Category Archives: Lifestyle

Sustainable Construction: Helping the Present and Protecting the Future

Sustainability has become quite a common term in recent years. In the past, we only ever hear it either in science class or in news pertaining to the environment. These days, however, you are likely to hear the term used in various industries, including construction.

solar park

The term itself is broad, pertaining to people’s desire to carry out specific activities without having a negative impact on the environment. The Brundtland Commission defined it as our ability to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Continue reading

House of Native Lechon: A New Go-to Place for CDO Foodies

The Philippines is an archipelago composed of more than 7,000 islands. It is therefore understandable for each region of the country to have its own specialty when it comes to food. There is, however, one dish that is a favorite all over the country and is present in just about every occasion celebrated in Filipino homes and localities. We are talking about the spit-roasted pig we have come to know as Lechon.

lechon10

CDO Lechon: Among the Country’s Best

If you love lechon and happen to live in Cagayan de Oro, then you should consider yourself lucky because the lechon in the City of Golden Friendship is deemed by many as one of the best in the country, along with lechon in Iligan and Cebu. When people from other parts of the country come to CDO to visit family, to go on an adventure, or even for business purposes, it is rare for them not to sample some of the city’s lechon on at least one meal for the entire duration of their stay. Continue reading

Bad Burgers – Is It Really Bad?

So, I just learned that there’s a new burger joint in Cagayan de Oro called Bad Burgers. Yes, I know I’m a bit late to the party, considering that it opened about four months ago. But I don’t really go out that much and I also don’t spend that much time on social networking sites, so it’s really quite normal for me not to be aware of the existence of a new establishment in the city until months after it opened.

Bad Burgers

Photo by kentstark52390

Anyway, I wanted to see if this new burger joint was really as good as my friend said it was. The name is interesting, at least, so Continue reading

The Vagina Monologues – Until the Violence Stops

When I graduated from college last 2013, I made a promise to myself that I will watch as many local theater plays as I can. Among those I’ve watched on an annual basis is The Vagina Monologues, part of the One Billion Rising campaign, which aims to stop the violence against women and all forms of abuse and harassment.

For those who still do not know about the Vagina Monologues and everything behind this very powerful and informative theater play, read further as I tell you about the play, the organizations behind it, and other information related to this very important advocacy.

The Vagina Monologue in Cagayan de Oro

About The Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues is a play written by Eve Ensler, which originally ran Off-Broadway in 1996. Since then, it has been one of the most important plays being performed worldwide by various theater productions and advocacy groups that promote the rights of women and inform the general public about the existence of women-related violence, which must be stopped.

The play is actually made up of various monologues and stories that talk about the female genitalia, birth, orgasm, women’s rights, relationships, and so on. This is also the cornerstone of the V-Day Movement and later on, One Billion Rising (2012), founded and created by Ensler.

The Vagina Monologue in Cagayan de Oro

Why People Should Watch It

I have to be honest that I am blessed enough to live in a city that has performers who do The Vagina Monologues every year (this usually happens during the months of February and March). I strongly suggest that people watch this play because it opens your eyes to realities that are mostly ignored by society nowadays.

Just in case you didn’t know, women are still being harassed, abused, and ridiculed by many people even today. I’ve heard of some female friends being sexually harassed by their male acquaintances and stories of wives being beaten by their own husbands. One of the best ways to convey messages to stop and make a difference when it comes to these things is through the arts, and The Vagina Monologues is the perfect play to accomplish that purpose.

For the record, the performers of The Vagina Monologues are not only women, but also a few men and members of the LGBT.

An Advocacy Worth Supporting

The V-Day Movement, One Billion Rising, and The Vagina Monologues are really worth supporting if you believe in upholding women’s rights and ending the violence. Their most notable phrase is “Until the Violence Stops,” which means these groups (as well as the individuals who have volunteered their time and talents for these advocacies) will not stop what they’re doing until every woman in the world is free from the numerous abuses that they face.

First Impressions

My first impressions of the play are very positive because every performance featured in that play was enough to get you thinking of what you should be doing to stop the continuous cycle of violence and abuse on women.

