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September 25-October 15, 2016 Vol. XXXIV No. 25



Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, who was held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group, on board a private plane following his release from captivity. He was handed over by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to the government in Jolo, Sulu last Sept. 18 Photo courtesy of SIMEON CELI/ PPD

Checks and dalliances

Will the legislative department’s series of hearings ever amount to anything beyond entertainment value? By TIMOTHY JAY IBAY


he general public has, as usual, been captivated by the circus that is Philippine politicking. While frequently under the guise of the administration versus the opposition, if you’ve observed how things are done in the country for long enough, you would understand that there are no real political parties – only political aspirations and interests. And for decades, the Filipino people have continued to rabidly consume their farce. Never mind that it’s akin to a poorly written, comically bad version of House of Cards – with the populace continuing to suffer as cyclical destabilization forces rehash its machinations in the fickle power struggle between rival businesses and political interests.

Human wrongs Rookie Senator and former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is now facing the brunt of the administration’s salvo. After leading a Senate inquiry into the rash of “extrajudicial killings” (EJK) – a direct result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” – she now finds herself in the midst of an unforgiving onslaught with the President questioning her morality due to her supposed dalliance with her driver, and powerful convicts and imprisoned drug lords accusing her of receiving payouts for allowing the drug trade to flourish inside the walls of the New Bilibid Prison. Amidst the Ad Hominem attacks, the real issue of EJK has taken a backseat, and the

inevitable fostering of the culture of impunity that comes with it continues on its dangerous ascent on a most slippery slope. Duterte’s vice presidential running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano likened the Philippines’ peace and order situation to Singapore; this while his President has declared the country under a “state of lawlessness.” In this latest mini-series, the question is which side will come out on top when the last personal attack has been broadcast. The certainty is that the Filipino people have again been robbed of a government that will focus on addressing their many immediate concerns and needs. page 3

New cybercrime threats haunt biz world By RICHARD RAMOS


s if today’s business and industry stakeholders don’t have enough problems with stiff competition, uncertain business climate, huge turnover, and even political instability, they also have to contend with more unexpected forms of business models that can undermine the target company’s financial standing before they know it. The “Uberization” of the industry has given rise to the rise of a new-age invader with a completely different business model that enters the industry and disrupts the normal business operations of a company by way of new technologies and changing customer behavior. The threats According to Luis Pineda, president and country general manager of page 3 IBM Philippines, these two va-

2 NEWS Phl IT holdings firm gets ICT experts urge more action to aid startups listed at Tokyo bourse E X P AT N E W S P A P E R




rospects are looking up at the information technology industry of the Philippines with the recent public listing of AWS Holdings Inc., parent firm of leading Manila-based Advanced World Systems Inc., at the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Index. The TSE Mothers Index is a capitalizationweighted index of all stocks listed on the Mothers (Market of the High-Growth and Emerging Stocks), a section for newer, innovative venture enterprises. It serves as the entry level to the largest stock market in Japan which has more than 2,292 listed companies, with a combined capitalization at of more than US$4.09 trillion as of mid 2015. Considered the world’s fourth-largest bourse, TSE is home to the largest and best-known Japanese global giants such as Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi. According to AWSI  President and CEO Akira Konishi (who has made the Philippines his base for over 20 years now) the listing of the holdings firm, which was formed in 2005, augurs well for the thrust of its two local companies—Advanced World Systems, Inc. and Advanced World Solutions, Inc.—to be a strategic research partners of global organizations. He said that with this development, the delivery centers in the Philippines expect a boost in terms of being able to acquire more talented software engineers, better training, investment in technology-based solutions, among others. “Global IT Excellence is the basic principle upon which AWS is built, and it will continue as it expands globally with focus on the United States and other English speaking-markets, and to create new business lines in the areas of health care, finance, mobile, and testing,” Konishi enthused. He also expressed optimism that this will

also impact positively on the country’s IT industry which is estimated to be at US$25B, and grows at about 10 percent annually. About AWS AWS was established in 1993 as APTi-Philippines, Inc., a subsidiary of APTi-Japan and an offshore research and development arm of a joint venture of Japanese IT giants IBM Japan and Toshiba TEC. Due to changes of ownership of the mother company, it was separated and ventured out to serve Japan clients from the Philippines through a project office in Tokyo. It offers software solutions in the test and process automation, data analytics and mobile marketing, and software development and testing service to the Japan market in the areas of finance, manufacturing and retail. Its areas of expertise include business applications for finance, manufacturing, retail and distribution; customized application development; social, mobile, analytics, cloud (SMAC) services, and Internet of Things (IoT). In its 23 years of operating in the Philippines, Japan, and China, AWS has become the strategic partner of blue chip companies like  IBM Japan, Ltd.,  Lenovo,  Kyocera,  Sumitomo Heavy Industries, and Toshiba-TEC Corp.  Considered the most successful offshore IT outsourcing providers to Japanese technology companies, it is among the first local firms to be accredited with ISO9001:2000 by Bureau Veritas, an international accreditation institution. For more information on AWS, visit  www.

AWS officers at ringing of Bell at Tokyo Stock Exchange


everal Information and Communication Technology experts have urged more support for startups in order to rev up the economy, motivate the entrepreneurship spirit among the youth, unite the stakeholders, and encourage more action rather than just talk. While the number of startups continues to rise nationwide, it has become more evident that these new businesses need a lot of assistance in order to survive and take that next giant step towards stability. In a panel discussion during the Geeks On A Beach (GOAB) confab held last month at Bellevue Resort Bohol, a number of speakers advocated for additional means of assistance and large-scale action in order to arrest the high mortality rate of startups and create a new industry luminary to serve as an inspiration for the rest of the field. Regional Director Elena Arbon of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) batted for a two-pronged attack, calling for more brick-and-mortar startups along with its digital platform for a double-edged sword to cater to multiple markets. Expert recommendations “We cannot depend on just BPOs and OFWs. We need to take a step further and develop new industries to avoid over-dependence on these two sectors. They cannot remain strong forever. Likewise, we need to create a council for both public and private establishments to exchange ideas and best practices,” she recommended. Arbon also suggested an umbrella organization called comprised of hundreds of upcoming startups and like entities to unite the stakeholders. Also, she batted for the creation of an innovation hub for the proper training and mentoring of startups in order to maximize their talents and potentials. Tina Amper, instigator of GOAB, declared that the GOAB should be used to jumpstart the global economy by solving problems through technological means and personal efforts in consonance with the bat-

tle cry of the new administration, “change is here.” Dave Overton, CEO of and startup builder, called for actions based on talks and recommendations in order to be more focused instead of merely talking about certain courses of action to take. He also dwelt on the issue of time as an important factor in determining the basis of an ideal ecosystem for startups. “We have come a long way, but still have a long way to go. Perhaps we would need as long as 20 years to establish the ideal ecosystem where startups are given the proper attention since their ideas and potentials would undergo a lengthy incubation period,” he said. Diane Eustaquio, managing director of, cautioned that startups do their homework carefully before embarking on grandiose plans and schemes to be the next big thing. “Startups need to work on their products and listen to their customers first even before going to GOAB. GOAB should not be the initial step in your business since its still too early. I have discouraged some startups from going to this event. And I believe it is too romantic to be looking for the next Mark Zuckerberg. Startups should avoid such daydreams.” Mark Nager, Startup Weekend co-founder, was more action-focused as he also praised the organizers behind the GOAB event. “The GOAB has placed the Philippines on the map in the world startup community. But remember that we have to push people from talk to action. It cannot remain all talk. Likewise, the path of entrepreneurs is long and difficult since they are also customers,” he disclosed. Nager has visited 50 countries in the past eight years, helping startups on a massive global scale. Already on its fourth year running, the GOAB is a unique confab featuring the cutting-edge of the tech world in a laid back setting while bannering the theme “Empowering startups, leading change.”


