People’s choice: Golden Cowrie Resto

goldencowrieWHERE it’s always a feast, homegrown restaurant and dining institution Golden Cowrie won People’s Choice for Best Filipino Restaurant and Best Crispy Pata in Cebu in this year’s Sun.Star Best of Cebu Awards.

Known for its classic Filipino cuisine with a touch of nostalgia in every bite, Golden Cowrie provides a memorable dining experience with familiar and flavorful dishes reminiscent of home-cooked meals and is on every Cebuano’s list of restaurants to go to when entertaining local and foreign guests and celebrating special occasions or everyday moments.

A standout in its delectable menu is its Crispy Pata, which also received an accolade as the People’s Choice for Best Crispy Pata. Its deep fried pig leg is succulent on the inside and crisp on the outside served with savory sawsawan that provides the perfect blend of flavors befitting the acclaim.

“We at Golden Cowrie are grateful to Sun.Star Cebu for these accolades, and more to the generations of diners who continue to grow and support us over the years. We share this recognition with everyone who has made Golden Cowrie a part of every festive tradition,” Golden Cowrie general manager Kenneth Kokseng said.

Sun.Star Weekend’s Best of Cebu is a way of celebrating the best that Cebu has to offer. In its People’s Choice category, the selection began with a Facebook post on the different accounts of the publication soliciting nominations for certain categories. The nominees were then collated and shortlisted.

With the recent renovation of Golden Cowrie’s main Lahug branch, the Filipino restaurant offers a new and exciting dining experience to its patrons who, over the years, have developed a more discerning palate. Revamped by Cebu’s celebrated interior designer Hannah Lim, the total transformation features bigger function rooms, brighter lighting and modern interiors that pay tribute to Cebuano creativity.

Wilcon announces 2016 projects

THE Wilcon Suppliers’ Thanksgiving Dinner was held last Dec. 3 at Megatent in Libis, Quezon City. Hosted by Issa Litton, the appreciation dinner was attended by more than 500 Wilcon suppliers and partners.

During the event, Wilcon president and chief executive officer William Belo and senior executive vice president and chief operating officer Rosemarie Ong talked about Wilcon’s plans for 2016 and the company’s preparations for its fast-approaching 40th anniversary in 2017.

Ong announced a lineup of events such as the second leg of the Wilcon Cup to be held at Tagaytay Highlands and a simultaneous block screening to be done in key cities and the launch of the second Wilcon do-it-yourself book.

Meanwhile, Belo shared that they are gunning to open four new branches—Bacoor, Cavite; Sta. Rosa, Laguna; Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro. “We are certain that this is going to be a big year for us as we near our 40th year in the business,” Belo said.

“We are the leader in homebuilding and construction. It is seen not only in our stores, but in the way we implement projects, and how we always go big in concepts to give only the best kind of product offerings and services to our clients,” Ong added.

Colours, Nikon team up for workshop

PHOTOGRAPHY skills are acquired through practice and proper mentorship.

Nikon and Colours have a lot in store for aspiring photographers and hobbyists this year. The Nikon Service Center in Cebu is already under construction and expected to be fully operational this month. The service center will have a training room where they can conduct the Nikon School program to be facilitated by Nikon professionals.

The Nikon School Course gives new owners of Nikon DSLRs (ThinkDharma units) an opportunity to learn more about camera controls and basic operations. Nikon owners can avail themselves of the workshop for free once they present the unit’s official receipt along with the original Philippine warranty card from ThinkDharma Inc.

Nikon users can also take advantage of the different workshops to be facilitated by Nikon experts. This course offers landscape and food photography courses for advanced users. Advanced workshops have corresponding fees for training materials.

Colours, being the official retailer for Nikon cameras, will help interested shoppers on which camera models are eligible. The latest Nikon units are available in Colours.

OLX rolls off Biliba campaign


Olx ambassadors. From left, Cebuano personalities Blinky de Leon, Phoebe Fernandez, Toni Pino-Oca, Doyzkie Buenaviaje and OLX’s Regina Aguilar.

OLX Philippines launched its flagship project for 2016, the “Biliba!” campaign, last Jan. 7.

Biliba is a Cebuano expression of admiration for something done well. Aiming to further promote buying and selling of second hand items in Cebu, OLX Philippines rolled out this localized version of the national “Naks, Naman!” campaign which started last November.

Highlighted in the campaign are the wins at life or “bilib moments” in buying and selling through the OLX mobile application. “We want to feature the joys in small practical solutions that create a big impact in simple yet fulfilling experiences,” said OLX Philippines senior marketing manager-Cebu Regina Aguilar.

Four Cebuano personalities who are real-life OLX users were introduced as brand ambassadors.

TV hosts Blinky de Leon and Phoebe Fernandez bought their dream cars from OLX sellers. Cebu’s renowned lifestyle blogger Doyzkie Buenaviaje earned a huge chunk of his travel fund from selling his old laptop on OLX. Mom and fashion blogger Toni Pino-Oca sold her daughter’s used stroller which helped both her and the buyer. Their OLX Bilib Moments were reenacted and featured in a series of videos on the OLX Philippines YouTube channel.

