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March 26-April 8, 2017 Vol. XXXV No. 9


A boatman stares blankly into the horizon in Palaui Island. The island, off the coast of Sta. Ana, Cagayan, has long been considered a northern gem, where a plethora of breathtaking vistas and adventures await. Photo by Martin San Diego courtesy of the Northern Philippines Visitors Bureau

Public service denouncement

Labor groups decry DOLE order on contractualization


ilitant labor groups Partido Manggagawa (PM) and Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) asserted that contractualization is still allowed and will continue to proliferate under the new Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) order named DO 174 issued on Mar. 16. “News that DO 174 prohibits contractualization is fake!” said PM spokesperson Wilson Fortaleza “What prohibition? What total ban? DO 174 merely reiterates the bans already provided for in the old DO 18-A. Everything old is presented as new again.” Fortaleza was referring to the order Labor Secretary Silvestre Belo III signed, which supposedly imposes a total ban on labor only contracting, strictly regulates lawful contractual arrangements and outlaws the end-of-contract scheme—a practice where workers are forced to renew their contracts every five months so employers page 5 can avoid hiring them as regu-

When governance takes a backseat because the power struggle is real


y the looks of it, the unrelenting power struggle between the administration and the opposition will the see the Philippines’ two highest public officials facing impeachment complaints – an incredible accomplishment for an administration less than 10 months into its term. In the highly unlikely case that you missed it, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte for alleged betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, engaging in bribery, graft and corruption, and other high crimes. In response, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he is looking into filing an impeachment complaint of his own against Vice President Leni Robredo for betrayal of public trust, stemming from a video message she re-

leased to the United Nations where she said that Filipinos are feeling “hopeless and helpless” with the spate of killings brought about by the administration’s drug war. Now, while having both the President and Vice President facing impeachment complaints may be a first for the country, politicking with complete disregard for the nation’s welfare, unfortunately, is not. And while vested interests and political ambitions have long been at the forefront of supposed “public officials,” this administration appears to have brought with it an unabashed thirst to quell any sort of opposition. The new year has seen a string of events that’s been brazenly designed to gag all checks and balances. Which begs the question, how far is the administration willing to go in their apparent desire for complete control?

Destabilizing factor The circus began to crescendo with Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s successful motion to strip Liberal Party Senators of their committee chairmanships. Then came what was called the House purge – the House majority coalition’s removal of committee chairpersons that voted against the measure to revive the death penalty from their posts. As noted by a Philippine Star op-ed piece, Senate minority members then tried and failed to retaliate by holding a series of hearings and inquiries on the murder of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo; the Bureau of Immigration bribery issue; and the testimony of self-confessed Davao Death Squad member and retired Senior Police Officer 3 Arthur Lascañas. As pointed out by the op-ed page 5 piece titled “Unbelievable,” the




APRIL 12-25, 2015

DTI, mentors to tutor aspiring entrepreneurs By RICHARD RAMOS


total of 33 budding entrepreneurs have enrolled in a rigid 12-week Kapatid Mentor Me (KMM) program created by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) and designed to spread awareness on the entrepreneurship spirit among the local populace. These 33 enrollees will undergo the finer points of entrepreneurship for 12 consecutive Fridays studying 12 different modules to school them on various business concepts and develop the acumen needed in scaling up and sustaining an enterprise. The program According to Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta, vice president of the Business Development and Management Services Division of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, these 12 separate modules will focus on

the entrepreneur (mindsets and values of a successful entrepreneur) product development, marketing, operations management, accounting, taxation, finance, obligations and contracts, HR management, supply and value chain, succession planning, and business plan development. “These specific modules will be handled by experienced local businessmen who have proven their worth in their field. Known as mentors, they will discuss various business pointers and guide the enrollees until their graduation on June 3 where they will showcase their products and services in an expo held at the Ayala Center Cebu,” Espeleta revealed in a presser held at the Golden Prince Hotel and Suites. All free Interestingly, the entire duration of the KMM is free for the enrollees, as they do

not pay for any food, consultation, and hotel venue to be used in the program. The mentors also do not receive any payment for their services and spend precious time away from their businesses just to coach the enrollees. Some of these mentors with their own fields of specialization are Rey Calo-oy of RNC Trading, Engr. Leonora Salvane of GT Cosmetics, Ramir Bonghanoy of Non-Ace Fashion Tools, Mario Panganiban of Cebu Advent Development Corp., and Bunny Pages of Thirsty? Juices, Mooon Café, and Lantaw Restaurant. Espeleta also added that there would be a separate module on dealing with government agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), DTI, and other partner institutions. “Its sad that many don’t know about certain government programs which can be of

great help. These are actually very supportive. Those in Manila have it better due to the presence of big players and better linkages,” he pointed out. Elena Arbon, DTI Cebu provincial director, added that the module on government agencies would go a long way to teach new entrepreneurs to traverse the maze and basics of government operations and programs. “We also need to identify and accredit mentors who will undergo certification by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE). We will export mentors to Bohol and Dumaguete for more KMM programs this July and go nationwide soon after that,” she stated. Espeleta added that the DTI and PCE have communicated with Asian Institute of Management (AIM) to upgrade the modules and train the mentors to polish the program further.

RDC readies Central ASEAN, China boost Visayas infra projects tourism cooperation for 2018 A By RICHARD RAMOS


he Regional Development Council (RDC-Region 7) headed by newly appointed co-chair, and world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue, has finalized 10 multi-billion peso priority projects for the region, to be consolidated and submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for inclusion in the national budget for fiscal year 2018. Growth projects Efren Carreon, regional director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) which serves as the secretariat of the RDC, stated that Region 7 has posted a healthy average of 7.2 percent Gross Regional Development Product (GRDP) for the past five years. He foresees a higher 7.5 to 8 percent annual growths in the next five years with the onset of these new projects. “By the yearend, we will know the respective contributions of each province to the region. This was never really known before. We will also decongest the overcrowded Cebu Port with the creation of the new Cebu International Port in Consolacion,” he declared during the weekly 888 media forum. Another large-scale development includes the fast tracking of the long-delayed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which will ply selected major routes in the city. Master plan Cobonpue scored the need for a master plan for practically all aspects, including sea and air infrastructure, in order to encompass all sectors for a thorough integration of stakeholders concerned. He observed that past proposals for individual projects from various Local government units (LGUs) were more scattered, with little regard for the adjoining towns. The present setup is expected to be more encompassing in scope for a more synergized approach to development. Glenn Soco, chair of the RDC-Infrastructure Development Committee, batted for the creation of more reclamation projects, since

it is easier to build on new land rather than on mountainous areas, the latter of which comprises over 70 percent of Cebu. “I support the Mandaue, Minglanilla, and Cordova Reclamation projects since this will bring about new economic activities. More so if we can connect directly to Bohol through a bridge and give rise to more developments, since the cost of living in Bohol is lower,” Soco pointed out. He likewise said that an airport in northern Cebu, like Bogo or Medellin, would become a necessity due to the flat lands. The same for a housing facility in Getafe, Bohol to cater to workers from the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) to cut down on travel time. According to documents coming from Soco, the following projects were sourced from different government and private sectors mainly from Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor of Region 7. Proposed studies First is the PhP500 million for three feasibility studies and the construction of three Bohol bridges connecting Panglao Island to Tagbilaran City, Pres. Carlos P. Garcia to Ubay, and Bien Unido to Talibon, to be headed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The PhP303.71-million improvements of the Cang-alwang (Siquijor) Airport, on the expansion of the runway and drainage to upgrade the state of infrastructure in the province is due for next year. For Cebu, the PhP2.255-billion Metro Cebu Integrated Flood Control and Drainage System Master Plan would also include the cost right-of-way acquisition and relocation of informal settler families, as well as the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) creation of a Local Project Monitoring Office to oversee solely the implementation of the projects in the master plan. Another is the PhP1.824 billion to conduct a feasibility study and an at-grade road for Northern Cebu’s Mandaue-Consolacion-

