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The

Cebu Issue

M AG AZ I N E

Vol.1 No.1 • January - March 2011

Sinulog!

The Cebu festival is better than ever

Island Fever Hop from Boracay to Bohol

12 must-visits in Cebu Yes, You Can! The traveler’s guide to staying fit

The I menon o n e h P

Fitness On The Go The Traveler’s Guide to Staying Fit

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Parade of Colors +

Cebu’s Sinulog Sizzles with Gadgets to help Distinctly Pinoy Creativity you travel smart 8 Must-Dos During Sinulog


Table of Contents

What’s Inside 4 6 8 10 13 14 18 20

Traveler’s Checklist

Tips on staying healthy, packing light and curing hangovers while you’re on the road

Sidetrip

Experience the gastronomic delights of Cebu

In the Bag

Stress-free travel items and books to keep you company as you travel

Focus

Get bedazzled with the Sinulog festival

Up Close

Cebu locals clue you in on the Queen City's secrets

The truth behind the I Heart Phenomenon

How to stay fit even if you're on the go

From the Viewfinder

Show off your shutterbug skills and share the spectacular sights you’ve seen


Publisher’s Note

Welcome to Cebu! I

t is with great pleasure that I present to you the maiden issue of Islands Magazine, a freezine that caters to the discerning and value-driven traveler. Islands Magazine is a labor of love out of our firm belief that traveling within the Philippines yields meaningful experiences and rich discoveries, provided that we know where to go, how to get there, and what to do. Islands Magazine is a reflection of the Islands Group’s core thrusts. The first is pride: the Philippines is indeed host to a wealth of wonders, each worthy of exploration and discovery. From the lonely vistas of Batanes to the vibrant vintas of Zamboanga, we consider it our mission to share with our readers the country’s every nook and cranny that’s worth exploring. With our maiden issue, we go back to where it all began, and where the Islands Group started: Cebu. The Philippine’s oldest city is also home to one of its most spirited and anticipated festivals, the Sinulog,

M AG AZ I N E

Managing Editor Andrea Lugue Editorial Consultant Carmel Geverola Lifestyle Editor Mario Colmenares Creative Consultant Ali Figueroa Contributing Photographers Erwin Lim, Dan Ong, Joseph Ong, Ralph Joseph Peñaojas Contributing Writers Kirstie Bruce, Krisel Macatangay, Charmaine Rodriguez, Mari-An Santos

where the Cebuano’s melting-pot culture and heritage are showcased in one fantastic, colorful event. Witness the I heart phenomenon, and how it inspired true-blue Cebuanos to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Yes, the pride is strong with this one. The second is value: travel need not be expensive and filled with bumps on the road. We believe the journey is just as important as the destination, and Islands Magazine is filled with tips and tricks on its pages to help our readers satisfy their wanderlust without regret. We’ll help you stay healthy while on the road and give you insider info on some of the local destinations. At the end of each journey, send us a postcard, share a memento, or let us in on your traveler’s tips. We just might share it here. And don’t forget to start journeying anew, for there is always a new adventure that awaits you.

“Traveling within the Philippines yields meaningful experiences and rich discoveries.”

Jay Aldeguer

CEO, The Islands Group

Hinge Inquirer Publications 4/F Media Resources Plaza, Mola cor. Pasong Tirad Sts., Brgy La Paz, Makati City. Tel No.: (632) 403.88.25

Board Chairperson Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez President and Publisher Paul Vincent Bermudez Finance Adviser and Treasurer J. Ferdinand de Luzuriaga Legal Advisor Atty. Rudyard Arbolado Operations Director Ma. Dolores Bermudez

Custom Publishing Associate Publisher Lurisa Villanueva Managing Editor Leslie G. Lee Creative Head Carmina Tan Art Director Wilver R. Alquino Project Coordinator Krisel Macatangay

Advertise with us! Islands Magazine is the perfect companion for the modern-day traveler. Email magazine@theislandsgroup.com or call +632 316 9976


Traveler’s Checklist

Fit to Travel Surefire ways to keep your system in tip-top shape and ready for that big adventure Get enough Z’s Lack of a good night’s rest can make our immune system weak against disease-causing viruses and germs. Remember that sleep is our body’s only time to energize and recharge, so make sure you squeeze in enough naps before, during and after trips.

