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May 2017 Vol. XXXV No. 11


The Philippine Marine Drums and Bugle Corps performing during the recent festivities that commemorated the Araw ng "Kagitingan" (Day of Valor) in Pilar, Bataan. Turn to page 2 to read more about the annual tribute to the Filipino World War II veterans. Photo by DENNIS MURILLO

MCIA eyes new int’l flights in next 2 years By RICHARD RAMOS


ith the construction of a new passenger terminal proceeding as scheduled, the management of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), GMR- Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMACAC), is looking to open new routes connecting Cebu to Australia, Europe and more Asean countries within the next two years. Expanding connections to China, Japan and South Korea are also being studied for implementation soon. The MCIA Terminal 2 is set to open in mid 2018, and is forecasted to increase passenger traffic to the region, through Cebu. “By pursuing new and diverse routes and increasing travel and tourism to the VisayasMindanao regions, we are ensuring long term

sustainability and economic and social benefits for the passengers and the businesses,” said Louie Ferrer, GMCAC president. This year, MCIA is targeting to hit 10 million passenger arrivals by the end of 2017, or a 12 percent jump from 2016. GMCAC and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), the government owned and controlled corporation supervising the airside operations, are both actively marketing the airport as a gateway to southern Philippines. “The robust growth in the number of flights and passengers to MCIA is indicative of the national and global acceptance of Cebu as a world-class destination,” said Atty. Steve Dicdican, MCIAA general manager. “To keep up with the foreseeable steady growth in the years

to come and the expectations of passengers that pass through our gateway, we at MCIAA are committed to delivering an airport experience that is reflective of the dynamism and warmth of Cebu.” New routes The latest passenger numbers for the MCIA were recently released, with GMCAC disclosing that the country’s second busiest gateway logged a total of 8.9 million passengers – with 6.7 million domestic and 2.2 million international. 2016 numbers grew 12 percent from the previous year, with 2015 passenger arrivals registering a total of 7.98 million passengers – with 5.91 million domestic and 2.07 international. “We are proud and excited page 2

Could Brexit benefit Phl economy?


he Philippines could stand to benefit from the effects of United Kingdom's impending withdrawal from the European Union (EU)—commonly referred to as “Brexit”—rather than bear any adverse effects to its economy, according to the Nordic Chamber of Commerce (NordCham) of the Philippines. NordCham Executive Director Joona Selin said the Philippines offers a cheaper alternative to UK businesses especially in the outsourcing industry. “Simply from an outsourcing perspective, on the short term, it [Brexit] will probably provide more opportunities for that sector to grow here. Let's say in more dire times, companies will be looking for more cost efficiency, which oftentimes can be found in markets like here in the Philippines in that particular sector,” he said at the sidelines of the NordCham Forum titled “Trump & Brexit- What do these mean for EU and Asean?” held at the BDO Corporate Center in Makati. Selin added that the Philippage 4


APRIL 12-25, 2015


Commemorating courage



This year's Araw ng Kagitingan marks the 75th anniversary of the heroism and sacrifice by Filipino WWII veterans


n Apr. 9, the nation celebrated Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), paying tribute to the heroism of Filipino soldiers who fought alongside American forces during World War II. This year's Day of Valor marks the 75th anniversary of the surrender of more than 76,000 USAFFE soldiers by American Army General Edward P. King after a heroic stand, resulting to the Fall of Bataan, and the subsequent Death March from the town of Mariveles to Capas in Tarlac. Aiming to promote and memorialize the heroic deeds and ideals of our veterans, the celebration began with the annual commemorative rites on Mt. Samat National Shrine in Pilar, Bataan. Attended by veterans, their families, local and foreign officials, the program included a ceremonial wreathlaying by President Rodrigo Duterte, Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa, and US Chargé d'affaires Michael Kleches on the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) culminating into President Duterte's announcment that he had signed an Executive Order expediting the release of PhP6 billion for veteran pension funds. After the formal event, the festivities continued in a field in Pilar, where a drumand-lyre competition among public elemen-

tary schools in Bataan opened the afternoon program. The title was bagged by Timog Tomahawk Drum and Lyre Corps of Orani South Elementary School, which wowed the crowd with precise gymnastics performed by its majorettes. Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Administrator Ernesto Carolina addressed the crowd right after. "We may have not forgotten," he said. "But we have definitely forgiven." Following the announcement of winners, and formal addresses was a concert by homegrown talents including Koro Bangkal Magbikin – the first Aeta children's choir. The main event, sponsored by Japanese Kenji Mori, was the 25-minute firework display. Before the "Grandest Pyrotechnique" began, Mr. Mori implored the audience to "remember the Japanese well." He then compelled them to their feet as he sang a rendition of the Philippine National Anthem. Moments later, the 75,000-shot spectacle began. Prepared by pyro-expert Dragon Fireworks, the show lit up the skies of Bataan, wowing the crowd – a fitting grand finale to the celebration in honor of courage and sacrifice.

British firms eye business opportunities in Mindanao


he Trade and Investment Mission to Davao City brought a total of 50 delegates to explore commercial/ investment opportunities in Mindanao and expand business networks. Represented in the delegation were companies from cross-sector industries, mostly from high priority sectors in Mindanao such as infrastructure, transportation, agribusiness, ICT/BPO, and energy. The high-level delegation engaged in networking activities, business meetings, site tours to ecozones/homegrown companies, and in the Mindanao Trade and Investment Forum. The forum focused on the projected economic growth in Mindanao and the areas of collaboration between the public and pri-

vate sectors. In his keynote speech, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno shared the priority projects in the region under the Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network, and the different implementation reforms. Also present was Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, who elaborated the administration’s 10-point socio-economic agenda. Organized by the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP), the Mission was led by British Ambassador Asif Ahmad, BCCP Chairman Chris Nelson, PBBC Co-Chairman Ambassador Jesus Tambunting, and PCCI President George Barcelon.

Soldiers of the Philippine army lead the entourage during the Parade of Valor A float depicting the "First Line of Defense"that delayed the entry of Japanese Imperial Forces to Bataan

MCIA eyes new int’l flights...from page 1 to be at the helm of this growth. With a total of 16 international destinations, 30 domestic destinations, and with 19 partner airline carriers, it shows that Cebu is no longer just a secondary airport. It is a viable choice connecting to the rest of the Philippines and to the world,” said Ferrer. Just last year, five new international destinations and three domestic destinations were launched out of the MCIA. The new international routes include: Cebu-Los Angeles (PAL); Cebu-Xiamen (Xiamen Air); Cebu-Dubai (Emirates); CebuChengdu (China Eastern Airlines and PAL); Cebu-Hangzhou (Ais Asia); Cebu-Wuhan (China Eastern Airlines); and Cebu-Daegu (T’Way Air). Meanwhile, new domestic routes were launched from Cebu to Ormoc, Calbayog and Roxas by Cebu Pacific. Sustained growth in the travel market also saw airline companies adding new flights to existing routes like Cebu-Taipei (Eva Air); Cebu-Pusan (Air Busan); Cebu-Kuala Lumpur, Cebu- Taipei, and Cebu Singapore by Air Asia; Cebu-Caticlan and Cebu-Singapore by PAL; and Cebu- Narita by Vanilla Air. In the first quarter of this year, PAL opened five new domestic routes (Clark, Puerto Princesa, General Santos, Surigao and Coron) out of Cebu thereby investing in domestic connectivity and increasing its regional network. Increased capacity and capability As more international and domestic destinations are launched, GMCAC emphasized that increasing Mactan-Cebu Airport’s capacity is the next crucial step. “We need proper infrastructure so that we can accommodate more airlines and more flights. Route development is essential to an airport; the more flights we have, the more passengers will pass through our gates,” Ferrer said. Slated to open in June 2018, Terminal 2 will increase passenger capacity to 12.5 million. Spanning 65,500 square meters, the new terminal will not only lessen congestion but will offer an exciting and wide-ranging retail environ-

ment. The architectural design is inspired by Cebu’s island heritage. “We create the first and last impressions visitors make of Cebu and the rest of the country, and thus, we want to create a worthy impression for everyone. Not only will the new terminal look distinctly Filipino, it will also be a complete experience of Filipino hospitality the moment you set foot here,” Ferrer stated. GMCAC improvements Terminal operations of the MCIA were officially handed over to GMCAC in November 2014. Although the Concession Agreement stated that Terminal 1 renovations would commence after completion of Terminal 2 in 2018, GMCAC decided to undertake major renovations to improve passenger comfort in the existing terminal immediately after handover. Among these efforts were the introduction of technological efficiencies that streamline passenger processing and lessen congestion within the existing terminal such as a universal check-in system that allows counters to be distributed evenly to meet peak demands, self-service check-in kiosks and a new Baggage Reconciliation System for more accurate baggage loading. GMCAC also introduced Cebu Connect, a transfer and early check-in facility that allows passengers with connecting flights to easily drop their baggage for check-in and have their boarding passes printed out up to 12 hours before their flight. In the recent years, Mactan-Cebu Airport’s successful PPP model has gained international awards and recognition. Among them are: Asia Pacific Regional Airport of the Year (2016); Asia Pacific PPP Deal of the Year (2016); Best Transport Deal for Asia Pacific (2016); Project Finance Deal of the Year and Best Transport Deal of the Year (2015); and Best Transit Category for 2015. It was also short-listed for the last three consecutive years by Routes for Best Marketing. Last year, The Guide to Sleeping in Airports named Mactan-Cebu Airport as the 14th Best Airport in Asia, up from the 18th spot in 2015.


