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Friendship and Faith: IDC Support’s Higalaay Festival 2019

September 2, 2019

Higalaay Festival is the annual fiesta celebration of Cagayan de Oro commemorating the feast day of St. Augustine who is the patron of the city and is a month-long celebration from the first day of August up until the end of the month. In this year's event, IDC participated as a major sponsor during the Higalaay Festival in the person of Mr. Giovanni Gusella, IDC's Senior PR Manager Mr. Gusella was invited to be one of the judges during the festival's parade last August 27, 2019. "It was my first time to participate at The Higalaay Street Parade and Floats, and I was quite impressed to see how well organized was the parade with 138 contingents participating among which city's educational institutions, civic groups, fraternities and sororities, establishments and more," said Mr. Giovanni Gusella, IDC Senior PR Manager. From the Bisayan word “higala”, “Higalaay” actually means “friendship”. Thus, Higalaay Festival implies “Friendship Festival, true to being “The City of Golden Friendship”. Higalaay Festival was formerly known as Kagay-an Festival until the year 2014 when the city administration was modified. Italpinas had been partnering with the City Government of Cagayan de Oro since the commencement of its first development the Primavera Residences. It has been IDC's long-standing tradition to support the city in all ways possible.  "It is my pleasure and honor to be a member of the board of jurors, given the unique opportunity of judging the best 3 floats, among the 8 competing floats in this years competition.  The floats were artistically done. All of them tell the story of the rich heritage of the city. I was learning more about the culture of Cagayan de Oro while judging, it was such a unique and enjoyable experience" he added. The “Giant Motorela” Uni Writing Instrument won the grand prize. Motorela came from the word “Caretella” which is one of the most common vehicles right now in Cagayan de Oro now became the face of transport in the city. The Motorela is an iconic Kagay-anon vehicle, invented by Rafael D. Floirendo, Sr . The Motorela roamed the streets of Cagayan de Oro since the 60’s and has became a favorite icon of the city. The second place of the Higalaay float parade is from Support Zebra on their "Giant Oro Fish". While the 3rd place won by the Del Monte Philippines Inc. with their Del Monte’s Pineapple Cannery design.

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JLL Reveals PH Philippine Property Market Will Remain Vigorous for the second half of 2019

