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Golden Prince Hotel’s Sinulog Royalty Experience

Golden Prince Hotel celebrates a unique Cebuano Royalty experience by making a line up of activities incorprated by the festive mood of Sinulog 2019.

What Cebu embodies and strengthen their religious endeavour is venerating the Holy Child, Jesus. Since Spanish times, the symbol of Santo Nino de Cebu has been a symbol of hope by the Cebuano people that whenever in trouble, there is always the child Jesus who reminds us that love conquers and hopes all in good things. Reflecting with us Filipinos who also loves children the way we love the image of the Santo Nino.

Golden Prince Hotel, one of the most Cebu culture-focused hotels that promotes only not how Cebuanos be top-tier in hotel accommodation but also how they introduce the richness of Cebuano culture that presents them as one of the unique hotels around town. Last January 11, they gladly hosted Bato Balani sa Gugma: Pasundayag sa Kapistahan sa Sugbu, activity lines up with an exhibit of Santo Nino figures and images collected by equally loving devotees of Santo Nino de Cebu. Bato Balani is a song of “Pasalamat”, which is a Cebuano word meaning: thanksgiving. It was highlighted with an exhibit of different images of the Santo Niño. About 15 images were on display at the hotel lobby owned by 12 collectors from Hijos de Maria, Doxch Tiro, Ruel Manzanares, Kevin Mahusay, Ellis Manuel Mendez, James Donell Guinitaran, John Paul Anore, Jessam Felicano, Mark Steven Go, Alex Cedeno, Alvin Agnes and Alexandre Pierre Pardillo Heyrosa. Images has their own interpretation and style of how they were portrayed as the child Jesus and some of these collections are dated way back in the late 1900s that are well-kept. Unlike collecting toys or in any other hobbies, this group of “collectors” does not only keep these images for the sake of collection but it is also an expression of love for Santo Nino whole year around and not only for Sinulog.

According to Ellis Mendez, the core of these images is always to reincarnate the love of God and one way of expressing devotion since Filipinos has different kinds of showing their love for God, there’s them who keeps Santo Nino images. “It is also part of us being Filipino to be child-loving in a view whenever we see a child or a baby, it is the same joy we feel whenever we see or keep the “Ninos”, Ellis added. It is not only from collecting they stop but also in taking care and dressing them with its intricacy of design from how they should be dressed up to the right materials also matter. Mark Go, who owns 2 oldest pieces of his Ninos, observed that some of the images in Cebu or few of the establishments has alters of how they are dressed up disregarding the sacredness, though it is dressed in many ways, there is always a formal and scriptural correct way of how the clothes are fit for the Child King, emphasizing the regality and beauty of the image.

What strikes among all of the images is the “Sleeping Santo Nino” by Alvin Agnes, the uniqueness of how a very peaceful portrayal of a resting baby Jesus resonating the calmness and love of its face. Alvin started as a devotee of Santo Nino de Cebu and wondered as to how is he going to strengthen his love for God and figured out to keep Santo Nino images till he found a group who collects them as well. The Sleeping Santo Nino came from Manila and was originally part of a “Belen” or the Christmas portrayal of the Holy Family in the manger. “Even though he was born in the manger, nations have already respected this image who said would be the Saviour, despite its vulnerability it still the same Jesus we venerate.” Agnes added.

Another beautifully-dressed and crafted Nino owned by Doxch Tiro, the Festejado: Santo Nino de Cebu which was recognized to by regal colors and very detailed accessories and has been endorsed in a lot of campaign materials for Sinulog. “Because of the love for the Nino, we are always particular to its materials as we want them to present them in its glorious form and something not from the ordinary.” Images are displayed in the lobby for viewing, reminding us that the Sinulog Celebration is not only the parade of dancing colors or the parties that follow it but also how we are reminded of the share of religious faith we had as a Cebuano believing that Santo Nino de Cebu is the reason and should be paid homage to.

As Golden Prince continues their Sinulog kick-off, line-up of activities continues with guests both local and foreign, experience a festive welcoming mood with the theme: Bulawanong Sinulog with the drumbeats of Abyan Ensemble and dance performances by the 10G Troupers.
For guests who want to try local favorites such as Lechon, it will available during lunch and dinner buffets at, Le’Mon Restaurant. Guests can also fully immerse themselves at Cebu’s First Heritage Home in a Hotel: our brand new Kabilin (Heritage Lounge), for some merienda (afternoon snacks) from 2pm onwards.

