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Women Who Mold Men

by Allain Dumon Fonte

One of my favorite professors, Dr. Fredrick Boholst, once joked that “if there is a god, he must be a man; otherwise, the world will not be as chaotic as it is now.”  As an advocate of equality, I really did not know how to react, at first; but, I eventually laughed realizing that the joke came from a man.

It was not too long ago that in the Philippines women were not even allowed to go to school.  The highly paternal culture in Asia has classified women in to the role of family support, and not in nation building.  I remember how my great-grandmother, Rosario Acosta y Nacua, told me that she almost could not find a husband; just for being one of the first women in her town in Daan Bantayan, Cebu to obtain a university degree.  With her degree in education from the Cebu Normal School (now, Cebu Normal University), she expected to land a teaching job in the city.  However, she was appointed to teach in the mountain-barangay-schools in Pulang Bato.  She said that she had to spend her weekdays in the school, and was literally living inside her classroom, to save the 600 meters hike uphill and downhill to and from the main road in Pit-os.  Weekends were her only time with the family.  By the time she got married, my great-grandmother was convinced by her parents to stop teaching, so she could be a good wife to my great-grandfather.  Eventually, she became a homemaker and raised seven children.  That was the life that most women had back then.

Now, a lot has changed, and many women have infiltrated the education sector; and, even leading it.  Women leaders are more aggressive but have calculated risks when it comes to decision making, this is how the associate vice-president of the MD Adamson Cancer Center, Dr. Elizabeth Travis, perceives women leaders.  According to Dr. Travis that women have already outnumbered men in the academia; thus, it is expected for women to start leading it.

The University of San Carlos, the oldest school in the Philippines, used to be a male-concentrated institution because it was a formation school for future priests as Colegio de San Idelfonso; then, Colegio-Seminario de San Carlos.  In 1948, Colegio-Seminario de San Carlos became the University of San Carlos, and since then has accepted women students.  Because the university is run by priests of the Society of the Divine Word, the management and academic leaders were used to be monopolized by men.  But, Because of USC’s commitment to gender equity, there have been an increasing number of female faculty members.  And now, for the first time in the history of USC, the university has an all-women academic dean team.

For the past years, the USC schools have been ranked as the Centers of Development and Centers of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education and the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities.  Hence, these women leaders, committed to service, have proven that women power can bring USC to farther heights in academic excellence.  Let us get to meet these women who set the bars higher for USC.

(photo from the University of San Carlos website)

Delia E. Belleza

Dean, School of Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. Belleza is an alumna of USC, where she completed her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social psychology.  She obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Social Psychology from the University of the Philippines in Diliman.  She has conducted researches in culture social psychology and adolescent studies.  The Department of Psychology, under the School of Arts and Social Sciences, has produced topnotch graduates in the National Psychology and Psychometric Board Examinations, and has been ranked as the 3rd best university to study psychology by the Professional Regulations Commission; basing from the passing percentage of the licensure exams.


(photo from the University of San Carlos website)

Melanie Banzuela-de Ocampo

Dean, School of Business and Economics

Dr. de Ocampo holds a master’s degree in management from the University of the Philippines and completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration from the University of San Carlos.  Prior to joining the academia, Dr. de Ocampo is a veteran in the financial management industry.  Dr. de Ocampo’s research expertise is on Managerial Finance, Strategic Planning, Marketing Strategy, Educational Technology, and Curriculum Development.  The School of Business and Economics is ranked as Center of Excellence for Business Administration, Office Administration, and Entrepreneurship programs.  The SBE has a 100% passing rate in the accountancy board examinations in 2017.

(photo from the University of San Carlos website)

Margret Rosario

Dean, School of Architecture, Fine Arts, and Design

Architect Rosario specializes in design and planning for hospital and medical facilities.  She currently became the dean of the school of architecture, fine arts, and design in July 2019.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of San Carlos, and has a master’s degree in architectural drafting from the Cebu Technological University.  Architect Rosario is a fellow of the United Architects of the Philippines.  USC ranks as the second best university to study architecture basing from the passing percentage of the National Architecture Board examinations in 2019; with a passing rate of 89.96%.

Rita May Tagalog

Dean, School of Education

Dr. Rita May Tagalog lectures on educational development, computer-supported learning systems, and teaching strategies. She has an accounting degree; and, holds a master’s degree in education with a focus on special education from USC. She completed her Doctor of Education degree, with focus on Instructional Systems and Resource Management, from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She attended a professional certificate program in Inclusive Education at the University of Queensland in Australia; and, participated in a 40-day-teacher-exchange program at the School of Education and Communication at Jönköping University in Sweden, under the Linnaeus-Palme International Exchange Program. The USC’s School of Education is ranked as a Center of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education since 1998. The School of Education is the home of the Department of Science and Mathematics Education and the Department of Teacher of Education.

