THE PHILIPPINES’ FORUM FOR INTERNATIONAL READERS SINCE 1981
January 8-28, 2017 Vol. XXXV No. 4
STILL IN STORES
The sun rises over Pacific Farms, the largest salt farm in the country, makers of Salinas salt products. Through incredibly hard work and continuous innovation, Salinas products have risen to the top of their game, dominating the industry and reaching levels of global competitiveness. Despite the challenges posed by imported salt products, Salinas continues to be a beacon of hope for the salt industry and many Filipino-made brands in the country. Photo by Ching Dee
The rogue one: Beyond the drug war story T
Phl’s top tourism events feted By BERNARD L. SUPETRAN
A look at some of the pressing issues to keep an eye on this 2017 By TIMOTHY JAY IBAY
here was no such thing as a slow news day ever since President Rodrigo Duterte took office last June 30. His brash and controversial statements, along with his war on drugs dominated headlines for nearly all of the latter half of 2016, ushering in a new divide between his unyielding supporters and those taken aback by the President’s unorthodox ways. But coming into the new year, apart from his pronouncements (frequently referred to as jokes or hyperbole by his Cabinet members), there are a number of pressing matters that need to be addressed, as opposed
to being left subject to interpretation. The ‘war’s’ end game The numbers may vary depending on your source, but there is no doubt that Duterte’s war on drugs has been filled with bloodshed. A popular estimate by varying news outlets has the number of deaths attributed to the anti-drug campaign at around 6,000. According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), 2,165 deaths have come as a result of their official operations, often following the usual script of suspects being shot following “violent resistance” to
their arrests. The PNP also claims that the campaign has also resulted in the surrendering of 1,007,153 “drug personalities.” As a note, local village chiefs come up with the “narco lists” of suspected drug users and or peddlers. The police then visit the individuals’ homes and “plead” for them to "surrender. " Curiously, a good percentage of the victims of the drug war have already surrendered before their deaths. “Without a doubt, the President’s antidrug war is a success. It is evident we are hitting the mark in our campaign page 5 against illegal drugs,” Com-
he country’s booming tourism industry took center stage once again as the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines (ATOP) feted the top tourism events and personalities in the DOT-ATOP Pearl Awards as part of its recent 17th National Convention at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga. A collaboration between the Department of Tourism, the Tourism Promotions Board, and ATOP, the national group of local tourism officers, the prestigious award seeks to encourage excellence in promoting the culture of tourism in provincial, city and municipal levels. Awarded Best Tourism Events for Sports, Adventure and Wellness were La Union Surfing Break of La Union, the 16th National Scout Jamboree of Tagum City, Davao del Norte, and the Dolphin Watching and Bird Watching of Pupage 5
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Pit Señor! Cebu hails Sinulog 2017 By RICHARD RAMOS
t's that time of the year again when the Queen City of the South rocks the nation with its yearly Sinulog Festival; easily the biggest, most colorful, most patronized, and most aped festival in the country, which has been running for the past three and a half decades. The festival easily evokes images of multiple street dancing contingents, fanciful props, live concerts, interesting photo exhibits, cultural shows, and processions as the city erupts into nonstop merrymaking for a month-long celebration of the Child Jesus known locally as the Señor Santo Niño.
But more than just grandiose concerts, contests, and concoctions galore, the religious aspects cannot be over-emphasized as the very roots of the festival actually took place over five centuries ago when Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi gifted Filipino chieftain Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana with the Holy Image of the Child Jesus, thus setting the roots of Christianity all over the country. From a simple dance routine consisting of a dozen or so school contingents parading around the Abellana National School Quadrangle in 1981, the festival has slowly evolved
into an all-out extravaganza with as many as 70 dance contingents nationwide swaying throughout the city’s main thoroughfares nonstop in honor of the Señor Santo Nino every third Sunday of January. Win or lose, the dance contingents seemingly couldn’t care less despite the millions of pesos and sacrifices for props, fees, costumes, transportation, and provisions as long as they represented their locality or entity with pride. A vast majority of them always come back the following year, determined to slug it out again despite the escalating expenses. Diehard followers of the festival can’t help
but marvel at the new costumes and gigantic props year after year as the choreographers somehow discover novel concepts to work on. While Sinulog 2017 may just turn out to be the shortest and least crowded in years due to cutbacks in festival events and contingent participation, it remains to be seen whether crowd size is affected in general, or if the frenzy remains at a feverish pitch. Whatever your fancy, there is sure to be a handful of events to your liking in the Sinulog schedule of activities. See you at the parties!
Vibrant street dancing scene at Sinulog Photo courtesy of Ronald Tagra
By RICHARD RAMOS
My Travelogue held its three-day expo with over 40 travel participants at the SM Seaside City last December. This included the staging of slogan and postermaking activities, essay writing contest, and the selection of Mr. Tourism Ambassador. In an earlier press con the organizers, led by project director Stephanie Villahermosa, emphasized that the event focused on the long-lasting experience of travel gift checks and certificates as the ideal holiday present compared to material items which eventually break, get forgotten, or become obsolete; travel memories last for years and pass through generations. Lead body was My Eventology, best known for its staging of the Int’l Travel Fair last June in Ayala Center Cebu. Golden Prince Hotel and Suites held their New Year’s Eve Party with lively dancing, a pop-up bar, and a cocktail spread along with featured personalities such as Bernard Joseph Suzara, a renowned DJ; Toff Perater, the hotel’s coffee ambassador and resident barista; and Jimmy Durano, the hotel’s German chef. Setting was the Bulawan Luche, the hotel’s new rooftop venue. Other holiday features include Le Mon, the hotel’s allbuffet restaurant, which featured daily continental favorites from Dec. 1 to 23—Italian food on Monday, Spanish favorites on Tuesday, German viands on
Wednesday, Chinese cuisine on Thurs- Byment has recognized TIMOTHY JAY IBAY the increasing need day, Japanese treats on Friday, Peranakan to expand and better serve its clientele. dishes on Saturday, and Filipino smack- The place is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 ers on Sunday. p.m. for take-outs, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for diners. The two other branches 23 Minore Park, located along Pope are located at the Mactan Promenade in John Paul II Avenue in Mabolo, hosted Lapu-lapu City near the airport, and at the inauguration of the International the Ridges Arcade along Panagdait near Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Convention the Sykes Building. Center Cebu, or IC3. Formerly known as the IEC Pavilion, this structure is the Lenovo Group Ltd. seeks a bigger share biggest of its kind in the Visayas and of the digital market by expanding its Mindanao regions with a seating capac- product portfolio and further developing ity of over 10,000. Better known as the its mobility devices to compete more efsite of the 51st IEC held last January fectively in the field. Formerly known for 2016, the full-fledged convention center its desktops and laptop units, the comis now ready to host meetings, concerts, pany has since acquired the Motorola exhibitions, and other social gatherings. brand and has renamed it to “Motoforce” Soon to rise nearby next year is the first to propel its cellphone devices along Landers Superstore in Cebu and the 23 with its new logo. With the shrinking Minore Park Hotel for a seamless inte- sales of PC units due to the popularity of gration along with the central park. De- smartphones, the company now targets veloper is Duros Land Properties, mem- the younger crowd of teens and Generaber of the Duros Group of companies. tion Y by way of its junior brand heartthrobs, James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Rico’s Lechon opened its third and larg- The number of provincial stores has also est branch at the Axis Entertainment risen to 21, from its first branch in SM Ave., Vibo Place, N. Escario St. The two- City Cebu last 2008, with more to open storey facility features a 100-seating ca- in Mindanao and Baguio. pacity dining area, plus a function room of equal seating capacity. Aside from the 1st Philippine Sports Tourism Awards regular and spicy lechon, the place also (PSTA) awarded three Cebu-based enserves a host of delicious native dishes tities for their landmark achievements along with its exclusively manufactured in the field of sports. The Ironman 70.3 vinegar to spice up the menu. Manage- Triathlon 2015 was named Event of the
Year (International), while the Province of Cebu was adjudged Destination Marketing of the Year. The Cebu southern municipality of Tabuelan led by its Mayor Rex Gerona also won Event of the Year (Domestic) for the hosting of the Tabuelan 111 triathlon event. The PSTA was pioneered by Selrahco Management, a Cebu-based destination marketing and promotions specialist. Co-presenters were the Department of Tourism, Philippine Sports Commission, Tourism Promotion Board, PAGCOR, Cebu Pacific and Resorts World Manila. Smart Padala is calling on Cebuanos to avail of entrepreneurial opportunities in the province and the entire Visayas region. One can simply qualify to be a Smart PadalaKa-partner by putting up their own Smart Padala centers in public places within their own communities. Requirements are simple with no processing or application fees. Other complementary services include selling telco load, topping up of PayMaya and Smart Money accounts, and facilitating bills payment. They also enjoy support in the form of 24/7-customer care service, store merchandising, operations support, regular promos and incentives, and networking with over 15,000 counterparts nationwide. One simply calls (02) 845-7777 or 15177 using their Smart number to avail of the services.