“We hope that our Biliba videos will push more people not only to use OLX but also inspire and cheer them on to be resourceful, practical and smart in life,” added Aguilar. CCP, ISCAHM sign MOA for better access to culinary education

SOCIAL enterprise and the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM) have joined forces to create an online education information service to give students in the National Capital Region better access to culinary and hotel management education. founder Henry Motte-Muñoz and ISCAHM co-founder Chef Norbert Gandler inked the agreement on January 18 at the ISCAHM main campus in Quezon City. Continue reading

‘Outdoor mecca connecting family, friends’

photo gardenbloc Garden Bloc. The owners of establishments and the mind behind the Garden Bloc. (Sun.Star Foto/Jonolin Luab)

photo gardenbloc
Garden Bloc. The owners of establishments and the mind behind the Garden Bloc. (Sun.Star Foto/Jonolin Luab)

The Garden Bloc, Cebu I.T. Park’s newest hangout hub and outdoor events venue was launched last Dec. 11 in an event dubbed “A Night at the Garden.”

The three-hectare open space was envisioned to be a place where people on-the-go can escape their busy work life and connect with family and friends while surrounded by nature.

The blessing of the park was officiated by Msgr. Roberto “Boy” Alesna. A program which featured performances depicting the four elements of nature was held afterward. The switch-on ceremony followed and was participated by Cebu Holdings Inc.’s business development manager Romulo Alajid, marketing division manager Catrina Martinez, business development manager Nori Saito and business development supervisor Gwen Sala.

As trees around the area lit up, The Social’s Kevin Moss, Sugbo Mercardo Food Market’s JP Chiongbian and Nino Bascon, Pages Holdings Inc.’s Bunny Pages, Yakski’s Barbecue’s Alvin Roxas and TaKo Mexican-Korean Fusion Food Truck’s Johann Bontuyan—executives behind the food concepts found at the Garden Bloc—took to the stage to unveil the commemorative marque.

“The Garden Bloc answers the growing need for more open spaces and parks, especially in a very urban and bustling environment such as the Cebu I.T. Park, which is home to 70 percent of the island’s information technology and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. To complement the vibrancy of Cebu I.T. Park and to add more value to those working and living here, the Garden Bloc not only provides new entertainment and dining options but more importantly, a more balanced lifestyle in a much-needed relaxing, open-air setting surrounded with greens,” said Martinez.

A variety of food finds were around the park that night. A Holiday Haven lifestyle bazaar that showcased Christmas gift items and unique discoveries was set up at the area’s Central Green. There was also an outdoor concert featuring 22 Tango artists—Mother Folker (a.k.a. Cattski), Ella Melendez, Vincent Eco, Ivy Gallur and Mike Fegi with a surprise performance by Kurt Fick.

The Central Green, a 5,000-square-meter events area, can host a range of events from garden, outdoor and wellness activities to bazaars and concerts.

In the pipeline are Yakski’s Barbecue opening, The Social’s new bar concept and a dining concept from Pages Holdings Inc.

Cebu I.T. Park is a vibrant 27-hectare master planned development and is the preferred destination for many global BPOs, employing close to 50,000 workers. It is located in the heart of the city and is home to many dining establishments. Cebu I.T. Park’s Garden Block will complement and add even more variety to the already vibrant streets of the estate. CCP with PR

Electrically powered shuttle to run in MEZ II

Propelled by Aboitizland’s advocacy to build sustainable communities, coupled with its industrial business unit head Terrie Bernas-Abad’s determination to support climate change, the company brought electrically powered vehicles in Mactan Economic Zone II (MEZ II) located in Lapu-Lapu City.

A Cebuano-owned company, Ezware IT Computing Solutions, represented by its president Josephus Uy Dy, and the manufacturer of the electric vehicle, Global Electric Transport, will officially launch its own eShuttle public transport system this first quarter of 2016.

Spanning 63 hectares, MEZ II will be the first economic zone in the country to roll out an entire group of environment-friendly, electric-powered vehicles.
The project was made possible with the support and endorsement of Philippine Economic Zone Authority officials led by Director General Lilia De Lima through its Cebu MEZ II zone manager III Rufino R. Z. San Juan IV.

San Juan said: “The eShuttle powered by Cebuano company EzWare is an idea whose time has come. The eShuttle is an electric vehicle with zero emission that provides a cheaper and more convenient shuttle service that is available on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week basis within MEZ II, which employs more than 16,000 people.

Being both environment-friendly and pocket-friendly, the eShuttle is certainly a welcome development in MEZ II that will further enhance the Zone’s investor and worker-friendly atmosphere.

The 24-hour daily operations will serve exclusively within the economic zone, which employs more than 16,000 workers.