Take a dose Supplements such as Vitamin C or Zinc have been proven by scientific experts to improve our system’s natural defenses. Additionally, consulting your doctor for immunization or getting flu shots is also a good way to prepare for travel.

Eat well, drink well Load up on fruits, vegetables and H2O. Aside from being good sources of vitamins that help reduce fatigue and boost the immune system, they are also light and very easy to digest, so you won’t have to worry about any stomachaches.

Sanitize Going places might be fun but it also exposes you to a lot of bacteria so washing your hands regularly is a definite must. Always keep some anti-bacterial wipes or gel in your hand-carry bag.

A few pieces of advice for nursing that painful hangover Drink lots of water. Since alcohol has a dehydrating effect, the quickest way to relieve the symptoms of a hangover is to replenish the fluids lost in the body with water. If possible, drink as much water as you have consumed alcohol. Sports drinks such as Gatorade and fruit juices are also good alternatives. Avoid caffeinated beverages. Though it may seem to eliminate the feeling of drowsy drunkenness, a cup of coffee may actually contribute to a more painful hangover as it contains caffeine, which also dehydrates the body. Rest. Don’t be too excited to get out of bed. Lie down and get as much sleep as you can until the pain goes away. Remember, you need to allow your body to slowly recover from the effects of excessive alcohol.

Lighten Up!

Take a shower. Try alternating between cold and hot showers. This will certainly put you out of your drowsy state and leave you feeling cool and refreshed.

6 Tips to Ease Your Load

Eat up. Food such as eggs, bananas, light pastas and bread are good for hangovers. The protein and carbohydrates they contain reduce the effects of alcohol, thereby allowing for a faster recovery of the body. Learn your lesson. It’s easier to prevent hangovers than to cure them. Remember to never drink on an empty stomach and always keep yourself hydrated to prevent such dreadful symptoms from occurring again. If you drink responsibly and know your limits, you surely won’t have to worry about the morning after.

Heavy baggage is always bad news, whether it’s in relationships or traveling. Lugging around a suitcase that weighs a ton is more than enough to ruin anyone’s adventure, and even more so when you get charged exorbitant fees for excess baggage at the airport.

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Bye Bye, Hangover

Know your destination. Researching beforehand basic information about the particular place that you will be visiting or planning the type of activities that you will be doing will not only help you pack light, it would also help you pack appropriately.

Leave no room for doubt. Anything that you seem unsure about, leave out of the bag. Never pack for contingency. If you keep on worrying about worst-case-scenarios, you’ll simply end up force-fitting your whole closet into your hand-carry – and that can’t be good.

Ditch the jeans. Clothes make the bulk of your luggage so avoid bringing items which are made of heavy fabric. Instead of jeans, bring long cotton skirts or slacks. Choose basic pieces which you can easily mix and match or wash and wear.

Make a list, and recheck. Once you’ve got the research down pat, it’s time to make a list of all the necessary items that you will need for the trip. Double-check the list and ask yourself if each item included is really a necessity. (Toiletries, for example, might seem important to take along, but remember that most hotels – if not all – readily provide these for free.)

Downsize. With the exception of clothes, get the smallest size of every single thing you need to bring. Minis, sachets, sample sizes and travel packs are musts for packing light because they are easier to slip into pockets or corners and won’t add too much weight.

