Category Archives: Proudly Pinoy

Philippine Products and brands developed outside Cagayan de Oro that had made its way here in the city

Optimizing the Lechon Experience

Whole roasted pig, known in the Philippines as lechon, is one of the favorite dishes of Filipinos. During fiestas, birthdays, weddings, Christmas parties, or any other celebration, it is common to see this dish. It is, in fact, the highlight of most celebrations. There are even times when we crave lechon on ordinary days.


In Cagayan de Oro, which is known to be where some of the country’s best lechon are found, there is good news. The city’s first and currently only restaurant that offers eat-all-you-can lechon buffet (with other delicious Pinoy dishes)—the House of Native Lechon—is now open. Before you head off to enjoy their buffet, you may want to check out some tips on how you can best enjoy the lechon experience.


Most Flavorful Parts


Many people would agree that the most flavorful parts of a lechon are the skin, the ribs, and the belly. Here are the reasons most commonly given on why people love these three parts of a lechon:


  1. Skin – People love the crunchy goodness of lechon skin, and it helps that the layer of fat that typically clings to the skin adds to its flavor. The skin is especially good when the pig that is roasted is just a few months old (about four to six months) and has just a thin layer of fat. Sometimes there are even strips of meat that get roasted onto the skin, and these are very flavorful as well; these strips of meat make you enjoy lechon skin even more.


  1. Ribs – Among the things that make CDO lechon one of the best in the country (in the world, even) are the spices used by CDO lechoneros. These spices are typically stuffed inside the pig’s belly prior to cooking, which is why the rib area is one of the best parts of a lechon; it has soaked up all the flavors and is therefore mouthwateringly good. And nibbling the meat from the bone is also a fun experience!


  1. Belly – Just like the ribs, the lechon belly part right next to it is also full of delicious flavors, having soaked up the goodness of the spices stuffed into the pig prior to roasting. Plus, the fact that the belly is all meat and no bone makes it the best part of a lechon for those who do not care much for nibbling on bones. Yes, you’ll have to wait a while to get to that part, but it sure is worth the wait.


Enjoying Lechon


Lechon is enjoyable enough as it is, but there are ways for you to maximize your enjoyment of this all-time favorite Pinoy dish. Of course, each person has a different take on how one can best enjoy a serving of lechon, but where we are concerned, here are the best ways to optimize the lechon-eating experience:


  1. Eat with your bare hands. Yes, indeed. Kamayan is the way to go when you’re eating lechon. Sure, it will taste just as delicious when you eat it using utensils, but the experience of going kamayan when you’re eating lechon is unbeatable!


  1. Eat it with plain steamed rice. When there’s lechon, it definitely is NOT the time to go on a no-rice diet. There’s just something about the lechon-steamed rice combo that makes it oh-so-good. Try pairing lechon with any other food—fried rice, pasta, egg noodles—and you’ll be sure to agree that plain steamed rice is the way to go.


  1. If you’re one of those who love lechon skin, here’s a tip: Look for the parts with the bubbles; these are usually the crispiest parts. Its crispiness is one of the reasons why people love lechon skin, so it’s only logical for you to choose the crispiest part.


  1. If the layer of fat clinging to the skin is a bit thick, scrape it off. Yes, it adds to the skin’s flavorful goodness, but it can also cause umay (nausea), which destroys the whole lechon experience. Give yourself the chance to eat more of your favorite lechon skin by doing away with the excess fat.


  1. Get the ice-cold cola out. Yes, you can eat lechon with any other drink, cold or otherwise. But once you try it with ice-cold soda, you probably won’t want any other combo in the future. There are few things more satisfying than that burp you make after enjoying a lechon/steamed rice/ice-cold cola experience.


Are you ready for some lechon? We know we are. Let’s go!


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.


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

Primavera City – The Next Groundbreaking Project for IDC

Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC) made headlines when they unveiled one of the most self-sufficient, eco-friendly mixed-use condominiums ever to grace the skylines in any of the Philippine cities, the Primavera Residences in Cagayan de Oro. Before this twin tower project was even completed, it already received numerous recognitions and awards from a variety of institutions and international award-giving bodies, including the Southeast Asia Property Awards (SEAPA) in Singapore and the International Property Awards in Kuala Lumpur.

Primavera Residences has also received a certificate of recognition as a finalist and one of the “Most Promising Clean Energy Investment Opportunities” during the Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN) in a Philippine Clean Energy Investment Forum in Manila. With its completion, Primavera Residences, aka the “Twin Towers,” proves to the international community that human ingenuity and perseverance can really make any dream a reality, including creating a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient commercial and residential building.