A special Sinulog room promo is also available for those who won’t make it to the Sinulog weekend. “Yay! It’s Sinulog Friday” is an overnight stay only for January 18, 2019 at a Deluxe room with breakfast for two, Painit sa Kabilin (snack buffet) for two, and Brewed Coffee (at Q Cafe) for two.

To make your Sinulog 2019 memorable, celebrate it with the only hotel in Cebu that provides a Unique Cebuano Royalty Experience! For more details, visit www.goldenprincehotel.com or (032) 230-1500 for room reservations; (032) 230-1555 for banquet inquiries; (032) 230-1588 for dining options.

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Culture

Get Your Fill of Lechon at the Cebu Lechon Festival

Now on its third run, Cebu’s best lechon-makers gather at the Cebu Lechon Festival.

In any Filipino festival or celebration, nothing quite whets the appetite and brings excitement to the palate than seeing the gloriousness of a roasted ‘lechon’ laid beautifully on the buffet table.

While the Philippines is oozing with all sorts of varieties of this now world-famous dish, all delicious in their own way, ask any food-loving Filipino where the best lechon comes from and the response will almost likely be unanimous – Cebu. 

There is no denying that the Cebu Lechon is hands-down the best and the most delicious there is, and that no trip to the Queen City of the South will be complete without taking a bite of its famous crunchy golden skin, and juicy, tender and flavorsome meat. 

But there is more to lechon than meets the eyes and the palate. This beloved dish is a culinary masterpiece itself that requires long hours in the roasting pit and skills to achieve that perfect balance of meat and fat, and overall flavor.

The world-famous Cebu lechon, along with the rich history, artistry and skills that go into preparing this beloved dish, is the highlight of this year’s Cebu Lechon Festival, spearheaded by The Mactan Newtown, in partnership with the City Government of Lapu-Lapu and the Department of Tourism Region 7 Office. 

Now on its third year, the annual gastronomic and cultural celebration promises an authentic Cebuano fiesta experience with its mouthwatering array of lechon varieties from lechon-makers coming from different parts of Cebu province and a vibrant host of cultural spectacles and performances starting today until August 12.

“We want to capitalize on the popularity of the Cebu lechon to bring awareness to small-scale and less commercialized lechon businesses. Apart from providing these businesses with the needed platform to showcase their products and help them grow, our goal is to drive tourism in this part of Cebu and eventually create more employment and livelihood opportunities for the locals,” says Graham Coates, Head of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls.

The finest Cebu lechons in one location

The Cebu Lechon Festival gathers some of the best lechon-makers in Cebu Island at the 500-seater Mactan Alfresco inside The Mactan Newtown township, giving guests the rare chance to sample and savor mouthwatering varieties of the Cebu lechon along with a delicious array of lechon-themed dishes and lechon pairings all in one place. 

Some of the locally homegrown lechon brands participating in this year’s festival include House of Lechon, Ayers Lechon, Pelyns Lechon, Augustus Lechon, Golden Cowrie Lechon Belly, Yobob Lechon, and Jojo and Mikays Lechon.

During the festival, the lechon will be sold between P400 to P600 per kilo from participating lechon-makers.

Festival-goers can also immerse themselves through the entire lechon preparation process at Mactan Alfresco’s very own Lechon Pit. Here, they can witness lechon-makers perfect their craft and see firsthand how a lechon is made right before their very eyes—from seasoning to roasting at the coal pit, to portioning and serving on their own plates. 

For an even more unique and immersive dining experience, guests can devour their lechon and chosen lechon dishes and pairings inside the comforts of colorful and iconic Philippine jeepneys stationed within the Mactan Alfresco complex. 

“This will be a very festive Filipino celebration of the renowned Cebu Lechon. We will have ‘fiesta sa nayon’ games, barrio fiesta dancers and drumbeaters, fire dancers and even belly dancers to entertain visitors and guests of the festival,” adds Coates.