APRIL 12-25, 2015 MAY 2017


CEDFIT, or the Cebu Educational Development Foundation-Information Technology will host the 2017 Transformation Summit on May 22 at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. This rebranded event will enable participants to know more about the Philippines IT-BPM Roadmap 2022 and the industry programs of the Cebu City government. Topics will focus on cybercrime, artificial intelligence, managing change, gearing for more growth, airport updates, among others. Rates are at PhP2,000 for academe; PhP2,500 for CEDF-IT members; and PhP3,500 for non-CEDFIT members, fees are inclusive of a kit, lunch, and snacks. For more details, call the CEDF-IT office at (032) 236-5081; e-mail; or visit to register online. Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel, situated in Mactan Island, offers its “Summerific” promo for only PhP6,700 / night for all Sundays until June 25, 2017. Price includes overnight stay at a pre-

miere deluxe poolside room with breakfast for two adults and two kids (up to 10 years old), one hour usage of kayak for two, one-time 10 percent discount on ala carte orders at La Marina or Brisa Restaurant, and one-time 10 percent discount on selected Lema Spa services. Buy two rooms and enjoy one banana boat ride, good for a maximum of six adults. For the Sunday Lunch Buffet, two adults can avail of the meal at PhP1,100 net while the third person in the group is free. Kids aged up to 10 are charged at PhP660 each. For more information, contact (032) 231-4244 or Globe Telecom, in partnership with the University of Cebu, completed its PRISM digital literacy training program for 140 teachers from various Visayasbased private schools and universities. The teachers underwent a three-week professional development program including distance learning and an immersive two-day boot camp for more

effective classroom training. Michelle Tapia, Globe Advisor and Head of Education Strategy and Innovation, said that through the program, “We are assisting the teachers to adapt to their evolving role and in discovering new ways they can foster creative and critical thinking among the students.” PRISM was earlier held in Manila and Naga, while Pampanga and Cagayan de Oro takes place before June 2017. “Poblacion Houses in Cebu: Urban Architecture in the American Colonial Period” a book published by the University of San Carlos (USC) Press, was recently launched at the newly renovated Casa Gorordo Museum situated at the downtown area. Dr. Kiyoko Yamaguchi, the author who based the book on her doctoral dissertation, carried out a comprehensive survey of studies and literature on this subject coupled with fieldwork on poblacion planning from September 2002 to November 2003 in Cebu. A Japanese architectural gradu-

ate and watercolor artist, Yamaguchi has over 250 watercolor sketches of the houses in her book. The book was printed by ClintKAMMS Corp. and is officially distributed by Phialo Trading Corp. Minglanilla Highlands Cebu is the new brand of “affordable luxury residences” by Sterling Land Residences and Development Inc. This most coveted southern address has no less than worldrenowned urban planner Architect Jun Palafox doing the conceptual master plan with modern international house designs. Among the most prized features not found anywhere else in Cebu is the image of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal inspired by Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, a Pilgrimage Site with meditation garden labyrinth for moments of reflection, and a wedding chapel with reception area. Add on a lifestyle hub housing a bed and breakfast facility, a spa and wellness center, al fresco dining, a viewing deck, organic landscaping, orchard, among others.


APRIL 12-25, 2015


Cebu Biz Month kicks off in June


CBM 2017’s slew of activities set to spur business in the region


elebrated every month of June and spearheaded by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the month-long Cebu Business Month (CBM) was organized to celebrate the significant achievements and leadership role that Cebu businessmen play in enterprise development, socio-economic prosperity and nation-building. CBM 2017 shall banner the theme “STEP Up Cebu” which stands for “Stepping Up Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Productivity for the Upliftment of Cebu.” Through the CBM 2017 programs, CCCI intends to contribute to the competitive advantage of Cebu in the global economy, thereby propelling Cebu businesses to catalyze inclusive growth in the region. CBM aims to inspire, promote, and grow Cebu business by gathering industry stakeholders to activities and events in the areas of Tourism, Information and Communications Technology and Business Process Management (ICT-BPM), Entrepreneurship, and Creative Industries. CBM calendar of events The CBM Grand Launch and Press Conference took place last Apr. 27 at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel with the presentation of the CBM 2017 working committees, lined up events, sponsors’ Memorandum of Agreement signing, and media interviews. The Grand Opening Salvo will take place on June 1 at The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu with lots of fanfare, fellowship, and speeches

to welcome the event takeoff. Among the many highlights for the next few days is the Exhibit for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises featuring Kapatid Mentor Me Mentees, headed by the Department of Trade and Industry. Participants are the graduates of the two-month long training program of aspiring entrepreneurs who will showcase their products and services at the Ayala Activity Center. The Cebu Digital Innovation Summit takes place on June 2 to 3 at the Summit Galleria Hotel. This event shall provide a knowledge sharing platform on how digital innovation will continue to be critical to your success, how to prepare your company, how to adapt to new technologies that may disrupt your business, and disruptive innovation. For tourism, the Lumba’g Laag sa Sugbo “Race to Cebu’s Hidden Attractions” takes place on June 10 to 12 in the south of Cebu, as the interactive event ala Suroy Suroy Sugbo, and AXN’s Amazing Race, shall promote and showcase Cebu’s tourism, food, people, culture and heritage through technology and adventure. The Cebu Travel and Tourism Summit is set for June 16 at the Cebu City Marriot Hotel. Among the scheduled topics are knowledge sharing platform and promotion on the latest travel technologies, talks on online reputation management and marketing skills, importance of tour guiding learning program, eco-tourism and heritage, Cebu as a MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) destination, health and wellness,

retirement haven, and tourism opportunities. The STEP UP Cebu Entrepreneurship Conference and Expo takes place on June 20 to 22 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino with the theme “Enabling Business Growth through Technology and Innovation.” This knowledge-sharing platform brings together policy makers, industry business sectors, academe, inventors/innovators, innovation centers, and other business support institutions, essential to generating greater impact in creating a supportive ecosystem. This includes an up-close encounter with business icons sharing their inspirational stories, best practices, experiences, and strategies. Also featured here is the 2017 Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit (RICE) and Technology Transfer; the onestop shop of Business Support and Solutions for MSMEs; and the CEO Night with a coffee table discussion with the invited business

icon and networking dinner. The latter is geared for CEOs and COOs from the Cebu’s business community as well as government agencies in a night of networking, knowledge sharing, and learning opportunities. The Business-in-Golf Tournament takes place at the Alta Vista Golf Club on June 16, while the Digital Marketing Competition Awarding Ceremonies takes place on June 27 at the Atrium of Robinson’s Galleria. This event encourages students to capture first-hand information of the LGUs/municipalities to develop a promotional campaign and present it in the most creative digital way to provide a two-way learning experience for the students and the LGU. The Grand Chamber Awards and Fellowship Night is scheduled on June 30. This culminating activity will recognize the Outstanding Cebuano Entrepreneurs who have demonstrated exemplary performance in their fields of business and applied ethical practices that reflect the ideas of corporate social responsibility.