new era in international tourism looms as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China reaffirmed full commitment and support for the 2017 ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation program during its recent launch attended by Chinese officials at the Philippine International Convention Center. President Rodrigo Duterte, hailed the “reawakening of an age-old kinship” with China that dates back to pre-Spanish barter trade and tourism. “Through regional cooperation and diplomacy tourism, the goals to increase visitor arrivals, promote cultural exchanges, generate more livelihood for local people, improve infrastructure, and diversify investment in tourism activities can be achieved between ASEAN and China,” said Duterte in a relayed message to Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, who heads the portfolios of Agriculture, Water Resources, Commerce and Tourism, delivered a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who lauded the friendly ASEAN neighbors for neutrality in regional affairs and sharing the geography through tourism cooperation. “China accepts such stance as a sign of mutual respect, opportunity for develop-

ment, and affirmation for global peace and prosperity,” Duterte said. “The current world situation is reconciliatory. Through tourism cooperation, ASEAN and China can do great and good things together like our situation in the Philippines where we are prioritizing sustainable and inclusive tourism. With booming travel between ASEAN and China, our cooperation will bring nations and peoples closer together.” The ASEAN-China Tourism Cooperation is an initiative that seeks to enhance the partnership of China with the 10 ASEAN member countries that include the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Having been designated this year’s host of ASEAN Summit on rotation basis among the 10 member states, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) coordinated with the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) for the recent meetings. At the opening ceremonies, spectacular cultural performances were staged by the CNTA, including a song number, called “Travelling Around the World” by a Chinese songstress and an all-male kung fu demonstration called “Kungfu Revelations – 9 Scrolls.”

Liloan Bypass Project and the Southern Cebu’s Talisay-Minglanilla-Naga Bypass for smoother flow of traffic. The PhP60-million feasibility study for three proposed bridges connecting the provinces of Cebu-Bohol, Cebu-Negros Oriental, and Bohol-Leyte were identified in the Visayas Spatial Development Framework. The RDC then passed Resolution No. 27 requesting the DPWH to favorably endorse to the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Republic of Korea the EDCF grant support for the feasibility study of the Bohol-Cebu Multi-Access Friendship Bridge. The three bridges are also part of the Nationwide Island Provinces Link Bridges for Sustained Economic Growth Project proposed by the DPWH Central Office. To better prepare against unexpected

disasters, the creation of the PhP196-million Visayas Disaster Response Center was proposed for inclusion in the 2018 budget proposal of the DSWD Central Office. In the fields of health and medicine, the RDC also passed Resolution No. 31 requesting the Department of Health to conduct a feasibility study on the construction of a new hospital building for the Don Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City due to the extreme lack of space at the old building. More road projects include the PhP1.386-billion for the 11 road components of the Mactan Road Network Upgrade, the PhP526.96-million lane widening of the Hernan Cortes Road in Mandaue City, and the PhP300-million V. Rama-Gorordo diversion road including the feasibility study and junction component to cut down on city traffic.



APRIL 12-25, 2015


Golden Cowrie The Filipino Kitchen

recently opened its 10th branch in Cebu, and its second at the Ayala Center Cebu. Situated at the roof garden, the place can seat 50 customers within its dining area and over 70 more outdoors. Menu is mainly Filipino favorites with an adventurous play with flavors and execution, which result is a novel palate deemed just about ideal for both locals and expats. Cebu Golden Restaurant is the host company, which also includes closely-related brands such as the Salinas, Golden Cowrie, and Hukad, the latter of which is stationed at the second floor of the Ayala Terraces. With a total of 31 branches nationwide, 10 of which are Cebu-based, the owners seek to expand in Luzon within the year while looking for newer targets.

Pueblo de Oro Development Corp, a 26-hectare housing subdivision situated in Babag, Lapu-Lapu City, held its inaugural rites for Phase 4 of its spread. With the first three phases all sold out, Phase 4, dubbed Park Place 1, is deemed the most prime due to its proximity to the rotunda. One has his choice of nearly a thousand spare, expanded, or furnished units consisting of twin homes. Over 80 percent of the buyers are based in Lapu-Lapu City, with the rest being Overseas Filipino Workers. Prim Nolido, president and COO of Pueblo de Oro, declared that the present is the best time to buy before the Cebu-Cordova Bridge would begin construction. Soon to rise is a commercial center comprising mainly of utilities and services, as well as the launching of Park Place Phase 2.

Cebu Parklane International Hotel

Bluewater Maribago

presented its daily line-up of themed buffet dinners in a single setting for a lucky group of media writers under the theme “The Joy of Food.” Big Bowl Sundays feature a Mongolian station and Japanese favorites dishes such as ebi tempura, sushi, etc. Mondays have Skewered Delights such as salmon and prawn skewers, chili lamb kebab and many other “stick-ered” delights. Next is Lasa, a feast of Southeast Asian culinary pieces on Tuesdays. Wednesdays goes local ala Cebuano Street Food emphasizing the “puso” as the heart of it all. Thursdays spotlight is on dim sum selections along with some local desserts. Fridays are all “see-food” in the form of underwater creatures, while Saturdays celebrate the “Barrio Fiesta.”

introduced its brand new line-up of three alcoholic teas, guaranteed to gain a strong following in no time. These new beverages will soon be integrated into the regular buffet dining fare – a definite first for the entire Cebuano community. First is the Backhouse Tea, a concoction of iced tea, honey, and tequila. Another is Lemon Mint, which uses lemon as its top influence, along with a dab of Arabian mint and blue curacao. The Gin Berry Sensation comes with sweet syrups grenadine with gin mixed with berry tea. Another must-try is the Miguerita, the hotel’s signature cocktail, with a taste of blue curacao along with San Miguel Light. All these are guaranteed to perk up your senses and appetites like never before.

38 Park Avenue,

an upcoming residential project located at the Cebu IT Park, was launched at a posh hotel with Filipino singer Martin Nievera as special guest entertainer. Phase One of the 38-floor New York-inspired structure includes a high-rise condominium and The Plaza – an open green retail park, while Phase Two is an office building. The condo’s 745 units include 440 studios, 211 one-bedroom units, 11 three-bedroom units, and eight penthouses. Callison RTKL, the world’s top design consultant is the master planner, while Aidea is the architectural firm. Developer is El Camino Developers Cebu, Inc, a partnership of Cebu Landmasters Inc. headed by Joe Soberano, Gothong Southern Properties, Acrissor Development Corp., and RKD Property Holdings Inc.

Amnesty International Philippines (AIP)

bewailed the abuse of human rights in many societies, resulting in suffering on the part of women and children, and the “us vs. them” rhetoric. According to Atty. Romeo Cabarde, vice chair of AIP, the rise of “strongman” politics has also coincided with a rise in anti-feminism that aims to preserve patriarchal dominance and traditional gender roles. In a presser held at an uptown restaurant, Cabarde enumerated seven issues such as unlawful killings, torture and ill-treatment, excessive use of force, human rights defenders, death penalty, abuses by armed groups, and the right to adequate standard of living, education and justice that have warranted the country’s entry to the AI annual report.


