’s gorgeous in MY eyes” standard), but she is the type who purposely avoids being one of the “populars.” She is quite the anti-“IT-girl,” and honestly, her dad and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being able to stand up to peer-pressure; being more concerned with substance of character than mere outward beauty – these are qualities most parents seek to instill in their children. This, as far as we see it, is the way to go. But not in the world’s eyes. The world seems to reward the superficial and the shallow. The world seems smitten by the popular. The world loves giving roses to those who sway and swoon perhaps a little too exaggeratedly. After getting over my annoyance that the school had thought it a “good idea” to encourage “romantic rose-giving” among young school graders (DUH???), I quickly re-assured my daughter of what she already knew, but

momentarily became insecure of: that her beauty goes beyond being gifted with roses. Way, way beyond. Aaah, those three special words: I love ME! What to do, if you don’t receive roses? Are alone on Valentine’s Day? Fall short of the “popular” mark? Do we wallow in self-pity? Suffer the blues in a peculiar shade of red, white and pink? Shoot a certain cherub with a crossbow, as a heart-eating zombie with no worthwhile purpose in life? No! We embrace our alone-ness. We find our own beauty and self-worth. We love who we are. Not in a Justin Bieber song “Love Yourself” kind of way. Nor in a Narcissistic Personality Disorder millennial kind of way – don’t shoot the messenger! Sadly for millenials, there are countless studies to back this up – but in a healthy self-respecting kind of way. AND… we spoil ourselves silly. We, after all, deserve it! “I LOVE ME!” The words may seem alien to you, and may take a while to roll off your tongue, but say them out loud; with feeling! We all too often speak negative words about ourselves, that we believe our own negativity and become our own biggest critics: “I’m so fat,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll never make it,” “I look awful,” “I’ll never be happy,” “I’ll never get that job/be rich/be successful,” are among the top ego-smashers we tell ourselves. We need to change all that and be our own biggest fan and learn to love – and cheer for – ourselves.

Goodbye, knight in shining armor (or, princess to kiss the poor frog, as the case may be) Hours are wasted, pining away for love; waiting to be loved; keeping our fingers crossed for love to find us. Like a princess holding out for a knight in shining armor, or a prince guised as a frog, waiting for that maiden’s kiss, yearning for that special love; meanwhile feeling empty, lost and incomplete without it. On that note, it is funny that most literature with which we grow up conditions little girls to passively wait for the knight, while little boys are trained to be pro-active in the search and throw grand parties and balls to that end (except, of course, for that poor Frog Prince, who had no choice). Thankfully, this is slowly changing, as long-held stereotypes are questioned and destroyed. We wait, empty and yearning for someone to fill the void. Some wait ‘til they’re blue in the face or the cows come home, whichever comes first; while others wait in vain – because that’s not usually how life works. To be loved, we must first have love to give. And this starts with loving yourself. Alone, but NOT lonely If Valentine’s Day rolls around and you find yourself alone, or you find yourself sans a bouquet of roses, do not despair. Instead, take a step towards loving yourself. Pamper yourself. Treat yourself to your day of shopping. Go on a movie or dinner date for one – and ENJOY it! Curl up and read that good book for which you never seem to have time. Or, find a friend and paint the town your own shade of red. And remember… you are worth it! Indulge in that pleasure, minus the guilt.




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

Austrian National Day A celebration of friendship Text and photos by VIA BAROMA


n commemoration of Austria’s declaration of neutrality after World War II and regaining its status as an independent country on Oct. 26, 1955, Austrian Ambassador Josef Mullner and wife, Mme. Kai Wang recently hosted a party to honor the auspicious occasion at the Mayuree Ballroom of Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati. The year 2016 also marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relation between Austria and the Philippines. Austrian presence in the Philippines was established as early as 1871, with the establishment of an Austro-Hungarian honorary consulate in Manila. Formal diplomatic relations between Austria and the Philippines was later established in 1946. “The strength of our nations lies with people-to-people contacts,” Ambassador Mullner said during his address, pointing out the excellent Austrain-Philippine relations rooted in friendship and shared values.