Could Brexit benefit...from page 1 pines likewise offers an attractive export market to British companies. “Since no country can only rely on their domestic market, in the case of the UK, they will need to look at what are their export markets and the Philippines can again enter the picture as a growth market, as an export destination,” he said. Asean lessons Adjunct Professor of Singapore Management University and Copenhagen Business School, Jorgen Orstrøm Moller, gave the talk during the forum. He is also a noted commentator on European affairs and one of the most influential negotiators in the European Community, particularly in the areas of trade and economic affairs and a former Ambassador. For his part, Professor Moller opined that members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) should take a lesson from the experience of the EU when it comes to dealing with the region's political issues. “The Asean can learn something from EU. Both have problems with their respective political system. People (from both regions)

Jorgen Orstrøm Moller, adjunct Professor of Singapore Management University and Copenhagen Business School, addresses the audience during a forum sponsored by the Nordic Chamber of Commerce held at the BDO Corporate Center in Makati

need to be encouraged and convinced that the democratic system works. The EU and Asean are there to solve the problems (member-) countries cannot solve on their own. But unless people believe this, they will lose interest and will not support the system,” he said. “Actually, the benefits of globalization are more felt in Asia than in the US or in Europe. However, economy alone does not solve the problem. Education does.” Local economic experts have already downplayed any negative effects Brexit might have in the Philippine economy. Direct Philippine exposure to the UK economy is relatively small. Merchandise exports and imports between the UK and the Philippines account for only 0.9 percent and 0.5 percent of the total in 2010-15, respectively. In terms of external debt, borrowings from EU countries made up only 8.8 percent of the country’s total external debt. The country’s debt stock remained largely denominated in US Dollar and Japanese Yen. The UK, however, accounted for around US$1.5 billion of total overseas Filipino workers remittances in 2015.


APRIL 12-25, 2015 MAY 2017

Feb tourist arrivals hit 4-year high


his year’s strong tourism start continued through February, breaking the month’s record of visitor arrivals since 2013, according to official figures released by the Department of Tourism (DOT). A total of 579,178 visitors were recorded in February, an increase of 27.81 percent over the past four years, and 5.36 percent higher than the same period last year, according to DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo. Visitors from South Korea topped all other markets in February, with 150,598 tourists representing a 26 percent share of total inbound traffic in the Philippines, and a 9.51 percent increase in Korean arrivals

from the same period last year. “We have maintained and even increased figures from South Korea, and we expect to see further growth as Korean tourists perceive our country as a distinctive global destination built on unique experiences and rich natural beauty,” said Teo. Completing the top five markets for the period are the US with 137,598 (23.76 percent); China with 78,251 (13.51 percent); Japan with 53,957 (9.32 percent); and Taiwan with 20,472 (3.53 percent). The DOT credited ramped up promotional efforts for the increased tourist arrivals, as other markets also showed an increase in the second month of the year.

Australian arrivals rose by 9.32 percent (20,157), Canadian arrivals by 21.39 percent (19,016), while tourists from the UK by 15.65 percent (15,226). Among the top 12 markets, Germany registered the highest per capital expenditure for February 2017. On average, a German visitor spent PhP60,260.45 while in the country. UK tourists followed with per capita spending of PhP47,533.15, tailed by Canadians with PhP43,761. 75, Koreans with PhP38,714.46, and the French with PhP37,354.40. Also on a positive note, the Philippines has welcomed a total of 8,176 cruise passen-

gers through various ports in the country. Manila remained the country's top cruise destination with recorded arrivals of 2,785 passengers, followed by Boracay with 1,145, Bohol with 692 passengers, and Pangasinan with 640 passengers. “These numbers show that cruise tourism is one of the fastest growing segments in the Philippine tourism. This certainly gives us a positive outlook for the country’s cruise tourism market for this year,” said Teo. The DOT’s combined January and February figures represent 17.3 percent of the tourism sector’s target of seven million arrivals in 2017.

Leisure time under threat by increasingly busy lives A global survey of more than 10,000 people in 22 countries shows lack of leisure time and changing attitudes to play


s everyday life becomes increasingly busy in today’s society, the amount of leisure time people have is diminishing and important play time is under threat. Almost one in three (30 percent) adults have less than 10 hours of free time per week, and 36 percent have less than two hours per day, as the demands of modern life start to eat into free time. Leading home appliance brand Beko, Premium Partner of FC Barcelona, commis-

sioned a survey of 10,100 people of all ages and demographics in 22 countries around the world to identify trends in play and leisure time. Children’s play time is also being affected by their parents’ busy lives, with 40 percent of parents revealing they haven’t taken their child to play at a park in the past year. In an average week, children have three hours less leisure time (21 hours) these days compared to their parents’ generation (24 hours).

A staggering 70 percent do not rank playing sport or going to the gym/exercising as one of their favorite leisure time activities and nearly a third (30 percent) of people admit they never exercise. Other key findings • Women have three hours less play time per week compared to men (19 hours vs. 22 hours) • 38 years old is the age when people most

crave the chance to have more play time in their lives, with 63 percent wishing they had more leisure time rather than more money • With leisure time increasingly under threat, spending time with family has become more important, with 64 percent choosing this as their favorite activity, followed by relaxing at home (62 percent) and socializing with friends (46 percent) The World Play Shortage Report is part of Beko’s Official Partner of Play campaign.


APRIL 12-25, 2015


Newspaper The Philippines’ forum for international readers since 1981

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

Changing how Filipinos think By MIKE GROGAN


here are so many similarities between my native country Ireland and the Philippines. Both of our nations were colonized, both of us are predominantly Roman Catholic, and both of us have a history of mass emigration. While watching the epic movie “Heneral Luna,” I could not help myself from reflecting that there is another commonality that we share. A study of Irish history will reveal that the greatest enemy of the Irish is the Irish themselves. And today, a study of any Irish newspaper will also reveal that the greatest critic of Ireland is the Irish themselves. We are our own worst enemies. I believe that this is the same here in the Philippines. In the words of the great Antonio Luna “Brothers, our greatest enemy is ourselves.” The greatest enemy of the Filipino, is the Filipino. The greatest critic of the Philippines is the Filipino themselves. The vast majority of Filipino TV, newspaper and social media headlines are all focusing on something negative (corruption, murder, terrorism, natural disasters, celebrity scandal, etc.). Not that I am saying that negative news should not be brought to our attention, but the continuous con-

sumption of negative news will give us a very unbalanced and unfair view of the world. I see extraordinary, positive things happening in Philippines everyday. I believe that for every one negative story written about the Filipino, there are 100 positive stories that don’t get talked about. This really is the greatest time in history to be in the Philippines. Living here makes me a better man. There is no other country in the world that I would rather be in. There is something about the character of the Filipino that I have not seen anywhere in the world. As my team and I travel across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, delivering both our inspiring talks and management trainings, the majority of the audiences are still surprised that a foreigner has so much belief in their country, where so many Filipinos don’t. I explain that this self-doubt is normal. The story of the Filipino is like the story of the butterfly; it cannot see how beautiful its wings are. Sometimes it takes an outsider to remind them of that beauty. I meet so many Filipinos with far more talent than me; however it drives me crazy to see that so many of these amazing individuals do not believe in themselves. Belief is the foundation of all suc-

cess! The more Filipinos that we convince to change the way they think about their own potential and the potential of their nation, then I am absolutely convinced the we will see a first world Philippines in our lifetime. I feel blessed that everyday I get to see this in the people we work with. It gives me great hope that the greatest days of this nation are ahead of us! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

About Mike Mike Grogan is a lean management expert, best-selling author and international speaker who believes in the genius of the Filipino. He has worked in Europe, America, Africa and Asia, and has delivered his inspiring talks and training seminars to over 100,000 people around the world; however, he believes that the greatest human potential in the world is here in the Philippines. He is passionate about helping Filipinos to become more confident, proactive and productive, so they can lead by example and become role models of Filipino excellence. For comments feedback and suggestions, contact To get a free copy of his latest book, “7 Reasons Filipinos will Change the World,” go to ebook.

The Visita Iglesia A Filipino Lenten tradition explainer Text and photos by CELINE REYES


isita Iglesia is a Roman Catholic practice of visiting churches during Lent. Over the years, the practice in general came to entail no particular number of churches to visit. But in the Philippines, the number has always been seven – an allusion to the seven basilicas in Rome from which the tradition originated. The practice usually starts by attending a mass in the first church, followed by praying at the Blessed Sacrament or at the Stations of the Cross in the remaining six. In the past, the visitation was done during Maundy Thursday, but Filipinos have come to perform it as early as Ash Wednesday, and as late as Good Friday. The reason behind this deviation is practicality. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are declared as holidays in the Philippines; thus, popular churches tend to get crowded during these days, which could potentially turn the solemn practice into something hurried and rambunctious. Imagine elbowing your way through a mass of people just to say a prayer (otherwise known as the daily MRT commute). While some would be fine with this (some would even prefer it because of the communal vibe), others prefer to have a little peace and quiet, hence the early start. Holy tours This year's Lent also saw the height of another practical dimension to the practice. Local parishes have taken into organizing Visita Iglesias for their congregation. Travel agencies, too, have started offering "holy

tours." Reminiscent of a school field trip, these tours usually take participating parishionSan Antonio De Galicia Church in Iguig, Cagayan ers to another province aboard a bus or a coaster, complete with an itinerary of not only seven churches, but tourist spots as well. These tours are popular among the elderly and cash-strapped devotees. Because, truth be told, going from church to church could take its toll on your pocket, and tours like these allow more Filipinos to partake in a religious tradition. Antipolo Cathedral In the province of Rizal, one church has bePractices like these are nothing new to come an all-time favorite Visita Iglesia desti- the Philippines. The country has always been nation. The Antipolo Cathedral houses a Mar- predominantly Catholic. According to the Ocian image of the Our Lady of Peace and Good tober 2015 report of the Philippine Statistics Voyage – the patron of travelers. Its proximity Authority, 80.58 percent of the total Filipino to the Metro adds to its allure, and it's often population were Roman Catholics – that's the seventh and final church in a visitation. around 80 million people, majority of which The visit to the cathedral during Holy Week would be observing Lent, showing penance has a unique feature. Instead of just driv- and commemorating the death and rebirth ing their way to the church, people opt to go of Christ through Visita Iglesia, Alay Lakad, there in an "Alay Lakad" – a foot procession fasting, or through the more extreme means during Good Friday that draws thousands of of self-flagellation. devotees from as far as Quiapo.


