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    Marmar Basha Lebanese Grill opens at new location in Nazareth

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    Marmar Basha Lebanese Grill opens at new location in Nazareth

    Your favorite Mediterranean Cuisine restaurant has just moved to a new and better location at #32 Tomas Saco St., Brgy. Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City.

    Marmar Basha is a Lebanese-owned Halal restaurant that serves Middle Eastern favorites like Hummus, Kebabs, Shawarma, Fatayer, Beryani, and Kabsa.

    Basha means “boss” while Marmar means ‘ocean’, so Marmar Basha means “Boss of the Ocean’.

    But its flier invites the casual gourmand to experience more than that with Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish and Lebanese cuisines all in one setting.

    “We serve healthy and delicious dishes which use olive oil, fresh meat and vegetables with no artificial ingredients or preservatives,” says Soheil Dandan, the Lebanese born owner who has now made Cagayan de Oro City his home.

    The place had its humble beginnings in 2017 when Soheil took over the ownership of the former Istanbul Grill along Corrales Avenue across the Xavier Gymnasium.

    With the experience he gained from their family-owned restaurant in Beirut, Marmar Basha soon gained a loyal clientele which patronized the unique establishment.

    However, Soheil realized his first location was too small to accommodate his flourishing business, and

    began looking for a better place. Fortunately, he found a good one at the new location which not only

    allowed a bigger sit-down capacity, but had a parking space for patrons as well.

    “Our customers like our food because all our ingredients are imported so we maintain our quality. We

    cannot replace them with local substitutes because for instance, the chicken curry and turmeric here are quite different from what we have in Lebanon, so will not taste the same.”

    “Our best sellers are our Basha Special Grill: Wow Tawook (Juicy chicken breast marinated in Turkish

    spices); Wow Tenderloin (Tender beef cubes marinated in Spanish spices); Wow Helly Chix (Spicy

    chicken breast cubes marinated in Mexican spices); Basha Mini Grill (Combination of 2 BBQ choices in

    one set: shish tawook & beef kebab); Basha Mix Grill (Combination of 3 BBQ choices in one set: shish tawook, beef kebab & beef tenderloin), and King Kebab (Combination of 2 choices of chicken kebab and beef kebab, marinated the Lebanese way).

    They also serve four kinds of shawarma: local, Lebanese, French and Mexican.

    “They have the same beef and chicken but differ in their toppings and gravy. For instance, the local

    shawarma only has cucumber and green tomatoes with watery garlic sauce. But our garlic sauce is creamy and we don’t use mayonnaise, we make our own garlic sauce. So the Lebanese Shawarma has the taheni (sesame paste) sauce which is imported,” Soheil explained.

    Like many traditional Middle Eastern restaurants, the new Marmar Basha also has a mini-mart displaying favorite middle eastern products like halal gelatin, chicken and beef luncheon loaf, halawa (pistachio spread) and a lot more!

    “And for those who like to relax after their meal, we invite them to experience Arabic tobacco with

    Shisha smoking, with hot drinks like Arab Coffee and Middle Eastern Tea,” Soheil said.

    Also known as narghile, water pipe, hookah or hubble bubble smoking, Shisha originated in the Middle East and certain parts of Asia. It is a way of smoking tobacco through a bowl with a hose or tube with a mouthpiece that the smoker uses to breath in the smoke.

    Shisha usually contains tobacco which is sometimes mixed with fruit or molasses sugar. Popular flavors include apple, strawberry, mint and cola. Wood, coal or charcoal is burned in the shisha pipe to heat the tobacco and create the smoke.

    Marmar Basha is open daily from 11AM to 11PM for dine-in, take-out and delivery via foodpanda,

    Grabfood, maxim, or streetby at #32 Tomas Saco St., Nazareth beside the Korean Church. You can also visit their social media page on Facebook, or call 0917-717-7747 for more inquiries.

    J2J Street Café and Restaurant creates Filipino-Italian Pasta Fusion Menu

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    J2J Street Café and Restaurant creates Filipino-Italian Pasta Fusion Menu

    There’s a new eatery at the corner of Velez and Hayes streets in Cagayan de Oro that’s serving an

    interesting concept of a Filipino-Italian Pasta Fusion menu.

    “J2J started with a concept of creating a store that will cater lunch meal boxes serving both Filipino and Italian dishes,” said Jeigs Pakino, one of the dynamic J2J duo. the other J being his partner Edgardo Quiampano Jr.

    The Filipino side of the J2J trademark was inspired by the home-made Pancit Canton made from the

    same recipe Jeigs mom used to serve during social occasions at home, thus his personal sentimental

    favorite.

    On the other hand, their Pomodoro is a tomato-based spaghetti inspired by a recipe from an Italian

    restaurant where the other J used to work in.

    “We started a very small store along corner Hayes-Velez streets at the ground floor of the historic Casa del Chino Ygua building about 6 years ago,” Jeigs recalls.

    When the original store prospered, they renamed it EduardoDiego due to the pressing need to brand their Italian menu’s increasing popularity.

    However, like many restaurants in the city and around the world, the blossoming enterprise was hit hard by the lockdowns called for by the coronavirus pandemic and remained in limbo, until a chance encounter Jeigs had with Amadeo V. Neri, the building owner of their new venue.

    “I was visioning that Sir Neri’s place is a good venue to house J2J, and fortuitously about in the middle of November, Sir Neri happened to be standing in front of his building and I asked him about his place. We discussed casually and I expressed to him that I’ve been eyeing his place for years since the last tenant moved out.

    A deal was struck and the new J2J Street Café and Restaurant opened at an auspicious date last December 8th , it being the Feast of the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    “We had our soft opening last Dec.8, creating a classic vintage look of the interiors, reflecting our

    Filipino-Italian Pasta Fusion concept menu,” Jeigs related.

    J2J aims to cater to exclusive parties in its mezzanine area, and serve its signature plated meals with their tagline #TasteofCulture., redefining Filipino-European-American Food evolution.