The two countries’ long-standing friendship is tied with mutual benefit and respect. Austria has opened its doors to about 30,000 Filipinos who are engaged, largely, in the health and service sectors. The same is true for more than 5,500 Austrian nationals that consider Philippines their home. “I’m happy to note that the Filipino-Austrian community launched the PhilippineAustria cultural and educational society with the scholarship program in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for the students in the Philippines,” DFA Undersecretary Linglingay Lacanlale shared. Apart from the toasts to friendship, the embassy announced the joint venture between Ayala Corporations and Austria’s leading motorcycle brand, KTM AG, which will start its production in the country. KTM Asia aims to assemble four motorcycle models with an initial capacity of 10,000 units annually that will double when fully operational.

Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely and Dutch Ambassador Marion Former Philippine Amb. to Russia Victor Garcia and Connie Garcia Derckx

Austrian Amb. Josef Mullner delivers his speech while Timor-Leste Amb. Juvencio de Jesus Martins and DFA Undersecretary Linglingay Lacanlale look on

Romanian Chargé d'Affaires Mihai Sion and Laura Sion

Former US Amb. Philip Goldberg; Monaco Consul Fortune Ledesma; and Portugal Consul Tony Rufino

South Korean Ambassador Kim Jae-Shin; Mme. Jong Min Lee (wife); US Chargé d'Affaires Michael S. Klecheski and New Zealand Ambassador Togo Consul Evie Costa; Connie Garcia; Monaco Consul Fortune Ledesma; Mme. Monthip Upatising; and Thailand Amb. Thanatip Upatising and Mme. Monthip Upatising David John Strachan

Mme. Kim del Mundo; Mme. Sylvia Van Remoortele; Ambassador (Ret.) Mme. Lizia Lu; Togo Consul Evie Costa; Guatemalan Consul Amelia British Amb. Asif Ahmad; Mme. Kim del Mundo; DFA Undersecretary Linglingay Lacanlale; Austrian Amb. Josef Mullner; and former President Fidel V Ablaza; Mme. Monthip Upatising and Angola Consul Helen Ong




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

A magical transformation In a metropolis filled with run-of-the-mill salons, Fanny Serrano Elite Salon in Makati Central Business District continues to set itself apart. Celebrated as a one-stop shop for every beauty and spa need, the salon boasts of top quality skin and hair treatments. Led by owners Peter and Ross Licup, Fanny Serrano Elite Salon recently launched the state of the art dermatological treatments line called “Exuviance,” which address problems like dryness, acne, and signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. Amidst refreshing cocktails and good conversation, the guests were treated to facials that catered to their specific dermatological needs. Indeed, Peter and Ross keep the Fanny Serrano promise: Every customer leaves the salon happier than when they first entered. Congratulations to the Fanny Serrano Elite Salon team for a successful event! Fanny Serrano Elite Salon is located at the 2nd floor of 818 Bldg. Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. For inquiries, call 772-81-26.

Nini Layug and Jayelles’ Roselle Rebano (second and third from left) pose beside Fanny Serrano Elite Salon makeup Your columnist, Fanny Serrano Elite owners Ross and Peter Licup with Joyce Co artist Ronie Eser as he undergoes the Sunetics Laser Program, a revolutionary hair loss treatment

Monaco consul general Dr. Fortune Ledesma, Peter Licup, Elaine Villar, and Georgette Wilson

Mache Torres-Ackerman, Lesley Geronimo, Marge Ortiz Luis, and Dr. Marietta Santos

DermAsia product specialist Edgar Elot gives Lesley Geronimo’s skin the Clarifying Acne and Pore Refining treatment, which clarifies acne-prone, blemished skin and minimizes the appearance of oiliness and enlarged pores