APRIL 12-25, 2015 MAY 2017

The Fountain at Okada Manila: Promise of things to come The country’s newest luxury integrated resort development unveils a spectacle of sound, light, and a whole lot of water By ANGIE DUARTE


kada Manila has set the mark for leisure and gaming at a level that many can only ever aspire to reach. Owned and operated by Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc., and beauteous brainchild of gaming mogul, Kazuo Okada, the entertainment center is poised to set new standards as it breaks down all the old ones. Among the most iconic features of the massive 440,000-square meter (44-hectare) property is The Fountain, a 37,464-square meter dancing water display and light show, set to a variety of music. Further enhancing the multi-sensory treat is a visually dazzling, immersive projection mapping onto the gleaming glass surface of the 800-meter long crystal corridor surrounding The Fountain. According to Bryan Bass, Okada Manila’s Property Marketing Director, negotiations are still underway, as well, to forge a partnership with the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) for original Filipino music to accompany the stunning water show. The Fountain was officially launched on Mar. 31 at a star-studded unveiling ceremony, which was hosted by Miss Universe 2015 Pia

Wurtzbach, and showcased the talent of international multi-awarded singer, songwriter, and record producer Robin Thicke, Asia’s Got Talent finalist and Filipino classical singer Gerphil Flores, and the 40-piece Manila Philharmonic Orchestra. This centrally located ornamental structure is expected to become the single most recognizable feature of Okada Manila, and is likewise projected to be a big crowddrawer, attracting both local and international crowds. At a cost of US$30 million, The Fountain will be a one-of-a-kind venue for special events and concerts, as well as a unique, awe-inspiring gathering place for family and friends. Iconic inspiration Designed by award-winning, world famous LA-based company, WET, The Fountain has 739 water nozzles, including WET’s proprietary underwater robots, 2,611 colored lights, and 23 speakers across a 9.2acre manmade fountain lake, and contains enough water to fill 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools. WET is the same brand behind

Learn how a leader can master extraordinary leadership skills, and influence their people at Master Personal Leadership with Lean Management Expert Mike Grogan on May 6. If you want to become one of the influential leaders and create an impact to others, this is the perfect event for you. Whether it’s knowing the habits of world-class leaders, or trying the “messi” approach to personal leadership, Grogan will help you maximize your skills for productivity. Grogan is an Irish Lean Management Expert, bestselling author, and international speaker who believes in the genius of the Filipino. He has worked in Europe, America, Africa and Asia, and has delivered his inspiring talks and leadership training seminars to over 100,000 people around the world. Registration fee is priced at PhP2,000. Limited seats are available. Register now at

Okada Manila’s The Fountain set to become the newest tourism icon of the Philippines

such lauded landmarks as The Dubai Fountain, the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas, and several of the grandest fountains in the most prestigious resorts and hotels across 20 countries in five continents. The Fountain’s design was inspired by the many festive traditions and holidays of the Philippines, as well as the national flower, the eight-petaled Sampaguita, whose name means “I promise you.” WET thought this evoked a sense of romance and the promise of good fortune not just for gaming enthusiasts, but a bright future for the Philippines as well. The Fountain demonstrates the hospitable and loving attributes of the Philippines, and provides a suitable landmark and destination for both locals and tourists. It is meant to serve a source of continual inspiration to the people of the Philippines, as well as all who behold its splendor.

“Mr. Okada, wants anybody and everybody to be able to enjoy the Okada Manila experience. We’re absolutely open to all and for all, and we will eventually be offering a range of offerings and amenities that speak to a variety of audiences and different categories of customers,” Bass points out. “We’re looking to see upwards of 20,000 people coming in daily, to see The Fountain. Our Chairman wanted that to be his gift to the Philippines. He didn’t want people to have to pay to see it – people can just come in to watch it. We’re really looking forward to showcasing what Mr. Okada’s promise is, to the Philippines, to create a destination attraction for this country,” adds Maxwell Zetlin, Okada Manila’s VP for Entertainment. If The Fountain is any indicator, there are promises yet to be fulfilled in ways just as gratifying and grand at Okada Manila.


APRIL 12-25, 2015


An Amazing Angling Getaway A look at Siargao’s International Game Fishing Tourament Text and photos by BERNARD L. SUPETRAN

Magpupungko Rock and Natural Pool in Pilar


or the longest time, the charming southern island of Siargao and its famed Cloud 9 spot has been synonymous with surfing, reknowned globally for the massive barreling waves, which have thrilled global surfers and spectators alike. Unknown to many, the same Pacific coastline in the adjoining town of Pilar is also host to another world-class action sport—the Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament, the largest event of its kind in the archipelago. Here, the world’s top anglers battle it out in a fun and friendly competition for supremacy in getting the biggest catch, and the bragging rights that go along with it, plus some cash prizes to boot. Sport fishing haven Siargao’s sport fishing areas around ex-

tend all along the reefs that border and protect the island’s east coast. Being at the edge of the world’s second deepest ocean trench makes it one of the most exciting sport fishing locations in Asia. Its waters abound in sailfish, marlin, yellow-fin tuna, wahoo, giant trevally, dorado, and everything in between that make game fishing more fun and challenging. Making Siargao more ideal is the proximity of the fishing grounds to the pier, which can be reached in about 20 minutes. Add to this the predictable weather the whole-year round, especially from April to October, which is conducive to longer vacations for anglers and their families. To take advantage of these natural assets, the tournament event was hatched and presented by Filipino-American angler Bong Castillo to the Siargao District Congressional

Office under then Rep. Francisco Matugas, the Surigao del Norte and Pilar local governments, and the Department of Tourism. The Philippine Game Fishing Federation, Philippine Sports Fishing Club, and Silver Jack Fishing Club of Manila, who have been making the island a playground for more than four decades, were tapped in the birthing of the inaugural contest. While many still consider it a sport for the elite, the first-ever sport fishing tournament sailed off in 2008 with flying colors, attracting 64 anglers from 10 countries. To create economic opportunities, competitors are encouraged to hire local fishing boats, fishermen and guides to provide income for the community. Anglers and their entourage usually stay in “homestay” accommodations offered by the townsfolk. According to Surigao del Norte governor Elmer Causing, 10th Siargao Int'l Game Fishing winner

Flea Market of agricultural produce

Liplipan Festival street dancing

Sol Matugas, the Provincial Government will continue to support the Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament to secure livelihood opportunities thru fishing and tourism, while promoting environmental preservation. The House of Representatives through Siargao District Rep. Bingo Matugas has also earmarked PhP10 million in next year’s national budget to ensure a much bigger global event. Pinoys top tourney Filipino anglers showed their skill in game fishing in home waters as they scored a near shut-out in the this year's three-day tilt. Rico Gueco bested 72 other contestants from the Philippines, Japan, the United States, Canada, Singapore, Australia, France, South Africa, Norway, Hong Kong and Hun-


APRIL 12-25, 2015 MAY 2017

gary to net the highest aggregate overall haul of 93.2 kilograms. The bounty consisted of a 23.15-kg and 25.10-kg sailfish, a 17.50-kg and 10.85-kg tuna, a 6.2-kg and five-kg wahoo, and a 5.4kg dorado. He also bagged a PhP30,000 cash prize. First timer Elmer Causing, who is vacationing from his work in Angola, topped the main Sailfish category, with a seven-foot 31.95-kg catch and carted away with the champion’s trophy and a PhP60,000 cash prize. His boatman, Rico Elimano, won a separate prize of PhP30,000. In the Giant Trevally (Talikitok) Category, Leo Yosalina and boatman Juan Bosito shone with his 6.2-kg catch. General Santos City-based fishing magnate Marfenio Tan and his boatman Lanie Blacanda bagged top place in the Giant Tanguige division, with their 12.95-kg haul.