August 14, 2019

JLL’s thorough research and expert analysis includes the 2ndQ 2019 Metro Manila and Davao property markets.  And based on JLL’s comprehensive study, the state of the Philippine real estate industry remains dynamic- and poised to attract more investments in the ensuing months.   METRO MANILA PROPERTY MARKET OVERVIEW (2Q19)   OFFICE PROPERTY MARKET  SUPPLY An estimate of 156,100 square meters of office space was added to the total stock owing to the completion of eight (8) buildings, bringing in the aggregate supply added for 2019 to 336,700 square meters of office space. Development completions in 2Q19 are spread in several locations across the districts of Metro Manila within the Cities of Makati, Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Pasay, Quezon and Taguig. The biggest of this development is MWM Terminal Inc.’s PITX Tower 4 in Paranaque City, which spans 19,200 square meter. This is followed by Double Dragon Center West with 17,600 square meters; 100 West Building in Filinvest Makati with 14,300 square meters and SM City Fairview Tower 1 with 12,600 square meters. As of 2Q19, total supply of office spaces from Grade B to A developments approximately totals to 8.1 million square meters of office space with the majority located in Taguig City followed by Makati City backed by the presence of established CBDs – Makati and Bonfiacio Global  City (BGC). The high demand and concentration of office developments has spilled to its fringe areas with the presence of Mckinley Hill and Mckinley West in Taguig City and office developments rising along Chino Roces Avenue and other townships. DEMAND               Metro Manila maintained a manageable vacancy level at 6% amid continuous additional office spaces from development completions. Taguig City holds majority of the office spaces untenanted as majority of the recent development completions are in BGC. Coming in second is Makati City, followed by Quezon City. Offshoring and Outsourcing (O&O) remain as the major demand driver, taking-up approximately 128,100 square meters of office space in 2Q19. For the whole of 1H19, around 181,000 square meters of office space was absorbed by O&O firms. However, there has been a slow q-o-q take-up of office spaces from O&O firms in Metro Manila as they have expanded more in the provinces, owing to the limited PEZA approvals for IT centers especially in Metro Manila. In 2Q19, only two buildings were granted PEZA accreditation with one located in Taguig City and the other in Iloilo City. Moreover, the government’s Administrative Order No. 18 for 2019 imposes prohibition of reviewing and granting PEZA applications for properties located in Metro Manila to allow the creation of more special economic zones in the provinces.  Online Gaming remains the second top office space occupier in the whole of 1H19 leasing a total of 160,000 square meters of office space in Metro Manila with around 119,200 square meters of office space transacted in 2Q19. For the said quarter, a POGO leased a whole building in Quezon City with a Gross Leasable Area (GLA) of 10,400 square meters and also leased significant amount of office spaces in two buildings within Paranaque City. As of June 2019, 56 POGOs have been registered with PAGCOR. Pharmaceutical companies came as a surprise as a major demand driver to leased office spaces in 1H19, taking up an estimate of 45,100 square meters mainly due to their expansions within Metro Manila. Fourth top office space occupier for 1H19 are flexible workspace operators leasing 14,400 square meters of office space in Metro Manila. Major foreign and local operators remain to be aggressive in their expansion plans and are seeking to increase footprint both in CBD areas and secondary business hubs. In 2Q19, WeWork opened its second facility in the country at RCBC Plaza in Makati CBD. RENTS            Makati City remains to have the highest quoted rent mainly due to the presence of Prime Office buildings within Makati CBD. Limited available office supply in Makati CBD, robust demand, and presence of prime office buildings pushed landlords to command higher rents. Next would be Taguig City due to robust space demand in BGC with up-to-date building facilities. On the other hand, buoyant occupancy from online gaming in the Bay Area pushed rental rates further.             Meanwhile, asking rents of developments to complete from 2H19-2022E are close to the range of rents of existing developments with Taguig City leading the higher end of the spectrum due to more construction of Grade A developments in BGC. Buildings that are registered with USA’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or the Philippine Green Building Council’s BERDE certifications have been influencing the increase in value of rents due to quality technology and equipment used for buildings to be environmentally sustainable in the long run.   