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Cebuano Craftsmanship Takes Centerstage at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort’s Design Series

The first in Sheraton’s Design Series, the collaboration with Detalia Aurora highlights craftsmanship that is distinctly Cebuano.

Paula and Vikki Rodriguez of Detalia Aurora graciously settle themselves onto tall chairs, meant to be bar stools, in the spacious one-bedroom showroom of The Residences at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort. They’re modest but clearly eager as they greet guests with smiles, moments before their talk about design begins.

The afternoon sun streams in through the tall glass windows—with the panoramic view of untouched greenery contrasting the deep blue of the sea beyond—and bathes the room in a warm, golden glow. It’s as if the surroundings mirror the essence of the event on this fine afternoon, and pleasingly so, putting together things that are truly Cebuano: its natural resources, and its talent.

Detalia Aurora is a familiar presence in the homes of Cebu’s most discerning residents. For many years, the company has become a household name in the furniture export industry, having produced contemporary pieces such as the nautilus-shaped Shellf bookcase and the intricate Gaia chair.

After becoming more involved in the family business, Paula and Vikki have worked on streamlining processes and nurturing their edge in product design. The sisters are taking Detalia Aurora a step further by fostering their close-knit community, and bringing passion into everything they do.

Vikki and Paula Rodriguez

“What we do is we design, develop, manufacture and export handmade products, [using] natural materials,” Paula, who’s in charge of design and marketing, explains. “We develop designs out of these materials. We want to share with everyone the products we’ve been doing so far, and the craftsmanship that comes along with it.”

The collaboration between Detalia Aurora and Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort comes as no surprise. Ultimately, Sheraton was designed to reflect Cebu’s design, and what better way to reflect this than to partner with and celebrate Cebu talent?

“This collaborative effort is very special to us, because it speaks to us,” Angela Emphasis, Corporate Communications Manager of AppleOne Mactan, Inc., shares. “When we were designing Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort and The Residences at Sheraton, what we had in mind was Cebu design.” The most natural things that their designers worked with were the rocks on the shore, which greatly influenced their plan.

The first in Sheraton’s Design Series, the collaboration with Detalia Aurora highlights craftsmanship that is distinctly Cebuano. The furniture company makes use of rattan, stone laminating, and weaving, which are done by master craftsmen who’ve been with them for years.

“These craftsmen play a big role, as they work with the materials and products everyday.” Paula says. “We’re so happy that they can show what they normally do day-to-day here on the spot at Sheraton.”

For some items, the sisters share, one rattan pole may take up to eight hours to finish. One table can take two days, and weaving a chair can take up to two days as well.

“I think it’ll be an eye-opener for everyone. Imagine if we export in volume, and these people work to meet 30 pieces or 50 pieces.” Paula smiles. “Their work is very important.”

Detalia Aurora’s core competency is product development, and the company has quite a wide range of materials, with Vikki to thank for. The company is able to work with a lot of different materials, the majority of which are natural, with a specialization in indoor and outdoor furniture.

The details on these pieces are notably Detalia Aurora

“For us, material is really the star. So the simpler the shape, the more the people focus on material, and that’s how you can tell it’s Detalia Aurora.” Vikki shares.

“I think the variety is distinctly Detalia,” Paula adds. “We take pride in our quality, of course, executed by the Cebuano craftsmen.”

“You’ll really see the details, how much work was involved. It can’t be mass produced. There’s a lot of time given into the product.” Paula finishes.

While found in many Cebuano homes, Detalia Aurora’s clientele is mostly international. Their buyers travel all the way to Cebu, to be present for the entire process.

“We tell them the story, how long the product takes, how much work was involved, for them to really know the value in our products,” Paula says. “And they’ll be able to share it with their clients as well.”

The company does small demos for their visiting clients as well. “It’s for them to understand more about the items, so they know exactly what’s going on,” Vikki explains.

It was easy for both ends of the collaboration to come together. In a nutshell, the Design Series platform is meant to showcase the company and as a whole, showcase Cebu craftsmanship.

“We designed the Design Series platform to tap into different design ecosystems of Cebu,” shares Javier Marcalain, Group Marketing Manager of AppleOne Mactan, Inc. “It’s a homage to Cebu design. Cebu is known to have such great, painstaking design and craftsmanship and we wanted to highlight that as The Residences.”

Will there be more to come for the Design Series? Definitely, if Javier has anything to say about it.

“I can’t disclose anything yet, but definitely we can expect something early next year.” He promises.

Detalia Aurora’s iconic pieces were on display at The Residences at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort until October 23, 2019.


Cebuano Pride: The National Museum of Cebu

Pride of Cebu

By Eva Gullas 
photos courtesy of DOT
“With the National Museum of Cebu, the cradle of Christianity in the country, we open the doors to a temple in history and culture, inviting tourists and locals to witness our archaeological and natural treasures. The NMP-Cebu is not just a museum but a bridge to our past and a window into our future,” declares Christina Frasco, our Secretary of Tourism, at the ceremonial opening last July 28.
Located at the heart of the city’s historic port area, the former colonial Customs House, built in 1910, was transformed into an elegant edifice worthy of the city’s place in history. It was in Cebu where the Spanish conquistadors first landed in 1521 and where Magellan met his end at the hands of the local chieftain Lapu-Lapu. Starting August 1, the National Museum of Cebu will open its doors daily from 9 am to 5 pm except Monday.

