Above Sea Level’s famed giant butterfly squid now in Oro

September 9, 2019

THE famed giant butterfly squid which became a trend in Metro Manila for the past several years has finally come to CDO.      Above Sea Level – the restaurant behind such exquisite delicacy – opened its fifth Mindanao branch last September 6 in Centerpoint along Domingo Velez-Corrales, Cagayan de Oro City. (There are already existing branches in Davao, Zamboanga and Iligan cities.)      According to franchisee Mae Grace Pilapil-Siao, the giant butterfly squid is a deep-fried breaded giant squid on a skewer cut in the open to resemble a butterfly. Sizing of the giant butterfly squid begins from baby groot to giant to super to king and to groot. Of course, one can still order the giant butterfly squid in threes and they call this the squidfest which is good for up to three persons.      The Cagayan de Oro branch of Above Sea Level strictly follows the standards of the company which originated from Quezon City way back – all their cooks are trained by the parent branch and Ms. Pilapil-Siao herself assured that the ingredients are of the utmost quality.      That means that they could not just change the menu anytime they like – they must adhere to the reputation that Above Sea Level has been known for. So the only other dishes in the menu are beef-wrapped shrimp, squid overload, firecracker shrimp, Seafood Festival (crabs, mussels, shrimps, corn cob and sauce made of crab fat) and spicy krispy sizzling posit with Java rice.      In the evening, however, Above Sea Level offers acoustic entertainment with matching beer.      Above Sea Level is open Sundays to Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. and on Fridays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight.

The K-Pop Beginner’s Guide to EXO

August 23, 2019

The chart-topping K-Pop legends will be back in Manila this August 24!   K-Pop fever is stronger than ever, and one of the biggest boybands to capture the hearts of fans not only in the Philippines, but on the entire planet, is EXO. Local K-Pop fans are in for a treat this month, as Globe will be bringing EXO to the country again for EXO Planet #5 — EXplOration in Manila at the MOA Arena on August 24. If you’ve just begun your K-Pop journey and want to get the lowdown on this Seoul-based supergroup, here’s a guide that will tell you the basics you need to know . The Members      EXO is divided into two sub-groups - EXO-K (Korean) and EXO-M (EXO Mandarin) - as they promote their songs in both languages. Currently, the solid lineup consists of nine members with a specific role each - Xiumin (lead dancer and vocalist), Suho (leader, lead vocalist), Lay (main dancer and vocalist), Baekhyun (main vocalist), Chen (main vocalist), Chanyeol (main rapper), D.O (main vocalist), Kai (main dancer), and Sehun (lead dancer).  The Hits      It’s hard to pick just one EXO song as your favorite, but it should be easy for you to choose as many as you like. Here are a few to start with.      “Growl” is known as EXO’s groundbreaking single. It’s catchy and danceable, a pop ditty that ticks all the boxes when it comes to becoming an instant hit. The 2016 hit “Monster” on the other hand, is an addictive mix of EDM and hip-hop that talks about love and obsession, while “Call Me Baby” is a smooth track made for both dancing and easy listening.      “Ko Ko Bop,” a track from the band’s 2017 album The War, shows us a different kind of EXO. It has elements of reggae and electronic to it, with heavy bass lines and guitar licks blending perfectly with drum beats and laser sounds. “Overdose,” one of the group’s earlier hits, is a seductive blend of R&B and hip-hop that lyrically compares physical attraction to—you guessed it—a drug overdose.       “Mama” is a song all K-Pop fans should have on their playlists. EXO’s debut single is emotive at one point and danceable the next. It starts with a spoken intro, segues to beguiling chants, and then flourishes into an edgy dance track. Viral Music Videos      K-Pop music videos aren’t just about the music. Each video is a major production that overwhelms the senses and tickles the imagination. Highly stylized choreography and striking costumes are a given, but what makes one video different from the next are the unique little stories that unfold as you go from one video to the next.       The music video for “Monster” features EXO’s members in an apparently bruised state, clad in all-black attire, with a long dining table, snake, and a burning vehicle thrown into the mix. On the other side of the spectrum is the relaxed, summery vibe of the video for “Ko Ko Bop,” where you’ll see the boys wearing candy-colored outfits.      Another standout music video is the one for “Overdose,” which is laced with mystic elements you’ll find right at the beginning.       Topping this list is the music video for “Power.” It’s a mix of live-action and animated sequences, and you’ll see the boys fighting a robot in a video game-like universe.  Studio Albums       EXO has released six studio recordings so far. The group’s first studio album, XOXO, was released in 2013, followed by Exodus in 2015, Ex’Act in 2016, and The War in 2017. In 2018, the group released two albums: Don't Mess Up My Tempo, and Countdown, a Japanese recording.  Awards and Recognition      In 2012, EXO won as Best New Artist at the Mnet Asian Music Awards and bagged the New Artist Award at the Seoul Music Awards.      The band’s debut album, XOXO, was proclaimed Album of the Year at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards and because of it, the band was given its first Daesang award. “Growl” was named Song of the Year at the 2013 Melon Music Awards.      EXO has reaped over 20 Daesang awards from various award-giving bodies and bagged seven Album of the Year trophies over the years. The group earned a Guinness World Records recognition for bagging the most Daesang awards at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. Forbes recognized the members as the most powerful celebrities in South Korea for 2015 and 2016.      Before 2018 ends, EXO was recognized as the “Quintuple Million Seller Artist” with their fifth full-length album, Don’t Mess Up My Tempo after selling over 1.1 million copies in just 10 days. This hit album has garnered several awards including the Bonsang Prize from the Golden Disc Awards and made EXO the first ever KPop act to sell a cumulative of 10 million albums in Korea among artists who debuted after the year 2000. At the same time, EXO won the Hallyu Star Award at the 2018 Seoul Music Awards and has also been nominated at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards for the Top Social Artist recognition.       These talented young men will be in Manila very soon, but until then, all we can do is contain our excitement and feast on their songs, photos, and videos, online. Want to keep updated on your favorite K-Pop stars? Join K-mmunity PH at so you can be the first to know about upcoming K-Pop events, and bond with fellow K-Pop fans.      Most recently, Globe has brought massive K-Pop acts like TWICE, BLACKPINK, Wanna One, and Super Junior to the country to satiate the K-Pop cravings of Filipino fans. With more exciting artists like EXO lined up, Filipino fans are sure to experience world-class music entertainment—a commitment that Globe will continue to strengthen for years to come. Don’t forget to follow Globe ICON on FB and IG.

