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Diamond Suites & Residences’ General Manager Kathy Angala is the Jack of All Trades

For practically half of her life, Katherine Angala has been working in the hotel industry. With twenty three years of experience under her belt, being a hotelier has taught her a lot of skills in life.

For practically half of her life, Katherine Angala has been working in the hotel industry. With twenty three years of experience under her belt, being a hotelier has taught her a lot about dealing with guests, helping her develop strong problem-solving skills, and honing her ability to manage conflict. 

 

It isn’t a surprise, then, that she’s the general manager of Diamond Suites and Residences. In fact, Katherine—Kathy, as she prefers to be called—has been with the hotel for three years and a half now. 

 

“And forever to go,” Kathy adds. “The best is yet to come.”

 

As part of the roster of recommended hotels in the city, Diamond Suites and Residences is one of the few establishments that have a female general manager. The shift in leadership is interesting, especially since we get to see what these women bring to the table.

 

On Kathy’s part, she’s keen to utilize her passion for excellent customer service in providing the best possible experience for their hotel guests. 

 

“They call me jack of all trades,” she shares over a sumptuous lunch at the hotel. We had just finished taking her portraits in the lobby. The meal starts off with a creamy, decadent bowl of pumpkin soup, drizzled with olive oil. “I make decisions on a lot of things, from technical and engineering stuff, to financial and hotel operations.”

 

Dressed in a beige linen dress, which she laughingly shares was quickly altered by hand to better fit her frame, Kathy is a bright ball of energy, sharing stories and her experience over the years. One thing she loves talking about though, is food. In fact, she works closely with the hotel’s executive chef, Wally Feltavero, to create a menu that will appeal to even the most discerning of guests. 

 

After an appetizing starter, the mains come pouring out of the kitchen and onto our table. There’s the crowd-favourite ginataang monggo soup, topped with slices of lechon kawali and itlog maalat; breaded bone-in pork chops; vongole pasta; and buffalo chicken wings with a blue cheese dip. We cap off the meal with their specialty desserts: slices of the (sinful!) cheesecake and tiramisu.

 

On a daily basis, Kathy is usually found doing administrative work, but she emphasizes, “The most likeable part of my job is making creative business and marketing strategies for the hotel.” 

 

She shares that she doesn’t often get any downtime, which prompts me to ask her what she does in between breaks, to which she replies, “I don’t normally do breaks, because I like working during them. No disturbance, and [I get] peace and quiet.” 

 

“I can’t say it’s downtime, but I do go out of my office every now and then for ten minutes, visit some departments to make friendly chats, and engage and bon with the staff, talking about anything under the sun,” she expounds. “It’s about as original as talking about the weather, but you’re also the only people in the world who get the hilarious—and frustrating—ins and outs of working at your company.”

 

With how amiable Kathy is, it’s no wonder that her relationship with the rest of the staff is harmonious. Her knowledge about a vast number of topics make it so that she never runs out of anything to talk about, and she easily relates to people because of it. 

 

Like many women in society, Kathy has several roles to fulfill. Aside from the role of general manager of Diamond Suites and Residences, Kathy is also a mother to three children; two girls, 22-year-old Patricia and 8-year-old Gabrielle and one boy, 19-year-old Enzo. 

 

A very supportive mother, she ensures to give the best opportunities for her children, such as letting them choose their career paths by themselves—with one daughter in medicine school, and her son in flying school), and supporting them with their love for football. 

 

“Lately, I spend time listening to my 8-year-old daughter reading a children’s novel, Diary of the Wimpy Kid,” Kathy says. “It’s a great way to bond.”

 

On her days off, she can usually be found at home, decluttering. It reduces her anxiety, and gives her peace and fulfilment. Sometimes, she goes shopping with her children, or on a roadtrip to the beach. 

 

“We love to explore when it comes to food, so we dine out at restaurants. If I like the menu, I try to make it at home, because I love to cook and explore.” She adds.

 

According to Kathy, there are many things that she needs to have on her at all times, especially in her bag. ATM cards, health insurance cards, and cash are a must onhand. 

 

“A shopping bag—my environmentalist daughter would hate me if I don’t have it,” she goes on, “Basic essentials like tissues, hand sanitizer, zinc oxide—which is very useful especially if you have kids, it’s a first-aid for cuts, burns and insect bites—mouthwash, which I can’t live without; lip balm, cologne, over-the-counter medicines, and a sewing kit.”

 

What else is in store for Kathy? Upcoming projects, like hotel renovations, expansion and the pre-opening initiatives of AppleOne Inc.’s local hotel chains in the Visayas and Mindanao areas.

 

To know more about Diamond Suites and Residences, you may check out their Facebook page, or visit their official website at http://www.diamondsuitescebu.com.

 

Culture

La Liga Henerales: Shaping History Awareness Back Again in Cebu

La Liga Henerales is a community of young talents passionately promotes historical awareness through periodic costumes carefully researched for its authenticity and accuracy and promoted as well in events and schools.