Ribpublic Diner opened its second branch at the SM City Cebu near the IMAX Theater. This cozy nook combines the best of fastfood and home cooking along with a friendly staff. Aside from its succulent regular and spicy ribs, the place also serves affordable viands such as wild west wings served honey soy garlic, buffalo style west wings, and garlic parmesan; fish and fries, spicy and regular pork belly, astroburger consisting of three mini burgers, lasagna, and many more. Both outlets are owned by Kathryn Rotomo-Yu and her niece Justine Rotomo who both proudly proclaim their mantra “There is no love greater than the love for food.” Check out also Ribpublic’s first branch situated along Gov. M. Road St at the Capitol area. Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu presented another gastronomic adventure dubbed “Thai Fun Food Festival” at the Sails Restaurant. Selected bloggers and journalists attended the event launch held last Sept. 10, but not before nibbling juicy appetizers at the Executive Lounge. The event also featured three chefs from Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket which utilized only the freshest and most authentic of Thai spe-

cialties. Diners sampled the raw and cooked Thai cuisine last September 10 to 18 during dinner time while lunch showcased the regular resort offerings. The event also held a raffle for a round-trip Cebu-Manila-Phuket ticket via Cebu Pacific and a gift certificate for a two-night stay at the Movenpick Phuket counterpart. Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-ADC) inaugurated its Eduardo J. Aboitiz Senior High School Building situated in Canduman, Mandaue City. The building houses six floors, over 20 classrooms, several audiovisual rooms, science labs, the Lily Gokongwei Ngochua Library, and the Pope Francis Servant Leadership Hall. According to Fr. Manny Uy, school president, and Fr. Joel Liwanag, director for foundation, PhP200 million was invested for the new facilities and the K-12. Nine sections were prepared for Grade 11 alone. Having celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, the school now has a student population of 3,168 and 177 faculty. SHS-ADC has since transferred to Mandaue in 2007 from its old address along Gen. Maxilom Ave. since 1955.


Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino introduces its monthly line-up of promos featuring enticing come-one from the hotel’s food and beverage outlets. Uno now offers 50 percent off on lunch and dinner buffets on Friday and Saturday, costing only PhP605 from its original price of PhP1,209. Tin Gow, the Chinese outlet, offers its Grand Dimsum Buffet from Monday to Thursday lunchtime at only PhP499. Mizu, the Japanese resto, offers wagyu tepenyaki for only PhP350. Antepasto Affair at La Gondola, the Italian restaurant, may be availed for only PhP399 from Friday to Sunday during dinner time only. Afternoon Chinese High Tea is available from Monday to Friday for only PhP488 from 2p.m. to 5 p.m. Madeleine, the pastry outlet, and Tin Gow also offers mid-autumn mooncakes. Philippines Property Awards 2017 seeks to award the country’s top property firms based in Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao. In an interview led by Terry Blackburn, Asia Property Awards founder Terry Blackburn and Cyndy Tan Jarabata, the local media learned that four out of 30 categories will be made exclusive for Cebu; namely, Best

Housing Development, Best Luxury Condo Development, Best High End Condo Development, and Best Commercial Development. The 30 winners will compete in the regional grand finals at the Southeast Asia Property Awards held annually in Singapore. Judging is done by an independent panel of industry experts. Past Cebu-based national winners include AppleOne Cebu Properties and Primary Homes. Tom N Toms Coffee opened its first branch in Cebu situated at Mabolo along Pope John Paul II Avenue (formerly San Jose dela Montana). Heading the opening ceremonies were Peter Kim as master franchiser, Rose Marie Alba, and Hyung Suk Kim, VP of Tom N Toms Int’l. As a Korean chain with over 600 branches in nine countries, the establishment is open 24 hours a day to give the Cebuano community that distinct coffeeshop experience. Choose from over a hundred food and beverage selections such as freshly baked pretzels, pastries, breads, tortilla pizzas, smoothies, ice blended and coffee varieties that is sure to capture the interest of the general public. Tom N Toms Coffee is situated right along the roadside of The Greenery.





New cybercrime threats...from page 1

Checks and dalliances...from page 1

rieties of invaders; namely digital giants and ankle biters, can inflict a lot of damage to an unsuspecting company through vastly different ways and methods. “Large invaders such as Amazon have huge resources that can swallow up smaller companies with a few well-placed punches. While the ankle biters are much smaller but smart entities which use the cloud well and are unencumbered by legacy infrastructure,” Pineda declared to local media practitioners in a press gathering held at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel. Pineda pointed out that Uber’s market capital is larger than that of all car rental companies combined despite the fact that it is only an app that doesn’t own a single motor vehicle. Its easy maneuverability and convenience factor makes it a much-sought after app for modern commuters who don’t mind paying for upscale, cleaner, and safer transport services instead of traditional car rental companies. But perhaps more than anything else, Information Technology security is the biggest concern of chief information officers in the Asia Pacific region due to the rising numbers of incidents and the level of scale and sophistication used by these cybercriminals in pirating confidential information of companies.

Chaos theory Veteran journalist Cito Beltran recently came out with a column in the Philippine Star titled “Proxy War.” In it, he points out that vested interest groups have again taken to their trite, albeit effective, modes of destabilization. He wrote that these groups are behind the scenario creation that feed stories to foreign media with terms like “genocide” and “human rights violations” used as bait to elicit international outrage and commentary. Non-compliant leaders and governments are brought up and torn down by the same strategies and propaganda that has been used for decades, according to Beltran. It is a game of thrones – with the similar houses that ousted Ferdinand Marcos’ 20-year reign; convicted Joseph Estrada of plunder barely over two years into his presidency, which led to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s nineyear rule—only to have her predecessor (and

Organized cybercrime “Cybercrime thefts cost over US$3.5 trillion annually in the global business community. This includes over US$90 billion alone in the Asean region where the perpetrators operate in the shadows,” Pineda added. While 70 percent of CEOs think rogue individuals make up the largest threat, reality is that 80 percent of cyberattacks are driven

by highly organized crime rings whose tools, data, and expertise are widely shared among themselves. Unsurprisingly, social media is their favorite medium where they take advantage of the trust of majority of its users and where the crime rings can easily disguise themselves as innocent parties using false pictures and profiles. Another issue of concern is that half of all attacks are sourced from internal threats, trusted employees, and breaches of security across enterprises and government sectors. While over half of CEOs agreed that collaboration is necessary to fight cybercrime, only a third have expressed willingness to share their organization’s cybersecurity incident information externally. The survey was sourced through IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) which interviewed top-level management consisting of over 700 C-suite leaders across 18 industries in more than 28 countries. The IBV study, dubbed Securing the CSuite, Cybersecurity Perspectives from the Boardroom and C-Suite, also revealed that cybersecurity is a top concern of 68 percent of CxOs. While 75 percent believe a comprehensive security plan is important, it was also found out that key executives need to be more engaged with CISOs beyond planning for security, and take on a more active role. “On the industry sectors most conscious of cyberthreats, banking and financial institutions rank first. They are followed by telecom companies due to their competitive and innovative services, and third are the retail and manufacturing businesses. Ranking fourth are the robotics and animation outlets,” Pineda stated.

former student) lead an attack that resulted in her being detained for years. Of course, Marcos appears to be headed to the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery); Estrada is on his second term as the mayor of the Philippine capital; and Arroyo is now free and still warms a seat in the House of Representatives. It’s a perpetual war of interests – one that frequently results in damage to the country and its economy, which are hardly considered in the long game of destabilizers. Beltran wrote, “The bad part of this ‘artificial’ or controlled form of terrorism is that it scares off expats, tourists as well as investors. The damage to the country and the economy is far-reaching and longer than the game plan of destabilizers who treat out long-term stability as mere collateral damage in their war. It is in this part where they attack each and every Filipino. "

