Cenyu Whole Foods introduces Cuchara Verde

July 22, 2019

HEALTHY and homegrown. Ain’t that an ideal combination when it comes to dining? Yet there ís surely one resto in uptown CDO that fits exactly that description. Located at the west wing in the ground level of SM City Cagayan de Oro, Cuchara Verde serves healthy gourmet food that is sourced locally and responsibly.      Of course, we all know that Cuchara Verde means Green Spoon which loosely translates to clean eating. Indeed it is. All of the chicken and egg ingredients concocted at Cuchara Verde come from its sister company, Cenyu Whole Foods, which has been known to produce quality Probio Chicken & Eggs for the past ten years in this part of Northern Mindanao.      Cuchara Verde offers popular comfort foods you already know and love like Fried Chicken and Chickan Inasal as well as other non-chicken options like the Beef Taco Quesadilla (A Must Try!!!), Beef Kare Kare, Gambas Al Ajilio, Fresh Lumpia and Seafood Marinara Pasta. They also offer some unique eats that are sure to blow your mind like their Chicken Tikka Masala, Grass-Fed Lamb Stew, Creamy Spinach & Egg Skillet, Asian Quinoa Salad and Beef and Lamb Burger.      For desserts, they serve Superscoops Vegan Ice Cream, Fogcity Creamery Artisan Ice Cream, Picole healthy pops, Frozen Brazo and some occasional cakes and native desserts. For drinks, they got pour over brewed coffee with options for Don, Hazelnut or Moreno; as well as craft teas (creamy caramel, fitspiration, beauty sleep, chocolate rooibos, vanilla rose and sunset brew). They are the only restaurant to offer drinks like Zevia, Sparkling Water and other Zero Calorie and Zero Harmful Ingredient Drinks. They even serve Kombucha and Kefir, which they make in-house, to aid digestion after that healthy meal.      Cuchara Verde assures its valued dining clients that they serve only foods that have no preservatives, minimally processed, responsibly sourced and tapping local suppliers as much as possible. It is open during mall hours which is from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.      Cuchara Verde takes its inspiration from Cenyu Whole Foods, a Whole Food Store & Cafe that sell Cenyu Probio Chicken and Eggs as well as other healthy and clean whole foods sourced from around the country.      Cenyu Probio Chicken and Eggs was founded ten years ago with a simple experimentation of replacing harmful antibiotics with beneficial probiotics to raise chickens. Probiotics has been proven through various research and studies to promote strong immunity, healthy gut and liver, excellent digestion and balance nutrition in raising chicken and eggs. Grown slower and harvested longer. It takes 38 to 45 days for Cenyu Probio Chicken to achieve a live weight of 1.5kg. Premium quality meat ia achieved naturally. Fed with responsibly sourced grains, legumes and supplemented daily with natural based vitamins and probiotics, Cenyu Probio Chicken and Eggs is, by far, the healthiest source of protein one can find.      Cenyu Whole Foods has a Flagship outlet along 9th-16th Streets in Nazareth, this city. Aside from its own brand and other selected products, Cenyu Whole Foods also serves breakfast such as The Big Breakfast Plate, Probio Chicken Longganisa Plate, Probio Chicken Adobo Flakes Plate,  Probio Roasted Chicken Plate and Probio Chicken Sandwich. These selections along with their Probio Chicken and Eggs are available for delivery daily through Streetby.      It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. all week from Monday to Sunday.