Organize. Do not just shove and zip everything into your luggage. Inspect your belongings to see which fits best with what so that you can maximize space and even leave room for souvenirs. Stuff socks or sachets inside shoes or small purses, and make use of your bag pockets.

islands January-March 2011

by Krisel Macatangay


Sidetrip

Cebu’s B OICE

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Mexican cuisine takes on a whole newHOICE C attitude at Maya, where it’s paired with a sophisticated crowd and a gothic, casual OICE ambiance. Taking itsCHinspiration from the street food of Mexico to the creative renditions served in the homes of the Hispanic Community in Los Angeles, it’s OICE to see why food blogger Anton Diaz CHeasy (ourawesomeplanet.com) calls it the best Mexican restaurant in the Philippines. Maya is fast gaining popularity as the hotspot for those well-loved chimichangas and burritos served with generous helpings of carnitas or carne asada. Maya has an impressive liquor library, to boot: they even offer a 100% agave tasting menu of premium tequilas, and the best 100% agave margaritas and Bacardiinfused mojitos to mark the night. BEST

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Maya OICE CH • Crossroads, Banilad

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Cebuanos are likely to point out the way to Casa Verde to travelersOIlooking for a good CE CH With meal in the Queen City. the original OICancestral E branch located CinHan home, and with family recipes lovingly passed from OICE one generation to another (and a CHsmattering of family members' names as dish names on the menu), you can tell that OIC the family behind this landmark restaurant E CH bonds over food. Casa Verde’s crowning touch? Brian’s Baby Back Ribs, a dish of tender ribs drowning in a succulently sweet glaze, good enough for one to four people (depending on whose appetite you’re consulting). Such a lipsmacking, fingerlicking treat for less than 200 bucks makes Casa Verde a favorite among Cebuanos, and an interesting challenge for those who dare finish the ribs off by themselves. BEST

Matias offers cheap and easy street food fare, perfect for smaller budgets but big appetite. This family-run eatery has been around for a long time, consistently serving delicious and filling meals for about Php100/head. Fans of pork innards will find themselves in the right place, but the must-try dishes are the grilled liempo, chorizo, and pork barbecue, served fresh off the grill in filling portions. For firsttimers, Matias is an experience: you aren’t served unless you sit down and amazingly, they seem to have no difficulty tracking multiple orders on the grill without the need for any order slips.

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Casa Verde • Ramos CHOICE • The Walk, OICEIT Park CH • The Terraces, Ayala

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Matias Inato Food Haus • AS Fortuna, Mandaue

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H Cebu is a landscape of culinary discoveries. CSome of them come from recipes that span generations, OIfamily CE CH while the rest are new flavors that are proof positive of HOICE


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Rica’s is a chic dining enclave that immediately makes you feel cozy and at home with its mood lighting and quaint, plush furniture. The intimate setting lends the perfect ambience for sharing a meal with a loved one or hamming it up with the besties. Rica’s menu is a smorgasbord of family favorites and milestone concoctions, each with its own story; a peek into this namesake restaurateur’s life. Diners can be assured that each dish is made with love, and even the most basic of ingredients acquire a nuanced flavor (like the spamburger). Simple is better when it comes to Rica’s dishes, though you won’t know that at first bite. Don’t forget dessert: Rica’s make-your-owncrepes are a hit. OICE CH

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Rica’s Café • Paseo Saturnino, HOICE Banilad C

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There’s nothing like the home-cooked goodness of Filipino food to satisfy hungry eaters. For those looking for just that: simple, good food, there’s Chika-an sa Cebu, the Cebuano staple restaurant when it comes to the Filipino classics like kare-kare, sizzling sisig, sinigang, crispy pata, and so much more – even the dishes that your mother used to make gets its fair share of the spotlight, like the Cebuano jackfruit salad and even danggit and monggo soup. Expect a lot of dishes that reflect the province’s abundance in coconuts and seafood. Indeed, Chika-an sa Cebu is solid evidence that even the simplest of food can be partaken of in the most satisfying of feasts.

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When you think about it, Nonki offers a more filling and varied meal for less than that of its Japanese resto-chain counterparts. Nonki’s affordable prices and the freshest, most meticulously prepared sushi make it a hard habit to break for lovers of Japanese cuisine. Japanese culture and flavor is evident in every corner of the restaurant, from the salt piles at the entrance (called morijio, to attract customers), the friendly greeting “irashaimase,” the wet towels at the beginning of a meal (called oshibori), to of course, the Japanese expats dining there that is the mark of a good Japanese restaurant. For the best bang for your buck, troop to Nonki during lunchtime for the cheaper bentos. Don’t forget to cap off the meal with a refreshing drink of cold rice tea.