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JANUARY 8-28, 2017
Miss Universe bets swing by Siargao
he first batch of 12 Miss Universe 2016 delegates recently visited Siargao Island, regarded as the country’s surfing mecca, to kick off the pageant’s promotional tour around the country’s top tourist spots. Contestants were hosted for lunch by the triple-A Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa, the Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte headed by Gov. Sol Matugas, the First District Congressional Office under Rep. Bingo Matugas, the Department of Tourism-Region 13, and government and private stakeholders in Siargao. Miss Philippines Maxine Medina led the 12 candidates who visited the famed Cloud 9 surfing spot in Gen. Luna town, acclaimed as the world's eighth best surfing site by the CNN Go travel portal.
She was joined by Miss USA Deshauna Barber, Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Htun, Miss Korea Jenny Kim, Miss China Li Zhenying, Miss Vietnam Ngo Tra My, Miss New Zealand Tania Dawson, Miss Japan Sari Nakazawa, Miss Indonesia Kezia Roslin Cikita Warouw, Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane, Miss Australia Caris Tiivel, and Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal. The ladies tried their hand in surfing and described the island’s pristine charm as “paradise-like.” Aside from the surf site, its other tourist spots include Magpupungko Rock in Pilar, the 4,000-hectare mangrove forest and Sugba Cove in Del Carmen, Bucas Grande Island in Socorro, and a series of powdery beaches, scuba diving sites, waterfalls, skimboarding spots and scenic viewpoints.
Citing trade possibilities, Sweden reopens Manila Embassy By VIA BAROMA
eeing great possibilities for trade cooperation with the Philippines, Sweden recently reopened its embassy in Manila, eight years after it was closed in 2008 due to budget cuts of its government caused by the global crisis. Last November, a high-level inauguration ceremony, headed by Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Mikael Damberg, took place at Del Rosario Law Center, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Also present at the ceremony were representatives of Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and top executives of Swedish firms and businesses. As pointed out by Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries, the reopening of the embassy marks a new era of a strengthened SwedePhilippine relationships, as well as a deeper and enhanced commitment with the Philippines in the field of trade and people-topeople engagement in recognition of the
astonishing economic development of the Philippines over the past several years. “We have seen Sweden’s interest in the country as we welcome their largest delegations from various Swedish companies,” said Trade and Industry Undersecretary Nora Terrado. Over 70 business delegates from 28 Swedish companies arrived in the country as part of the biggest Swedish business delegation ever brought to the country. “The Swedish are known for their quality products and innovative solutions. We look forward to future partnership with them and heightened trade relations that will generate more jobs for Filipinos,” Terrado added. According to the DTI, Sweden ranked as the Philippines’ 43rd trading partner (out of 223), 59th export market (out of 211), and 36th import supplier (out of 203) in 2015. Total bilateral trade amounted to US$143.40 million.
Philippine Trade and Industry Undersecretary Nora Terrado (third from left) and Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg (second from right) lead the ribbon-cutting ceremonies of the newly reopened Embassy of Sweden in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Joining them are Transportation Undersecretary Raoul Creencia (far left), Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Ma. Cleofe Natividad and Swedish Ambassador-Designate Harald Fries.
Miss Universe bets at Siargao Bleu Photo by George Tapan
Bank of China to boost SME growth in Phl By RICHARD RAMOS
elected small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country will soon learn to be globally competitive and gradually absorb the tricks of the trade as the Bank of China (BOC) promises to help uplift the plight of such enterprises en route to a winwin situation for both parties. More than just utilizing moneymaking methods, the BOC seeks the long-term approach where focus lies in helping SMEs grow to their full potentials, while the bank reaps the benefits of open markets and enhanced trade relationships in the near future. At the same time, the BOC would also caution SMEs on the pitfalls and common errors in cross-border trade and investment negotiations to ease the growth pains and enhance the preparation level of the more mature SMEs. This was revealed in a roadshow held by the BOC in a posh Mactan resort where Wang Jian, general manager of SME Service Department of the BOC Head Office, delivered an introductory presentation on the basics of SME cross-border matchmaking services. The downside Jian acknowledged the fact that financing for SMEs is difficult and expensive, even for advanced countries, as banks prefer to lend to bigger and more established parties which have a proven track record in their financial deals. “This is a worldwide problem, not just in the Philippines. SMEs are regarded as a risk to loans. They have an unproven track record to pay. Besides, there are also ecological problems such as climate change to be considered,” he said. Other pitfalls are the language barrier, assumptions that prominent Filipino companies are known globally, difficulties in choosing partners and fitting locations, unfamiliarity with policies and regulations, and the absence of an intermediary. The upside Jesus Varela, director general of the Inter-
national Chamber of Commerce-Philippine chapter, cited that President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent visit to China resulted in the BOC’s pledge of US$3 billion to Philippine SMEs, thus serving to uplift the hopes of the entrepreneurial sector. “The BOC have walked their talk. Business-to-business talks have already reached 2,000 companies based in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. We look forward to similar activities in the Philippines this year, as well as the free flow of ideas, services, and goods,” he beamed. Shi Yong, China Consular General in Cebu, pointed out that the entry of the BOC will result in a vast improvement of Philippine-China ties and bring about regional peace and positive energy in the region. “The BOC is one of the top banks in the world. The strategic cooperation agreement will bring impetus to mutually beneficial trade agreements between both nations. I wish great success to this event,” he declared. The BOC will hold SME cross-border matching activities in Singapore and the Asean Ministers Meeting in the Philippines on March 2017 on two separate occasions and will invite Philippine companies to participate. These matching events are an addendum of BOC’s five-year agenda with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information for promoting SMEs to grow on a global scale. The agenda also includes establishing contact between local branches and BOC branches, enforcement of information sharing, and the offer of cross-border matchmaking service. According to The Banker, the Bank of China ranks fourth in the world among international banks with assets amounting to US$2.59 trillion. Fortune ranks BOC as no. 45 among the world’s top 500 enterprises in 2015. Regarding cross-border matchmaking, BOC’s coverage stretches over five continents, 60 countries and regions, and 30 provinces and cities in China.