A tournament pioneer, Tan also ruled the Biggest Dorado Category, with a 12.3-kg catch; followed by Richard Sharpe of Canada with his 5.65-kg fish. Meanwhile, Jeaza Gonzales emerged as winner in the Biggest Others category with his 17.9-kg catch, which excludes shark, stingray, popper fish, dolphin, lumba, turtles and other endangered species. But in a gesture of generosity, the winners donated their prize money to local boatman Ederio Concilles who suffered serious hand injuries during the tournament. Pilar Vice Mayor and tournament director Luis Gonzales, said that this year’s edition has been the biggest so far in terms of prizes, participation and attendance by national government officials. Fringe events Unlike other spectator sports, game fish-

ing can be boring to watch as excitement only heightens when the day’s catch is brought in, scaled and the winners are announced. Spicing up the tourney was the first-ever Liplipan Festival, a series of parallel events, which kept the guests and townsfolk occupied as they awaited the triumphal return of the anglers with their trophies from the water world. The highlight of the festivity is the street dancing contest, which portrayed the fisher folk’s way of life and centered on the “liplipan” or the iconic sailfish that abound in the seas of Pilar. Boatmen who were not tapped for the tourney, meanwhile, showed their paddling prowess in the Lumba sa Baroto, a miniregatta of wooden outrigger boat held at the mangrove area. Another fringe event was the flea market, which showcased the island’s agricultural

produce, processed food, local delicacies and souvenirs. Visitors also basked in the sun at the talcum-fine Magpupungko Beach in Pilar where Siargao’s iconic rock proudly stands. In the morning at low tide, the Magpupungko Tidal Flat and Lagoon forms a natural seawater pool – ideal for rock diving and snorkeling. A new tourist spot slowly getting into the limelight is the Tayangban Cave Pool, deep turquoise pool, about 30 feet below the road. The spring-fed pool, which seems to be carved from the solid limestone wall, is a twin cenote or a deep natural well or sinkhole. In the neighboring town of Del Carmen, guests can tour Sugba Lagoon – framed by limestone cliffs and mountains. On the way there, the boats cruise through 4,000-hectare mangrove forests—the country’s biggest, and habitat to a rare saltwater crocodile specie. GETTING THERE Guests can fly directly to Siargao via SkyJet, or from Cebu via Cebu Pacific. From the Sayak Airport in Del Carmen town, vans or motorcycles can be hired to Pilar where there are homestays accredited by the municipal government and the DOT Region 13.

Magpupungko Beach

Those opting for comfort can hike off to the Cloud 9 area in Gen. Luna where the trendy resorts are located.

Lumba sa Baroto

10th Siargao Int'l Game Fishing winners with officials of Surigao del Norte

Tayangban Cave Pool from Surigao Del Norte Tourism

Angler with his catch


APRIL 12-25, 2015


Accomplishing National Vision Brunei’s 33rd National day Text and photos by VIA BAROMA


undreds of well-wishers came to the Rizal Ballroom at the Makati Shangri-La to partake in the celebration of the 33rd National Day of Brunei Darussalam on Feb. 23. For this year’s Brunei National Day, newly designated Bruneian Ambassador Johariah Wahab hosted the auspicious occasion themed “Menjayakan Wawasan Negara,” which translates to “accomplishing the national vision.” “I arrived only about three months ago and I must say that I am overwhelmed, not by the work, but overwhelmed by the warm welcome given to me by the Filipino people and the friendship extended to me by the diplomatic corps,” Ambassador Wahab beamed during her address. “I can say that I feel at home in the Philippines.” The night commemorated the 33 years since Brunei Darussalam achieved full independence from the United Kingdom in 1984. Today, Brunei continues to develop and enjoy stability and social harmony under the leadership of his Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Also feting the 33rd anniversary of the

Lolita Mirpuri and South Korean Ambassador Kim Jae-Shin

establishment of the diplomatic relations between Brunei and the Philippines, Ambassador Wahab also recognized the strengthening and broadening of the relations and its contribution to the national development of both countries. “We share strong ties between our people. Today, thousands of Filipinos are in Brunei where many are part of the important work force that contributes to national development, and I thank them for their incredible contribution and look forward to the continued constructive participation,” the Ambassador said. “Our relations has been nurtured and developed over the years through frequent exchange of visits between our leaders and people, summated by cultural relation between our government and business entities in a wide range of areas.” The Ambassador likewise expressed their country’s support to the Philippines for the 2017 chairmanship of the ASEAN summit. “Brunei is confident that the work of ASEAN will be profound and we will see much achievement and progress to ASEAN and the Philippines’ chairmanship.”

Bruneian Amb. Joharia Wahab delivers her speech as Papua New Guinea Amb. Christian Vihruri and Undersecretary Ariel Abadilla looks on

Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission Munin Paniswasdi of the Royal Thai Joel Cruz, president & CEO of Aficionado Germany Perfumes; Singaporean Amb. Kok Li Peng; and Expat's Butch Bonsol Embassy and Cambodian Amb. Tuot Panha

Mexican Amb. Julio Camarena Villaseñor; Bruneian Amb. Johariah Wahab; and Turkish Amb. Esra Cankorur Cambodian Amb. Tuot Panha; Indonesian Amb. Johny J. Lumintang; Pakistani Amb. Safdar Hayat; and Mexican Amb. Julio Camarena Villaseñor

Argentine Ambassador Roberto Bosch; Laura Sion; and Romanian Charge d' Affaires Panamanian Amb. Rolando A. Guevara, Alvarado Minister Counselor Fernando Miguel of Angola, Papua New Guinea Amb. Christian Vihruri and Cambodian Amb. Tuot Panha Mihai Sion

Pakistani Amb. Safdar Hayat and Romanian Charge d' Affaires Mihai Sion


APRIL 12-25, 2015 MAY 2017

A Feast for the Senses The country’s premier jewelry design studio, Hoseki, recently teamed up with UK-based luxury fragrance brand Jo Malone in a oncein-a-lifetime lifestyle soiree held at Raffles Hotel in Makati City. The event, which was dubbed “Jewels and Scents,” drew in Metro Manila’s most stylish jewelry and fragrance aficionados. The guests indulged their senses in Hoseki’s stunning jewelry pieces as well as Jo Malone’s various luxurious scents. Led by Hoseki’s visionary founder Faico and his lovely wife corporate affairs director Zabeth Co and chief creative officer Knoi Esmane, this latest event was another success as guests marveled at the captivating pieces that showed the brand’s superb craftsmanship. It was a lustrous afternoon with Manila’s A-listers and icons who all had a great time viewing the line-up, as well as personally trying out Jo Malone’s exquisite scents. At the end of the party, the guests could not help but procure for themselves and their loved ones beautiful jewelry items that exemplify the company’s unique artistry and craftsmanship. Congratulations to the Hoseki team for a successful event!

Faico with Italian consul Antonio Gallo and wife Maricelle

Beth Victoria with ambassador Theo Arnold

Hoseki team (from left) operations manager Harold Co and son Temujin, head of finance Grace Co and daughter Stellawen, chief creative officer Knoi Esmane, corporate affairs director Zabeth Co and founder and internationally-acclaimed jewellery designer Faico, Lim Wun Chee and Stefan Co

Madam Wang Qi, Carolyn Tan, your columnist, Chatarina Lentz and madam Dao Songsaeng

Nonie Basilio, Nini Layug, Jayelles’ Roselle Rebano and Elaine Villar

2016 Best Dressed Women of the Philippines awardees (from left) Buena Sarmiento, Judith Tan, Dr. Cecilia Bernad, Mhel Pechera and Sheila Carlos Fashion designer Jean Goulbourn, celebrity couple Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera-Dantes with Frances Lim with 2016 Style Icon Carolyn Tan

Faico, Joseph and Janie Lim with Zabeth Co

Charles and Mimi Reyes with Cindy Siy and Woon Ng

Tony Boy Aquino and Cherry Miguel


APRIL 12-25, 2015













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APRIL 12-25, 2015 MAY 2017

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•In Journey: Art: 50, Part 1: Work on Paper Ongoing until May 18; Archivo 1984 Gallery, 2nd level, Warehouse 1, 2135 Chino Roces Ave., Makati; for more information, call (02) 832-6191, (0917) 624-2086 or visit www. Exhibiting professionally since 1967, Ivi AvellanaCosio or "Ivi Ave" as she's known among her contemporaries, celebrates 50 years in the art world with a show at Archivo 1984 Gallery featuring works on paper from her career. The painter, printmaker and photographer who received an education from the University of Santo Tomas and Philippine Women's University has exhibited in over 200 shows both locally and abroad, earning several awards and recognitions such as the Araw ng Maynila Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award for Painting and was most recently listed by the International Biographical Society in Cambridge, England in its "Top 100 Professionals of 2012." In Journey: Art: 50, Part 1: Work on Paper, Archivo 1984 showcases the artist's work across media such as print, watercolor, pastel and photography, ranging from her signature ethnic-inspired prints to photos from her travels, displayed alongside nudes in ink and pastel collected over the past five decades.

