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Sparkfest Cebu: Enabling That Spark Through Creative Founders, Thought Leaders, and Entrepreneurs

Providing a platform for different entrepreneurial minds in the metro and bringing in diverse people from Cebu’s business and creatives ecosystem, igniting that spark, creating a ripple and contributing social impact is a few steps away for Cebuanos.

By bringing together a mix of Cebu’s well established creatives as well as up-and-coming businessmen that shook different industries of the Queen City, this paved way for inspired learning and meaningful interactions. From the likes of Steve Benitez, founder and owner of Bo’s Coffee, to creatives like Cattski Espina of 22Tango Records, an afternoon filled with sparked conversations filled the Performing Arts Hall of UP Cebu last June 16, Saturday, for The Spark Project’s Sparkfest Cebu 2018.

Making a mark in various industries in Cebu, several successful handpicked speakers were present to share their insights on their journey towards a successful business venture. Ken Ngo, founder and CEO of Travelbee and Hammerland, urged the audience to “find their tribe” when knowing what type of business to put up. He shares that you should surround yourself with people who have the same goals and traits as you do, so that it may propel you forward.

The most talked about weekend market, Sugbo Mercado, is known to be a home of various food choices and stalls that is an ultimate go-to for foodies. Charm de Leon, Director at Sugbo Mercado, shares that the weekend market provides an avenue for small and medium-sized enterprises to live sell and interact with their customers. It allows start-ups to know their market and incubate the sellers for them to be able to expand through healthy competition within the confines of the Sugbo Mercado.

On enabling local entrepreneurship, DTI Provincial Director Nanette Arbon shares the importance of having to protect your business by protecting your brand. The government agency also provides the public various shared service facilities that enable them to materialize their products for their market.

Known for its “homegrown brew”, Bo’s Coffee is a local coffee shop brand which started in Cebu and is now with over a hundred stores nationwide. Steve Benitez, founder of the coffee shop brand, shares insights to start-ups and young entrepreneurs.

“The limit we have is the limit we put on ourselves,” shares Steve, on his journey as an entrepreneur with that entrepreneurial mindset.

Creatives in different fields– from the richness of the arts and crafts in the city, to its divergent and talented artists thriving in the world of music, film and theater–shares the importance of putting oneself out there to the world and actually making your audience love you. The value of the artists’ brand is emphasized in the different topics on these creatives, from starting movements that create good, on emergence of sustainable social enterprises, as well as using creativity and the power of innovation as a tool for entrepreneurship.

Patch Dulay, the founder of the Spark Project

Cattski Espina of 22Tango Records shares that the company was able to create a thriving community of not only music creators, but also a community of music consumers. With the movement of #GrowCebuMusic, it strives to achieve a sustainable highly creative local music industry in Cebu, which not only provides for various artists but gives pride to Cebuanos.

Jude Gitamondoc, more famously known for his work on VISPOP songwriting campaign and having produced the famous vispop song HAHAHAHasula, also took part in sharing his journey in building a community of musicians and making these musicians touch hearts and be hits.

In the creative scene, the common denominator is that one should make the audience love and adore the talents and pieces, as well as the overall brand being put out to the market. The power is in knowing what’s hip and trendy, as well as what’s going to last, in the contemporary world.

Creative businesses like these are also movements for social change. Anthill Fabric Gallery, represented by its Creative Operations Officer, Cham Lopez, is driven by this idea. It makes its mark in the local scene of clothing and garments as a social and cultural enterprise in the with the goal to preserve local weaves through contemporary and zero waste design to sustain livelihood.

Ceeli Martinez-Miranda, Co-Founder of Create Cebu

“The whole purpose of Sparkfest really is to create that “spark”, to get people excited about entrepreneurship, creativity and creating social good”, says Ceeli Martinez-Miranda, Co-Founder of Create Cebu, a team with a vision of “urban revitalisation and reclamation” with the help of collaboration through art. Being able to be present with different speakers who have made things happen in their respective fields would then be able to ignite and inspire business-minded and creative-minded people under one roof to allow them to collaborate and start their own businesses and movements.

Aside from the bustling field of business, Sparkfest brings to the spotlight the importance of creativity and the value it brings to each product and service. The marriage of a product/service and the marketing dilemmas that go with it show that there is an incorporation of creativity in businesses, and a way to make a business out of the creative ideas you put out to the world.



A Feast for the Senses

Crimson Chefs - Masahiro Kinoshita, Naoki Eguchi, Daniel Johnston, Javier Garcia, Allan Barios, Andrew Simpson
By Joanna Cuenco 

June 8 – Mactan, Cebu | For one of its biggest dining events of the year as part of the highly anticipated Cebu Food and Wine Festival, Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan curated an epicurean journey that brought guests on gastronomic flights of fancy, fine cuisine. A Feast for the Senses showcased the creativity and excellence of the resort’s culinary team through a dine-around event at its four dining destinations that invited guests to sample the best that each restaurant had to offer: international cuisine at Saffron, Spanish at Enye by Chele Gonzalez, Japanese at Aka by Naoki Eguchi, and desserts and more drinks at Azure Beach Club.

Maria Paz Perdices, Ambra Anzani, Ema Onda,Kate Anzani, Kumiko Onda, Daisy Barns

Tamsin Booth, Didier Belmonte, Frances Siao, Celeste Miranda, Bert Miranda, Bob Booth

Spirits were high and beverages flowed freely the whole evening, thanks to Philippine Wine Merchant, A Wine Company, The Wine Club, Don Revy, Sommelier Selection, Engkanto Brewery, M. Lhuillier Food Product Inc., Future Trade International, Happy Living Philippines, Equilibrium Intertrade Corporation, and Bauhinia Brewery.

