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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.



CEBU KALEIDO: A Night of Fashion and Celebration at Crimson Mactan Resort and Spa

Miranda Konstatinidou’s beautiful beach wear and jewellery worn by her guests at an intimate beach party at Crimson Resort in Mactan. Konplott is Miranda’s luxury fashion accessory brand sold in Europe, worn by fashion icons and celebrities (no, it’s not sold locally) while her exclusive beach wear in silk are fabric designed by her, are also sold in high end resorts around the world. Meanwhile, Crimson Resort in Mactan will officially close temporarily for a makeover as most of their beachfront villas were damaged heavily by last December.s super typhoon Odette. Here’s to a great reopening of Crimson in a few months. (photography by Steffen Billhardt)

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Largest Skechers Store in the Philippines 
Opens at Ayala Center Cebu

Skechers, The Comfort Technology Company™, is continuing its expansion in the Philippines with the opening of its largest store in the country at Ayala Center Cebu.

Following the recent opening of five (5) locations in Metro Manila and one (1) in North Luzon, the new Skechers store in the queen city of the south, Cebu City, is in the heart of the region’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination, and sets the global lifestyle brand up to deliver stylish and innovative footwear and apparel to more Filipinos in the Visayas.


“We are delighted to continue our expansion in the country with the opening of our largest store in the Philippines here at Ayala Center Cebu in Cebu City,” shared Skechers Philippines country manager Sue Pasustento. “With its prime location and an extensive offering of Skechers footwear, apparel and accessories, this store will be a showpiece for the brand and allow more Cebuanos to directly experience the comfort, style and innovation that defines Skechers around the world.”

Located on the 1st Floor of Ayala Center Cebu in Cebu City, the latest Skechers store in the Philippines features a mid-century modern style inspired design, opening the interior space to bring in the outdoors. The 3,400-square-foot store will offer a wide range of Skechers footwear, apparel and accessories including fashion product, lifestyle looks and Skechers Performance shoes for sport enthusiasts, including Skechers GO WALK, one of the brand’s best-selling categories.

Skechers’ offering is enhanced with the company’s signature comfort innovations—including its patented Skechers Arch Fit Technology™, Skechers Max Cushioning Technology™, Skechers Hyper Burst Technology™, Skechers Air-Cooled Memory Foam®, Skechers Relaxed Fit Technology™ and Skechers Stretch Fit Technology™.

Skechers’ wide selection of versatile and functional apparel, which include hoodies, jackets, sportswear and shirts, as well as socks, backpacks and hats, allows consumers to dress head-to-toe in active lifestyle looks. 

Established in 1992, Skechers’ reputation for style, innovation, quality, and comfort have helped the brand expand worldwide. In 2021, the company transitioned its operations in the Philippines, becoming a directly owned operations and expanding its capital investment in the country. Skechers now has five stores in Metro Manila and seven total retail destinations across the Philippines.


About Skechers USA Philippines, Inc. and Skechers USA, Inc.

Skechers USA Philippines, Inc. is operated by Skechers USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX), The Comfort Technology Company based in Southern California. Skechers designs, develops and markets a diverse range of lifestyle and performance footwear, apparel and accessories for men, women and children. The Company’s collections are available in over 180 countries and territories through department and specialty stores, and direct to consumers through digital stores and 4,308 Company- and third-party-owned physical retail stores. The Company manages its international business through a network of wholly-owned subsidiaries, joint venture partners, and distributors. For more information, please visit about.skechers.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Citizens of the World: CAMPAIGN 2KRAINE

Asmara Urban Resort and Lifestyle Village

Citizens of the World: CAMPAIGN 2KRAINE

By Eva Gullas

“We are all citizens of the world. What’s good for you, must be good for all. If you are lost, share a plate with a stranger… you will find who you are.”

-Jose Andres, renowned Spanish Chef and founder of World Central Kitchen


Chef José Andrés

Where there are humanitarian disasters, you will find the volunteers of World Central Kitchen.  In their midst will be local chefs, most of them inspired by its iconic founder, celebrity chef José Andrés. Founded in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in  2010, World Central Kitchen established its “chef network,” of global professional chefs. The vision was for a kind of “chefs without borders” program where volunteers would enact positive change by cooking using local knowledge and resources. Last year, they even came to the island of Siargao in response to an Instagram plea for help after typhoon Odette almost levelled this idyllic paradise. WCK sponsored 2 community kitchens for 2 months serving 250 to 500 meals per day in Siargao.

WCK at Siargao with volunteers, December 2021. (Photo courtesy of Ai-Ai Garcia)

Chef José Andrés was born in Spain where he honed his culinary skills at the eponymous El Bulli under Ferran Adria. By the time he moved to the US in 1991, he was well on his way to being part of the celebrity chefs, with his Bazaar restaurant at the then SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills a favorite hang-out for Hollywood stars. Michelin stars and James Beard awards followed closely. These days though, Jose Andres spends his time in kitchens all over the world while his top rated chain of restaurants in the US continue to thrive. There’s a Bazaar restaurant at Las Vegas and Miami, and if you happen to be in the area, check out their amazing servings – it’s worth the splurge especially since it is owned by this great humanitarian!

The Bazaar Restaurant in Miami

With the Ukraine invasion delivered to us in sharp details tru social media and TV, it’s hard to ignore. And so, it was a natural conversation to be able to do something about it even in a small way. On a full-moon evening a few days ago, joining us at a beachside home for dinner was Matthew Wood, the German singer guest of Miranda Konstantiniduo who is here for a few days to shoot his latest music video. Sated with a good meal by the sea, we idly discussed a fund raising event with Matthew. We have been so engrossed with local politics and a looming election in just 2 months, that it was refreshing to talk about something bigger than our small world. Butch Carungay, seated in front of me, took the idea to heart and by the following day, he had the graphics for the event, and a ready rolodex of possible donors for the silent auction. Getting on board the following night was Carlo Cordaro, who happily lent us the second level of Asmara Resort. To complement Matthew, Cebuana singer Doods Osmena also will belt out a few songs. An impressive list of items for the silent auction is being compiled by Butch, composed of overnight stays at top resorts, artworks and furniture pieces from named artists.  We will post a list on the day of event. 

German singer Matthew Wood

Asmara Urban Resort and Lifestyle Village

Ribbon designed by Butch Carungay for guests at the fund raising event

It is sponsored by Zee Publications Inc., in our first foray after having been dormant during the pandemic and typhoon Odette. Zee will soon be launching a new artsy printed magazine called Eatz Cebu! 

This Friday, March 25, at 6pm, we open the doors of Asmara Urban Resort (see map) for this fundraising where we hope you can join us by donating a minimum of $50 to the World Central Kitchen directly at https://wck.org/donate. It will be an evening of fun and fundraising, and entry is tru an email or digital receipt of your donation. 


On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. By February 25, 2022, Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen (WCK) was on the ground serving free wholesome meals to those fleeing the violence. Chef Andrés and his volunteers have already served more than one million meals to Ukrainian refugees, from basements, train stations, and shelters. Still, cooking and distributing food in a war zone comes with unique challenges. “We began operations…over two weeks ago inside Lviv,” says Andrés. “The last two days we saw some missiles falling down. So, the western side of Ukraine, that actually was a safe haven for many Ukrainians leaving war, is already kind of feeling like the war is getting closer.” For Andrés, it’s a humanitarian necessity and a call he answers. “The least we can do at World Central Kitchen is be next to them – making sure they will be fed every day.”


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