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Locales: Beach Break

Sometimes in the heat of the summer, the only remedy is the sun, sand, and sea. Thankfully, Cebu’s Mactan Island provides enough destinations that are convenient respites from the season’s stifling city heat.


With 11 hectares of secluded grounds, Plantation Bay Resort and Spa feels like its own tranquil world apart from the rest of the island’s offerings. Large saltwater lagoons are flanked by villas and rooms in colonial-plantation architecture, complementing the overall feeling of being “away from it all.”

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2014)

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2014)

Take the escape even further by booking treatments at Mogambo Springs – situated in the middle of the resort but feeling like a destination on its own, the spa is inspired by an 18th century Tokugawa Japanese village and offers a wide range of relaxation and wellness packages.

The Mogambo Springs at Plantation Bay Resort & Spa

The Mogambo Springs at Plantation Bay Resort & Spa

Marigondon, Mactan Island
6332. 505 9800


With more than two decades of operation, Bluewater Maribago remains a favorite weekend destination for the consistently updated rooms and facilities, remarkable gastronomical offerings and warm Filipino hospitality.

Bluewater Maribago (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2014)

Bluewater Maribago (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2014)

A stay at the resort finds a wide range of dining options that will have your taste buds rejoicing at the holiday as well – the Allegro offers al fresco dining with Filipino; Asian and continental cuisine; The Cove is a live seafood restaurant that overlooks the resort’s private island; Molto Italiano is best known for its brick oven specialties; the Amuma Juice Bar and Spa Café offers light fare to complement the spa’s services; and the open-air Oyster Bar is a great place to unwind and enjoy fresh shellfish with cocktails.

The Cove Oyster Bar at Bluewater Maribago

The Oyster Bar at Bluewater Maribago’s The Cove

Buyong Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City
6332. 492 0100

Veronica Chiongbian free diving at Mactan Island's Freedive HQ

Veronica Chiongbian free diving at Mactan Island’s Freedive HQ

For the free divers at heart and the aspiring, this is the spot for you! It is my personal quick getaway from all the hustle and bustle in the city. They have one of the most beautiful and natural coral landscapes, so that makes diving a godsend. Freedive HQ employs champion SSI free divers for your utmost convenience. So get learning and get diving! Oh, and they host amazing trips to some of Mactan’s beautiful islands as well. What’s not to love? – Veronica Chiongbian (Zee Lifestyle Directory, November 2014)

Freedive HQ is an Scuba Schools International Diamond free diving facility offering SSI programs. For inquiries, click here.
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, April 2015. Like Zee Lifestyle Directory on Facebook.


LONDON IN FULL BLOOM: An Exclusive Look at the recent Chelsea Flower Show

Dame Judy Dench (center in white) with gallery owner, Jerry Sibal, Edwin Josue, writer Eva Gullas and artist James Doran-Webb.

The Chelsea Flower Show in London, one of the most prestigious horticultural events in the world, returned in full glory in May 2023, captivating visitors with its stunning displays and landscape designs. Held annually on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, this year’s show proved to be a true feast for the senses, showcasing an array of breathtaking gardens, vibrant floral arrangements, and innovative landscaping. The 3-day event showcased 36 outdoor gardens, including four balcony gardens for small spaces. Inside the giant pavilion, blooms compete with each other, exotic flowers, roses, and many more.

Princess Kate Middleton walking the booths at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Dame Judy Dench, who owns several of Webb’s pieces in her garden, with James Doran-Webb and Jerry Sibal discussing the works of James.

One of the flower arrangements competing at the show.

The 2023 Chelsea Flower Show embraced a Nature’s Harmony theme, with a strong focus on sustainability and mental health. The show’s organizers emphasized the importance of sustainable gardening practices and biodiversity conservation, inspiring attendees to create beautiful outdoor spaces while preserving and protecting the environment.

One of the floral gazebo displays recycled chairs and salvaged materials.

Shops at the Chelsea Flower Show are mostly from sustainable materials.

What’s Cebu got to do with the Chelsea Flower Show in London? One person. James Doran Webb (, an Englishman working with driftwood, has been displaying his artworks for several years. James collects cast-off driftwood and shapes them into beautiful animal shapes that find places in some of the most iconic gardens. Leaping horses, owls, reindeer, and the occasional dragon, James Webb’s creations are avidly collected by landscapers to add accent to gardens in all sizes, using cast-off wood, fitting perfectly with the sustainable element—something Mr. Webb has done quite well for the last decade.

The impressive dragon of James Doran-Webb


The Philippine International Flower Festival will be held at the PICC in Manila from January 14 to 18, 2024. Watch out for more info from our website!

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Eatz Cebu Issue 5

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