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The rogue one: Beyond the...from page 1 munications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a press release. But what is the mark? Is there a quota to be reached? If you want to quash the “drug menace,” shouldn’t you attack major manufacturers and suppliers as opposed to users mired in poverty? Andanar also said that the second phase of the drug war would focus more on rehabilitation. How this all plays out would be interesting to note as the year rolls on. ‘Change is coming’ Apart from eradicating drugs and crime in three to six months, the promise of change was the foundation of Duterte’s presidential campaign. But apart from the impassioned rhetoric from the President, what changes have actually been set in motion? Recently, Senator Panfilo Lacson decried that in the approved 2017 national budget, lawmakers would be keeping their “graft-ridden” pork barrel, where as reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, some congressmen get allocations of PhP1.5 to PhP5 billion each for their pet projects. “Change is coming? Maybe, but it’s pork allocations changing hands from the Liberal Party congressmen to those from Mindanao,” Lacson said. “I am not stupid. Filipinos are not stupid. They are just resigned, I think. After all these years that I and my staff scrutinize the budget books year in and year out, I know pork when I see it.” Davao City Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles denied Lacson’s claims, saying that the latter was “confused” about the PhP3.35-trillion 2017 budget being riddled with pork barrel insertions. In 2013, the Supreme Court declared
unconstitutional the Priority Development Assistance Fund—funds drawn from the national budget to finance projects identified by legislators. Breadth and taxes Another key issue worth keeping an eye on is the administration’s proposed tax reform. Split into five packages, the first one plans to reduce income tax rates, while offsetting the losses by removing exemptions from valued added tax and increasing fuel excise taxes, among other means of increasing tax revenue. As reported by Business World, The International Monetary Fund (IMF), for one, has said that the set of changes proposed is on the right track to a more progressive taxation that would lead to raising additional funds to support a hike in public investments. According to the finance department, the PhP127.4 billion in losses from the lowered income tax rates will be offset by the PhP301.6 billion from the expanded value tax base and the adjusted excise taxes for cars and fuels—an estimated net gain of PhP174.2 billion In the tax reform proposal, tax rates for those earning less than PhP3 million a year will decrease annually until it reaches the 25 percent threshold. Those making more than PhP5 million on the other hand will be subjected to a tax rate of 35 percent, while those earning PhP3-5 million annually will remain at 32 percent. As noted by Business World, having the highest income tax rates in Southeast Asia makes the Philippines a less attractive investment target for foreign firms.
On the other hand, the administration is reportedly intent on imposing a tax of PhP6 per liter on diesel, while tax on gasoline is expected to be raised to Php10 from PhP4.35. Marikina Representative Romero Quimbo said that the planned move would be tantamount to giving with its right hand (lowering income taxes), while taking away with its left hand. “They want to withdraw tax exemptions of senior citizens and persons with disability. They will tax diesel, which public and most transport vehicles use. They will tax cooking gas. They want to collect higher tax
on gasoline and cars. These levies will hit not only the middle class but low income earners as well,” the Congressman said. Other items to be taxed under the proposal to make up for the lower income taxes are holiday, overtime, night shift differential, hazard, and 13th month pays. “Since the burden of excise taxes on petroleum products cascades to the ultimate consumer or the general public, the brunt of the tax is borne by ordinary people who constitute the bulk of the consuming public who will not benefit from the tax package,” Albay Representative Edcel Lagman pointed out.
Phl’s top tourism...from page 1 lupandan, Negros Occidental. In the Festival Category, Panaad Festival of Negros Occidental, Ibong Dayo of Balanga City and the “Kneeling Carabao Festival” of Pulilan, Bulacan, garnered top honors. Negros Occidental, Sagay City (Negros Occidental) and Mogpog, Marinduque were named for the Best Tourism Month/ Week Celebrations. The Province of Negros Occidental, the City of Tagum, and the Municipality of Palompon (Leyte), emerged as the Best Tourism-Oriented Local Government Units. Voted as Best Tourism Campaigns were the Cave Conservation Program of Compostela Valley, and Kamustahang Turismo sa mga Barangay of Tabuk City (Kalinga). Moreover, Angeles City and Silay City (Negros Occidental) were cited for their heritage conservation projects, which have pre-
served historic ancestral structures. Palina Greenbelt Ecopark of Roxas City (Capiz) received a citation for Best Practices in Community-Based Responsible Tourism. Named Most Outstanding Tourism Officers were Irene Magallon of Sta. Barbara (Iloilo), Arlene Ethel Odiem of Tabuk City, and Gilbert Marin Iloilo Province, while Iloilo Tourism Officers Association (ITOA) was cited Most Outstanding Tourism Officers Organization. ATOP National President Alphonsus Tesoro said the three-day meet bore the theme “Tourism for All: Promoting Universal Accessibility” based on the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s thrust of providing accessibility for all to tourist facilities, products, and opportunities especially to persons with disability (PWDs).
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JANUARY 8-28, 2017
Go with the flow at Agos by Chef Tatung
Get a historical culinary experience by one of the country’s premier food advocates Text and photos by CHING DEE
hef Myke ‘Tatung’ Sarthou is a celebrity culinarian, TV host and the bestselling author behind “Philippine Cookery: From Heart to Platter.” He is also the proud owner of Agos, the newest Filipino restaurant at the SM Mall of Asia. In English, ‘agos’ means ‘flow,’ usually referring to bodies of water, which is aptly reflected in the restaurant’s extensive menu and interiors of various shades of blue with light wooden accents. “Agos explores the culinary exchanges brought by the galleon trade and beyond,” Chef Tatung tells Expat. His desire to encourage a deeper and more meaningful discourse about Filipino food gave birth to Agos. According to Chef Tatung, his restaurant celebrates Filipino food in the global scene. The history of Filipino cuisine maybe long and somewhat complicated, but worry not, we’re here to help you decide what to get at Agos for the ultimate global Pinoy culinary experience.
Tuna Kinilaw Luscious tuna, pomelo, ginger, garlic, onion with tangy and spicy chili vinegar, served with various gourmet salts from Aroen—a great way to whet your palate for Filipino global cuisine. Chicken Sisig Lettuce Wrap Chef Tatung's tasty chicken sisig (a lighter sisig alternative, we must admit) served with crispy taro shoelace strings, shredded purple cabbage and fresh lettuce. The savory experience is heightened with their sweet mango sauce. This dish is a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds. Lumpiang Sariwa Chef Tatung takes Lumpiang Sariwa (fresh spring rolls) to the next level with homemade flavored crepes! Green is infused with pandan, while purple is ube (purple yam). Each crepe is a parcel of sautéed vegetables. It goes perfectly well with their sweet and savory peanut sauce.
Zarzuela Zamboangueña Seafood lovers will fall head over heels with Chef Tatung's Zarzuela Zamboangeña: A platter of seafood (shrimp/prawns, fish, clams, mussels; another variant features Curacha or spanner crab) in black Tausug curry (burned coconut and curry paste)—a musttry foodie experience at Agos. Three-Cheese Bibingka Delight Any Pinoy dining experience won't be complete without a decadent dessert. At Agos, there’s Chef Tatung's Three-Cheese Bibingka Delight: A gooey cassava treat topped with cheese and served with sinfully rich salted egg custard. Agos is located at GF Entertainment Mall North Wing, Mall of Asia, Pasay City. They are open from Monday to Sunday, 10a.m. to 10p.m. For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 8891462. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @AgosMOA.