 

An authentic Cebuano fiesta

 

Festival-goers can enjoy an immersive cultural experience with a variety of Cebuano and lechon-flavored activities highlighted by the Lechon Exhibit on August 9, which will feature delicious varieties of Cebu lechon from the province’s best lechon-makers. 

Highlighting the celebrations is a colorful grand street performance to be participated in by various cultural dance groups, street dancers, marching bands, and the Sinulog Festival Queen. 

A traditional boodle fight featuring participants from the annual Ironman 70.3 Philippines and lechon sellers will also be held on August 9, following the street performance, while live musical performances and a grand fireworks display that will illuminate the skies of The Mactan Newtown will cap off the festivities. 

The highlights of the celebration will happen on August 9 to 11. The weekend will be highlighted by the Lechon Fest Grand Party, where guests can feast on different varieties of Cebu Lechon, grilled meat, and seafood while being treated to cultural dance numbers and live performances from buskers, local bands and stand-up comedians. 

Guests, meanwhile, can also learn more about the Cebu Lechon and have their photos taken at the different installations on display at the venue including a lechon-themed Philippine jeepney during the entire festival’s run, or bring home souvenir items from Mactan Alfresco’s Souvenir Shop.

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Culture

Bringing Detalia Aurora’s Iconic Furniture into the Future

With more substantial roles in the family business, Paula and Vikki Rodriguez are bringing Detalia Aurora into the future by nurturing their design processes, fostering their close-knit community, and bringing passion into everything they do.

by Shari Quimbo
photography by Ezekiel Sullano

This story is taken from our archives. Originally published in Zee Digital Vol. 2 2018.

Detalia Aurora is certainly no stranger to our pages, or to the homes of Cebu’s most discerning residents. For years, the company has been in the furniture export industry, producing pieces that have become iconic in their own right—the Shellf bookcase shaped like a nautilus; the Tera wall art, which is a map made of corks; and the eye-catching Gaia chair.

The brand’s staying power is truly a testament to the talent and skill of the team behind its creations, but perhaps some credit also goes to sisters Paula and Vikki Rodriguez, who, since becoming more involved in the family business, have worked on streamlining processes and nurturing their edge in product design.

 

“We needed our company to not just evolve, but to adapt to the changing market,” Vikki explains. “It wasn’t enough for us to create new products anymore. We needed to think about more than just aesthetics. We needed to change as a whole, which involved ingenuity from design, construction, cost and market strategy. It’s a slow but steady process.”

The process began, according to Paula, with finding a way to adapt to the industry’s changing demands and expectations. “We decided to work within the company,” she says, explaining that they started working
closely with buyers to collaborate on specific collections. ìWe made sure that they will always come to us to develop new ideas and create products together.”

Then they started looking inward, with the goal of creating a close-knit working family within Detalia Aurora. “From the beginning, Vikki and I wanted a co-working atmosphere in all aspects of the company. Detalia’s biggest asset is not just design anymore—there is no more disconnect,” Paula continues. “Our company’s asset is its people, and the products we create. Creating that level of teamwork, they reiterate, is what gives them more time to work on developments with buyers.

“Material and design innovation will always set us apart from the rest of the international design market.”
-Vikki Rodriguez

Among the challenges they both had to face was surviving the global recession a few years back, which was said to have had a considerable effect on the local furniture industry. To Paula, though, it was more of a challenge than a setback.

“Here’s my two cents—I believe that those who are still here in the furniture industry are those who have found smart ways to keep the business going—may it be in product or in company structure,” she shares. “Those companies we keep in contact with are those who have found their niche in their respective markets.”

The furniture industry in 2018 is a whole new landscape, and it’s something both women are excited about moving forward. “I think the Cebuano design industry has changed in a way that there are no more boundaries,” Vikki says. “Creatives, entrepreneurs and other individuals from different industries are open and excited to collaborate with each other—it doesn’t matter what field you’re in.”

Despite the changes, both also believe that what makes Cebuano furniture different from the rest of the products on the global market remains the same. “Material and design innovation will always set us apart from the rest of the international design market,” Vikki shares. “More importantly, I think the pride we have for our work also speaks for itself.”

