lifestyle

The latest from the Philippines Largest Pirate Themed Water Park

May 16, 2019

Last Saturday, 11 May 2019, the CDO Bloggers were hosted by Seven Seas Waterpark in Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental for our 2nd Quarter General Membership Meeting. Heartfelt thanks to Engr. Elpie Paras, president and CEO of UC-1 Corporation which owns and operates the waterpark for hosting our GMM. And taking time out of his busy schedule on top of that for a group interview with our members who attended to update us on recent and upcoming developments. “Our dream is to create a new tourist destination for Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao to put them in the world tourism map,” Elpie disclosed. “We want Seven Seas to be a world class destination, that is the idea.” “If we want to build something, is has to be up to par with other countries and that’s why we put in much detail in building our water park,” he added. Among its most popular attractions is the Cyclone, the green and blue funnel which is one of the biggest slides in the country today with a 20-meter diameter ride (bigger than Clark’s).  “We want our quality to be at par with other countries in safety standards and entertainment value.”   Great Expectations “So far I believe we have succeeded,” Paras said. “Even Dahilayan is now a mature tourism destination and we expect Seven Seas to follow suit and  become a major tourist node in Mindanao. Today most guests come not only for Cagayan de Oro but also from many cities in Mindanao.” He cited the very positive response to the recent foray of the Seven Seas marketing team in Davao recently to promote our two for P999 promo at SM. “For four straight days recently we had long queues in Limketkai and had to close early because we ran out of tickets!”   Bloggers He also cited how Bloggers are an important part of their marketing efforts and how totally sold UC-1 is to social media. “All our promos are always in social media and we will continue to do so not only because it is very inexpensive but is also viral in nature. One of our videos taken by Project Lupad already has over 5 million likes.”   Tour Packages. In addition to Seven Seas, Paras said UC-1 is now marketing its other tourism products and destinations: Great White Water Rafting Tours in the Cagayan River and Dahilayan Adventure Park together with  Seven Seas. You can book your tour packages at this site. “We are also encouraging companies to do their corporate team building here. This May 20 event with Concentrix will be good for 2,000 persons. That’s why they will have the whole park to themselves for the entire day and evening.”   Night Operations Social media has been abuzz lately about how Seven Seas could soon be open during evenings. “Since last year seniors and friends who do not like the heat of the sun have been requesting we open at night,” Paras admitted. “When we hosted a doctors’ convention recently we had to fast track  and re-outfit the park for night operations like installing more lights and safety features.” “We are planning to open for night operations very soon but don’t have a definite date yet. However, it will definitely be after Concentrix Family Day on May 20 which will be the entire day and evening and serve as a dry run  for our future night operations. Hopefully we can do this before the  end of the month.”   The Dream The pioneering entrepreneur who set up Cagayan de Oro’s first fast food burger shop, first Satellite TVRO (Television Receive Only), first cable TV network (among others) set up Seven Seas as another venue for guests and tourists to complete their weekend in Northern Mindanao. Billed as the first and largest Pirate themed water park in the Philippines, Seven Seas is also the 2nd biggest water park in the Philippines (after Clark) and can accommodate up to 2,000 visitors daily but already had crowds of up to 3,000 in 2018. A project of UC-1 Corporation, the holding company of the Paras Group of Companies including Dahilayan, Parasat, et al., it is the biggest investment so far for Paras group in terms of peso investments and total area.   Safeguards & Safety “You will notice we have many lifeguards around, nurses on duty all the time, a standby vehicle ready to transport to hospital. It’s very important we secure our guests safety.”   Maintenance Breaks Although Seven Seas is open daily for two months this summer for the peak season, it was shut down in January for one month for maintenance and repair. This will  henceforth be conducted annually but announced in advance. “We also conduct daily maintenance, mostly from 3AM to 10AM which is why we only operate from 10AM to 6PM,” Paras disclosed. “Some procedures are not good for guests since they involve harsh chemicals like acids and chlorine.”   Hijab for Muslim Women In response to a member from Marawi’s query about the use of the hijab by Muslim women guests, Paras said they have had no problem with this so far since their suggested attire include full body dry fit suits. “I have not seen anyone wearing hijab in the pools so far,” he added. “For rides we discourage the use of hijab since this could get entangled in the slides and cause accidents to the user.” Paras said they also  discourage the use of cotton garments especially for the rides since cotton has a tendency to stick when wet and guests can find themselves stuck in the slides. “We have suits for sale in our gift shop for guests who may not have bought the appropriate attire.” There were more upcoming developments discussed but these will have to be kept under wraps for now at Engr. Paras’ request. Meantime, you can bring the family to enjoy Seven Seas while the summer lasts since June is just around the corner. Huling Hirit Araw-Araw sa Seven Seas! Ahoy Mateys!