Only few individuals before were into pursuit in this historical awareness project until the age of communication where internet is convenient in the palm of our hands through our gadgets. New information travel fast and data is retrievable, yet also possess a disadvantage with the plethora of different social media platforms carried by various makers as well. In a daily basis, historical backgrounds are unearthed making its trend until now as new discoveries are released, but the idea of these information being shown and shared is as close as not valuing or commemorating to its sources leaving this information just a trend.

There is a certain community of Cebuanos that are taking a quest to rewrite and restructure what was in the past, filling the gaps in facts with further research of variable sources that are made debatable but sticks to it true cause, to unveil the truths of our heritage and our origins, as Cebuanos and as Filipinos as well.

La Liga Henerales is a Cebu-based, non-profit organization composed of a group of talented, committed and respectable individuals from different walks of life, schools and profession whose primary aim is to promote both, Cebuano and filipino culture and heritage that was depicted before in pre-colonial and colonial eras via re-enactment with costumes vested in proper research and investigation to achieve authenticity. They also push their cause on schools and other social gatherings promoting and spreading awareness about our local, and national heroes that we look up to. With these said, they also portray a closer look of the lifestyle of the past to where they perform stories, perform forgotten dances and rituals and portray their individual roles, vital in the fight of our country’s future during those challenging times, and in honor to spread awareness of the lost practices we had in those times.

The Founder

Combining passion and education. Louis Villaflor re-enacts his way patriotism through his periodical costumes and expresses his love for Cebu and Philippines as a culture-centric country.

Louis Kenneth Villaflor, an entrepreneur and an avid history enthusiast and costumer, founded the group on the purpose of re-educating the youth about real local and national history, he saw the opportunity to combine his favourite hobbies which is costuming and story role-playing and the process to instill the historical awareness and value among the youth and in schools, along with a group of fellow enthusiasts who shares his passion about research and history, they took it among themselves to be purposeful in the advocacy in spreading historical awareness in schools or events by wearing periodically correct costumes and sharing the stories and its value to the youth.

Behind the Garments

With the its senior expertise of fashion design and a teacher of the field, his passion also of history caters also in his designs as he pushes through sustainable fashion and historical awareness combined.

Meet Rodney “Pee-Wee” Senining, who has been in the fashion industry since the late 90’s, strives  in concepts of avant-garde, innovation and cutting edge-fashion forward design. And also a teacher of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design of University of San Carlos, he had grown into research of books like the holy grail in the Library Resource Center and is always fascinated of the periodical times and how to preserve it; Hence, his interest had grown for the affinity of Periodical Costumes and Sustainable Fashion.

 Being part of the group La Liga Henerales, he was tasked to instantly be their mentor for the young talents and as the organization is still new and developing with limited funds, resourcefulness and research were done to come up with a good output of photo shoot and was quite proud of it and still promise on the next editions of pieces to be more historically accurate. Even as teacher for Fashion Design in SAFAD, his expertise comes hand in hand with the members as he helps them do research as well. His passion and interest somehow led him with enough knowledge to key the insights of the significant periods and historical backgrounds of it.

Historical Awareness in Cebu

The strength and progress of a country is anchored on how well they know and honor its history. The means of historical awareness in Cebu is almost non-existent among the Cebuanos, although we push forward in tourism and promote beauty through sceneries and other aspects of culture yet never commemorate deeply on historical icons such as our other local heroes, and ancient cultures as well that is almost been forgotten in an urban Cebu. Nevertheless, as long as communities’ like La Liga Henerales are now evolving in a learning state by real discovery by multiple resources, this will always reflect of how we appreciate love, patriotism and honor to our country and would look forward to progress.

 

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Culture

After the Razzmatazz and Razzle-dazzle: Post-Sinulog Thoughts

by Chrissy Grey Resaba

Buntings of red and yellow were removed from post to post. Streets were cleared and cleaned. Fireworks displays were faded in the sky. Beats of #prititit and tunes of tourism-booster Cebu tracks were being put to archive once again.

Contingents from different parts of Cebu and Central Visayas had gone back home. Party people had gone sober while some are still recovering. Traffic has gone back to normal. Businesses, as well, has gone back to normal.

However, all the fun and loud chants, smooth grooves, and frenzied choreographies are still replaying from the memory banks of the people who celebrated Sinulog 2020. The queen of all festivals in the Philippines has left again another mark of cultural and festive nostalgia to the people from all parts of the world and Cebuanos alike.

After all the razzmatazz and razzle-dazzle, let’s get to know what are these IG and FB personalities’ #PostSinulogThoughts about celebrating the newly-culminated Sinulog 2020 and how did they differentiate it to last year’s.

 

Eva Patalinjug

Eva Psychee Patalinjug, Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2018 @evapatalinjug

I celebrated my Sinulog with my boyfriend and some of my close friends, we decided to choose a place where it’s not very crowded where we can see the whole Cebu, talk, and chill the night away. We went to Verified Lounge – Cebu’s newest premier sky lounge – located at the rooftop of the Avenir Building. It was something new for me as the night was calm as I was away from the busy streets of Cebu. It’s definitely one way of enjoying such festivities.

