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Ready, Set, Go

A starter home for a young starting-up family balances aesthetic, practicality, and good vibes and serves as a canvas for a modern yet sentimental setting.

A starter home for a young starting-up family balances aesthetic, practicality, and good vibes and serves as a canvas for a modern yet sentimental setting.

by Ian E. Baol photography Genesis Raña

The house’s façade by itself already sticks out like a sore thumb in the Mahogany Grove urban village in Talamban, and if one took into consideration the other houses of a similar aesthetic, you’ll get an entire hand.

Architect Buck Sia’s own starter home maximizes 145 of the 150 square meter lot and extends skyward, enough to tower over many other houses in the neighbourhood. The brown tile landing gives a preview of what is to be expected inside the house: organic, streamlined design this young architect is known for. “The house attempts a more international style with planes creatively stacked. It also mixes color and texture with the massing and planes,” noted Buck, of the major influence of linear and planar architecture in the house’s over-all design.

A Dedon phoenix lounge set and orbit daybed greet one upon entering the hardwood door that faces the north-west, which, in Feng Shui, is believed to be advantageous for the family’s head: where the flow of energy is said to add to one’s leadership qualities, and to reinforce trust and respect in the house.
In the daytime the house is easily flooded with natural light, maximized by the use of numerous clerestory glass-to-glass corner windows and the use of sheer roller blinds that keep the interiors well-lit while protecting everything within from prying eyes. The raised ceilings also help circulate a maximal amount of air that smoothly flows from one room into another.

The kitchen, although actually quite narrow, appears wider, with the absence of walls. The kitchen was blended with the dining area, both sporting very modern settings: the kitchen holds a mishmash of Electrolux, Vitamix, Cuisinart and Excalibur appliances, and immediately unfolds into the dining set of a Clayton Tugonon table and Dimensioni chairs. Buck avoided the use of swinging doors and instead used sliding ones to maximize more of the limited space of such a start-up house and to be able to divide and blend the rooms effortlessly. The sliding magkuno door reveals a convertible corner, which for now holds some house utilities, and leads to a powder room. From the glass-to-glass corner window one is brought to look upon a miniature bamboo and kamuning garden, landscaped by Jaime Chua, sporting only two elements of stones, plants: very Zen, which also perfectly fits Buck’s signature aesthetic of elegance and practicality through simplicity.

Connecting both floors is a “floating” landing (that was the architect’s desired intention) whose illusion of lightness is magnified by smooth white stones underneath. The “floating” concrete landing supports an LED-lit cantilevered stairs with stained-wood steps that leads to the second floor—where more magic happens.

Three bedrooms and the master’s bath follow after one is greeted by the family’s “faith corner” at the top of the stairs. High ceilings also maximize the deluge of natural light on the second floor, also brought about by corner glass-to-glass windows and special glass panelling, of about six inches in width, between the walls and ceilings. The master’s bedroom is admittedly not very spacious, but Buck saved space by building the closets and some shelves into the wall. The bed was of Buck’s own design, and like the cantilevered stairs, has a floating effect. Lighting fixtures secured from Bionic Builders, wedding gifts, and some of Buck’s own design light up the master bedroom at night. The adjacent bathroom has a simple, utilitarian design using Toto fixtures, a Moershu enclosure, and APE ceramic tiles. Of the three bedrooms on the second floor, one is also soon to be converted to a nursery.

The walls in general, though still a bit stark, will soon be filled with photographs. Buck says the décor will always be a work in progress as they just do everything themselves, and noted that they are inspired by one thing or another over time. This starter home is like the starter couple who will soon be joined by a new member of the family. Just as this young architect mentioned: everything is a continuing work in progress.


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St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Marco Polo Plaza

Marco Polo Plaza will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Festival with the rest of the Irish community! It’s not only a feast of greens and four-leaf clovers but of good food too! From March 17 to 19, dig in and enjoy traditional Irish dishes and delights such as Irish Stew, Potato Nachos, Cheesy Reuben Loaf, Guinness Beef Stew Pot Pie, Beer Mac N’ Cheese and many more. These on top of the international lunch and dinner buffet at Cafe Marco. Complete the experience in true Irish fashion with an ice-cold mug of Irish Beer, also available at Cafe Marco.

Gastronomic adventures await at Café Marco! For inquiries and reservations, you can call (032) 253-1111. For real time updates, like the Facebook page at facebook.com/marcopolocebu or follow on Twitter at @5StarInCebu. Visit the website at www.marcopolohotels.com.

For inquiries and reservations, call 253-1111 or email hospitality.ceb@marcopolohotels.com.

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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.

The Founder

Combining passion and education. Louis Villaflor re-enacts his way patriotism through his periodical costumes and expresses his love for Cebu and Philippines as a culture-centric country.

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

With the its senior expertise of fashion design and a teacher of the field, his passion also of history caters also in his designs as he pushes through sustainable fashion and historical awareness combined.

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.


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Christmas in Colonial Cebu: A Themed Exhibit by Teresin Mendezona and Eva Gullas for Stylescapes 2019

Ever wonder how the yuletide season is celebrated in colonial times? This year at Stylescapes 2019, Teresin Mendezona and Eva Gullas collaborated to showcase the elegance of Christmas during the colonial period, specifically most of the Spanish regime.
This pop-up radiated the ambience of Christmas in the colonial times through the various details used within the setting. Specific pieces like the gansilyo table cloth, oil lamp, and the sketches were from Ms. Mendezona and Gullas themselves.
Aside from that, various table and living room pieces were sourced from Rustans and Metro Ayala, and was curated by Doro Barandino.

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