•Chicken Hands: Photographs by Ryan Arbilo Ongoing until June 17; Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Ayala cor. Gil J. Puyat Aves., Makati; for more information, call (02) 889-1234, visit A nine-piece black-and-white photography exhibition at Yuchengco Museum reveals the hardships that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially domestic workers, endure in France. Entitled Chicken Hands: Photographs by Ryan Arbilo, the exhibition features portraits of Filipina housemaids, with a particular focus on their tired, weary, chicken feet-like hands. The images were taken by Ryan Arbilo, a Filipino photographer and videographer based in Paris. Filipino emigration to France has a face, a female face. The women portrayed in Arbilo’s photographs just want to support their families back in the Philippines. Arbilo’s ‘chicken hands’ images have the power of an intimate face-to-face encounter. They are portraits with no touch-ups, of women, of mothers, holding out their bare damaged hands—the only tool they have. As visitors look through the photographs, they read the loneliness marked on their faces and the stories told through their hands, revealing the perseverance and endurance of these Filipino women. Since 2009, Arbilo has been photographing the struggles of Filipino housemaids who travel to France for a better life for their family. Being the son of a ‘chicken hands’ mother, Arbilo wants to promote awareness on the socioeconomic situations of OFWs who feel the need to work abroad because of poverty in their home country.

•100 Years of Cesar Legaspi: Lying in State Ongoing until June 2; Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery), Cultural Center of the Philippines; for more information, contact the CCP Visual Arts & Museum Division, Production & Exhibition Department at (02) 832-1125 local 1504/1505, (02) 832-3702, (0917) 603-3809, or visit www.culturalcenter. The Cultural Center of the Philippines and 100 Years of Cesar Legaspi present Lying in State, the much-anticipated launching exhibit of National Artist Cesar Legaspi’s birth centenary. Featuring the artist’s public art projects and state commissions, including those from the collections of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the National Museum of the Philippines, and Malacanan Palace, Lying in State will feature unique collaborations with younger generations of artists from diverse fields: from lantern makers of Pampanga to media artists taking off from Legaspi pieces employing animation and video projection. Viewing hours are from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

•Juvenal Sanso: Triumph of the Spirit Ongoing until May 26; Alliance Total Gallery at Alliance Française de Manille, 209 Nicanor Garcia St., Bel-Air II, Makati; for more information, call (02) 895-7585, email or visit The Alliance Française de Manille and Fundacion Sanso, in cooperation with the Embassy of France to the Philippines, present an exhibition of the works of the renowned visual artist, Juvenal Sanso entitled The Triumph of the Spirit: a healing inspired by the coast of Brittany. The exhibition is a meditation on several texts chosen in relation to Sanso’s early works, the post-war trauma that is the springboard for his creative process, and the timelessness of the message of hope, particularly in this time where recent attacks to Sanso’s beloved Paris were made. In essence, this exhibit, which celebrates the spirit of the artist, is construed as an act of solidarity to the people of France, and is a celebration of the strength of the human spirit against diversity. There will be five groups of artworks that will be exhibited, Artworks 1 are all for exhibition purpose only. Artworks 2 are prints from the Black Period, which will be for sale. These will include the Black Series prints reprinted by Fundacion Sanso as special edition prints for the Sanso 70 Years in Art Retrospective, as well as a few acrylics on canvas works sourced by the Fundacion Sanso. Artworks 3 are en plein air paintings of the coasts of Brittany from the Fundacion Sanso Collection. These works are not for sale. Artworks 4 will be Brittany Series paintings supplied by Sanso’s official gallery, Galerie Joaquin, who will partner with Fundacion Sanso for the project. A series of photographs of the coast of Brittany taken by photographer Abby Frias will augment the exhibit to serve as a counterpoint to Sanso’s paintings. Another component is his transition from his black period to his Brittany series, which is an admiration of the coast of Brittany. This exhibit is a fitting tribute to the 70 years of diplomatic ties between France and the Philippines.

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APRIL 12-25, 2015


Five local restaurants you shouldn’t miss when in the Central Luzon province


on a Plate

All these chicken for just PhP300


Delectable fudgy brownies

Home-cooked favorites and comfort food

Miguel, Raphael, and Gabriel are all named after archangels. And they all love their homecooked meals. So much so, that their parents decided to open a restaurant with an eclectic menu of dishes they enjoy. Christened “Angelitos,” the charming food joint in the town of Orani is fast becoming the go-to fix for locals craving home-style comfort food. And for good reason. From nachos and fried chicken, to pizzas and pancit (noodles), Angelitos’ diverse choices are not just delicious, they provide bang-for-the-buck. A huge serving of crispy fried chicken only costs PhP300. An order of nachos is just PhP85. And for dessert, for a mere PhP25, you’ll get a delectable slice of fudgy brownies worthy of all the calories in the world. Angelitos Pizza and Restaurant is located at M plus C Building, Tenejero, Orani, Bataan. For more information, contact (47) 237-0743.

Every choice is the right one at The Food Project


he peninsular province of Bataan holds a significant place in Filipino history. It played a major role during World War II – the basis of the annual celebration known as the Day of Valor. While its greatest pride is that heroes abound in its folds, and its natural landscapes of dramatic landforms and prime beaches aren’t to be taken lightly, Bataan is also not lacking in the culinary department. Throughout the years, the province’s contour had taken to include a wide array of homegrown restaurants. Well, they say you couldn’t really know a place well until you’ve eaten your way through it. What better way to acquaint yourself with Bataan than by doing just that?

Cocoa bliss in the making


Artisanal turon

An artisanal and traditional merienda

If you’re looking for a snack and want to make like a local, Choco-Late de Batirol is the perfect place to satisfy the craving. This modest spot sticks to a tried and tested fanfare of local snacks like turon (banana fritter spring roll), suman (rice cake), and pancit. But its main hook is its signature hot chocolate. Walking into its premises is like walking into an easy afternoon at your grandmother’s. The place perpetually smells of melting chocolate – bittersweet and nostalgic. This wafting aroma comes from the traditionally prepared cocoa drink. Just over the counter, cacao seeds are manually ground up and brewed on the spot over a pot of boiling water. A cup (PhP100) tastes just as wonderfully as it smells. Pair it with a suman and you’ll have the perfect merienda. Choco-Late de Batirol is located at Total Gas Station, Roman Super Highway, Alauli, Pilar, Bataan, and is open daily 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. For more information, contact (47) 633-1445.

A gathering of flavors

You can never go wrong at The Food Project. This open-air resto in Balanga whips up Western classics that are just unbelievably mouthwatering. The burgers, fries, chicken wings, and their best-selling ribs are simply delicious. Their version of Vietnamese spring rolls is also a hit – so popular it often runs out. Considering the most expensive item on the menu is priced at less than PhP100, you’ll be quite surprised at how hefty the servings are. I’d tell you the food is worth splurging on, but that wouldn’t make sense since you’ll be getting them at a bargain. The Food Project is located at Balagtas, Orion, Bataan, and is open Tuesday to Sunday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, contact (47) 612-1647.

The creamy Buttermil Toast

5 All you can eat Pinoy goodness for just PhP250 at Ima's


All the Pinoy goodness in one place

Ima’s Pamangan is a Bataan staple. You simply couldn’t leave the province without trying out their buffet. It’s one of those rarities that don’t make you feel like you’ve been ripped off. Don’t take my word for it; you have its legion of regular patrons – including a number of local celebrities and some foreign dignitaries – to back that statement up. The place is almost always full and once you manage to get inside, you’ll understand why. The buffet, as it should, doesn’t scrimp on the quantity: lechon, sweet-and-sour crab, fish fillet, tinola (chicken and giner stew) laing (dried taro leaves in coconut milk), sinigang (sour broth) – if you’ve a hankering for a particular Filipino dish, chances are it’s at Ima’s. The quality’s excellent too, way beyond the PhP250 you need to shell out to enjoy the buffet spread. If that’s not getting your money’s worth, I don’t know what is. Ima’s Pamangan is located at Gov. J.J. Linao Alauli, Pilar, Bataan, and is open from Monday to Sunday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, contact (0998) 564-0275.