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Phoenix targets 20% LPG sales growth in VisMin

March 29, 2019

DAVAO City — Phoenix LPG Philippines, Inc., the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) unit of Dennis A. Uy’s listed firm Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc., is aiming to increase its sales by about 20% this year in the Visayas and Mindanao with the expansion of retail outlets.     In a press conference over the weekend, Evelyn T. Gerodias, general manager for the Visayas-Mindanao market of the Phoenix Super LPG brand, said this year’s growth target is higher than the 14% increase in volume it recorded last year in Visayas and Mindanao.     “(The 20%) increase is possible,” said Ms. Gerodias, noting that they have already started with a more aggressive marketing campaign with celebrity Sarah Geronimo as brand ambassador along with saturating existing distribution networks with their product.    Phoenix’s marketing strategy also highlights the German technology used for its LPG tanks to ensure safety and provide a simple installation and operation system for consumers.     Ms. Gerodias said Phoenix will be increasing its Phoenix Super Hub stores, currently at 30 nationwide, to reach more buyers.     The LPG product is also sold at Phoenix Petroleum’s gasoline stations and Grainsmart stores.     “We are trying to reach all households in the market,” she said.    Ms. Gerodias also said that the company is open to dealership deals, which would require about P10 million in capital expenditure.     Phoenix Petroleum, headquartered in Davao City, started its LPG subsidiary in 2017 when it bought the LPG business of Petronas Energy Philippines, Inc., a subsidiary of the Petronas Dagangan Berhad of Malaysia.

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DENR leads World Water Day 2019 celebrations