Nikki Joy Habana Macjanry Imperio Design & Layout Our Headquarters: Unit 305 Cristina Condominium, 143 Legaspi cor. V.A. Rufino St., Legaspi Village, Makati City Our telephone numbers: (+632) 840-2996 or (+632) 812-0987; Fax (+632) 840-2988 You can also reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and for sales and advertising: email@example.com 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 lighter way to enjoy a Kapampangan classic Chicken Sisig Lettuce Wraps
Zarzuela Zamboangueña is every seafood lover's dream
Marina Seaview—a look-sea at high dining By RICHARD RAMOS
laces to eat vary greatly from places to dine. Places of view takes precedence over indoor dining places. New looks, fresh touches, delightful tastes. Light is dimmed within the place, but sparkles from beyond. Two bridges not too far separating two cities. Gleaming at twilight, shining at nightfall. Located near the Cebu Yacht Club in Mactan Island, the brand new Marina Seaview offers a refreshing locale for food enthusiasts seeking something different. Something out of the ordinary. Something that offers an appetite-enhancing view. With lots and lots of room. Creating quite a splash in the dining realm. Making waves for the picky eater. And we don’t just mean the reference to the nearby aquatic waters. In the words of Anthony Ballreich, one of the four owners, no concept in Cebu and Mactan comes close. A year in preparation and concept visualization has finally bore fruit. Prime location, premium food, premiere ambiance… let’s examine the numbers. The expanse A 700-seating capacity restaurant; 1,500 square meters of indoor AND outdoor space; three-level outdoor dining; 250-person ball-
room capacity; PhP600 to PhP800 per head for buffet functions; and one upcoming Ocean Jet Terminal—all conveniently located near the airport, beside a newly-opened mall, and just a few dozen meters from the outdoor bar. While the numbers certainly say a lot, its visual appeal add to it even more. The new sprawling structure evokes amnesia as to the previous tenant restaurant. The open glassedin high ceilings and luxe interiors speak of multiple-star levels. Add on the soothing live entertainment of jazzy tunes and instrumentals of an experienced duo as appetizers to a memorable repast. The grub Menu consists of high-grade steaks, pasta, ribs, soups, pizza, and other continental selections. The US tenderloin steak was quite flavorful and came in generous proportions. A couple of bites were enough to convince any diner of its authenticity, while the hickory ribs was an absolute smash, which comes with sauce and literally falling off the bone. Now that’s the ideal way to
dine! Marina Seaview by Blue Elephant. The latter is a highly regarded rooftop resto bar situated atop Apple One Tower beside Ayala Center that offers prime cuisine and a panoramic view of the shimmering metropolis. The views and reviews just can’t get any loftier as tens of hundreds of satisfied diners can only agree. The cuisine and the scenery’s fight for supremacy results in a win-win situation for the customer.
A sparkling view of Marina Seaview's interiors
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And so it has come to this. 2016 is over — thank goodness — and 2017 has come. A new dawn, a new beginning. While most are busy sticking to their New Year's resolution, here's a little something for those who are itching to literally get moving. Here are five unforgettable destinations you can explore this year whether you're looking for adventure, relaxation, or making a difference. Text and photos by CHING DEE
For the mystery seeker: SIQUIJOR
For the ultimate adventurer: SAGADA, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE
Vast karst and limestone formations in Sagada, Mt. Province
Sagada is no longer this small remote town where few dare to tread. Thanks to a local rom-com movie and sensationalism, tourism in Sagada boomed beyond imagination. Traffic became an actual thing (especially in the summer), more hotels and restaurants opened, roads were paved and widened (sometimes at the cost of decades-old trees), crowds of tourists became a norm—even on weekdays. However, despite all that has changed, Sagada is still best explored for its rugged beauty hidden behind limestones and trees. But exploring nature’s beauty comes at a price, for Sagada's demand for physicality is not for the weak. A seven-hour day trek around Sagada allows visitors to push their bodies to the limit and explore nature’s wonders like the breathtaking (literally and figuratively) Marlboro Mountain, the vast Echo Valley, their very own Underground River, and the small but mighty Bokong Falls. Saint Mary’s Cemetery and Sagada’s famous Hanging Coffins are also included in the trek. Lace up your hiking boots, it’s going to be epic. Getting there: Coda Bus Lines (Quezon City) has daily trips straight to Sagada (3 p.m. and 9 p.m., schedule may change depending on availability of buses) and vice versa. One trip takes about 12 hours. Another possible route is a six-hour bus ride to Baguio City from Cubao, Pasay City, or Sampaloc, Manila; then take another five-hour bus ride from Baguio to Sagada. For easier online booking of bus tickets, check out www.PinoyTravel.com.
For the insatiable foodie: PAMPANGA
Despite numerous delectable regional dishes in our 7,107 islands, Pampanga is still best known as the culinary capital of the Philippines. While some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, most Kapampangans (people from Pampanga) are born with a silver spoon in their hand — ready to eat and savor the goodness of their local cuisine. Every foodie must make a pilgrimage to Pampanga, the birthplace of the proverCrispy Shrimp Okoy from Cafe Fleur in bial Sisig: grilled and chopped pork face, Angeles City, Pampanga ears, and innards mixed. Trust me (and Anthony Bourdain), it tastes way better than it sounds. Aside from this pork-tastic treat, Pampanga is also home to local delicacies like tamales and tokwa’t baboy (tofu and pork). Their local kakanin (rice cakes) are also worth lining up for, especially as a take home gift for friends and family. One day in Angeles City is definitely not enough to experience the best it has to offer and a tour around the province will reveal more culinary treasures than one can expect, but if you’re looking for a good place to start this delicious and fullfilling journey, you can never go wrong with the city of angels. Getting there: From Cubao, Pasay, or Sampaloc (Manila), take a bus and get off at the Dau Bus Terminal. From Dau, Angeles City is just one 20-minute jeepney ride away.
For the volun-tourist: SAN FELIPE, ZAMBALES
MADTravel 'voluntourists' traverse a river in laharladen Zambales
Siquijor is a place of gentle and friendly people. Stories and lore about witchcraft and paranormal creatures still abound, but once you experience the Island of Fire for yourself, you will understand that some stories are true and some stories are just folklore. Even better, you get to create your own stories once you’re The picturesque, three-tier there — stories of advenCambugahay Falls of Siquijor ture, relaxation, and communing with nature. There are two ways to explore Siquijor: the mountain route, which includes visits to faith/herbal healers and households that still practice witchcraft; and the coastal route, which highlights the island’s pristine beaches. From the marvelous to the mystical, Siquijor has something to offer to quench your wanderlust. Getting there: Major airlines fly from Manila to Dumaguete daily. From Dumaguete, Siquijor is just a one-hour ferry ride away from the Dumaguete Port. The main mode of transportation around the island is tricycles, whose fare is regulated by the local government, so fare is standardized depending on your destination.
For the intrepid explorer: PALAUI ISLAND, CAGAYAN Just getting there already requires dedication, commitment, and the wanderlust of a hungry explorer. Roughly 18 to 20 hours from Manila by bus is Palaui Island in the northern province of Cagayan. Palaui offers breathtaking views and picturesque landscapes from sea to summit — just make sure to check the weather forecast when you visit. The island itself is filled The view from Cape Engaño in Palaui Island with several points of interest like Cape Engaño, a 120-year-old lighthouse built in 1892; Anguib Beach with its fine, white sand and unbelievably blue waters where visitors could do various aquatic activities like jet skiing and kayaking; and Crocodile Island, which gives you a 360-degree view of all surrounding islands. Getting there: From Sampaloc, Manila or Cubao, Quezon City, take a 15-hour bus ride to Tuguegarao City in Cagayan Valley. Major airlines also fly to Tuguegarao daily from Manila. From Tuguegarao’s city center, there are daily trips to Santa Ana (do not expect an airconditioned van), which is three hours away. From Santa Ana Port, Palaui Island’s residential area Punta Verde is just a 20-minute boat ride. Take note: Visits to Palaui Island must be arranged and scheduled in advance and most boats do not depart beyond 4 p.m. For easier online booking of bus tickets, check out www.PinoyTravel.com.