Aside from those performances, there are also some skits in The Vagina Monologues that talk about how great being a woman is and stuff that had something to do with the female genitalia. As a woman, it made me think of what I should do to make a difference to the people around me.

The Vagina Monologue in Cagayan de Oro City

I hear some opinions that the play is a very serious show and does not have performances that would make you laugh. To be honest, they have that! If you see The Moaner performance, then you will definitely take your opinion back.

All for a Good Cause

Again, the performances of The Vagina Monologues are not just some theater play that you can watch and not getting anything in return. Always remember that every peso you spend on this play will go to a good cause. The proceeds will immediately go to the production’s chosen beneficiary (mostly non-profit groups that protect and help women).

If you feel that just watching a play is not enough, you can always audition and share your acting talents as a part of this nice theater production. You don’t really need to be an experienced or professional stage actor to do this. If you have the heart and you want to do your part in ending the violence against women, then that’s more than enough.

Final Thoughts

All in all, Even Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues is one of the plays I will be looking forward to in the coming years. I hope that these theater productions will continue to share their theatrical talents to inform the public until the violence stops.

Ororama: Celebrating Christmas with You

Christmas is one of the (if not THE) most important holidays in the Philippines, and it certainly is the longest, as people start celebrating it or at least looking forward to it as early as September. And by the last quarter of each year, private individuals, government offices, and private institutions are already finding ways to make the Christmas spirit felt. The Ororama chain of stores is no different. They have lined up an array of exciting offerings and activities for the holiday season. Here are some of the most notable ones and a few offerings you can still take advantage of.

Pre-Holiday Sale

It has long been known that Christmas starts early in the Philippines. So at Ororama, the Holiday Sale was held a month before Christmas! Their Pre-holiday Sale on November 27-30 gave people a chance to do some early holiday shopping, if not for things to give their loved ones on Christmas Day, then at least for gifts to give during their office/school/organization Christmas party. There were also those who got the chance to buy new clothes to wear for Christmas and for the endless December parties.

Ororama pre-holiday sale

The Pre-holiday Sale was indeed good news for shoppers, as Ororama offered as much as 70% discount on selected items as well as a 10% discount on regular items. Not only that, they also offered FREE GIFT WRAPPING for the entire duration of the sale, making it truly convenient to shop for gifts at that time. Shoppers only had to present their purchased items with the corresponding receipt at the designated counter, and they leave the store with their gifts ready! Those who are members of their Rewards Club had it even better, because the first day of the sale was exclusively for them.

World AIDS Day Run

Christmas is about giving, and giving goes beyond the exchange of material gifts during the Christmas season. This is something Ororama clearly understands, as they went beyond offering discounts and special promos this December. They also offered much-needed support to the campaign for AIDS awareness by being one of the sponsors of the Kapamilya World AIDS Day Run last December 5. They set up a registration booth at the Ororama Supercenter (Cogon). Proceeds of the activity will go to the HIV/AIDS shelter and help provide support to people living with HIV and AIDS.

 Kapamilya World AIDS Day Run

Misa de Gallo Treat

It has always been part of the Filipino tradition to wake up and hear mass in the early morning hours for 9 days, from December 16-24. The 9 morning masses known as Misa de Gallo because the mass begins at the time when roosters usually start crowing (“Gallo” is Spanish for chicken) have been part of Philippine culture from as far back as we can remember, and most Filipino Catholics most probably grew up attending these masses each year.

Part of this tradition is to have pamainit after mass. Churchgoers share a feast of kakanin—puto-bumbong, suman, bibingka, palitao, biko, etc.—paired with either hot chocolate or coffee. If you’re one of those who regularly attend Misa de Gallo, then you may have noticed that there are vendors selling these pamainit goodies just a few steps from the church gates. Standing around the vendors’ carts, chatting with family and friends as you get your fill of kakanin and hot drinks can be a nice way to cap each Misa de Gallo morning.

If you aren’t too fond of standing while you eat your food, you could always go to the nearest market and have your pamainit at any of the painitan stalls there. These stalls typically have bar stool-type chairs for customers to sit on and a long counter where you can place your food. But why go anywhere to pay for your kakanin and coffee/hot choco when you can actually get them for free? Yes, free!