All the best of Boracay at Henann Regency With its pristine waters, powdery-white sand beaches and picturesque views, the breathtaking Boracay island continues to be the top choice for a fantastic getaway among local and foreign tourists alike. One’s stay in this renowned island paradise is made more enjoyable by triple A-rated resort Henann Regency Resort and Spa, the very first property of the county’s leading group of resort developers Henann Group of Resorts under the leadership of chairman Dr. Henry Chusuey, executive vice president Alfonso Chusuey and vice president for marketing Karl Chusuey. A leader in the Boracay resort scene, Henann Regency delivers only the best to its guests with its well-appointed rooms, first-rate amenities and top-notch service from its hardworking staff. A number of personalities from the diplomatic, business and social circles took their well-deserved breaks and had a pleasurable stay at the premier resort. Congratulations Dr. Henry Chusuey and team for making Henann Regency Resort and Spa the leading choice for a fantastic Boracay vacation! For inquiries, call the Manila office at (02) 523-1234 and the Boracay office at (036) 288-6111 to 17 or visit the website

Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong, Henann Group of Resorts vice president for marketing Karl Chusuey and Miss Earth Air 2015 Dayanna Grageda

Celebrity Sandara Park

Sprint Telecom director of worldwide telesales/ inside sales Glenn Marad

Swiss consul Hans Peter Bieri and family

Visionary Henann Group of Resorts chairman Dr. Henry Chusuey















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Compiled by VIA BAROMA



•Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations

•Ochanine leads PPO in February concert

Ongoing until Mar. 4; Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Blvd., Manila; for more information, email or call (02) 708-7829

Feb. 17; CCP Main Theater, Cultural Center of the Philippines; CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Magdalena Jalandoni, Malate, Pasay City; for more information, call the CCP Marketing Department (02) 832-1125 local 1806, the CCP Box Office (02) 832-3704 or TicketWorld (02) 891-9999

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET) recently launched a major exhibition on internationally acclaimed Filipino artist Ronald Ventura. Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations showcases a variety of Ventura’s works, from his lithograph prints during the 90s to his life-sized mechanical carousels of 2016. Curated by art scholar and critic Patrick D. Flores, Shadow Forest presents Ventura's complex and ever-evolving style that mixes figurative images, folklore, graffiti and pop culture, and incorporates a wide array of techniques and material explorations. Trained as a painter, this leading Filipino contemporary artist has ventured into three-dimensional art forms, further exploring his iconic figurative hyperrealism and multi-layered compositions. Shadow Forest is the most comprehensive solo exhibition to date of Ventura’s oeuvres. Mounting over 100 works of Ventura underscores the MET's efforts to amplify the Filipinos' sense of artistic and cultural heritage from the past, to the present and beyond, in contemporary global contexts and experiences. The collection is divided into 10 sections: Early Prints, Light box Series, the Carousel, Human Study Series, Constellation Series, STPI Prints, Small Sculptures, Drawings in Cloud, Bulul Series and Early Sketches. The exhibition is complemented by a special walkthrough, an interaction activity with the artist, a storytelling activity for kids, free guided tours and special offsite projects.

•Manuel Ocampo Early Works 1985-1994 Ongoing until Mar. 30; Archivo 1984 Gallery, Level 2, Warehouse 1, 2135 Chino Roces Ave., Makati; for more information, email Archivo 1984 Gallery is proud to present Manuel Ocampo Early Works 1985 – 1994—an exhibit featuring some of the artist’s most controversial works, which are on view for the first time in his home country. Ocampo studied fine arts at the University of the Philippines before moving to Los Angeles to study at California State University. He has exhibited extensively throughout the 90s with solo exhibitions at galleries and institutions throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Ocampo's compositions juxtapose leitmotifs from established western iconography, religious symbolism, Filipino kitsch, and even art history. His imagery is deeply rooted in its symbolic and satirical nature.

Former Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) music director Olivier Ochanine conducts the PPO This February. Program for the concert features P.I. Tchaikovsky’s “March Slave,” J. Haydn’s “Symphony No. 88 in G” and D. Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 10.” Regularly praised for his charisma on and off the podium, as well as for his breadth of orchestral repertoire, Ochanine is the youngest Music Director of the PPO in the orchestra’s history. A native of Paris, Ochanine began his term with the PPO during the 2010-2011 performance season, which saw the orchestra perform numerous Philippine premieres under his leadership.


