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Take a Closer Look at the Stunning Couture Wedding Dresses of The Brides At Triton Fashion Show

photography by Ephraim Basbas

The wedding industry, together with twenty of Cebu’s leading as well as emerging fashion designers just made a glorious comeback in one magnificent fashion show, The Brides at Triton last March 12, 2022 at the Triton Grand Ballroom of the only 5-star premier resort & water park in the Philippines, Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark Cebu, in partnership with Danny Villarante, Emi Ayag and Cary Santiago.

Let’s take a closer look at the exquisite bridal couture dresses showcased at the fashion show:

Anthony Romoff

Anthony Romoff

Arnu Poe Camay

Arnu Poe Camay

Cary Santiago

Cary Santiago

Cary Santiago

Cary Santiago

Dexter Alazas

Dexter Alazas

Dino Lloren

Dino Lloren

Edwin Alba

Edwin Alba

Edwin Ao

Edwin Ao

Edwin Ao

Hanz Coquilla

Hanz Coquilla

Harley Ruedas

Harley Ruedas

Jun Escario

Jun Escario

Marichu Tan

Marichu Tan

Mel Maria

Mel Maria

Mike Yapching

Mike Yapching

A tribute was made for Philip Rodriguez’ 40th year in the fashion industry

Philip Rodriguez

Philip Rodriguez

Philipp Tampus

Philipp Tampus

Protacio

Protacio

Rei Escario

Rei Escario

Ronald Enrico

Ronald Enrico

Valerie Alvez

Valerie Alvez

Wendell Quisido

Wendell Quisido

 

 

 

Events

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.”

SOURCE: MSNBC

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Events

Inside Scoops at Cebu Art Week 2021

Post-Art Affair

By Emcee Go

On a rainy evening last Thursday, the first ever The Visayas Art Fair opened with fanfare, attended by art collectors, political personalities headed by Governor Gwen Garcia and Mayor Mike Rama, and big a crowd of Cebuanos.  The well attended 4-day event at the Montebello Hotel was an initiative of the Cebu Design Week (CDW) Inc., in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, the Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 1985 Foundation and the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation.

Ronald Ventura’s obra was the opening wall of the exhibit.

Celebrated artist Ronald Ventura at the Cuevas Retrospective.

A separate hall was created purposely to house art galleries from Cebu, Manila and Bacolod. Qube Gallery headlined with an impressive body of work by Cebuano artist Anton Quisumbing and Sio Montera.  Quisumbing, noted for his metallic sculpture of churches, showed his latest collection with flat renditions of his otherwise 3D works, a series of architecturally defined lines that evoke his many churches.  On one side of Qube was a booth with paintings done by UP Fine Arts students while on the other side stood a huge painting done by Bacolod-based Charlie Co, titled Lukbo (reportedly priced at 4M). Project Orange, the Bacolod based collective, was well represented, as well as from Manila, among them Metro Gallery where a Dino Gabito painting of a monotone drape was sold early on.  Brisk sales were done as art lovers mingled with a surge of curious crowd who were there mainly for their IG feeds.

A trio of masters (left to right): landscapes by Fernando Amorsolo, Martino Abellana and Romulo Galicano from a private collection

Across the hall beyond the main driveway, in the central lobby, quietly facing the food stall of Tinderbox and Chocolates, a display wall featuring a Fernando Amorsolo, Martino Abellana and Romulo Galicano stood unguarded behind a large canvas of Ronald Ventura. Collectively, these 4 painting would be the Mona Lisa of the exhibit.  The elusive Mr. Ventura famously sold an artwork titled “Party Animal” at Christie’s Live Auction in Hong Kong for a cool 120 million pesos recently.

Melo Esguerra, Laurie Boquiren, Qube Gallery’s Mariz Holopainen and Charlie Co against Charlie’s red clown painting.

Late in the afternoon, an open auction of art pieces was going on — with jaw dropping figures of several zeros casually being thrown around, including another Gabito canvas that allegedly banged for 2M. Looking at the auction list, one wag was prompted to comment — I don’t know any of these art collectors, all names with 2 or 3 letters!