Saverde's take on the Tapsilog

Beef like you’ve never known before

You wouldn’t believe how good the food is at Saverde. Located in a residential street in Abucay, this no-nonsense cafe has been drawing in crowds for two years now. It’s incredibly popular not just among teens looking to make the most of their allowance, but with thrifty adults wanting a decent meal that won’t leave a hole in the pocket. For just under a hundred pesos, you get to enjoy a couple of Saverde’s bestsellers. There’s the buttermilk toast – a thick slice of creamy and buttery white bread toasted to utter perfection. An order of which is just PhP20. Then, there’s the tapsilog – a dish of tapa (beef jerky), sinangag (fried rice), and itlog (fried or scrambled egg). Saverde’s take on this classic Pinoy favorite will make you think you’ve been missing out on a delicious part of your life. Paired with fried rice wrapped omelet-style in scrambled egg, the tapa is arguably the best one this side of Luzon. It’s incredibly addictive, and the whole dish is cheaply priced at PhP75 to boot. Beach body? I say beef jerky! Saverde Coffee Shop is located at Gabon St., Abucay, Bataan, and is open Monday to Saturday 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. For more information, contact (0906) 458-0230.

In a nutshell Bataan’s gastronomic persona can be described in a few words: unbelievably inexpensive and extremely satisfying. “Serve only what you’d eat” seems to be its resounding battle cry, and its platoon of extraordinary restaurants stays remarkably true to the cause. With a fascinating history, stunning landscapes, and budget eats, Bataan proves that, indeed, you can have it all.


APRIL 12-25, 2015 MAY 2017

A playful twist to Asian favorites

Text and photos by CHING DEE

Raise a glass to good vibes and good bites at Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room—Ortigas newest dining hot spot


here’s nothing like a fun trip with a great group of friends, with dozens of Instagram stories and countless memories created. For long-time friends Timothy RoxasChua, Sam Young, Jerene Tan, and their group of friends, it was their travels that gave them the idea to create their own restaurant: Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room. “We were traveling around Asia and noticed the trend for Asian cuisine. We decided on making a restaurant together with a tasting room — retail store for hard to find liquor — which will complement each other,” said Chua of BGC’s Relik Restaurant and Bar fame. The Tasting Room is in a separate section, filled with liquor from floor to ceiling. The main restaurant area boasts of a chic yet rustic look, with warm lights and wooden barn tables. Some may find this look a bit intimidating, but that’s definitely not the case for this family-friendly establishment. It took the group a while to find the perfect location – inside the newly opened Ayala Malls at the 30th – but it was well worth the wait. The selection Traveling is mostly filled with fun and playful moments — an aspect they perfectly captured for the menu of Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room. The menu is extensive but not overwhelming. Staying true to Asian favorites, the culinary team behind Toast Asian Kitchen was afforded creative freedom to craft Asian treats with their signature twist. For their signature cocktails, they brought Jason Gray to the Philippines to create a line of cocktails to go with their “playful Asian cuisine.”

Chua suggests the Tokyo Fog Cutter (Monkey Shoulder combined with Umeshu Plum Wine, fresh green apple, passionfruit and citrus), Seoul Searcher (Moscow mulestyled drink with house-made capsicum and ginger tonic, mixed with Reyka Islandic vodka), and of course Jack Sparrow (Sailor jerry with jack fruit, apple & lime juice, pandan syrup, and egg whites). When asked about his favorites from the menu, Chua answered, “My personal favorite is the Twice-cooked Pork Belly with Salted Egg Fried Rice, Blaksa (their take on the iconic Laksa with squid ink and coconut broth), [and] Gyozig (classic pork sisig wrapped in gyoza drizzled with zesty citrus mayo) — best paired [with] our Jack Sparrow cocktail.”


Here’s what else you should try at Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room:

WAGYU BEEF WITH CHINESE BROCCOLI Hands down — my favorite dish from the entire menu (if forced to choose, with the Longganisa Pasta an extremely close second). The wagyu beef cubes melted in my mouth the moment it touched my tongue and the teriyaki sauce – oh, that teriyaki sauce is nothing like the others I’ve had in the past. It was sweet, peppery, spicy, and savory all at the same time. The sauce definitely made the tender wagyu shine in this dish.

TOM YUM MEATBALLS Perfectly seasoned, juicy meatballs smothered in that sweet and tangy Tom Yum sauce and topped with melted cheddar cheese. This is the definition of Asian indulgence. For Pinoys like me who cannot live without rice, they also serve the Tom Yum Rice Bowl — with your choice of rice. LONGGANISA PASTA This is probably what good memories taste like. The all-too-nostalgic taste of homemade longganisa (local sausage) filled with garlic and pepper and all that meaty goodness is enough to bring back memories of family breakfasts. The longganisa is tossed with al dente Fusilli pasta and creamy tomato sauce to create one of the best Pinoy-inspired pastas you’ll ever have the privilege of enjoy-

Journey beyond the senses with Martell By TIMOTHY JAY IBAY


ithout a doubt, the local palate has gone through a distinctive evolution in recent years—shifting from the preference of the safe and known, to a far more adventurous taste – with an excitable yearning to try a kaleidoscope of gustatory delights. This paradigm shift has likewise transmogrified the urban lifestyle landscape – with restaurants, holes-in-the-wall, chic speakeasies, and trendy bars running the gamut from the fad-driven, to delectable discoveries. It is this development that led to one of the world’s premier Cognac brands – Martell –to reestablish its mark in the Philippines. Throughout its 300-year history, Martell cognacs have delighted people all over the world – from simple dilettantes to expert connoisseurs – allowing those who experience Martell to explore the mystery of why a particular blend of aromas and sensations have spoken to generations of cognac drinkers. Martell’s creations tell the story of its style through the years. It speaks to all those who call for excellence in the quality of their enjoyments – a trait shared by the founder of the House—Jean Martell. The blends Martell looks to take its rightful place in the local scene with three of its most famous blends—the VSOP, Cordon Bleu, and the XO. The VSOP, with its golden amber shade translates to an initial taste of lingering candied fruits, which soon after develop complexity that lead to a pleasant, supple, mellow feel, with a full, round body, and a long finish. The Martell VSOP can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, as a long drink or in a cocktail.

The legendary Cordon Bleu is the perfect emblem of the Martell style, remarkable for its elegance and aromatic complexity. And while cognacs can be classified into several different groups, most connoisseurs agree that Martell Cordon Bleu is in a class of its own. “Martell Cordon Bleu is truly unique among XO cognacs,” says cellar master Benoit Fil. “It has very elegant notes of candied fruit and gingerbread, and embodies the authentic character of Borderies.” Martell Cordon Bleu can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or diluted with a little water. The XO includes eaux-de-vie from Martell’s four main terroirs, but is marked by a subtle balance between elegance and roundness of the old Borderies eaux-de-vie and the structure of those from Grand Champagne. The fig and walnut notes are round and fruity on the palate, which is followed by the characteristic strength and finesse of Grand Champagne eaux-de-vie for a lingering, silky finish. The Martell XO is ideal for special occasions, best enjoyed neat, or with a splash of water to bring out the aromas.

TWICE-COOKED PORK BELLY with SALTED EGG FRIED RICE For this bestseller, the pork belly is braised then seared to make the fork-tender and oh-soflavorful dish. Chopped up, it is then tossed in their signature honeygarlic sauce and served on top of the sublimely flavored Salted Egg Fried Rice.

YAKITORI Since they serve hard-to-find drinks and signature cocktails, and yes, even artisanal beer, you’d be happy to know that they also serve the perfect Yakitori (skewered meat) options to accompany your favorite drink. We highly recommend the wagyu beef cubes (surprise!) and the lip-smacking shrimp.

Wagyu Beef Cubes with Broccoli in Teriyaki Sauce

TAPIOCO AND MANGO TRIFLE With today’s trend leaning towards indescribably complicated desserts, it was refreshing to be served such a simple dish. The Tapioca and Mango Trifle is proof that simplicity still goes a long way. The tapioca cream pudding is not overwhelmingly sweet, which complements the slices of ripe mango and pieces of crunchy broas. DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE For hard-core chocoholics, they created this mousse from authentic Batangas tablea and cream, then topped it with chocnut powder. Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room is located at the ground floor of Ayala Malls at the 30th, Meralco Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. For reservation and inquiries, call (02) 6224312. Follow them on Facebook @toastkitchenp) and Instagram @toastkitchenph.