March 29, 2019

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is raising calls for greater water security for the country’s future needs, as it leads a weeklong activity to highlight the celebration of the 2019 World Water Day (WWD) on March 22 with focus on accessibility to clean water and sanitation as a basic human right.     This year’s WWD celebration will adopt the objective of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (ASD) which calls for concerted actions both on rich and poor countries to end poverty and tackle climate change while leaving no one behind.     A series of activities have been lined up nationwide from March 15- 31 to raise awareness about the importance of water and sustainable development, highlighting the 6th of the 17 Sustainable Goals of the 2030 ASD which is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030.     The activities center around the local theme “Hawak-Kamay, Tubig-Kaagapay” in support of the 2019 WWD’s international theme “Leaving No One Behind” which forms the core of the 2030 ASD.     Topping the weeklong celebration is the holding of the World Water Day Awards on March 22 and the launching of “The Battle for Esteros” on March 31 which will be highlighted by the simultaneous massive cleanup of some 65 esteros and waterways within the National Capital Region.     At the forefront of the cleanup are concerned barangay executives and their constituents linking up with officials and employees of the DENR, including those of the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Tourism, who will be deployed for the cleanup.     The award-giving event will honor some 20 individuals, institutions, and programs that made strides in achieving water and environment sustainability in the Philippines. It is to take place at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center, Quezon City.     Since 2015, a total of 54 “water champions” have been recognized which include leaders of indigenous peoples, community workers, media personalities, local government units and academe based organizations.     The following are the awards to be given out this year: KAVANTOG DO’T AWED (OvuManubo term for “Hero of the Water”); KaagapaysaTubigKanlungan; Kampeon ng Lawa; HuwarangLingkodTubig; Kampeon ng Katubigan; HuwarangLingkod; Planet-Wise Organization; Water Leadership Award; HuwarangAlagad ng Ilog Pasig; and Water Warrior Award for Advocacy Leadership and for Water Education.; and KaagapaysaTubigKanlungan.     Other activities lined up include launch of “Tubig Para saLahat”, a coffee table book and an exhibit at the DILG Central Office (March 18-22); Water Philippines 2019 Expo and Conference at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay (March 20-22); DPWH Cleanup and Hiking Activity in Mount Pulag National Park in Benguet (March 23-24) and 20-kilometer bike tour and cleanup “Padyak Para saKatubigan” from the DENR Central office in Quezon City to the Navotas Centennial Park in Navotas City.    The 2019 WWD kicked-off with Water Fair and SiningIpoSungka Tournament held in Taytay, Rizal last March 15.     Meanwhile, other activities already conducted in various parts of the country in consonance with WWD include the following: DILG and NWRB information and education campaign dubbed “Nangangalaga ng Water Resources ng Bansa in Lipa, Batangas on March 18;“PistasaTubig: Water and Green Enterprises Fair in Gen. Nakar, Quezon last March 19;Mangrove Planting and Cleanup in Kawit, Cavite and Pututan, Muntinlupa, March 16 and 19;“DaloyDunong + BuhayKyut” in Ramos, Tarlac and Baliuag, Bulacan; ARTIVISM at the DENR Central Office; Forum on “The Philippines Water Sector: Gaps and Opportunities at Joy Nastalg Hotel Manila in Pasig, March 20; and “National Water Summit at Novotel Manila Araneta Center Hotel in Quezon City, March 21.

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Little Me Academy Launches ACADEME Philippine Online High School

October 22, 2018

The Grand Launch is slated for 5PM at the Centrio Mall Activity Center with Singer-Songwriter and Education Advocate T.J. Monterde as Guest of Honor and Performer. However, the ACADEME exhibit will be open to all guests from 10AM to 9PM.   Through a partnership with QUIPPER, a Japan-based e-learning platform, APOHS ensures the highest quality digital curriculum that is rigorous, engaging and aligned to Philippine's K-12 Basic Education Curriculum.   The school's structure ensures flexibility, accessibility, and affordability, which are ideal for the present-day, independent, Filipino learner.   Little Me Academy's Chief Education Officer, Teacher Ramonette Olandesca, notes a large percentage of high-school age students and a considerable number of adults lack access to high school education due to several personal limitations, including location, work, and physical ability.   "Today, Filipinos seeking high school education come from all sorts of backgrounds - local talents engaged in outside pursuits, children who frequently travel with their families, housebound or working students, and so much more," said Teacher Ram.   "It is difficult or nearly impossible for the traditional, brick-and-mortar classroom to accommodate these learners,' she noted. "But in an online learning environment, these limitations - from location to physical ability, from availability to age - are overcome." The school's online structure ensures accessibility and flexibility for Filipino students, allowing them to complete coursework in any place and at an time.   A supportive community of specially trained instructors and counsellors help keep students on track with daily reminders, check-ins, tutoring, live instruction and corrective feedback.   Additionally, a strong sense of community and connections are made possible through mandatory, weekly online meetings and in-person meet-ups.   "With this," Teacher Ram said, "the APOHS learner gains not just the intellectual profits of a high school education, but the social and emotional growth of a complete high school experience."    Little Me Academy has made a name for itself as a caring, familial environment amongst its students.   "We are imparting that to the online school through personal communications made possible through mandatory, weekly online meetings and in-person meet-ups," Teacher Ram said. "With this, the APOHS learner gains not just the intellectual profits of a high school education, but the social and emotional growth of a complete high school experience."   Although the program appeals to independent learners and builds on student freedom, instructors remain an integral part to the curriculum. Specially trained instructors and counsellors provide daily reminders, check-ins, tutoring, live instruction and corrective feedback.   APOHS students have the freedom to complete their 100% online coursework wherever they are in the world, ensuring accessibility for Filipino students from around the globe.   Because lessons are modular, learners can work whenever they want and at their own pace. This is helpful for students who have fallen behind, optimal for those who want to get ahead, and accessible for any Filipino learner.   "The faculty and staff at APOHS are highly qualified educators passionate about teaching, having undergone rigorous training for years at Little Me Academy," said Teacher Ram. "Little Me-an teachers are known throughout CDO for their dynamism, creativity, and outstanding communication skills. They'll bring that and more to the online school setting with tutoring, live instruction, corrective feedback, daily reminders, and check-ins."   Socialization is also taken into account at the school. Personal connections and communications are made possible through mandatory, weekly online meetings and in-person meet-ups. "With this," Teacher Ram said, "the APOHS learner gains not just the intellectual profits of a high school education, but the social and emotional growth of a complete high school experience." (StarPod.PH/Buma Dimate)