The Malasag Indigenous Driftwood Sculptors of Cugman

July 19, 2019

Sometimes serendipity can lead you to paths you never dreamed you would be passing through, but the future often holds surprises which more often than not, exceed your expectations. Thus, when Smart Telecommunications began the process to secure the Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) from the Higaonon community in Sitio Malasag, Barangay Cugman in Cagayan de Oro to renew the lease on their cell site located within the tribe’s ancestral domain, it triggered what has turned out be a most rewarding experience for both parties involved in the transaction. By virtue of Republic Act 8371 (Indigenous People's Rights Act of 1997  or IPRA) which recognizes and promotes the rights of Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines, Smart was required to secure the consent of the IP community which hosted their 1,000 sq. m. cell site area since it falls within the tribe’s ancestral domain. Following the initial consultation last February, 2019 with the Malasag Higaonon Tribal Council represented by Datu Ireneo Jabiniar (tribal chieftain), Smart signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the renewal of the cell site lease for another 25 years. “As part of the terms and conditions, our council requested Smart to conduct a training in wood carving for our members, as a livelihood project,” said Datu Masikal “Jude” Jabiniar, who site as the appointed 9th kagawad representing IPs in the Cugman Barangay Council. Barangay Cugman has two rivers which provide them with a constant supply of driftwood as raw materials. More driftwood could also be sourced from the barangay’s seashore. After conducting appropriate rituals at the cell site area requesting permission from resident spirits to approve the agreement, 15 Higaonons started training with expert wood carvers Arnel Rebate, Wilfredo Durano and Marichu Calzado from the Banglos Community Artists of General Nakar, Quezon, last May 28-30 for basic skills and assignment of projects; then again on June 27 for finishing and polishing of the completed works. Smart also donated to the community tools such as grinders and sanders.  The Banglos wood sculptors were themselves recipients of Smart’s livelihood assistance, being trained by famed sculptor Rey Paz Contreras who taught them the art of sculpting forest wood as an alternative source of income after their homes were devastated by flash floods following heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Winnie in 2004, killing over a thousand people in  General Nakar, Infanta and Real.  The Banglos sculptors’ works have been featured at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Furniture Festival at Megatrade Hall, Go Negosyo fair at Market! Market! in Taguig City and in various Smart functions. The Higaonon artists were taught the basics of driftwood sculpture, how to use the tools of the trade, and how to bring out art from driftwood, based on its natural shape and textures. Aside from being a source of livelihood, the sculptures also aim to showcase Higaonon culture. "A lot of the pieces here have come from wood that no longer had any use - maybe only to be burned for charcoal. The artists have been taught to see the beauty in them and bring this out. We Filipinos, we thekatutubo, can also ask ourselves: "Are we charcoal, or are we works of art?"", said Darwin Flores, Head, Community Partnerships Department, Smart - Public Affairs.  One of those who underwent the training was Datu Masikal’s cousin Jeffrey  C. Alia, an industrial electrician by trade, who lives along the seashore of Cugman with his fisherman father. While he has no formal training in the arts, he learned drawing basics from his father Pedro B. Alia whose latent artistic skills enabled him to earn additional income through drawings and printed signs on the side. “I won artistic competitions as grade school student and did automotive drafting in high school but shifted to GRCO due to lack of financial means to finish my automotive,” Alia recalls. Eventually he became a licensed industrial electrician for commercial/industrial buildings, and joined the training during a lull between his projects. “The training revived my interest in the arts, and I was inspired to carve  many wood sculptures,” Alia said. Among the wood sculptures he finished was a  fisherman in his baroto (dugout canoe) inspired by the Recto Bank incident where a Filipino fishing vessel was rammed by a Chinese one. “This shows the fisherman was free to carry on his trade without fear,” Alia explained. Turning to another  of his works, he said the  bird’s nest signifies that birds are still abundant within their ancestral domain. “Every one of my works has a story.” From July 1-6, 2019, the Malasag Indigenous Driftwood Sculptors held the Malasag Sculpture Exhibit at the Sky Park at 5th floor of the SM Cagayan de Oro Downtown Premier in partnership with SM. A  constant partner of Smart for past projects like Earth Hour, SM  provided the exhibit venue, lights and fixtures for the group’s first exhibit. Next, the group plans to display some small sculptures at Ginama, the pasalubong center of LGU Cagayan de Oro at Gaston Park. “Smart plans to continue supporting the tribe by providing capacity building trainings such as social media marketing, mobile photography and ideography,” said Judee Dizon Chaves, Smart CommunicationsPublic Affairs Manager for North-West Mindanao.   Meantime, interested buyers who wish to commission or order some of their works can visit and contact them through their Facebook Page Malasag Indigenous Driftwood Sculptors of Cugman (URL: Photos by Mike Baños & Smart Communications Public Affairs for North-West Mindanao.