APRIL 12-25, 2015 8, 2017 MARCH 26-APRIL

Novuskin Lift – a revolutionary anti-aging food supplement


utramedica recently launched the revolutionary anti-aging food supplement, Novuskin Lift, at a grand unveiling in Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati with Cory Quirino as the brand ambassador. Long renowned as “ageless” and “forever young,” Quirino shared during the launch her beauty and anti-aging tips, as well as her experience in using Novuskin Lift. “The foundation of beauty is good health. And the secret to looking and feeling young is to live a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle of wellness leads to beauty regardless of age,” Quirino said. Protection, rejuvenation Packed with a unique combination of 18 natural anti-aging and skin brightening extracts that include marine fish collagen, grape seed extract, and L-glutathione, Novuskin Lift is a natural food supplement with

abundant protein in the body, is the skin’s structural support, which can be likened to the foundation of buildings. Collagen keeps the skin perky, firm, plump, and smooth. However, poor diet, smoking, sun exposure, and a stressful lifestyle can accelerate the degradation of collagen-supporting structures, causing skin sagging and wrinkles.

anti-aging and skin brightening qualities that bring back one’s youthful beauty. “Novuskin Lift provides not only skin protection but also skin restoration and rejuvenation. It is more than just a beauty product, it also offers health benefits to one’s well-being by delaying the early signs of aging visible to the skin,” Quirino explained. Aging is a natural process and its outward projection is the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen, the most

Public service denouncement...from page 1 Congress has taken it upon itself to act as a detective bureau – often with utterly questionable sources, while the Senate – apart from turning into a badly written made for TV drama, has been akin to a criminal court, albeit inundated with partisan opinions and a cast of characters far too obsessed with grandstanding. State of wrest It doesn’t take mutant vision to see what the squabbling political camps want. The Liberal Party – comprised mainly of former President Benigno Aquino’s allies are desperate to regain any semblance of control, preferably (although improbably) with the ouster of Duterte. The President’s allies, meanwhile, apart from controlling both chambers of the legislative department hope to eliminate from the

picture the opposition’s highest official. Here’s the clincher – should the Vice President be impeached, the President has the power to “choose,” by way of nomination, who the second highest executive official of the nation will be. The nominee will then be subject to confirmation by a majority vote of all members of both Houses of Congress—both of which are clearly under the administration’s control. During a speech in front of the Filipino community in Beijing last year, Duterte introduced Sen. Bongbong Marcos as “the next Vice President.” As a note, Robredo beat Marcos in the vice presidential race by just over 200,000 votes. Should there be another vote to decide the vice presidency, it’s unlikely it will be that close.

Science against effects of aging Novuskin Lift has been clinically tested to stimulate collagen production, fight inflammation, and protect the skin against UV radiation. Studies have shown that continuous use of Novuskin Lift have resulted in the improvement of skin appearance, including better hydration, smoothness, reduction of wrinkles, fine lines, sunspots, and overall radiance. Natural ingredients include a host of antioxidants and co-factor nutrients that aid in collagen production, and marine fish collagen, which our body needs to combat oxidative stress and cellular repair. “We take great care in making sure that our ingredients are sourced naturally,” said Nutramedica CEO Sheila Mae Velilla. “We believe that by combining the power of nature with sophisticated technology, we can create high quality and innovative products PRINT

Novuskin Lift brand ambassador Cory Quirino

that can enrich lives.” Novuskin Lift supplements are sealed in moisture-resistant package to preserve the quality of the product. Packages containing 30 tablets are available at Mercury Drug and Watsons outlets nationwide. MARGIN

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former President Benigno Aquino, with the former prohibiting 11 forms of contractual work, while allowing employers to continue hiring contractual workers. “DO 18-A was issued in late 2011 in the wake of PALEA’s (Philippine Airlines Employees Association) resistance to the contractualization scheme at Philippine Airlines. Since DO 18-A merely regulated, not prohibited contractualization, the problem of endo (end of contract scheme) has gone from bad to worse over the past five years. With DO 18-A rehashed as DO 174, contractualization will only get worst in the years to come,” Fortaleza extrapolated. He insisted that under DO 174, replacement of regular workers with contractual workers will continue, with agency rather direct hiring being the norm. “Manpower agencies will remain as middlemen between principal employers and workers. As lifetime agency employees, the best workers can hope for is a minimum wage while principal employers reap the fruits of labor productivity,” added Fortaleza.

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lar employees. “Bello is acting like Pontius Pilate by passing the ball to Congress on prohibiting all forms of contractualization,” Fortaleza added. “The Labor Secretary is vested by Article 106 of the Labor Code with the power to prohibit or restrict labor contracting. Why does he not want exercise this authority to prohibit? Given the irreconcilable positions between employers and workers, why does he side with the capitalists?” As noted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Belo said that he could not totally abolish contractualization because the law allowed some forms of the practice, adding that only the Congress could completely put an end to contractualization. “This simply shows the lack of sincerity of the DOLE and the Duterte administration,” CTUHR executive director Daisy Arago said. “It is now clear to us that the promise to eradicate contractualization is a mere campaign promise which this administration is not planning to carry out. Arago pointed out that DO 174 was no different from DO 18-A, an order issued by

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APRIL 12-25, 2015

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Murray Hertz Founding Publisher (1928-2014) Butch C. Bonsol President & Managing Director Suzette Defensor Managing Consultant Timothy Jay Araneta Ibay Editor-in-Chief Richard A. Ramos (Cebu) Via Baroma Staff Writers Angie Duarte Ching Dee Writers-at-Large Leah Egamino-Palaña Sales & Advertising Officer Jennifer Codera Finance & Admin Officer 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

DANGER! Dirty recyclable bags can make you sick! By ANGIE DUARTE


ith today’s ever-increasing and timely trend towards eco-awareness, more and more people are exerting effort to do their part towards protecting the earth and conserving its resources. Perhaps one of the most basic changes that many have integrated to their lifestyles in order to reduce their carbon footprint is the use of recyclable, eco-friendly grocery bags. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but you must remember to clean your reusable totes regularly and thoroughly so as to avoid food contamination. Science says Studies have shown that failure to clean your recyclable bags puts you and your family at increased risk of acquiring food-borne illnesses, such as salmonella, listeria, and E. coli

O157:H7. A survey conducted by the Home Safety Program (a joint effort between the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods in America) revealed that only 15 percent of Americans, for instance, pay attention to regularly cleaning their reusable totes. On the other hand, statistics show that 48 million Americans annually contract food poisoning from contaminated foods. The use of unwashed or dirty reusable bags for grocery shopping can very well contribute to this situation, as these can become the breeding grounds for harmful bacteria that can contaminate your food. Medical experts say that the contamination may occur when bacteria, or microorganisms that may naturally be on meat and poultry, transfer to vegetables and produce that are thrown into the recyclable bag, along

with the meat and poultry. As such, health experts advise that all fresh produce and veggies be placed in the plastic bags available at the produce section before you place them in your shopping cart (as the cart itself is abundant with its own germs), and – ultimately – in your recyclable bag. Even if your meat and poultry are packed in plastic, blood and other fluids may still leak out of the packaging. These bacteria when ingested through improperly washed produce and veggies, and as a result of crosscontamination, can lead to food poisoning. Food poisoning manifests with symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, which can last anywhere from four to seven days. The listeria bacterium is particularly dangerous if it enters the bloodstream, as it can lead to sepsis, meningitis, and encephalitis.

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.

Here are some essential and helpful tips towards being eco-friendly AND keeping your groceries safe from contamination: • Pack your fresh fruits and veggies in the plastic bags provided in the produce section. This will protect them from contamination. • Whenever possible, put meat and poultry packages in plastic bags as well so as to prevent any blood or juices from leaking out of the packaging. • Arrange fresh produce/ veggies in a separate section from meat and poultry in your grocery cart. • When checking out, use separate tote bags for produce and meat/poultry. Always carry at least two recyclable bags with you.

As for keeping your recyclable bags clean and bacteria-free, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises you to follow these simple tips: • Wash totes frequently, either in the washing machine or by hand with hot, soapy water. • Keep areas where you place the totes, such as kitchen counters, clean. To kill the bacteria on counters, spray the surface with an antimicrobial cleaner, such as a commercial cleanser or diluted bleach (½ teaspoon bleach in one quart water). Wipe the surface clean with a paper towel. • Store totes in a clean, dry place, and avoid leaving empty totes in the trunk of your car.