Chika-an sa Cebu OICE CH • The Northwing, SM City Cebu • Salinas Drive, Lahug

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Nonki Japanese Restaurant • AS Fortuna St., Mandaue • Fiesta Strip, SM City Cebu • Mactan Tropics Center, Lapu-lapu

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CH CH gives you the city’s progressive metropolis. Islands Mag a rundown of Cebu’s not-to-be missed gastronomic fare, no matter what you fancy. OIC

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In the Bag

The Lowdown:

What to bring for stress-free travel Get these handy travel essentials for the next time you go on vacation Board Shorts Blood Red’s versatile prints make this getup appropriate on the streets as well as the sea. Board shorts are ideal for keeping cool in the tropical weather while giving your outfit summer’s touch.

Wonderpod

Curve speakers

This travel-size mini-tripod bends flexibly into various positions and unusual angles, perfect for practicing photographers. This tripod isn’t just for keeping blur away, it’s also great for those barkada photos when the photographer has to be part of the shot. From Mobile Wonders.

This teeny-tiny speaker rests comfortably on the palm of your hand yet packs in some powerful sound, all in one sleek package. The next time you’re on a road trip, put the barkada’s iPods on rotation and belt your heart out. If you’re sleeping over in a hotel, amp up your laptop’s sound with the Curve the next time you’re watching a movie. From Mobile Wonders.

Envirosax reusable totes Somehow, for the pasalubong-carrying lot of us, we always return home from trips with so much more than we left with. Keep one of these in your bag for those moments. These foldable carry-alls help you save the environment for the next time you purchase your souvenirs, while taking care of your luggage worries during the homeward-bound packing session.

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Volt adaptor For the techie traveler who just can’t leave home without their trusty gadgets, here’s one adaptor to rule them all and fit every style of plug and prong. Best to pack a couple extra of these for those just-in-case moments. This universal travel adapter even helps you plug in USB-powered devices straight to the wall. From Mobile Wonders. All items are available in Islands & More boutiques.


Tomes to Tote

Whether it’s a pageturner for long-haul flights or guidebooks for easier travel that you’re after, check out our selection for an enjoyable read, whatever your journey.

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World From the Periodic Table of the Elements (Sam Kean)

Wind, Sand and Stars (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)

This book would’ve been the perfect companion to your high school chemistry class – not only for its detailed and interesting explanations of the inner workings of atoms and the complex arrangement of the periodic table, but also for its rendition of the history of science itself–reading much like an E! True Hollywood Story, but for scientists. For science is not always a noble endeavor. Sometimes, science’s intriguing back stories – full of drama, ambition, and sometimes downright silly hypotheses – shape how we know the world today, as well. A good read to help you realize that being a geek can be fun.

Famous for the well-loved children’s story The Little Prince, de Saint-Exupéry touches a little bit closer to home by regaling us with tales of his life as an aviator. Reading his memoir on his days as a pilot for the French Air Force feels a little bit like embarking on a lofty journey of our own. De Saint-Exupéry’s smattering of philosophical thoughts comes from the seamless metaphor of flight as an insight into the human condition, and what it means to be human. Along with vivid descriptions of majestic bird’s eye views of the deserts and constellations, as well as poignant recollections of his dangerous mishaps, Wind, Sand and Stars’ beautiful prose will make you cherish and savor its words long after the last page.

Antarctica on a Plate: Misadventures of a Polar Chef (Alexa Thomson)

Where At Cebu

For most people, their quarter-life crisis doesn’t usually take them to one of the most cruelly cold places on earth. Alexa Thomson is not most people, as she abandons her stable career in Sydney, Australia, on a whim, to cook for a bunch of strangers on a runway of ice close to the South Pole. Thomson narrates her adventures – learning how to cook and survive with no running water and electricity – against an unwelcoming, terrifyingly beautiful backdrop of mountainous ice. She also doesn’t fail to recount the interesting relations that happen between the ragtag bunch of Antarctic explorers, who find themselves cooped together over Thomson’s first-rate meals.