Images of the Souls of Culture

July 4, 2019

Perhaps no other single artist has exerted so great an influence in the development and growth of visual arts in Cagayan de Oro as Pennessencio “Nonoy” Estarte, a self-taught artist originally from Malangas, Zamboanga Sibugay. Noted Capitol University President Atty Casimiro Juarez, Jr. in his opening remarks during the exhibits June 21st opening:  “We want to acknowledge with gratitude the efforts of this beautiful person Nonoy, a friend of Dr. Fe Juarez and myself, and of Capitol University. Because of our friendship, we have learned to appreciate art more because of Nonoy, especially his kind of art which tends towards religion.” “Art is the only platform I know, where my ideas, vision, creativity and dreams are substantially expressed,” the artist said during opening. “The exhibit is not intended for argument, strict critical discourse, but is an art form the heart to the heart. I always love to see simple people, street kids, Lumads that appreciate my art. I want to see young students understand and value my art. I wish my art becomes an instrument for formation and transformation.” Nonoy was instrumental in the creation of programs for artists in Cagayan de Oro, foremost of which was the Oro Art Guild.  He also helped organize the Xavier University Circulo de Arte for students. Today, the visual arts is thriving not only in the city but its peripheries with new artists groups sprouting every now and anon, thanks largely to Nonoy’s efforts in promoting visual arts in nascent artists who became the seeds that spread his gospel to the four corners of the region. During his formative years, Nonoy was greatly influenced by a grade school teacher and further exposed to love art by an American Peace Corps Volunteer artist. In 1978, the late Fr. Frank Demetrio, S.J. took Nonoy under his wing as the resident artist of the Museo de Oro. Later, he became the Assistant Curator on files and records and eventually Assistant Museum Curator. During his long years of service in the museum, he immersed himself with the indigenous peoples of Mindanao like the Talaandig and Manobo. “This exhibit is a collection of illustrations during my long years of service to the university of Xavier to the present. Since then, folklore, history, environmentally indigenous communities became my passion.” “For 30 years in XU I had a great opportunity to work, interact with great people, like the late Fr. Francisco Demetrio, Dr. Erlinda Burton and John Burton, Tony and Joy Enriquez, and Lovenia Naces, and many others.” Fr Demetrio frequently sent him to attend conferences, workshops and lectures on Museum Development Projects, Art and other Museum Educational Programs. The artist has joined several group exhibitions locally and had some solo exhibits in Xavier University. His Manobo Epic Paintings were selected as part of the Philippine exhibition in Munich, Germany and Delf Museum in the Netherlands in 1987. “I was able to visit the far mountains in San Fernando, Lantapan, Bukidnon and Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur.  What did I do there? I witnessed various rituals, weddings, datuship rituals and peace ritual. I came to know better these ethno linguistic groups like Manobo, Higaonon, Talaandig, Matigsalog, Maranao, Maguindanao and Subanon. It was a great immersion in culture.” “Two of the personalities in my exhibit I came to know personally: the late Datu Kinulintang, Supreme Datu of the Talaandig; Datu Vic Saway, his son; Nanay Igbi, a Subanon Bae and musician.” Five years ago, he retired and currently runs the Estellar Art Space and Mini Library for artistically inclined youths at Xavier Heights in Uptown Cagayan de Oro. Together with Lovella Maria Naces and Ghela Simon, Nonoy helped set up the social enterprise Tao Tao Souvenirs which promotes the culture of the region’s indigenous peoples through souvenirs. “I was inspired by Dr. Burton who was very passionate about promotion and preservation of the IP culture and tradition. I saw that our knowledge about our own culture is on the verge of being forgotten,” Lovella recalls. She approached Nonoy with the idea of a social enterprise would teach the world about the Philippine indigenous communities through souvenirs. “Sir Nonoy was happy because he also shared the same advocacy of promoting and preserving IP culture.” Together with DepEd teacher Ghela Simon, the three cofounded Tao Tao Souvenirs. Lovella noted how Nonoy’s experience in the museum was a key to designing the product used by the community for the production of the souvenirs. Despite his long years as an artist, Nonoy only had one other exhibit outside XU in Ateneo de Zamboanga where his paintings on the Subanon epic were exhibited with bosom friend Nic Aca. “Allow me to thank the Big Guys behind this exhibit. Chief Curator Chris Curator, assisted by Nic Aca, our business manager Lovenia Naces Eduave, Boyet Ramoso, Edgar Daginotas and the Juarez family,” the artist said. Atty. Juarez ended his brief talk with a quote from the Lebanese-American artist, poet, and philosopher Kahlil Gibran masterpiece, The Prophet: “You give but little when you give of our possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” “Noy, you give so much of yourself and we could never thank you enough,” he concluded.