APRIL 12-25, 2015 8, 2017 MARCH 26-APRIL

Cebuano favorite Zubuchon finally opens in Manila Manila can now gorge on what Anthony Bourdain called the 'best pig ever' Text and photos by CHING DEE


hen two Americans called bankerslash-lifestyle blogger Joel Binamira back in 2008 about his “Lechon Chronicles,” he had no idea it was the team behind Travel Channel’s “No Reservations.” And he had no idea that the ‘Tony’ he spoke with over the phone was actually world-renowned chef, host, author and overall badass Anthony Bourdain. “It wasn’t intended to be a restaurant,” Binamira, who runs “The Market Man” blog, said. He adds, “It started when Anthony Bourdain asked us to roast a pig for him for his show… He enjoyed it and shared it with his worldwide audience.” One year after the Bourdain encounter, they started selling the lechon at a weekend market in Cebu to augment his staff ’s income. After two years, they set up their first restaurant in Cebu City. The Visayan lechon distinguishes itself by its unique stuffing, and Binamira’s signature lechon is made with all-natural ingredients — from the coconut water brushed on the skin to make the crackling crispier to the locally grown herbs and spices used in the stuffing. “[Dining in Zubuchon] is more about ordering a balanced meal in terms of flavors… I would rather focus on the whole orchestra rather than just one instrument,” was Binamira’s response when asked about must-try dishes. To complement the lechon, he recommended getting a salad with tangy vinegarbased dressing to cut through the oiliness of the roasted pig, something spicy to keep the palate stimulates, a seafood dish to balance the pork, and a hearty soup like sinigang. I recommend ordering their famous Kamias Shake, too. It is the perfect beverage to wash down all the Cebuano goodness. Check out these highly recommended

dishes according to Binamira’s symphony of flavors: The Star: LECHON The world-famous lechon is served to your table straight out of the roasting pit. The crispy crackling skin is the complete opposite of the juicy and tender meat that literally yields to the fork with ease. You can definitely taste the herbs and spices in every bite. This lechon is certainly in a league of its own. Vegetable with Vinegar-based Dressing: MUSTASA SALAD Zubuchon's Mustasa Salad is the perfect accompaniment with their world famous lechon. It’s healthy enough to negate the guilt of eating the best roasted pig on the planet. The bitterness of the mustasa (mustard leaves) is cut by the piquant onions and sweet tomatoes. The salad is tossed in a salty and sour dressing made of locally made bagoong (shrimp paste) and some spiced vinegar. Seafood: BAKED SCALLOPS Aside from their world-renowned lechon, Zubuchon is also known for their scrumptious seafood dishes. One of their best-selling seafood items is their Baked Scallops: scallops generously topped with butter and cheese and grilled/broiled until the cheese is melted to a sinfully seductive state. I'm not going to lie: I finished the entire plate of Baked Scallops (nine scallops!) all by myself... Because I am a strong, independent woman and I don't need any help. Something Spicy: SIZZLING LECHON SISIG Imagine their lechon all chopped up into bits, mixed with more aromatics, and served

in a sizzling plate. The lechon sisig is topped with chopped bird’s eye chili and onions, making for a spicy and savory delight you never knew was possible. It is crispier than regular sisig and has an added layer of flavor due to the roasting process; but just like regular sisig, it is perfect with an ice cold beer — preferably locally brewed. Zubuchon is located along Talisay St., San Antonio, Makati. Follow them on Facebook @ zubuchonphilippines and Instagram @zubuchonph. For more info, visit

Zubuchon owner - Joel Binamira

Baked Scallops

Sizzling Lechon Sisig

Mustasa Salad

Zubuchon Lechon

Indulge in the fiesta spirit with Kitsho’s smorgasbord spread


fter Easter, fiestas would practically be celebrated most days of the summer months in different locales across the archipelago, bringing to the fore cultural traditions and the indelible imprint of Filipino hospitality. By summer's end the fiesta fever would have escalated to fever pitch. Sometimes, ordinary days are turned into festive moments with the plethora of farm produce and fresh catch that abound. The festive fiesta spirit is sumptuously captured by Kitsho's buffet spread with its myriad choices in appetizers, sukiyaki, sushi and sashimi, as well as delectable desserts. Also, diners get to sample each one of their favorite main courses of meat and seafood, freshly prepared from an a la carte buffet menu. Bounty of options "With more than 30 options, our dining guests can choose what main dishes they want to savor,” said Kitsho executive chef Mizumoto "Hiro" Masahiro. “The good thing is that it will be prepared fresh; only when the order is made and not something reheated from a display. So they get to sample freshly-

cooked meat, seafood, and other choices to their hearts delight." If there are more than 20 persons who will be dining, the buffet spread will be readily available to guests, even on weekdays, as long as prior reservations had been booked. "Beverages are included in the buffet spread as well, so you need not order them separately. Guests can have their fill of draft beer, fruit shakes, softdrinks, coffee, house tea, bottomless soft drinks and iced tea, with one round of ice cream thrown in," Chef Hiro. There's also the year-round 'Special Occasion' promo, wherein celebrants of birthdays and/or anniversaries get to enjoy a free cover with the 5 + 1 perk, plus a complimentary cake. And very soon, Chef Hiro will be rolling out his homemade ice cream flavors in ice cream cups and pints.

Kitsho's "All Food, All Drinks" smorgasbord treats are available all weekends during lunch (PhP1,110++) and dinnertime (PhP1,250++). For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 99436-23 or (02) 795-8888 local 2312.

Kitsho authentic Japanese restaurant is conveniently located at the ground floor of Hotel Jen Manila along the bay area's sunset strip, right across the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Star City complex.

Chef Mizumoto Masahiro preparing Sukiyaki

Assorted Sashimi



APRIL 12-25, 2015

HIPA 2017 A Symphony of Sight, Sound, and Stories of Soul

(1)The announcement announcement of ofHIPA's HIPA'sSixth Sixth Season prize SeasonGrand Grand winner prize winner (2) HIPA's Board Board (2) HIPA's of with ofTrustees Trustees with Sixth SixthSeason Season winners winners

Dubai’s annual photography event inspires the senses, on its Sixth Season

(3) Dubai Opera, (3) Dubai Opera, venue HIPA's venueofof HIPA's The TheChallenge Challenge Grand GrandAwards Awards Ceremony Ceremony

By ANGIE DUARTE Photos by Nigel Ian Laxamana for Yi Technology Y1-M1 and courtesy of HIPA


n a world that has become increasingly fragmented, due to a myriad of views and belief systems, there are certain languages that are universal to us all. Music, art, photography, for instance; the languages of creativity – these are invaluable means of shared expression, both of self and of a people’s collective soul. These dialogues uplift and unify, provoke thought and discourse; they bring to light our shared humanity. These are the avenues on which we journey towards common ground. On its Sixth Season, the recently concluded HIPA (Hamdan International Photography Awards), which bore the theme “The Challenge,” was a sublime celebration of sight, sound, and stories of soul. Held at the newly opened Dubai Opera on Mar. 15, the evening was the culmination of a yearlong search for the best of the best photographs from shutterbugs across the globe, set to the Symphony of Photography, by world-renowned composer Hughes de Courson, excellently performed by a full orchestra. Stunning images flashed on the screen, as musical notes hung in the air (complete with cleverly mimicked clicks of the camera shutter), in what can best be described as a feast for the senses and the soul. HIPA, in focus HIPA bears the hallmarks of royalty and prestige, having been birthed in 2011 under the patronage of no less than Dubai’s Crown Prince, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (who is himself an avid art enthusiast and photographer). In recognition of photography’s universal impact, and in line with the vision to further develop the art form, the Emirate City of Dubai has played


host to the annual event, since then. I have been fortunate to have been invited to the last two grand awarding ceremonies, and each one of these affairs has been nothing short of spectacular. Since its inception, the contest has been very well-received by photographers the world over. Yearly, anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of photographers from hundreds of countries, the world over, send in their images, in hopes of bagging the acclaim, the coveted prize money, as well as the chance to tell their story. A total of US$423,000 was given away to 24 winners and awardees, across a total of six categories (including the Grand Prize, which was worth US$120,000, and the Special Awards categories). The images are then subject to a lengthy and rigorous process of judging by a panel of internationally lauded industry experts.



