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On A Natural High

There may be lots of things to do in the city, but sky’s the limit for fun and adventure atop a mountain, and that’s where we find this weekend home.

There may be lots of things to do in the city, but sky’s the limit for fun and adventure atop a mountain, and that’s where we find this weekend home.

The temperament is noticeably different once you hit the heights of Busay Hills, the mountainous range that lines the vista of Cebu island. The air is cleaner and the weather is much cooler at over 1,000 meters above sea level, and it’s easy to drift into a cloud of tranquility and watch the bustle below disappear.

Buying a house up in the Busay Hills was a dream to businesswoman and mother, Coy, but was made a reality by her husband, Wilson, who said, that if they were going to get away from the city, they might as well go all the way up the mountains. He surprised her with a 7,500 square-meter property located in the Balamban vicinity.

Driving closer to the structure, the exteriors give off an “industrial” impression, from the amount of polished concrete, steel bar railings, and tall glass windows used. But the exacting elements are broken by the tugas hardwood double-door, and upon entering, the organic feel of the wood-plank ceiling. The use of many tall- and corner-windows and multiple open spaces give a sense of the outdoors wherever you are in this house.

Taking note of the homes around the area, Architect Ed Gallego drew plans for a structure that would be welcoming and homely, and require low maintenance but at the same time take full advantage of the surrounding nature. The result is a symmetrical, four-level, eight-bedroom house that stands on a little over a thousand square meters of floor space. It uses corner glass windows to take full advantage of daylight; glossy coating to finish the insulated concrete; and high ceilings for natural ventilation.

The main level has the living area, the dining room and the kitchen all within easy reach of each other. One set of wood stairs lead to the master bedroom and two bedrooms on the second level, while another set of stairs, enclosed in sliding glass walls, leads to the highest level, where the daughter’s library is located.

All the planning was done with the primary consideration of the children’s needs, Coy admitted, which were mostly privacy, and a place to chill and entertain. Daughter Diandra wanted her own place to read and have her quiet-time, so the library was built for her collection of books.

“We sourced as much of our furniture locally,” said Coy. “The interiors are still a work in progress, but it has already been enjoyed by friends since September of last year.”

“My favorite part of the house would be the masters bedroom,” says Fatima, one of Coy’s best friends, “when you open the curtains, you get a postcard view of the mountains.” Wesley, the second of the two boys, loves the basement the most, where he and his friends gather. This lowest level of the house has an entertainment area with a fully-stocked bar and two spacious guest bedrooms. A second kitchen is also being worked on for this level.

That’s the great thing about the multi-tiering of this house—a party can go on at different levels, and without interrupting each other.

The possibility of a landslide does not bother the homeowners because the land was shaped and matted with steel before any beams were constructed. “Stilts are dangerous because the land shifts,” said Coy, and although Wilson wasn’t very particular with the design, he was quite adamant about maximum safety. Having the grounds landscaped by family friend Prudence Salutillo added sentiment to this home. He worked with Coy on her other business, including designs for her Catholic book store Kerygma, the stalls of her House of Praise franchises, and other private projects like residential and church renovations. The homeowners entrusted most of the interior decorating to Prudence while Coy brought in more of her décor, especially inspiring quotes framed and hung on the wall, which she collects from her travels around the globe.

Now that the children are grown—with the youngest having turned fifteen recently—Coy chose to close her small bookstores and gospel music stalls, and go into a semi-retirement. “The kids think they don’t need you anymore once they reach a certain age but believe me, they will always need their parents’ guidance. I just want them to know I am always here for them, and this weekend house will always be a special place for us to spend time together.”

  • by Ian E. Baol
  • photography Adrian Yu producer David Jones Cua
  • sittings editor Katsy Borromeo
  • additional interior styling Rizelle Ostrea, PIID (Philippine Institute of Interior Designers)
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Events

Trade in Your Old Watch and Save Big on a New Timepiece at The Watch Store

Watches are an essential part of any outfit, providing you with both style and functionality. But despite their timeless appeal, many people leave their old watches unused at home. If you have an old watch lying around or are considering an upgrade, The Watch Store has a special limited offer: bring in your old watch, and in return, you’ll get a new one at a discounted price!

