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Cebu’s 5 Best Cocktails to Indulge in After a Long Day

There’s more to a good cocktail than alcohol and some syrup. Former Zee editor Shari Quimbo shares her picks of alcohol concoctions to indulge in at the end of the day.

Text by Shari Quimbo

There’s something that feels indulgent about ordering a cocktail—and no, I’m not talking about the Rum and Cokes that you down on Saturday nights at dive bars to get drunk. Mixing cocktails, as it turns out, is a little bit of an art and science. There’s a certain combination of the right, premium ingredients that brings out the flavors of a spirit, creating one that pleases your taste buds as much as it gives you a good buzz.

Thankfully, Cebu’s cocktail scene has changed. There’s a continuously growing number of restaurants that offer specialty cocktails, bringing their own spins to classic concoctions, or coming up with something entirely new. For one, Jan Rodriguez at The Weekend presents some incredibly delicious takes on the Gin & Tonic that make you feel like you’ve never actually had a real one before.

But sometimes, more than just the taste, cocktails can create a feeling, whether it’s boosting your energy, encouraging conversation, or calming you down. It can even complete an experience—after all, what would an afternoon at the beach be without a refreshing glass of your preferred poison? Aside from the aforementioned mixes at The Weekend, here are my favorite drinks in the city.

photography by Gia Mayola

Caipimara at Ibiza Beach Club

Perched on top of Mactan’s blue waters, the Ibiza Beach Club is one of the best spots to enjoy a drink on a sunny afternoon. I particularly enjoy the Caipimara—vodka mixed with passionfruit and lime juice, with some brown sugar. Fruity and sweet, it’s the kind of summer refreshment to enjoy while lounging on one of Ibiza’s net beds.

Of course, Ibiza offers a number of other delicious mixes to enjoy. There’s the Ibiza Sour and Ibiza Mojito, elevated versions of the classics. Something even fruitier is the Sangria, with chunks of fruit that add another level of flavor to the drink.

Movenpick Hotel & Resort, Punta Engano,
Mactan Island
Open from 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM on
Mondays to Thursdays, and 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM on
Fridays to Sundays

photography by Gia Mayola

Mantegalo Seco at Enye

When Enye opened at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, locals were excited to sample Chef Chele Gonzales’ modern Spanish cuisine. A pleasant surprise, though, were the offering of handcrafted cocktails that could be enjoyed on their own for happy hour, or to complement the dishes served.

Enye has a number of signature cocktails, but we have to highlight the Mantegalo Seco. Especially popular during the restaurant’s launch, the cocktail has chardonnay, lime, brown sugar, pineapple and cachaca, a spirit made from sugarcane. It’s a play on sweet and sour flavors that make for a refreshing afternoon drink.

Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan,
Seascapes Resort Town, Mactan Island
Open from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM every day

photography by Tristan Laput

Burning Bush at Morals & Malice

Definitely with its own flair, the Burning Bush gets plus points for presentation. The drink is served with a burning rosemary twig, its smoke enclosed under a rounded glass that is removed upon serving. The rosemary scent is a nice prelude to its flavors—single malt whiskey and Makers Mark bourbon complemented with ginger liquer, fig syrup, Yoichi salinated herb, and lemon.

Aside from the Burning Bush, Morals & Malice offers a number of other delicious cocktails that were created by Manila-based mixologist Kalel Demetrio. It’s the kind of drink that best kicks off a night on the town.

The Tinder Box, Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue,
Kasambagan, Cebu City
Open from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM on
Mondays to Thursdays, and 4:00 PM to
2:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays

photography by Kim Mercado

Dill or No Dill at The Pig & Palm

I have to admit, part of this cocktail’s appeal is its cheeky pun of a name. In fact, The Pig & Palm’s cocktail list, which was crafted by The Social Company’s bar executive Jamie Jones, reads like a wordplay exercise: Rum DMC, Coff Medicine, Notorious P.I.G, among others.

The Dill or No Dill is made with gin, lemon juice, elderflower cordial, cucumber dill and smoked salt. It’s one of those selections whose popularity boils down to personal preference; some people I know find the dill too strong for their liking. As for me, I love the sort of herby taste it brings to the cocktail, and it’s a light, refreshing one to enjoy with dinner.