Allan Barios at Saffron dessert station

Ulysse Jouanneaud

Margarette Lhuiller and Perl Jacalan

For the after-party and entertainment at Azure Beach Club, renowned mixologist Ulysse Jouanneaud took over the bar, crafting cocktails with Bacardi, Don Papa, Cointreau, and Sula Brands. Chef Allan Barrios presented a dessert spread that included key lime pralines, vanilla bourbon truffles, honey coconut cryos, and tiny flower-potted bamboo shoots that turned out to be made of pistachio. These little works of art were planted alongside vibrant green foliage, smooth stones, and a faux fog effect that created a tropical rainforest diorama out of the dessert table.

Lechon belly station at Saffron

Dessert display at Azure Beach Club

Yellowfin tuna tataki

Grilled mackerel with laksa boullabaise

The night sky and the distant lights of neighboring islands were the perfect backdrop for a high-energy LED dance performance and fantastic fireworks display that left guests in awe and applause. 

Rose Hudson

Chele Gonzalez

Brava potato with chorizo at Enye

LED and Tron Dance

Aka Private Room

The Cebu Food and Wine Festival is supported by the Department of Tourism – Philippines, Visit Central Visayas, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cebu Business Month, and Cebu Pacific Air. 

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Janine Taylor, June Alegrado, Jackie Lotzof, Frances Siao, Ina Ronquillo and Christine Pelaez

The NUSTAR Ballroom, a magnificent venue at the NUSTAR Resort and Casino in Cebu, sets the stage for last night’s first-ever NUSTAR Ball.

Black was the color of night at the Zee table.

Glamorous guests from Manila and Cebu converged at the NUSTAR Ballroom, an exquisite venue within the NUSTAR Resort and Casino in Cebu. The evening unfolded with a seated 5-course dinner. The opulent feast started with Beetroot Salmon Gravlax, adorned with caper berries, caviar, set with delicate edible flowers; and a main course of Compressed Pork Belly with Crackling Skin and Baby Scallops. Another highlight was the auction of coveted items like Dior and YSL handbags, a limited-edition Bulgari watch, and an exclusive 2-night stay in Nustar’s opulent 3-bedroom villa—complete with a private pool and a dedicated butler. The charity evening benefited the Cameleon Association, an NGO based in Iloilo City created in 1997 that developed a global approach to act on the causes and effects of sexual violence against children.

Nora Sol, Beth Go, Frances Siao and Marylou Ong

Ina Ronquillo, Maryanne Aboitiz and Jackie Lotzof

Designers Jun Escario and Philip Rodriguez

Philip Rodriguez with NUSTAR Malls two power ladies: May Adolfo and Joanna Salazar

Lana Osmeña with Mariquita Yeung

PJ Castillo and Kaye Abad with Cary Santiago

Drew Sarmiento with LV Manager Adrian Decuigan

Cary Santiago with Eva Gullas

Manila socialites Julie Boschi and Ching Cruz with June Alegrado

It was a night of elegance, luxury, and unforgettable memories as ladies in long gowns and gentlemen in black ties danced the night away.


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Flying Tiger Copenhagen Lands in Cebu

By Joanna Cuenco

June 13 – Cebu City | Danish lifestyle brand Flying Tiger Copenhagen has landed in Cebu, opening its first branch in the Philippines outside Metro Manila at the upper ground floor of SM Seaside City.  

Since its first store in Copenhagen in 1995, Flying Tiger has aimed to share products that not only look good, but make people feel good too. There’s something for everyone aged one to 100: toys, art materials, homeware, party supplies, workout gear, travel essentials, fashion accessories, and more. There will be fresh drops at the store every three to four weeks, so there’s always something exciting to look forward to and share with family and friends. 

Product designs range from minimalist and “aesthetic” to cute and kitschy. Find lifestyle essentials like food storage and home organizers, tea towels and toothbrush holders, to some awesome things you didn’t know you needed, like a handheld sewing machine and a beach chair for your phone. 

Even though the 200+ square meter space is fully stocked with hundreds of items, the store layout and neat display make it such a joy to look at all of the things and make the shopping experience easy and enjoyable. Flying Tiger believes a richer life does not cost a fortune, so items start at only P30, or even lower with some special promos.

The store opened with a traditional Danish cake-cutting ceremony with Jet Tan, Flying Tiger Copenhagen Store Operations Manager of APAC Region; Gladhys Rodriguez, Merchandising Manager of Flying Tiger Copenhagen Philippines; Billi Jin Esguerra-Perez, Marketing Manager of Flying Tiger Copenhagen Philippines; and JB Tan, Mall Manager of SM Seaside City Cebu. 

Zandra Len Salvador and Drew Sarmiento

Sarree Pimentel with Lian

Rizanne Tiongko, Joanna Cuenco and Anya Morrissey

Jen and Jas Sarmiento, Rere Dakay, Kirby Yu with Kayden

Jaja Chiongbian Rama with Sebi and Georgiana

Eleni Paray, Hazel Tirol and Mitchelle Lua

Flying Tiger is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Stores Specialists, Inc., the country’s largest specialty retailer that handles a network of 593 stores and 94 brands, including some of the  most recognized names in the world.

Facebook: @FlyingTigerCopenhagenPH

Instagram: @flyingtigerph

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