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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!


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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