As the official retailer of renowned international watch brands such as Tissot, Frederique Constant, Alpina, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, and Bering, The Watch Store offers a collection of watches that embodies refined quality, high performance, durability, and unparalleled precision. With a diverse range of designs, from classic sophistication to modern innovation, there’s always a watch tailored to capture your style for any occasion. This makes our watches an exceptional upgrade from your old watch and a valuable addition to your collection.

They accept all old watches, regardless of their brand, type, and condition. When you bring a Swiss watch brand, you’ll enjoy 35% off on a single watch purchase, 25% off for a Japanese brand, and 18% off for other brand or non-brand watches. These discounts apply only to selected watches.

So hurry, time is ticking! Don’t miss this chance to trade in your old watch exclusively at The Watch Store Cebu from June 13-17 and at Tempus Ayala Center Cebu from June 27-July 1, and take home a new timepiece for less than its original price!

Follow their social media accounts for real-time updates and the latest promotions:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewatchstoreph/

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Eats

A Moving Feast: Cebu Food and Wine Festival 2024 Opens in NUSTAR Resort

by Kara Mae M. Noveda

Taste Cebu! That is how the invitation goes for the two-day opening salvo of this year’s Cebu Food and Wine Festival (CFWF) held at the NUSTAR Resort Cebu. When the doors opened in the plush ballrooms last June 1, more than a thousand guests were treated to a moving feast for all the senses. Setting this year’s festival apart, the CFWF board of organizers put on a multi-sensory approach. Bringing their vision board to life, the opening gala brought large-scale visuals to complement an array of innovative culinary creations. After all, we also taste with our eyes.

Meticulously prepared local-inspired dishes with overflowing wine and alcoholic drinks filled the three tasting zones: Wave, Peak, and Warmth–with each themed zone serving a taste of a distinct aspect of Cebuano food culture.

Beginning with the Wave Tasting Zone that capitalizes on the coastal freshness of the island of Cebu. The emblematic dishes in this zone are bakasi (saltwater eel) stuffed cornmeal topped with bakasi bones and local sea urchin & tarurot (this is sea urchin blended with deep-fried baby squid floss plated in a sea urchin shell). Chef David Thien and his team also served refreshing cold noodles.

Next, the Peak Tasting Zone highlights the mountainous area west and east of Cebu. From these farm-rich areas, you get good produce transformed into incredible base ingredients for memorable local dishes: manok Bisaya (local chicken) and everyone’s favorite, Cebu Lechon. Crowds flocked into the lechon station manned by Chef Sau del Rosario, known in the culinary world as “The Godfather of Philippine Cuisine.”

Finally, the Warmth Tasting Zone celebrates the exciting city life that Cebu also has to offer. Big cities are a melting pot of different cultures, so you’re right to expect fusion dishes in this zone. Samples of exciting hybrid dishes include the coconut wine-marinated conch shell sisig served in corn tortillas and Chef Lisa Revilla-Thien’s Hamachi salad.

The festival’s honored guest, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco, who walked with the media members for a preview, emphasizes the importance of gastronomy tourism. The DOT is keen on supporting programs that elevate the country’s culinary portfolio.

The Cebu Food and Wine Festival is a month-long June festival featuring over 60 pocket events spread in over 40 participating restaurants and 20 hotels.

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The Homes of Zee–Holiday Edition: Christmas House No. 3

Christmas House No. 3

Check out why this holiday home is on our list of 12 Cebu homes this season. Zee.ph offers a glimpse of Cebu’s holiday homes from far and wide. Please follow our series as we bring you a different home in the next few days!

Welcome to Christmas Home No. 3, where the season’s spirit is adorned in elegant white hues. This cozy abode is nestled near Cebu’s bustling IT Park, which radiates tradition and festive cheer. The homeowners, a delightful couple, eagerly await the arrival of their only daughter and her family from Manila.

As you enter this winter wonderland, a white Christmas tree takes center stage, adorned with glistening ornaments that shimmer in the soft glow of fairy lights. The white decor creates an atmosphere reminiscent of a snowy holiday retreat. Opting for a white-themed Christmas isn’t just a stylistic choice; it’s an invitation to embrace simplicity, purity, and serenity during the festive season. The neutral palette provides a canvas for creativity, allowing each ornament to stand out and making memories more vibrant. It offers modern living and timeless elegance, creating a perfect backdrop for family celebrations. Peek inside the magic of a white Christmas as this welcoming home awaits the joyous reunion of loved ones.

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