If you’re looking for adventure in unspoilt islands, surfing thrilling waves all day, or experiencing the ways of an ancient indigenous tribe, Zambales has you covered. Through MADTravel, a social enterprise built on the premise of “voluntourism” (volunteer + tourism), Raf Dionisio and Tom Graham merged their advocacy for reforestation and improving the lives of the Aetas of Sitio Yangil, one of the smallest and farthest communities in San Felipe, Zambales. Sitio Yangil is as basic as it gets: No electricity, no plumbing (save for one comfort room in the sole classroom in the area), and no frills. Yet, despite the absence of such modern comforts, the Aetas of Yangil smile with the contentment of having what they need and making the most out of it. The voluntourism experience includes home cooked lunch with the locals, tree planting, trekking through lahar and rivers, a visit to the sitio’s tree nursery (if the weather permits), and dinner at the chieftain’s house. And that’s just day one. Day two of the trip is all about fun under the sun: Surfing (or surfing lessons) and island hopping through Zambales’ pristine isles and beaches. Getting there: For the ultimate Zambales “voluntourism” experience with the Aeta community of Sitio Yangil and Banawen in San Felipe, Zambales, check out MAD Travel and Tours at www.madtravel.org.
E X P AT N E W S P A P E R
T R AV E L
JANUARY 8-28, 2017
Text by TIMOTHY JAY IBAY / Photos courtesy of KLARA FERNANDEZ and Bluewater Sumilon
ounging about from any part of Sumilon Island and taking in the seascape, it’s impossible to miss the distinct warmth and serenity that surrounds – one that exudes a sense of exclusivity, whilst also allowing for absolute accessibility. The 24-hectare coral island is home to Bluewater Sumilon – an unassuming, yet naturally blessed tropical haven some 10 minutes from the southeastern tip of Cebu. Its proximity to the Cebuano mainland has made it a requisite pit stop when touring southern Cebu and the neighboring resort towns and provinces. The Bluewater brand – with properties in Maribago in Cebu and Panglao in Bohol – has long prided itself on being able to provide the best in Filipino hospitality, set in their distinct rendering of organic elegance.
And with Bluewater Sumilon sprawling both in its expanse and charm, falling in love with their island vibe is but a certainty. Add to that the fact that when the resort’s staff says “your welcome,” you feel it in your heart that they truly mean it. Ace of space Elegant spaces are a staple at all Bluewater resorts, but Sumilon perhaps takes the proverbial cake in this regard. Their Deluxe rooms (which start at around US$300 a night) all have their own private verandas – allowing you an utterly soothing view of the sea with the Cebu mainland as the backdrop, upon whim as long as the sun has yet to set. Take away the island’s pristine shifting sandbar (changes form depending on the season), its white sands and tranquil lagoon – and
it would still be difficult to feel shortchanged. When all you need is a bit of music, libation of the ice-cold ilk, and (if you’re lucky) lovely company, then you’d much prefer that life stand still as you thank the universe for the peace in your soul that has you feeling #blessed. But of course, that isn’t the case, as all of the fore mentioned – along with an island trail, glamping area and marine sanctuary – all come together for a tropical cocktail of soothing island views, tranquil seas, lush tropical forests, generous space and utter peace of mind. Touch point For all its natural gifts, complemented by Bluewater’s brilliant organic design, vital in Sumilon’s elevation into a can’t-miss destination for anyone in the region is how accessible it is from virtually all of its island brethren.
Apart from having the southeastern tip of Cebu in plain sight, the university city that is Dumaguete is just a bit farther away (about 15 minutes by boat), while famed tourist destinations Siquijor, Panglao and Apo Island, among others, are what surrounds. So while a couple to a few days stay may be ample rejuvenation from the daily grind, should you have the luxury, Sumilon is an excellent base/stepping stone for all the holiday adventures to be had in this region of Visayas. Main draw But of course, for all the innate beauty to be soaked in, there is no doubting that the area would not enjoy the explosion in popularity that it has if not for a part of the Oslob waters being a migratory highway for whale sharks. Since 2012, swimming with these amazing
E X P AT N E W S P A P E R JANUARY 8-28, 2017
T R AV E L
GETTING THERE There are two ways to get to Sumilon Island. If you’re staying at the resort, the easiest way is to take a one-hour flight to Dumaguete. From there, make your way to Sibulan Port (shouldn’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes), then a boat going straight to Sumilon Island should be arranged for you by the resort. You can also book your own boat going straight to Bluewater Sumilon. Otherwise, from Sibulan, catch a boat going to Liloan, Santander in Cebu before catching another boat that brings you to Sumilon. You can also fly to Mactan Airport in Cebu. It will take three to four hours by land going all the way to the southeastern tip of Cebu. From there, take a boat going to Sumilon Island. For more information, visit www. bluewatersumilon.com.ph or call (0917) 790-6260
gentle giants have placed Oslob and its surrounding area’s tourism economy on steroids, with the income stemming from the “butandings” reportedly amounting to PhP200 million (about US$4 million) in 2015. And that’s not counting the restaurants, resorts, transportation and other related revenue streams. And while the jury is still out on how the high-impact tourism will ultimately affect the whale sharks, there is no question what an incredible experience it is to be extremely up close to those majestic beings. A couple of waterfalls make up other notable attractions just a short drive from Tanawan, Oslob. One is Tumalog Falls (also in Oslob), perfect for cooling down from the
1) Bluewater Sumilon's infinity pool offers a soothing seascape and total chill
whale shark mingling high. And for the more adventurous, there’s Aguinid Falls in Samboan Cebu, where a bit of canyoneering is required to get up to the fifth level (and should you dare, there are a few more levels you can try to scale). And of course, you can always take the southern Cebu loop on your way back to Mactan (if that’s where your flight back is) and experience other popular sites like Moal Boal and Kawasan Falls. That’s another part of the beauty of Sumilon, it could be at the start, end or anywhere in between your Visayan travel itinerary, and it wouldn’t feel anything less than a welcome, gorgeous stop.
