by Allain Dumon Fonte
Christmas is unstoppable; and, as we draw closer to Christmas day, the scent of this joyous season fills the air, and the sounds of celebrations fill the homes and streets of Cebu. Invitations for pre-Christmas celebrations are overflowing; from intimate soirées to grand gatherings. Yet, one invitation came that I could not miss, and would not dare to miss. It was the bai Hotel Cebu’s Glistening Christmas.
bai Hotel Cebu is one of the Queen City’s newest hotels, with modern-designed interiors and world-class facilities; plus, the Instagram-worthy views of the deck pool and pool bar, it is truly the next destination for your ‘staycation’. The hotel’s most accommodating and friendliest staff are led by a hospitality and tourism veteran, Mr. Alfred Reyes, who is the hotel’s general manager and vice-president for operations. Hence, the hotel is branded as Cebu’s friendliest. And true to their standards of excellence, the hotel has yet surprised all of its guests and partners with a glistening Christmas celebration.
The Glistening Christmas welcomed about five hundred guests, and was attended by Cebu City’s elite personalities. The celebration started with the symbolic lighting of the Christmas tree in the lobby area. The Christmas tree was lit by bai Hotel Cebu’s general manager, Mr. Alfred Reyes; bai Hotel Cebu’s founder, Mr. Danilo Lua; and the mayor of the City of Mandaue, the Hon. Jonas Cortes. While everyone was enjoying the cocktails, canapés, and the Christmas carols by the University of Cebu chorale, our gracious hostess, the president of bai Hotel Cebu, Miss Angelie Lua-Domingo, invited everyone to the Lapu-Lapu Grand Ballroom for the celebration’s formal reception.
“In bai Hotel, we always innovate to create something special because the guests that we serve are special.” -Chef Mel Lopez
The ballroom was magical, as it was adorned with flamboyant centerpieces and an array of cheese selections. It felt like I died and went to cheese heaven. The guests were treated with selections from cheddar cheese, American cheese, provolone to gruyere, rogue river blue, caciovallo podolico, bitto, and white silton selections. And if there is cheese, wine flows. Although, I am not a big fan of wines, but how can I say no to a fine chardonnay when there is a gruyere; neither to a quality sauvignon when there is an aged gouda. The chef really knows how to please his guests. While I was looking for the talented chef to personally congratulate him; little did I know that the chef was busy preparing for a show. bai Hotel Cebu’s corporate executive chef, Mel Lopez, presented a one-of-a-kind gastro-orgasmic exhibition when he formally opened the cheese platter buffet by subliming the solid carbon dioxide. What happened next was magic; the cheese buffet station was covered with crawling mist, making the cheese platters appeal to be floating on the mist. I stood in ovation and congratulated Chef Lopez; he gratefully responded, “In bai Hotel, we always innovate to create something special because the guests that we serve are special.” I could not agree more, as I can feel the incomparable hospitality from the moment I walked in to the hotel.
The night continued with more canapés and non-stop service of beverages. However, I broke my strict diet routine with the egg and bacon canapés. I have to commend Chef Lopez again for the extraordinarily delicious egg and bacon canapé. It may be commonly served in most events that I have attended; but this one truly tastes different and has set the bar higher in the canapé category. While I was particularly noticing the details of the intricacy of the food preparations, the rest of the ballroom was entertained by the Broadway Youth Cebu. The performers took us from Broadway to West End with their renditions of songs from our favourite musicale theatre shows. I am impressed with the great pool of talents that Cebu has to offer. Perhaps, Mel Brooks, David Geffen, or Cameron Mackintosh should stage their next productions in Cebu with these amazing talents. It was just disappointing that they did not perform any song from the musicale, “the Christmas Schooner”; yet, their total performance was of class A standards.
The night concluded with the awarding of bai Cebu Hotel’s business partners. This is a very good gesture of acknowledging the people who made bai Hotel Cebu a-must-visit hotel in the span of two years. I, however, ended my night with a big smile on my face; perhaps it was the wine, or may be the cheese; but, there is one thing that I am sure of, I know it was the smiles of the staff of bai Hotel Cebu that also made me smile. Yes! It was indeed a Glistening Christmas.
Careless’ WAVY BABY Takes Over Sinulog
Careless’ first ever music festival, Wavy Baby, is bound to make the return of Sinulog one for the books.
Wavy Baby is a two-day music festival happening on January 13-14, 2023 at the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City, Cebu with a lineup of over 20 artists recognized both locally and internationally.
Wavy Baby will feature international performers Pink Sweat$, Bambam, Sunmi, The Rose, Bag Raiders, Manila Grey, and Yultron. All artists signed under Careless namely, James Reid, Massiah, Jolianne, Lesha, August Wahh, Issa, SOS, Destiny Rogers, and A-Team will also be performing. Other Filipino acts include Ben & Ben, December Avenue, Urbandub, Franco, Denise Julia, and more. The festival will also feature local Cebuano acts such as Cookie$, The Sundown, Mandaue Nights, Three Legged Men, and Wonggoys.