Yolanda Chua Deliman

Dean, School of Healthcare Professions

Professor Deliman has served the University of San Carlos as the academic pharmacist prior to becoming the Dean of the School of Healthcare Professions.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of San Carlos and holds a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences.  She is also a full time professor in the Department of Pharmacy on research courses.  Professor Deliman is widely published in the fields of Cytotoxic Studies and Genotoxic Studies.  Professor Deliman has been working on a partnership with the USC’s Department of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Studies in Okayama University, Japan.  The Department of Pharmacy and the Department of Nursing are both accredited as Level III by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities.

Evelyn B. Taboada

Dean, School of Engineering

Dr. Taboada is  also the Director for the Bioprocess Engineering and Research Center in the University of san Carlos.  She is an alumna of USC, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.  She completed her master’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.  In 2001, Dr. Taboada went to the Netherlands to pursue further studies in biotech and bioprocess engineering at the Delft University of Technology, where she received her master’s degree and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biochemical Engineering.  Dr. Taboada works on research themes on biotechnology, bioprocess, and technoprenuership.   The School of Engineering in USC has six Level II FAAP-accredited programs through PAASCU evaluation. The seven programs (Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Electronics, Industrial, and Mechanical Engineering) have attained full accreditation from the Philippine Technological Council, reflecting global standards conforming to the Washington Accord. The Commission on Higher Education has also designated two Centers of Excellence and five Centers of Development in the School of Engineering.

(photo from the University of San Carlos website)

Joan S. Largo

Dean, School of Law and Governance

Atty. Joan Largo is a senior partner at the Cebu office of Romulo Law Firm.  She is a professor of Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Torts and Damages.  She has also conducted researches on Litigation and Arbitration, Labour and Immigration, and Corporate and Family laws.  Atty. Largo authored the book “Laws and Jurisprudence on Torts and Damages” and co-authored the book “Beyond Outcomes Accreditation” with William Spady.  She graduated magna cum laude in 1995 with the bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of San Carlos.  As a recipient of the R.H. Goeping Foundation full scholarship, Atty. Largo studied juris doctor at USC, and graduated cum laude and class valedictorian.  Atty. Largo has been given due credit for making the USC School of Law and Governance as one of the top laws school in the country, and was conferred by the Legal Education Board with an Award for Excellence in Legal Education. USC School of Law and Governance has produced topnotch graduates in the Philippine Bar examinations successively in the past six years.


Since 1595, well-respected men in the field of education have managed the university and brought it to its glory.  Now, we welcome these dedicated women in the hall of USC’s great men.  Once again, USC has proven to be an institution of true liberal education.


EXCLUSIVE: Never Been Released Behind-the-Scenes photos of Zee Lifestyle’s Emerald Issue Cover Shoot

Photographer Jan Gonzales, Margie Lhuillier, June Alegrado, Kryz Uy, Mia Arcenas, Amparito Lhuillier and Alice Woolbright

We celebrate the strength and resilience of womanhood in this year’s Mother’s Day by looking back at these never been seen before behind-the-scenes shots of  Zee Lifestyle Magazine’s Emerald (20th Anniversary) Issue cover shoot featuring the “Leading Women” of Cebu.



To celebrate the 20 beautiful years of Zee Lifestyle as the ultimate source of lifestyle news in Cebu, we handpicked 12 strong and stylish women of Cebu from every age group. These women show us that independently building one’s strength of character and living one’s passion knows no age. From the beginning, Zee has always been empowering women, providing the Cebuanas a platform to express their beauty and confidence, share their passions, engage in economic and political participation which yields to viewing women with equality and respect that we deserve.

photography Jan Gonzales
creative director Melo Esguerra
art director Doro Barandino
sittings editor Shari Quimbo
beauty director Romero Vergara
makeup Arnauld, Janice Barillo and Nicko dela Peña
hair Jessie Egos and Jake Arias
fashion styling Clint Potestas
production assistants Patty Taboada and Katrina Labra
locale Marco Polo Plaza Hotel Cebu

Twelve women, two sets and one afternoon. That is how the Zee Lifestyle team decided to celebrate the title’s 20th anniversary issue—with a challenge that, in some ways, is one of our biggest productions yet.