Whenever you find yourself in the Queen City of the South, be sure to arm yourself with a guide that knows Cebu like the back of its hand, always keeping in tune to the pulse of the city and its latest developments. Distributed in airport lounges and select hotels, it’s the perfect companion for those nights out, shopping quandaries, and the places to sample Cebu’s finest grub.

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“Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.” - Euripedes

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Focus

Dressing up for

Sinulog Words by Charmaine Y. Rodriguez Images by Erwin T. Lim

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islands January-March 2011


Traditional, tribal and modern costumes made to fit distinctly Filipino culture are paraded in Cebu’s biggest street festival

WEARING traditional Filipino costumes, brightly-colored, metallic outfits, bodysuits or “barely there” tribal costumes – dancers in the Sinulog Grand Parade have wowed audiences and entertained revelers in the festival’s 30 glorious years. Aside from dancing the whole day, rain or shine, and giving their all in the streets and on stage, champions in this competition have to have the perfect costumes to tell a story through dance. “Costumes can do and undo a performance,” says Dolores Suzara, project director of Sinulog Foundation, Inc. (SFI) and a former judge of the Sinulog Grand Parade. That’s why choreographers and participants are encouraged to come up with new costumes to surprise judges and audiences alike: according to SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros, sometimes, in a close competition, costumes are the determining factor to get the judges’ vote. But aside from eye-catching designs, one key factor Suzara, Ballesteros and renowned Cebuano choreographer Val Sandiego all agree on is that Sinulog costumes should promote Filipino identity. When pioneers of Sinulog studied the details of the festival for Cebu City, they went to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño to see what candle vendors were wearing. For a token or a small fee, these vendors would dance the “sinug” while saying prayers and petitions. So when the festival started in 1981, the first Sinulog dancers wore the traditional

Colorful, extravagant and intricately-designed costumes made from indigenous products give life to Cebu’s Sinulog Festival, which richly represent Filipinos’ heritage and identity. These costumes tell a story of the various influences to our culture as evident in the costumes’ style and colors.

Filipino costume – long, red skirts and white blouses, depicting how the early rural Cebuanos dressed up. In the early 1990s, when the famous allmale Landonian Tribe dancers joined the festival, they brought in the trend for tribal costumes under the Free Interpretation category with their tribal outfits and black body paint. Ballesteros says this paved the way for similar themes, like the Pintados or the early Cebuanos, as well as tribal and Muslim-inspired costumes. And since the festival judges are from the Philippine Folk Dance Society, Cultural Center of the Philippines and the National Center for Culture and the Arts, Ballesteros says those who go for the tribal theme had to research and come up with authentic costumes of the indigenous group they had chosen to represent. Sinulog organizers also reveal that costumes need to fit the chosen theme. The headdress, hand props and footwear should be appropriate not only to the theme, but also to the tribe or group represented. Sandiego, owner of the Sandiego Dance Troupe, which already earned Hall of Fame status in Sinulog history, says costumes should conform to Filipino values and morals, and uphold the Filipino identity. “There should be no missing link to our past. Our heritage should be passed on to the next generation.” Costumes have to be impressive, creative and, above all, original. islands January-March 2011

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Focus

Sinulog Checklist

Sandiego, for one, says that they experiment on the materials using Philippine indigenous products, like sinamay, abaca and raffia. Meanwhile, Sinulog judges take note of the visual impact of groups using solid colors, Ballesteros says. For Suzara, metallic and neon materials should only be for accents since these are glaring under the sun. Organizers also remind Sinulog participants to come up with costumes with styles, cuts and colors appropriate to the theme, category and concept of the dance ritual. Since the Sinulog is a prayer in dance, Suzara says a distinction must be made between the costumes of the Christians and the pagans and the residents of rural and urban communities. Even the costumes for Muslims have specific colors and should not allow the showing of any skin since this is prohibited in their culture. For last year’s Sinulog celebration, the theme centered on the Chinese influence in Cebu. Ballesteros recalls that they did research and consulted local Chinese leaders to make sure the performances, costumes and props are authentic or are “close to the real thing.” Whether the influences of the makers are Chinese, Spanish or tribal, one thing is true – costumes for the Sinulog promote the Filipinos’ multicultural but rich, distinct and beautiful heritage.