Careless’ CEO, Jeffrey Oh, says “We’re really excited to do Wavy Baby in Sinulog because it’s the biggest and most historic festival in the Philippines. We want to build a festival that brings the best of the Philippines and the world together to meet and celebrate life and culture, which is what Sinulog is all about. We call it Wavy Baby because we want a wavy lifestyle and a wavy mindset. It also pays homage to Sinulog because the Sinulog symbols are water and the baby Jesus so it’s also a nod to that as well. We’re excited to be part of the Cebu family and build something special that hopefully we can repeat year after year.”
The festival itself will be held at the North Reclamation Area in Mandaue City, Cebu. There will be an Artist Lounge, VVIP Lounge, a VIP Area in front of the stage, Cocktail Pods, Sponsor’s Hives, and Market Pod.
The Cocktail Pod serves as an area for anyone to purchase drinks at the venue while the Market Pod is designated for food and other merchandise that will be sold. The Sponsor’s Hive will be where Wavy Baby’s brand partners will have different booths that festival goers can visit.
Regular Tickets are priced at Php 8,510 for VIP and Php 4,260 for General Admission. One-day Passes are also now available at Php 5,540 for VIP and Php 2770 for General Admission.
Keep up to date on all things Careless.
Follow Careless and Wavy Baby on their respective Social Media Accounts.
Careless Instagram – @carelessph
Careless Twitter – @careless_ph
Careless Facebook – @CarelessMusicOfficial
Wavy Baby Instagram – @wavybabyfest
Wavy Baby Website – www.wavybabyfest.com
CEBU KALEIDO: A Night of Fashion and Celebration at Crimson Mactan Resort and Spa
Miranda Konstatinidou’s beautiful beach wear and jewellery worn by her guests at an intimate beach party at Crimson Resort in Mactan. Konplott is Miranda’s luxury fashion accessory brand sold in Europe, worn by fashion icons and celebrities (no, it’s not sold locally) while her exclusive beach wear in silk are fabric designed by her, are also sold in high end resorts around the world. Meanwhile, Crimson Resort in Mactan will officially close temporarily for a makeover as most of their beachfront villas were damaged heavily by last December.s super typhoon Odette. Here’s to a great reopening of Crimson in a few months. (photography by Steffen Billhardt)
Largest Skechers Store in the Philippines Opens at Ayala Center Cebu
Skechers, The Comfort Technology Company™, is continuing its expansion in the Philippines with the opening of its largest store in the country at Ayala Center Cebu.
Following the recent opening of five (5) locations in Metro Manila and one (1) in North Luzon, the new Skechers store in the queen city of the south, Cebu City, is in the heart of the region’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination, and sets the global lifestyle brand up to deliver stylish and innovative footwear and apparel to more Filipinos in the Visayas.
“We are delighted to continue our expansion in the country with the opening of our largest store in the Philippines here at Ayala Center Cebu in Cebu City,” shared Skechers Philippines country manager Sue Pasustento. “With its prime location and an extensive offering of Skechers footwear, apparel and accessories, this store will be a showpiece for the brand and allow more Cebuanos to directly experience the comfort, style and innovation that defines Skechers around the world.”
Located on the 1st Floor of Ayala Center Cebu in Cebu City, the latest Skechers store in the Philippines features a mid-century modern style inspired design, opening the interior space to bring in the outdoors. The 3,400-square-foot store will offer a wide range of Skechers footwear, apparel and accessories including fashion product, lifestyle looks and Skechers Performance shoes for sport enthusiasts, including Skechers GO WALK, one of the brand’s best-selling categories.
Skechers’ offering is enhanced with the company’s signature comfort innovations—including its patented Skechers Arch Fit Technology™, Skechers Max Cushioning Technology™, Skechers Hyper Burst Technology™, Skechers Air-Cooled Memory Foam®, Skechers Relaxed Fit Technology™ and Skechers Stretch Fit Technology™.
Skechers’ wide selection of versatile and functional apparel, which include hoodies, jackets, sportswear and shirts, as well as socks, backpacks and hats, allows consumers to dress head-to-toe in active lifestyle looks.
Established in 1992, Skechers’ reputation for style, innovation, quality, and comfort have helped the brand expand worldwide. In 2021, the company transitioned its operations in the Philippines, becoming a directly owned operations and expanding its capital investment in the country. Skechers now has five stores in Metro Manila and seven total retail destinations across the Philippines.
About Skechers USA Philippines, Inc. and Skechers USA, Inc.
Skechers USA Philippines, Inc. is operated by Skechers USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX), The Comfort Technology Company based in Southern California. Skechers designs, develops and markets a diverse range of lifestyle and performance footwear, apparel and accessories for men, women and children. The Company’s collections are available in over 180 countries and territories through department and specialty stores, and direct to consumers through digital stores and 4,308 Company- and third-party-owned physical retail stores. The Company manages its international business through a network of wholly-owned subsidiaries, joint venture partners, and distributors. For more information, please visit about.skechers.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.