RESIDENTIAL CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY More than 2,000 units are completed in 2Q19, mostly coming from Makati City and Taguig City. The latter half of the year is expected to deliver around 35,500 units more, recording a peak, should there be no construction delays. Makati City and Quezon City house majority of both existing and future condominium supply. Growth is noticeable in Pasay City in the next three years due to the uptick of investments in Bay City. SM Prime Holdings, Inc. holds majority of both existing and future supply, on the back of being the lead contributor in various cities, particularly Pasay City where more than 90% of the pipeline belongs to the developer. DEMAND Average vacancy rate in Metro Manila is recorded at 2%, with Pasay City and Paranaque City pulling down the rate due to online gaming tenants, while employees and students drive the leasing activities for Makati City and Quezon City. A solid preselling market in Metro Manila is observed, evident from high sales take-up figures of future developments. Paranaque City is lagging behind other districts, primarily due to a large number of available units in a development located in the city’s outskirts. Another demand driver comes from the leasing market. The leasing market for upper-mid to luxury developments source demand from corporate housing needs of expatriate employees of O&O firms, MNCs, and embassies. Additionally, local and foreign high-net worth investors continue to drive the sales market for upper-mid to luxury developments – with the purpose of either renting out the units or flipping them upon capital appreciation. Meanwhile, individuals that make up starting families, young professionals, and upgraders make up the end-user demand profile of mostly mid-range developments.   RENTS AND SELLING PRICES The strong leasing market, driven by expatriate employees, stimulated rents in Makati City and Taguig City, becoming the highest across districts. On the other hand, rents in Pasay City and Parañaque City are influenced by healthy demand from online gaming employees. As far as selling prices go, Makati City commands the highest prices for both existing and future supply, while prices in Paranaque City have continuously gone up, evidenced by the prices of future supply, due to the large interest in Bay City.   RETAIL PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY               Total existing stock as of 2Q19 stood at 6.5M square meters. Quezon City leads all markets with a share of 27%, followed by Manila City and Pasay City with 13% and 11%, respectively. Forecast supply to add 673,500 square meters (2019E-2022E) with Paranaque City cornering majority of the future stock at 29% (Ayala Malls Bay Area – 192,000 square meters). DEMAND Average vacancy registered at around 3.0%, with Taguig City market posting strong occupancy (at around 98%) and Pasig City having the highest vacancy (at around 8-9%) due to the expansion of The Podium. F&B brands continued to lead the retail demand. Some of the new foreign Food and Beverage (F&B) brands that entered in 2Q19 are Shake Shack in Central Square in BGC, Original Cake in SM San Lazaro, Famous Amos in S Maison, and Taiwan’s One Zo in Promenade Food Court Greenhills. F&B brands that expanded during the quarter include Tiger Sugar, Botejyu, J.Co, Soban, Pound by Todd English and Pho Hoa. Fast fashion brands in the like of clothing and apparel, shoes and bags also dominated the retail market in 2Q19. Known brands that had expansion include Parfois, Charles and Keith, Onesimus, Ever New, Terranova, Superga, and Daniel Wellington. Several skincare brands, especially Korean brands opened in 2Q19. Known brands include The Saem, the Face Shop, and Innisfree. As part of re-entering the Philippine market, Innisfree opened second branch in SM Megamall.   RETAIL RENTS Average rentals range PHP 1,100 to 2,700 per square meter per month.   HOSPITALITY PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY                 One hotel opened in 2Q19, providing an additional 93 rooms to the total hotel stock, specifically in Manila.  1H19 additions are at 486 rooms, brought upon by Sheraton Manila City and Hotel Lucky Chinatown. 2H19 is expected to bring an additional 4,800 rooms to the market, pushing up stock to over 41,000 rooms. Key hotels are multiple Red Planet hotels, Aruga by Rockwell Phase 3, Dusit D2 the Fort, multiple Seda developments, Novotel Manila, Hotel Okura, and Park Inn North EDSA. Succeeding years look to taper off, with significant increase in stock in Paranaque, Makati, Quezon City, and Taguig. The bay area (Pasay + Paranaque) and Makati take up majority of hotel stock, with future supply still dominated by the three cities.   DEMAND AND ITS DRIVERS Paranaque commands highest occupancy, brought about by strong pull of casino gamers and supplemented by its location near NAIA, pushing occupancy to above 90%. Other areas are seen to have occupancy within the 70 to 80% range. Makati and BGC, meanwhile, remain a strong business/ corporate, as well as MICE destination. In Quezon City, demand is driven mostly by MICE events from local companies and government. ROOM RATES Based on Deluxe room category rates, Manila City and Muntinlupa City hold the largest price per room because of The Manila Hotel and Crimson Hotel. Taguig room rates start at 11,000 because of the more upscale nature of hotels in the city and the profile it commands, specifically in BGC.   