Kalahi CIDSS-CDD: IP women’s gateway to an empowered life

June 19, 2019

“Angga,” a 42-year old mother of five youngsters had always been an incredibly shy member of indigenous peoples (IPs). She never spoke and would shield her face when addressed during community meeting discussions. However, over time, she slowly opened up and became comfortable enough to speak up. “The thought that an IP woman has the voice in decision-making never crossed my mind. I thought that a ‘Lumad (ethnic minority)’ like me should think and speak less in any public assembly as I lack education and knowledge,” she said in ‘Binukid’ dialect. Angga is a Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) program beneficiary who lives in a farming neighborhood of barangay Palacpacan—an isolated village in San Fernando town—where most of the residents are of Matigsalug tribe. Like other tribes in Bukidnon, most of them have minimal support and nominal access to basic social services due to road inaccessibility, remote areas, poor infrastructure, or simply the fact that there is no system in place. With this, their only priority is to eat and survive.   Building better lives While life remains difficult, Angga said it was much harder during those years before the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) implemented the Kalahi-CIDSS Community-Driven Development (CDD) program. The DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-CDD is a program that empowers communities.  It uses CDD as an approach to let communities identify problems, needs, use available resources, and decide what will work best for the entire community. CDD is a unique component of Kalahi-CIDSS. Through it, folks will learn how to speak out and give details of the communities’ needs by participating in the local development processes with the help of non-government organizations, local government units, Area Coordinating Teams (ACT), Sub-Regional Project Management Team (SRMPT), and Regional Project Management Team (RPMT) and ensure that the villagers are actively involved. Angga, who is also a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiary, said the program is a good venue for boosting her self-confidence as it empowers her to make decisions, especially those that affect her social and economic living. “Now I can open my mouth to share my opinions and views without any fear of intimidation,” she said.   Changing the face of poverty         Jeraline Arion, is an active Matigsalug parent leader of 4Ps and Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) organizer who strives to help the community by helping the government in carrying out its duty to provide basic social services in remote Palacpacan village. She is also the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee Chairperson (BSPMC) of Palacpacan, where the government implements a 390-meter road concreting project. For her, DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-CDD is the first government program that gives her and the Lumad community the opportunity to make decisions that affect their daily living. The program is a good venue for learning different skills such as financial management, environmental and social safeguards, social development, construction management, basic legal documents, and other things that could help villagers, especially women, boost their confidence and self-reliance. In one of the sessions, however, participants disclosed that they hurdled all the training not without challenges. They encountered difficulties when they started out in drafting the Minutes of Meeting, Payroll Preparation, Payment and Inventory for construction materials and all other things needed to be submitted to the training facilitators. “We are all grateful that our facilitators were very patient in teaching us how to overcome such obstacles. We really felt that we belong. It is here that we, the Lumad women, can help change the face of poverty in our village,” Jeraline said.   Learning the skills to achieve economic independence “Being a Lumad Kalahi leader is not easy. We are not used to addressing a lot of people because we lack knowledge that is usually acquired in schools. An ethnic minority also leans on traditions that a woman should just stay at home, do the chores, and take care of the kids while her husband works in a farm as the sole provider of the family. But because of the meetings and training afforded by DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-CDD and the implementation of our Farm-to-Market Road sub-project, I am now eager to harness my potential as valuable member of a Lumad community,” Jeraline said. This 390-meter road concreting sub-project construction program requires women workers to promote gender equality. Hence, 30 percent of the labor force are women.  Jeraline narrated that Kalahi-CIDSS proves that women can do what men can.  Inspired by the community empowerment and gender equality perspective of the Kalahi-CIDSS program where she learned life skills, she continued her schooling and graduated in the K-12 program of the Department of Education at Halapitan National High School in San Fernando. Now, Jeraline is a leader and role model in the community who helps Lumad women flourish and be part of nation-building.    Working effectively with indigenous communities Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista, Jr, a retired general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said DSWD has myriad of programs for indigenous communities and this Kalahi-CIDSS-CDD is just one of those that helped women like Angga and Jeraline who gained emotional confidence and community support. “The Filipino practice of mutual cooperation or ‘Bayanihan’ is already embedded in the innermost of our being as Filipinos. This is more exemplified in the relentless contribution of our community volunteers in almost all facets of services to the poor and needy. Our staff and community volunteers on the ground have been our indispensable partners to the effective implementation of the Kalahi-CIDSS program,” the Secretary said.