Congressman Toff de Venecia, architect Buck Sia, Esperanza Garcia and Butch Carungay

Other activities were on hand. The finalists of Miss Cebu 2022 were presented during a fashion show that featured the locally woven hablon creations of Dexter Alazas.  Another fashion show by FIDA students got rained on and had to transfer indoors. Both were staged to perhaps attract the otherwise uninclined art audience, a laudable enough reason. Seen downing several goblets of celebratory Moët was CDW’s Butch Carungay, together with Congressman Toff de Venecia who was on hand to talk about his creative industry initiatives in Congress, and Isa Garcia, perhaps eyeing more artwork for her dad Winston Garcia’s old masters.

The last, and best attraction of the Cebu Art Fair, at least in the opinion of this magazine, was the impressive pavilion housing the Tito Cuevas retrospective.  The modernist Cebuano artist operated for many decades at his humble home near the Cebu Capitol. Cuevas passed away in 2012. This would be the first time his body of work is displayed, and the scope and breath of his genius is impressive, largely undiscovered except to his avid collectors. In this exhibit, 2 paintings of  self portrait was a fun and irreverent play of colors and multiple heads with different expressions, part of the artist collection now belonging to his family. The 36 x 36 canvases are currently priced at P990,000. A large part of the Cuevas exhibit is owned by art-lover Michael Dino and his wife Christine.  Dino has been buying the Cuevas for some time, and now his more than 20 artworks anchors this retrospective.  “This is his last work and remains unfinished”, Christine Dino explained when asked why the huge splash of orange and yellow canvas was in prominent position.

Noted art collector Michael Dino and wife Christine has been collecting Cuevas for a long time.

Michael Dino is in a unique position to pull off this feat.  As the Presidential Advisor in Cebu, he has at his disposal the many government agencies needed to help.  Add to that his genuine love of collecting art, and access to the city’s only estate hotel, Montebello. “It was a collective effort,” he answered when we congratulated him. “Have you seen the wall of our next project,” he further tells us.  This would be CICAD, the exciting new chapter of Michael Dino’s passion with art. But that would have to be another story.

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Events

A Tale of Two Queens

Cebu’s Conquest to the Universe

By Allain Dumon Fonte

There are only two worldwide events that could stop traffic in the entire country.  First is a Pacquaio boxing match, the second is when a Filipina outshines other ladies in the Miss Universe pageant.  The Miss Universe beauty pageant is one of the longest running and most prestigious beauty pageant.  The Philippine candidates are to look forward to because for the past 10 years, our representatives always make it to the cut; not to mention winning 2 crowns in the last decade.

However, in the long history of the pageant, there were only 2 Cebuanas that represented the Philippines.  The veteran and multi-awarded actress Pilar Delilah Veloso Pilapil-Penas, from Lilo-an, Cebu, represented the Philippines in the 1967 Miss Universe.

Young Pilar Pilapil in the 1967 Miss Universe pageant.

And in the 2019 Miss Universe pageant, the Philippines was represented by supermodel Gazini Christiana Jordi Acopiado Ganados, from Talisay City, Cebu; where she was a Top 20 finalist, and she bagged the “Best in National Costume” award.  Her national costume was designed by Cebuana primier créature de mode, Cary Santiago.

Gazini Ganados at the 2019 Miss Universe pageant, wearing a golden gown and a National Costume by Cary Santiago.  Photos grabbed from Good News Pilipinas.

Will a Cebuana represent the Philippines this year?  Today, the 30th of September 2021, in Panglao Island, Bohol, a Filipina will be crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2021 and she shall represent our nation in Israel.  Almost all pageant enthusiasts and pageant fans have set their eyes on the two Cebuanas in the pageant.  One was widely talked about with her fierce runway challenge, while the other one was greatly applauded with her heart-warming and witty self-introduction.  And after the preliminary pageant last Sunday, everyone is now confused who to put their bets on.  One made waves as she struts in her swimwear, while the other one raised the bar higher as she promoted the rattan crafts by wearing it as her national costume.  So, who are these Cebuanas that the entire nation is crazy about?