•Digital Dimensions: Video Art Projections by Naoko Tosa Ongoing until Mar. 31; Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, cor. Ayala and Senator Gil J. Puyat Aves., Makati; for more information, call (02) 889-1234 or visit The Yuchengco Museum is pleased to present Digital Dimensions, featuring the video art projections of internationally renowned Japanese media artist Naoko Tosa, who was recently appointed as Japan Cultural Envoy 2016. Transforming the museum’s galleries into a scenic environment, Digital Dimensions: Video Art Projections by Naoko Tosa envelopes viewers in a sensual exploration of materials and ephemerality. The exhibition will feature Tosa’s Genesis video art series. Inspired by Rimpa, one of the major historical schools of Japanese painting with its 400-year legacy, Tosa plays with Zen concepts of chance through her use of Japanese color inks to generate solemn forms in water, the origin of all life. A pioneering feature of her practice is to introduce cuttingedge technology at the core of her creative process, playing with inks and dry ice captured by high-speed cameras. Her practice covers a wide range of areas from sculpture and visual arts to video art and digital art. Tosa also explores photography, media art, and software art. Digital Dimensions: Video Art Projections by Naoko Tosa is presented by Yuchengco Museum with the support of The Japan Foundation, Manila and with thanks to the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Government of Japan.

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FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

Valentine’s Day hacks for a happy heart By ANGIE DUARTE


nother Valentine’s Day is around the corner: Cupid lurks, waiting to divest poor, hapless, overly-romantic souls of their hard-earned money, at bow-and-arrow point. It’s true, I am generally not a fan of the highly-commercial spectacle that Valentine’s (like any other holiday, generally speaking) has become. Have you read my column yet? You’ll see what I mean. Shameless self-promotion aside, while I am not a huge believer in the commercial angle, or the romanticized notions that cause many people to beat themselves on the head with heart-shaped bludgeons, I AM a fan of spending quality time with yourself, or with those nearest and dearest to your heart. This, in my non-rose-coloredlenses viewpoint, is after all the true essence of any holiday. I am also a fan of celebrating in special ways that won’t necessarily send you to the poorhouse. If you’re planning some V-Day me-time, or special-someone time, or family-time, and if you want to make it extra-special without being extra-costly, then these tips are for you. Simply put, these are hacks for one heck of a Happy Heart’s Happening:

Eat at a hole-in-the-wall haven. If you do brave it and decide you’d rather eat out, opt for a yummy, out-of-the way (i.e., likely not crowded) hole-in-the-wall place you’ve never tried before – a little bit of research online will likely point you in the right direction.

Cook up a favorite dish. Dining doesn’t need to be out, at an expensive and presumably overcrowded restaurant, for it to be special. Whip up a well-loved meal either your own, or a family favorite. To make it even more special, do the prep-work and the clean-up together.

Be spontaneous! Put the fun back in the holiday by being as spontaneous as you wish. Dance, like no one’s watching, whether there’s music playing or not. Laugh out loud – everyone loves a happy heart! Drive to your favorite getaway; or hop on a bus to a quiet place on the outskirts of the

K.I.S.S. or Keep it Simple, Silly! Special does not mean complicated. Sometimes, the simple things in life are the best ones. Listen to cheesy love songs on the cheesiest radio station you can find, and sing along; belt these out, at the top of your lungs. Or, download a favorite playlist and do the same. We all love a little Karaoke action now and then! Some other simple yet special ways to celebrate: write special notes to each other, or to yourself, and stick these around the room; wear coordinated outfits for the day (this is the ULTIMATE in cheese!); share a bowl of spaghetti, ala Lady and the Tramp; treat yourself to a manipedi, or a professional shave (yes, guys, I am talking to you); rent a bicycle and ride it by the bay. The list is as endless as your creativity.

