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Eats in Cebu: Orange Brutus

From being the first hamburger joint in the city, Orange Brutus marks a milestone as it celebrates 35 years of a fast-food experience that is distinctly Cebuano.

Every Cebuano, it seems, has a story about Orange Brutus. In the case of photographer Mark Philip Dales, it was fond memories of the place he used to frequent during his childhood days, spurring on a rather nostalgic conversation with the fast food chain’s chief executive officer Jocelyn Quintos Kokseng, Kristian Kokseng and creative consultant Jaclyn Abregana. “My family would bring me to the Colon Fairmart branch, since it was the premiere destination for every Cebuano before.” he recalls over a glass of Mango Brutus as we wait for the Zee Lifestyle Directory cover photo shoot to begin. “I remember my mom always ordered the Mexicali, while I would get their burgers and shakes.”

Orange Brutus, Ayala Center Cebu (Photography by Mark Philip Dales of MadWorldPhotography/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2015)

Orange Brutus, Ayala Center Cebu (Photography by Mark Philip Dales of MadWorldPhotography/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2015)

“When we opened our first store in Colon back in 1980, fast food hamburgers and hotdogs were not common snack fare as we know it today,” explains Jocelyn. “As the popularity of burgers and hotdogs grew, we started opening more stores at strategic locations to be more accessible to our customers.” Eventually, in the 1990s, the demand shifted from snack items to meals, which led Orange Brutus to add more products, including their now cult-favorite Sizzling Burger Steak.

Other Orange Brutus bestsellers: The Sizzling Burger Steak, the Fried Chicken, the Palabok and the Chori Burger, along with their shakes (Photography by Mark Philip Dales of MadWorldPhotography/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2015)

Other Orange Brutus bestsellers: The Sizzling Burger Steak, the Fried Chicken, the Palabok and the Chori Burger, along with their shakes (Photography by Mark Philip Dales of MadWorldPhotography/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2015)

Orange Brutus has come a long way since that small hamburger joint back then. After 35 years, it is currently one of the biggest fast food chains in Cebu—not to mention a homegrown one at that. Currently, they have 22 outlets all over Cebu and Mactan, with a 23rd branch in Danao set to open soon. Beyond the number of branches, however, is the food that keeps people coming back for more.

“We only serve food that we ourselves eat, and we try to make them as healthy as possible,” says Jocelyn, explaining that Orange Brutus does not use MSG in most of its products. Their raw ingredients are also ozonated to eliminate bacteria, harmful hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and insecticides. They also use healthy oils for frying, and burgers and burger steaks are charbroiled.

The menu itself has evolved over the years, with an offering of about 50 items. Besides sticking with the bestsellers, Orange Brutus introduces and reintroduces their own takes on different comfort food such as humba, sisig, and pork steak on a quarterly basis. “You can say that Orange Brutus changes with the times and tries to cater to the wants and likes of its customers,” adds Jocelyn. “We have beef, pork, fish, chicken and vegetables. It’s a one-stop food stop for the whole family.”

The Choco Monster: An Orange Brutus favorite (Photography by Mark Philip Dales of MadWorldPhotography/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2015)

The Choco Monster: An Orange Brutus favorite (Photography by Mark Philip Dales of MadWorldPhotography/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2015)

Despite the competition in the form of international fast food chains, Orange Brutus has held up impressively on its own. The delicious food, the reasonable price points, as well as offering a distinctly Cebuano fast food dining experience has made Orange Brutus a favorite among the locals. Even with more than three decades under its belt, the fast food chain shows no signs of stopping, and it’s only going to bring more stories for people to tell as the years go by.

Delivery Hotline: 6332. 422 8000
Official Website | Facebook | Instagram

by Patty Taboada photography Mark Philip Dales of MadWorldPhotography

Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2015. Like Zee Lifestyle Directory on Facebook


Arcane: League of Legends: Netflix Review

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

League of Legends a very popular video game that’s been around for over a decade has now been adapted into an animated series on Netflix.  The series, Arcane: League of Legends was just released on November 6, 2021 and starring Hailee Steinfeld.  As a person who doesn’t play LoL, I was very surprised by Arcane’s story and the quality of the animation.  The title theme song is by Imagine Dragons and soundtrack is very cool.

Rottentomatoes gives the series a 100% score!  Here’s what they say:

“Newcomers should be equally enthralled by Arcane’s compelling narrative, richly developed characters … “

 Critics Consensus

“Arcane makes an arresting first impression, combining a spectacular mix of 2D and 3D animation with an emotionally compelling story to deliver a video game adaptation that could become legendary.”

Well then, this is a must see for me!  Now out on Netflix

… zen

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ALBUM REVIEW: Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift

RATING: ★★★ / ★★★★★

You probably don’t need to be reminded of why Taylor Swift has decided to release re-recordings of her previous albums, starting with Fearless (Taylor’s Version) last year and now with Red (Taylor’s Version). However, if you somehow missed one of the biggest music controversies in recent history, here’s a quick summary: in 2019, talent manager Scooter Braun acquired the record label Big Machine and as part of the deal acquired ownership of the master recordings for the first six studio albums by Taylor Swift. Swift has been trying to buy the masters to her songs for years but she’s been offered nothing but unfavorable conditions — therefore, as a countermeasure, she is re-recording all of her six albums and so far has released two.