APRIL 12-25, 2015 8, 2017 MARCH 26-APRIL

The Grand Prize winner was American Arash Yaghmaeian with his “Landfill Cinderella” The heart wrenching image is of a young Indian lady, atop a mountain of garbage and refuse 4



“The celebration we share with you tonight will be a mix of artistic inspirations. These inspirations have contributed to over a quarter of a million photographs being submitted into HIPA since its launch,” shared HIPA’s Secretary General, His Excellency Ali Khalifa Bin Thalith Al Humairi, as he opened the awards ceremony. “In fact, the ‘Portfolio’ category for this season alone has inspired a total of 33,950 photographs, highlighting the commitment many photographers have to the art of story-telling through the lens of their cameras.,” he added. Stories of soul (and for the soul) Behind each breathtaking, awe-inspiring photograph is a gripping story. For instance, Italian micro-life photographer Giuseppe Bonali’s amazing photo of an ant, drinking some dew off a blade of grass, took six hours to capture. Bonali patiently waited for the ant

(4) GRANDPRIZE PRIZE(4) GRAND -Arash ArashYaghmaeian Yaghmaeian United States of America - United States of America (5) 1st Place - Giuseppe Bonali Italy - Giuseppe (5) 1st-Place Bonali - Italy (6) 4th Place - Lubna Abdelaziz - Egypt (6) 4th Place - Lubna Abdelaziz - Egypt

to “stand” for a drink. The bokeh of tiny flower petals in the background shows the painstaking detail of the image. For his efforts, he bagged first place in the General Category for Color. Incidentally, Bonali takes his photos to different schools in Italy, in order to teach children to value life, even in the smallest of forms. The haunting self-portrait of 27-year old Egyptian photographer,  Lubna Abdelaziz, merited fourth in  HIPA’s newest category, Digital Manipulation. In the image, Lubna rests her chest and face atop a table, flowers in place of her head, hands hanging down to her sides. The photographer, one of three women to win in this year’s awards, shared that the roses, in varying degrees of freshness and decay, are symbolic of our hopes and dreams – some are in bloom, others, dead and wilted, or in the process of it. These blooms are all a  part of our being and comprise our thoughts and emotions – these collective emotions being too much to bear, at

times. Lubna works on every single detail of each of her photographs – only 20 in all, over four years – by herself, to the minutest aspect. This is part of her artistry, and she works on each project for a painstaking amount of time. She captures only what she believes is worth expressing, and labors for it, accordingly. The Grand Prize winner was American Arash Yaghmaeian with his “Landfill Cinderella” which took home the top cash prize. The heart wrenching image of a young Indian lady, atop a mountain of garbage and refuse, was captured by Yaghmaeian on one of his recent trips to India. He uses photography as a tool to bring light to social conditions across the globe, and says that the art form has been his saving grace, personally. The Moment HIPA has announced the theme for the 2017-2018 installment of the contest: The Moment. “Additionally, in line with HIPA’s vision of supporting humanitarian causes, next season will witness the launch of ‘For You,’ an initiative that aims to share the message of giving and commitment all bundled into a box filled with love,” bin Thalith disclosed. Think you have what it takes to capture “The Moment” and tell your story of soul? Whip out your camera, and begin to speak in a universal tongue. For the full list of winners and for contest details, visit



APRIL 12-25, 2015

Australia Day: A celebration of culture and diversity Text and photos by VIA BAROMA


ecently, the Australian Embassy in Manila, led by Ambassador Amanda Gorely and her spouse Mr. Stuart Hodge, hosted the celebration of Australia Day at the Rizal Ballroom of Makati ShangriLa Hotel. Australia Day commemorates the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788. Apart from the annual celebration to mark the historic event, Australia Day has also evolved to become an occasion to celebrate Australian culture, shared values, diversity and way of life. Last year, the Australian Embassy began organizing events and activities that celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Philippine-Australia diplomatic relations. Jumpstarting 2016 was the Say G’Day caravan at SM Aura Premier, SM City Cebu, SM City Davao and SM City North EDSA. Some highlights included the book launching of “Re-Imagining Australia: Voices of Indigenous Australians of Filipino Descent,” a fascinating social history by Deborah Wall. “I would like to pay tribute to the first Filipinos who travel to Australia in 1800 to work as pearl divers. They were known as the

Manila Men and until last year their history has not been very well documented,” Ambassador Gorely said in her address. “Descendants of the Manila Men visited the Philippines for the first time last year for the launch of the book. They turned back to the islands with their family and they experienced overwhelming feeling and official sense of belongingness. The pilgrimage helped them to better understand their own identity - a proud indigenous Australian with Filipino heritage.” Australia and the Philippines’ people-topeople links go back much further, the official start of the bilateral relationship can be traced back to the opening of the Australian Consulate in Manila on May 22, 1946. “Many Filipinos have a strong connection to Australia – to study, to work, to travel. I often say that the people between Australia and the Philippines are the beating heart of our relationship: the warm, the passion and the accountable familiarity,” Ambassador Gorely beamed. “In 2017, we will work with the Duterte administration to reinforce the foundation of our partnership for the next 70 years. Australia is looking forward to working on a number of initiatives with the Philippines for the following years,” the Ambassador added.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely; and Mr. Stuart Hodge

Mr. Stuart Hodge; Belgian Ambassador Roland Van Remoortele; Mme. Sylvia Van Remoortele; and Togo Consul Evie Costa

Gabrielle White; Former President Fidel Ramos; Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely; and Mr. Stuart Hodge

Sri Lankan Ambassador Aruni Ranaraja; Belgian Ambassador Roland Van Remoortele; Mme. Sylvia Van Remoortele; and Monaco Consul Fortune Ledesma

Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely and Guatemala Consul Amelia Ablaza

Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno and US Ambassador Sung Kim

Senator Franklin Drilon; Ambassador Amanda Gorely; and Mr. Stuart Hodge

Singaporean Ambassador Kok Li Peng and Belarus Consul Anna Marie Sri Lankan Ambassador Aruni Ranaraja and Israeli Ambassador Effie Ablan Ben Matityau Singaporean Ambassador Kok Li Peng; US Ambassador Sung Kim; and Monaco Consul Fortune Ledesma


APRIL 12-25, 2015 8, 2017 MARCH 26-APRIL

DARE to explore A renowned clinical and cosmetic dermatologist has just DAREd the change. Dr. Jean Marquez’ The Skin Specialist has recently been re-launched and is now known as DARE (“Dermatology, Aesthetics, Restoration”), a professional beauty clinic which offers the most technologically advanced and luxurious treatments. As an advocate of natural-looking cosmetics and a pioneer in laser treatments in the Philippines, Dr. Jean believes in offering services that make her clients feel good, find confidence, and live the life they’ve always dreamed of. At the recent media launch, Dr. Jean explained that the expansion took The Skin Specialist’s top-of-the-line dermatology and transformed it into DARE to include cosmetics and restoration, so that clients can get the best beauty services in one location, making it easy for them to explore the possibilities. Congratulations to Dr. Jean and the DARE team! DARE is located in the Ground Floor of ESNA Building, #30 Timog Avenue, Quezon City, and is open from Monday-Saturday, 10am-7pm. For inquiries, contact 374-8087, 374-1076 and 0917-810-1319.

Matthew Azada with doctors April Love Ching and Alvin Jorge

Dulce Cosca, Dr. Jean Marquez and Ana Suanco

Kitten Zapata, Dinna Vasquez and Dinah Ventura

Elaine Carag and Nas Arcayan

DARE founder Dr. Jean Marquez

Dr. Jean Marquez with Kristine Evangelista of Living Asia

Bringing light through passion A leader in the local hospitality industry, The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts (BH&R) has teamed up with world famous furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue and Habitat for Humanity® Philippines (HFHP) to support the top designer’s First Light project. The special edition First Light lamps are designed as delicate houses and sculpted in metal that come in sets of three, with each lamp able to hold one tealight candle. Present during the launch at The Bellevue Manila’s Tower Wing lobby were BH&R chairman Johnny Chan, The Bellevue Manila managing director Patrick Chan, B Hotels managing director Ryan Chan, HFHP ambassador Kenneth Cobonpue as well as HFHP leaders including managing director and CEO Charlie Ayco, National Board of Trustees vice president Arch. Bong Recio and chief marketing officer Yvonne Lih. All proceeds generated from the sale of First Light lamps will go towards HFHP's project for building houses for the families affected by typhoon Yolanda. Congratulations The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts, Kenneth Cobonpue and Habitat for Humanity® Philippines for a meaningful partnership! For more information, contact The Bellevue Manila at (02) 771-8181 or Habitat for Humanity® Philippines at (02) 846-2177.

