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Locales: Sam Despi

We ask graphic designer Sam Despi about her favorite spots in Cebu, and why she thinks they’re the best on the island. Whether they’re obvious choices or obscure destinations you’ve never heard of before, they’ll be a refreshing step off the beaten path.

Sam Despi (Photography by Dani Bautista)


Not a lot of people know about Paradise Beach and its crystal clear waters, even though it’s featured on the Welcome to Cebu billboard at the airport. It’s in a secluded area of Bantayan Island and there are only two ways to get there: a 20-minute trek on rough terrain or by boat. The beach’s remoteness often means you’ll be the only people there, so it’s like being on your own private resort.

Paradise Beach, Bantayan Island


One of my favorite places to hang out in at dusk is the Emporium Skate Park behind the Kokodine building in downtown Cebu. It’s the perfect place to watch the colors of the sunset behind the iconic Compania Maritima along SRP. Watching the skateboarders is equally mesmerizing.

Emporium Skate Park (Photography by Cliff Rigor/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, October 2014)


This cozy café’s been bitten by the travel bug. Its walls and shelves are adorned with the Zosa family’s mementos from around the world. The food is yummy and the neighborhood is quiet. It’s a great place to unwind after a long day.

A Little Piece of Sky Cafe

Originally published in the Zee Lifestyle Directory, October 2014. Like Zee Lifestyle Directory on Facebook by clicking here.


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

You can also view Eatz Cebu Issue 5 PDF file here

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Eatz Cebu Issue 4

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