DAVAO CITY PROPERTY MARKET OVERVIEW (1H19)   OFFICE PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY Total supply is at 220,000 square meters. Full take-up is noted for all Grade A/PEZA accredited office spaces except for Davao Finance Center, which was only completed by the end of 2018. A total of 87,000 square meters coming from 7 office building projects is anticipated over the next two years.  Developer share is spread across developers with Plaza de Luisa Development Corporation leading the market with 15% of office stock.     DEMAND Main demand drivers are O&O firms. A slowdown in take up was noted in 2017 and early 2018 due to the declaration and extension of martial law. However, a firm from the O&O industry took up majority of available supply in 4Q 2018. PEZA accredited projects are already fully occupied. Flexible workspaces are noted, with Regus having two offices and Skynora locating in Davao City last 2018. Davao Finance Centre started out slow, but has since reached around 50% in 6 months of operations. Strong office market take-up is anticipated. O&O expansion is foreseen as the main driver moving forward, supported by the large, healthy labor pool of skilled workers in Davao City. There is very high demand for PEZA approved office buildings as current PEZA stock is at 0% vacancy. Upcoming supply is still low and is a good opportunity for developers to take advantage of.   RESIDENTIAL CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY Total supply at 6,900 units, but is expected to increase to 21,300 units by 2022, driven by continuous expansion of existing residential projects and large pipeline from new entrants in Davao City. Current market leaders are the Ayala group and Filinvest Land Inc. Leader for market share of future units are SMDC with their massive Lane Residences development bringing in a total of 3,700 units. Following them are Filinvest Land Inc. which already has multiple projects and Cebu Landmasters Inc. which is venturing into three township developments. DEMAND Main demand drivers are local HNWIs, with OF Workers purchasing as well. Developments are mostly multiple tower mid-rise condominiums, with high rise condos gravitating towards the stretch of JP Laurel and the Poblacion District. Large jump in residential supply (6,900 units to 21,000 units). Main drivers will still be HNWIs, OF workers as secondary market. Condos primarily for investment purposes, has potential adaptation of condos into condotels/BnBs with the strong hotel sector.     RETAIL PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY Total stock is currently at 865,000 square meters GFA, dominated by SM Prime, with 31% share and DSG Sons, with 22% share. Cebu Landmasters Inc. is anticipated to bring in two retail malls as part of their announced townships in Matina. Vista Mall is looking to enter the market in Maa, far from the city proper, with 35,000 square meters of GFA. Developments are gearing away from the downtown and JP Laurel areas because of the already strong presence of SM, Ayala, and DSG Sons in the area. LTS Malls Inc. has an upcoming redevelopment project along JP Laurel aAvenue as well. DEMAND                 Main demand drivers are expansion from local brands and locators with existing operations in Davao City. Retail development branching outside of the city proper of Davao City. Developers are starting retail projects outside the stretch of JP Laurel and the downtown area (Poblacion), due to high saturation in the said areas. Investors looking to consider retail developments have potential in the surrounding areas of Bajada, Matina, Maa, and Buhangin are anticipated.   HOSPITALITY PROPERTY MARKET SUPPLY 250 additional hotel rooms from two hotel developments within 1H19. Of the total supply, only 1,097 rooms are 4-Star, the rest being 3-star and lower. Forecast supply to reach 6,000 up to 2022, coming from 3 and 4-star hotels. Major supply is expected in the next two years, with 747 more units set for completion in 2019, due to slippages in anticipated hotel completions within 2018, and 663 units in 2020, dominated by the anticipated completion of the 519-room Hotel 101. Cebu Landmasters Inc. and LTS Malls Inc. have announced plans to put up convention centers in their upcoming projects. DEMAND MICE and Business Travelers are the main market drivers, along with local tourist arrivals. Monitoring tourist arrivals in 2018, the only lean month was in January. There is a healthy hotel sector, providing investment potential from developers and hotel operators. LGU provides MICE incentives. Lower-tier hotels are able to achieve high occupancy because of spillover of demand from hotels with convention facilities. Low growth in 4-star hotel rooms and absence of 5-star hotels are seen as opportunities for developer. LGU is looking for convention centers that can accommodate large events, with SMX convention center as the only one that can accommodate over 5,000 pax. There is also potential in reaching and serving the needs and wants of the growing influx of business and leisure tourists from international direct flights to Davao City to supplement the hotel sector.   JLL continues to be optimistic and excited about the future of the Philippine real estate industry and expects the 2nd half of 2019 and beyond to provide many opportunities for real estate stakeholders, that will surely redound to the country’s economic good.