MSY Tower, Pescador Road, Cebu
Business Park, Cebu City
Open from 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM on
Sundays, Tuesdays to Thursdays, and 11:00AM to 2:00 AM on Fridays and Saturdays

photography by Tristan Laput

LG Campbell Punch at Circa 1900

If you haven’t already noticed based on my choices, I have a preference for the sweet and citrusy.

Another drink that brings that together wonderfully is the LG Campbell Punch from Circa 1900. The old-fashioned house is the perfect place to enjoy this summery cocktail, which is made with dark rum, fresh calamansi juice and coconut sugar. Enjoy with one of Circa’s delicious starters: the Ube Ravioli with Shredded Pork Lechon and Apple, or the Crispy Spice and Pepper Squid are great savory choices that counter the sweetness.

Sanjercas Ville Extension Road, Gorordo
Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City
Open from 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM every day

Beauty & Wellness

5 Things We Love About Nailplay, a Luxury Nailspa

Tucked into a quiet area in the hustle and bustle of Banilad, you can find a haven where you can look fabulous and fresh in one go.

Nailplay is a luxury nailspa that was a brainchild of five ladies, who wanted a place that was clean, had a relaxing ambience away from the city, and basically, was their own secret getaway.

Upon seeing the studio, a lush landscape is the welcoming sight. To get into the nailspa, guests have to cross a little wooden bridge, above a pond filled with koi fish. Immediately, it’s obvious that a trip to Nailplay guarantees a relaxing experience.

Faye Louise Veloso, the woman who manages Nailplay, explains that the studio’s overall concept is more in line with wellness.

“It’s really a cross between an ordinary nail salon and a spa, so we refer to Nailplay as as Nailspa,” Louise says.

The nailspa, as it’s lovingly called, offers services such as their Luxury Urban Escape, which involves an hour of relaxation through their SpaPlay Mani and Footspa, followed by your choice of a deep back and shoulders massage, or their 30-minute hair treatment.

Of course, Nailplay also offers nail services, with a choice of regular or gel nail polish. For those who want a fancier take on nails, you may also get nail art done by their staff. To complement the massage and nails, try Nailplay’s Signature Mink Eyelash Extensions These are lightweight and natural-looking, as it comes in three different lengths to match one’s natural eyalashes. And, to round off the pamper session, they also offer eyebrow waxing and threading! There’s no need to hop from one place to another to get all these services done.

For those who want to have bridal showers or a pamper-filled birthday bash, Nailplay also offers packages that fit the client’s needs. The package includes the exclusive use of the venue for three hours, manicure and pedicure for all the guests and light catering for the event. During the event, guests may upgrade to any of the other services that the nailspa offers.

“It’s been quite popular with bridal showers, but we recently hosted a children’s birthday party,” Louise shares. “I’ve been told the kids had a blast!”

Louise believes that Nailplay’s venue plays a huge role in its success.

“The landscaping was done beautifully, and it doesn’t even feel like you’re in the heart of Cebu!” She says. “Our friendly beauty therapists are also what make Nailplay what it is—our top customer service is why our clients keep coming back.”

While Louise is often between Cebu and Sydney, she shares that treating herself is as simple as taking the time to eat well, do some exercise, or get a footspa—at Nailplay, of course. Her personal favourite service though, is their Signature Mink Eyelashes.

“One of the beauty therapists even thought I had naturally long lashes,” she recounts, “without realising I just had them done!”

While Nailplay has only one store in Cebu, Louise divulges that they have plans of expanding in the future.

“I think the wellness market in Cebu is ready for our luxury and boutique Nailspa services,” she states. “Hopefully within the next five years, you’ll see more Nailplay stores in similar unique locations.”

Check out the video below to know the 5 Things We Love About Nailplay, or visit their website at www.nailplayphilippines.com.


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Beauty & Wellness

These Four Women Show Us How They Empower Themselves Through Pole Fitness

Charmaine, Jane, Ginie, and Ant are four women who take women empowerment on another level. With their daily morning routine of working their day jobs and attending to other matters, they all meet up in the afternoon to do one thing – Pole Fitness. Inside their studio, Pole Sphinx, they practice and teach other men and women about the beauty and grace of Pole Fitness and how it has helped them achieve much of what they are today.

