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Your Chocolate Fantasies Came True at Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu

Chocolate is not simply some piece of dessert you’re willing to gain weight for, but for most people, it’s probably a safe space, a calming therapy, or maybe just a tight warm hug. Food, especially desserts, always have a special place in our hearts, especially in our stomachs!

If you’re one with a sweet tooth, you’ve probably been in love with anything made out of chocolate. May it be bittersweet, tangy, nutty, or surprising you with an unusual filling, any chocolate is set to make your day. We’ve all dreamed of a day where you’d get a whole new dining experience that’s made entirely out of your favorite chocolate—wouldn’t that be a treat?

One whole day dedicated to all things cocoa-based which is loved by all, whether you’re the white chocolate type or the 85% dark chocolate type, it’s a time of gathering, all for the love of sweet tooth. If legends are believed to be true, World Chocolate Day is a celebration for when this succulent goodness was introduced to Europe in 1550. Chocolate then traveled the world and became a show stopper for all our desserts, shakes or smoothies (even in main dishes!), and then the rest is history.

When you’d get your mind running on about this sweet treat, you’d stop to think if it’s even worth the calories and fat you’re gonna gain from binge eating. However, contrary to popular belief, chocolate has health benefits! Losing all the guilt for eating chocolates is surely a way to go, as it is believed to be good for the heart, strengthens immunity, strengthens brain function, and soothes digestion, to name a few.

World Chocolate Day may probably be the best thing that’s ever happened to dessert enthusiasts, and what better way to celebrate this momentous occasion with unlimited chocolate! Last July 7, we made our way to Mövenpick Resort in Mactan Cebu and took part in their grandiose Chocolate Hour, where a parade of mouthwatering and melt-into-your-mouth chocolates were served to the guests for a whole hour.

The Chocolate Hour is one of the hotel’s brand signatures, open for guests daily in its hotel lobbies all around the world. It presents eating chocolate as a brand new experience. With live demonstrations by chefs from icing cakes to topping chocolate-inspired drinks, these complimentary chocolate treats echoes the Mövenpick brand vision, “we make moments”.

As it is a much over-the-top celebration with this Chocolate Hour coinciding with the international Chocolate Day, adults and kids alike feasted their eyes and their stomach on a buffet of chocolates. Topped with chocolate chips and caramel syrup, their chocolate pizza clearly stole the show from a number of chocolate drops and bars. It was a great concoction of a warm hearty pizza with a twist of chocolate’s sweet delight.

Staying true to its promise of extraordinary chocolate experience, chocolate ice cream on top of cotton candy, chocolate bars with curry filling, and french macaroons topped with any type of chocolate and caramel cream were also the key players in the game.

Mövenpick’s newest executive chef Jean Louis-Leon shared that the chocolate desserts served during the chocolate celebration were locally sourced from the country’s best tree-to-bar chocolates, the Malagos Chocolate. Choosing Malagos chocolate as the main ingredient apart from other locally available ones was because of how the chocolate can be made into different varieties of desserts and that one truly learns when working with chocolates like Malagos on treats as it makes these treats unique, shares Chef Jean Louis.

Apart from satisfying their taste buds with the chocolates, people were also crowding over the show area where the process of completing the chocolate dishes were presented to the awed audience.

“What the hotel used to do before was just putting cakes out for people, and people would help themselves, and that’s it. But what I want is action,” shares the executive chef on the changes to be expected from his onboarding.

What makes the Chocolate Hour experience more breathtaking is when chefs establish a connection with the audience and the audience actually sees how their food is made.

“Back then I would take time to explain to the people what I’m doing with the dish, explains Chef Jean. He adds, “It’s because once you explain the dish to the people, they will have a different vision.”

It’s relationships like these with food that truly needs commemorating, for chocolate is not simply some piece of dessert you’re willing to gain weight for, but for most people, it’s probably a safe space, a calming therapy, or maybe just a tight warm hug. Food, especially desserts, always have a special place in our hearts, especially in our stomachs!


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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