Asia Society Philippines Executive Director, Suyin Liu Lee and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) head, Liza Diño during the pre-screening of Asia Film Festival held at Greenbelt 3 Cinemas, last September 7, 2016





QualiTEA Control

TWG Tea schools us on appreciating the finer side of tea By ANGIE DUARTE


have a long-standing fascination with tea that goes back to my childhood and the “I’m a Little Teapot” action song that I so loved. Then there was CS Lewis’ Mad Hatter and his infamously, irresistibly inane tea parties that had the March Hare earnestly urging Alice to “take some more tea," to her adamant protestations that she could not possibly take more as she had not yet had any to begin with. My teatime machinations were further fueled by images of a proper tea service at some fancy palace-or-other; or within the posh, pretty parlor of an ornate Victorian home. Yes, I am a fan of tea (but I must point out that I am also a coffee lover, and am of the firm belief that life is too short to pick just one or the other), so it was with excitement that I learned of the Tea Appreciation Series of TWG Tea. The luxury brand recently feted tea aficionados to a string of classes at its Power

Plant Tea Boutique, under the tutelage of inhouse expert, Enzo Santos. The classes-cumtea-parties were wholly dedicated to enhancing one’s knowledge and enjoyment of the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis. We learned some of the do’s and don’ts, and tips and tricks to help us level-up in the world of tea, while we happily sipped on TWG’s popular variants and munched on perfect offerings from its Tea Gastronomy menu. A tea journey Tea varietals can take you on a journey across the globe, almost; and given that TWG Tea has hundreds of different types (well over 400 at its Power Plant Tea Boutique alone), the tea class I attended was filled with tales of distant lands and exotic terroirs. There are nearly 30 tea-producing, officially recognized and accredited countries of origin, the biggest

of which is China. Among Santos’ many stories was an enthralling lore of a tea so rare, that it was once served exclusively to the Emperors of China. This highly exclusive beverage, a type of Yellow Tea, was made from leaves grown only on one mountain range in one province of China, handpicked on only one day of the year, by female virgins wearing silk gloves, wielding solid gold scissors for snipping the leaves. Now THAT’S some precious tea! Today, TWG still carries this sought-after tea, and while it is no longer harvested by female virgins, nor is it served only to those of royal stature, it is still truly special: TWG’s Yellow Tea is infused with 24-karat gold dust, and sells for a whopping PhP14,000 for 50 grams! Then there’s the super popular authentic Red Tea, which is technically not a tea, as it does not come from the Camellia Sinensis, but from the Rooibos Bush. Found only in

South Africa, real Red Tea – such as TWG’s Red Balloon variant – may be savored hot or iced, and tastes even more wonderful when mixed with just a dollop of sugar syrup, which enhances the tea’s natural sweetness and zesty flavor. My favorite, however, had to be TWG’s first-ever and most renowned tea, Silvermoon: a smooth, suave Chinese Green Tea, with an aroma and taste undertone of berry and vanilla, with a hint of spice. Simply delicious!

leaves, steeped according to the recommended time.

SMELL the aroma. It is best to use a widebrimmed teacup. Cover the cup with one hand, and inhale the aroma from underneath your cupped hand. SIP and SWIRL the tea in your mouth, while sucking in some air. This releases the fullness of the tea’s flavor.

Tea for two, for me, for you Prior to the class, I hadn’t realized just how many different kinds of tea are available, and the unique properties of each varietal. It is safe to say that there is a tea for me, for you – for most every palate.

White Tea • •

Completely unprocessed, and is one of the more rare delicacies in the tea universe Contains the highest level of anti-oxidants and lowest in theine (tea’s version of caffeine) content

Yellow Tea • • •

Rarest and most expensive tea in the world, which is harvested from a single mountain range in Szechwan Province, China, thus yields only a few kilograms per year Never gets bitter Infused tea leaves can be eaten

Green Tea • •

Not oxidized Chinese method of Green Tea preparation is to pan-fry the leaves, which gives the tea a roasted taste, while the Japanese method is to steam the leaves, which produces more of a grassy, seaweed-like taste High in Vitamin C and antioxidants, and naturally low in theine content

Blue Tea • • •

Commonly known as Oolong Tea or sometimes “Black Dragon” tea Is semi-oxidized tea (in-between Green and Black Tea) Contains a good balance of antioxidants and theine content, and is good for slimming

Black Tea • •

Most popular type of tea in the world Fully oxidized, has the highest theine content, but is low in antioxidants

Pu-Erh • • •

“Matured tea” that has been fermented for years, just like wine: the older the better Due to the aging process, theine naturally lessens Has a very deep, full-bodied, earthy taste and is excellent for digestion (uhhhhhm, dare I say it helps you “pooh…errr”) and weight loss

Red Tea • •

Comes from the Rooibos tea bush found in South Africa Naturally theine-free, very high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, and has a natural sweetness

Tea prep There are a few important “how to’s” when making the perfect cuppa (that would be a common way to refer to tea, when in London, visiting the Queen, where tea is an immensely popular beverage). After all, it would be a shame to let good tea go to pot, in the idiomatic definition of things. First, all items (teapot, cups, filter, teaspoon) used for the tea service must be properly cleaned with gentle dishwashing liquid (a strong soapy aroma or

taste could ruin your tea). Note that it is best to use whole leaves than what some call “tea dust,” which is the tea you get in most commercial bags. Second, it is ideal to use fresh, filtered water, which is heated to a temperature between 90 to 95 percent Celsius, to the point of simmering, and NOT boiling (boiling water can scald your tea leaves and give the drink a bitter flavor.) Third, tea should be properly measured and steeped; generally, one teacup = 2.5 grams of tea leaves or one teaspoon of tea

Tea time! Much like savoring a fine wine, there are some S-words to help us better savor our tea time: SEE the color. A properly brewed cup of tea will show in the color; not too light, not too dark. Also, the color is usually indicative of the tea variety.

Care for a spot of tea, anyone?



F E AT U R E S Newspaper

The Philippines’ forum for international readers since 1981

Murray Hertz Founding Publisher (1928-2014) Butch C. Bonsol President & Managing Director Timothy Jay Araneta Ibay Editor-in-Chief Suzette Defensor Consultant Angie Duarte Richard A. Ramos (Cebu) Senior Writers Via Baroma Ching Dee Staff Writers Leah Egamino-Palaña Advertising Coordinator Jennifer Codera Billing, Credit and Collection Supervisor Nikki Joy Habana Macjanry Imperio Design & Layout Our Headquarters: Unit 305 Cristina Condominium, 143 Legaspi cor. V.A. Rufino St., Legaspi Village, Makati City Our telephone numbers: (+632) 840-2996 or (+632) 812-0987; Fax (+632) 840-2988 You can also reach us at: 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.