    “We serve our signature Pancit Chicken Rice Meals, Spaghetti Chicken Meal Italiana, New Yorker

    Sausage Pizza, Ham & Cheese, along with regular servings of our Pancit and Classic Spaghetti, pan grilled pork chops and our signature Chicken Italiana.”

    The newest item on their menu is their #pizzamixed for only P399, a 9-inch pizza with side dishes of

    chicken wings cuts, potato wedges, and Italian Flakes that’s good for 2-3 persons.

    J2J Street Café and Restaurant is located at the Mezzanine floor of the Milagros Bldg., Archbishop

    Santiago Hayes SJ corner Apolinar Velez Sts., Cagayan de Oro City. For more details visit their socmed

    page J2J Fastfood and Café or call tel. nos. 0936-437-9131 or 0935-151-4868.

    80th Anniversary of the B-17 crash at Patag Airfield When the War came crashing down in Cagayan de Misamis, Dec. 14, 1941

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    80th Anniversary of the B-17 crash at Patag Airfield

    When the War came crashing down in Cagayan de Misamis, Dec. 14, 1941

    Cagayan de Misamis (as Cagayan de Oro in the island of Mindanao, the Philippines, was then known) got its first whiff of World War II when a B-17D bomber crash landed at the Cagayan Airfield (site of the present Patag Golf Course) on 14 December 1941.

    Raul Ilogon, whose father Jesus ran away from their home to join the guerrillas at the tender age of 17, tells how the latter used to tell them how he saw the wounded airmen from that B-17 near their house.

    “My father’s family lived in Licoan where the provincial hospital was located nearby. My father said he saw the wounded American airmen on that plane. During daytime they were taken out of the hospital for fear of Japanese bombings and hidden beneath the canopy of century old acacia trees near their house. They were in stretchers and wheelchairs. He saw the look in their eyes that in his young mind was telling him they were going to lose the war.”

    What many people didn’t and couldn’t have known then, was that the pilot of that B-17 was going to be feted as a war hero back home in the US, star as himself in a movie that won an Oscar, make a significant contribution to the eventual defeat of Japan, and become a future general of the US Air Force.

    ‘Shorty’ Wheless

    Lieutenant General Hewitt Terrell Wheless was born on 31 October 1913 in Menard Country, Texas,

    USA. Growing up as a kid in Menard, Texas his classmates nicknamed him ‘Nun’ because “There was

    scarcely none of him at all”.

    Wheless wanted to become a pilot, but his friends told him he was too short. They bet him a new pair of cowboy boots that he couldn’t make it. Wheless proved them wrong and won the boots.

    He began pilot training as an aviation cadet at Randolph Field (now Randolph Air Force Base, a part of

    Joint Base San Antonio), Texas, in June 1938, and graduated at Kelly Field (now Kelly Air Reserve Base,

    a part of Joint Base San Antonio), Texas with his pilot wings.

    He was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the US Army Air Corps Reserve in May 1939 and was first

    assigned as assistant operations officer of the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron at March Field (now March Air Reserve Base), California.

    Wheless trained on multi-engine bombers and was eventually assigned to the 19 th  Bomb Group equipped with the B-17-C Flying Fortress. In October 1941 he was assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group of General Douglas MacArthur’s Far East Air Force (FEAF).

    Initially the FEAF also included aircraft and personnel of the Philippine Army Air Corps. Outnumbered

    operationally more than three-to-one by aircraft of the Japanese Navy and Army, FEAF was largely

    destroyed during the Philippines Campaign of 1941–42.

    When the war broke out, 28-year-old 1st Lt. Shorty Wheless was a Boeing B-17D Flying Fortress pilot

    with the 19th Bombardment Group, stationed at Clark Field in the Philippines.

    After the Japanese attacked the Philippines on the afternoon of December 8, Wheless and others — along with what was left of the original 17 B-17s at Clark — flew south to Del Monte Field at Tankulan,

    Bukidnon on the island of Mindanao two days later.

    There, they were some 500 miles out of range of Japanese bombers. On the afternoon of December 14 six of the Fortresses were ordered to attack an enemy invasion force at Legaspi, on the southern tip of Luzon. Wheless’ B-17 was one of the six assigned to the mission.

    The Legaspi Mission

    Although the Legaspi attack would be the biggest single raid against the Japanese to date in the week-old war, bad luck and mechanical difficulties, which had plagued the 19th Bombardment Group from the beginning, continued.

    When the lead B-17, piloted by Lieutenant Jim Connally, began its takeoff run, a tire blew out, forcing the big ship off the runway. As the Fortress slid off the field, its right wingtip dipped to the ground and

    crumpled.

    The five remaining planes, piloted by Wheless and Lieutenants Lee Coats, Jack Adams, Elliot

    Vandevanter and Walter Ford, got off safely, the last plane leaving the runway at 12:14 p.m.

    About 200 miles out, the group ran into a spot of bad weather. When they broke out of the storm a few minutes later, Wheless was nowhere to be seen. His No. 3 engine had quit, forcing him to drop out.

    From that point on, things went from bad to worse. A half-hour out from the target, Ford radioed Coats, who had taken over from Connally, that he was having engine trouble and was returning to Del Monte. At the scheduled rendezvous point, about 35 miles from where the flight was to make its final turn for the target, Coats radioed that his engines were performing so badly that he was unable to make altitude, and was turning back.

    That left Vandevanter and Adams to go it alone. Forced to drop down to 18,000 feet because of cloud

    cover, Adams was the first over the target.

    After releasing his eight 600-pounders at the line of enemy transports sitting off the Legaspi beach, he

    was jumped by five Mitsubishi A6M Zeros.

    Adams had two of his engines were knocked out and two of his crew were wounded. Adams’ crew

    managed to shoot down two of the enemy fighters during the race for the clouds, but the remaining three Zeros were waiting for them when they came out.

    At that point, Adams ‘pulled a cute one,’ according to Harry Schrieber, his navigator. ‘He throttled back suddenly and one Zero overshot us to the left, which our side gunner picked off. Another came up under the stabilizer, and our bottom gunner got his second for the day.’

