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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.


PANDEMIC DIARIES: Twelve Months Later

Photos taken by Pablo Quiza around Cebu City during the months of March, April and May 202

AS WE APPROACH ONE YEAR under pandemic times, we look back at March 2020 with fascination. And awe. We had 12 months of lockdown and survived the so called new normal. We lived with masks and alcohol even today. Carless roads and dark malls. Those were the early days of March, April and May.
It stretched to October and past Christmas. No Sinulog. Virtual parties on Zoom and virtual mass on You Tube and FB Live. We debated on the best meds to take if we get sick and whether to wear masks (please do!). We scampered for face shields and anti-viral sprays. Vitamins C and D and zinc. Later, we survived being swabbed and we learned the difference between a PCR and an anti-gene test. The latter cost less.

We dreaded the declarations of IATF mandated from Manila. And we got mad at the police chief who had a birthday party while his people were busy locking up everyone violating the lockdown. Most horrifying of all, we needed to produce IDs! Are you a resident of Barangay Lahug or Banilad? Are you employed and why are you still working? Everyone suffered thru endless checkpoints. Most sad of all are those using motorbikes, they seem to get the raw end of the deal since those with cars are not as scrutinized. We managed to trick the system by putting a big handwritten note in front of the car: COMPANY CAR, and zipped tru the police desks in the middle of the road. Don’t even think of travelling, by plane, boat or bus. The collection of the required documents is enough for one to get exposed to Covid.

We learned to shop online, order groceries and necessities thru delivery. We slowly moved towards cashless payments. Gcash and banks like Union Bank and China Bank with friendly apps are heroes for making life easy for most of us to spend what little cash we have to spend on Lazada or pay the VECO bill. Oh and we binged on K dramas on Netflix and You Tube, kamsaminada.
As 2021 enters, there are some good news. For those obsessed with news, you already know that 7,000 vaccines arrived last March 2 in Cebu, with more expected in the next few weeks. The death rate is not as high among those who caught this pesky virus, which tells us that doctors in the hospitals have some proven expertise in dealing with Covid. More cures should be in the horizon.

Meanwhile, lets continue dreaming of the day when we can cross borders again, even if its just Bohol or Boracay, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ready those luggages and bags bought during the 3/3 sale in Shopee in preparation for the day when we can take the ferry or the plane for new adventures.


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Keep Calm by Knowing These Myths About COVID-19

by Chrissy Grey Resaba


In these times of pandemic, hysteria and panic have taken over the world and nonchalance is a word not to be manifested for today. Worry and fear are enveloping around Cebu with enough evidence of the actions taken by the public – the hoarding of necessities and goods.


Cebu – both the city and the province – is working towards making the island a safe haven from the pandemic caused by the Novel Coronavirus. Entry points of both ports – aerial and naval – are now closed. Curfew hours are being implemented to secure that no one is outside during the hours indicated. Business and academic sectors shifted their modes to work-from-home and online classes. Medical professionals have been on the frontlines battling against the proliferation of COVID-19.


It is quite eerie to look at the main streets of the Queen City of the South having few crowds to none. The hustle and bustle of the metropolis has gone into an empty space. The actions taken by the government and the Republic of the Philippines are for better or for worse; it is only for the good of the public.


Cebu has been under the state of community quarantine and certain measures were implemented to ensure the public’s safety and well-being. However, there are still myths making rounds in social media and the public in general about the ways to avoid COVID-19. These myths are not supported by scientific evidence. The scattering of fake news worsens the situation instead.


Here are some myths about the Novel Coronavirus:


1. Hot and cold weather

Contrary to popular belief, the COVID-19 virus will never die when exposed to hot or cold weather. This type of coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas regardless of the weather.


2. Drinking water

It is necessary to hydrate ourselves and to moisturize the throats but there is no scientific evidence that consuming volumes of water can flush out the virus.


3. Antibiotics

Clear enough from the name of the medicine, antibiotic never kills the virus but bacteria instead. It is not advisable to take antibiotics to prevent COVID-19.


4. Eating banana

There is a video circulating in social media about the banana fruit that miraculously kills the COVID-19 virus. However, if one should be keen enough to examine the video, it is a hoax. To date, there are no approved treatments for the virus. Eating a banana and other fruits can boost the immune system instead but not kill the COVID-19 virus.



Practicing proper hygiene such as regular hand washing with soap and water remains to be an effective way of preventing infection since soap dissolves the structure of the virus. The public should not be very complacent enough to rely on hand washing alone. Maintaining social distance, staying at home, having proper coughing or sneezing etiquette, and putting oneself in self-quarantine if one traveled from outside Cebu or the country are some of the best ways to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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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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