The ‘world’s best water’ finds its way to Manila


hey say the best things in life are free. And while there is ample truth in that saying, it also can’t be denied that some of the finest things in the world come at a premium. Such is the case for Antipodes –the Gold Medal Winner during the 2006 International Water Tasting at the Berkley Springs Water Festival (an annual event that the brand has gotten consistent recognition in) – and widely recognized as the world’s best water. And now, you can experience what is perhaps the finest water in the world as Brumms Quality Wines, Inc. has decided to bring the premium product from the deepest water aquifer in New Zealand to Manila. Taste the difference Long before Antipodes Water makes its way to the tables of premium hotels and restaurants, it spent decades under enormous pressure in vast underground canyons more than 327 meters below the surface of the Bay of Plenty—a remote region in New Zealand. The pressure from within the aquifer creates a natural filtration process that has led to Antipodes being scientifically categorized as the deepest, highest quality artesian water in New Zealand. Processed waters require various methods of sterilization, disinfection and sanitization to even begin to stake their claim as being “clean water.” To achieve this, many processed waters

are subjected to a cocktail of salts and minerals in order for them to be classified as mineral water. By contrast, natural water is untouched, and “living water” retains its original unique fingerprint resulting from its natural minerality and its source terroir. Antipodes Water is bottled at source (rinsed, filled, carbonated and capped without ever being touched by human hand), providing a purity, clarity and taste that can only be found deep down at the end of the earth – ending in a premium product that stands as proof that not all water is created equal. Drink chilled, drink often, live well But apart from producing “living water” from the aquifer to the bottle and manufacturing to the highest possible international standards, Antipodes (the world’s first carbon neutral premium water) is committed to producing the world’s best water in a way that is sustainable, ethical and free from unnecessary additives, processing and packaging. For their commitment and efforts to

minimizing their emissions through every step of bottling, marketing and distribution, Antipodes was recognized by the United Nations as the bottled water industry leader in environmental responsibility. Antipodes is a New Zealand water that is truly different—in quality, in the way it looks, and in its impact on the environment. Elevate your appreciation for fine living water with Antipodes – drink chilled, drink often, live well. Antipodes is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Brumms Quality Wines, Inc. It is currently being served in establishments that include Peninsula Manila, Txanton Deli, Conrad Hotel and CAV, among others. For orders, contact (02) 723-7139 and (0939) 908-2169. For more information, visit

Oktoberfest 2016: Manila’s 78th Bavarian blowout Come party in true Bavarian fashion at this two-day celebration of a time-honored tradition ByANGIE DUARTE


he annual Oktofacts were shared by the berfest celebration Adam Laker, Sofitel’s Gento be held on Octoeral Manager, as he welber 7to 8, 2016 at the Soficomed guests to the press tel Philippine Plaza Manila conference for the event’s marks the 78th celebration seventh year at the hotel. of partying, the Bavarian way. The yearly shindig, in Cheers, to the champion Fliegerlied fashion, has of culture been going on since 1938, Beyond the copious a solid number of years amounts of beer, the Gerbefore bilateral relations man Club Manila’s Oktobetween Germany and the berfest is a robust social Philippines commenced in gathering and showcase of 1954. It was with a touch Bavarian culture. Expect to of humor that German German Embassy Manila's Commercial Counsellor Dr. Andree Buhl, Sofitel's see men and women don Embassy Manila’s Charge General Manager Adam Laker, German Embassy Manila's Charge D'Affaires Mi- traditional German wear: D’Affaires Michael Hasper chael Hasper, German Club Manila's President Bernd Schneider the former, clad in lederpointed this out at this hosen (leather suspendtion moves to the tune of traditional Bavarian year’s press conference, saying that “we first music. ers) over trachten (plain white or checkered) began to party before we got serious.” To date, the Münchner Oktoberfest, as shirts, Alpine hats atop their head, while the And what a party it has been, all these locals refer to it, has grown into epic propor- latter, sport pretty and colorful dirndls (dress years! tions of mammoth merriment. It runs for 16 with apron) and braids. Expect, as well, to have more than your days in Munich and has become one of the Bavarian blowout fill of scrumptious German grub, such as platcountry’s biggest tourist attractions, annually The customary Bavarian blowout began drawing over six million visitors from all over ters-full of deli meats and cheeses, German in October of 1810, when Crown Prince the world. sausages (Ring Bratwurst, cheese sausage, (later on, King) Ludwig threw a wedding Cervelat sausage, Münchner Weisswurst, reception in honor of his new bride, Ther- The amiable ambassador of ale and Hungarian sausages) perfectly paired ese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The feast Miles and miles away from Munich, with sauerkraut, grilled pork knuckles, crispy lasted five days, and all the citizens of Munich across the seas to Manila, the Oktoberfest has roast pork with beer gravy, roasted steamship and Bavaria gathered not only to to fete the been recognized as an ambassador, of sorts. (beef leg), parsley filled roasted chicken, pohappy couple, but also to eat, drink, be merry, This amiable ambassador of ale has helped tato dumplings, Bavarian breaded dumplings, and do the Fliegerlied. “The Flieger-what- to foster good relations between the German apple strudel; and other delicious customary now???” and Filipino communities, over a mind-blow- eats. I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll just have to ing 16,000 to 17,000 liters of beer, one ton of Book your tickets know! Email reservahead on over to this year’s Oktoberfest to fig- sausage, and half a ton of pork knuckles, con- or call (02) 894-2899. ure it out. Make sure to bring your dancing sumed in just two nights. These astounding For more information, visit www.germanclub. shoes, and get ready for some uber-fun acph/our-events/oktoberfest-2016/





A stronger, bolder Alqueria

Text and photos by CHING DEE

Prepare for truffle and make it double

Text and photos by CHING DEE

Chef Sonny Mariano revamped its menu with unique Spanish-Asian fu- Trufa, the country’s very first pasta bar, opens in Makati sion dishes


fter three years in the industry, actor and restaurateur Marvin Agustin’s Alqueria Tapas, Paellas y Bistecas just got a newly revamped menu courtesy of multi-awarded chef Sonny Mariano. Chef Sonny created a menu so rich and bold featuring Spanish-Asian fusion dishes that are yet to be seen in the metro. Expat sat down—and chowed down— with Chef Sonny to talk about Alqueria’s new offers and identity. Young, brave, and a damn fine chef Precocious might be an apt word to describe Chef Sonny. At 25, he has already managed to bag several awards from local and international competitions—with many years still ahead of him to hone his craft further. This year, Chef Sonny was part of the Philippines’ National Culinary Team, which competed in the largest and most prestigious culinary competition in Asia: the FHA Singapore Culinary Challenge last April. According to the LTB Chefs Association of the Philippines, “The team bested teams from Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia to win the coveted overall culinary team champion prize (Best Culinary Establishment) by bagging 17 medals (four Gold, seven Silver, six Bronze) in 17 culinary and pastry events.” For that competition alone, Chef Sonny won two awards: the gold medal for the Tapas/Finger Food Category, and the silver medal for the Two to Tango Live Cooking Category, with his partner Janemar Gicana. “I join competitions because I know this is one way honing my skills as a chef,” Chef Sonny told Expat. “We compete because we love what we do and we want more people to know that Filipinos are talented culinarians.” It is Chef Sonny’s adventurous palate, inquisitive mind, and experimental attitude that led to Alqueria’s bolder menu, which are getting people’s attention. Spain meets Asia Spain is known for its rich tapas and appetizers, but Chef Sonny takes it to another level by hitting it with an Asian twist. “I simply think of flavors that I—or most people—will like and then a lot of trial and error,” Chef Sonny said. “We never offer anything that’s not in its best possible form. We always improve our recipes to make sure guests will come back to something new every time.”