    Losing altitude while still battling the last enemy fighter, Adams decided to try for a beach landing on the nearby island of Masbate, just south of Luzon.

    Unfortunately, there was no real beach — ‘only jagged rocks with white surf wrapped around them,’

    Schrieber recalled.

    Desperately looking for a place to land, Adams spotted a rice paddy. ‘Cutting the remaining two motors so we wouldn’t have to climb out of her in flames, he made as nice a belly landing as you could hope for,’ said Schrieber. After a couple of passes over the downed bomber, the lone Zero turned for home.

    Vandevanter, in the other B-17, arrived over the target three minutes behind Adams. Fortunately for him, Adams had attracted the attention of all the Zero pilots, so Vandevanter was able to make three

    uncontested runs over the target before more fighters appeared and chased him into a cloud bank.

    Vandevanter’s plane escaped without a scratch and returned safely to Del Monte.

    Meanwhile, the engine trouble that had caused Wheless to drop out of formation had been fixed.

    Although he was far behind the other four B-17s, he chose to continue on to the target, knowing that he would likely be attacking an alerted enemy whose defense might well include fighter planes.

    That decision would soon vault his name into virtually every major American newspaper and magazine.

    In fact — although Wheless didn’t find it out until two days after the mission — only two B-17s had

    made it to the target ahead of him. Although the number of enemy planes that jumped him was estimated at 18, in reality it was probably closer to 12. While the running battle with the enemy fighters was in progress, Wheless headed straight for the six enemy transports neatly lined up off Legaspi.

    The plane was committed to the bomb run; they were flying straight and level unable to take evasive

    action. A gunner called out eighteen enemy fighters, two squadrons, one on the left and one on the right bearing into them.

    The bombardier had control of the ship as he lined up the target in the bomb-sight, all Wheless could do was sit still and hope he didn’t get shot down. The bombardier shouted “Bombs away, bomb bay doors closed, kick her in the behind!”

    After bombardier released his eight 600-pounders, Wheless’ attention was focused on taking evasive

    action and giving his gunners a crack at the Japanese fighter pilots.

    Wheless went into a sharp turn and desperately looked for cloud cover. He only saw scattered cumulus clouds, not enough to hide a B-17 for very long.

    The Essence of Valor

    Gunners Russell Brown and William “Pat” Williams each claimed a Zero before being wounded.

    As Young noted in his Aviation History story, the early B-17s didn’t have tail guns. Williams battle

    station was in the “bathtub,” a bulge in the plane’s belly that was equipped with twin .50-cal. machine

    guns.

    “I was busy firing those guns,” he said. “They were coming from the left and right.”

    Williams was one of the four gunners in the plane’s mid-section. The others were two waist gunners

    firing from each side and the radio operator who shot twin machine guns from the top of the plane.

    Williams gun jammed, but being a mechanic, he managed to clear them with a screwdriver.

    Then W.G. Killin, the radio operator’s guns jammed and he asked Williams to change places with him

    and unjam the guns.

    “He got into the bathtub,” Williams said, “and instantly his head was blown off.”

    Williams, who was hit by a 20mm shell from one of the enemy planes, had his leg ripped open, knocking him out of the fight.

    Brown, whose right hand had been nearly shot off, was unable to operate his gun. The job of firing both waist guns went to Sergeant John Gootee, who though himself wounded in the right wrist, kept firing both guns until helped by the bombardier, Schlotte.

    The seven enemy planes claimed by Wheless and the four claimed by Adams in his brief fight may seem hard to believe in light of later WWII statistics.

    Remember, however, that this was the first time the Japanese had tangled with a B-17. The Zero pilots were unfamiliar with the Fortress’ firepower and the location of its guns.

    On the other hand, the system of authenticating a kill by a witness had not yet been put in place by the U.S. Army Air Forces. Had it been, the count might have been reduced to five or less.

    Also, it was apparently not possible for a large number of planes to literally swarm all over a B-17.

    Saburo Sakai, the Japanese ace who shot down Colin Kelly, said: ‘It was impossible for (a large number

    of Zeros) to make a concerted attack against the bomber, for in the rarified air we could easily over

    control and collide with each other. Instead, we swung out in a long file, and made our firing passes one after another, each plane making its run alone.’

    This was particularly easy against the D-model B-17, since it had no tail gun, relying instead on the gun

    in the bathtub position to help cover the tail.

    As far as it went, this assessment of the damage was correct. The 5-foot-6, 138-pound Wheless was

    struggling for all he was worth to keep the big plane in the air while it was being shot to pieces by

    machine-gun and cannon fire from the Zeros.

    The running battle with the Japanese fighters, which had begun the minute the plane appeared over the target, would last for 75 miles.

    The B-17 had dropped from 9,000 feet to 3,500. First the No. 1 engine was shot up, its throttle cable shot in two and had to be feathered as he could see gasoline spraying out. The gas tank for the number 4 engine was also leaking.

    Then, in rapid succession, bullets shot out the radio and the oxygen system and his number 3 engine was smoking.

    Then a 6-inch hole appeared in the right wing fuel tank, the result of 20mm cannon fire. After that came a sudden loss of control, when a hail of 20mm fire severed seven of the control cables of the big plane, leaving cables intact for only right rudder, one elevator and both ailerons.

    Concentrating on flying, Wheless did not know what was happening in the rest of the airplane.

    The radio operator had been killed, his upper gunner had his thigh split from hip to knee by an explosive shell, he lay on the floor crippled, reaching for his gun to fight back with. One waist gunner was wounded and the other manned both guns, ignoring the pain from a cracked wrist. The flight engineer fought on too, steadying his gun with one hand because his other hand was shot away.

    By that time, both wheels had been shot flat and the tail wheel had been blown completely out of its

    mount. Then there were the three wounded crewmen and one killed in action — with three machine guns jammed or otherwise out of commission. Fuel was spewing freely out of the right wing tank, which meant that a second engine would quit just miles from the Mindanao coast.