This is also why they hope that more young design students become interested in the local production process. “I really do feel that there is a comeback and a growing interest in design for the furniture industry,” Paula shares, adding that they’ve seen a sizable increase in local internship applications as opposed to the international ones they had gotten a few years ago. “I believe the design students in Cebu are becoming more aware of the capabilities of Cebu furniture manufacturers. With easy access to information online, like websites or social media, I feel that they are able to see Cebu’s skills in handcrafted design, and appreciate the products coming out of the industry.”

“I hope this continues so more young designers are better able to work with indigenous material and promote local craftsmanship to help keep the design industry and Cebu’s handicraft industry going,” she continues.

It’s clear that both Paula and Vikki have settled into their roles at Detalia Aurora. And although they have both been involved in business operations, their passion lies in creating.

Having once been design students themselves, Paula and Vikki have settled into—and are relatively thriving at—their roles at Detalia Aurora. At the core of their efforts, though, remains the passion for the business their family has created, and for the art of production.

“I’ve always been interested in the industry, although when I was younger, it was not particularly about design,” Paula shares. ìI was intrigued by the development, innovation, craftsmanship and materials that Cebuano furniture manufacturers were developing on a global scale. I knew I wanted to take part in it.”

“I wanted to be part of the process,” Vikki agrees. “I saw it as a challenge to create, and creating something
goes beyond design. It’s imagining the possibilities but understanding the physical limits.” She adds, “I saw how proud my parents were of this business and I saw how hard they worked for it. I saw how everyone in the company worked hard for it, and I still see that today. I am grateful to be in that community, and to contribute as best as I can.”

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Culture

Express Your Passion at the Newest Creative Space, The Core

Where do people express their passions? Ask around Cebu’s creative community, and you might get a couple of mixed answers, depending on their passion. But you will realize one thing: that there are barely any proper spaces for creatives to let their passions loose.

MDF Productions continues to inspire us into doing what we are passionate about in a space that they call The Core, a place where passionate souls can be comfortable enough to release their energy and express themselves freely and uniquely.

Not long ago, the opening of The Core was celebrated, showcasing talents that inspired people to take a leap and do what they love. Of course, the facilities of the multifaceted community space was the star of the show with its basket weave sprung floors as the main attraction, designed to provide safety for all physical activities.

“The suspension gives a bouncy feel which softens the impact of landings,” says Margo Frasco, the woman behind the creation of The Core. “The floors absorb shock and lessens the tension and stress on the knees and ankles. Thus, prevents injury and helps in preventing further damage to the knees and ankles which mostly occurs later down the line as we age,” she adds.

Other than the basket weave sprung floors, other facilities that are available for use when utilizing the space are their bluetooth Bose speakers that is lapel ready. They also have mirrors that span 33 feet and are 7 feet high, with curtains that transform a rehearsal studio into an intimate area for non-physical activities.

The Core currently offers wellness classes such as zumba, yoga, meditation, pop dance, karate and dance jam for the kids but Margo has bigger plans for The Core in the future.

“I’m planning to add a cultural class that focuses on the Philippine culture and a high intense self defense class,” she shares. The wellness classes are taught by licensed trainers and certified instructors namely, Heno Rey Chin, Espie Esperanza, Jeff Dan Barrientos, Almie Tabal and John Joeffrey Dabatos Jr.

The space may be designed for physical activities, but it caters to any expression of art. Margo adds, “We blacked our walls and covered the door, windows and mirrors to transform a rehearsal studio into an intimate area for seminars, conferences, workshops, discussions and art exhibits.”

With the diversity of the space, surely, The Core would be able to spark some energy into bringing people to do what they love. “I believe that an avenue with the right facilities plays a vital role to anyone who wishes to hone their passion. The Core aims to be that avenue,” says Margo. “Drop by The Core and share your talent with the community. We have the space, you got the grace,” she encourages.

“My vision for The Core is a multifaceted community space that welcomes all walks and colours of life,” says Margo when asked how the idea of The Core embodies her character as a person. “I discriminate against no one. I believe everyone is equal and that we should always respect everyone’s decision. Everyone has the right to make their own decision,” she explains.

The Core envisions a lifestyle for Cebuanos that inspires individuals to freely express themselves through their passion. “My advice to myself is to just start and stick to it,” Margo says. “It’s hard in the beginning but all that effort pays off at the end,” she adds.

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