SumoSam Group executive chef Sonny Mariano

It's hard to pick a favorite from Alqueria's new menu, but I gotta say, their Surf and Turf Pai Tee is a sure win. It's got gambas, salpicao, roasted garlic, and togarashi. Absolutely irresistible. You can't have just one. Alqueria's Chorizo Croquettas with bechamel, aioli, and roasted pepper jam is extremely addicting. Crispy outer layer with a creamy, savory center… Oh boy, give me a dozen of these babies. The Truffled Mushroom Tostada is a lavishly flavorful vegetarian appetizer made of three different kinds of mushroom with cilantro and truffle oil over a crispy wholewheat tostada. Meanwhile, the crowd favorite proves to be the Black and Claw Croquettas—an indulgent beginning to your Spanish-Asian culinary journey. It’s made of crab claws wrapped in mashed potatoes blackened with squid ink and seasoned to perfection. This rainy weather is perfect for Alqueria's flavorful Sopa de Ajo, a clear broth infused with garlic. It is an all-around treat for the senses: it’s beautiful, tasty, and smells like heaven. This writer’s personal favorite out of Alqueria’s new main dishes is the Salmon Al Neri Paella. It’s squid ink rice topped with nori, migas, homemade roasted pepper jam, homemade calamansi aioli, and luscious salmon. It has a lot of ingredients, but believe me, it all works together very, very well. Alqueria’s new menu also features Chef Sonny's winning signature dish in his recent international competition in Singapore: Crab and Salmon Escabeche. It's a decadent crab salad with saffron jelly, salmon carpaccio, sweet and tangy passion fruit dressing, and peppery arugula for balance. Indeed, this dish is a winner in so many ways. The Spanish-Asian fusion continues all the way to the dessert selections, like the light but flavorful classic, Canonigo with Salted Egg Sauce; Manchego Cheesecake with fruits and apple cookie crumble; and Frio Caliente (cold-hot), a delicious play on flavors, textures, and temperatures containing homemade salted caramel and miso ice cream, a generous pouring of aerated hot chocolate mousse, and for texture: crispy banana chips, apple cookies, strawberries, and mangoes. Alqueria Tapas, Paellas y Bistecas is located at the third level of the Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. For inquiries, call (0916) 641-8785.

Alqueria's irresistible Manchego Cheesecake


was greeted by an energetic, delightfully engaging, and bespectacled woman. Beaming at me and shaking my hand firmly, she welcomed me to the very first pasta bar in the country: Trufa Pasta Bar in Makati. So, where exactly did Tricia Espino— Iron Man triathlete, Philippine Football Team member, serial foodie, and design major—come up with the idea of opening Trufa? Favoritism at its finest “Truffle is my favorite ingredient,” she said, already beaming at the mention of truffles. “[After studying in Barcelona,] I wanted to bring a piece of me from Spain to Manila,” Tricia told Expat, adding that even the woodand-black interiors of the restaurant was used to replicate her apartment in Spain. So, together with her friend George Llorente from Catalan, the two pooled their resources, and by the end of June 2016, they soft-opened Trufa and officially opened just last Sept. 8. According to Espino, the research and development for the entire restaurant concept took six months—two months of which were dedicated to finalizing the menu with head chef Miguel Maloto from Iloilo. “Of course, it was trial-and-error at first, but we kept on innovating and improving our recipes until we came up with pasta sauces and dishes that we’re really, really proud of,” Espino said. “This is how I eat at home: wholesome, fresh, no short-cuts. Chef Migs helped [put a bit of a gourmet twist to it].” Trufantastic bestsellers Today, Trufa has 12 homemade sauces, 14 various toppings, and 11 different kinds of pasta — all imported from Italy. Everyone is encouraged to build their own pasta dish by (1) choosing the kind of pasta you want, then (2) choosing your sauce, and (3) picking a topping (or toppingsss) for your dish. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed about making choices, Espino suggests, “Be bolder when it comes to choosing your pasta and try to go for different layers of flavors.” Aside from the do-it-yourself pasta bar, Trufa also has an excellent a la carte menu to choose from. First, try the Zumos con Tubo, a beverage made of freshly pressed sugarcane juice mixed with fruit flavors. Calamansi is a crowd pleaser. If you’re having a night out with friends or simply want to enjoy your pasta with the perfect partner, try their Sangria Blanca or Sangria Negra. A sure-fire win on any table is Trufa’s Huevos Estrellados. Lit-

Triathlete, Philippine Team football player and restaurateur Tricia Espino

erally, it means “crushed eggs.” It’s a beloved, classic Spanish dish but Tricia and Chef Migs added their own local twist: their homemade beef tapa (fork-tender sweet and savory tapa flakes) and Chorizo de Ana (an heirloom sausage recipe from Tricia’s grandmother). The tapa and Chorizo de Ana lends its flavors to the fried potatoes underneath, while the fried egg oozes down to create a creamy waterfall of golden eggyolk. When a dish carries the restaurant’s name, it better be worth it. And with Trufa’s Trufa Parpadelle with Setas, it is the star of the entire joint. The dish features al dente parpadelle pasta bathed in luscious cream-based truffle sauce and topped with sautéed mushrooms. For those who are looking for something lighter, try their Asiatica Salad. It has crisp red cabbage, fresh romaine lettuce, slices of ripe mango, generous shavings of queso de bola (edam cheese), homemade asiatica dressing, and an extremely unique sweet and salty crispy fish flakes—a Trufa original. Espino also suggests their Boloñesa de Casa and Carbonara Filipina. The Boloñesa de Casa has George’s heirloom recipe for the classic boloñesa sauce—slow-cooked for more than five hours for the perfect marriage of flavors; while the Carbonara Filipina puts an interestingly tasty Pinoy touch to a classic cream based dish: Crispy fried dilis (anchovies) and smoked fish. Trufa’s signature cookie—aptly called the Trufa Cookie—is designed to look exactly like the Gaudi tiles found in Spain, which was also recreated at the restaurant’s porch. The flaky cookie has a truffle-infused chocolate and caramel filling. Trufa is the perfect spot for gathering family and friends over great food and value for money. After all, there’s nothing like good food to bring people closer together, right? Trufa Pasta Bar is located at 109 Esteban St., Legaspi Village, Makati. They are open from Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10p.m. For more information, call (02) 771-2581.

Trufa's signature Truffle Pasta





Space and subtle elegance—staples in every Bluewater room



elcome Home Mr. Ramos!” Now that’s what I call a greeting. A “greeting card” of sorts which I espied on the table as soon as I entered my room at Panglao Bluewater Resort in Bohol. A great great greet. This card you can’t discard or disregard. Kind of sets the mood from within the resort. A simple work of art from the heart. A homecoming you didn’t expect. A welcoming home indeed. And not a bad home at all! Mine was a luxurious one-bedroom villa – all of its 130 square meters in an isolated cluster situated some distance away from the majority of rooms. An enviable stroke of luck-xury where one could bask all day in the villa’s exclusive dipping pool or the bathtub fronting a flatscreen TV. A tall bottle of a welcome drink stood right next to the card. Tangy and cool, I thought to myself as I downed the first round.

A complimentary fruit basket was next as I went for the bananas. “I could get used to this,” I said to myself as I unpacked and readied a smaller bag to head to another resort situated six kilometers away for the two-day Geeks On A Beach Conference (GOAB). Then reality struck. Fare factor Guys, take note that tricycle drivers charge an atrocious PhP150 per head going anywhere within Panglao Island! And its only two passengers per ride. zWith very little traffic on the road, it’s hard to believe they charge more than taxicabs in Cebu! And pray you don’t need to go to the city proper for the 20-plus kilometre ride as it will set you back PhP300. Habal-habal (motorcycle) rides costs PhP100 in Panglao alone. Jeepneys are somewhat of a rarity, moreso with taxicabs. I didn’t want to

Their villa with its own dipping pool spells afternoon delight

know the cab rates anymore. All these I gathered from Alan, the resort driver, who brought me from the pier to Bluewater and to the other resort. I was floored and made him repeat the charges just to be sure. I had the impression that these rates were freely tolerated by the local and provincial government since the drivers have to earn. Legalized highway robbery?! How many locals can afford that fare anyway? Or do they have a different rate? To think tricycle rides within Tagbilaran City (Bohol’s capital) cost a mere PhP7 per head! This means a mark-up of over 2000 percent in Panglao! Home, work, and play Anyway, the two-day conference was information overload to the max. Non-stop lectures, panel discussions, power point presentations, press cons, etc. about startups and

entrepreneurship. I was also in a dilemma since four presentations were held simultaneously in four different rooms for two half-day sessions. No press releases for any event! Twelve pages of notes, back to back, and it was nowhere enough. On the other hand, meals, snacks, and giveaways were abundant. A special highlight was the second night of the confab where a lavish beach party was held for the delegates. One sponsor even asked the audience to help themselves to the shades and shirts on hand since they didn’t want to bring home much luggage. Cocktails, viands, snacks, and especially, drinks overflowed. There was also a troop of firedancers which really wowed the crowd with their dangerous antics. Too bad I had to leave early due to dizziness. Then the thought later hit me. I was the only print journalist from Cebu to cover the event. Got myself one helluva scoop!