2) And the chill carries on at the resort's beach area 3) We pray to the heavens that we put in the proper regulations to allow us to keep swimming with the amazing whale sharks 4-5) And once you do decide to retire to your rooms, the charm is never lost 6) Fancy a few drinks while staring at the sea, check 7) Kayak to the resort's high-mangroves, quite the tranquil workout 6
8) Aguinid Falls provide fun adventure
E X P AT N E W S P A P E R
JANUARY 8-28, 2017
Celebration of pride and culture The 86th Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National Day By VIA BAROMA
n commemoration of the unification and founding of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Abdul Aziz bin Saud in 1932, Ambassador Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Bussairy hosted a celebration party at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. During the auspicious occasion, guests were treated to renowned Saudi Arabian cuisine, as the wealthy Middle Eastern nation showcased its rich culture and history. Ambassador Abdullah Bussairy commemorated the success Saudi Arabia achieved after the long struggles and battles fought, from the times of founder King Abdulaziz to the present day under the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. In his speech, the Ambassador cited the growing ties between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The two countries have maintained formal diplomatic relationship since Oct. 24, 1969 – one that has remained vibrant through the years. “Since the establishment of our diplomatic relations, the Philippines has close ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is our top trading partner in the Philippines and
hosts nearly 900,000 of our Overseas Filipino Workers,” Department of Foreign Affairs Acting Secretary Linglingay Lacanlale said. Lacanlale also expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for its support and assistance extended in the repatriation of Filipinos from Yemen. She pointed out that the repatriation of Filipinos was made possible through the assistance by Saudi authorities to the officials of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the consulate general of Jeddah. “We are very grateful for the recent systems in the repatriations of employers or OFW working in companies who are going through financial difficulties,” beamed the Foreign Affairs acting secretary. “We look forward to strengthening and broadening our bilateral relations in the coming years. We hope for more high-level visits, engagement in economic and diplomacy initiatives, and organizing activities addressing security issues including the global fight against terrorism.” To Ambassador Abdullah Bussairy, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia and its people, Expat congratulates you on your 86th National Day! The ceremonial cake cutting led by Saudi Arabian Amb. Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Bussairy
Ivory Coast Consul General Vicente Carlos and Singaporean Ambassador Kok Li Peng
Mexican Amb. Julio Camarena Villaseñor; Qatar Amb. Ali Ibrahim Al Malki; Belgian Amb. Roland Van Remoortele and Egyptian Amb. Mahmoud Mostafa Ahmed
Monaco Consul Fortune Ledesma and Rotary Club of Manila Governor Frank A. Evaristo
Mr. Lito Cruz and Saudi Manager Abdulrahman Alabdulwahab
Papua New Guinea Ambassador Christian Vihruri and Minister Counselor Fernando Miguel of Angola
Thai Ambassador Thanatip Upatising and Rotary Club of Manila Governor Frank A. Evaristo
Smiling-faced Saudia Airlines staffs prepare to serve meals
Saudi Arabian leaders, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Naif Al Saud; King Abdulaziz bin Abdurrahman Al Saud; and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud commemorated during their National Day
E X P AT N E W S P A P E R JANUARY 8-28, 2017
A second home for Robinsons in Iloilo Continuously proving its dominance in the shopping center industry is Robinsons Malls, owned and operated by leading property developer Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) under the leadership of president Frederick Go, as it unveiled its 44th mall, Robinsons Place Jaro. The three-level commercial complex – RLC’s second mall in Iloilo – is located along E. Lopez Street, Brgy. San Vicente in Jaro, Iloilo City and houses more than 200 retail and dining outlets, services and an exciting selection of the region’s best restaurants. Congratulations to the entire Robinsons Land Corporation team for this latest enterprise!
Vice mayor Joe Espinosa III, Robina Gokongwei-Pe and mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog
(From left) Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) celebrity endorser Maja Salvador, RLC president Frederick Go, Iloilo City Lone District representative Jerry Treñas, Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and vice mayor Joe Espinosa III, Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. president and COO Robina Gokongwei-Pe and Robinsons Land Commercial Centers Division SVP and BUGM Arlene Magtibay
Robinsons Malls vice president of Lease Ditas Taleon and Robinsons Malls VP for Operations of VisMin Malls Joseph Sian
Frederick Go gives a brief discussion on what everyone can expect at RLC’s 44th mall, Robinsons Place Jaro
Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. talks about the strong Rocel Kimwell with San Jose de Buenavista, Antique mayor Elmer Untaran ‘partnership’ between RLC and the province of Iloilo
A new and improved Robinsons Place Tacloban Reinforcing its presence in the Visayas region is Robinsons Malls, owned and operated by leading property developer Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) under the leadership of president Frederick Go, as it recently opened the newest expansion wing of Robinsons Place Tacloban. The additional 22,500 square meter extension highlights a larger Robinsons Supermarket and Robinsons Department Store, additional two cutting-edge cinemas, Lingkod Pinoy Center and a wide array of apparel and food options. Congratulations to the whole Robinsons Land Corporation team for this promising endeavor!
(From left) Robinsons Malls senior lease manager Imee Bojos, David’s Salon franchisee Kookie Lim, David’s Salon founder and CEO David Charlton, Robinsons Malls senior lease manager Jenalyn Apostol and Rosalinda Lim-Uy
(From left) Toys R Us general manager Celina Chua, Tacloban City vice mayor Jerry “Sambo” Yaokasin, Leyte 1st District representative Yedda Romualdez, Tacloban City mayor Cristina Romualdez, RLC Commercial Centers Division senior vice president and general manager Arlene Magtibay, Leyte governor Dominic Petilla and RLC ambassadress Maja Salvador
RLC’s Arlene Magtibay discusses how the Taclobanon’s growing demand for a complete and satisfying shopping experience has paved the way for the opening of Robinsons Place Tacloban expansion mall
Actor and model Xian Lim serenades the crowd
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E X P AT N E W S P A P E R
JANUARY 8-28, 2017
ARTS & CULTURE
Compiled by VIA BAROMA
•Mark Salvatus: Meet Me Halfway Ongoing until Jan. 13; 1335MABINI, 1335 Mabini St., Ermita, Manila; for more information, call (02) 254-8498, (0917) 704-2962 or email email@example.com
•Figuring Filipino Utopia Ongoing until Jan. 14; Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City; for more information, call (02) 426-6001 ext. 4160 or visit www. ateneoartgallery.org
In Meet Me Halfway, Mark Salvatus creates work within the urban context, being both informed and inspired by the everyday politics of living in the city. The movements of the metropolis – its cycles and contradictions – allow him to develop natural and loose propositions that manifest in his art practice. Coming from the countryside and subsequently moving from apartment to apartment and from city to city, Salvatus is able to construct a transitory process of salvaging, collecting, crossing, and marking that forms an almanac of various projects. Meet Me Halfway surveys the recesses between notions of “departure” and “destination.” Through drawings, installations, objects, and videos, Salvatus examines that interval – the gap always open to fill in with an inquiring mind. Gallery hours are from 11am to 9pm, daily.
The exhibition, curated by Charlie Samuya Veric, explores the founding of the Ateneo Art Gallery – the first institution of its kind in the Philippines – in the context of modern art after the Second World War and the unspoken utopian vision that underpins its development. Bookended by the destruction of Manila and the contemporary themes represented by select artists, the exhibition immerses the viewer in modern art as it highlights the utopian context of the Ateneo Art Gallery from the period of decolonization, which saw the emergence of a new postcolonial state, to the current times of economic meltdowns and environmental crises, which demand brave new futures. The exhibition consists of 14 sections illuminating key historical moments in modern art in the country from the last half century. At its heart lies the hope to reexamine the paths that Filipino art has taken to envision a modern nation in pursuit of freedom.
•Los Disastres de la Democracia
•Translación: Inaugural Exhibition
Ongoing until Jan. 14; Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City; for more information, call (02) 426-6001 ext. 4160 or visit www. ateneoartgallery.org
Ongoing until Feb. 4; Silverlens, Lapanday Center, 2263 Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati; for inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (0917) 587-4011
Working from Francisco Goya's landmark aquatint etchings Los Caprichos and the Ateneo Art Gallery’s collection of Goya's Los Disparates, also known as Los Proverbios, Manuel Ocampo and Jigger Cruz, collaborate on divining into the medium of painting, invoking the spirit of uninhibited artistic activity. Capriccio or caprice, a term used to refer to works that combines elements to form a fantastical tableau, is used by Goya far beyond its whimsical denotation to comment on “ the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance or self-interest have made usual. Making the most of the medium’s qualities, the series draw out such grotesqueries in the interplay of shadow and light, casting their resonance ever more profoundly from 200 years ago from their first printing, laying bare the same “anxiety, violence, sadism, lust, and ambivalence“ that continue to haunt our present times.
This January, Silverlens will reopen its doors as it gathers all of its represented artists to collectively inaugurate their new exhibition space situated across the same erstwhile street, not a few hundred meters from the compound where for the past eight years it held court. Along with a major presentation of the 22 artists’ current projects, the exhibition will also prominently feature seminal pieces from each artist’s oeuvre, which the gallery has managed to track down and borrow from esteemed institutional and private collections and lure out from the artists’ closely kept, personal archives. As these older works shed light on the artists current concerns, they will likewise imbue and ground the yet unmarked gallery with a steadfast sense of history. And just for this initial offering, the show will go beyond the main exhibition spaces and spill over to other areas throughout the building, taking the audience to a rare, unrestrained exploration of the new site.