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Rev. Nelson Butron Villarin’s Journey of Faith

August 12, 2019

It is never easy to be a servant of God, least of all become a pastor. A calling that only a few heed when they are called. Last June 2nd, 2019, Pastor Nelson Butron Villarin of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines was finally ordained a minister of his church. The simple rites held at the UCCP Cagayan de Oro Church where he currently serves as chaplain for the Cagayan de Oro Christian School marked the end and beginning of a lifelong journey of faith which tested him to the limits. Rev. Sonny, as he is better known to friends, was born and raised in Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City, the fifth child in a family of four boys and a girl of former Lapasan United Church Men (UCM) Chairman Gonzalo Tabaco Villarin and Remedios Butron Villarin. His testimony of faith started during his Christian Youth Fellowship (CYF) tenure at UCCP- Lapasan when he was just 14. Like anyone else his age, he was happy-go-lucky and didn’t really give much to his future. Indeed, serving God was not his first chosen calling, but rather architecture. He holds a diploma in BS Architecture from Cebu Institute of Technology. Even when wasn’t hired to be a regular employee in all of his many jobs in Cebu, Makati and Cagayan de Oro from 1988 to 2002, he didn’t realize at the time he had another calling. So he came home and tried again in his hometown in Cagayan de Oro. Meantime, he immersed himself in church related activities which gave him pause that perhaps he was meant for another profession. “I failed to discern at the time that even in Cebu the Lord was calling me to serve as a shepherd to his flock,” he recalls. “However, my continued failure to land a regular job as an architect finally made me realize God was calling me. Without a job, he took a great leap of faith and enrolled at the Silliman University Divinity School, graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2006. In was touch in go for a while but his God never deserted him. Already married to Nates Fausto Villarin in April 21, 1992 and with a growing family, somehow there was always a provision when there was a need. “We accepted laundry from our colleagues and also did ironing. In addition, we prepared and sold the local sweet potato (Camote) delicacy called kamoyang to make ends meet,” he recalls. The couple is blessed with 4 children, NN Gri, Vhien Klein, Gabriel David, Chessedh Chedech; and granddaughter Coleen Angela, his pride and joy.   But it seemed like Job in the Old Testament, the Lord wasn’t quite done testing him yet. He considers his failure to hurdle two of the subjects in his ordination exam in 2017 as one of the most challenging tests yet that God sent his way. “It was a one of the most challenging moments when I learned that I had to retake two subjects in my Ordination Exam when I was expecting that together with Pastor King (Rev. Beryl Sale) we would be both ordained together but it was not to be.” However, during the interview with the Examination Committee he was given an opportunity to be ordained. “A lot of things to do, a lot of patience to undertake, and lot of prayers to make, so that I would be able to win the race for my ordination,” he recalls. “After a year things went well and patience worked a lot.” Thus, during the Conference Assembly last April 2018, the Examination Committee finally endorsed him for ordination as a full-fledged Minister of the UCCP. Rev. Sonny’s day-to-day spiritual journey with God still has its ups and downs, but he knows that despite life's challenges and his faith shaken, he would not falter nor crumble. To him, it is just a way of God's testing his faith. Taking every life's turns with positivity. He is a living testimony of how God works wonders in one's life. He believes one should fear God, because to him the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom like what the psalmist said. (with Roan Gorres)   -30-

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On the March: The Jesuits in the Philippines since the Restoration - Book authored and published by XU Alumnisweeps 2019 awards season