Dinner by the beach always sounds like a brilliant idea at Bluewater





The lagoon-shaped pool is always inviting no matter the time of day

Eats a great home I had a total of three breakfast buffets at Bluewater Panglao, my home. Selections were tasteful and neat, not quite approaching opulent standards. But who would need an overflowing feast when the occasion would not warrant such? Basics were all present, plus generous helpings of side dishes, desserts, and condiments. Eggs, garlic rice, noodles, sausages, etc. Too bad I missed out on the puncakes twice since there was no more room at the inn-sides. The view from the Aplaya Restaurant was quite dreamy as the scenery encompassed the beach, playground, gardens, and two swimming pools. I decided to skip a city dinner on the first night since my phone was nearly in the red and the charger was left behind at my Bluewater home. I also wanted to have an ala carte dish to sample the resort cuisine. My evening repast was nasi goreng which exceeded my expectations. The peanut sauce, the tender meat, and the sidings were all delectable. Back to the room for more channel switching and some shut-eye. The second night was full of surprises as I met no less than Timothy Jay Ibay, my editor-in-chief, in a Hawaiian party hosted by Bluewater Panglao. He was part of a Manila media delegation on a Bohol tour

which included a reigning Miss Earth titlist as a guest, and Pete Dacuycuy, a media PR veteran. Us guys exchanged light banter and compared our itineraries. Earlier, I also got to meet Crispo Caingcoy, the resident manager, and Rhyz Buac, the resort GM. Home run Bluewater Panglao is the third property of a local chain under the Bluewater name headed by Ms. Julie Alegrado-Vergara. First was the fabulous Bluewater Maribago Resort situated in Mactan Island, Cebu. Second is the dreamy Bluewater Sumilon situated deep down southern Cebu. Each a jewel of its own, each catering to distinct markets and preferences, each a haven of restful bliss. Too bad the resort management, though very hospitable and friendly, didn’t allow me to take home my “temporary” home. More than pictures and brochures, more than just appearances and smiles, and simply more than just brands and branches, the Bluewater name remains to be a premier headturner in the industry. That name you just can’t ignore, but acknowledge and respect. Shining among global counterparts and chains. Slowly growing and expanding in the region. Proudly homegrown and homemade right in Cebu – where the heart sings.

Feast on Bluewater’s culinary stylings at Aplaya Restaurant, which you know, just happens to sit by the beach

Bluewater prides itself in their Amuma Spa – tropical pampering you deserve

While a romantic getaway, Bluewater is also perfect for the entire family





Of unity and peace: Celebrating Eid’l Fitr 2016


embers of the diplomatic corps, government officials, prominent members of the Muslim community, and corporate executives recently gathered together to celebrate the Eid’l Fitr Festival recently at Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier Hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office of Middle East and African Affairs (OMEAA) in partnership with SM, and the Magbassa Kita Foundation, Inc. (MKFI), the festival shares a better understanding and appreciation of Muslim culture among Filipinos of ethnic, racial, and religious diversity in the country. Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. graced the event, sharing a special Eid’l Fitr message from President Rodrigo Duterte who hoped that “all the members of the Muslim Filipino communities unite with other Filipinos to achieve lasting peace, political stability, economic growth, and development.” Members of the Diplomatic corps from Middle East and African Countries lead by the dean of Islamic Ambassadors to the Philippines Her Excellency Malai Hajah Halimah Malai Yussof, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam likewise graced the event, as did their

counterparts from North America, Europe, and Asia. The works of National Artist Dr. Abdulmari Imao and his son Toym were showcased during the event, while cultural performances mirroring the traditional Muslim culture through dance and music by the DFA’s very own Ang Klung Ensemble and the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Groups were also a big hit among the audience. Resident Embassies from Muslim countries Kuwait, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman also displayed mini-exhibits for this occasion, providing the international context of the global Muslim community. Eid’l Fitr also known as the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, is an important celebration for Muslims worldwide. It marks the end of the month-long fast during Ramadan and marks the beginning of the month Shawwal. During Eid, Families and friends reunite to celebrate and offer thanksgiving to Allah. Eid’l Fitr has been proclaimed a national holiday in the Philippines since 2002 to foster peace and goodwill between major religions in the Philippines. DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. with wife Cecille, and HE Japanese Ambassador Kazhide Ishikawa and Mme. Yuko

Former Lanao Gov. Saidamen Pangarungan, PCID President Amina Rasul-Bernardo, Lee Imao, Former Senator Santanina Panamanian Ambassador Rolando Aníbal Guevara Alvarado, Indian Ambassador Saudi Arabia Ambassador Dr. Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Bussairy Rasul, Fatima Rasul and Ahmed Tillah Lalduhthlana Ralte, and US Ambassador Philip Goldberg

Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Tanhaei, Saudia Airlines Country Manager Abdulrahman Alabdul Brunei Ambassador Halimah Malai Haji Yussof and Cambodian NCCA International Affairs Office Head Mary Anne Luis, NCCA Executive Director Ms. Adelina M. Suemith, DFA Office of Wahab, the Qatar Embassy’s Hamad Yousef Almalki and State of Qatar Charge D'Affiars Abdulla Ambassador Tuot Panha Middle East and African Affairs Asec Hjayceelyn Quintana, SM SVP for Marketing Ms. Millie Dizon, and Sculptor Toym Imao Ali Alajaj Al-Kubaisi

Bangladeshi Ambassador Major General John Gomes, Laos Ambassador Phoxay Danish Ambassador Jan Top Christensen, DFA OMEA Director Germinia V. Aguilar-Usudan, and Israeli Ambassador Ephraim South African Ambassador Martin Slabber and Sri Lankan Ambassador Aruni Ranaraja Khaykhamphithoune, and Myanmar Ambassador H.E. Mr. Ye Myint Aung Matityau





Exceptional wins for Belo Belo Medical Group, the country’s leading dermatology and cosmetic surgery center under the leadership of CEO and founder Dr. Vicki Belo and managing director Cristalle Belo Henares, continues to lead the pack in the local beauty industry with its notable wins at the Watsons HWB (Health, Wellness and Beauty) Awards 2016. Belo’s retail skin care company Intelligent Skin Care Inc., maker of the Belo Essentials beauty product line, won several recognitions during the awarding ceremony held at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Premier in Taguig City including a major award – Best Category Captain of the Year for Health for Whitening by Belo – and three others namely, Seasonal Product of the Year, People’s Choice Award for Body Care and People’s Choice Award for Health Care (Supplements) for Belo Glutathione. Congratulations to Dr. Vicki Belo and the whole Belo Medical Group team for these remarkable achievements!