Himugso Festival Heritage Feature, Birthing A City: La Casa del Chino Ygua, the oldest house in Cagayan de Oro

June 7, 2019

At the corner of Don Apolinar Velez and Archbishop Santiago Hayes streets stands an unimposing two story brick building which has withstood ravages of time, the Philippine Revolution, the Filipino-American War, and World War II. It’s perhaps unfortunate how today, despite the quantum gains made by modern communications, few of Cagayan de Oro City’s growing populace are aware it’s now the city’s oldest surviving residence and has quite a history behind it. Known to local history buffs as La Casa del Chino Ygua*, it has been recognized as a historically significant structure by the National Historical Institute of the Philippines, as confirmed by the NHI marker installed there in April 7, 2000, the Centennial of the Battle of Cagayan, also known as Siete de Abril. According to local historian Antonio Julian Roa Montalvan II, the house was built by Sia Ygua, a resident of Amoy (present day Xiamen) a city in the province of Fukien (now Fujian). Ygua is recorded as the earliest Chinese to have settled in Cagayan. While Amoy was an exit port, most of the Chinese who migrated outside the region came from the Yueyang and Fujian but Ygua was really a native of Amoy. (Montalvan, 2004) In a manuscript transcribed from Sia family records by Johnson L. Sia, a 4th generation descendant of Ygua, he writes how his great grandfather arrived in Cagayan de Misamis (as Cagayan de Oro was then known) in 1854 and opened his business in 1857. Named “Tong Joo” after his second son, it was a typical trading post that dealt in indigenous products like copra, tobacco, abaca and the like. The business prospered and soon expanded to the nearby towns. In time it became one of the largest business establishments in the area (Sia, 2004) According to a short account of the house written by the late Fr. Francisco Demetrio, S.J. in his publication Cagayan (1971), Ygua became friends with the Recollect priests of the nearby San Agustin church. Due to his industry, and the help given him by the fathers, he gradually amassed a fortune. Like most Chinese who settled in Cagayan, he took active part in civic and public life. He was known for his good heartedness. It is said that when he died, practically everyone in Cagayan wore black in mourning (Demetrio, 1971). Ygua built his residence in 1882 at a time when the running conflicts between Moros in Sulu and Cotabato and the Spanish regime in Mindanao and the Visayas was beginning to affect his business. To better secure himself and his trade, Ygua had his house built of sturdy brick and stone which were shipped from Amoy (along with the builders) by Chinese junks in two boatloads. The original house was a two-storey structure constructed on an irregular shaped 2,000 square meter lot. It was located on the corner of what today is Archbishop Santiago Hayes (formerly Victoria) and Don Apolinar Velez (formerly Calle del Mar) streets, and extended all the way to Pabayo street.    The house had a floor area of 600 square meters and was built of brick and stone. In addition, its posts, beams, floors, door, and window jambs were sourced from two large old Molave trees. Alternating planks of 1” x 8” Molave and Balayon wood were used for the floor, while the roof was also made of bricks and stone. (Sia, 2004). In his account Johnston L. Sia claims La Casa del China Ygua was the first brick house in town, but according to Fr. Demetrio, it was the second ‘balay nga bato’(house of stone) in Cagayan, as houses made of brick and stone (which were status symbols then as they are now) were then known. “There were many houses of stone in old Cagayan, so we are not sure if the Sia house was the first. An old house in Burgos yielded 1800s adobe stones and bricks. In fact, nearby the Sia house, just across actually (the empty lot on the corner across it) used to be a big house of stone belonging to Consolacion Roa y Cases Abejuela,” Dr. Montalvan commented.   “Barring any hard evidence, we should deviate from the qualifier first.” The house is now not only the oldest surviving residence in Cagayan de Oro, but also holds an honored place in the country’s history. The NHI marker installed on its Hayes street side recounts how on January 10, 1899, patriotic Kagay-anons celebrated independence through a Fiesta Nacional as a sign of support for the Philippine revolutionary government headed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.  They gathered in front of Ygua’s house, marched around the poblacion playing music, made speeches at the Casa Real (the governor’s residence), fired cannons and raised the Philippine Flag for only the second time in Mindanao. (Montalvan, 2002) On April 7, 1900, Filipino revolucionarios of the Mindanao Battalion led by Gen. Nicolas Capistrano attacked the American garrison of the 40th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Volunteers near present day Gaston Park in the Battle of Cagayan. However, they suffered many casualties (U.S. records show 52 Filipinos killed, Filipino archives say 200) and were eventually beaten back by the American’s superior firepower. (ibid.) The remains of many fatalities were buried in the backyard of Ygua’s house. To appease the souls and spare the inhabitants from being disturbed, Ygua turned their burial place into a temporary cockpit. The blood from the fighting cocks was believed to appease the restless souls. Until 1971, candles were lighted along the house in memory of the dead soldiers during All Souls Day. (Demetrio, 1971)   When Sia Ygua passed away in Manila, his businesses were left to his managers. In time, two of his sons and a daughter came to the Philippines. The daughter, Sia Hong Moi, married a Manileño and stayed in the capital.  The sons, Sia Simeon Velez and Sia Tong Joo, came to Cagayan de Misamis and eventually took over his businesses. In 1936, Sia Simeon Velez and Sia Tong Joodivided the family property, and the brick house came into the possession of Sia Tong Joo. Sia Tong Joo married Lu Oh O and has six children who stayed in Cagayan: three sons (Sia Bon Din, Sia Bon Suan and Sia Bon Hiok) and three daughters (Sia Pian Tin, Sia Chay Oan and Sia Chay Pin).  They lived in the brick house, and even after the children had grown and had families of their own, the house remained as the center of family activities, being the venue for family gatherings and reunions during festivals like the Chinese New Year. The house suffered extensive damage during World War II. After the war, Sia Tong Joo renovated the house. Because of the shortage of materials, the roof had to be patched using nipa and the walls replaced by talisayan wood. Through these measures the house was given a semblance of its former appearance.  The first major renovation of the house was undertaken in 1948. The damaged bricks were replaced by cement while plywood and asbestos were used for the walls. The 1” x 8” planks were however so sturdy they remained intact. @ Sia Tong Joo left for China in 1948, but his wife and children remained in Cagayan. Eventually, the son Sia Bon Din left and engaged in business in Talakag, Bukidnon and his other son Sia Bon Hiok left for Hong Kong. Meanwhile, his three daughters got married and moved out as well. The house thus eventually passed on to Sia Bon Suan.   Sia Bon Suan married Betty Lim Siok Oan, and had 13 children: six sons (William, Henry, John, Augustin, Benjamin and Peter) and seven daughters (Ana, Corazon, Mely, Mary, Helen, Teresita and Shirley).  Sia Bon Suan and his wife passed away in 1981 and 1975, respectively, and in due time his properties were divided among his children. The brick house was passed on to his fifth son, Dr. Benjamin Sia.  The house was renovated for the second time in 1993 by Dr. Sia to how it looks today.  It has been  over a century and half since Sia Ygua came to the Philippines. His descendants have spanned five generations and have been completely assimilated into Philippine society. More than 200 descendants live all across the country, the majority of who remain in Cagayan de Oro.