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El Circulo ZamboangueƱo de Cagayan de Oro celebrates 61st Fiesta Pilar

October 16, 2018

Luis “Chito” Potenciano, one of the head coordinators of the over six decades old association of families who originated from Zamboanga, then known as “The City of Flowers,” said the Circulo also held the traditional nine-day novena for Nuestra Señora Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza, the city’s patron saint at the  Immaculate Conception Church at Aluba Village Subdivision, Barangay Macasandig. As has been traditionally practiced by El Circulo for the past 61 years, a Comida Comunal followed the celebration of the mass at the Our Lady of Manaoag Chapel, near Shopwise, Limketkai Center, El Circulo Zamboangueño de Cagayan de Oro was organized in 1957 by Carmelita Willie Larabaster, Gloria Atilano-Rivera, Ester Causin and Col. Manuel Jaldon (Ret.)   “The first gathering was at our residence then at Del Mar corner Carmen streets where Gazebo is now (present day Don Apolinar Velez and Mayor Gaerlan streets),” recalls Jose “Sonny” W. Larabaster, Carmelita’s son, during the 61st anniversary gathering. “I was 6 years old at that time, “Our old house burned down a long time ago.”   He remembers Col. Jaldon as an Olympic celebrity at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games who later became police chief at Zamboanga City at age 25.   Also present was businessman Nonie Rivera, son of one of the original Circulo organizers, Gloria Atilano-Rivera, who shuttles his time between Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro.   Approximately seventy five Zamboangueños and their kin attended the fiesta celebration held at Alavar’s Seafood & Grill, one of Zamboanga’s iconic restaurants which was brought over to Cagayan de Oro by Tessie Alavar, who originally concocted the famous sweet, mildly spicy, aromatic Alavar Sauce, and gained a nationwide following through their branches in Manila, Cebu, Iligan and now, Cagayan de Oro.   Among those who joined this year’s fiesta celebration were Dina and Raul Rodriguez; Titing and Alexandra Morales; Baby Escudero, Glor Delado, Jun & Julie Chee Kee; Edwin, Judith, Julienne & Erick Amik; Mike, Gardy and Leon Baños; Rhia Sebastian, Jonathan Fernandez, Emil Santos, Sam Xavier Kumar, Carmelia Namoc, Emilie Apdian, Reeno and Cherry Cabato;  Manny, Manjo & Marca Aliñabon; Thomas & Eiya Pupos; Isidro & Juana Audal; Nonito P. Emilio, Chito, Dulce, Angelo and Luigi Potenciano; Paul and Joy Paladio; Ana Bella Patiño, Art & Krista Surdilla; Absin Sebastian, Natz, Mae, Beth & Kaye Jumangit; Emmanuel Sebastian, Queenie Sabastian, Bobby, Annika & Arlyn Enriquez.   The veneration of the Lady of the Pillar as Zamboanga City’s patroness is closely tied with its historic Fort Pilar. Perhaps no other institution has played as big a role in shaping Zamboanga City’s Christian Hispanic Heritage as Fort Pilar, and has made it the sole city in Asia that can rightfully lay claim to the moniker of “Asia’s Latin City.” Started in 1635, it was built at the instance of Jesuit missionaries and Bishop Fray Pedro of Cebu to ward off Moro pirates. Originally called Real Fuerza de San Jose (Royal Fort of Saint Joseph), its cornerstone was laid by the Jesuit engineer Fray Melchor de Vera, on June 23, 1635 on orders of then Spanish Governor of the Philippines Juan Cerezo de Salamanca. This event marks the founding of Zamboanga as a city, formerly known as Samboangan. However, subsequent events related to the construction of the fort have sealed its place in the Chabacano heritage of the city which it unique among similar local cultures in the Philippines and Asia. Renamed the Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar Zaragoza (Royal Fort of Our Lady of the Pillar of Zaragoza) in honor of the patron saint of Spain, Our Lady of the Pillar, it was also the venue of many Marian apparitions, most notably on December 6, 1734 when she appeared to a soldier, and again on September 21, 1897 when she appeared over the Basilan Strait and saved the city from a tsunami following a strong earthquake. Tradition reveals the Virgin Mary appeared to a soldier on December 6, 1734, at the gate of the city. Not recognizing her, the soldier asked her to stop. Upon recognizing her, he fell down to his knees. A relief of the Our Lady of the Pillar was subsequently placed above the eastern wall of the fort making it an outdoor shrine with an altar for praying.  Old folks said the image actually mysteriously appeared in its present site after a pirate attack on the fort while a procession in her honor was being held.  On September 21, 1897, a strong earthquake struck the western region of Mindanao. According to the people who witnessed it, they saw the Virgin Mary floating in mid-air over the Basilan Strait, with her right hand raised to stop the onrushing waves, and saved the city from a tsunami.