 

Kim Covert

Kim Covert @kimcovert

The Sinulog celebration this year has been one of the most memorable events in my life. Not only was I invited to perform a few of my own songs during the weekend’s festivities but I also turned over my Binibining Cebu Tourism crown to my successor. Last year, I was busy with work and was not able to completely grasp the events. This year’s festival was more organized which is a great success for Cebu. Many have flown in and had spent time with their families in the “Pit Senyor” spirit, others have enjoyed spending time off with friends and colleagues. It was a great way for me to start my New Year and close my Cebu chapter before I leave to the US in a week.

 

Alem Garcia

Alem Garcia @thealemgarcia

Well pretty much, I was still busy doing shows and events for Sinulog. But what made it different this year was the religious celebration made me believe even more that Sto. Niño is indeed miraculous and that He is meant to be celebrated. Even though you are successful in your chosen field, furthermore, everything will be meaningless if you do not have the faith.

Philip Pingoy

 

Philip Pingoy @almostablogger

We all have a Sinulog story to tell. It may be a story of losing faith and finding hope. But what is important is our devotion to the Holy Child Jesus (Señor. Sto. Niño). This year, my Sinulog experience was very different since I am already based in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the internet I was still able to watch the mass and all the festivities in Cebu. I am in UK because I prayed to Sto. Niño. So, let us not forget the reason we celebrate Sinulog and let us continue to share to the rest of the world why Sinulog is the grandest festival in the Philippines. Pit Senyor everyone! I hope you had a good one!

 

Lyssa Amor

Lyssa Amor @lyssaamor

Sinulog celebrates Filipinos’ acceptance of Christianity. This year, I celebrated Sinulog by hearing the word of God. I went to church which I do every Sinulog but the difference now is that I am not in Cebu. It’s my first time to celebrate Sinulog away from home because I’m currently in Japan. Although I didn’t dance the traditional Sinulog dance this year, I wasn’t able to watch the fireworks in Ayala, and didn’t spend time with my friends in Mango and IT Park. Snr. Sto. Niño will always be in my heart and I am forever grateful that our ancestors accepted Christianity and we continue to embrace it up until today.

 

Kevin Geniston @kgeniston

Sinulog will always be a highlight for me as a Cebuano. This year has been fulfilling as I was able to brave the crowd in the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu three times to attend the novena mass which had also become like bonding time with my family, daughter, friends and loved ones. I ended the celebration of the Sinulog festivities with a bit of the usual partying and/or clubbing.

Carlo Olano

Carlo Andrew Olano @kalamicebu

My Sinulog this year was a great mix of religious and secular activities. I was able to go to the church and somehow witnessed the Traslacion and the fluvial procession. I also went to many side events like parties, mall events, and fireworks exhibitions. Sinulog 2020 had a fantastic balance of fun, faith, and festivities.

 

Danna Bacolod

Danna Bacolod @dannabacolod

This is the second time I spent Sinulog with Cebu Pacific. We had series of events prepared during its entire week and participated the grand parade by having a float last Sunday. I always feel excited to join Sinulog Grand Parade and see a lot of people celebrating their own way of Sinulog along the streets of Cebu. Guess it’s safe to say that I had so much fun. Even if this was work-related, I didn’t feel like I’m actually working as it was always joyful doing events like these.

 

Nimo Scheming

Nimo Hideki @nimo_scheming

You prolly knew this already but, Sinulog 2020 was by far the most phenomenal Sinulog experience: more laidback than the previous years’. The music in every corner of the streets were still there to help you let loose and enjoy the experience. The surge of people had tested you both mentally and physically. But it was an experience you cannot miss like mingling with people from different walks of life and shouting out “Pit Senyor” to everyone. Summing up my Sinulog experience, I was able to get crazy and enjoy all aspects of the fest.

 

Michael Rey

Michael Rey @michaelsomewhere

I had the most relaxed Sinulog experience this year. I did not party and preferred to witness the grand parade instead. I do think that this year’s celebration was more colorful and much safer as establishments strictly abided the rules imposed by the Cebu City Government. I was also amazed at how the festival of fashion here in Cebu has evolved throughout the years.

Now, how about you? What are your #PostSinulogThoughts this Prititit 2020? Viva Pit Senyor!

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Culture

Christmas in Colonial Cebu: A Themed Exhibit by Teresin Mendezona and Eva Gullas for Stylescapes 2019

Ever wonder how the yuletide season is celebrated in colonial times? This year at Stylescapes 2019, Teresin Mendezona and Eva Gullas collaborated to showcase the elegance of Christmas during the colonial period, specifically most of the Spanish regime.
 
This pop-up radiated the ambience of Christmas in the colonial times through the various details used within the setting. Specific pieces like the gansilyo table cloth, oil lamp, and the sketches were from Ms. Mendezona and Gullas themselves.
 
Aside from that, various table and living room pieces were sourced from Rustans and Metro Ayala, and was curated by Doro Barandino.

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