    It ain’t over till it’s over

    Looking for protection from the Zeros on his tail, Wheless ducked into a cloud bank as he left the Luzon coast. When he broke out minutes later, not a Japanese plane was to be seen.

    The enemy pilots — either low on ammunition or fuel, or sure the battered B-17, trailing smoke and

    gasoline and limping along on three engines, was finished — had given up the chase.

    Wheless was afraid to pick up his microphone since he thought everyone in the ship must be dead. He

    was relieved to see the navigator alive when he came up to offer a hand and patch up the wounded.

    The plane was running on two engines, lost its oxygen system, seven out of eleven control cables, the tail wheel was gone and both of its landing wheels were shot flat. Without much control surface left, there was little Wheless could do but fly straight and level.

    As Wheless neared the Mindanao coast, it was getting dark and had started to rain.

    After fighting to keep the plane in the air for more than 300 miles, he knew his chances were slim of

    reaching Del Monte. When the second engine ran out of gas, with nothing but jungle between the

    Mindanao coast and Del Monte, Wheless decided to head for an auxiliary strip at Cagayan, on the

    northern coast of the island.

    Crash Landing in Cagayan

    Afraid to fly other than in a straight line because of his damaged control cables, Wheless would not be

    able to check out the field first before coming in. He knew that he would have just one shot at landing.

    As he gingerly banked the plane toward the field and started in, he was aghast to see it had been

    barricaded in anticipation of its being used by the Japanese. Past the point of no return, Wheless lowered his landing gear, possibly unaware that the tires had both been shot flat.

    He could not belly land as there was no way to strap down the wounded. As the plane flew over the

    barricaded field, one of the two remaining engines ran out of gas.

    The plane landed, hitting a palm tree on the way in, ripped through several barricades, then some 200

    yards down the runway the big bomber’s brakes suddenly locked, and after it rolled 500 feet, the 39,000 lbs. aircraft stopped suddenly and went up on its nose for a second before crashing down on its tail. They were down at last, even though it was far from the routine landing the president had implied. After getting the wounded crewmen to the small hospital at Cagayan, the ground crew counted at least 1,200 bullet holes in the plane. Each propeller blade had been hit five or six times.

    For his gallant efforts in bringing the shot-up Fortress and her wounded crewmen back to base, Lieutenant Hewitt T. Wheless was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

    Postscript

    After the war, Wheless became the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Director of Plans in September 1960,

    and in July 1962 he was named its Chief of Staff. In June 1963 he was assigned to Headquarters US Air

    Force, Washington DC as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Requirements and became

    its Deputy Chief of Staff the following February and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general.

    In February 1965 he became the Assistant US Air Force Vice Chief of Staff at Washington DC and in

    1967 was appointed Senior Air Force Member of the Military Staff Committee, United Nations in

    concurrent capacity.

    He retired at these positions in June 1968 with the rank of Lieutenant General after 33 years of continuous military service.

    He died on 07 September 1985 at the age of 72 in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA and is buried at

    the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Arlington Country, Virginia, USA at Section 30 Site 384-

    1.

    Home

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    Literary Section:

    Home

    By Annie Gorra

    The following excerpt is from the book “ The Mystery on 17th Street “ written by Annie Gorra, a Kagay-anon. The story is set on 17th Street of Cagayan de Oro. A boy looks back on his life on

    17th Street. It was ordinary yet so full of beauty, play, wonder, and love. 

    The book was a finalist in the “Gintong Aklat”  Awards  in 2018 and is now part of the digital library of the New Westminster Public Library in New Westminster, BC. 

    “The Mystery on 17th Street” is available online on Lazada, Shopee, and on Amazon. 

    Gasa made the rounds of 17th and 18th Streets, canvassing the families to wash their clothes or

    clean their house for pay. She even approached Iya Vellit, and surprisingly the surly woman provided

    her with laundry work. She did not have much money, but she still had Gasa do her laundry.

    The four-year-old Andres followed us around, especially when we played in the park, catching

    grasshoppers, or on the street, playing bulan-bulan at night. He was still thin but starting to gain weight. He seemed like a happy kid and was happiest when he was playing with us. He could climb a tree better than anyone in our neighborhood.

    “Where did you learn to climb a tree?” asked Noli.

    “Home,” answered Andres.

    “Home” was his frequent response to our questions about his family. I remember the night when we

    played bulan-bulan on the street. I remember it because of Andres’s saying “home” and because of the fireflies.

    The moon was out, the air was cool, and a few fireflies were flying around, like dots of light in the

    darkness. It was the kind of night that invited people to go outside and talk.

    Our parents did just that, each one bringing their own chair to sit on. They recounted events of the day,

    what they had done, whom they had met; they spoke of the rebels and the military, told stories they had told before, and shared plans for the future.

    Andres joined us, and Gasa came along because her son was there. She stood at the edge of the circle.

    Nanay moved her chair to invite her in, but she refused.

    The moon hid behind the clouds, and the whole street became dark. We stopped playing.

    “Time to go home,” Tatay said. “It is too dark to be outside.” He was facing our house, and his back was turned towards Iya Vellit’s mango tree.

    The others did not move. They looked beyond him, not hearing what he said. My father turned around to check what they were staring at.

    The fireflies had gathered around the mango tree in Iya Vellit’s yard and lit it up in white light. It looked like a brilliant Christmas tree with shades of green peeping out from the mango leaves.

    We were startled into silence by its beauty. No words were exchanged because only silence could pay

    tribute to the miracle in front of us. We felt like we were standing on holy ground.

    The silence was broken by Andres. “Nanay,” he said, pointing at the tree, “it is just like home.”

    Gasa picked him up and softly cried, “Yes, my child.”

    If it had been any other moment, we would have thought, wondered long, and been nosey about what Andres meant by “just like home.” But it was not any other moment.

