June 14, 2019

SM City Cagayan de Oro, SM CDO Downtown Premier and SM City General Santos bagged 2 Silver Stevies in the prestigious 2019 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards for the Adventures on Ice campaign under the Innovation in Entertainment Events and Innovation in Consumer Events category. These wins were among the forty-five Stevie Awards bagged by SM Supermalls that garnered the company with the most coveted Grand Stevie for ‘Most Honored Organization.’ “We are thankful and truly elated by these validations of our hard work, dedication and passion to offer family fun experiences for our valued customers. We strive to do this through constant innovation and offering nothing but the best for SM shoppers, from their online engagement experience – including the website, apps and social media pages  ̶  to the exciting and entertaining events in SM malls nationwide,” said Steven Tan, SM Supermalls COO. The prestigious Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards recognizes Gold, Silver and Bronze categories. SM garnered 2 Gold Awards for the Entertainment Apps and Corporate Websites categories, namely the #AweSM Logo Hunt Mobile App and #SMoments in a Click: How Customer Centricity Gave a Rebirth to the SM Supermalls Corporate Website. SM also nabbed 23 Silver Awards and 20 Bronze Awards. Among them, various SM malls  ̶  from Quezon City to Baguio to Bulacan to Cagayan de Oro  ̶  clinched awards for their numerous innovative and entertaining events for shoppers. Eighteen SM mall events won in the Innovation in Entertainment Event category, 8 SM mall events won Innovation in Consumer Events, 7 SM mall events won Innovation in the Use of Events, and 2 SM mall events won Innovation in Branded Entertainment, among others. The Stevies, previously known as The American Business Awards and then The International Business Awards, is the only business awards program that recognizes innovation in the workplace in all 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region. The Stevie Awards are widely considered as the world's premier business awards that confer recognitions for outstanding programs, such as The International Business Awards which is already on its 16th year. The focus of all categories in the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards is now on innovation: innovation in all its forms, in every aspect of work life and achievement. The 2019 Asia Pacific Stevie Awards Gala was held last May 31 at the InterContinental Hotel in Singapore.

#TeamAmega opens own fashion studio

June 13, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City's well known group of professional hair and makeup artists dubbed as #TeamAmega has officially opened its fashion studio named Eclectic Image, #TeamAmega's haven of glam and style, in MH del Pilar St. this city through the Department of Labor and Employment-assisted livelihood project. Founded by Jeffrey "Jie-jie" Aisa, the team has now reached new heights in the field of hair and makeup indistry. Beyond just that, the team has now ventured into events organizing/coordination, fashion designing and pageant training. So why Eclectic Image? Known for its distinct methods, beliefs and ideas in the field of hair and makeup artistry in the fashion indistry, #TeamAmega combines whatever seems to be the best from many different aspects or styles rather than following a single style. Thus, the team's concept has always been eclectic. Merriam-Webster defines eclectic in various doctrines, methods or styles. This makes #TeamAmega a standout from among the many glam teams that have sprouted like mushrooms in the city and region. Beyond just a team of more than 20 professional hair and makeup artists, #TeamAmega has become a family joined together by one common goal which is to steer the group towards a thriving career to be able to suppprt their individial families. The team's core purpose is to offer help to Kagay-anons and Mindanaoans in general in making their special occassions even more memorable with their events organizing and coordination, provide them with the best hair and makeup services as well as gowns, cocktail dresses and men's formal wear (customized and rentals). The team also boasts ita beaity camp called #TeamAmegaBeauties where they give special offers for pageant training on focusing on public speaking (question and answer), pasarela walk and personality development including hairstyling and makeup training. The beauty campi is open to both lads and lasses who want to venture into the world of pageantry. To know more about what the team offers, follow their journey on their official Facebook pages at Team Amega, Team Amega Beauties and Eclectic Image Fashion Studio.

