Every city has their own set: It Girls. The In Crowd. Whatever it is you call them, there’s something undeniably charming about them. It’s not just the good looks–it’s the charm, the individual passion and the overall aura of fun. This year’s set is fun and interesting, passionate about their own individual efforts and about a shared love for Cebu.
One thing’s for sure, we certainly didn’t mind spending an afternoon with this batch of young women, and we’re sure the rest of Cebu would agree.
Krishtal Catherine Freeland, 26
Entrepreneur of Krish’s Kitchen | @krishtalcatherine
What makes Cebu different from other places around the world? Within an hour’s drive, you could be high up in the mountains enjoying the cool air or chilling by the beach.
Where do you usually hang out in the city? I usually just stay home and bake.
Favorite restaurants and dishes you recommend? Veal pappardelle in Abaca, egg noodle homemade basil tagliolini in Anzani, and the churrasco dinner at Mövenpick.
Favorite local escape? Bantayan Island would be one of my favorite quick escapes in Cebu.
Where would you go for a night out? You’ll most likely see me in Craft Cafebar.
Something you wish were in Cebu? A wider variety of international cuisine
Favorite local brands and designers? Local Crag and SOLTI Activewear
Favorite travel destinations? I’ve recently fallen in love with Siargao and El Nido. And for the international destinations, Anguilla in the Caribbean (British Overseas Territory) is still on the top of my list.
Book that’s currently on your bedside table? My MacBook
Something about Cebu you wish would improve? I know it’s not easy to solve, but I hope we’ll be able to fix the traffic situation because it’s getting worse.
The best part about living in Cebu? One of the best parts of Cebu would be that it’s so centrally located. You could enjoy being in a variety of beautiful places without too much effort, like driving to the beaches up north, the waterfalls and whale sharks down south, or just renting a boat to go island hopping.
Stephanie Sharpe, 25
Director of Marketing & Product Development at CATCMI Trading | @stephaniesharpe
What makes Cebu different from other places around the world? There’s beauty everywhere in the world, depending on what you are looking for, and it’s not difficult to find. But what differentiates Cebu for me are the people and the relationships I have with them, and that’s why this is home.
Where do you usually hang out in the city? At friends’ houses, Zink Studio or YogaNow Center, especially if you catch one of their classes at the Yacht Club as the sun is setting.
Favorite restaurants and dishes you recommend? There’s a Korean restaurant next to the Marcelo Fernan bridge on the Mactan side. I’m not too sure of the name because it’s Korean, but it has a big sign that says “Kimchi” next to it. They have the best Bibim Naengmyeon. I crave it every once in a while. Also, you can find me in Luncheonette every other Sunday brunch for their consistently delicious Reuben.
Favorite local escape? Either one of the many sand bars around Cebu, or somewhere in the bukid. It doesn’t actually take too long to get as far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, where you can be alone with the sounds of nature.
Where would you go for a night out? The Pig & Palm is definitely our go-to for Girls’ Night Out, but most of the time if I want to see friends for something more casual, it will almost always be Craft in BTC. Everyone goes there, and no matter how busy it is, it still has fast service.
Something you wish were in Cebu? Parks in the city. With Cebu’s rapid growth, it would be nice to have a park in the middle of all the buildings for people to have the option to just be outside.
Favorite local brands and designers? Hands down, SOLTI Activewear. Designed and made by Kym Maitland-Smith and her amazing team. It’s perfect for me because I work out as often as I can, and I love spending time outdoors, whether at the beach or on a hike. Everything is handmade by Cebuanos from 100% recycled material, so it’s as local as you can get. Everything is also reversible, so you have more options–perfect for someone like me who is trying to cut down on owning things. I’m completely obsessed with her line, and so proud to have a fellow Cebuana reaching for a more sustainable future.
Favorite travel destinations? Siargao is my little slice of paradise. I go there as much as I possibly can. It’s the most beautiful place in the world to me and no other place comes close. For something completely opposite, Whistler in BC is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in summer. You have to check it out if you like the outdoors.
Book that’s currently on your bedside table? A friend so graciously lent me her HBR’s 10 Must-Reads on Strategic Marketing, which is a nice change from the fiction novels I usually like to read.
Something about Cebu you wish would improve? I feel like a broken record when I say the road system. Not just for the cars, but the sidewalks as well. It would be nice to have the option to be able to walk from A to B safely. It would promote people to be more active and use cars less, which means less air pollution for us when we start walking everywhere.
The best part about living in Cebu? The fact that you are perpetually tanned here. I find dark skin one of the most beautiful features on anybody. I wear my tan with pride.
Yasmine Sarlak, 17
Student at Cebu International School | @homiesags
What makes Cebu different from other places around the world? There was always something about Cebu that had my heart, whether it may be the beaches, nightlife, adventure or the people. This place will always be my home.
