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Eats in Cebu: Carnivore

A five-course dinner and one extremely eager food writer, Michael Karlo Lim samples the extremely creative dishes that make up Carnivore’s special set dinners.


Carnivore's chef Barbra Sia-Famador (Photography: Maitina Borromeo, makeup: Bobbie Albert, hair: Carlos Conde/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, November 2015)

Carnivore’s chef Barbra Sia-Famador (Photography: Maitina Borromeo, makeup: Bobbie Albert, hair: Carlos Conde/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, November 2015)

My suspicions that Barbra Sia and Kurt Famador are psychopaths have always been there from the very first time I’ve met them. They are butchers to begin with and own an establishment primarily dedicated to the preparation and consumption of meat. The hallmarks are there: a fetish for knives, disregard for convention, interest in anatomical physicality, partialism (cheek and jowl are high on their list) and the fascination with fire.

It has been quite masochistic on my part to have returned time and again to Carnivore for their brand of pleasurable torture. Assortments of animals are cut and used from nose to tail. There are the exotics and the tame usual’s, the latter made like the former with extensive treatments before I am stuffed with these. Hansel was fed well for the intended oven. Here I am swallowing hook, line and sinker. Patty Hearst would have been proud. I am slayed every single time and am reborn wanting more.

A year after I was drawn into this macabre affair, I was invited to join two feasts, on separate dates two weeks apart, with the rest of their submissives to mark their sordid beginning and our willing capture. They were joined by one of The Island’s founders of the cult of craft beer, The Cebruery, pairing sweet liquid poisons with the solids.

I write this in the state of food coma. I am still reeling from those sensational experiences and wallowing in the individual memories of each of my tastebuds. My suspicions that Barbra Sia and Kurt Famador are psychopaths have always been there from the very first time I’ve met them. If death be this delicious then let me die a thousand deaths by their hands.



Wild Cobia Sashimi

Wild Cobia Sashimi

WILD COBIA SASHIMI. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

Smoked Wild Cobia made its way into the menu as a surprise dish. Gravlax-like in simplicity, the salt comes in from a finishing blend than from a curing. Caper berries and Tobiko add a touch more saltiness bringing out the sweetness of the fish with the Mangoes, the herbals and a brightness from the Champagne Foam.


Crispy Bone Marrow with Uni on Brioche Toast with Boracay Blonde Ale
Rich by default Bone Marrow was made rich to a fault by a battered deep-fry. The sweet, briny flavor of Uni cut through the richness with the Brioche toasts holding back the possible cloy. The fats neutralized the hops in the Blonde making it an even easier drink to down.


Wild Cobia Taco with Gold Dust Woman Weitbeer

Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

WILD COBIA TACO. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

A pan-fried fillet of Cobia rested on a disc of taco soil in their take on deconstruction. Mangoes, Cucumbers, Aromatics and their signature Edible Flowers made up the green component. Sours came from local cherry tomatoes all tied- in by the Butternut Crunch Pesto. Complementary grain flavors from the beer and the corn balance out the hops and keep it light enough for the fish.


Sous Vide Dalupapa Noodles with Classic Berliner Weiss and Sour Girl Beers
Local giant squid dalupapa swam their last twenty-four hours en sous-vide before these were precision-cut into ribbons of pasta, drizzled with a Pear-Miso dressing, sprinkled with Tobiko and garnished with shaved Cucumbers and Edible Mums. The illusion extended to the perfectly al dente texture of the proteinaceous flat noodles with the rest of the ingredients coming right in between pushing out the briny, fleshy flavor of squid and masking it altogether. The sours aided the natural salinity and sweetness while cleansing the palate of the seafoody taste.


Smoked Pork Jowl Steak with King Prawn and Dumaguete Dubbel

Smoked Pork Jowl Steak with King Prawn

SMOKED PORK JOWL STEAK WITH KING PRAWN. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

King Prawns were sous-vided into the consistency of a crustacean butter resting in its split half shell against a generous cut of Wild Boar Jowl. The expected gaminess of the boar was rendered almost lost in a day’s steeping in red wine and the subsequent hour long sous-vide in the same marinade. What was left was a tender, rich, almost beef-like, dark meat with an aromatic dimension from a two-hour, Whiskey-wood cold smoke. The darkly sweet Dubbel played like a red would to the pork while not at all in the way of the more delicate flavor of the prawn.


Peanut Butter Mousse with Double-Roasted Cocoa Sherbet paired with a Chocolate Hills Porter

Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE WITH DOUBLE-ROASTED COCOA SHERBET. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

In an homage to Reese’s, peanut butter was whipped into a smooth and light Mousse with a Dark Chocolate Fudge coating. The Double-Roasted Cocoa Sherbet seconded the fudge in a cold temperature flux with the chocolate and caramel malts from the Chocolate Hills Porter echoing the chocolate treatments.