Solane brings Kitchen Hero Chef's Edition to Kumbira Masters 2019

August 16, 2019

SOLANE - one of the leading LPG solutions brand - is taking its grandest culinary competition to Mindanao as it kicks off a series of regional cook-offs for the Solane Kitchen Hero Chefs Edition, the first ever cooking competition that aims to discover the next big name in the culinary world.      "Mindanao is home to some of the country's culinary treasures and the most talented chefs in the country," said Isla LPG Corp. CEO Ruben Domingo. "Through the Solane Kitchen Hero competition, we aim to recognize these chefs who are vital in bringing Filipino cuisine to the world stage. At the same time, we are on a quest to explore and highlight Filipino specialties that are unique to our provinces."      For this one of a kind cook-off, participants must be Filipino professional chefs with at least three years of kitchen experience gained locally or abroad and must be currently employed in a hotel, restaurant or any food service establishment.      It was based on the following criteria: 50 percent featured ingredients and 50 percent originality and creativity.      The culinary creations were judged by renowned chef and Solane Kitchen Hero ambassador Chef Sau del Rosario and competition director Nancy Reyes-Lumen.      Winners will compete in the grand finals on September 7, 2019 at Eastwood City, Manila. Photo by Mark Francisco

Much More than just Golf

July 29, 2019

“This is the third tournament we have organized but this is different because it’s going to be a thanksgiving for all golfers we have served through Chris Coffee Cuisine at the Pueblo de Oro Golf & Country Clubhouse for the past five years,” said Ms. Jennifer Chua (Chairman and Event Organizer) at the July 23 Media Launch of the 1st Golden Friendship Cup (GFC) scheduled on November 13-17, 2019 at the Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club golf course in Uptown Cagayan de Oro City. “It’s not just golf means it’s also about creating relationships and doing business with others,” Ms. Chua added. “We expect CEOs, Chairmen, Presidents of companies and senior executives to join us. We are also inviting celebrities to join the tournament.” As a four day event, the GFC features various events for its duration and perks for players including free breakfast for the first two days, socials hosted by the tournament organizers at various venues in the evenings, and a Barrio Fiesta Sugbahan sa Golf Course at the Clubhouse Garden on Day 3. “This tournament is meant to be a showcase,” said Manuel Along, one of the tournament directors who’s also Past District Governor of Rotary International District 3870. “Aside from fostering fellowship and camaraderie in the golf course, this is meant to let other people know we can have a big tournament like this here in CDO because I understand many high profile celebrity players are coming here. If they are willing to come and be here, this is sufficient proof we can host such tournaments here in CDO.” “Actually we have already hosted several big conventions in Cagayan de Oro earlier this year like the ANCOM of the Free Masons and the Eagles National Convention,” added Noel Sadava, another of the tournament directors. “ANCOM alone accommodated over 6,000 delegates who expressed their satisfaction with the hosting of the local Masons and the city government. With that experience, we can say CDO is a very safe place.” “I think that’s also an indication we are ready to host such big events,” said Chrysler Acebu, president of Pueblo de Oro Golf & Country Club. “This tournament can be a statement to reassure the entire country as well as international golfers that CDO and Northern Mindanao for that matter, is really a safe place to visit and play golf, as well as visit our tourist destinations,” he assured. “We are a championship golf course, designed by renowned golf architect Robert Trent Jones III, and we are confident the facilities and amenities, particularly the golf course, is rated among the top 5 golf courses in the country,” Acebu added. City Information Office Maricel Rivera also expressed the Cagayan de Oro City government’s all-out support for the GFC during the same event. “While it is undoubtedly exciting for the golfers, we’d also like to see its impact on the economy for this four-day long event. Besides our hotels and restaurants, we will also invite our guests to enjoy our tourism-related events and destinations such as our signature white water rafting along the Cagayan River, City Tours, the Kagay-an Lawndale Spring Resort, our Museum and Walking Tours, among others” Rivera said. Besides the city government and its various agencies like the Oro Trade and Investment Promotion Center, City Tourism Office, and City Tourism Council, the private sector is also expected to pitch in to make GFC a complete Kagay-anon Experience for the lucky visitors with the participation of the Cagayan de Oro Hotels & Restaurant Association (COHARA), Promote Normin, Inc., the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (Oro Chamber) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Region 10 (PCCI-10). “It’s not just golf but a combination of investment and business promotion with tourism,” said Acebu, who is also the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation (PDO) which hosts the GFC tournament venue. “PDO is in the real estate industry and as a developer can benefit if we are more pro-active about it by cross-selling golf what’s in CDO and Normin. So we have to capitalize on the presence of these visitors mainly coming for golf, but do more than just golf. We have our hotels and restaurants, our tourism destinations, but also look at its long-term benefits to the region down the road. We need more of these types of events promoting CDO and Region 10, as well as the whole of Mindanao,” he stressed. “In behalf of the city government, we’re very thankful to the organizers for helping bring back trust and confidence to Cagayan de Oro,” Rivera said. GFC is organized by Chris Coffee Cuisine, the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, City Tourism Office, Dept. of Tourism Region 10 office, Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club, Pueblo de Oro Development Corporation, Great Depot Inc., JT International and Rotary Club of Kalayaan Cagayan de Oro, in cooperation with Lions International, Japan Tobacco International, Damiani Service Apartments with the Cagayan de Oro Times, BusinessWeek Mindanao and Mindanao Daily as its official media partners. HOW TO REGISTER ***EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION*** August to September – P4, 500 October – P5, 500 November – P6, 000 (Including Insurance and Mulligans) Please address your payment to Chris Coffee Cuisine: Metro Bank Account Number: 048704851360 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 0917 633 4433/ 088 858 7436/ 0906 394 7509 LOOK FOR CATHY AND VIC-VIC FOR TOURNAMENT PROGRAM CONTACT: SECRETARIATE 0917 701 2736/ 0945 457 7888 LOOK FOR KAYE/JENNY EMAIL ADDRESS: For weekly updates and surprises:  Follow them on Facebook: Golden Friendship Cup