August 12, 2019

On the March, a coffee table book on Jesuit ministry in the Philippines, has scored its fourth major award this year, adding to its Gold Anvil Award and Platinum Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines and its Gold Quill (Award of Merit) from the prestigious International Association of Business Communicators. The book was cited with an Award of Merti by the Philippine Quill under the Publications Category during the recently concluded 15th Philippine Quill Awards at the Marriott Grand Ballroom.    The Philippine Quill Awards is presented every year by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines. IABC Philippines is the first chapter outside North America of the international IABC, a global network with membership of around 15,500 business communicators in 80 countries. The prestigious annual Philippine Quill Awards is presented to honor excellent communications programs and tools. The award recognizes excellence in categories in external communication, strategic processes, organizational communication, social responsibility, digital communication, photography, writing, audiovisuals, and marketing communication, among others. Categories cover programs, projects, collaterals, designs, and creative work.  A group of dedicated alumni from Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan (Xavier Ateneo) and Filipino Jesuits assigned to the school contributed their hearts and souls to its publication. Fr. Jose S Arcilla, SJ was principal author of the book edited by John Nery and published by Media Wise Communications. Manuel Paras Engwa and Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz were co-publishers.  Fr. Arcilla was assigned as regent ​ i​n XUHS 1956 and as GS student counsellor and GS glee club moderator and College history professor from 1965-68, and among his students were executive publishers Manuel Paras Engwa and Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz, fondly known as Manny and Monching, respectively. Manny graduated from Xavier Ateneo (Class Salutatorian - XU High School 1966; and AB Economics 1969). He attended the Industrial Economics program of the University of Asia and the Pacific. On the March is his personal tribute to the Jesuits who have dedicated their lives to the Philippines. Manny Engwa’s professional experience encompasses investment, agribusiness, property, and pharmaceuticals. He has worked for a prestigious multinational since 1981 and has served as country manager in Indonesia, head of Southeast Asian operations. Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz began his first eight years of education at Xavier Ateneo in 1959 (Grade School, 1967). He moved to St Andrew’s School in Parañaque City (High School, 1971) and graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, major in painting in 1976. A visual artist, advertising and publishing professional, Monching is a multi-awarded publisher and artist. He won his first Catholic Mass Media (CMM) citation as well as a Philippine Quill award for publishing MUSE, a magazine dedicated to art, culture, and travel. He has had three one-man art exhibits. Joining them on the editorial team are two Jesuits who previously served at Xavier Ateneo and two graduates who are now journalists. Fr Arcilla as the book’s principal writer was assisted by journalist John Nery, who also served as the book’s editor, and Mike Baños, (also a journalist) who rounded up the writers’ pool. Fr Rene Javellana SJ, currently the archivist of the Archives of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, bolstered the team with photos and documents related to the topics presented in the book. Fr Javellana SJ also served as a regent at Xavier Ateneo from 1971-1973 teaching mostly juniors and seniors at the high school when Timoteo Butalid was principal. He was also the moderator of the High School Yearbook, taught in the English Dept in College with Fr Al Nudas as his chair. He was also active in XU college theater, and worked with Fr Al in the production of Antigone, with Mario Francisco in Foursome and other absurd plays by Eugene Ionesco. For two years, he was also involved in XU and Barangay 40's Holy Week Passion plays. Not the least, he participated in an archeological dig at Huluga led by Museo de Oro then headed by Fr Francisco Demetrio SJ. ​Journalist John Nery was formerly the online editor and currently writes a column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. His Revolutionary Spirit: Jose Rizal in Southeast Asia was published by Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and by the Ateneo de Manila University Press in 2011. John studied Philosophy in Ateneo de Manila. He also went to Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan and Ateneo de Davao. After finishing his AB Philosophy degree at AdMU, he taught at the Xavier Ateneo High School. He has received awards for his journalism; his book editing has been recognized with two National Book Awards. He was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University in 2011-2012 and the Jaime V Ongpin Memorial Lecturer in 2013. Freelance writer and journalist Mike Baños started his preschool at Ateneo de Zamboanga in 1964 but later moved to Western Mindanao State University (formerly Zamboanga Normal College, and later Zamboanga State College) where he finished his Grade School and High School education. He got his AB Economics degree from Ateneo de Zamboanga (now a university) in 1978 (class salutatorian) and his Master in Business Administration in 2000 from Xavier Ateneo. A dedicated community journalist, Mike has had a wide-ranging career which includes stints with the local government and chamber of commerce, academe, banking, retail, and broadcast and print media (ABS-CBN, FUBC, Business World, The Manila Chronicle, The Philippine Star, Today) but his heart remains with community journalism as he writes online and in local newspapers as a freelance writer and journalist. He was a pioneer fellow of the Dart Centre Asia Pacific (for Trauma Journalism) in 2009 and was recognized by the Rotary Club of Manila Journalism Awards as 2017 Provincial Reporter of the Year (Print). Finally, and perhaps the most instrumental in giving meaning and purpose to On the March, is Fr Jose VC Quilongquilong SJ STD, who succeeded Fr Herbert Schneider SJ as president and executive director of the Philippine Jesuit Aid Association Inc (PJAA). Fr Joe studied AB Sociology at Xavier Ateneo before joining the Society of Jesus. He completed formation in philosophy (Ateneo de Manila University), Bachelor in Sacred Theology and Master of Arts in Theology (Loyola School of Theology) before his ordination to the priesthood in 1993. He is also concurrently the president of Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University. Fr Joe was already actively part of the team last year and was primarily responsible for facilitating the book launch last September 29, 2018, at the Arete. All proceeds from the sale of On the March will be donated to PJAA for the benefit of elderly, retired and infirm Jesuits, and the promotion of Jesuit vocations in the Philippine province. ​ ​On the March chronicles the Jesuits’ ministry of education and the many aspects of their apostolate in the Philippines as they bring the faith to the most remote corners of the archipelago. “This latest recognition affirms our commitment to use excellent communications to help the organization achieve its goals and make a difference in society, true to the Philippine Quill’s own aims,” said Cruz, who is also Media Wise president and CEO. In January 2019, On the March bagged its Platinum Anvil, a recognition given to entries that stand out among the Anvil Gold winners. The PRSP cited the book for “recognizing the vital role of Jesuits in the country, the book highlights their mission and achievements, including their evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.” The Anvil is the symbol of excellence in public relations, awarded to outstanding PR programs, tools and practitioners. In June, Cruz flew to Vancouver to receive the book’s Gold Quill from San Francisco-based IABC at the 2019 IABC World Conference. Just four other Filipino organizations have received the coveted international distinction. The IABC awards committee said On the March earned the distinction for “exhibiting high-quality writing and superior production values.” “The book is well-organized, consistent... from the beginning to end. It flows well. It’s clear that [Mediawise] brought together the right mix of interviewers, writers, designers and publishers to produce a high-quality communication vehicle,” said the committee. -30-