The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts (BH&R) chairman Johnny Chan, The Bellevue Manila managing director Patrick Chan, world famous furniture designer and Habitat for Humanity® Philippines ambassador Kenneth Cobonpue and B Hotels managing director Ryan Chan

Habitat for Humanity® Philippines PR manager Albert Visitacion, Yvonne Lih, Joy Meneses, Kenneth Cobonpue and Rolando Galano

Habitat for Humanity® Philippines staff (from left) Charlie Ayco, resource development managers Dolly Serranillo and Melanie Estepa, donor management head Arlene Ramirez, Arch. Bong Recio and resource development officer Joaquin Seneres

Habitat for Humanity® Philippines National Board of Trustees vice president Arch. Bong Recio, chief marketing officer Yvonne Lih, managing director and CEO Charlie Ayco and ambassador Kenneth Cobonpue with The Bellevue Manila marketing director Joy Meneses, BH&R group director of sales and marketing Marivic Recio and The Bellevue Manila resident manager Rolando Galano



APRIL 12-25, 2015













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APRIL 12-25, 2015 8, 2017 MARCH 26-APRIL

Compiled by VIA BAROMA


•Manuel Ocampo Early Works: 1985-1994 Ongoing until Mar. 30; ARCHIVO 1984 Gallery, 2/L Warehouse 1, 2135 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati; for more information, visit or call (02) 832-6191 / (0917) 622-6287 Archivo 1984 proudly presents an exhibition featuring some of the earliest, more controversial works of Manuel Ocampo – on view for the first time in his home country. Ocampo emerged at a time when postmodernist art was coming to a close, giving way to an urgent voice that sought to level the cultural field through the representation of the other. He landed in California right after the People Power Revolution in 1986. Living under Martial Law and being schooled Catholic priests where he was trained to make copies of devotional retablo paintings, within such aforementioned circumstances “he wrestled with the trinity and spiritual (Spain), the material (US), and the self (Philippines).” Within this conflicting triumvirate, he has created an equally iconic visual idiom that mixes high and low, academic and popular, sacred and secular images that resound overt commentaries on religious and social taboos, race, oppression, language, and geopolitics. Ocampo’s compositions juxtapose leitmotifs from established western iconography, religious symbolism, Filipino kitsch, and the annals of history. His imagery is deeply rooted in its symbolic and satirical nature.

•Counternarratives by Pio Abad Mar. 28 until April 27; Silverlens Galleries, 2263 Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati; for more information, email info@silverlensgalleries. com or call (0917) 587-4011 Pio Abad returns to Silverlens Manila with Counternarratives. In his second exhibition at the gallery, Abad continues his engagement with Philippine political history, specifically looking at the problematic cultural legacy of the Marcos dictatorship in light of recent attempts to rehabilitate this dark chapter in the nation’s history. In a new body of work, he reconfigures familiar narratives and excavates dismantled iconographies in an attempt to understand the seemingly breathtaking pace at which this history has unraveled. Counternarratives, is taken from a collection of short stories and novellas by the American author John Keene that draws upon multiple accounts—memoirs, newspaper articles and speculative fiction—to offer new perspectives on the past and the present. Abad uses the same approach throughout the exhibition, translating stories from historical residue into images and objects that reflect on acts of mythmaking, monumentalizing and forgetting.

•Nature Into Art by Shozo Michikawa Mar. 28 until April 29; Silverlens Galleries, 2263 Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati; for more information, email or call (0917) 587-4011 Silverlens Manila is proud to announce nature into art by acclaimed ceramic artist Shozo Michikawa. Drawing extensively from the traditional Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic, Michikawa takes his cue from nature and masterfully transcribes its codes and traces, yielding ceramic objects that herald the tension between the sublimity of natural phenomena and the acceptance of the limitations of the human hand, and the imperfection of the forms it can fashion. The pottery workshop with the artist will be made possible through the assistance of artists Jon and Tessy Pettyjohn, whose pioneering efforts have made valuable contributions to contemporary pottery in the Philippines, and with whom Michikawa has collaborated in the past. Michigawa’s bold explorations have since inspired a younger generation of clay artists and his performance or demonstrations have been well received by an international audience. He remained true to his functional roots, never cutting ties to tradition but expanding most ancient of mediums in exciting and refreshing way.

•Almost There Ongoing until May 6; Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City; for more information, call (02) 9281927 or email vargasmuseum@ The Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Vargas Museum are pleased to announce Almost There – an exhibition at the University of the Philippines’ Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, co-curated by Patrick D. Flores (Vargas Museum) and Kyongfa Che (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo). This group exhibition is presented as part of the Japan Foundation Asia Center’s Condition Report – a collaborative art project with emerging young curators from Japan and Southeast Asia. Almost There began with a proposition, a fairly open one, but sufficiently pointed so that it could facet an angle from which to consider certain urgent concerns that the current world is facing, as well as the complex history that had shaped it. The other impulse was to create opportunities for curatorial knowledge to be marked and conveyed across the generations. This aspect was sensitive to the process by which curation was demonstrated as a practice, and in which emerging curators in the Philippines and Southeast Asia participated in carrying out the curatorial task along with peers who have had more exposure and experience in the field. Included in the exhibition are works/projects by selected artists in various media including painting, sculpture, film/video, installation and performance, and small-scale curatorial projects by three curators: Ayos Purwoaji Surip Mawardi, Lisa Ito-Tapang and Lyno Vuth that respons to a specific work by a participating artist or to a context drawn from the concept of the exhibition.

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APRIL 12-25, 2015

Superstar Virgo cruise ship homeports in Manila By VIA BAROMA


anila is officially a cruise home port, as Hong Kong-based cruise line Star Cruises began its threemonth cruise, marking the first-ever home port deployment of Superstar Virgo here in the Philippines. Sailing on the highly-spirited tide of enthusiasm for shared tourism, particularly between the Philippines and China, the luxury cruise ship Superstar Virgo came to homeport in Manila for its maiden voyage from Manila to Laoag, to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to Hong Kong, and back to Manila. Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea led government and travel sector executives in the rites for the launch of the Superstar Virgo cruise from the Manila North Harbor’s Pier 15 on Mar. 19. “As the first-ever cruise ship to homeport in Manila, Superstar Virgo will etch a milestone in our tourism journey, as both the ship and our shores will provide vacationers, including the locals, the convenience of not having to fly to either Hong Kong or Singapore to take a cruise,” said Teo. “I’m certain that the Superstar Virgo will consider the Philippines a growing market as the economic developments are providing the people means of leisure travels.” Discover the Splendor As the flagship of the fleet in Asia, the 13-storey ship features 935 cabins, and carries 2,400 passengers and a crew of 1,100. Cruise amenities include the outdoor Greek-themed swimming pool with the its 100-metre mega water slide, 15 food and beverage outlets, a beauty salon, a library,

a spa and health club, karaoke rooms and entertainment, fitness centers, a basketball court, mini-golf and even a jogging track. Tantalize your taste buds at over 10 restaurants and bars aboard featuring Blue Lagoon (Asian snacks) , Genting Palace (Western cuisine), Mediterranean Restaurant (International cuisine), Noble House (Chinese cuisine), Palazzo (Western), Pavilion (Chinese cuisine), Samurai Restaurant ( Japanese cuisine) and The Taj (Indian cuisine). ’Jewels of the South China Sea’ cruise Superstar Virgo’s six-day / five-night cruise departed on Mar. 19 and will rununtil May 29. The trips are part of the “Jewels of the South China Sea” cruises being promoted by Star Cruises and its partners. From Manila, the ship will travel to its first stop in Laoag, where guests can visit this primitive seaside town with large number of Spanish churches and clock tower surrounded by the European romantic atmosphere, as well as opportunities to see the white sands of Pagudpud. Next, Superstar Virgo will dock at the biggest port in Taiwan in Kaohsiung. Aside from Taiwan’s excellent street food, passengers can also enjoy attractions such as museums, temples, night markets and shopping outlets. Star Cruises President Ang Moo Lim said that passengers can enjoy the visa-free cruise with no baggage allowance. After enjoying the delights of Taiwan, the cruise will voyage to Asia’s truly international and vibrant city – Hong Kong, where travelers can savor a great experience with modern skyscrapers, colorful local markets