Water Crucial to Xavier Ateneo’s proposed transfer of Aggie College to El Gaucho

July 25, 2019

This was one of the main concerns raised during a series of consultations held by the university with alumni of its College of Agriculture over the weekend. The Xavier Ateneo Board of Trustees and President’s Council is proposing to sell some of its properties in its downtown campus near Plaza Divisoria and the existing College of Agriculture Manresa Campus to finance the transfer of its main campus to the latter property. The project also calls for the development of two new central business districts by property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) in the downtown and uptown campuses. However, the deal could stall if a viable water supply could not be developed at the university’s 104-hectare El Gaucho property in the Bugo-Upper Puerto Area since all the further developments hinges on the transfer of its College of Agriculture to El Gaucho to enable the latter phases of the P9-Billion project to proceed. “The problem is water, it’s really a concern,” said Maria Rosario Mosqueda, dean of Xavier Ateneo’s College of Agriculture, “Perhaps that is where we can start land development, prioritizing crops, pasture and forage, because it is a real good area for dairy if we have the water.” “The problem with El Gaucho is water, or more specifically the lack of water,” said Vincent Yap, an alumnus who resides near the area. “The presence of whom we call the ‘Cariton People’ attests to this. They are residents whom you see regularly hitching their makeshift carts to trucks to haul water from downhill to their homes in El Gaucho.” “A lot of politicians have previously committed to help us address the water problem in this area but until now nothing has been done about it,” he added. “We hope Xavier Ateneo‘s project will be the catalyst to solve this problem”. Xavier Ateneo President Fr. Roberto C. Yap, S.J. said they are already aware of the problem and would have to address it once the project is cleared to proceed by Jesuit Fr. General Most. Rev. Arturo Sosa, S.J. “We certainly need to develop EL Gaucho if will move our Manresa Campus there,” Yap, S.J. stressed in response. Meantime, CLI Chairman and CEO Jose R. Soberano III said they are already in talks with some property owners living close to Manresa to develop production wells near the Cagayan River for the proposed Campus of the Future with a target daily production volume of 25 Million Liters Daily (MLD). “We have a CLI subsidiary which is into water development which will help us out with this,” Soberano said. In the same consultation, a representative from the Cagayan de Oro City Water District expressed COWD’s willingness to work with Xavier and CLI to develop water sources for the proposed projects, especially since the West Service Area now only has a 60 MLD allocation from bulk water supplier Cagayan de Oro Bulk Water Inc. (COBI). “We can link up with COWD for our 25 MLD project, but if we can develop underground water sources there especially the down portion is a possibility, “Soberano noted. “We are now working on it and the proponent is currently working to secure water rights from the LGU and City Council.” However, Fr. Yap cautions that discussions of details such as these might still be premature considering the project is still in its conceptual stage. “I’m glad we’re going into much detail but we have to tell you we’re just at the first 10 percent of the planning,” he stressed. “We’re still in the conceptual stages and we don’t have the approval yet from Father General. This is not going to be our last consultation. If this is approved we will be meeting a lot with water, power and communications utilities; DPWH and the City Engineer’s Office for the roads and connectivity, because we would really like to work closely together and develop it into much detail.” “What we are seeing right now is a perspective, a concept, and the hard work will be coming once this gets approval. But I’m very enthusiastic and very glad to hear that the interest this project will generate as we come together as a Cagayan de Oro Community.” Not the least, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno, who attended all three consultations conducted over the weekend and last Monday, similarly expressed his enthusiasm for the project. “Probably nobody is more excited about this project than me,” Moreno, himself a Xavier Ateneo ’67 High School graduate, said. “Our water supply should be able to catch up with our growth. This Xavier Ateneo project is a game changer. This will change a lot of things here in Cagayan de Oro.”