Where do you usually hang out in the city? You can always find me in either Streetscape or BTC, probably eating. I used to hang around Kontiki in Mactan a lot earlier this year for my 6 AM dives!
Favorite restaurants and dishes you recommend? Antica is this small restaurant hidden between Canvas and the Lohas clinic in Paseo Saturnino, and they have hands down the best pizza I’ve ever tasted in my entire life! I recommend the parma ham and arugula pizza.
Favorite local escape? North Sandbar is my favorite place not too far from the city. It’s only an hour or so by banca boat, and it’s a great place to escape from the city with a group of your good friends and barbecue!
Where would you go for a night out? My go to place is always Craft. My friends and I call it home because we’re always there. It’s sort of like our comfort zone, and they always play the best music. They have the friendliest staff too, by the way!
Something you wish were in Cebu? I honestly wish we had a really cool theme park already!
Favorite local brands and designers? My favorite local brand would have to be SOLTI Activewear that my good friend Kymberly Maitland-Smith launched not too long ago.
Favorite travel destinations? I haven’t traveled too much, but within the country I’d have to say Boracay is always my favorite. I’m stuck between LA, Zurich and Paris though, if we’re going international. They’re all so different, so I can’t come to a decision.
Book that’s currently on your bedside table? Honest, my Psychology textbook and my Arts guide.
Something about Cebu you wish would improve? The roads. Please!
The best part about living in Cebu? That the mountains are so close to the sea. You can literally go on a road trip to the mountains for a hike, get back into the car for an hour or two and jump right into the sea.
Alyssa Sacal, 18
Student at Cebu International School | @lyssssx
What makes Cebu different from other places around the world? What makes Cebu so different is definitely the amazing people here and the beauty within the island.
Where do you usually hang out in the city? It depends. On a daily basis, you would usually find me and my friends either at Streetscape, Crossroads or BTC grabbing something to eat. If not, we’re probably at the gym—in Zink or Fitness Nation, possibly exercising or making chika. On weekends, if I don’t have any school or sporting event, I’d be at the beach by day and in Morals and Malice by night.
Favorite restaurants and dishes you recommend? Favorite go-to restaurants are definitely Nonki and Kanyoen because my favorite cuisine is Japanese! For Nonki, I basically love everything on the menu, from the sashimi to the cha soba to the spicy tuna maki. While in Kanyoen, everything except the red meat, since I don’t eat it. Other restaurants I really enjoy are tapas places—The Pig & Pam for the sashimi, kinilaw, grilled squid, chicken, and the dessert with goat cheese ice cream; and Gorliz for the pulpo and paella negra.
Favorite local escape? Sometimes on Sundays, I go on long drives to either Mactan or the mountains to escape the city. Usually the plan would be a nice Sunday brunch by the beach, or a long drive to Balamban to get some corn or fresh air. And boating to nearby islands, because boating is always a good idea when the whether cooperates.
Where would you go for a night out? Of course Morals and Malice!
Something you wish were in Cebu? I really wish that Cebu would have cleaner streets, better public transportation, parks and places to just “sit around and hang out.” This is something that I am really fond of when I visit other countries—walking around and just basking in the beauty of the city as you can get a glimpse of the culture, the people and the lifestyle by just strolling around.
Favorite local brands and designers? Barbie Alvez and Arcy Gayatin
Favorite travel destinations? I love the beach, so domestic destination would be Siquijor, as it became a tradition for my family to spend a week or so at our beach house every year. Also, I really like the remote island destinations that we usually explore by boat, like Islas de Gigantes. Internationally, I would honestly say Australia because I fell in love with it when I went there this summer! Other favorite destinations would be Santorini, Mykonos and Paris, which are beautiful places as well.
Book that’s currently on your bedside table? David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
Something about Cebu you wish would improve? No doubt, the traffic and the roads! Oh, and the slow processing of everything, from license to travel documents, and event checks at restaurants!
The best part about living in Cebu? The fact that it is such a tight-knit community! Everyone knows each other. Whenever you go to a place, you seem to know at least one familiar face who greets you with a smile. It’s nice how that (when there is no traffic) everything is almost ten to 30 minutes away, from the beaches and mountains to the places that I usually hang out. As I have lived here all my life, my heart will always belong here, along with all the people I grew up with, and the memories we’ve made. Cebu will always be home.
photography Dan Douglas Ong | stylists Blaq Mafia | hair and makeup Arnauld and Eunice Enrera | locale Zink
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, Dec-Jan 2017
EXCLUSIVE: Never Been Released Behind-the-Scenes photos of Zee Lifestyle’s Emerald Issue Cover Shoot
We celebrate the strength and resilience of womanhood in this year’s Mother’s Day by looking back at these never been seen before behind-the-scenes shots of Zee Lifestyle Magazine’s Emerald (20th Anniversary) Issue cover shoot featuring the “Leading Women” of Cebu.