A Night of Valentine’s surprises at New World Makati Hotel

Champagne, red roses and live serenades… Treat your love to a Valentine’s Day dinner to remember at Café 1228! On Feb. 13 and 14, the restaurant will be set for romance and the buffet will be brimming with Valentine’s surprises like Chateaubriand carvery stations, whole baked fish, chocolate dipped strawberries, and much more. Toast to a wonderful Valentine’s with a

complimentary glass of Chandon champagne and red roses for the ladies, and turn up the romance with tableside serenades by a live violinist. Café 1228’s Valentine’s Buffet is priced at PhP2,650 per person including a complimentary glass of Chandon champagne. For Valentine’s Day reservations, call Café 1228 at (02) 811-6888 ext. 3388 and ask for Yhe.

city. Write a message on the peel of a piece of fruit (this works great with bananas), to declare your love. Play a game of Mystery Manila, or some other exciting “escape” game. Don some costumes; who cares if it isn’t Halloween yet? Give a potted plant instead of roses. Go watch the sun rise or set, with a nice glass of wine in hand. Hold hands. Give hugs – this is the best way to get one, in return! DIY means ILY. Forget store bought presents. Make something special – a USB filled with favorite songs (this is a neat gift to yourself, as well!); a poem you wrote; a cake or cookies you baked, for instance. Head to a bead shop and string your own bracelet. Revisit the old-fashioned way of writing with actual ink and paper, and pen a note or card. Frame a photo – an actual, printed one, in an actual frame, and not the digitized images we have gotten so accustomed to. Rediscover the beauty of words. Have your own Valentine’s Day Book Club or Spoken Word night. Read some poetry, or any other favorite book, out loud to each other. Again, this activity need not be done exclusively in a romantic context – this can be done as a family, or with a group of friends. Spending time with a good book is time well spent. An alternative, for those who prefer the “me-time” option? Listen to a good audio book while indulging in your

favorite sweet or Bacchanalian treat (or both!). Take a long, leisurely walk. Preferably somewhere scenic, or somewhere interesting. Hopefully someplace safe and clean, as well. Sadly, Metro Manila is in dire need of proper parks and green open spaces, but there are still some areas that exude a serene-enough, eye-catching enough ambiance (stroll through Bonifacio Global City and take in the awesome street art, for instance, or trek down to Paco Park, which is hopefully still worth the visit.) An alternative, for the more physically fit, would be to play a round of your favorite sport – the endorphins will give your V-Day an extra boost! Go old school. Draw. Paint a picture with crayons. Play a board game. Play charades. Leave the digital world behind for a day, and spend some time on analog activities. Ditch technology – it will still be there, in the morning. Spend the day with your beloved furry friends. If you’ve got pets, this is a great way to while the hours away. Have a picnic, pet(s) included. If you have no pets, consider going to a cat café or a dog park and allow the pets of others to amuse you. Let your love shine through, in all that you say or do. C-H-E-E-S-Y, I know. But isn’t that the whole point, after all?

Affordable Valentine’s happiness at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas Book your own private and cozy sanctuary any day until the end of February and get amazing discounts on room rates at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas. Simple yet pleasurable is the BED & BREAKFAST PACKAGE that consists of room accommodations, a filling breakfast buffet for two at the Richmonde Café, Wi-Fi access, and complimentary use of the Health Club’s gym and heated indoor pool. Rates are at PhP4,000 nett for a Deluxe Room, and PhP4,500 nett for a Junior Suite. Get happily intoxicated with love and the complimentary bottle of wine plus cheese platter when you reserve the VALENTINE’S ROOM PACKAGE for only PhP4,500 nett for a Deluxe Room and PhP5,000 nett for a Junior Suite. Package also includes breakfast buffet for two, Wi-Fi access, and use of the gym and pool. Have a euphoric dining experience on Feb. 14th at the Richmonde Café as it serves an Italian-inspired feast for lovers complete with an appetizer buffet, a salad bar, soup, entrée choice of either Grilled Salmon Steak or Rib-Eye Steak in Mushroom Sauce, and a luscious array of cakes, pastries, and fresh fruits at the dessert station as finale. This Valentine’s Dinner is priced at only PhP1,380 nett per person, inclusive of a glass of wine. For inquiries and reservations, call (02)

638-7777. Room bookings with instant confirmation and guaranteed best rates may also be made online via www.richmondehotelortigas.


FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017



Compiled by VIA BAROMA



•Chaos Nightclub: PARTY FAVOR

•The Great British Golf Tournament

Feb. 25; Chaos Manila, City of Dreams, Asean Ave. cor. Roxas Boulevard, Entertainment City, Paranaque; for VIP table reservations, call (0917) 886-3678 or email

Feb. 24; Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, Old Wack Wack Rd., Mandaluyong City; to register, please contact Yvette or Anne at or call (02) 5565232 loc. 102 or 848

Dress to impress and party hard as Chaos Nightclub celebrates its 2nd Anniversary with, Party Favor, one of the fastest rising names in dance music. His edgy style helped pioneer the festival trap genre, exhilarating and thrilling audiences and turning heads across the globe. Also known as Dylan Ragland, Party Favor, is currently making groundbreaking remixes for names such as Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, and Major Lazer. He is also behind chart topping original records such as “Bap U” (Mad Decent) and “Booty Loose” (Mad Decent). Chaos’ resident Madness makers, MVRXX and Jet Boado with MC Ronthug will also be performing at the festivities. Tickets are priced at PhP1,045

The British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP) once again invites you to its annual Great British Golf Tournament. A half day of competition, friendship, exciting awards and raffle prizes await BCCP members and non-members for an entry fee of PhP4,500 and PhP5,000 respectively. Non-playing guests may participate in the dinner buffet and festivities for only PhP1,200. Registration fees are inclusive of green fees, caddie fees and dinner buffet.


•Mabuhay Germany 2017: In Motion Feb. 18 to 19; Bonifacio High Street Central, BGC, Taguig; for more information, call (02) 519-8110 or visit www.philippinen.ahk. de Experience the best of Germany in one weekend with as Mabuhay Germany returns with “In Motion” a two-day festival of cultural celebration that features the most comprehensive showcase of German products, services, tradition and culture in the Philippines. Mabuhay Germany 2017 promises to give a sensorial immersion and provide the community with a taste of Germany—a world leader in technology, engineering and innovation. Visitors can seek opportunities at the German Job Fair and enjoy German sausages, beers and other delicacies from various concessionaires. A live band, DJ and acoustic performers will lively up the weekend. Mabuhay Germany 2017 has three main components - a car show, a job fair and a trade exhibition. The car show will put the spotlight on the latest models of top German car manufacturers like Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes Benz. The job fair will be a venue for German companies to hire on-site. GPCCI is partnering with Kalibrr, a job-matching online platform for job seekers and companies. The trade exhibition will feature companies engaged in consumer goods, automotive supplies, electronics and more.

•The Great British Festival Feb. 24 to 26; Bonifacio High Street, BGC, Taguig; for more information, visit their Facebook and Instagram accounts @ ukinthephilippines The Great British Festival is back bringing British flavor to the Philippines this 2017. Enjoy one of a kind entertainment, sumptuous gastronomic delights, street artists, art workshops, car displays, and the very best in British fashion only at the Great British Festival. Apart from the usual freebies, the festival will also be giving guests a chance to win six round trip tickets to the United Kingdom via Etihad Airways. Admission is free.

•Fringe Manila 2017 Ongoing until Feb. 26; Pineapple Lab/Cultural Center of the Philippines/Power Mac Centre Spotlight/Parc Foundation/Fringe Club Rooftop at Simcas; for more information, visit or email The much-awaited multi-arts festival, Fringe Manila, is back! The festival is set to unleash the metro’s unicorns this February across the streets and cultural hubs in Manila. For its third year, the festival is presented by Pineapple Lab, an arts and performance space in the heart of Poblacion, Makati. This 2017, festivalgoers can expect the comeback of Fringe Manila favorites such as the Daloy Dance Company, Deus Sex Machina, ADHD Productions, FEU Theater Guild, Airdance, Egg Theater Company, and more fresh exciting local and international artists coming together for one reason - to celebrate the arts. Moreover, Fringe Manila is excited to showcase its first-ever festival produced show dubbed as “The Virtual Womb” by Toronto-based Filipino-Canadian artist Maylee Todd. “The Virtual Womb” is a new breed of multimedia performance where audiences are welcomed into a larger than life vagina to experience a one-of-a-kind act that involves sound, music, and projection mapping. Fringe is also welcoming HATAW, a performance collective from Toronto in collaboration with the newly formed Burlesque PH who will be performing at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Another exciting Fringe produced program is the first ever Art Battle in cooperation with Fully Booked, a unique evening where contemporary painters will be battling out with their paints and brushes as the audience votes for the ultimate winner. For the ticket, visit

