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The Weekender

With a constant need for mobility, Paco Rodriguez takes a weekend off from the urban jungle that is Manila and gives us a tour of his home.

With a constant need for mobility, Paco Rodriguez takes a weekend off from the urban jungle that is Manila and gives us a tour of his home.

I was introduced Rodriguez a while back at one of the hotspots of the Cebuano nightlife, and like most introductions, there’s not much that comes after you learn someone’s name. Presumptions and youth stereotypes usually fill in the gaps–privileged kid that dresses casually to draw little attention to himself, living in one of the gated communities of the community, attended high school at a Chinese Catholic institution, and takes a business course in one of the country’s better universities. And yes, Paco does like cars and sports, and hangs out with the same circle of friends he grew up with, but a brief chat over brunch revealed there’s so much more to him.

Paco admits that he can’t stay put. “I always need to find something to do. I’m not the type of person who can just sit down and do nothing.” An attitude most likely developed from an early start at go-karting when he was just three. “I asked my dad to get me a motorbike for my birthday. When I turned four, I joined my first motorcross competition. After a couple of years, my dad decided to let me race go-karts instead of motorbikes because they’re safer. I joined my first go-kart race when I was six years old.”

In turn, Paco spent this time in the company of an older crowd of enthusiasts, including local TV star and Cebu native Matteo Guidicelli, and one of Zee Lifestyle’s go-to photographers Jan Gonzales. Acquaintances are one thing, but Paco grew close enough to be a test subject for Jan at his studio. The photo, done in Jan’s signature style, rests on his nightstand in his Cebu bedroom, next to catalogs of luxury watches that Paco hopes to build a collection of when he gets older. With hardwood floors and white walls, the bedroom is minimal but cozy and, unlike most guys his age, clean. “I get a little obsessive about it, so things are always kept in order.” On the opposite side of the room, the TV console displays various items with the underlying motif of motion: boats, planes and cars collected throughout his childhood. The fluorescent helmet is what he used when he was racing. “Since I was little, me and my dad always went to the beach to go sailing, jet skiing and island hopping,” hence the large sailboat, a present from his  father that takes up most of the surface.

“I need to be out of my house  at least once during the day to really function, even just to drive around. Sometimes I drive for leisure. I find that it relaxes me.” Considering the size of his house, he really could just drive around it. You would think  the sheer massiveness of a place this big might cause anyone to get a little lonely, but that isn’t the case at all. Paco’s bedroom is in the same wing as those of his cousins, who are constantly popping in and out of the different rooms.

When he is being a homebody, Paco spends his time inside the coral room, watching movies and playing video games, or by the pool with his friends. At times, he indulges in his hidden passion, cooking and baking. How could he not, with a kitchen like this? Marble countertops, state-of- the-art equipment and a collection of enough cutlery, fine china and other dining accessories to fit any theme. Of course, a great kitchen belongs in a house built for entertaining. This one definitely is, with two dining rooms,  a formal one used for large family dinners during the holidays and one for everyday use, and a balcony with a large iron table where brunch was served. From there, you can appreciate the scenic view of the city set against a clear blue sky and framed by tall coconut  trees in front of the lush garden.

With a life and home as  luxurious as this, it poses the question of how Paco stays so humble. “I  never thought that material things  are something to be proud of. Ever since I was a kid, my parents brought me up to always remember to keep myself grounded no matter what.” As Paco returns to Manila to continue  his studies, rest assured the Cebuano youth is well represented by him.

  • by David Jones Cua
  • photography by Homer Medici


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!

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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. 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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