Italpinas’ Newest Project: Primavera City

Primavera City

Next on the docket for Italpinas Development Corp. is Primavera City. Still located in uptown CDO, at the Pueblo de Oro Business Park, where Primavera Residences is situated, Primavera City is a master-planned condominium project that is surely going to further the cause of IDC in promoting affordable, eco-friendly living. This is the latest project for Italpinas in Cagayan de Oro; a self-sustainable, mixed-use condominium development that has already received praise and recognition from the Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN). The CTI PFAN’s funding partners include the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Just like the previous project, Primavera City was recognized as one of the top 10 “most promising clean energy investment opportunities” in 2013, during a competition held in Singapore. Interestingly, this real estate project is the only design consisting of seven mixed-use commercial and residential developments that boasts of both passive and active green features, using huge PV solar panel arrays for each of the building’s rooftops, essentially topping over 100 other eco-friendly projects in all of Asia. We can expect the development project to be constructed in four different phases.

According to the Italpinas Development Corp. website, the grand launch of these mixed-use energy-efficient buildings is set in the second quarter of this year, with the construction of Phase 1 or the first two mid-rise buildings set to commence in the third quarter. While the remaining structures, including the high-rise, will follow later. The project will receive its funding through the initial public offering, or IPO, set by IDC and its partners.

In a recent interview, IDC Chairman and COO Romolo Valentino Nati, an Italian architect, stated that the first phase of the development project will consist of the construction of the first two buildings with a total of 11 floors each. These buildings will be integrated multifunctional structures that will house commercial, residential, and office spaces. The project requires an investment estimated at around PHP 653 million.

Architect Nati, who also played a major role in the design of IDC’s previous Primavera Residences project, further stated that, “Primavera City is a fitting follow-up to our highly successful and multi-awarded Primavera Residences, which caught the fancy of not just Filipinos but even foreign buyers and property experts for its modern Italian design infused with eco-friendly architecture.” Indeed, this latest project is the next big step, not just for the real estate development company, but for the real estate industry as well.

Structural and Condominium Features

According to Italpinas Development Corp. the projected completion of the Primavera City project and the turnover of its units to their owners will be around the third quarter of 2018, if all goes well. IDC President Jose D. Leviste III confirmed in an interview that the first two towers of Primavera City Phase 1 are designed to house a total of 337 units. Of the 337 units, 57 will be commercial units, 22 are one-bedroom residential units, 27 are two-bedroom units, and 231 are studio-type residences. The average sizes of the units are 50 to 60 square meters for the commercial spaces, 47 for the one-bedroom, 70 sqm for the two-bedroom, and around 28 square meters for the studio type units.

According to Leviste, a lawyer and a graduate of the University of New South Whales in Australia, their target buyers include “employed and/or self-employed individuals with gross family income of at least PHP 50,000 such as local entrepreneurs, SMEs, OFWs, young professionals, and retirees, among others.” He further emphasized that, “With Cagayan de Oro now an emerging tourism and investment destination in the country, Primavera City is a great buy, not just for first-time home buyers, but also for investors.


Italpinas Development Corporation’s Primavera Residences and More

A leading real estate development company, especially for its self-sustaining architectural design and for promoting environmentally-friendly commercial and residential construction practices, Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC) has undoubtedly solidified its status not just in the real estate sector, but in the corporate world as well. The company’s projects are setting the bar high for other up-and-coming real estate development companies.

Here are some of the projects that have given IDC major recognition from both local and international groups, businesses, and investors.

Primavera Residences (Cagayan de Oro)

Primavera Residences (Cagayan de Oro)

This is the green building project that has earned Italpinas their International Finance Corporation (IFC) World Bank Group – Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification. The Primavera Residences twin tower project is the epitome of green living and what human ingenuity can accomplish. The towers have already been recognized for their unique, modern design. If you look a little closer though, you will quickly realize that the buildings are more than just a façade; a welcome addition to the city’s skyline, they are actually an architectural marvel in terms of efficiency and functionality.

Some of the green features of Primavera Residences include:

  • Photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftop that serve as a source for renewable energy. Made of amorphous silicon, the panels are virtually unbreakable and have a high heat tolerance.
  • Open inner courtyard, allowing natural light and ventilation to pass through. This eliminates the need to turn on electric lights during the day.
  • Unit/apartment cross ventilation design helps reduce indoor heat.
  • Façade shadowing system, or shelters, are designed not just for cosmetics purposes but for heat reduction as well. The shelters work by shielding windows from the sun’s rays during the hottest hours of the day, further reducing internal heat.