Right:  Steffi Aberasturi  Left: Bea Gomez

Steffi Rose Pearson Aberasturi is representing the Province of Cebu, while Beatrice “Bea” Luigi Gomez represents Cebu City.  Both Steffi and Bea are front runners in this year’s pageant.  And with their participation, the Miss Universe Philippines pageant is getting more exciting for the Cebuanos.  Although, the two ladies are queens in their own rights because both have been crowned and have won major pageant events, they still have not escaped the scrutiny of this author.  I have consistently followed both ladies as they submitted their entries for the virtual challenges assigned to them by the MUP organization, and here is what I have to say.

First, beauty pageants now are neither looking for another pretty face, nor another witty woman, not even the next runway model.  Beauty pageants are now the venues of empowered women to express their thoughts freely while motivating other young women and girls.  They only do not represent their cities, but they also become the ambassadors of trade and goodwill, introducing their cities to the world.  Hence, for the Runway Challenge, I rated Steffi 9/10.  The over-all runway challenge video is almost perfect.  It showcased one of the achievements of the “Build, Build, Build” program of the government while giving a majestic view of the Cebu-Mactan Channel.  Steffi flawlessly floats on her every step at the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.  It was a very well-thought production, but mostly, well-implemented by showing to the world that Cebu Province is at par to the world’s most advanced places in technology and development.

Steffi Aberasturi on her runway challenge at the CCLEX.  Photo grabbed  from Sugbu.ph.

Second, beauty pageants are looking for woman of substance who has a sense of leadership and can motivate and empower other young women.  For this category, I am giving Bea 10/10.  Her self-introduction video is so natural and honest.  It showcased her genuine commitment to serve others as a Philippine navy reserved officer and in participating in adrenaline-raising sports for the benefit of disadvantaged children.  Bea also showcased her passion for extreme sports, showing that beautiful women are not only good with stiletto heels but are also up for a challenge in boxing and diving.

Bea Gomez in one of the missions of the reserve naval force.

Third, the MUP needs someone who can speak and is confident.  A beauty queen will use her voice to amplify the voices of those who do not have the opportunity to speak for themselves.  Basing on the preliminary interviews of the two ladies, I am giving Bea 6/10.  Her answers are correct but too safe that they are underwhelming and does not appeal strongly to the audience.  Steffi, on the other hand, stood very confident and charming during the interview and I am giving her a score of 8/10.  Steffi’s answers did not really hit the marks, her arguments are not that strong, but her confidence in her answers and in herself makes her responses convincing to those who are listening.

Steffi during the preliminary interview.

Lastly, as Miss Universe, you become an ambassador of the organization and of your country.  Therefore, you need to be your best, always, and you need to be able to carry yourself with pride.  This means, that when you enter a crowded room, you will be able to get everybody’s attention; and when you walk, you make heads turn in your every step.  For this criterion, I am scoring Bea 9/10 because of her formidable performance in the preliminary swimsuit and evening gown competition. The last time I got so excited for a pageant was when Janine Tugonon made that iconic turn and pose at the 2012 Miss Universe evening gown competition.  After seeing how Bea owned the runway in her swimwear performance, I am seeing another Janine Tugonon in the making!  However, Steffi is not that far behind.  Steffis’ charm and grace made her look regal in her evening gown.  But, I must say that she was just too sweet for the swimwear competition, she must bring back that fierce walk in the runway challenge for the swimwear competition.

Bea Gomez during the Preliminary Swimwear and Evening Gown Competition.  Photo grabbed from Pep.ph.

Steffi Aberasturi during the Preliminary Swimwear and Evening Gown Competition.  Photo grabbed from pep.ph.

Both Bea and Steffi are already making the Cebuanos proud.  Both of them are the crowd’s favorites, and we wish them the best for tonight’s Miss Universe Philippines grand coronation night.  The MUP coronation event will be streaming live at Iconique Mall’s roof deck dining area.  Show your support to these Cebuanas and don’t miss to watch the Miss Universe Philippines 2021.

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