Xavier Ateneo eyes new Aggies campus at El Gaucho

July 25, 2019

In a series of consultations conducted over the weekend, Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan) stressed the need for a new main campus since its main campus downtown was already congested, experiencing increasing noise levels and at risk from floods. However, in order to establish a new main campus at its Manresa Campus currently home to its College of Agriculture, Xavier Ateneo has to sell portions of its downtown campus and a portion of Manresa Farm to underwrite the construction and transfer. Before the next phase of the Master Plan can proceed, the College of Agriculture facilities including its demonstration farms, workshops, field laboratories at Manresa have to be moved and upgraded to XU’s 104-hectare property at El Gaucho. In a briefing conducted last July 20 specifically for Aggies alumni, College of Agriculture Dean Maria Rosario Mosqueda explained that while El Gaucho campus would house the field laboratory for the College Agriculture, lectures and non-field laboratory classes would still be conducted at the new main campus proposed to be named Masterson Campus in honor of the late Jesuit visionary Fr. William Masterson SJ who foresaw the potential of Manresa in the 1960s. “We haven’t done detailed planning yet, but we hope by sharing this with you, you can also give us your suggestions and comment on what we have done so far,” Mosqueda said “We want to leverage the College of Agriculture in the Main (Manresa) Campus as a model for Urban Agriculture with some buildings having rooftop gardens, and other innovations which would make it a real model for Urban Agriculture,” she added. Mosqueda said Xavier Manresa would be guided by the following principles in developing El Gaucho: Contribution to the XU Mission, Vision and Development Goals (Academic Excellence, Holistic Formation, Global Competitiveness and Social Engagement); support for the college’s four-fold functions of Instruction, Research, Extension and Production; opportunity to improve the college of agriculture’s sustainability; harmony with existing community and the environment; working with available resources, and partnerships with Cagayan de Oro city and the private sector. “Hopefully we can really change the way we package Agriculture,” Mosqueda noted. “So we shouldn’t just focus on the farm, but also on the other parts of the supply chain, like develop new programs that can be attractive, and at the same time, mission-responsive.” Besides new and upgrade field laboratories, research and training facilities, farming system models (with LGU CDO and private sector partners), the El Gaucho Campus would also include a self-sustaining Agri-Eco Adventure and Wellness Resort and Convergence/Activity Park. As proposed under the initial concept presented by Mosqueda, 22 hectares of El Gaucho’s total of 64 allocated for the academic area (mainly plateau) and the Convergence Hub which will function as the campus activity center for theRodeo, Tabuan Center, and possibly a Bagsakan. Under its proposed 12-year timeline divided into four 3-year phases, developments will kick off in the six hectare first phase with the construction of road network and drainage; utilities (light and water); admin building for land development (coordinating team); living spaces for workers; bus acquisition; land acquisition, land development (crops, pasture and forage). “The problem is water, it’s really a concern,” Mosqueda noted. “Perhaps that is where we can start land development, prioritizing crops, pasture and forage, because it is a real good area for dairy if we have the water.” Next, structures such as a SEARSOLIN-like building to house offices, classrooms, accommodations, ancillary facilities and animal production would be established while road and water systems continue to be developed. “The Farming System Model Area would be devoted to partnerships with industry and private sector to allow students to use their facilities to conduct research, or partner with poultry firms to do feeding trials, and the like.|” The third phase would entail the development of other components (training facility, convergence hub); establishment of partner locators; and continuing road development. Finally the last phase would cover the 100% development of ‘academic areas’; and the establishment of the self-sustaining Agri-Eco Adventure and Wellness Resort. XU is considering moving most of its operations out from its 6-hectare main campus near Plaza Divisoria to provide a better learning environment for its college students. The planned Campus of the Future in its Manresa Campus will feature well-designed school buildings and administration facilities catering to several academic and technical courses such as Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, Business & Management, Computer Studies, Education, Engineering, and Nursing. The campus will also be adaptable to future developments in academic disciplines and technological innovations. Main master plan elements include an abundance of open spaces and greeneries – a main plaza, interconnected courtyards, sports facilities, an amphitheater, and a University Forum which will incorporate a museum, theatre, and gallery. The state-of-the-art Manresa Town Campus of the Future will provide innovative spaces for learning, pioneering research, artistic expression, whole-person formation and experiencing excellence. The new main campus will retain the 25-hectare forest reserve in Manresa. It will be near XU’s 12-hectare basic education campus at Pueblo de Oro, allowing integration of campuses for greater efficiency and modernization. To finance the construction of the new campus, the proposed Master Plan envisions the sale of around 14 of the 63-hectare Manresa property to CLI. CLI plans to develop a township project (working name Manresa Town) which will integrate complementary commercial, residential, office, and leisure uses. XU is also proposing to sell around 4 of its 6-hectare property in Divisoria that CLI plans to develop into downtown CDO’s Central Business District (working name Xavier City), with XU’s Church of the Immaculate Conceptionat its heart. “We are not leaving Divisoria,” Yap stressed. “Xavier Ateneo will continue to be present in downtown Divisoria with the University Church and a redesigned campus for the XU School of Medicine, College of Law and most of its graduate programs.” Should the new campus project be approved by the Jesuit authorities, it is expected to be developed over an 8- to 10- year period.


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