It’s a bold move on Taylor’s part, but lucky for her, the re-recordings have done incredibly well especially with the re-recording of her 2012 album Red. On its first day of release, Red (Taylor’s Version) has broken two Spotify records: one for the most-streamed album in a day by a female and another for the most-streamed female in a single day both in Spotify history.

It’s hard to review an album like this when Red (Taylor’s Version) is, for the most part, just a recreation of the songs of Red. There are new songs, of course, but the majority of the tracks are simply re-recorded versions of her already existing songs. The Immaculate Collection by Madonna, this isn’t — save for All Too Well, there are no new instrumentals or parts of the song here, just plain re-recordings of her previous songs.

Unfortunately for Taylor Swift, some of the songs don’t really benefit from being re-recorded. The original version of We Are Never Getting Back Together, for instance, while far from Swift’s best song at least had the energy and emotion you’d expect a bitter break-up song like it to have. In the new version, Taylor Swift just sounds lifeless and bored, especially when it comes to her spoken lines.

It’s difficult to blame her when she’s expected to still give convincing performances of experiences she’s had over a decade ago. How do you expect a singer in her 30s to sing a song about how excited she is to be 22 and still make it sound as convincing as she made it when she was actually 22?

That being said, some of the songs also benefit from being re-recorded. There’s a sense of nostalgia added to many of these songs. Taylor Swift sounds older and, in a way, that adds even more emotional depth to some of her tracks. And for anyone not wild about these songs simply being re-recordings, Swift has six new “From The Vault” tracks which should be enough to tide you over.

All in all, Red (Taylor’s Version) doesn’t always work, but for Taylor Swift fans, it’s a way to listen to versions of her songs that are hers. It’s why the “(Taylor’s Version)” at the end of these songs are so important and it’s great to know Taylor Swift finally has versions of the songs she wrote which she can call hers.

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Cycling has been a growing sport and hobby for many years but it’s popularity has erupted since the Covid pandemic.  People biking to work and for recreation is an everyday sight in Cebu.  More and more are joining the ride.  Many are quite serious about cycling.  I know three ladies who are among those who’ve gone long distances across Cebu.

How did you get into serious cycling?  What was your motivation?

Blinky de Leon.  Event Host, Product Endorser & Influencer

“ I’ve been into cycling since I was a kid. A little backstory, I was around 10 years old when my dad surprised me with my first custom-made mountain bike. I still keep it until now, in fact I had it refurbished. It’s the most sentimental thing I ever received since it was his way/gesture to catch up with me after not seeing each other for almost 6 yrs. My dad is based in Germany and he also loves cycling and makes his own bamboo bike.”


“Just a year ago though, my friend Gazini randomly, out of nowhere, picked me up from home to bike with her to the South of Cebu. I felt really excited and motivated to get back on track because it’s very nostalgic and brings back so many great memories. And since then, the rest was history. We’ve been joining different groups, tried different routes and conquered different heights. I’ve met so many cyclists with very inspiring stories in the bike community who kept me feeling motivated too. I also look forward to the sights and the adventure that comes along with it.”


Yumz Mariot. Branding & Marketing Consultant

“I used to bike along with rock and wall climbing. I am lousy with ballgames which is why. Our usual route were Talamban and Mactan but one time, managed to ship gears all the way to Dumaguete for a quick ride to Valencia, the next town located at a higher elevation. Those were days when I did it for fun and what bike I was using did not matter.”

“Fast forward to 2021, a year after the pandemic lockdown began, I realized I have been lazy to do any fitness routine. Too caught up on juggling between house chores and Work from Home deliverables (I work as a Branding and Marketing Consultant), I started to feel my body needs to move as much as my brain does. A hysical fitness routine is as important as what I eat, or what I read or watch. So I decided to invest on a decent MTB, just very recently and got myself a much necessary restart. What motivates me even more is the area where I currently reside at. It is vast, fresh, green and safe for solo bikers like me.”


Prime Sarino. Digital Media Creative

“I started biking as a young teenager and I got the idea to start it as an adult hobby 3 years ago. I was already into running and I thought it would be great to venture into another outdoor activity to keep me occupied after work hours and weekends. I was set to travel for a year so I had to put aside the idea first but came pandemic. We were all forced to stay put and everything was put on hold. Cycling became my diversion. My cyclists friends invited me to quick and short rides. I enjoyed my first 50km ride and the sceneries and routes most of all. It also helped channel a positive mindset during the hard hit season of the pandemic. Not to mention it’s also another way to stay fit when we were forced into inactivity during the quarantine.”

Next in Part 2, we ask the ladies about their cycling experiences and memorable moments…

by: Zen

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