The Ororama chain of stores also has a tradition of their own: for several years now, they’ve been giving free pamainit for the first morning of Misa de Gallo. You don’t even have to purchase anything, as they won’t be asking for receipts or any proof of purchase. You simply need to approach the staff serving the kakanin and hot drinks, and they’ll offer the food for free. There are tables and chairs provided, so you won’t have to eat standing up.

Ororama is indeed having a very merry Christmas and spreading their joy to their loyal patrons. So the next time you’re anywhere near their stores this December, why not drop by? You just might be in for a pleasant surprise. Happy Holidays!

Access the Perks of Big-City Condo Living at Primavera Residences

A visit to Philippines urban centers like Metro Manila in Luzon, Cebu City in the Visayas, and Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao will reveal the seemingly non-stop construction of residential complexes. Vertical and horizontal condominiums alike are steadily growing in number in these areas. This may be because the urban population has grown significantly in recent years, which means more and more people are looking for permanent (or at least semi-permanent) dwelling places in the country’s major cities.

As land on which to build houses become scarcer, urban real estate has become more expensive. It has therefore become more challenging to buy a house of your own in a good location within an urban area. For this reason, more and more people are now embracing condo living. With the demand for condo units rising, the number of condominium projects in the cities is also on the rise. Even in Cagayan de Oro, a very quiet and laid-back city compared to Manila and Cebu, the construction of several condominiums have been going on for the past few years and the end still isn’t in sight.

If you’re a little traditional and your dream is to someday own a house-and-lot, you may wonder what it is about condo living that attracts a growing number of people. What advantages could these high-rise residence buildings have to offer? Why do an increasing number of individuals consider condo living a better option than buying a home of their own? Let’s take a closer look at some of the major perks of condo living in an urban area.

Access the Perks of Big-City Condo Living at Primavera Residences

Location

Most condominium complexes in urban areas are constructed in ideal locations. There are even some that are located right in the heart of the city. For busy individuals who do not want to battle heavy traffic day in and day out, being able to live in a place that’s easily accessible from their workplace is definitely a huge advantage. Even better news is that most condominiums are constructed within walking distance from shopping centers, schools, hospitals, churches, and other places where people typically converge.

Security

Everybody wants to feel safe and secure in the place they call home. After all, how can you call a place your home if you cannot even consider it as a haven to which you can safely retreat? When you live in a condo unit, you benefit from the property’s security system, which is typically very expensive. There are usually CCTV cameras within the property and security guards who man the entrance/exit and patrol the premises on a regular basis. Imagine how much it would cost to set up a similar system if you had a house and lot!

Maintenance and Upkeep

When you live in a condo unit, you won’t have to take care of a garden or a front/back lawn. Even if the condominium complex you live in does have a garden and lawn, the management is responsible for its maintenance, not the unit owners. There are also people hired for the maintenance and upkeep of common areas within the complex (pool, lounge, gym, etc.), as these are covered by the association dues you pay. Your only responsibility will be the maintenance and upkeep of your own unit.

Amenities

Most condominiums have such amenities as a swimming pool, a gym, and a clubhouse. There are even those that have a spa! Most of these amenities are typically free for all unit owners to use and those that come with fees have discounted rates for unit owners. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go for a dip in the pool any time you want without having to drive anywhere? If you happen to live in a complex that has a spa, you’ll have the added benefit of being able to go for a relaxing massage and then just walk back to your unit and get a good night’s sleep afterwards!

Investment

Investing in a condo unit generally comes out much less expensive than buying a parcel of land and getting a house built from the ground up. This is especially true if you bought a unit during the pre-selling period. This is why many young professionals are choosing to buy condo units these days; they can easily afford it. And the fact that a condominium’s value could easily double within six years makes it a sound investment, indeed.

If you’re a busy career individual looking to establish roots in the urban jungle, a condo unit is definitely an investment worth considering. It could be one of the best ways to make the most of what Cagayan de Oro City has to offer.