Nigel Healey with Steve Payne

Charlie Jaswani and Karmina Porta

(From left) Intelligent Skin Care Inc. regional manager Allan Garcia, Watsons category manager Emil Perez and managing director Robert Sun, Belo Medical Group managing director Cristalle Belo Henares and founder and medical director Dr. Vicki Belo, Intelligent Skin Care Inc. general manager Robby Sicam, Watsons trading health controller Aida Lapez, Intelligent Skin Care Inc. marketing manager Lerma Mendoza, national sales manager Allan Ardosa, brand manager Joyce Delos Reyes, development manager Clark Olage and brand manager Jeaune Padua with Watsons trading health director Danilo Chong

(From left) Marj Javellana, Glenda Claudio, Allan Ancheta, Dr. Beaver Tamesis, Stephen Gan and Bong Flores

Paolo and Rissa Trillo

Hans and Tess Vergel De Dios

Fragrance maker eyes US market Aficionado Germany Perfume president and CEO Joel Cruz (in photo, at left) is looking at the US market as the next place to invest for his company’s very popular scents. Facilitated at the US Embassy in Manila headed by ambassador Philip Goldberg, the Trade Section recommended Aficonado Germany Perfume, the country’s leading fragrance manufacturer, to the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D. C. The summit is the biggest high-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment in the United States. Joel was joined by Aficionado Germany Perfume general manager Lambert Lopez (right) at the business matchmaking session to find prospective investors in the US.

Robert Sun, Dr. Vicki Belo and Dr. Marc Franck

Beau Agana, Rexie Tolentino, Princess Fernando and Nick Lansang

Richard and Cheryl Chua



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•1st German Film Week Ongoing until Sept. 27, Glorietta and Trinoma cinemas; for more information, visit Manila, or email The Goethe-Institut Philippines invites you to the 1st edition of the German Film Week. The event features an excellent selection of contemporary German language films. From classic themes of love, loyalty, family, and adventure, to the grittier issues of identity and coping with the past, there is surely something for everyone. The 1st German Film Week opens with the star-studded thriller, “WHO AM I - No System Is Safe” (“WHO AM I - Kein System ist sicher”), which became the first German thriller ranked no. 1 in the German cinema charts since the 80s. The film, directed by Baron bo Odar, is only one of many other gripping themes included in this year’s lineup for the 1st German Film Week. A Vote and Win contest will be launched in line with the festival wherein audiences can vote for their favorite film, for a chance to win special prizes. Tickets are priced at PhP100. Tickets are available via or at the mall cinema counters.

•2nd Danish Film Festival Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, Shang Cineplex, Premier Theater, Shangri-La Plaza, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong In celebration of 70 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Denmark and the Philippines, The Embassy highlights its second edition of the #DanishFilmFest. Denmark will once again be showcasing some finely curated films with themes ranging from child superheroes (Antboy: Revenge of the Fury) to conspiracy theories (The Idealist) to your typical family style conflicts (Silent Heart). The Danish Embassy, on its third year since reopening, is driven to encourage the public to know more about Danish culture, traditions, interests, and basic way of living. One of the films of note during the festival is Rosita, where local actress Mercedes Cabral plays the role of a young Filipina who is arranged to meet a lonely middle-aged widower ( Jens Albinus) in a small fishing town in Denmark. It gets interesting when Rosita becomes more acquainted with the son Johannes (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) while the inter-relationships turn out to be more complex than usual. Other films to look out for are The Keeper of the Lost Causes (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), Sex Drugs and Taxation (Pilou Asbæk), The Hour of the Lynx (Sofie Gråbøl), Fear Me Not (Ulrich Thomsen), With Your Permission (Lars Brygmann), The Candidate (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), and Karla’s World (Elena Arndt-Jensen) The 2nd Danish Film Festival will be screening 11 carefully selected films during the period, all for free.


•Brillante Mendoza: A Contemporary Filipino Filmmaker Until Oct 1, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Blvd, Manila This exhibition features the full-length films, documentaries and other productions like TV commercials that have made Brillante Mendoza the celebrated filmmaker that he is today. This collection is complemented by film posters and video production equipment that the director himself designed and utilized in his work. Curated by Prof. Leo Abaya, Brillante Mendoza: A Contemporary Filipino Filmmaker is the first major exhibition on film that the MET is mounting to highlight film and the moving image as a contemporary art form. Film festivals and other events that celebrate Mendoza’s work have been organized here in Philippines and abroad in the past. This show at the MET, however, will be the first time the Mendoza’s body of work is explored comprehensively and within a museum exhibition context. It is complemented by a set of education programs that includes off-site special screenings of his multi-awarded films at the SM Mall of Asia and the Conrad Hotel, and weekend workshops and lectures. Admission to the MET is PhP100, open Mondays to Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

•Open Spaces: New Zealand through the Lens of a Filipino Until Oct. 5, Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza Ayala cor. Gil Puyat Aves., Makati; museum hours are Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In honor of the 50th year of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and New Zealand, the New Zealand Embassy presents an exhibit entitled Open Spaces: New Zealand through the Lens of a Filipino. The exhibit features photographs of New Zealand landscapes by renowned Filipino photographer Jose Mari “Mayie” Delgado. The New Zealand landscape portfolio is a photographic narrative of Delgado’s recent visits to the North and South Islands of New Zealand – driving hundreds of kilometers from Auckland to Wellington, and from Christchurch to Queenstown. This fresh collection, captured by 35mm and medium format cameras immortalizes the paradise landscapes of New Zealand from a fresh perspective – the eyes of a Filipino.

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Compiled by VIA BAROMA

Experience unique gastronomic thrills at City of Relax and unwind at Novotel’s In Balance Spa Dreams Manila At City of Dreams Manila, diners can experience a unique epicurean journey from around the world this September to October. With over 20 dining options at the premier integrated resort in Entertainment City, guests are spoilt for choice, from authentic Kobe beef and new Omakase menu at Nobu Manila; a selection of wines and French cheeses at The Tasting Room; decadent Cantonese tonic soup at Crystal Dragon, create your own noodle soup with fresh handmade noodles at Noodle8 to royal Thai cuisine at Red Ginger. For refreshments to pair with premium Western or Eastern fare or to be relished while unwinding, guests can enjoy the cocktail of the month at Nobu Manila, a special discount on a wide array of aperitif creations at The Tasting Room in October and over 40 varieties of local and imported beer for the Oktoberfest at CenterPlay. In time for the festive season, guests can also plan in advance for memorable intimate gatherings or big groups with City of Dreams KTV party packages and special party packages at the Grand Ballroom. Nobu Manila As one of the city’s trendiest dining hotspots, Nobu Manila offers the world-famous well-marbled texture and unparalleled flavor of authentic Kobe beef served as part of the Nobu cold and hot specials during dinner until the end of October. Nobu Manila is open for dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays to Thursdays

and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays to Sundays. Brunch is served every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Tasting Room The Tasting Room, renowned for its European haute cuisine and selection of wines and spirits, offers “Wine and Cheese Saturdays” at PhP1,500 net per person this September. The “Wine and Cheese Saturdays” highlights a curated array of the world’s best cheeses from the top French brands. Guests can enjoy unlimited wines together with Mon’s cheeses and international breads. In October, guests enjoy an exclusive 20 percent off on premium aperitif concoctions during Aperitif Hour from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cocktail choices include Sazerac (Wild Turkey Bourbon, Hennessy VSOP, Absinthe and Angostura Bitters), Single Barrel Espresso ( Jack Daniels Single Barrel, Ristretto Espresso, Kahlua and Galliano), Port Stringer (Grahams LBV Port, Chambord and mint leaves); Classic Cacao (Grahams LBV Port, Sambuca, yolk and Crème de Cacao), and Brooklyn Harvard Manhattan (Martell Cordon Bleu, Antica Formula Vermouth, Maraschino Luxardo and Bitters). The Tasting Room’s cocktail offerings for October range from PhP550++ to PhP1,350++ each.