    Lunâ Artisanal Lifestyle Store by Oro Creative opens at Centrio Mall

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    After a long wait, the premier showcase of Northern Mindanao’s artists and designers was formally

    opened on December 8, 2021, the Feast of the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    “Three years ago we envisioned to have a “preview” store in Cagayan de Oro, where designers, artists,

    and manufacturers could showcase their crafts to viewers and buyers,” said Chris Gomez of Chris Gomez Creative Design, one of four partners who put their talents and efforts together to come up with the landmark store located at the ground floor of Centrio Ayala Mall (near BPI).”

    Conceptualized 3 years ago, Gomez presented his brainchild Ayala Centrio Mall and got an enthusiastic response the mall management and marketing staff.

    To realize the project, Gomez next approached Cocoy Bajuyo and Patrick Gabutina with the concept.

    The group decided it was high time to promote and market Northern Mindanao products with a high

    vision of premium and curated items, eventually organizing Oro Creative with Michael Bacol as a

    partner organization to Ayala Centrio Mall for the undertaking.

    Lunâ (meaning a parcel of land or space in Bisaya) is a curated retail store, creative space, for artists

    and designers, who want to be part of the growing creative community in Cagayan de Oro,” Gomez explained back in an episode of the Higalaay Festival online series aired during Cagayan de Oro’s August Fiesta Month.

    “Lunâ is a creative space, and that is why we provided a space for other artists to showcase their creative output and products with a global appeal in a unique shopping experience

    Gomez is a multi-disciplinary creative and advocate of Sustainable Design. Among his many laurels:

    Finalist, 2011 National Philippine Art Awards; Grand Prize winner (water-based category) 2012

    Metrobank Art & Design Excellence Awards, and Finalist, 2014 Look of Style Awards (British

    Council/Look Magazine).

    He is also a Product Development Mentor accredited by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, and a Product Design Specialist of Design Center Philippines (DCP).

    Cocoy Bajuyo of Sea Glass Treasures, is another local artist and designer behind the landmark store.

    “Sea Glass Treasures is our brand. We are the only ones in the country who was able to make an industry from sea glass, which are broken shards found in the beaches of Northern Mindanao. We focus mainly on costume jewelry like necklaces, rings and earrings, though we also do other art works which incorporate sea glass,” Bajuyo explained.

    “It’s about time that Cagayan de Oro with its abundance of designers and artists, should have a proper showroom where they can showcase their products like crafts and their artworks,” he added. 

    Another of Luna’s prime movers is Patrick Gabutina of Tinabuan Arts and Crafts, a social enterprise

    based in Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, which partners with artisanal communities in Lagonglong and

    Salay, Misamis Oriental; Butuan and Bukidnon, to showcase their products mostly bags and Christmas

    decors.

    Gabutina won the grand prize for the Fashion Accessories Professional Category in the Habi

    Kadayawan 2019 held in Davao City with his entry “Purong Bag” (Purong means head dress in

    Visayan), inspired by the head dresses of the indigenous peoples of Bukidnon and Davao, and

    made of indigenous materials like hinabul (woven abaca fiber) with tikog (reed grass) fringes,

    leather straps and carved wood.

    The fourth prime mover is visual artist and aspiring designer Michael Bacol.

    “I am a visual artist and aspiring designer, more on paintings, sculpture from junk and trash, clay, also

    design chairs, lamps, bags.”

    The group has also invited Angela Soriano who does contemporary slow fashion wearables; Dirkie

    Roa-Dabay for apparel focusing on resort wear; Pink Flood by Ivan Macarambon for art and artsy

    objects and furnishings; Neil Rafisura of Salayhandmade Products Industries, Inc.’ and THOMPSONS Natural for oils and beauty essentials Made in Cagayan de Oro.

    “Our objective was to create a collective voice and representation to further promote and strengthen the value of Northern Mindanao craftsmanship in the new level,” Gomez stressed.

    At the core of this collaboration was the group’s desire to promote and showcase Northern Mindanao

    Craftsmanship, an extension of its art, history, heritage and ongoing evolution as a culture.

    But more importantly, they felt they needed to come together to support local artisans and communities with their livelihood in these trying times.

    “Buying local is not just a statement, but more so a testament to commitment for promoting enterprises with a purpose,” Gomez noted.

    Lunâ was originally conceived to be a showcase for local designers who underwent trainings in design

    competency in 2018 and 2019 under the mentorship of Gomez, in tandem with the Misamis Oriental DTI provincial office and Capitol University under the Business Incubation and Support Center.

    “Mao to na born ang certificate program for design competency to equip aspiring designers, and to

    sustain there must be program for them to practice,” Gomez disclosed.

    “We wanted to have a more focused program for creatives with our partners to sustain their livelihood and professionalized their practice. And the only way to achieve this is to work together not only focusing on the SMEs products (food or non-food) but include our creatives in the journey,” he added.

    Thank you to our partners, friends and fellow brand ambassadors for your commitment and promoting the same vision with Oro Creative, Gomez said.

    “Special thanks to Centrio Ayala Mall management for making our concept come to life.”

    Daltan’s Kambingan Opens Restaurant and Hotel in Bulua

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    Yesterday, December 08, the doors of the newest Daltan’s Kambingan opened to Kagay-anons. Located along Bulua Highway (beside Vjandep), this latest branch of the newest kambingan is different because it’s not only a venue where you and your loved ones can dine but it’s also where you can stop and rest and relax after a tiring day on the road, or if you need a safe and comfortable place for the night.

    Daltan’s Kambingan Restaurant is now Daltan’s Kambingan Suites as the owner, Mr. Henry Chua, also opened the perfect retreat for transients and anyone else looking for a good night’s sleep – A&S Suites. It’s the perfect combination – after a tiring trip, you can check into the A&S, freshen up, and relax for a while. Then you can go down and enjoy a delightful feast of different “kambingan” dishes. You don’t have to go anywhere because you have everything that you need in one building!

    What’s Inside?

    The new Daltan’s Kambingan has bright, eye-pleasing interiors. The red sofa-like chairs look and feel comfortable. And on the wall, you’ll find several artwork featuring goats. They make the place look cozy and airy, perfect for when you’ve had a rough day at work or want to just enjoy a good meal.