Superstar Virgo, the flagship of Hong Kong-based Star Cruises fleet, is the first-ever luxury cruise ship to homeport in Manila's South Harbor

The 13-storey ship features 935 cabins, and carries 2,400 passengers and a crew of 1,100. Cruise highlights its outdoor Greek-themed swimming pool with its 100-metre mega water slide

and roadside food stalls. Star Cruises' Superstar Virgo's homeporting in Manila acts as a catalyst for the Philippines' vision of achieving 300 cruise calls by 2021. Star Cruises is reportedly looking forward to add more Philippine destinations in the cruise itinerary in the future. “I’m pleased to announce that Superstar

Virgo will return to Manila next year. We’ll be offering a lot of exciting cruises to Palawan, Cebu, Boracay, Brunei, Okinawa, Taiwan, Hong Kong to name a few.” Ang Moo Lim beamed. For more information and reservations, call (02) 836-6830/31/32 or email salesmanila@

Witness Okada Manila’s grand Fountain unveiling


kada Manila is getting ready for another milestone as it prepares for the grand reveal of the world’s largest multicolor dancing water fountain set to join the ranks of the country’s top tourism landmarks. Dubbed Manila’s biggest and most lavish integrated resort development, Okada Manila will also unveil many of its key amenities and facilities such as luxurious hotel rooms, topnotch restaurants and retail shops on Mar. 31. An iconic centerpiece Beautifully situated at the heart of the 44-hectare resort, Okada Manila’s The Fountain, will officially debut a spectacular dancing water fountain show in sync with music and multicolor lights. The show will be enhanced with a highly immersive projection mapping onto the glass surface of the 800-meter long crystal corridor surrounding The Fountain, which will create a whimsical augmented and interactive reality. The combination of digital technology, live acrobatic and circus performances and the grand water fountain display is expected to romance the senses of anyone who would come to see the first-of-its-kind and iconic show in Manila. Extraordinary performances On top of the fountain show, Okada Ma-

nila is bringing Manila Bay or mult i-awarded The Fountain singer, songand advanced writer and record in-room techproducer Robin nologies such Thicke to join the as DigiValet grand celebration Service, an and perform his iPad that conhit jams on The trols amenities Fountain stage. and even comAsia’s Got Talmunicates to ent finalist and people outside Filipino classical including the singer Gerphil hotel’s restauFlores, along with rants and conthe 40-piece Macierge. nila Philharmonic Ok ada Orchestra are also Manila is curThe Fountain at Okada Manila expected to wow rently offering the audience with these rooms at their extraordinary and world-class perfor- an introductory rate of PhP8,888 net for stays mances. from Mar. 31 to April 30, except Easter holiThe grand unveiling event will be hosted days. Guests can take advantage of these amazby Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach. ing rates by booking via www.okadamanila. com from Mar. 15 to 31. The biggest accommodations in town The lavishly furnished accommodations Manila’s finest gastronomic and shopping will provide luxurious comforts to locals destination and travelers alike. Guests can indulge in the Okada Manila is also home to more than Deluxe King or Twin that ranges from 55 to 40 dining establishments outfitted with mod74 square meters. These rooms also offer de- ern and elegant interiors. On the 31st of March, signer amenities, spectacular views of either key restaurants will be introduced to guests in

search of the finest flavors of the world. Okada Manila’s brigade of revered international chefs will offer multicultural cuisines emphasizing a full spectrum of flavors for patrons and food aficionados with discerning palates. Guests can embark on a gastronomic journey and sample the culinary masterpieces of Michelin-starred chef Hirofumi Imamura at his eponymous Japanese Kappou Imamura restaurant; take a seat at the exclusive Ginza Nagaoka for a taste of masterfully prepared sushi and sashimi specialties; savor the rich Oriental flavors at Red Spice Chinese restaurant; and delight in a variety of cakes and treats at the Lobby Lounge and Pastry Shop. To complete the guests’ experience, retail shops featuring other food and beverage outlets and specialty local and international brands can be enjoyed by every shopper. Oneof-a-kind premium items can also be found in The Okada Manila gift shop so everyone can bring home a little trinket to remind them of their extraordinary visit. These shops will be housed inside the arched-glass crystal corridor and will be strategically located between The Fountain and Okada Avenue, giving guests a delightful retail experience. To know more about the event and ticket details, visit


APRIL 12-25, 2015 8, 2017 MARCH 26-APRIL

Four Lepers and Lessons in Life By ANGIE DUARTE


t’s that time of the year! Where religious bones in bodies of countless people start to ache and creak. Conscience makes itself felt in ways akin to hunger pangs, refusing to be ignored. Yes, it is undeniable: as Holy Week nears, a large number of folk tend to grow a shade or two more religious. So, I shall take advantage of this by talking of a Biblical account from which I happen to draw inspiration. Not because I’m religious, like that, nor because (now hang on to your socks, this may come as a shock to those of you not in the know) I worked as a Youth Pastor for 15 years, but simply because it is a story that I can apply to daily life. MY daily life; my oft-challenging daily life. It is a tale that is a tad more obscure than your traditional Sunday School fare, but it is one that has helped me on numerous occasions. “You mean we can apply the Bible to our daily lives even when it ISN’T Holy week??? “ “You mean we can apply the Bible to our daily lives, AT ALL???” Yes, and yes. Resoundingly so. If you do not agree, this is your chance to look away. Otherwise, read on – and take it with a grain of salt (and a shot of tequila), if you choose. Let’s look at the story of four lepers, sitting at the entrance or at the walls of the city gates. “What??? Lepers sitting at the city gates? Why on earth were they there?” Well, I’m glad you asked… The lepers’ conundrum The account can be found in the Old Testament Book of Kings; Second Kings, to be precise. Quoting 2 Kings 7: beginning with verse 3, from the easier to read and comprehend New International Version (NIV): (3) Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? (4) If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’— the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die.” Here you have four leprous men, and one very big conundrum: they were not

allowed in the city of Samaria, because of their leprosy. Lepers, back in those days, were considered unclean or unholy. So much so that they had to announce their presence by yelling out “Unclean! Unclean” as they went about their business or approached others. Imagine the stigma. Imagine the shame. Imagine how non-existent, the self-worth. They were outcasts; considered outsiders amongst their own people. Now I certainly am no leper, but there are times that I have felt like that. Life has a way of sometimes making you feel cast out of the best it has to offer. Problems and extreme challenges come against you. Or perhaps you have done something so terrible; sinned so “horribly” that you now feel unclean and isolated from the “good folk.” Just like the lepers. Believe you me, I can SO relate. City under siege Creating an even bigger conundrum, the city was under siege by the Syrian army (the Arameans settled in Syria, and as such, were known as the Syrian-Arameans), and famine had gripped the land. No supplies were allowed in or out, which is kind of the point of a siege. So why would they even want to enter the city, in the first place? No food at the gates, no food within them, either. Whatever could they possibly do? The lepers were, pardon the intentional pun, falling apart. Literally, and figuratively. “If we go to the city, we die; if stay here, we die,” they thought to themselves. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Now remember, these lepers had already come from the city, where the “clean” folk were. They were cast out because of their disease. They were a pariah in their own community. They could not go back, and – because of the siege – nor would they have good reason to. It is interesting and ironic to note that many times, those people we look to as “having it all” (or, at least, having it better