The unpredictability of the recent Metro Manila weather coupled with the wear and tear brought about by the the urban jungle daily grind frequently takes its toll. In such cases, there’s nothing like a soul-soothing, mind-relaxing massage to provide a much-deserved respite and reward from dealing with the daily chaos of the city. This September, another serene oasis opens its doors to the public in Quezon City’s lifestyle and entertainment hub—In Balance Spa at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center. The design of the In Balance Spa, located on the hotel’s 5th Floor, mimics the flow of water as it refreshes and re-energizes all who walk through its cleverly-designed enclave. Here, stresses melt away with every careful caress as delivered by some of the most experienced massage therapists in the metro. Choose to relax with the Swedish or

Combination Massage, or unstrain both mind and spirit with the In Balance Signature Massage – a fusion of Thai and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi techniques. The Aromatherapy Massage by Amu’in™ is also available for guests to avail—Sigla to uplift and boost one’s energy or Hulay to calm the overall being. Aside from the range of massage services available at the In Balance Spa, guests can also choose to enjoy the featured Signature Body Scrubs of salt and aloe vera as well as one that makes use of organic red rice from the highlands of Mindoro. For its opening month, the In Balance Spa is offering 30 percent discount on available services for all in-house guests. For more information about In Balance Spa, its services and reservations, contact Novotel Manila Araneta Center  at (02) 990-7888 or email H7090-

For more information on ongoing promotions, inquiries and reservations, contact (02) 800-8080, email guestservices@cod-manila. com or visit


Must-try grabs at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Nobu Omakase - Salmon Tartar with Crispy Gyoza Skin

Wine and Cheese Saturdays at The Tasting Room

‘Ber’ months, the busiest months of the year, is here, and Café Pronto at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is ushering the last quarter of 2016 by treating its guests to an array of sandwich selections. Take a bite of the crowd favorite Signature Hot Ham Sandwich, made of lettuce, ham, tomato, onions, and Dijon mayo. For Foodies who crave something lighter, Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese and Classic Tuna with Mango is available, while guests looking to try something new have their Baked Mac Sandwich to sample. These gourmet selections are

Signature Hot Ham

perfect when paired with a glass of Classic Iced Tea or Yogurt Smoothie. All sandwiches are served with chips, tartar sauce, and coleslaw and are priced from PhP300-390. Located at the heart of the Ortigas Business District, on the ground floor of the hotel tower, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Café Pronto is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Display items like sandwiches, pastries and breads are on 50 percent off from  7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pre-order by calling (02) 720-7777 loc. 6614, and have it ready upon arrival.





Compiled by VIA BAROMA



•Mayday Parade

•UFC Fight Night Manila: Lamas vs

Oct. 15, Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; tickets are available at all SM Tickets outlets; for ticket inquiries, visit or call (02) 470-2222

Oct. 15, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City; for more information, visit www.smtickets. com or

Get ready to rock out as American pop-punk sensation, Mayday Parade returns to Manila! Sing your hearts out to their hits like “Miserable at Best,” “Terrible Things,” “Three Cheers for Five Years” and many more as Derek Sanders (lead vocals), Alex Garcia (lead guitar), Brooks Betts (rhythm guitar), Jake Bundrick (drums), and Jeremy Lenzo (bass) get set to blast their anthemic tunes. Tickets are priced at PhP3,000 for VIP Pit and PhP2,000 for Balcony.


•Jersey Boys Sept. 23 until Oct. 16, Meralco Theatre, Ortigas Avenue cor. Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City; tickets are available at all TicketWorld outlets; for ticket inquiries, call (02) 891-9999 One of the longest running shows in Broadway is coming to Manila as the “jukebox musical” Jersey Boys, 2006 Tony, Grammy and Olivier award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi is set to delight Philippine fans. Upbeat, slickly produced and fast-paced, Jersey Boys will fill the night with hit singles like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” “Rag Doll,” “Sherry,” “Oh, What a Night,” and many more. Unlike most jukebox musicals, the show boasts heavy emphasis on storytelling, which adds to its universal appeal. Tickets are priced at PhP3,657 for Orchestra (Center and Sides); PhP2,612 for Loge; and PhP1,567 for Balcony.

•ANNIE Until December 4, Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila, 3rd Floor, Newport Mall, Pasay City; for more information, call (02) 908-8833 or visit This September Resorts World Manila presents its seventh major stage production—the beloved family musical ANNIE. After the first successful staging in the country in 1980, ANNIE promises to rekindle its love affair with older audiences and charm new generations with its inspirational story about a charismatic orphan’s optimistic outlook in life against all odds. Playing the role of Annie are Krystal Brimner, 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival best child actress winner for her role in the indie film “Honor Thy Father,” and Isabeli Araneta Elizalde, a newcomer hailing from one of the entertainment industry’s more prominent families, who both bested hundreds of other hopefuls auditioning for the role. Joining the kids for the main roles are award-winning actor Michael De Mesa who will play the wealthy Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, the first lady of Philippine theater Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Ms. Agatha Hannigan, Jill Pena as Secretary Grace Farrell, and Mako Alonso and Red Concepcion alternating as the conniving Daniel “Rooster” Hannigan. Tickets are priced at PhP3,523 for SVIP; PhP3,082 for VIP; PhP2,422 for Gold; PhP1,651 for Silver; and PhP880 for Bronze. Tickets are available at all TicketWorld outlets. Call (02) 891-9999 for ticket inquiries.


Following last year’s inaugural UFC live event in the Philippines, the world’s premier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization, and SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc. join forces again this year to bring fans another sensational night of fights. UFC looks to exceed last year’s historic debut with an electric showdown between UFC legend BJ “The Prodigy” Penn and Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas as the headliner. This year’s event promises to be another night to remember for fight fans, with some of the best MMA athletes in the world entering the Octagon ready to battle and make their mark in front of Philippine fans. Tickets are priced at PhP9,500 for Patron; PhP7,200 for Lower Box A; PhP6,000 for Lower Box B; PhP2,350 for Upper Box; and PhP1,350 for General Admission.

•New World Hotels & Resorts Golf Cup Oct. 7, Ayala Greenfield Golf and Leisure Club, Calamba, Laguna; for more information, call (02) 811-6888 or visit A joint corporate social responsibility effort of the sister properties New World Makati Hotel and New World Manila Bay Hotel, the Golf Cup supports ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. Proceeds generated will go to the foundation’s programs in childcare and protection, education, community development, environment preservation and disaster management. The Golf Cup is the second sports-centered fundraising program initiated for fitness and lifestyle enthusiasts in the Philippines, following the success of Run and Raise charity fun runs in 2015 and 2016. New World Hotels & Resorts actively initiates activities to support and give back to local and global communities through a number of ways, including offering financial support to victims of natural disasters and educational opportunities to children, as well as committing to recycling and conservation efforts and providing career-enhancing training for all associates.


•World Travel Expo Oct. 7 to 9, SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City; for more information, contact (02) 579-7185, (02) 921-2473,, or Calling all wanderlust-smitten folk, don’t miss your chance to get the best deals and the biggest discounts on various travel packages at the World Travel Expo—a three-day event that will showcase over a hundred booths from international and local travel tour operators, airlines and travel authorities. Apart from offering exciting travel deals, the event will also have travel and tourism related conferences, workshops and activities to further satisfy all travel cravings.


Expat Newspaper Volume 34 No. 25 September 25, 2016 - October 15, 2016


Expat Newspaper Volume 34 No. 25 September 25, 2016 - October 15, 2016