    There is also a small function room that can accommodate around ten people. It’s ideal for intimate gatherings and meetings, or for families that want to feast on Daltan’s specialties privately. The room comes with an affordable rate.

    A&S Suites, on the other hand, has three floors and a total of 24 rooms that come with basic amenities. The rooms are just the right size but have good air conditioning, a clean toilet & bath, and TV. Best of all, it has spacious and comfortable beds, which is what transients and travellers really need.

    The top floor of the building will be developed as a rooftop venue for events and special celebrations.

    The Food

    Just like all other Daltan’s Kambingan branches, the Bulua restaurant offers the best goat dishes – food that Kagay-anons have been enjoying for years. Various kambingan specialties such as papaitan kambing, kalderetang kambing, kilawin na kambing, halang-halang, sinigang kambing, adobo kambing, and their famous ulo set kambing.

    Their chicken inasal, which is served with two cups of rice, is one dish you should try out because of its taste and size. If you prefer seafood over goat, Daltan’s has adobo shrimp, battered shrimp, sinigang na hipon, buntot, and panga (so delicious!). And their prices are very affordable, you and your family can dine in there regularly, even once a week!

    So, if you want to feast on all the kambing dishes you can have, bring your family, friends, or loved ones to Daltan’s Kambingan in Bulua. You can also order their mouthwatering dishes and have them picked up or delivered via Maxim. The restaurant is open from 7am to 10pm. For your inquiries, bookings, and orders, text or call 0915-613 1296.

    If you are travelling on the road or need to catch an early flight in Laguindingan, book a room and relax at A&S Suites. You’re sure to have a restful night; you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to go on the road and travel again.

    Advent Message 2021

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    By Most Rev. Jose A. Cabantan, D.D.

    Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro

    Mga igsoon ania na kita karon sa panahon sa Adviento sa atong Liturhikanhong Kalendaryo sa Simbahan.

    Usa gayod kini ka balaan nga panahon nga gihatag sa Ginoo kanato sa pagpamalandong sa kalawon sa atong pagtinguha, pangandoy sa Dios diha sa atong kinabuhi.

    Usa kini ka panahon diin usab atong pagabag-ohon ang atong lawom nga pagsalig ug pagtoo sa atong Ginoo ug paglaom diha Kaniya nga moabot diha sa atong kinabuhi.

    Ang atong kalingkawasan; pananglitan, diha sa pandemiya hingpit nga kalingkawasan gikan niining pandemiya nga naghasol sa atong kinabuhi hangtod karon.

    Nagalaom kita ug puno sa paglaom sa paghigugma sa Ginoo nga unta mapadayag nato ang atong kaakuhan usab kay kining panahon sa Adviento panahon usab sa pagtukaw, panahon sa pagpahinumdum kanato, sa atong mga kaakuhan isip mga katawhan sa Dios ug isip sumusunod sa atong Ginoong Hesukristo sa atong mga responsibilidad sa pagmatala sa Maayong Balita ngadto sa tanan, hilabi na gayod ang pagmatala sa kamatuoran ug paglaom diha sa atong katilingban nga nakasinati sa daghang kalisdanan.

    Usa sa atong pangandoy niining panahon sa Adviento, nga unta puno sa paglaom atong mahuptan ang tiunay nga kamatuoran diha sa atong pagkinabuhi isip usa ka Kristohanong katilingban.

    Hilabina sa umaabot nga piniliay, mahuptan unta, nato ang gitawag nato nga honest, orderly, peaceful election.

    There is hope tungod sa atong pagbotar. Kini man ang panahon nga atong pilion ang Dios, pilion nato ang kaugmaon sa atong nasud, pilion nato ang kaugmaon sa atong katawhan.

    Mao na ang ginatawag nato…I vote for God, I vote for our country. Kini ang atong paglaom nga atong huptan ug iampo niining panahon sa Adviento. Hinaut pa unta.

    Advent Message 2021

    By Most Rev. Jose A. Cabantan, D.D.

    Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro

    Mga igsoon ania na kita karon sa panahon sa Adviento sa atong Liturhikanhong Kalendaryo sa Simbahan.

    Usa gayod kini ka balaan nga panahon nga gihatag sa Ginoo kanato sa pagpamalandong sa kalawon sa atong pagtinguha, pangandoy sa Dios diha sa atong kinabuhi.

    Usa kini ka panahon diin usab atong pagabag-ohon ang atong lawom nga pagsalig ug pagtoo sa atong Ginoo ug paglaom diha Kaniya nga moabot diha sa atong kinabuhi.

    Ang atong kalingkawasan; pananglitan, diha sa pandemiya hingpit nga kalingkawasan gikan niining pandemiya nga naghasol sa atong kinabuhi hangtod karon.

    Nagalaom kita ug puno sa paglaom sa paghigugma sa Ginoo nga unta mapadayag nato ang atong kaakuhan usab kay kining panahon sa Adviento panahon usab sa pagtukaw, panahon sa pagpahinumdum kanato, sa atong mga kaakuhan isip mga katawhan sa Dios ug isip sumusunod sa atong Ginoong Hesukristo sa atong mga responsibilidad sa pagmatala sa Maayong Balita ngadto sa tanan, hilabi na gayod ang pagmatala sa kamatuoran ug paglaom diha sa atong katilingban nga nakasinati sa daghang kalisdanan.

    Usa sa atong pangandoy niining panahon sa Adviento, nga unta puno sa paglaom atong mahuptan ang tiunay nga kamatuoran diha sa atong pagkinabuhi isip usa ka Kristohanong katilingban.

    Hilabina sa umaabot nga piniliay, mahuptan unta, nato ang gitawag nato nga honest, orderly, peaceful election.

    There is hope tungod sa atong pagbotar. Kini man ang panahon nga atong pilion ang Dios, pilion nato ang kaugmaon sa atong nasud, pilion nato ang kaugmaon sa atong katawhan.

    Mao na ang ginatawag nato…I vote for God, I vote for our country. Kini ang atong paglaom nga atong huptan ug iampo niining panahon sa Adviento. Hinaut pa unta.