The idea came along when publisher Eva Gullas and editor-at-large Melo Esguerra were discussing a cover story that would best represent the magazine’s history. From commissioning artistic depictions on Cebu to playing with the anniversary’s emerald theme, no idea had stuck until Melo suggested putting a series of women who had already been on the cover of Zee, again on the cover all together.

Oj Hofer and Margot Osmeña

Kryz Uy

Coming up with the list of names, of course, was no small feat. Our covers from the last 20 years have included several strong personalities—from philanthropists and politicians, to actors, and names to soon watch out for, our pages have seen them all. The challenge, then, was to come up with a list of women who had been driving forces in their respective fields when they had first appeared on the cover, and remain as powerful players even today.

Amparito Lhuillier, Kryz Uy, Alice Woolbright, Margot Osmeña and June Alegrado all wearing MIRANDA KONSTANTINIDOU

Photographer Jan Gonzales and creative director Melo Esguerra

With input from editors, both past and present, we rounded up 12 women from different age groups, fields and industries, who are all strong and passionate at whatever it is they do—Amparito Lhuillier, who remains the doyenne of Cebu society as a picture of elegance and class with her continuing efforts in business and social causes; the always-stylish Marguerite Lhuillier, herself an example of sophistication in all her efforts, whether business or otherwise; Margot Osmeña, who as a Cebu City Councilor has spearheaded many urban projects directed for the betterment of living in the city; hospitality mavens June Alegrado and Alice Woolbright, who are deeply involved in the rise of their brands, Bluewater properties and Beverly Hotel, respectively; Christina Garcia Frasco, the current Lilo-an Mayor advocating impressively progressive efforts in the area; former model Fiona King, now a major player in homegrown real estate with projects like Bloq Residences; the fitness enthusiast Danessa Onglatco who has espoused wellness with the opening of Yogahub; restaurateur Carla Yeung-McKowen who is behind the city’s hottest dining outlet, The Pig & Palm; designer Mia Arcenas, whose signature resort wear and accessories are representative of Cebu’s laid back lifestyle; Kym Maitland-Smith, who juggles efforts in swimsuit design through SOLTI Activewear and is building awareness for the vegan lifestyle; and Kryz Uy, whose online presence was a strong one even before fashion blogs were on anyone’s radar.

Kymberly Maitland-Smith

Makeup Artist Romero Vergara, June Alegrado and Hair Stylist Jessie Egos

An impressive bunch, for sure. These women properly embody the characteristics that Zee Lifestyle looks for in one who makes the cover—beauty, yes, but also elegance coupled with individuality, and always a strong drive to succeed in whatever efforts they are directed.

This, it turns out, was the fitting tribute to the years Zee has been Cebu’s premier lifestyle bible, as well as a sign of the things forthcoming. Our 12 cover stars may have been on our pages before, but if their current efforts are any indication, our pages will continue to see more of them in the future. And as continuing purveyors of what Cebu has to offer, Zee Lifestyle will happily be seeing them in the years to come.

FROM LEFT Marguerite wears CARY SANTIAGO; June wears PHILIP RODRIGUEZ; Mia wears MIA ARCENAS; Kryz wears ELIZABETH HALLIE; Amparito wears MONIQUE LHUILLIER; Alice wears PHILIP RODRIGUEZ; Fiona wears VANIA ROMOFF; Margot wears PHILIP RODRIGUEZ; Danessa wears OJ HOFER; Carla wears ALICE+OLIVIA; Christina wears DINO LLOREN

(This article had already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s December 2016 Emerald Issue, “Leading Women” on pages 140-155.)

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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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After the Razzmatazz and Razzle-dazzle: Post-Sinulog Thoughts

by Chrissy Grey Resaba

Buntings of red and yellow were removed from post to post. Streets were cleared and cleaned. Fireworks displays were faded in the sky. Beats of #prititit and tunes of tourism-booster Cebu tracks were being put to archive once again.

Contingents from different parts of Cebu and Central Visayas had gone back home. Party people had gone sober while some are still recovering. Traffic has gone back to normal. Businesses, as well, has gone back to normal.

However, all the fun and loud chants, smooth grooves, and frenzied choreographies are still replaying from the memory banks of the people who celebrated Sinulog 2020. The queen of all festivals in the Philippines has left again another mark of cultural and festive nostalgia to the people from all parts of the world and Cebuanos alike.

After all the razzmatazz and razzle-dazzle, let’s get to know what are these IG and FB personalities’ #PostSinulogThoughts about celebrating the newly-culminated Sinulog 2020 and how did they differentiate it to last year’s.