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World Stroke Day 2020: Walk 202020

October 16, 2018

Two Cagayan de Oro based stroke groups are aiming to make a bold stroke (pun intended) to curb the rising global incidence of stroke. “We will conduct a 20-minute walk on October 28, Sunday (instead of October 29, which falls on a Monday), from Rodelsa Circle to Gaston Park in preparation for a bigger, more ambitious event,” said Dr. Arturo F. Surdilla, Director of the AKBAY Stroke Care & Neurological Rehabilitation Center and president of the Stroke Society of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Chapter (SSP-NMC). “Through World Stroke Day 2020: Walk 202020, we aim that by October 2020, Cagayan de Oro would have led the world in “Walking 20 Million People for 20 Minutes by 2020, to Reduce Stroke Risk 20% Worldwide,” Surdilla said.   “SSP-NMC and AKBAY Stroke Team join the World Stroke Organization (WSO) campaign celebrating World Stroke Day (WSD) every October 29th. This year we highlight post-stroke support and the preventive aspect of stroke,” he added. For this year, Surdilla said they are recruiting 2,000 or more healthy citizens and patients to walk on October 28 in Cagayan de Oro together with simultaneous walks against stroke to be conducted in other cities.   “We would like to invite your institutions and organizations in this mass walk for health,” Surdilla said.  “After the walk, we will have a short program followed by stroke prevention activities in Gaston Park (i.e., lay forum, mini-lectures; and free hypertension, anemia and diabetes screening for participants.”   Included in the program will be testimonies from Stroke Survivors Atty. Manuel Ravanera and Mrs. Minda Ravanera.   Interested groups and individuals who wish to join the walk please contact AKBAY Stroke Care & Neurological Rehabilitation Center, Polymedic Medical Plaza National Highway, Kauswagan 9000 Cagayan de Oro City, PHILIPPINES akbaystroketeam@gmail.com with mobile #s +63 917 308 9633 or +63 922 892 9331.

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