    Seda Centrio’s Christmas Tree Lighting goes virtual

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    Keeping a Tradition:

    Seda Centrio’s Christmas Tree Lighting goes virtual

    What has become a Kagay-anon Christmas tradition has transitioned into a virtual event in keeping with the health and safety protocols mandated by the new normal.

    Monday, the 29 th of November 2021 saw the virtual lighting of Seda Centrio’s Christmas Tree with almost all guests and visitors online, in line with the hotels management wish to make the event as safe as possible, the city’s Alert Level 2 notwithstanding.

    “Traditions, treasured memories, and shared hopes are the ties that bind all of us together as one big Seda Centrio family,” Seda Centrio Hotel Manager Rhett Lionel Villaruz said in his welcome address.

    “The tree before us is part of our annual tradition and, as such, it has seen both triumphs and challenges. Tonight, we gather once more to celebrate our Tree Lighting, welcoming the beginning of a long and hopefully our most meaningful Christmas yet.”

    Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (COHARA) President Eduardo “Bong” Pelaez cited the powerful symbolism of the evening’s virtual event.

    “Trees absorb the toxic air from the environment, and in exchange provide the oxygen of life. Light is the symbol of hope in life and a bright future ahead,” Pelaez noted.

    “The Seda tree lighting symbolizes the much needed light in our service business, the hotels and restaurants,” he added. “It gives us hope for the year 2022 for the hotel and restaurant business recovery.”

    Cagayan de Oro OIC/City Tourism Officer Chedilyn Aissa Dulguime likewise lauded Seda Centrio’s Christmas Tree Lighting event as a symbol of hope and resiliency amidst the global pandemic.

    “I express my admiration at the determination to send out the message that you can’t stop Christmas, the pandemic notwithstanding,” she noted. “It has been a challenging and difficult two years and yet we have seen Seda’s resiliency.”

    “We are still reeling from having been placed in the highly restrictive quarantine status recently, and Seda Centrio uniquely reflects that commendable resilience of the Kagay-anon, as it does its part in making the city festive in time for Christmas,” she added.

    Dulguime also lauded the hotel for always featuring local artists in their decorations.

    “This year a very good friend’s ingenious creations will liven up the hotel. I hope that the Christmas spirit as Seda warms the hearts of every person that would have the opportunity to experience it.”

    For this Christmas season, Seda Centrio collaborated with Tinabuan Arts & Crafts to showcase its unique product line using abaca as the main material; planted and harvested by farmers and rebel returnees in the mountains of Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental and woven into sinamay and hinabul using heirloom handlooms inherited from generations of weavers.

    Seda Centrio curated some holiday decors with the help of its founder, Esmerna Uyguangco Gabutina, made by craftsmen and artisans utilizing locally-sourced, renewable, and biodegradable materials – reflecting the rich culture and tradition of the region.

    With this, Villaruz said the hotel has expressed how it is not merely centered on driving revenue, but also focused on initiatives that make a positive impact by working with social entrepreneurs – creating new opportunities and contributing to better everyday lives.

    “To fully embrace the holiday spirit of caring and connection, we also continue Seda Hotels’ long- standing corporate responsibility and sustainability initiative to support cleft care to children in need during this season of giving,” he noted.

    Since 2017, Seda Hotels has partnered with Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, to bring forever smiles to children with clefts this Christmas season. All Seda properties will be participating and selling Smile Train ornaments and Christmas cards at their locations to benefit the charity, as acknowledged by Ms. Kimmy Coseteng – Flaviano, Smile Train VP for Southeast Asia.

    Despite their not being physically present at the event, Seda again showed its unique brand of hospitality by treating the covering media to a sumptuous dinner delivered straight to their homes.

    We enjoyed an extraordinarily sumptuous repast from the hotel’s BBQ Kit which includes Peruvian Chicken, Smoked USDA Beef Short plate. Salmon Kebab, Sous Vide Corn-on-the-Cob, paired with assorted sauces:  Blue Cheese Dip, Bourbon BBQ, & Chimichurri. Thank you!

    “Christmas and the New Year have always been a time to reflect on the past — and then look ahead to the future. I firmly believe that 2022 will be a brighter year for Seda Centrio and for us all. But it must be a brighter year for the entire world, a post-pandemic future, the next normal where we all emerge stronger; where all of us prosper,” the hotel manager noted.

    In conclusion, Villaruz shared his personal Christmas wishes for all in the coming year.

    “At the top of my list are peace, economic resurgence and well-being for all, and a caring climate that will permit everyone to achieve the fullest potential of their human gifts. I wish Seda Centrio a strong future out of a proud past. And I wish everyone one of us the realization of love and belonging.”

    -30-

    Photo captions:

    Ms. Abdul Khalique Lomondot (Front Office Associate) and Margareth Dylana M. Legados (teenage daughter of HR Manager) entertained us with their rendition of Mistletoe and All I want for Christmas

    Aboitiz gears towards improving performance-based ESG measures

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    As the Aboitiz Group faces a new century of its business transformation in the ASEAN region, the company embarked on redefining its #OneAboitiz Sustainability Framework and its transition toward a performance-based approach in tackling environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics of the company.

    The Group operates in critical industries; thus, it recognizes its unique responsibility to its stakeholders to deliver products and services as an inclusive business to create opportunities and develop its partner communities across the country.

    The Aboitiz Group’s sustainability initiatives and their key performance indicators highlight the organization’s contribution to poverty reduction, education, climate change, responsible consumption, providing decent work, disaster preparedness, technological innovation, and institutional partnership.

    “For our part, we will continue our efforts to promote a balance between economic, societal, and environmental stewardship, and uphold our responsibility to our stakeholders by continuously improving our ESG performance, ” said Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz.

    Nowadays, most international and domestic public companies are being evaluated on their ESG performance by various third-party providers with reports and ratings. Institutional investors, asset managers, financial institutions, and other stakeholders are increasingly relying on these reports to assess and measure companies’ ESG performance over time.