Eva Patalinjug

Eva Psychee Patalinjug, Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2018 @evapatalinjug

I celebrated my Sinulog with my boyfriend and some of my close friends, we decided to choose a place where it’s not very crowded where we can see the whole Cebu, talk, and chill the night away. We went to Verified Lounge – Cebu’s newest premier sky lounge – located at the rooftop of the Avenir Building. It was something new for me as the night was calm as I was away from the busy streets of Cebu. It’s definitely one way of enjoying such festivities.


Kim Covert

Kim Covert @kimcovert

The Sinulog celebration this year has been one of the most memorable events in my life. Not only was I invited to perform a few of my own songs during the weekend’s festivities but I also turned over my Binibining Cebu Tourism crown to my successor. Last year, I was busy with work and was not able to completely grasp the events. This year’s festival was more organized which is a great success for Cebu. Many have flown in and had spent time with their families in the “Pit Senyor” spirit, others have enjoyed spending time off with friends and colleagues. It was a great way for me to start my New Year and close my Cebu chapter before I leave to the US in a week.


Alem Garcia

Alem Garcia @thealemgarcia

Well pretty much, I was still busy doing shows and events for Sinulog. But what made it different this year was the religious celebration made me believe even more that Sto. Niño is indeed miraculous and that He is meant to be celebrated. Even though you are successful in your chosen field, furthermore, everything will be meaningless if you do not have the faith.

Philip Pingoy


Philip Pingoy @almostablogger

We all have a Sinulog story to tell. It may be a story of losing faith and finding hope. But what is important is our devotion to the Holy Child Jesus (Señor. Sto. Niño). This year, my Sinulog experience was very different since I am already based in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the internet I was still able to watch the mass and all the festivities in Cebu. I am in UK because I prayed to Sto. Niño. So, let us not forget the reason we celebrate Sinulog and let us continue to share to the rest of the world why Sinulog is the grandest festival in the Philippines. Pit Senyor everyone! I hope you had a good one!


Lyssa Amor

Lyssa Amor @lyssaamor

Sinulog celebrates Filipinos’ acceptance of Christianity. This year, I celebrated Sinulog by hearing the word of God. I went to church which I do every Sinulog but the difference now is that I am not in Cebu. It’s my first time to celebrate Sinulog away from home because I’m currently in Japan. Although I didn’t dance the traditional Sinulog dance this year, I wasn’t able to watch the fireworks in Ayala, and didn’t spend time with my friends in Mango and IT Park. Snr. Sto. Niño will always be in my heart and I am forever grateful that our ancestors accepted Christianity and we continue to embrace it up until today.


Kevin Geniston @kgeniston

Sinulog will always be a highlight for me as a Cebuano. This year has been fulfilling as I was able to brave the crowd in the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu three times to attend the novena mass which had also become like bonding time with my family, daughter, friends and loved ones. I ended the celebration of the Sinulog festivities with a bit of the usual partying and/or clubbing.

Carlo Olano

Carlo Andrew Olano @kalamicebu

My Sinulog this year was a great mix of religious and secular activities. I was able to go to the church and somehow witnessed the Traslacion and the fluvial procession. I also went to many side events like parties, mall events, and fireworks exhibitions. Sinulog 2020 had a fantastic balance of fun, faith, and festivities.


Danna Bacolod

Danna Bacolod @dannabacolod

This is the second time I spent Sinulog with Cebu Pacific. We had series of events prepared during its entire week and participated the grand parade by having a float last Sunday. I always feel excited to join Sinulog Grand Parade and see a lot of people celebrating their own way of Sinulog along the streets of Cebu. Guess it’s safe to say that I had so much fun. Even if this was work-related, I didn’t feel like I’m actually working as it was always joyful doing events like these.


Nimo Scheming

Nimo Hideki @nimo_scheming

You prolly knew this already but, Sinulog 2020 was by far the most phenomenal Sinulog experience: more laidback than the previous years’. The music in every corner of the streets were still there to help you let loose and enjoy the experience. The surge of people had tested you both mentally and physically. But it was an experience you cannot miss like mingling with people from different walks of life and shouting out “Pit Senyor” to everyone. Summing up my Sinulog experience, I was able to get crazy and enjoy all aspects of the fest.


Michael Rey

Michael Rey @michaelsomewhere

I had the most relaxed Sinulog experience this year. I did not party and preferred to witness the grand parade instead. I do think that this year’s celebration was more colorful and much safer as establishments strictly abided the rules imposed by the Cebu City Government. I was also amazed at how the festival of fashion here in Cebu has evolved throughout the years.

Now, how about you? What are your #PostSinulogThoughts this Prititit 2020? Viva Pit Senyor!

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