Your Sinulog experience won’t be complete without these 8 must-dos. Make your way to the fluvial parade. The Sto. Niño icon leaves His home in the Basilica to the St. Joseph Parish in Mandaue City, where He stays for one day and a night. The next morning, He makes His way to His mother in Lapu-lapu, by way of a “galleon” filled to the brim with flowers. Tie your prayer to a balloon and set it free during the Mañanita Mass. The Mañanita mass is held at the Basilica at 4am on the day of the grand parade, but devotees start packing in as early as 10pm the night before. As soon as you hear the hymn "Bato Balani sa Gugma", release your petition tied to a balloon. Party hard. On the week leading up to the Grand Parade, head to Fuente Osmeña for the concert series or the giant street party. Hit the bars Vudu, Penthouse and Loft for a change of pace. Take your best shot. Sinulog’s colorful activities are the perfect occasion for countless photo ops. Spot Miss Cebu. Miss Cebu’s coronation happens just before Sinulog. If you're in town a little early, head to the mall and cast your vote, or spot the chosen Miss Cebu during the festivities. Head to the streets to join the Grand Parade, Sinulog’s penultimate event, and witness the beat of the drums, colorful costumes, larger-than-life technicolor floats, the traditional sulog dance step, and the various Sto. Niño icons. Eat street food. Sample Cebu’s local flavors and experience the city’s pungko-pungko culture, where you eat the ubiquitous puso or hanging rice and grilled meat on a bench by the roadside. Get a souvenir. No Sinulog experience is complete without grabbing a Sinulog shirt from Islands Souvenirs to remember your trip by. For your friends or family who couldn’t make the trip with you, make sure to grab a little something for them to help spread the Sinulog spirit.

Sinulog, a dance prayer festival, is celebrated not only by Cebuanos, but also by thousands of local and foreign tourists. Yearly, organizers create various themes which are applied to the participants’ costumes and dance rituals.

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Up Close

Let proud Cebuanos Eric Smit Talkies a nd Jun Es h, The W alkie cario sha secret tra re with y vel tips a ou their nd favorit e Cebu ge taways.

WALKIE TALKIES – Raleene and Rizza Cabrera ERIC SMITH

Purveyor of Cebu’s finest thin crust pizza (Handuraw) The Cebu pasalubong I always give is dried mangoes! The strangest Filipino dish I've ever tried is "Betamax" or skewered solidified pork or chicken blood. The song/album that's on permarotation on my travel playlist is Jason Mraz's "The Remedy". When I need to get away from it all while in Cebu, I head to Hale Manna Resort in Moalboal. My secret travel tip is don't be afraid to get lost in the place you are visiting. It may end up being the most enjoyable experience of the trip. My friends' Cebu experience wouldn't be complete without tasting Cebu's very own best-tasting thin crust pizza – Handuraw Pizza! ;) Cebu's perfect chillout moment can be found in Top's in Busay that gives you a breathtaking view of the City.

Siren Sisters

We ♥ Cebu because you have the beach, the city and the mountain houses 15-30 minutes away from you. And the sights are all beautiful. The strangest Filipino dish we’ve ever tried is… nothing is strange for us Filipinos! We never travel without “my two cameras and laptop” (Ral); “my iPod, a pen and a notebook.” (Riz) When I need to get away from it all while in Cebu, we head to our friend Steven's farm where we can eat, jam, chill and swim by the river. Our secret travel tip is BE ADVENTUROUS. Don't head to the malls to shop/eat; try to go to those "hole in the wall" restaurants and shops. Our friends' Cebu experience wouldn't be complete without lots of good food and island-hopping. Cebu's perfect chillout moment can be found Everywhere! Cebu and Cebuanos are generally chill. Just don't forget to discover Cebu with the friendly locals.