Cebu City Tourism’s Neil Odjigue, Cembeth Hortillano and CCTC Chairperson Joy Pesquera

Worth checking is the first floor, where a few art pieces from national artists like Cebu’s own Martino Abellana, Fernando Amorsolo, and Jose Joya take pride of place. On the right wing are finds from archeological digs found all over the islands. Called Ang Karaang Sugbo or Old Cebu, they include a gold death mask and ancient vases from China. There’s also Kinaiyahan: Cebu’s Natural Wonders, which features an impressive wall containing the different layers underneath our soil. There is also a display case that interactively showcases the various elements around the area, like gold, copper, and gypsum. Another wing is Paglawig: Cultural Movember Across the Seas, showcasing the islands’ maritime history and sea bounty, including rare shells.

Museum Director Jeremy Barns, Maryanne Arculli, Andronik Aboitiz and wife Doreen, Amanda Luym

Some of the abstract art from the New York collection

It is on the second floor, though, where the museum shines. Up the grand staircase, guests are greeted by Elmer Borlongan’s massive Battle of Mactan, facing a facsimile of the Sta Maria galleon, Magellan’s flagship. Then on to a limited-time exhibit on loan from the Philippine Center New York Core Collection of 1974, a treasure trove of almost 90 paintings collected by former First Lady Imelda Marcos, including Ang Kioks, Sanso, Manuel Rodrigues, and many more representing both avant-garde and classic Filipino masters. The New York collection is only available until March 2024 and is not to be missed.

Writer Eva Gullas beside Elmer Borlongan’s Battle of Mactan

The National Museum Cebu has been years in the making, and this cultural milestone has finally been made possible under the new administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who famously said during the inauguration, “I am a museum fan, and I can stay in art museums for hours and hours.” He added, ” museums are considered valuable natural assets to a nation as they build a sense of community, document history, inspire creativity, promote tourism, and unite people through a shared heritage.” Kudos to the National Museum Board of Trustees, chaired by Andoni Aboitiz and Museum Director Jeremy Barnes, for this cultural gift to Cebu!
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The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.

Dia de los Muertos

By Allain Dumon Fonte

The 2nd of November is All Soul’s Day, a holiday that is very important to many Filipinos to remember our loved ones who passed on. This is also widely celebrated in Mexico as “Dia De los Muertos” or in English, “The Day of the Dead”. And Mexicans celebrate the 2nd of November grander than they celebrate Christmas. Well, you can witness it from the Disney movie, “Coco”.

As All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos is about to end, here are some interesting traditions and superstitions that Filipinos and Mexicans share:


Dia de los Muertos or All Soul’s Day is not practiced on October 31st or on the Hallow’s Eve as many other western cultures practice; but we celebrate it on the 2nd of November. We celebrate November 1st as All Saint’s Day or the Day of the Holy, while in Mexico they call it Dia de los Innocentes or Dia de los Angelitos to commemorate the children who died too early in life.


Both in Mexico and in the Philippines, we visit the grave of our loved ones and we clean it well. This is a ritual to honour their resting places and to let them know that they are never forgotten.


In Mexico, they believe that the scent of flowers attract spirits. So the flower offerings are invitation to their dead loved ones to visit the living families. While in the Philippines, we believe that flowers offered to the dead exalt the souls and somehow fill in the sadness that we feel when missing our dead loved ones.

Most of the time, Filipinos choose all-white flowers to offer because white is the absence of colour, which means the absence of Joy and happiness. White also symbolises purity of soul which we hope our dead loved ones will attain as they journey to heaven. While in Mexico, they have the yellow Mexican marigolds as the official flowers of the dead that will guide them in their journey to the afterlife.


Both cultures believe that monarch butterflies are dead loved ones who visit us and show their appreciation that we have not forgotten them. A presence of monarch butterflies also means that our dead loved ones are always there guiding us and looking after us.


Spending a night at the graveyard and picnicking with the rest of the family may sound very creepy to many; but to both Filipino and Mexican cultures, picnicking and spending a night at the cemetery is a must to show our love to our dearly departed. It is the only time in the year that families gather and tell stories of the dead loved ones and how colourful or how great their lives were.


In Mexico, they have what they call “ofrendas” or an altar where the pictures of their dead loved ones are displayed and offered with flowers, candles, and their favourite food. Very similar to the Filipino culture of cooking the favourite food of our dead loved ones and everyone in the family enjoys the food for dinner.

My family tradition involves me driving all the way to Colon street and buy that famous Snow Sheen’s “pancit canton”. This is my granddad’s favourite snack. Sadly, the old Visayan Restaurant is no longer there. My late uncle and my late grandpa love their sweet ad and sour fish. We also set up an “ofrenda” on their graveyard and eat their favourite food while picnicking in the cemetery. We do not spend a night in the cemetery; but while we are picnicking there, we usually play the songs of Pilita Corrales and Susan Fuentes that my late grandpa used to listen every afternoon while enjoying his coffee, pan de sal, and pancit canton.

What about your family traditions? Share your thoughts by commenting to this article.

MODEL: Michael Joseph Mortola Enriquez & Alexis Wingfield
PHOTOGRAPHER: Gianne Paolo Anciano
STYLING: GPA Lifestyle + Clothing

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Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+

Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+


Rating: *****/ *****

The multi award–winning comedy series airing on Apple TV+ is one of my favorite shows.  Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis is about a fun good-natured American football coached hired by a British soccer club (AFC Richmond in London) to become their new coach.  In spite of the fact that Ted has no experience or knowledge about British football/soccer, his positive demeanor and charm helps him overcome the animosity of the team’s players, staff and fans.  Eventually Ted wins over the team and the locals as they fight for position in the English Premier League.

The show won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and 7 Emmy Awards in its 2 seasons and Season 3 is just around the corner.  You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+

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