All of these features put together could help reduce overall energy consumption by up to 20%.

MIRAMONTI (Sto. Tomas, Batangas)

MIRAMONTI (Sto. Tomas, Batangas)

With a total project development cost of approximately $124.5 million, you can see that Italpinas is quite serious when it comes to providing top quality design and development. The total buildable area covered by this mixed-use condominium is around 120,000 square meters. Phase 1 alone is composed of about 2,000 square meters.

The first two floors are designed for commercial space, with 1,500 square meters of space per floor. There are two parking levels, which are also 1,500 square meters each, and 20 residential floors of approximately 800 square meters per floor. In keeping with IDC’s self-sufficient design, Miramonti also features photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftops to serve as a source of renewable energy.

Shelter of Light (Payatas, Quezon City)

Shelter of Light (Payatas, Quezon City)

Albeit still in a concept design phase, looking at the initial designs will really inspire awe even in those who have no interest in architecture. Once completed, Shelter of Light will be an eco-friendly multipurpose public hall that’s located in Payatas, Quezon City. This is a partnership project between IDC and My Shelter Foundation, an organization that promotes the use of recyclable materials like plastic soda bottles, bamboo, solar panels, and Onduline—a lightweight but extremely tough, corrugated wall cladding and roofing material.

Coral City (Quezon City, Metro Manila)

Coral City (Quezon City, Metro Manila)

Coral City is a green, mixed-use socialized housing project in Quezon City that has a total buildable area of around 30,000 square meters. The architectural design concept has received the “Special Energy Award” from the Design Against the Elements International architectural competition. This energy-efficient housing complex is comprised of a group of individual buildings that feature a number of structures and spaces, which include inner courtyards, parking, flood-proof shelters, and other eco-friendly facilities. The total project development cost is estimated at around $10 million.

Italpinas Development Corporation has certainly shown what they can do, and achieve, given the opportunity. The company’s green-oriented approach to architectural design is truly revolutionary. An office building project in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila for a particular telecommunications company, for example, shows architectural design concepts that are at the forefront of Philippine architecture and design. And again, this building features eco-friendly elements that aim to reduce energy consumption and waste.

Additionally, in the second quarter of this year, IDC will unveil its newest green living development in Cagayan de Oro. Primavera City is another sustainable-development project and will have passive green features like the semi-transparent photo-voltaic already being used in the rooftops of their existing developments.

Truly, Italpinas is at the forefront of the green living revolution in the Philippines. With all these and other projects in the planning stages, IDC intends to create a community where people can live in affordably, safely, and conveniently.


Homestyle Cooking by Ale Restaurant

ale restaurant cdoOn some days, you’re happy to have just anything for dinner.  On some days, you crave for something that would bring you a taste of home.  This is what I had when I went to Ale Restaurant for the first time.   I found Ale just when my palettes were craving for something specific – a bowl of Arrozcaldo!  That hearty dish served as the bait to get me to try more of Ale’s home style dishes.

cdo kinilaw ale restaurant

Ale’s version of CDO Kinilaw

Find Ale Restaurant at the ground floor of Robinson’s Mall, near the car park entrance to the Mall.  If you’re coming from inside the mall, there’s another entrance door located near the stairs that goes up to the Robinsons Supermarket.

Ale restaurant pancit

Homestyle pancit, yum!

Islands Souvenirs Rocks Cagayan de Oro with Centrio Fashion Show

The Islands Souvenirs officially open for the Kagay-anons

The Islands Souvenirs launches its 2nd CDO Outlet at Centrio Mall. Mayor Oscar Moreno and Camille Aldeguer officially opens the shop for the Kagay-anons to enjoy!


Fashion. Music. Fun. Kagayan-ons were in for a treat as Islands Souvenirs brought the house down on Centrio +Mall with the launch of the ‘I Heart Cagayan De Oro’ campaign. The ‘I Heart CDO’ line, which includes a wide variety of personalised shirts and other products, focuses on love and pride of place. The campaign also highlights the things that make CDO a great tourist destination – whether it’s the food, the adventures, the sights, the people, the vibe, the views and everything under the sun. Through the ‘I Heart’ concept, locals are empowered and encouraged to “Show your love, Show your pride” for the city that they call home. Continue reading


islands souvenirs

This July 19, Islands Souvenirs launches ‘I Heart CDO’ campaign together with the new store at Centrio Mall. The second store in just two months with more underway, Islands Souvenirs’ new campaign focuses on promoting CDO and its tourism. Continue reading