Cagayan de Oro: Looking Towards a Vibrant Future

Despite being rocked by a bombing incident last year, Cagayan de Oro (CDO) has continued to be one of the country’s fastest-rising cities. Just as the city’s residents stood up, moved on, and reclaimed their lives after the tragedy that was Sendong a few years back, they also continued to move forward, undaunted by the threat posed by that single bombing incident. Today, no sign of threat or fear can be seen, as the city’s development continues, seemingly in a race against time itself.

The economic growth and global competitiveness of Cagayan de Oro is such that even a former director-general of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Cayetano Paderanga, Jr., has stated that the city could very well become the new business and financial hub of Mindanao. He further said that Northern Mindanao and the Davao Region are now head-to-head in terms of growth, but NorMin has momentum on its side, so CDO definitely stands a good chance of overtaking Davao City as Mindanao’s economic hub very soon.

City Mayor Oscar Moreno himself has marveled at the huge number of potential growth areas in the city and vowed to harness that potential. The city government has also included a rearrangement of some infrastructure into their development plan, in hopes of easing traffic in the city. With power, peace, and order, and human resource more stable than those in other parts of Mindanao, CDO definitely has the fundamentals of growth covered.

Improvements in Transportation and Commercial Infrastructure

Commercial Infrastructure in Cagayan de Oro

CDO’s development is most obviously seen in its infrastructure. The city government has been building roads, bridges, hospitals, school buildings, and other forms of infrastructure practically everywhere within the city. Investors have also been flocking to the City of Golden Friendship, which is why, when you look around the city these days, you are bound to see commercial establishments rise in just about every area within CDO. Naturally, the rise in the number of business and academic establishments has led to an increase in employment opportunities and a rise in the number people entering the city for work and education.

Economic Boosters

Looking Towards a Vibrant Future with Oscar Moreno

Where employment is concerned, one of the biggest contributors is the city’s BPO industry. The city previously had only a handful of small BPO establishments, but today, it has two IT buildings and five IT parks. Young professionals are therefore increasingly considering CDO as the place to be. Parents with university-bound children also see Cagayan de Oro as the ideal place to send their offspring not only because it has a good number of institutions that offer quality education, but also because more and more opportunities are opening up for new graduates.

Population Rise & Housing Developments

Housing Developments in Cagayan de Oro

With the steady influx of people looking to study and work in CDO, the need for dwelling places was recognized and the real estate industry joined in the infrastructure boom. It is now normal for you to see a subdivision or condominium complex being built around the city. And the good thing is that house-and-lot and condo units have become a lot more affordable in recent years, thereby opening up more opportunities for working individuals and young families to finally have a place they can call their own.

CIW/Jaybuilders’ Industries Inc. – CDO’s Very Own

CIW/Jaybuilders’ Industries Inc.

Amid all the growth and infrastructure development in the city, one name has risen in the world of construction manufacturing and trading—CIW (Cagayan Iron Works) Steel Industries Inc. This company is more widely recognized as Jaybuilders’ Industries Inc., an enterprise that started out as a simple backyard shop in 1983, but is now a highly competitive company that commits to the innovation of building products, the enhancement of building techniques, and the provision of high-quality building products and services along with reliable after sales service.

CIW boasts of a diverse clientele, having worked on a wide variety of projects for both government institutions and private establishments. They have worked on projects that involved the construction of school buildings, churches, hotels, government office buildings, condominiums, commercial centers, and private houses. They have, therefore, become a major player in Cagayan de Oro’s continued infrastructure and economic growth.

Considering their humble beginnings and the fact that they banked on quality workmanship and excellent customer service to slowly but surely grow their business, the Jaybuilders story could very well be an inspiration to the rest of CDO. Their story is proof that while success isn’t gained overnight, it also isn’t out of reach for those who strive hard for it. More importantly, their story runs parallel to that of Cagayan de Oro itself—a story that shows us that for as long as we do not balk at challenges and learn to rise and move forward each time we fall, we will soon find that growth and success are just around the corner.

