With a constant need for mobility, Paco Rodriguez takes a weekend off from the urban jungle that is Manila and gives us a tour of his home.
I was introduced Rodriguez a while back at one of the hotspots of the Cebuano nightlife, and like most introductions, there’s not much that comes after you learn someone’s name. Presumptions and youth stereotypes usually fill in the gaps–privileged kid that dresses casually to draw little attention to himself, living in one of the gated communities of the community, attended high school at a Chinese Catholic institution, and takes a business course in one of the country’s better universities. And yes, Paco does like cars and sports, and hangs out with the same circle of friends he grew up with, but a brief chat over brunch revealed there’s so much more to him.
Paco admits that he can’t stay put. “I always need to find something to do. I’m not the type of person who can just sit down and do nothing.” An attitude most likely developed from an early start at go-karting when he was just three. “I asked my dad to get me a motorbike for my birthday. When I turned four, I joined my first motorcross competition. After a couple of years, my dad decided to let me race go-karts instead of motorbikes because they’re safer. I joined my first go-kart race when I was six years old.”
In turn, Paco spent this time in the company of an older crowd of enthusiasts, including local TV star and Cebu native Matteo Guidicelli, and one of Zee Lifestyle’s go-to photographers Jan Gonzales. Acquaintances are one thing, but Paco grew close enough to be a test subject for Jan at his studio. The photo, done in Jan’s signature style, rests on his nightstand in his Cebu bedroom, next to catalogs of luxury watches that Paco hopes to build a collection of when he gets older. With hardwood floors and white walls, the bedroom is minimal but cozy and, unlike most guys his age, clean. “I get a little obsessive about it, so things are always kept in order.” On the opposite side of the room, the TV console displays various items with the underlying motif of motion: boats, planes and cars collected throughout his childhood. The fluorescent helmet is what he used when he was racing. “Since I was little, me and my dad always went to the beach to go sailing, jet skiing and island hopping,” hence the large sailboat, a present from his father that takes up most of the surface.
“I need to be out of my house at least once during the day to really function, even just to drive around. Sometimes I drive for leisure. I find that it relaxes me.” Considering the size of his house, he really could just drive around it. You would think the sheer massiveness of a place this big might cause anyone to get a little lonely, but that isn’t the case at all. Paco’s bedroom is in the same wing as those of his cousins, who are constantly popping in and out of the different rooms.
When he is being a homebody, Paco spends his time inside the coral room, watching movies and playing video games, or by the pool with his friends. At times, he indulges in his hidden passion, cooking and baking. How could he not, with a kitchen like this? Marble countertops, state-of- the-art equipment and a collection of enough cutlery, fine china and other dining accessories to fit any theme. Of course, a great kitchen belongs in a house built for entertaining. This one definitely is, with two dining rooms, a formal one used for large family dinners during the holidays and one for everyday use, and a balcony with a large iron table where brunch was served. From there, you can appreciate the scenic view of the city set against a clear blue sky and framed by tall coconut trees in front of the lush garden.
With a life and home as luxurious as this, it poses the question of how Paco stays so humble. “I never thought that material things are something to be proud of. Ever since I was a kid, my parents brought me up to always remember to keep myself grounded no matter what.” As Paco returns to Manila to continue his studies, rest assured the Cebuano youth is well represented by him.
- by David Jones Cua
- photography by Homer Medici
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 email@example.com.
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.
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
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.