Between Heaven and Earth: Pangatlong Tanghalan sa Kampo Juan

May 23, 2019

After two glorious weekends of celebrating the Muses in Manolo Fortich’s version of the Garden of Eden, the first edition of  Tanghalan sa KampoJuan celebrates its grand finale with the Pangatlong Tanghalan this Saturday, May 25 featuring its eclectic mix of the culinary, visual and performance arts with artists from around the region. The evening aperitif will be served by Melbourne-educated and trained culinary enthusiast Jont Cabrera demonstrating his culinary chops in blending Filipino and classical Italian cooking. From L’antipasto to mains and dessert, this will be an exciting culinary adventure featuring local ingredients in Italian cuisine. This gastronomic feast will be followed by another feast for the senses with the Sustainable Design exhibit of Chris Gomez, a multidisciplinary creative and advocate showcasing his artworks and artistry through paintings, furniture, fashion and accessories. Chris is a multi-awarded artist and designer whose accolades include the 2014 Look of Style Awards by the British Council; Grand Prize (Water based Category) in the 2012 Metrobank Art and Design Excellence awards and finalist in the 2011 National Philippine Art Awards. He also became a finalist at the China ASEAN Youth Artwork Creativity Contest in 2008 at Nanning, China before finally bagging the Award of Excellence in 2016. Not the least, the evening and three weekend series will be capped by the celestial choral music of the Youth for Culture and Arts Project (YCAP) community choir, led by Ms Mercibelle Barroso Abejuela.  This Bukidnon-based chorale has performed in major cities in Europe, USA and Asia. A consistent grand slam winner in the Mindanao Association of State Tertiary School Chorale competitions, YCAP will perform a repertoire across many genres: ethnic/lumad, OPM/Original Pilipino Music, pop and classical. Last weekend’s Pangalawang Tanghalan featured French-trained Chef Maricar Urbano, Oro Teatro Bulawanon’s (OTB) premier performance of AngPaglaya, an original play by Maia Fortich Poblete and Bex Espino, and two dance suites by the celebrated Liceo Folkloric Dance Troupe under Artistic Director Roger E. Odron. Chef Maricar was mentored by Celebrity French Chef Herve’ Frerardand and vividly underscored the balance between the science and artistry of the culinary arts with her solid technique, balanced flavor, creativity and presentation. She prepared a 5-course meal straight out of her Don Narciso Restaurant in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.   Oro Teatro Bulawanon (OTB) Founder and Director Maia Fortich Poblete counted Chef Maricar’s amuse bouche Current State as the perfect starter along with Mocktail Drunken Nights and the Pesto-flavored Gail & Gaby. This was followed by her When September Ends salad with mushroom carpaccio, microgreens, and pickled mooli. Her entrée  Under Pressure consisted of  sous vide fish with pineapple-corn salsa, a trio of mashed tuber, and smokey atsal sauce. And for the digestif, there was her Bittersweet Symphony with a classic combination of tablea cake, local ice cream (from La Favorita), and rose crumbs. Thanks to Maia for the heads up! Oro Teatro Bulawanon’s premier presentation of  Maia’s play “AngPaglaya” proved community theatre is alive and kicking with Kagay-anon talents JC Salon, Christy Aboniawan, Leslie Encong-Yap, Kale “Bom” Ramos, Nicolas Salcedo, Mikay Abella, Maria Therese Palma, Allyza Buslon, Katleen Obsioma, Kent Irvin, and Zilpha Ybañez. The stage management was a family affair with Jean Jacques Agbon assisted by daughters Kendra and Nicky. Nico Salcedo used paper bags to create the forest backdrop with a nod to KampoJuan’s sustainability theme, while the costumes were created and styled by Kent Irvin, who also doubled with Nicolas for the players’ makeup. “AngPaglaya” was co-written by Maia Poblete with Bex Espino, and successfully  showcased the talents of Kagay-anons, particularly the youth, as majority of the cast members were senior high school students. Liceo Folkloric Dance Troupe  closed the Pangalawang Tanghalan with its award winning dance performances featuring two dance suites from the indigenous peoples of  Northern Mindanao. “The Bukidnon Suites featured the Dugso, Pimintok, Binaylan, Pig-agawan, Palaspas and Mangangayaw, while the Maranao Suites featured exotic dances as homage to the Sultan with very strong Indo-Malayan and Arabic influences including the Pangalay, Kapa Malong-malong, Kazilimut, Kuntao, Pag-apir andSingkil,” said artistic director Roger E. Odron. The troupe has been a catalyst in promoting the diverse cultures of Mindanao in the Philippines and abroad, representing the country with pride in the ASEAN Dance Festival Exposition in Brunei, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Today, it continues to share the wealth of Mindanao through its various road shows, and its captivating performances around the country and the world. For those who want to come earlier, you are welcome to enjoy Kampo Juan, named in honor of Dr. Juan Acosta – the patriarch of a patrician family who successfully navigated a career in politics, environment and scientific research. His wife Socorro served as mayor and representative of Bukidnon’s first district, while son Neric is one of the country’s leading environmentalists and daughterMalou has just earned a new mandate as steward of the same district her Nanay Coring used to serve. The Heritage House itself is worth the visit, and there are adventure sports galore also the young and young at heart can while away the time while waiting for the evening’s show. For those who want to immerse themselves in either one or all of these lifetime experiences, please contact Laclac Bongcawel at 09551539105 or email You can also buy your tickets at   Nanay Choleng's Muron kiosk at the ground floor of Ayala Centrio mall or at Kampo Juan Resort, Bgy. Dicklum, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Tickets are priced at P1,500/person. You can also follow the events through the Instagram account:"tanghalansakampj",   


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