Zee takes you inside their studio to fully know how these women empower others through Pole Fitness.


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Rajo Laurel, Amina Aranaz-Alunan, and Bianca King Share Tips on How to Take Better Care of Your Clothes

To help keep your clothes in the best shape, check out these tips from Electrolux FashionCare Ambassador Rajo Laurel, along with the FashionCare Council members Amina Aranaz-Alunan and Bianca King.

Wear it well without wearing it out! That is the fashion philosophy shared by Electrolux, a
leading global appliance company from Sweden, when it comes to clothes. You don’t
need a lot of clothes to look stylish – just give them some TLC, especially when doing
your laundry.

To help keep your clothes in the best shape, check out these tips from Electrolux
FashionCare Ambassador Rajo Laurel, along with the FashionCare Council members
Amina Aranaz-Alunan and Bianca King. From washing to storing, these practical hacks
will help keep your clothes looking new for longer.

Check the Label
Acclaimed fashion designer Rajo Laurel shared that his number one rule when it comes
to caring for clothes is to check the care label, which teaches you everything from the
temperature, the kind of cycle and even instructions on drying, bleaching and ironing.
And if those laundry symbols look like hieroglyphics to you? Executive director and
teacher of SoFA Design Institute, and Creative Director of fashion accessories and bag
label ARANÁZ Amina Aranaz-Alunan’s practical tip: print out a guide that explains the
symbols for laundry instructions.

Caring for White Shirts and Tops
A staple in anyone’s wardrobe, the classic white tee is a great piece to build your
wardrobe around. It’s easy to dress up and down, going from casual to business-chic.
To keep your white shirt looking new, before washing, unbutton your shirt including its
cuffs and collar. Check the label recommendations for care guidelines. Use a laundry
detergent that contains bleach to really make your whites, white.

And if your white shirt or polo gets wrinkled easily, check if your washing machine has a
Steam or Vapour Care setting – this relaxes the fibres and removes odours to bring back
that soft, fresh feel to your white top.

Caring for Colours
Having coloured pieces is a great way to make a look pop but they are also prone to
fading faster than dark or white clothing. To help make sure your coloured garments
don’t lose their vibrance, sort your garments by colour before doing the laundry. Bright
clothes such as purples, reds and oranges can be washed together, so can bright blues
and greens. If a colour stands out on its own, consider washing it alone. Then check the
garment for stains and apply a small amount of liquid detergent to the stain and shake
gently in water. Turn your garments inside out to minimize rubbing of fibres. Choose a
low temperature and avoid hot settings that can cause fading. You can also use a gentle
wash cycle.

Caring for Jeans
Denim is durable but to make them last longer, especially the coloured and printed
denims or anything with a deep indigo wash, you need to give them extra special care.
The key to a long life is to wash at a low temperature and avoid over washing. First off,
be sure to wear your jeans for as long as possible before they are first washed to give
them a comfortable shape and a natural fade. Separate your jeans from white or other
brightly coloured clothes because they might bleed colour. Turn them inside out before
washing as well.

Dealing with Stains
The FashionCare Council members all share that it’s best to deal with stains
immediately. Soak or try to wash them off right away. For food and wine stains, Laurel
shares that he uses salt and soda water on the stains before washing as these help to
lift the stains.

Here are some other helpful tips to remove common stains: For ink stains, blot the
stained area with alcohol using a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly. For coffee stains,
first try using cold water through the back of the stain for 10-15 minutes. If the stain is
not fully removed, use liquid laundry detergent and a little cold water, or try using dish
washing liquid. Gently rub the liquid detergent or dish washing liquid with your thumb to
loosen the stain for about five minutes.

Proper Storage
The FashionCare Council members also shared that storage can play a role in keeping
clothes looking their best. Model and actress, Bianca King advised people to keep their
closets neat so you have a full account of everything you own and to know which items
should be hung or folded (if it’s a knit or weave). And speaking of hanging, Laurel and
Aranz-Alunan both mentioned the importance of using proper hangers – Laurel
mentioned avoiding those without foam defense as they could ruin the shape of clothes.
Another advantage of keeping a closet organized is it could help you plan your wardrobe
– you can rotate your pieces, as shared by Laurel, to help prolong their life.

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