Get a summer heat respite at Ice N Cream Text and Photos by CHING DEE


here’s nothing like the cold and sweet relief of ice cream on a hot summer day, don’t you agree? Novotel Manila Araneta Center recently opened Ice N Cream – otherwise known as the answer to every ice cream lover’s dream. Novotel executive chef Michael Schaub and his culinary team, together with the entire team of Novotel, brainstormed and came up with 18 unique flavors — each one homemade and all-natural, free from stabilizers and preservatives. They also have gluten-free and sugar-free options so everyone can enjoy this summer treat. Ice N Cream features well-loved flavors from the Philippines like Leche de Almond (cream custard and almonds) and Purple

Dream (purple yam and jackfruit), as well as unique sorbets like the Tijuana Surprise (cucumber, dalandan and tequila), and allnatural yogurt variants like Oh Honey Honey (honey and calamansi). Ice N Cream also serves beautifully crafted pastries and cakes, like strawberry and mango danish, carrot cake, croissant, and madeleine. These days, the heat can be far too much to bear – Ice N Cream offers you a welcome, utterly delicious respite. Novotel Manila Araneta Center is located at General Aguinaldo Ave., Araneta Center, Quezon City. For reservations and inquiries, call (02) 990-7888. For more information on Novotel Manila, visit


APRIL 12-25, 2015


Compiled by VIA BAROMA


•Chaos Nightclub: LooKas May 19; Chaos Manila, City of Dreams, Aseana Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd., Entertainment City, Paranaque; for VIP Table Reservations, call (0917) 886-3678 or email Chaos Manila turns up the bass at it brings Miami native Lucas Rego, better known as LooKas, who has made waves in the EDM scene since 2013. Since his groundbreaking remix of “Tsunami” by DVBBS and Borgeous was released, it has garnered over half a million steams in just under three months. Moreover, the remix was commissioned by Ministry of Sound and released as an official mix in early 2014. Since then, he has debuted his original single “Anger” on BBC Radio1’s Diplo & Friends.’s "Next Big Sound" was quick to recognize LooKas as one of the top 10 artists on their Rising Artist Chart. Furthermore, house heavyweights such as Tiesto, Carnage,Dillon Francis and more have already actively supported his productions. Tickets are priced at PhP1,045

•Summer Siren Festival May 12; Subic Bay Waterfront; for more information, visit Now on its fourth year, the Summer Siren Festival is one of the country's most exciting destination festivals–with three days of art and fitness activities by the shore, and two evening concerts featuring some of The Philippines' most exciting bands and musical acts like Ace Ramos, Borhuh, David Ardriente, Tom Taus, Travis Monsod, UDD, and many more. This year, the Summer Siren Festival finds an exciting new home at the Subic Bay Waterfront, and introduces a host of new activities for an even more unique summer experience. Enjoy not just one, but a series of various themed pool parties, as well as a one-time access to the Inflatable Island! Tickets are priced at PhP2,650 for VIP and PhP1,060 for Party Only


•Play Time at Ayala Malls Ongoing until June 25; visit This summer, Ayala Malls redefines playtime, and helps you create beautiful memories with family and friends with a slew of summer activities. Let the kids meet their favorite characters as YouTube star, Shopkins Shoppies, takes center stage with their premier 30-minute live musical show. Catch the live interactive shows at TriNoma (May 5 to 7 at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.), Alabang Town Center (May 12 to 14 at 11:30 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.), Solenad (May 19 to 21 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.) and Harbor Point (May 26 to 28 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.). Meanwhile, the Globe Volcanoes Junior Rugby Clinic will help your kids get fit and fuel their competitive spirit. Sign them up for the clinics held at Glorietta, Solenad and Legazpi (May 7), the 30th (May 14), Alabang Town Center (May 21), Market! Market! and Abreeza (May 28), TriNoma and MarQuee ( Jun. 4), Ayala Center Cebu ( Jun. 11), UP Town Center and Harbor Point ( Jun. 18) and Circuit Makati ( Jun. 25). Giant inflatables, wacky ‘Minute to Win It’ games, and wild card activities are just some of the exciting obstacles that you will need to pass for a chance to win the ultimate group summer getaway – (first place) a 3D/2N stay in Casa Kalaw, El Nido, Palawan with airfare for four; (second place) a 3D/2N stay in Balay Cogon, Sicogon with airfare; and (third place) an overnight stay at Seda Hotel Nuvali and a full day pass at Republic Wake Park Nuvali. Register at and see you at Market! Market! (May 6 to 7), Circuit Makati (May 13 to 14), Vertis North (May 20 to 21), Solenad (May 27 to 28) and MarQuee ( June 3). Ayala Malls takes you on a musical journey, tracing the evolution of your favorite beats and rhythms from the swinging 60s, 70s disco era, 80s pop, 90s grunge and beyond! Enjoy a music-filled weekend at Trinoma (May 13 to 14), Glorietta (May 20 to 21), and Alabang Town Center (May 27 to 28).


•Success and Prosperity Yoga Series Part II May 11, May 18, May 25 and June 1; Yoga+Express Legazpi, 6/F Jose Cojuangco Bldg., 119 Dela Rosa cor. Castro Sts., Legazpi Village, Makati; for more information, call (0918) 888-9198 Change your luck and allow prosperity to flow into your life! Join the four-week Success & Prosperity Yoga series designed for those who want to shift their consciousness to a state of prosperity and abundance. 
This is the second part of an eight-week program designed to 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 second part covers the following: Intuition and Answered Prayers (May 11), Radiant Body and Golden Success (May 18), Living from the Soul (May 25) and Green Prosperity and Abundance ( June 1). Each class includes various elements of the ancient practice of Kundalini Yoga such as breathing exercises (pranayama), kriyas (yoga poses), mudras (hand gestures) chanting, meditation and more. A sound healing using a gong will be played at the end of the class. 
The series will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Yoga+Express Legazpi. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a water bottle, eye covering and a shawl. The energy exchange is priced at PhP2,100 for all four classes or drop in rate of PhP600 per class.

•Color Manila Challenge Run May 14; Cebu Business Park, Cebu City; for more information, visit With Color Manila’s CM Challenge Run, the biggest obstacle fun run in the country, participants may choose between four race categories, 3K, 5K, 10K and the Yakult-sponsored 16K race. They also have the option of choosing between the Deluxe and the Trooper race kit. Participants of the 16K in the meantime would get the following items – a white singlet, race bib, sunglasses, color packet, Yakult finisher’s medal, Yakult finisher’s singlet, and Yakult pillow. Apart from the CM Challenge Cebu, upcoming CM Challenge events are as follows: CM Challenge - Laguna on June 25 and CM Challenge - Cavite on July 9. Registration fee is priced at PhP1,050 for Trooper Kit which includes a colored singlet, race bib, sunglasses, finisher’s medal, color packet, drawstring bag and headwear; and PhP750 for Deluxe Kit which includes a white singlet, race bib, sunglasses, finisher’s medal and color packet. Tickets may be purchased at SM Tickets, Runnr Ayala Cebu and


•Artsy Summer Workshop 2017 May 6, 13, 20 and 27; Gateway Gallery, 5th level of Gateway Tower, Araneta Center, Quezon City; for more information, call (02) 588-4000 loc. 8300 or email This summer, Gateway Gallery will be offering two courses: Drawing and Painting, and Craft Workshop under the supervision of professional artists and crafts experts. The workshops are open to kids aged seven, up to young adults aged 19 years old, and will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Gateway Gallery. The Drawing and Painting Workshop is a beginners’ class where students will be taught the basic principles of drawing. They will also be mentored on the proper use of oil pastels and watercolor, and the techniques needed to achieve three-dimensional rendering of forms. Participants will also receive useful tips from the master artists who will be teaching them. The teachers are Grandier Bella (drawing, oil pastel) and Julius Legaspi (watercolor medium), exhibiting artists who are also experienced teachers. The Craft Workshop will be facilitated by Karaw Craft Ventures, a crafts house in Bicol that promotes sustainability and community livelihood. The people of Karaw will teach the students on the discipline of creating three-dimensional works such as papercut, macramé dreamatcher, plush toys, string art, and wood chip hook racks. Workshop fee is priced at PhP6,000 and is inclusive of most of the materials. All the materials for the Craft Workshop are included in the workshop fee.


Expat Newspaper Volume 35 No. 11 Expat Newspaper May 1 - May 31, 2017


Expat Newspaper Volume 35 No. 11 Expat Newspaper May 1 - May 31, 2017