JUN ESCARIO

Jet-setting Trendsetter I ♥ Cebu because I work and breathe Manila air – Cebu is HOME – Cebu makes me SMILE :) The Cebu pasalubong I always give is budbud kabog (millet & coconut rice rolls best served with ripe mangoes) When I need to get away from it all while in Cebu, I head to the mountains of Cantipla (just beyond Busay and accessible via Transcentral Highway) My secret travel tip is... Always be ready for anything. There are no foreign lands...It is the traveler who is foreign. So be ready to get lost and enjoy getting lost :) My friends' Cebu experience wouldn't be complete without...having that perfect danggit and lambay from Bantayan island. Cebu's perfect chillout moment can be found... in Nivel Hills :) image taken from: http://mycebuphotoblog.wordpress.com islands January-March 2011

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Up Close

The I Phenomenon by Kirstie Bruce

Valentines: the reason for the season doesn’t usually equate to souvenir shirts, for obvious reasons. But that doesn’t mean love for a place – particularly Cebu – should be left out 14

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t gives a whole new – albeit unexpected – meaning to the Love Month usually reserved for couples. Sometimes, the kind of love that goes beyond all comprehension is love for a place. Sometimes, love for a place can only be expressed as succinctly as, say, “I heart New York.” Islands Souvenirs had another destination in mind, believing that love for place shouldn’t be left out on All Hearts’ Day. So the premier brand for souvenir items tried to promote pride of place with its shirts, but this time with a small twist: allowing the shirts to be personalized on the spot and having the

wearers specifically display their love for Cebu, and with their names on it. The simple but ingenious idea of allowing people to print their names on a shirt, expressing their love for Cebu, enabled everyone to literally wear their hearts on their sleeves. In fact, the shirts are a clever means of promoting tourism too. Gone are the busy graphics on shirts depicting all to see in Cebu. All anyone ever needs to know is that Cebu, the Queen City of the South, is worth loving. It may be for being the oldest city in the Philippines, or for being the home of Sinulog, or the white sand beaches, or the

lechon and puso, or the mangoes, otap and chicharon, or the history and culture, or the friends and family. Or maybe it’ s simple because, at the end of the day, like Pinky Chang (businesswoman) says, “Cebu is where I found love.” The list goes on – there’s simply a lot to love about Cebu. Cebu is a brand in itself that people wouldn’t mind attaching their names to. Personalized shirts seemed simple enough an idea to overlook, but everyone’s love for Cebu quickly turned the I Heart campaign into a trend to watch, a once latent sentiment that’s now worn proudly upfront and

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Up Close

"Where destination shirts were once relegated to the shopping carts of the island's transients, now practically everyone in Cebu has their name emblazoned on an I Heart shirt."

The I heart phenomenon was so successful in Cebu that it has been expanded to other destinations as well, such as Bohol, Boracay and Manila.

center. Where destination shirts were once relegated to the shopping carts of the island’s transients, now practically everyone in Cebu has their name emblazoned on an I Heart shirt – you can’t seem to wander around the mall without spotting someone wearing it. Even prominent Cebuanos like the Department of Tourism’s then Secretary Ace Durano, internationally awarded furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, local celebrities like DJ/model Nikki Taylor and media personality Jude Bacalso, were proud to display their affection for their hometown. After all, much of their success can be attributed to the vibrant and bustling metropolis of Cebu City, always evolving and continuing its progress. Even people who have simply come to love Cebu as much as we locals do were extremely supportive, jumping at the chance to show their their love for their adopted hometowns. Bob Oliver, president of Timex Philippines, together with his wife, Suzie, shared, “I love Cebu because it’s like home… only warmer.” Camilla Taylor, area head of 16

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Cathay Pacific, professed, “The people are so friendly in Cebu, always going an extra mile to make you feel at home.” For Senator Miguel and wife Audrey Zubiri, they believed that expressing your love for Cebu was more than just a fad. “It’s an advocacy,” says Sen. Zubiri, while jokingly adding that he loves Cebu because it’s “lechonland.” Even Alex Badayos, dubbed the King of Photography, went so far to say that he “love(s) Cebu because it’s picture-perfect.” Pretty soon, the I Heart shirt became the de facto uniform for various corporations' special events and gatherings. The shirts were such a hit that the I heart campaign's brand ambassadors were only too happy to strut their stuff on the stage for a fashion show, spreading their love for Cebu in a way that everyone can see. On Islands Souvenirs’ Facebook page, over 600 photos were submitted by people wearing their personalized I Heart Cebu shirts, from various areas of the world like China and Los Angeles. It’s called attention to the global Cebuano, the cosmopolitan who’s found his place in this world.

