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The Return of the Prodigal Daughter

I have a love/hate relationship with the city of my childhood. Strange I know this sounds.

I have a love/hate relationship with the city of my childhood.  Strange I know this sounds.

I have happy memories of the Cebu of my childhood, going to the beach at Liloan before the bridge was built and the exodus to Mactan and the white sand beaches.  Sailing with my father for literally hours on his hobie cat (since we would always get stranded and need to be towed back to shore). Then of course nursing painful sunburns after hours  baking in the sun, it took me twenty years to embrace my paleness and realize that I would never be tanned. Plus the dawning of the era wherein people pay good money to achieve the unhealthy pallor that I was trying to rid myself of.

Carefree, happy years of going to school at CIS, swimming lessons at Cebu Country Club, hanging out at friends houses at weekends and sleepovers.  CIS really was the best school.

Then the teenage years of STC, Bai disco, sneaking out to Inner Circle since that apparently was a den of Sin and we should not set foot in it.  Made it all the more alluring and exciting.  Generally sneaking out and finding ways to skirt our curfews.

Then the super fun Halloween parties at Country Club and the costume balls at Casino Espanol.

Then came college and the need to escape the small town.  Leaving to study abroad and deciding that under no circumstance could I live in Cebu after graduation. It was too stifling. So I moved to Manila. This was a great time, Euphoria and Faces days plus started building my hotel career at Westin.  And then I gave up the career, got married, packed up and moved to Baguio. Where in retrospect was another small town, however, it was a seasonal party with the constant flow Manila people. Nothing could beat a New Years party in Baguio. This was before Boracay became the party destination.  My house was always full of house guests.

Years later, was the return to Manila and as well as my return to my hospitality career.  In between were trips to Cebu to visit, the Cebu of my youth had changed and was developing into a cosmopolitan city.  New people had moved in , new friends were made as well as the rekindling of old friendships. It was always nice to visit but I knew I could still go home to Manila .  Could not fathom moving out of Manila.

But life is a circle and nothing ever stays the same. I finally found the opportunity to end my marriage and despite my doubts I came home.  Not an easy decision to make, despite all the changes, Cebu is still a small town. A small town where news travels at light speed and everyone gets involved in your life.  Everything I essentially ran away from.  But it was where I had family and very close friends.

Before moving back I called a very good friend and asked if I could move back, his response, am so excited! That essentially clinched it.

I do not know how long I will be staying this time, whether this will be permanent or after finding myself again I move back to the big city, which I still miss. There are days I want to hop on that plane and get out, satisfy the gypsy in me. But most days I am grateful I am home, grateful for my peace of mind, my new life, my freedom my friends, my family.  This love/hate relationship still continues but for the moment the prodigal daughter is home.



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St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Marco Polo Plaza

Marco Polo Plaza will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Festival with the rest of the Irish community! It’s not only a feast of greens and four-leaf clovers but of good food too! From March 17 to 19, dig in and enjoy traditional Irish dishes and delights such as Irish Stew, Potato Nachos, Cheesy Reuben Loaf, Guinness Beef Stew Pot Pie, Beer Mac N’ Cheese and many more. These on top of the international lunch and dinner buffet at Cafe Marco. Complete the experience in true Irish fashion with an ice-cold mug of Irish Beer, also available at Cafe Marco.

Gastronomic adventures await at Café Marco! For inquiries and reservations, you can call (032) 253-1111. For real time updates, like the Facebook page at facebook.com/marcopolocebu or follow on Twitter at @5StarInCebu. Visit the website at www.marcopolohotels.com.

For inquiries and reservations, call 253-1111 or email hospitality.ceb@marcopolohotels.com.

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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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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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