Neri: Newsbits

Nelia G. Neri

CENTRAL Europe was the main topic during the roadshow in Cebu of the national tourism boards of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Venue was Radisson Blu Cebu, where Michal Prochazka of the Czech Tourist Authority for Korea and the Philippines took the lead in presenting the attractions of Central Europe.

The Czech Republic, with Prague as its crown jewel, is one of the popular tourist stops in Europe but Michal declares that there is so much more to the country than its capital city. There are many other interesting places to discover and explore.

Slovakia positions itself as a destination that offers travelers “authentic experiences filled with natural and cultural intensity...” And Slovakia Honorary Consul in Cebu Antonio Chiu, who was present at the presentation, attests to this.

Poland beckons with its castles and palaces as well as its high standard of service and tourist friendly prices. Warsaw and Krakow are among its most-visited places.

Hungary is a land where heritage meets trend. Its capital city of Budapest is called the Pearl of the Danube and it prides itself in being an authentic and historic European capital.

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It was a lovely and relaxing evening of music when concert pianist Ingrid Sala Santamaria and soprano Zsarie Vidal took centerstage at the City Sports Club during a fund-raising concert for the Brothers of St. John, a Catholic Religious Congregation who has been doing its mission for the past 25 years here.

The fund-raising is for its “Sugbo Mission” project, a mission house to be built near the San Nicolas de Tolentino Church for ministry to young people through the School of Life formation program. On top of the project is Fr. Stephan Savary de Beauregard, who said that they welcome donations to the Brothers of St. John Foundation Inc., care of Metrobank Guadalupe, Account # 007-398-01992-6.

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Over lunch at Providore, the main dining outlet of Summit Galleria Cebu, our group of lifestyle writers interacted with hotel general manager Arlene Tongco, food and beverage director Tony Mingo, and executive sous chef Randy Origenes who talked about Providore’s authentic American and homestyle Filipino cuisine. The hotel sits on the 4.6 hectare Robinson’s Galleria Cebu complex.

Giving us more info about the mixed-use complex was Floramie Adolfo, senior regional operations manager-Eastern Visayas of Robinsons Land Corp., who said that the development is poised to become Cebu’s next landmark with the addition of the Galleria Residences and the business process outsourcing (BPO) office building.

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The topping of Taft Eastgate’s Podium was marked with a gastronomic celebration dubbed “Flavors of the World.” Venue was its showroom at Cardinal Rosales Ave., where different world cuisines were served. The 10-storey podium near the vicinity of Cebu Business Park anchors Taft East Gate’s mixed-use complex comprising of 4 towers which will include BPO offices, commercial spaces, a hotel, a condominium and more.

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Savoy Hotel Mactan, all of 18 storeys with 547 guestrooms and suites, opened its doors inside the 30-hectare Megaworld township a few weeks back. It is Megaworld’s first hotel at the Mactan Newton with interiors designed by world-renowned Hirsh Bedner Associates, the same firm that designed Marina Bay Sands and Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. Just 15 minutes away from the airport, Savoy Hotel is ideal for business travelers who want a mix of business and pleasure.

Another welcome addition to the complex is a two-level mall along the beachside cliff. Dubbed the Mactan Newtown Beach Walk, the new mall will have a total of 30,000 square meters highlighted by a 1.4 hectare man-made lagoon at the center. Expected completion is 2021.

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Coming up at Cafe Marco of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu is the Festive Buffet which will start on Dec.2. Holiday specials like Christmas ham, roast turkey, chicken relleno and Filipino kakanins will be part of the buffet spread. And the good news is, these Christmas favorites are available for take out orders at the Christmas House of Goodies at the Lobby Lounge. Christmas specials for Dec. 24 and 25 are in place at Cafe Marco, and at the Blu Bar & Grill on Christmas Eve. The countdown party for New Year’s Eve is also set.