    This year, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV), Aboitiz Power Corp. (AboitizPower), and Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) are among the top-ranked companies of Philippine constituents. AEV continues to be recognized as an S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) constituent company and scored 29% higher with a positive 10 points year-on-year increase that placed the company in the 81st percentile rank in the industrial conglomerates sector, up from its 66th percentile ranking in 2020.

    AboitizPower and UnionBank also increased their assessment performance, with the former in the 67th percentile rank for the Electric Utilities Sector, and the latter in the 62nd percentile for the Banking Sector.

    The S&P Global Assessment looks at a company’s value drivers and practices in Corporate Governance, Economic, Environmental, and Social dimensions. “The S&P sustainability scores are a validation of the substance and progress of our initiatives in this area,” Aboitiz noted.

    Stakeholder collaboration

    Sharing best practices, strengthening partnerships, and joining multi-sectoral conversations on building capacities to improve ESG performance are all part of the Group’s strategy to make transformational progress on its sustainability journey.

    On December 6, AEV Chief Financial Officer Manuel Lozano will serve as one of the panelists of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and Security Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Sustainability Showcase of Notable ESG Projects, where he will share the company’s initiatives and the #OneAboitiz Sustainability Journey. The event is part of the PSE-SEC’s overall ESG Program to engage and connect with various stakeholders towards achieving shared sustainable development goals.

    The Aboitiz Group recently launched its #OneAboitiz Sustainability microsite (https://sustainability.aboitiz.com), a hub of information on the Group’s economic, environmental, social, and governance (EESG) programs, as well as an avenue to educate stakeholders on pertinent environmental and social issues related to the business.

    The microsite contains a comprehensive source of information on the company’s approach to sustainability, climate strategy, environmental practices and solutions, workforce development programs, and the unique Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of the Group towards inclusive growth.

    AEV, AboitizPower, and UnionBank are among the top-ranked companies among Philippine constituents in S&P’s Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. Its commitment to #OneAboitizSustainability continues as it delivers its promise of advancing business and communities.

    ###

    Photo caption:

    Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Sabin M. Aboitiz

    Aboitiz-LGU partnership ramps up vaccination drive in Davao

    Almost 40,000 vaccines administered

    Following the inoculation of more than 12,000 Davaoeños through a series of vaccination drives rolled out through public-private sector collaboration, certain areas in the City are already moving from critical / high-risk to low-risk, strengthening the City’s defenses against the threat of new COVID variants like Omicron.

    The vaccination drive led by Davao-based Aboitiz business units has surpassed its initial target of 24,000 jabs with approximately 39,000 jabs administered to local residents as it concluded its fourth leg, covering the city’s second and third districts. Apo Agua Infrastructura, Davao Light and Power Co., Inc., Hedcor, Inc., Therma South, Inc., and the Aboitiz Foundation teamed up with the City Government of Davao, Department of Education Region XI, and Davao City Health Office for the vaccination drive.

    The strong turnout of residents wanting to be vaccinated prompted the Aboitiz Group and its partners to scale the initiative up and aim for 60,000 jabs.

    We in the Aboitiz Group here in Davao City heeded the call of our local government to reach herd immunity by operating multiple vaccination sites that are open to the public. It is a privilege for us to partner with the LGU, the City Health Office, and DepED XI to implement this ambitious project,” said Apo Agua Infrastructura Operations Head Shake Aboitiz Tuason.

    Merjade Deles-Calvo, Barangay Captain of Brgy. Tibungco in District II, reported a significant decrease in Covid-19 cases in her community following the vaccination drive, prompting the authorities to re- classify Brgy. Tibungco from being a critical or high risk to a low-risk barangay.

    “With our vaccination program, we are targeting more than 50% of the population. And at present, we have already reached our target population. Hopefully, the number continuously increases as we continue to vaccinate the residents,” she shared.

    Davao City Covid-19 Task Force Vaccination Cluster Head Dr. Josephine Villafuerte expressed gratitude to the Aboitiz Group for supporting local government units in their bid to fast-track the vaccination program of the cities to reach herd immunity.

    “We would like to thank Aboitiz for reaching out. You know, they’ve been going to third, first and second districts already doing the vaccination. It relieves us and they reach out to (even) the most, usually to the underserved communities,” she said.

    Meanwhile, Rosemarie T. Realino, parent to a 14-year old vaccinee residing also in Barangay Tibungco, asserted that as a parent her child’s vaccination gives her peace of mind that her family is protected from the virus.

    “When it comes to covid vaccination, let’s be open-minded. It’s for the sake of our children’s safety and well-being. They will be protected from the virus and will hopefully be able to continue their normal lives. Allow them to enjoy themselves in a safer environment,” she advised other parents.

    The Aboitiz Group is proud to be the government’s partner in its drive to protect communities against the dreaded virus.

    “We would like to thank our partners and stakeholders for their all-out support in helping make this vaccination campaign a reality. We all have a role to play in beating this pandemic and we are honored to have the opportunity to live the Aboitiz Group’s purpose of driving change for a better world by advancing businesses and communities through this vaccination program,” Tuason said.

    The vaccination drive will continue this month and in the early part of next year. For December, the vaccination for second doses will continue for Tibungco District residents at F. Bustamante National High School on December 7 to 13, and Buhangin District residents at Cabantian Gym on December 20 to 2021.

    To further reach underserved communities, the Group will also implement mobile vaccination initiatives, starting off with the Welfare Action Foundation of Davao (Boy’s Town Davao), a non-profit organization looking after boys from poor families. By early 2022, the vaccination drive will also cover booster shots for medical frontliners.

    #

    Photo captions:

    BRINGING DOWN COVID RISK. Residents of Barangay Tibungco register at the vaccination center organized by the Davao-based Aboitiz business units including Apo Agua Infrastructura, Davao Light and Power Co., Inc., Hedcor, Inc., Therma South, Inc., and the Aboitiz Foundation. They teamed up with the City Government of Davao, Department of Education Region XI, and Davao City Health Office.

    FASTER HERD IMMUNITY. Brgy. Tacunan residents trooped to the vaccination site in Tacunan to be vaccinated.