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E X P AT N E W S P A P E R
F E AT U R E S
JANUARY 8-28, 2017
Resolution: Revolution! By ANGIE DUARTE
Janus: The two-faced Roman god of beginnings and transitions; with one face looking forward, and the other looking back; also the god after whom the month of January is named. Apropos, to say the least – at the start of each New Year, we often find ourselves looking forwards, while looking back. It’s always great to learn from the past, but a word of caution: treat the past as you would a car’s rearview mirror – glance into it now and then, and you can plan your moves. Stare at it for too long, however, and you smash right into what’s in front of you. On this, the beginning of the month of Janus’ namesake, I look back to the year that was, and I breathe a huge sigh of relief that I survived the rollercoaster ride that was 2016. Sure, I may have come off that ride with more than a touch of nausea, ragged at the edges, with a few frayed nerves here and there – but, on the overall, I find I am none the worse for the wear. WHEW. Indeed, in 2016, our mettle was tested, in more ways than one. For example, we endured great shaking, in many areas; we experienced dismaying results, in the arena of global politics; heartache was the order of the day, time and again, as we emerged from worldwide chaos and tragedy. Yet, we did not lose our grip – and those who held fast came out stronger. I wish I could say with any certainty whatsoever that 2017 will be a year devoid of great trials and record-breaking spirit breakers. But I can't. None of us can. As optimistic as we all try to be, life generally has its own ideas. BUT here’s what I CAN do: I can hope and believe that it will be. I can stay as positive as my own limited human spirit allows me to be. I can focus on enduring, and developing an even stronger, more persistent mettle. And I can ACT in fulfillment of these hopes. I can commit to not giving up; to developing a “stickitoitivity” and tenacity possessed by that good old dog with a bone.
I hereby resolve I do not like to “make resolutions” or big statements of “I shalls and I shants” at the start of each year, for I find that these all too quickly fall by the wayside as the calendar rolls around and the new hope and idealism that generally accompany January give way to the romanticism that marks February. Just about everything – even things we have deemed ugly and needing change – looks good with rose-colored lenses after all. Instead, I RESOLVE. Or REVOLT, as the situation requires. Although resolution implies the act of resolving, merely making one is no guarantee – especially if it is simply a part of a New Year tradition. Speaking forth your resolutions becomes nothing more than lip service designed to plump up your ego or assuage your conscience if there is no follow through. Writing resolutions down is a mere waste of paper if action is remiss. These are part of a good start. But beginnings are only as fruitful as their end result. Outcome is the goal, and the path between start and finish is paved with willful determination. Or at least it must be. RESOLVE. Commit to change, and DO IT. Perhaps some of my favorite definitions of the word are: To change or convert; to bring to a usually successful conclusion; and – decidedly my most favorite one – to render parts of (an image) visible and distinct. What do you see in your head? What is the image you have of yourself? Of your life situation? Whatever this image, whatever you would like to see, do what it takes to make it come to pass; do what is required to make it visible and distinct in your life!
Year’s ago, for instance. That bad habit you have been meaning to ditch for forever and a day, for another. That deadend job which has taken your last-bit of self-worth, for yet another. These require REVOLT. And guts of steel to do it. By all means, make your lists and grand declarations if you have to. But by even greater means, DON’T STOP THERE. ACT. Break away from the same-oldsame-old pitfall of talking the talk without walking the walk. We all know the highly overused cliché. All together now, with feeling: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We need to keep in mind – ever before our consciousness – that whatever is worth achieving is also worth the effort and the sacrifice. This should be our mantra, as we work towards bringing about change, drastic or otherwise.
Hang in there, you’re not alone! In all difficulties you encounter, ENDURE. Hang in there, however you possibly can. GUTS. GUMPTION.These will turn things around for us and achieve the change we desire in 2017. And as we resolve or revolt, there will be times we will have do so alone. But most times we do so with the support of those nearest and dearest to us. And sometimes, even with help from strangers. This is one of life’s comforts:The fact that we do not have to always go through it alone.Those with whom we journey help us to endure. They teach us valuable lifelessons along the way. They make the trek all the more interesting and – hopefully – all the more worthwhile. They are the sugar to our spice; the sweet to our bitter; or the other way around, as the case may be. They are those for whom When revolution is the solution we are thankful, new year after New Year. Then there is revolution.The things that Looking to the recent past, and to the require radical change from the roots. future that unfolds with the month of the The things in our life that necessitate god with two faces: Let us look back and an upheaval that goes beyond simple learn; let us look forward and hope; let adjustment or superficial change. That us look to the now, and endure – even toxic, go-nowhere relationship in which rise above. And let us change and grow you have been since countless New throughout this whole process.
E X P AT N E W S P A P E R
JANUARY 8-28, 2017
U R BA N S C E N E
Compiled by VIA BAROMA
•AGILA Flying Theater
•Enderun Culinary Experience: World Restaurant Series
Opens Jan. 15; Enchanted Kingdom, San Lorenzo Rd., Sta. Rosa, Laguna; For more information, visit www.enchantedkingdom.ph or call (02) 5843535
Jan 28; Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1; The Study Fort, 1100 Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig; for more information, call (02) 856-5000, (0917) 891-6385 or visit www. enderunextension.com
Enchanted Kingdom (EK) will open its most ambitious project to date – the AGILA Flying Theater – which boasts of the largest screen in Southeast Asia and the latest immersive 4-D motion theater technology. AGILA will exhibit the stunning beauty of the country in a seven-minute film that simulates an interactive flying experience with astonishingly clear high definition 6K cinematography. AGILA is more than just EK’S most thrilling experience ever, it is also a showcase of the theme park’s commitment to preserving the natural wonders and beauty of the Philippines through highlighting the need to protect the the Philippine Eagle. EK has partnered with the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) to protect and preserve the Great Philippine Eagle, a symbol of the nation. This next generation of simulator attraction will take guests on an unforgettable, exhilarating journey through some of the most scenic locales in the Philippines. Tickets are priced at PhP500 for park-goers with a height of 4 feet and above; PhP350 for children between 3 feet to 4 feet tall; and PhP350 for PWDs and Senior Citizens.
•Shen Yun Jan. 18, 21 to 22; Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater), Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City; tickets are available at www.ticketworld. com.ph and all TicketWorld outlets nationwide Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales – taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance. Shen Yun cannot be seen in China today, where traditional culture has been nearly lost. Yet Shen Yun—a non-profit organization—has become an international phenomenon, bringing the wonders of ancient Chinese culture to millions across the globe. Tickets are priced at PhP7,000 for Premium; PhP5,500 for Zone A; PhP4,500 for Zone B; PhP3,000 for Zone C; PhP1,500 for Zone D; PhP950 for Zone E
•Bryan Adams: Get Up Tour Jan. 18, Smart Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City; tickets are available at www.ticketnet. com.ph and all TicketNet outlets; for ticket inquiries, call (02) 911-5555 Fans of 80s nostalgia are in for a treat as Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Bryan Adams brings his raspy vocal stylings to the Smart Araneta Coliseum as part of his Get Up World Tour. Sing along with his fusion of rock anthems and power ballads as he performs hits like “Heaven,” “I Do It for You,” “Please Forgive Me”, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”, “Here I Am”, “Straight From The Heart”, “Do I Have To Say The Words,” and a whole lot more. Tickets are priced at PhP8,930 for VIP; PhP6,830 for Patron A; PhP5,780 for Patron B; PgP3,940 for Lower Box; PhP2,630 for Upper Box; and PhP1,050 for General Admission. For SVIP ticket, call (02) 374-9999 for the ticket price.