Siargao Island gets greener

June 10, 2019

Siargao island in Surigao del Norte has been known for its pristine white beaches, marine life, rich mangrove forests, and world-class surfing spots. With tourist arrivals expected to hit around half a million in 2019, the island’s leaders have started the path to sustainability. In 2018, the municipality of Pilar passed an ordinance banning the use of single-use plastics – a pioneering move for the island whose biggest industry depends on its rich natural resources. The island’s power distributor, Siargao Electric Cooperative (SIARELCO), pushed the sustainability envelope even further. The island, which was rated one of the world’s best in 2018 by prestigious travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler, is now mostly powered by clean and renewable energy. “Siargao is one of the top tourist destinations. While we welcome more guests, local and foreign alike, we wanted to ensure that we continue to do our part in taking care of our island,” SIARELCO General Manager Sergio C. Dagooc said. SIARELCO’s demand for power has almost tripled in only three years to an estimated 8 to 9 MW this year. Majority of the island’s supply come from the Private Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) which is powered by the Agus-Pulangi hydro power complex and the Mt. Apo geothermal power plants. It recently added at least 1 MW from AboitizPower’s Hedcor hydro power plant in Bukidnon, under the company’s Cleanergy brand. “After the ban on single-use plastics on the island last year led by our local government, we take pride in contributing our sustainability efforts for Siargao by adding more renewable energy to our energy supply mix,” added Dagooc, an incoming party-list congressman representing the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC). SIARELCO entered into a renewable energy supply contract with AboitizPower subsidiary Hedcor for 1-MW. The energy will come from the company’s recently completed hydropower plant in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. “We are excited to be a partner of SIARELCO in its efforts to make Siargao more sustainable. This partnership highlights the high value that both SIARELCO and AboitizPower place on sustainability, driven by our shared commitment to bettering the communities we serve.” AboitizPower First Vice President for Energy Trading and Sales Juan Alejandro Aboitiz said. Aboitiz said more and more distribution utilities and Open Access customers are seeing the opportunities brought by a push for sustainability. Responding to this need is AboitizPower’s brand Cleanergy, coming from the company’s vast portfolio of geothermal, hydro, and solar power plants located all over the country. “With our portfolio and more than 50 years of experience in the energy sector, we are able to tailor fit solutions that will meet the demands of our customers,” Aboitiz added. Hedcor is a wholly owned subsidiary of AboitizPower that operates 21 run-of-river hydropower facilities across the country with a total installed capacity of 258 MW.

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.

Red Queen – the latest aesthetic facility in town

May 29, 2019

INTRODUCING Red Queen – the latest aesthetic center in this side of Mindanao. Conveniently located at the second level of Marel Bldg. along Hayes-Pabayo, Red Queen has everything what an aesthetic center must be – from facials to glutathione offerings to skin and hair treatments. In short, it’s not it being the newest of its kind but it’s the menu of offerings they have that makes Red Queen as best. But let’s back it up a bit. Why did the folks who conceive this business tagged it as Red Queen? As entrepreneur Emily Janubas candidly put it, Red Queen represents the fierceness, the boldness, the independence of the woman of today, encompassing all ages – a woman that deserves to be treated to perfection, aesthetically and more. In the aesthetic aspect, there’s only one shop here in Cagayan de Oro which can give that kind of woman all the services she needs – Red Queen. Red Queen offers basic facial, whitening, collagen mask, PDT lights, diamond peel, BB glow treatment, eyelash extension, melisma treatment, warts removal, threading, Korean lash lift, eyelash extension removal, body polish, body bleaching, body scrub, bleach and body scrub, stretchmark removal (belly, arms, legs), underarm whitening, hair removal (upper lip, beard, underarm, arms, upper legs, lower legs, bikini line, Brazilian), body waxing (underarm, upper lip, upper legs, lower legs), arms waxing (Brazilian, whole body), manicure, pedicure, gel manicure, gel pedicure, foot spa, foot spa with pedicure, foot mask whitening, Snow White drip, Cinderella drip, gluta, Cinderella ultimate drip, radio frequency (face, arms, thighs, lower legs, back, tummy), meso lipo, lit tint tattoo, eyeliner tattoo, blush-on, haircut, hair spa, cellophane, hair color, rebond with treatment, rebond with Brazilian blowout, Brazilian/kerabond (minimum), highlights and more. Wait a minute! Of course, these services are for men, too. So head now to Red Queen. Because you surely deserve it.

Experience Canadian pampering at the heart of CDO

May 28, 2019

AT Northern Lights Massage Center, it's all about providing professional, relaxing and high quality wellness services. Rooted in the principles of quality, education and community, we at Northern Lights Massage Centre strive to offer excellence in massage therapy in a warm and welcoming environment. Research shows that massage therapy can reduce pain, decrease stress and enhance immune function by providing relief to the muscular, nervous and circulatory systems. At NLMC we place emphasis on the holistic approach towards mind, body, and soul.  Using a synergistic blend of therapeutic and rejuvenation treatments based on North American, European and Oriental massage,  NLMC's massage therapists provide an all inclusive and relaxed experience that's second to none in Cagayan de Oro. Our whole body massage starts at 179 pesos from 12 pm to 3 pm, and 199 pesos after 3 pm to 8 pm. Our best selling service, Rocky Mountain Signature Massage (1.5 hours) with hot stone is only 449 pesos. Also, try our Montreal Body Scrub with 1 hour massage. We also have loyalty program, Maple – Ginger Tea for free for our Premium Services, and Canadian Merchandise  that you can buy.  The business is located at 2nd Floor, Anrae Bldg, cor. T. Chaves and Rizal St., Cagayan de Oro. (Same building as Global Chips, in front of Phil Post/ Post Office/ back of Lourdes College, 1 block away from Chowking Divisoria).


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