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A Glistening Christmas at bai hotel Cebu!

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.

The University of Cebu Chorale serenaded the guests with timeless Christmas carols.

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.

FROM LEFT Alfred Reyes, Angelie Lua-Domingo, Danilo Lua and Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes

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.

Events

BVLGARI in Cebu

May 10 – Cebu City  |  Step inside a world of opulence where gold shimmers and diamonds sparkle. BVLGARI, the renowned Italian luxury brand, is celebrated for its exquisite gemstone jewelry, thin watches, perfumes, and leather goods. With a legacy dating back to 1884, BVLGARI has become synonymous with elegance and craftsmanship. The newest BVLGARI boutique opened last week at the sparkling The Mall at Nustar Resort and Casino, fast becoming the shopping destination for discerning consumers.

Eva Gullas, Jeffrey Hang, Jaja Chiongbian-Rama and Butch Carungay

Jeffrey Hang, BVLGARI’s Regional Marketing Director for South East Asia, flew in from Singapore to welcome guests. “We are happy to unveil BVLGARI to the Cebu market. This is the company’s 140th year, and BVLGARI celebrates this landmark with the Aeterna High Jewelry Collection in Rome this coming May 20, attended by all our global ambassadors like Zendaya and Black Pink” Jeffrey shares with us. The collection will be available in SE Asia later in the year and in the Philippines at the end of the year.

Leading the ribbon cutting was Joseph Muñoz (commercial director of Bulgari Philippines, Jeffry Hang (regional marketing director of Bulgari South East Asian operations, Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey (Bulgari Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015), Allan Teo (chief operating officer of NUSTAR Resort and Casino and May Adolfo (mall director of NUSTAR Cebu).

Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey, BVLGARI’s local Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015

Sheila Osmeña-Go and Jaja Chiongbian-Rama

Spotted at the event was Joseph Muñoz, Commercial Director of Bulgari Philippines escorting Pia Wurtzbach-Jauncey, BVLGARI’s local Ambasadress and Ms. Universe 2015, Allan Teo, Chief Operating Officer of NUSTAR Resort and Casino, Howard Go, Summit Media’s CEO and his wife, Cebuana Sheila Osmeña-Go as well as some of Cebu’s young fashionable set like Claudia Bezza Yeung, Marjay Ramirez, and Danessa Onglatco.

May Adolfo, Danessa Onglatco, Marjay Ramirez and Claudia Bezza-Yeung

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Business

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino Celebrates 25 Years of Commitment to Service

Waterfront Hotels & Casinos’ flagship property in Cebu is proud to announce its 25th-year anniversary on July 25, 2023. Over the past quarter-century, the hotel has been home to local and international tourists traveling to Cebu City for business or leisure.

Since 1998, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino has been recognized for maintaining its commitment to providing both patrons and guests with remarkable and notable services to create memorable experiences. From the hotel’s world-class amenities, luxurious accommodations, to exceptional dining experiences, and exciting offers, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino continues to be the venue of choice for special events, large conventions, concerts for local and international artists, trade exhibits, a relaxing staycation, and much more.

2013 – Top Producing Hotel by Room Nights from Expedia

2016 – Tin Gow as the Grand Slam Winner for Best Chinese Restaurant from SunStar’s Best of Cebu

Exemplary for its ability to provide for large groups and conventions, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino has warmly welcomed nationwide governing positions and well acknowledged communities for events throughout the years such as the Governors’ Workshop on Social Welfare and Development: Partnership for Devolution in 1999, the 25th Annual Convention of the Philippine Neurological Association in 2003, the United Architects of the Philippine’s 16th National Conference in 2004, the Annual General Assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in 2007, the Sangguniang Kabataan National Congress in 2008, and Liga ng mga Barangay events are set to take place in the property this year .

Being one of the city’s well visited venues for getaways, special occasions, grand events, and an appreciative dining experience, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino to name a few has been recognized for major and key awards on the following years:

  • –  2012: Gold Circle Award from Agoda
  • –  2013: Top Producing Hotel by Room Nights from Expedia
  • –  2014: Most Engaged Hotel Partner from Expedia
  • –  2015: Powering Global Travel Award from the Global Tourism Awards
  • –  2016: Tin Gow as the Grand Slam Winner for Best Chinese Restaurant from

    SunStar’s Best of Cebu

  • –  2017: Chinese Preferred Hotel from Ctrip
  • –  2018: Venue Standard Award from MICE
  • –  2019: Top Taxpayers Award from the Cebu City Government
  • –  2020: Grand Slam Winner for Best Events Venue from SunStar’s Best of Cebu
  • –  2021: Traveler’s Choice from Tripadvisor

2020 – Grand Slam Winner for Best Events Venue from SunStar’s Best of Cebu

From Cebu’s humble beginnings, it’s safe to say that Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino was there in the midst of the city’s development into one of the Philippines’ most progressive areas. Since the beginning, the property and its peers have always prioritized the citizens’ convenience by strategically placing themselves at the center of it all. Right across the hotel, what used to be Cebu’s very first airport is now a well-known destination for business development and commercial establishments, commonly referred to as the I.T. Park. Although the area has drastically changed over the years, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino managed to adapt and develop just as the Queen City of the South developed.

CSR – Bureau of Fire Protection

Waterfront Cebu does not only provide a place to stay but is an avenue that evokes feelings and creates significant memories to be cherished for a lifetime. One memory that’s worth remembering was when Regine & Martin Nieverra had their concert at the Pacific Grand Ballroom in 2003. Not to mention, 2005 SEA Games held their Dancesport event at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino followed by the prestigious Mr. and Miss Cebu in 2008.

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino is not only an essential part of the hospitality industry. The property continues to play its role as a vital force when it comes to giving back and uplifting the community. The premier hotel has contributed significant developments to the city’s growth, economy, and even tourism, but the property did not stop there. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities were also organized for Cebu’s social welfare as well as for the preservation of the environment with the aid of local NGOs and barangays.

Through the years here are some sustainable and transformative activities that the peers at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino have participated in:

  • –  2013: Lapu-Lapu Tourism Council Coastal Clean-Up
  • –  2019: Refurbishment Initiatives at Barangay Kang-atis Elementary School
  • –  2020: Waterfront Cares for Brgy. Suba (Part II)
  • –  2020: Weekly Round-Up – Frontliners of Brgy. Lahug
  • –  2021: Waterfront Bakuna Center
  • –  2021: Waterfront Care Packages
  • –  2022: Packages of Love to Barangay Looc
  • –  2022: Christmas Party for the Children at Barangay Pardo
  • –  2023: Tree Planting at Barangay Pung-ol
  • –  2023: Tree Planting at the Nug-as Forest Reserve

 

As Waterfront continues to blossom in the hospitality industry, its service with a warm smile is a Filipino value that guests would always come back to. In the effort to embody and maintain excellent guest satisfaction, the property’s department heads boast high training to its peers that remain visible in every guest interaction.

Keeping its grounds strong, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino would like to acknowledge the 25 years of support from the local government of the city as well as from the province in Cebu. Celebrating 25 years of Commitment to Service will only continue and progress for the years to come as the property and its management is looking forward to 25 years and beyond of excellent service wearing the ‘Waterfront’ smile.

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino would also like to thank their sponsors for this year’s 25th Anniversary celebration: Global Star Motors Corp., Cebu New Life Press, Premium Sole, Metro Retail Stores Group Inc., DC Fresh Flower Shop & Supply, Kettle & Shaker, and The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

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Events

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 

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