When in Cagayan de Oro – Enjoying the Kagay-an Festival

The month of August is here and the City of Golden Friendship is preparing to go all-out in merriment for the celebration of the upcoming Kagay-an Festival. Although the feast day of the city’s patron saint (ST. Augustine) is still on the 28th, there are number of great events happening weeks before and after the day itself. If you’re a tourist visiting the city in August or a local who hasn’t really explored your hometown that much, the Kagay-an Fesitval is the perfect time to do so and have fun with family and friends.

Kumbira

If you’re familiar with Chef Wars or Master Chef, well, this is the local version (minus Gordon Ramsay, of course) where Kagay-anons and tourists bear witness to the great culinary talents of representatives from prestigious educational/training institutions (mostly those who take up HRM and related courses), restaurants, and hotels within the city as well as other parts of the country. Participants are set to battle it out for the honor of being named the best in their respective categories.

KUMBIRA in Cagayan de Oro

Kumbira is usually held at the Atrium of the Limketkai Center (one of the city’s leading malls). In the previous years, the general public had to pay a fee to witness the competition, but free access was typically offered as soon as the major competitions were done. If you would like to watch this event and enjoy the battles of the culinary wizards, you may contact COHARA (Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association) for more information about Kumbira and the other events scheduled during the fiesta month.

The Search for Miss Kagay-an

Considered among the Kagay-an Festival’s highlights and most anticipated events, this beauty pageant features carefully chosen candidates who will strut their stuff during various stages of the competition such as the talent competition, swimsuit competition, evening gown competition, and the question and answer portion. This is also the time of year when the unique beauty of Kagay-anon women from the different barangays of the city is showcased.

Search For Ms Kagay-an

Rotunda Night Market and Café

The rotunda night market and café is the perfect destination for affordable food and great bargain prices on selected items. Located in the city’s rotunda (Paseo del Rio) area, this is the ideal place to hang out with family and friends. Since this is an open area where vehicles pass and a good number of people converge, it’s advised that you don’t bring a lot of valuables with you.

Fiesta Mall Sales

One of the best things about Cagayan de Oro is that the price of various commodities typically drops during the fiesta month, particularly in the city’s malls. They go from twenty, thirty, to fifty perfect off on selected department store and specialty shop items. Even the grocery area often has great bargains to offer those who will be preparing a feast for the celebration.

Have Fun and Build Memories

With such a great lineup of activities and various surprises in store for everyone, the Kagay-an Festival will remain one of the best festivals you’ll ever bear witness to!

 

Cagayan de Oro’s First Startup Weekend – A Huge Help to the City’s Booming IT Industry

Last year (July 11-13), the first ever Startup Weekend in Cagayan de Oro City was organized by DOST-ICTO, Ideaspace, CDO-ICT Business Council and TechTalk.ph. The event, which was participated by hundreds of designers, developers, marketers, students, and young entrepreneurs, acted as a platform for Kagay-anons to voice out their awesome business and ICT proposals and let their creative juices flow freely. The three-day event was held at Capitol University.

First Startup Weekend in Capitol University

What Is a Startup Weekend?

For those who don’t know what a Startup Weekend is, it is actually a global movement that aims to bring together business-minded people to brainstorm for the next 54 hours for a winning business proposal. The first ever Startup Weekend was organized in Boulder, Colorado way back 2007. Three years later, the Startup Weekend movement was acquired by Clint Nelsen and Marc Nager who then turned the event into a nonprofit organization. The main focus of the Startup Weekend was to inspire budding entrepreneurs to develop a startup. Currently, the headquarters of the organization is situated in Seattle, Washington.

Start-Up weekend headquarters

The Startup Weekend movement has then spread in other countries. In the Philippines, Startup Weekend events have already been staged in Cebu, Manila, Bacolod and Bohol. Despite the event having been unfolded in several parts of the country, the Startup Weekend last July 2014 was CDO’s first time to host it.