The Gallery
John Paul II Avenue, Mabolo

Zee Lifestyle's December-January 2016 Style Issue: Jennifer Helen Weigel-Sarmiento (Photography: Mark Philip Dales/Sittings Editor: Melo Esguerra/Production Manager: Shari Quimbo/Makeup: Ramil Solis/Hair: Ariel Tatoy/Locale: UVNS)text and photos by Michael Karlo Lim
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December-January 2016

For back issues, download the Magzter app on your mobile device and search for ‘Zee Lifestyle‘.



PANDEMIC DIARIES: Twelve Months Later

Photos taken by Pablo Quiza around Cebu City during the months of March, April and May 202

AS WE APPROACH ONE YEAR under pandemic times, we look back at March 2020 with fascination. And awe. We had 12 months of lockdown and survived the so called new normal. We lived with masks and alcohol even today. Carless roads and dark malls. Those were the early days of March, April and May.
It stretched to October and past Christmas. No Sinulog. Virtual parties on Zoom and virtual mass on You Tube and FB Live. We debated on the best meds to take if we get sick and whether to wear masks (please do!). We scampered for face shields and anti-viral sprays. Vitamins C and D and zinc. Later, we survived being swabbed and we learned the difference between a PCR and an anti-gene test. The latter cost less.

We dreaded the declarations of IATF mandated from Manila. And we got mad at the police chief who had a birthday party while his people were busy locking up everyone violating the lockdown. Most horrifying of all, we needed to produce IDs! Are you a resident of Barangay Lahug or Banilad? Are you employed and why are you still working? Everyone suffered thru endless checkpoints. Most sad of all are those using motorbikes, they seem to get the raw end of the deal since those with cars are not as scrutinized. We managed to trick the system by putting a big handwritten note in front of the car: COMPANY CAR, and zipped tru the police desks in the middle of the road. Don’t even think of travelling, by plane, boat or bus. The collection of the required documents is enough for one to get exposed to Covid.

We learned to shop online, order groceries and necessities thru delivery. We slowly moved towards cashless payments. Gcash and banks like Union Bank and China Bank with friendly apps are heroes for making life easy for most of us to spend what little cash we have to spend on Lazada or pay the VECO bill. Oh and we binged on K dramas on Netflix and You Tube, kamsaminada.
As 2021 enters, there are some good news. For those obsessed with news, you already know that 7,000 vaccines arrived last March 2 in Cebu, with more expected in the next few weeks. The death rate is not as high among those who caught this pesky virus, which tells us that doctors in the hospitals have some proven expertise in dealing with Covid. More cures should be in the horizon.

Meanwhile, lets continue dreaming of the day when we can cross borders again, even if its just Bohol or Boracay, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ready those luggages and bags bought during the 3/3 sale in Shopee in preparation for the day when we can take the ferry or the plane for new adventures.


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Keep Calm by Knowing These Myths About COVID-19

by Chrissy Grey Resaba


In these times of pandemic, hysteria and panic have taken over the world and nonchalance is a word not to be manifested for today. Worry and fear are enveloping around Cebu with enough evidence of the actions taken by the public – the hoarding of necessities and goods.


Cebu – both the city and the province – is working towards making the island a safe haven from the pandemic caused by the Novel Coronavirus. Entry points of both ports – aerial and naval – are now closed. Curfew hours are being implemented to secure that no one is outside during the hours indicated. Business and academic sectors shifted their modes to work-from-home and online classes. Medical professionals have been on the frontlines battling against the proliferation of COVID-19.


It is quite eerie to look at the main streets of the Queen City of the South having few crowds to none. The hustle and bustle of the metropolis has gone into an empty space. The actions taken by the government and the Republic of the Philippines are for better or for worse; it is only for the good of the public.


Cebu has been under the state of community quarantine and certain measures were implemented to ensure the public’s safety and well-being. However, there are still myths making rounds in social media and the public in general about the ways to avoid COVID-19. These myths are not supported by scientific evidence. The scattering of fake news worsens the situation instead.


Here are some myths about the Novel Coronavirus:


1. Hot and cold weather

Contrary to popular belief, the COVID-19 virus will never die when exposed to hot or cold weather. This type of coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas regardless of the weather.


2. Drinking water

It is necessary to hydrate ourselves and to moisturize the throats but there is no scientific evidence that consuming volumes of water can flush out the virus.


3. Antibiotics

Clear enough from the name of the medicine, antibiotic never kills the virus but bacteria instead. It is not advisable to take antibiotics to prevent COVID-19.


4. Eating banana

There is a video circulating in social media about the banana fruit that miraculously kills the COVID-19 virus. However, if one should be keen enough to examine the video, it is a hoax. To date, there are no approved treatments for the virus. Eating a banana and other fruits can boost the immune system instead but not kill the COVID-19 virus.



Practicing proper hygiene such as regular hand washing with soap and water remains to be an effective way of preventing infection since soap dissolves the structure of the virus. The public should not be very complacent enough to rely on hand washing alone. Maintaining social distance, staying at home, having proper coughing or sneezing etiquette, and putting oneself in self-quarantine if one traveled from outside Cebu or the country are some of the best ways to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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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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