The eShuttle is a 20-seater vehicle that is powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries. The eShuttles are monitored in real time from a command center that optimizes all aspects of fleet management including tracking, maintenance and safety.

EzWare, on its end, provides a convenient payment solution using prepaid cards that commuters can purchase and reload at designated ticketing booths. Each eShuttle is also equipped with a global positioning system and vehicle telemetry for real time tracking.

EShuttle helps the Filipino people make their transport more convenient and cheap. Likewise, it also helps support the global movement toward using eco-friendly products and sustainable practices in order to reduce the pollution and decrease carbon footprint.

Harbour City Dimsum House

Harbour city. From left, business development manager Christopher Kokseng, franchisees Alan Sy, John Paul Sy and Manuel Sy and Steven Kokseng, Harbour City marketing manager.

Harbour city. From left, business development manager Christopher Kokseng, franchisees Alan Sy, John Paul Sy and Manuel Sy and Steven Kokseng, Harbour City marketing manager.

Homegrown restaurant Harbour City Dimsum House opened its first branch in Western Visayas recently. Located in the booming city of Iloilo, Harbour City brings with it the Hong Kong inspired classic dimsum and tea house experience.

Offering the widest range of dimsum choices, the food is wheeled in by servers straight to customers’ table-sides for convenient and fast selection.

Located in the upper ground floor of SM City Iloilo’s new wing, this branch hopes to become a favorite destination for mall-goers looking to unwind in between shopping and recreational activities.

Harbour City Dimsum House is the flagship brand of Harbour City Dimsum House Co., Inc. (HCDHCI), which also operates Ding Qua Qua Dimsum House and Dimsum Break restaurants. HCDHCI pioneered the dimsum cuisine in its home market of Cebu and is now celebrating its 47th year in the business.

The opening of the Iloilo City branch brings HCDHCI’s nationwide branch network to 23, with 17 in Cebu, three in other parts of the Visayas, and three in key cities in Mindanao. The company aims to open more locations in major cities around the country as it expands its nationwide footprint.

Fox opens 9th concept store in SM Seaside

Fox Head Inc. announced that its latest international concept store will be at the SM Seaside in Cebu City. This is the ninth Fox Store in the Philippines, as the brand continues to grow from strength to strength in one of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic markets.

The store, which opened last Jan. 9, is on the second floor of SM Seaside. It features all of Fox’s product categories and offers a complete collection of Moto-X, mountain bike and casual lifestyle apparel for men and women.

Created by one of South East Asia’s leading commercial developers, SM Group, SM Seaside has a modern retail concept featuring cutting-edge design, high-end retail stores and the popular Cyberzone that combines technology with entertainment. The group is excited to incorporate the Fox brand into the mall, which proved popular among the target demographic even during its first week in the mall.

Airrica Danas of Fox Philippines said: “Cebu City has been one of the fastest growing outdoor and action sports markets with a young, enthusiastic and active population who absolutely revel in the opportunity to participate in Fox’s key sports and active lifestyle. This new opening marks the brand’s ninth concept store in Asia, proof of the Primer Group of Companies’ vision to be a global leader in the premium retail industry. “

“Consistent with Primer Group’s mission to bring the world closer to our customers, the arrival of the second Fox Concept Store in Cebu City provides a touch point for our target market to be able to elevate the game using our innovative products that are authentic to their sport,” Danas also said.

L.A. watch in Cebu

An international watch brand based in Los Angeles, California has set foot in the Queen City of the South. Meister, a German word for “master,” was brought to Cebu by five brave souls—Adriane Villanueva, Raymark Ong, Johndale Dyenghong, Adrian Mellana and Derek Co—collectively known as the Game Meister, the exclusive distributor of Meister watches in Visayas and Mindanao.

These young entrepreneurs want to introduce the “wrist game” as well as support fellow watch enthusiasts in Cebu.

Meister was launched last Dec. 19 at the Distillery Cebu. “We want to let the Cebuanos know that this watch is very versatile, in the sense that it will not just complete their ensemble but it will tell their personality,” said Dyenghong and Ong. Generally, the Game Meister has been focusing on building a strong foundation for the brand that is still gaining new fans every day.

Meister also focuses on recognizing individuals as “meisters” of their own field. Its dynamic and innovative designs exemplify one’s character and demonstrate what a “meister” requires.

Mellana and Villanueva said that marketing their watches in the Visayas and Mindanao will not be hard. But as new entrepreneurs, they have to start by marketing it to their friends. The Game Meister wants to build the value of its brand first before branching out to a bigger market.

Meister watches feature multi-pieced designs that will surely fit any type of occasion and personality, with materials like carbon fibre, stainless steel and an assortment of rare leathers to create exquisite timepieces. These are available in Urban Superior at the Banilad Town Centre, Flagship (formerly Gabby’s closet) on Escario Ave. and Wise Choice in Lahug.

The Game Meister will be stirring up the wrist game here in Cebu and in some parts of Mindanao. Immae Lachica, STC Mass Comm Intern