The turnout of the event in CDO was a huge success, and it definitely inspired all the participants to let loose of their authenticity and imagination in order to create a unique startup. Here’s a summary of the three-day Startup Weekend event in the city:

Day 1 – Pitching of ideas

Every Startup Weekend traditionally begins with a pitching of ideas on the first night. Participants were encouraged to pitch their ideas in front of the crowd which is composed of mentors, guests, fellow participants, and organizers. Among the participants of CDO’s first Startup Weekend, 34 braved the stage and voice out their ideas. They were given 60 seconds to define their concept through answering four questions – “Who are you?”, “What problem are you solving?”, “How will you solve the problem?”, and “Who do you need?”

After all pitches were shared, the whole participants then decided which among the ideas had a great potential. Out of the 34 ideas, 13 made it to the next round.

Day 2 – Brainstorming with Their teams

The following day, participants were given the chance choose their own team. It was also their first time to mingle and meet their mentors. The theme for the day’s activity was to let loose everyone’s creative juices and innovative ideas. The whole day was spent by the participants brainstorming their pitches and developing it to become an actual product. Everybody in the team had shared their ideas; marketers, developers, and designers all had their contribution in making their pitch turn into a substantial product. At the end of the day, all teams had their prototype readied for the next day which was the judgment day.

Day 3- Presentation and Judging

The final day of the Startup Weekend was the judging of the presentations prepared by the teams. The whole morning was spent polishing the teams’ presentations and finalizing their models. Exactly 6 PM in the evening, the presentation and judging began. Each team was given five minutes for the presentation and after that, a Q&A portion followed.

Among the 13 teams, the Idea Camp composed of Aaron Lee Yap, Marl Ian Dionaldo and Paul Ouano emerged as the winners. Idea Camp is a crowdfunding site especially tailored for Filipino campaign creators and supporters. The project is very similar to the popular online community, Kickstarter, but it is more comprehensive and detailed.

Everybody certainly had an awesome experience during the Startup Weekend and all have positive remarks. So we’re really crossing our fingers that this year, another Startup Weekend will invade CDO.

 

 

 

The First Mindanao Photo Summit – A First of Its Kind in CdeO

A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” – Diane Arbus

Photographers. They are a common sight to see nowadays. Whether they are professionals or just enthusiasts who want to learn more, photographers are starting to become a big thing these days.

photographer

In this generation where a lot of people want to keep great memories, we aim to get the best photos of treasured occasions. Others take it to the next level by taking pictures of the great sights in the city that they live in or even when they travel far away.

And while just taking pictures willy-nilly is a hassle-free and expedient way, this is a fact that can’t be refuted: we can’t always rely on point-and-shoot methods when it comes to photography. We need to see if the lighting is right, the aperture is perfect for the scene, anda the subjects are picture-worthy enough to be taken.

Luckily this year, the city of Cagayan de Oro will have its first Mindanao Photo Summit (with the theme “Island Interlinks”) this coming July 31 to August 2, 2015 to be held at Centrio Mall—a first of its kind here in the city. Finally amateur, student, and professional photographers will be given informative talks by skilled photography mentors to hone their skills and further their love for photography.

Mindanao Photo Summit in Cagayan de Oro

Photo from Mindanao Daily News

Photography Lecture Series

Throughout the three-day photography lecture series, they will be discussing basic photography, product photography, and landscape, portrait, and food photography.

Interested people who want to join in the lecture series will be mentored by travel and underwater photographer Annaliza Barrera, Canon Ambassadors Ibarra Deri, Edwin A. Martinez, and Francisco Mark Floro.

Registration

If you want to get into photography or refresh your photography skills, you can attend all five lectures with a registration fee of 2,500 pesos. Student photographers who want to attend the MPS will only pay 1000 pesos as long as you present your recent School ID upon registration. To those who want to register online to avoid the registration rush, you can download the registration form from their official Facebook page (just look up 1st Mindanao Photo Summit to find them).

Expectations

This photo summit is one step for more photography-related events in the future. With the growing photography fever increasing in the city as we speak, there’s no denying that a lot of people want to get into it and capture great moments and awesome sights in just a few clicks of their camera. We hope that this photo summit wouldn’t be the only one if its kind. Cheers to more photography-related events and more people who want to get into this interesting and fun hobby! See you at the MPS!