•Art Fair Philippines 2017 Feb. 16 to 19; 5F, 6F, 7F, Roofdeck, The Link Carpark, Ayala Center, Makati; for more information, visit or email secretariat@ Art Fair Philippines is the premier platform for exhibiting and selling the best in modern and contemporary Philippine visual art. Art Fair 2017 aims to mirror the vibrant local art scene and continue to generate support for Filipino art practitioners. Set in an alternative urban venue, Art Fair Philippines makes art accessible to enthusiasts and to those who want to discover one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting art landscapes. Tickets are priced at PhP250 for Regular; PhP50 for students with valid IDs; and free for Makati students with valid IDs




FEBRUARY 12-25, 2017

PhilFrance: Feel French! Yearlong program of activities set to bring the best of France to manila By VIA BAROMA


017 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between France and the Philippines. To celebrate this milestone, the Embassy of France, together with its institutional partners, launch PhilFrance: Feel French! – a yearlong festival of activities that aims to illustrate the growing political, economic and cultural cooperation between France and the Philippines through five key themes: Arts and Culture, Art de Vivre, the Youth and Knowledge, High Tech and Entrepreneurship, and Sharing Values. Arts and Culture Cultural and artistic cooperation is one of the top priorities of the French Embassy in the Philippines, which seeks to provide channels for exchanges between French and Filipino artists and venues for sharing French culture and art of Filipinos and vice versa. The French Film Festival and Fete de la Musique are two of the year’s most anticipated cultural events, gathering thousands of people to enjoy French cinema and celebrate music through performances by local artists and visiting French musicians. To mark the signing of the Treaty of Friendship in June, French pianist Francois Chaplin will be performing alongside

the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra for Ravel Unraveled, an evening of French classical music at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. PhilFrance: Feel French! will also offer a different perspective on the art of photography through the lens of the French. Photographer Christophe Loviny, who covered the historic EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986, will conduct a series of workshops on photojournalism for amateurs and professionals, culminating in a photo festival in November; while ethnophotographer Pierre de Vallombreuse’s images of the tribes of Palawan will give Filipinos a glimpse into their ancient history through an exhibit to be mounted at the National Museum. Art de Vivre Art de Vivre, literally translated as the “art of living,” represents the French lifestyle that focuses on the pleasures of gastronomy, fashion, sport and culture. The opening event of the PhilFrance: Feel French! on Feb. 13 brings French fashion designer Clivia Nobili to the Philippines for a series of workshops and fashion shows. Chefs in the Philippines will join 2,000 others all over the world to cel-

ebrate French cuisine in the third edition of Gout de France (Good France) on Mar. 21, while a special French weekend market called Bon Appetit! in September will offer fresh and organic ingredients needed to make the perfect French meal. Meanwhile, the annual Soiree Beaujolais organized by the French Chamber of Commerce in November brings the business community together once again for a night of wine, cheese and charcuterie. In July, Manila will have its own version of the famous Tour de France while French circus group Inextremiste will put up an unforgettable show of humor and acrobatics. The Youth and Knowledge The Francophonie Festival in March celebrates the French language through several events such as concerts, a poetry contest, a spelling contest and novel readings which will be organized in different schools and universities in the country. In line with 2015 Paris Climate Conference and the cooperation between France and the Philippines on sustainable development and climate change, the French oceanographer schooner TARA will come to the Philippines in 2017.

Sharing Values T h e celebration of the FrancoPhilippine friendship would not be complete without the promotion of human rights and democracy. In 2017, the French Embassy, together with French-Philippine NGOs, will put special emphasis on the rights of children, women empowerment, and solidarity among communities, three priorities which illustrate the French national motto: “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.” “The objective of PhilFrance: Feel French! is to give Filipinos all over the country the opportunity to feel France in various aspects of everyday life and to experience the strength of the friendship between our two countries,” beamed French Ambassador Thierry Mathou.

Tower 1

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Expat Newspaper Volume 35 No. 6 February 12, 2017 - February 25, 2017


Expat Newspaper Volume 35 No. 6 February 12, 2017 - February 25, 2017