No one could have predicted the wildfire success of the campaign. But it really shouldn’t have been a surprise. We should’ve known that if it’s Cebu that you have to show up and champion for, everyone would be there. Our support and our pride for our country and fellowmen are legendary – Manny Pacquiao’s immense popularity is proof enough. But as nationalistic as we are, our regionalism far surpasses it. We want everyone to know that yes, we are Filipino. But we won’t let them forget that we are Cebuanos at our very core. The I Heart Cebu phenomenon continues to this day. You see people dressed in the shirts on a daily basis. And as long as there are people who love Cebu, there will be people wearing the shirts. Dorothy was right when she put on those ruby red slippers and chanted, “There’s no place like home.” Whether you were born here or moved here, a home can be made in this precious island of ours. And without having to be told, we know, if only in our gut, that the love is reciprocated. We know that Cebu loves us too.


Up Close

Move That Body

How to stay fit while being on the go By Mari-An C. Santos If business trips keep you zipping in and out of the house or living out of your suitcase, it will inevitably take its toll on your health and wellbeing. Exercise does not have to take a backseat to your other responsibilities. After all, when you are at your best, you can better deliver on your various appointments and duties. Make an investment in you by committing to do simple exercises absolutely anytime and anywhere. You don’t need any complicated classes or sophisticated equipment to engage in fitness activities. All you need is a commitment to make idle time more active to raise your heart rate, stretch your muscles and energize your whole body.

Welcome the day Load your favorite yoga exercise on your iPod and devote a half-hour for the routine. This time is priceless for the myriad of benefits it delivers. Yoga centers you and gives you a bright new perspective that you can carry throughout the day, despite the stress and challenges you may face.

For days when you absolutely cannot carve out more than 5 minutes, do the classic sun salutation for 5 to 6 repetitions. It’s quite easy: just a series of standing stretches that transition to a downward stretch, then back. Remember to breathe deeply to make the most of the pose and the calm that it brings.


Shake your booty Fill your mp3 player with some Lady Gaga and Katy Perry – or your choice of music to make you bust a move. While you’re packing or unpacking, or spending time in your room, lose yourself in the rhythm and dance to those upbeat tunes.

All-Around Stretching Start with breathing evenly, then stretch your arms as if you’re reaching for the sky. Hold this for 6 counts. Then, relax and take your left wrist with your right hand and lean as far as you can to the right. Take 6 even breaths. Go back to the starting pose and now take your right wrist with your left hand and lean to your left. Hold for 6 breaths. This lets the blood flow throughout your body and extends your range of motion. If you have enough space and you can manage it, lean forward and touch your toes with your fingers. Don’t force yourself, though. If you can’t get all the way down, then hang from wherever is comfortable and hold for 6 counts. Take a walk Why ride when you can walk? Instead of commuting or driving, use your feet. Pound the pavement whenever you can. When you find time, walk up and down a flight of stairs 30 or so times to work up a sweat and get your heart pumping. The beauty of walking is that you can do it absolutely anywhere. Around the airport, down the aisle of the plane, around the deck of a ship...

Eat and Drink With a frenetic schedule, it may be difficult to eat and drink healthy all the time. But if you consciously commit to it, you can do it. When you order out, be careful with your choices: as much as possible, no processed nor refined food. Also, don’t forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, as these carry oxygen and the necessary nutrients to your body. Keep yourself hydrated so you’ll look and feel fresh all day. Try to bring your own water bottle that you can periodically refill, to be ecofriendly.


From The Viewfinder

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o along Just email us your phot cupation, with your name, age, oc of your and a brief description mail.com photo to hip.custom@g lands: with the subject line Is From the Viewfinder.



The Cebu Issue - Jan-Mar 2011