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Christmas in the Tropics at the Maayo Hotel

by Allain Dumon Fonte

When we think of Christmas, we always imagine of pine trees covered with snow, cold breeze, and a monotone of red, everywhere. But, as I walked into the lobby of Maayo Hotel, I was welcomed with the vibrant colours of summer and a display of fauna and flora. The upbeat sound of the drums set the mood and the smiles of everyone in the hallway brought back memories to one of my favourite destinations, Turks and Caicos. The tropical-themed Christmas is a breath of fresh air. Across the room, a familiar smile welcomed me, and it was the beautiful Pearlyn Hortelan0-Sanchez; a former super model and now Maayo Hotel’s marketing officer, who helped in planning and executing this uniquely themed Christmas party. Pearlyn brought me straight to the bar where I was treated with delightful sangria. The bartender definitely knows his cocktails, as the flavourful sangria is comparable to that of the world-renowned red sangria at Bar La Carbonera in Ibiza. So, I went for another drink, and this time I had the margarita. It just took one sip and I was taken back to Cabo San Lucas where the best margaritas are served. Maayo hotel has finally revealed its secret, and that is the really good cocktails. The gracious hostess called our attention for the official lighting of the Christmas tree.

At the foot of the 25-feet-high Christmas tree that was intricately adorned with the island’s indigenous ornaments, I saw the stunning Atty. Regal Oliva, city treasure of the City of Mandaue; and the vice mayor of the city of Mandaue, the Hon. Glenn Bercede, as guests of honour tasked to light the Christmas tree. They were joined by Maayo Hotel’s general manager, Miss Karen Mendoza, and Maayo Hotel’s board of directors, Mr. William Christopher Liu Jr., Wally Liu and Miss Paulette D. Liu. After the countdown, the Christmas tree glowed gloriously in front of the guests, and Christmas carols filled the room. It felt different from the other Christmas parties that I have attended because the island and tropical vibe made the event more festive.

It felt different from the other Christmas parties that I have attended because the island and tropical vibe made the event more festive.

In the ballroom, the guests were officially welcomed by Miss Mendoza, and the chain of Maayo Hotels was introduced in a short audio-video presentation. Maayo Resort San Remigio and Maayo Resort Argao look promising from the photo and video footages. Maayo Resort Argao seem to have the Moroccan ambiance, and the resort structures remind me of the La Mamounia resort in Marrakesh. So, if I want to recreate some scenes of “Sex and the City 2”, there is no need to fly to Marrakesh, it will just be a two-hour drive to the south at the Maayo Resort Argao. While the Maayo Resort San Remigio is designed with the Caribbean character. From the photos and videos, Maayo Resort San Remigio resembles of my favourite resort in Turks and Caicos, the Key West village. It may not be as grand as the Key West Village, but it surely looks built with the love of the sand and sea. The program continued as Maayo Hotel’s Mr. Wally Liu awarded the hotel’s top business partners and suppliers for putting Maayo Hotel on top with the other hotels and resorts in the Queen City in the span of two years.

Maayo Hotel is also very generous, as it awarded ten Christmas prizes to the lucky guests; of which I won none. It would have been nice to win a one-night stay at one of the Maayo Resorts to feel the beach again. However, the unfortunate me just indulged myself with the canapés and exquisite food served by Maayo Hotel’s executive chef, Luigi Mangubat. Chef Mangubat surely knows the way to our hearts, as he prepared a variety of Maayo Hotel’s specialties to fit to every one’s palette. Apart from the unforgettable concoctions of the cocktails, when it comes to food, Maayo Hotel stands true to its name, MAAYO, which in the local vernacular literally translates to very good. I had spent many thanksgiving dinners in the United States, and tried different recipes and various styles of cooking for the turkey; yet, Maayo Hotel’s roasted turkey is heaven. It literally melts in your mouth, and I have to commend Chef Mangubat for a job well done.

This may be my first time to visit Maayo Hotel, but it definitely will not be the last. I have found a jewel in the heart of Mandaue, and that is the Maayo hotel. Now, I am on to the next adventure, and we shall see what the Maayo resorts have to offer. Until then, MAAYOng Pasko!!!


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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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 – 

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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)

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