Enderun Culinary Experience is a four-part series that takes you from the pushcarts of Binondo to the steps of the Eiffel Tower. Each series runs for five or 10 days and features unique recipes that are taught by professional chefs who will provide step-by-step guidance using easy techniques. Each day features an ingredient, dish, or full meal that is skillfully taught for the students to master. At the end of each series, all students would have mastered a whole culinary portfolio that is similar to attending a culinary subject in Enderun. Next stop – your megacities featuring renowned recipes from New York, Hong Kong, Milan, and many more. The Restaurant Series showcase dishes that represent each city like the New York steak, New Zealand beef wellington, and Singaporean hainanese chicken. An apron, cap, tea towel, recipe guide, to go box, and certificate of participation will be provided. Tickets are priced at PhP38,000
SPORTS & FITNESS
•4-week Success and Prosperity Yoga Series Jan. 12, 19 and 26; Yoga+Express Legazpi, 6/F Jose Cojuangco Bldg., 119 Dela Rosa cor. Castro Sts., Legazpi Village, Makati; for more information, contact (0918) 888-9198 or email firstname.lastname@example.org This 2017, change your luck and allow prosperity to flow into your life. The 4-week "Success & Prosperity" yoga series is designed for those who want to shift their consciousness to a state of prosperity and abundance. The program will help break through blocks that have been holding you back, develop greater self-love and self-worth, minimize anxiety and fear and rewire your nervous system for success. The class dates are: The Ten Bodies of Prosperity ( Jan. 12), Self Worth and Affirmative Action ( Jan. 19) and Green Energy and the Heart Chakra ( Jan. 26). Each class includes various elements such as pranayamas (breathing exercises), kriyas (yoga poses), mudras (hand gestures) chanting, meditation and more. Success and Prosperity Yoga is priced at PhP2,100 for all four classes or drop in rates of PhP600 per class.
•New Zealand Waitangi Day Golf Tournament Feb. 15; Wack Wack Golf & Country Club, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City; to register, call (02) 359-9423, (0915) 396-8246 or email email@example.com The Philippines-New Zealand Business Council is set to bring an exciting treat for golfers in the metro with its New Zealand Waitangi Day Golf Tournament. The tournament is open to everyone, with cash prizes of PhP100,000 for lucky Hole-in-One winners for Holes 3 and 11; plus other exciting prizes for competitors. Non-golfers can also join the fun during the lunch and awarding ceremonies for a minimal fee of PhP1,000, which already includes buffet lunch, New Zealand wine, and one raffle ticket for a chance to win great prizes at the grand raffle draw. Tournament fee is priced at PhP3,800 for Early Bird (until Jan. 20); PhP4,000 for Regular rate; PhP2,000 for Wack Wack Members inclusive of green fees, gift bag, buffet lunch and raffle ticket. Caddie fee of PhP600 to be paid directly to the caddie.
E X P AT N E W S P A P E R
F E AT U R E S
JANUARY 8-28, 2017
For the New Year’s ANTI-Diet By ANGIE DUARTE
t’s the New Year! Let’s talk about change! Let’s talk about resolutions! Let’s talk about hope! Let’s talk about all those pounds you put on over the holidays! Instead of shaking your balled-up fists at the ghostly remnants of Christmas hams past, let’s talk about what you CAN do to shed those pounds. Let’s NOT talk about diets! Why not, you may ask? Well, in a nutshell, that would be because they generally do not work. GENERALLY. Some folk are successful at dieting, and those same people likely also have a high tolerance for pain. For the greater majority, however, diets are seen as something akin to a medieval torture device, or to that fashion-dictated corset that Victorian women both loved and hated back in the day. It is true – people most often regard diets as an oppressive, but sometimes necessary evil. Studies show, in fact, that the NUMBER 1 New Year’s resolution that people make, year after year is – you guessed it – to lose weight and/or to get fit. The same studies show, however, that by June, nearly half of those people would have given up on their resolution; and by year’s end, nearly 80 percent of people would have completely lost all resolve to get fit and lean. Yes, there is great wisdom in one of my all-time favorite food and (anti) diet quotes from kitchen-goddess, Julia Child: “The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.” Diet is indeed that four-letter word most of us dread and often set-aside to the twilight zone or some
other strange and slightly fearful dimension. But the bottom line remains: pounds need to drop from your, errrrr, bottom line. As such, I find that eating in moderation at all times – and eating healthy, whenever possible – is by far a better strategy than going on that dreaded diet. At the start of this New Year, it is vital for us to remember these 10 figure-saving, health-giving tips: 1. Color your world. Or, at the very least, your plate. Take your pick of vitamin, mineral and antioxidant rich fruits and veggies from a wide spectrum of color. These make for filling and healthy in-between meal snacks, as well as served with your meal. Remember, the deeper the color, the richer the nutrition. 2. Skip rope, not meals. Meal-skipping, though seemingly an instant way to lose weight, actually works to your dietary detriment. When you constantly pass up on meals, your body goes into self-preservation mode, for fear of starving to death, and signals your metabolism and calorie-burning mechanisms to slow down. Eating small meals regularly throughout the day, on the other hand, keeps your metabolic rate at an efficient level. 3. Size matters. Cut down on portions. Opt for smaller meals, whether at home or at a restaurant. Eat your meals slowly, allowing your stomach to send your brain the “full” signal. And, contrary to popular belief, it IS
OK to spoil your appetite! People who wait until they are famished to have a meal usually end up overeating. Do not let yourself reach the point at which you are “starving.” Have something small and low-fat, such as a piece of fruit or a pack of crackers, if you feel hungry before your next meal. 4. Fresher is better! Opt to buy whole, fresh food over canned, processed food, thereby doing away with unhealthy, unnecessary fats, preservatives and sodium. Most canned goods contain very high amounts of sodium, which contributes to water retention, bloating, and numerous health ailments. 5. The whole truth. Whole grains are good-for-you grains. Fiber-rich food packed with whole grains and complex carbohydrates not only serve to clean your system, but help you stay fuller longer while giving you the energy you need. So next time you reach for anything with grains, consider the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 6. Get up and go! There is no replacement for exercise to help speed up your metabolism and burn away stored fat. Work in 15 to 20 minutes of heart-elevating exercise to your daily schedule for overall health and weight benefits. 7. Be label smart. Check product labels for hidden calories and unnecessary salt and fat. Know what you are consuming; knowl-
edge is power. Switch to low-fat, low-salt foods wherever possible. An informed shopper is a smart – and ultimately, a healthy – shopper. 8. Go for the pleasure without the guilt. Everyone needs an occasional treat now and then. Allow yourself your favorite pleasure every once in a while, in smaller portions, and enjoy it without the guilt. Constant deprivation will only work to your disadvantage, creating frustration and the possibility of binge eating. 9. Keep an eye out for liquid calories. Eating your calories is far more satisfying than drinking them. Stay away from sugary drinks and fatty drinks. You'd be surprised at how many calories you can swallow without realizing it. 10. Fight fat with fat. Sounds impossible and highly suspect, but consuming good fats and oils (as against saturated, harmful fats) can help you win your weight war. Some good fats are your allies, in your war on weight gain: Virgin coconut oil (opt for cold-pressed variants only. Hot pressing destroys many of its beneficial properties), fish oil, almond oil, among others. Steer clear of trans-fats and saturated fats, and go for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, instead. Cheers, to a healthier, leaner body in 2017, and into the years after that!
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