than us) are themselves under siege. Those whom we perceive as living a better life on the greener side of the fence may very well be struggling, themselves. Sure, they may not be isolated and dealing with the same set of challenges – but they have their own struggles. This is why it sometimes happens that people we generally consider as successful, rich, well-adjusted, beautiful, socially accepted commit self-destructive acts of desperation, or end up in a vortex of abuse – drugs, alcohol, sex; you get the picture. These people, too, are under siege and falling apart – only they are falling apart in ways that may not be quite as obvious to the onlooker. Get up, and move forward! So what do you do when you find yourself at a point in your life at which EVERYTHING, and then some, seems to be falling apart? When you cannot stay where you are, and you cannot go back, because both places have nothing left to offer? When you have nothing to go back to and all is lost in your past, yet your present is just as terrible? What do you do when you don’t know what else to do? YOUR BEST BET IS TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD!!! Boldfaced, with three exclamation points for emphasis. I would underline and italicize it, too; but I think you get the point. Don’t give up; don’t quit. Think about your situation, wallow for a bit in your misery if you have to; then use reason and play the options out in your head. Muster up all the faith and bravery you have left within you, and put one foot in front of the other. GET UP AND MOVE ON. The lepers realized they had nothing left to lose, and they chose to move forward: 2 Kings 7:4 “So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” They took a giant step of faith and courage. True, their faith was tempered by fatalism (“If we die, we die…”), but the act of moving forward was in itself an act of

determination. Others may have opted to give up and stay put, instead of venturing on. The lepers knew that moving forward, at least, gave them a fighting chance. Fortitude + faith There’s a word I really like: Fortitude; courage in adversity. Here’s the thing fortitude, mixed with faith – it always produces results, whether immediately or eventually. Fortitude and faith propel you forward. To avoid falling off religion’s deep end, or losing those who are of the non-spiritual persuasion, I’d like to postulate that faith has many anchors: we can also view faith as rooted in the belief that things will get better; faith that if we do not give up - and continue doing what is right, somewhere, somehow things will turn around in our favor; faith in yourself; faith in others; faith in the good that remains within each of us. Now maybe that is the remnant of the cockeyed optimist in me, rearing up its chirpy head. But honestly, I refuse to live a life ruled by despair and hopelessness. And so, I choose to keep believing that there IS still good out there; I choose to keep pressing on. Have I been disappointed, at times? Of course. Severely so. We all have. BUT I KEEP MOVING FORWARD, nonetheless. I cannot wallow forever in the misery of past mistakes: I cannot live in a present plagued by lack – so I press on to what is hopefully a better tomorrow. This is what the lepers chose to do, and guess what? When they got to the camp of the Arameans, they found that no one was there, for the ones they feared had been spooked away by the sound of chariots. The spoils of war awaited the lepers, even though they had not fought the battle themselves. Their part was to step out and move forward in faith. “To keep on keeping on,” and not give up. What do you do when you don’t know what else to do? YOU KEEP MOVING FORWARD. Tomorrow may very well be the day that things turn around for you, for the better!



APRIL 12-25, 2015

Compiled by VIA BAROMA



•Summer Is Here: Iggy Azalea

•Philippine Flow Fest 2017

Apr. 1; The Palace Pool Club, Uptown Bonifacio, 9th Ave cor. 36th St., Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig; for table reservations and inquiries, call (0917) 689-8888 or visit

Mar. 31 to Apr. 2; The Circle Hostel, Liwa Liwa, Zambales; for more information, visit or email

The Palace Pool Club turns up the summer heat as they bring Australian rapper Iggy Azalea for her first performance in Manila, as part of the happening club’s Summer is Here party. Drop it low and pick it up as the American Music Awards winner treats the Pool Club faithful to a number of her chart-topping hits that include “Fancy,” “Team,” “Black Widow,” and “Work,” among other bumping tunes. Tickets are priced at PhP1,900 for Standing. Table Rates are priced at PhP120,000 for Cabana 1-3; PhP60,000 for Cabana 4-11; PhP50,000 for Inside Pool; PhP40,000 for Courtyard Couches; and PhP30,000 for Courtyard Dining.

•Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams Tour Apr. 4; Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, Pasay City; for more information, visit or call (02) 470-2222 The long wait is finally over! One of the biggest bands in the world, British rock phenomenon Coldplay, is set to rock manila with their anthemic hits this April. This seven-time Grammy winning band’s music style, ranging from dream pop to art rock ahs sold more than 80 million records, while winning countless awards. Catch Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bass player Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion as they tear up the Manila’s stage with chart-topping hits like “Yellow,” “Paradise,” “The Scientist,” “Fix You,” “Up & Up,” “Adventure of a Lifetime,” “Hymn For the Weekend” and a lot more. If you’re one of the thousands who missed out on the initial ticket releases, don’t despair, as MMI Live has recently released more tickets to cater all Coldplay fans. Tickets are priced at PhP22,500 for VIP; PhP17,500 for Platinum; PhP12,500 for Gold; PhP7,500 for Silver; PhP3,500 for Bronze; and PhP1,800 for General Admission.

•Fifth Harmony: The 7/27 Tour Apr. 5; Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City; for more information, visit or call (02) 470-2222 American girl group Fifth Harmony is heading to the Philippines for their first onenight concert in the country. The group’s 7/27 concert in Manila is part of their ongoing world tour. Fifth Harmony was formed during the second season of the reality talent competition “X Factor US.” With Camila Cabello quitting the group, Fifth Harmony is now left with four members - Ally, Normani, Dinah and Lauren. Catch the remaining members as they perform their hit singles “Work From Home,” “Worth It,” “That’s My Girl” just to name a few. Tickets are priced at PhP7,875 for VIP; PhP6,825 for VIP 2; PhP5,040 for Lower Box A; PhP3,990 for Lower Box B; and PhP1,050 for General Admission.

Beat the summer heat with the Philippines’ only Fire Arts and Music Festival! Come and celebrate the country’s 5th Philippine Flow Fest also, known as Burning Man Festival of the Philippines—a three-day festival that will bring together motion, music and art enthusiasts from across the country. The event features world-renowned international flow artists: Yuta Poi, Gail O’Brien, Jay Firecat, Daniel Darwin, Ehrlich Ocampo, Hanz Pastor, Sweet Caneos, Legato Visual Performing Arts and EBC Academy. Bringing the tunes to set the festival’s mood is the lineup of artists that include Adinka Lumads Djembe Community, AJ Abdel Aziz, DJ MushProject, DJ Samantha Nicole, DJ D.B. Tembrevilla, among others. Tickets are priced at PhP2,400 for 3-day pass (includes festival kit, unlimited workshops, raffle stub, Fire Circle, Sharing Sessions (2), Open Stage Show, Main Gala Show + After Party w/ free drink and community games); PhP1,800 for 2-day pass (includes festival kit, unlimited workshops, raffle stub, Sharing Sessions (1), Main Gala Show + After Party w/ free drink and community games); PhP800 for on-site and PhP500 for pre-event for Main Gala Show + After Party with free drink.

•Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival Apr. 6 to 9; Pradera Verde, Brgy. Prado Siongco, Lubao, Pampanga; for more information, visit www.lubaoibmf. com Enjoy the summer skies with amazing sights and sounds as the Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival gathers some 40 international balloonists for one exciting and fun hot air balloon festival. Now on its 4th year, the biggest hot air festival in Southeast Asia offers a new addition to the entertainment – an international music festival that will be held on the last day, communing international artists to add joy and fun to the ever evolving annual summer affair for family and friends. Apart from the international acts, the music fest features local performers Spongecola (Apr. 6), Parokya ni Edgar (Apr. 7), Bamboo (Apr. 8), Alex Aino and Redfoo Party Rock Crew (April 9). Tickets are priced at PhP1,500 for Gold and PhP300 for General Admission.

•Chroma Music Festival 2.0 Apr. 8; Globe Circuit Events Ground; for more information, visit or call (02) 470-2222 Take part in what is being hyped as the biggest and grandest color music festival this April as Chroma Music Festival 2.0 brings Londonbased producer Jonas Blue to co-headline the event along with other international acts like HeadHunterz, Dyro, Rave Radio, Onderkoffer, Tony Romero. The lineup also includes local talents Tom Taus, Zoo Theory, Callum David, The Zombettes, Cathy Frey, Victor Pring and MC Boo. Tickets are priced at PhP1,500 for VIP (inclusive of two bags of powder. two premium drinks, one Chroma shirt and all access to side activities); and PhP1,200 for General Admission (inclusive of one bag of powder, one free drink and access to side activities)


Expat Newspaper Volume 35 No. 9 March 26, 2017 - April 8, 2017


Expat Newspaper Volume 35 No. 9 March 26, 2017 - April 8, 2017