To celebrate the 20 beautiful years of Zee Lifestyle as the ultimate source of lifestyle news in Cebu, we handpicked 12 strong and stylish women of Cebu from every age group. These women show us that independently building one’s strength of character and living one’s passion knows no age. From the beginning, Zee has always been empowering women, providing the Cebuanas a platform to express their beauty and confidence, share their passions, engage in economic and political participation which yields to viewing women with equality and respect that we deserve.
photography Jan Gonzales
creative director Melo Esguerra
art director Doro Barandino
sittings editor Shari Quimbo
beauty director Romero Vergara
makeup Arnauld, Janice Barillo and Nicko dela Peña
hair Jessie Egos and Jake Arias
fashion styling Clint Potestas
production assistants Patty Taboada and Katrina Labra
locale Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu
Twelve women, two sets and one afternoon. That is how the Zee Lifestyle team decided to celebrate the title’s 20th anniversary issue—with a challenge that, in some ways, is one of our biggest productions yet.
The idea came along when publisher Eva Gullas and editor-at-large Melo Esguerra were discussing a cover story that would best represent the magazine’s history. From commissioning artistic depictions on Cebu to playing with the anniversary’s emerald theme, no idea had stuck until Melo suggested putting a series of women who had already been on the cover of Zee, again on the cover all together.
Coming up with the list of names, of course, was no small feat. Our covers from the last 20 years have included several strong personalities—from philanthropists and politicians, to actors, and names to soon watch out for, our pages have seen them all. The challenge, then, was to come up with a list of women who had been driving forces in their respective fields when they had first appeared on the cover, and remain as powerful players even today.
With input from editors, both past and present, we rounded up 12 women from different age groups, fields and industries, who are all strong and passionate at whatever it is they do—Amparito Lhuillier, who remains the doyenne of Cebu society as a picture of elegance and class with her continuing efforts in business and social causes; the always-stylish Marguerite Lhuillier, herself an example of sophistication in all her efforts, whether business or otherwise; Margot Osmeña, who as a Cebu City Councilor has spearheaded many urban projects directed for the betterment of living in the city; hospitality mavens June Alegrado and Alice Woolbright, who are deeply involved in the rise of their brands, Bluewater properties and Beverly Hotel, respectively; Christina Garcia Frasco, the current Lilo-an Mayor advocating impressively progressive efforts in the area; former model Fiona King, now a major player in homegrown real estate with projects like Bloq Residences; the fitness enthusiast Danessa Onglatco who has espoused wellness with the opening of Yogahub; restaurateur Carla Yeung-McKowen who is behind the city’s hottest dining outlet, The Pig & Palm; designer Mia Arcenas, whose signature resort wear and accessories are representative of Cebu’s laid back lifestyle; Kym Maitland-Smith, who juggles efforts in swimsuit design through SOLTI Activewear and is building awareness for the vegan lifestyle; and Kryz Uy, whose online presence was a strong one even before fashion blogs were on anyone’s radar.
An impressive bunch, for sure. These women properly embody the characteristics that Zee Lifestyle looks for in one who makes the cover—beauty, yes, but also elegance coupled with individuality, and always a strong drive to succeed in whatever efforts they are directed.
This, it turns out, was the fitting tribute to the years Zee has been Cebu’s premier lifestyle bible, as well as a sign of the things forthcoming. Our 12 cover stars may have been on our pages before, but if their current efforts are any indication, our pages will continue to see more of them in the future. And as continuing purveyors of what Cebu has to offer, Zee Lifestyle will happily be seeing them in the years to come.
(This article had already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s December 2016 Emerald Issue, “Leading Women” on pages 140-155.)
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.
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
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.
After the Razzmatazz and Razzle-dazzle: Post-Sinulog Thoughts
by Chrissy Grey Resaba
Buntings of red and yellow were removed from post to post. Streets were cleared and cleaned. Fireworks displays were faded in the sky. Beats of #prititit and tunes of tourism-booster Cebu tracks were being put to archive once again.
Contingents from different parts of Cebu and Central Visayas had gone back home. Party people had gone sober while some are still recovering. Traffic has gone back to normal. Businesses, as well, has gone back to normal.
However, all the fun and loud chants, smooth grooves, and frenzied choreographies are still replaying from the memory banks of the people who celebrated Sinulog 2020. The queen of all festivals in the Philippines has left again another mark of cultural and festive nostalgia to the people from all parts of the world and Cebuanos alike.
After all the razzmatazz and razzle-dazzle, let’s get to know what are these IG and FB personalities’ #PostSinulogThoughts about celebrating the newly-culminated Sinulog 2020 and how did they differentiate it to last year’s.
Eva Psychee Patalinjug, Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2018 @evapatalinjug
I celebrated my Sinulog with my boyfriend and some of my close friends, we decided to choose a place where it’s not very crowded where we can see the whole Cebu, talk, and chill the night away. We went to Verified Lounge – Cebu’s newest premier sky lounge – located at the rooftop of the Avenir Building. It was something new for me as the night was calm as I was away from the busy streets of Cebu. It’s definitely one way of enjoying such festivities.
Kim Covert @kimcovert
The Sinulog celebration this year has been one of the most memorable events in my life. Not only was I invited to perform a few of my own songs during the weekend’s festivities but I also turned over my Binibining Cebu Tourism crown to my successor. Last year, I was busy with work and was not able to completely grasp the events. This year’s festival was more organized which is a great success for Cebu. Many have flown in and had spent time with their families in the “Pit Senyor” spirit, others have enjoyed spending time off with friends and colleagues. It was a great way for me to start my New Year and close my Cebu chapter before I leave to the US in a week.
Alem Garcia @thealemgarcia
Well pretty much, I was still busy doing shows and events for Sinulog. But what made it different this year was the religious celebration made me believe even more that Sto. Niño is indeed miraculous and that He is meant to be celebrated. Even though you are successful in your chosen field, furthermore, everything will be meaningless if you do not have the faith.
Philip Pingoy @almostablogger
We all have a Sinulog story to tell. It may be a story of losing faith and finding hope. But what is important is our devotion to the Holy Child Jesus (Señor. Sto. Niño). This year, my Sinulog experience was very different since I am already based in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the internet I was still able to watch the mass and all the festivities in Cebu. I am in UK because I prayed to Sto. Niño. So, let us not forget the reason we celebrate Sinulog and let us continue to share to the rest of the world why Sinulog is the grandest festival in the Philippines. Pit Senyor everyone! I hope you had a good one!
Lyssa Amor @lyssaamor
Sinulog celebrates Filipinos’ acceptance of Christianity. This year, I celebrated Sinulog by hearing the word of God. I went to church which I do every Sinulog but the difference now is that I am not in Cebu. It’s my first time to celebrate Sinulog away from home because I’m currently in Japan. Although I didn’t dance the traditional Sinulog dance this year, I wasn’t able to watch the fireworks in Ayala, and didn’t spend time with my friends in Mango and IT Park. Snr. Sto. Niño will always be in my heart and I am forever grateful that our ancestors accepted Christianity and we continue to embrace it up until today.
Kevin Geniston @kgeniston
Sinulog will always be a highlight for me as a Cebuano. This year has been fulfilling as I was able to brave the crowd in the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu three times to attend the novena mass which had also become like bonding time with my family, daughter, friends and loved ones. I ended the celebration of the Sinulog festivities with a bit of the usual partying and/or clubbing.
Carlo Andrew Olano @kalamicebu
My Sinulog this year was a great mix of religious and secular activities. I was able to go to the church and somehow witnessed the Traslacion and the fluvial procession. I also went to many side events like parties, mall events, and fireworks exhibitions. Sinulog 2020 had a fantastic balance of fun, faith, and festivities.
Danna Bacolod @dannabacolod
This is the second time I spent Sinulog with Cebu Pacific. We had series of events prepared during its entire week and participated the grand parade by having a float last Sunday. I always feel excited to join Sinulog Grand Parade and see a lot of people celebrating their own way of Sinulog along the streets of Cebu. Guess it’s safe to say that I had so much fun. Even if this was work-related, I didn’t feel like I’m actually working as it was always joyful doing events like these.
Nimo Hideki @nimo_scheming
You prolly knew this already but, Sinulog 2020 was by far the most phenomenal Sinulog experience: more laidback than the previous years’. The music in every corner of the streets were still there to help you let loose and enjoy the experience. The surge of people had tested you both mentally and physically. But it was an experience you cannot miss like mingling with people from different walks of life and shouting out “Pit Senyor” to everyone. Summing up my Sinulog experience, I was able to get crazy and enjoy all aspects of the fest.
Michael Rey @michaelsomewhere
I had the most relaxed Sinulog experience this year. I did not party and preferred to witness the grand parade instead. I do think that this year’s celebration was more colorful and much safer as establishments strictly abided the rules imposed by the Cebu City Government. I was also amazed at how the festival of fashion here in Cebu has evolved throughout the years.
Now, how about you? What are your #PostSinulogThoughts this Prititit 2020? Viva Pit Senyor!
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