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Leigh Rioux – singer, host, organizer, stylist

August 12, 2019

NOT everyone here in Cagayan de Oro can be as talented as this woman yet retaining and maintaining that same beauty and poise after all these years. Meet Leigh Rioux! Leigh’s first love and will ever be is singing. That’s why during her elementary years in the early 1990s, the never-shy-and-always-bubbly Leigh joined amateur contests here in the city everywhere she could. (In the pre-cellphone and Internet era back then, amateur contests were the mainstream. They were usually held at the then City Bandstand, now Kiosko Kagawasan in Plaza Divisoria.) Just like everyone of us, Leigh grew up and graduated with a degree in Mass Communication in Pilgrim Christian College. Because of her immense vocal talent, Leigh also had ambitions to use that talent. Her destiny was Japan. For nine years from 2003 to 2011, Leigh became a solo singing performer in the city of Nagoya. By 2012, Leigh came back to her hometown and settled her for good. For two years, she chose to rest and honed her other emerging talents privately. In 2015, Leigh was ready to come back to the spotlight. She was invited and has consistently ever since among the beautiful Kagay-anons modeling in the annual Mags on the Catwalk from 2015 to the present which is held every last quarter of the year. In 2017, Leigh decided to resurrect from her singing hibernation. By then, she started accepting solo gigs in various lounges all over – EBar, Limketkai Luxe, Skybar, etc. Today, Leigh is a regular at Jacko’s Grill in uptown Cagayan de Oro. She likewise started hosting parties and similar events, even corporate ones like the Cignal series of activities here and in Butuan City that year. The year after in 2018, Leigh discovered that she had another hidden talent on the side – event organizing. Thus, she started accepting organizing weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, debuts and other corporate events. At the start of this year in 2019, Leigh also branched out in event styling focusing on such soirees as pre-nuptial, pre-debut and pre-birthday shoots. On the side, she endorses Christine’s Boutique. That’s Leigh Rioux – a woman not just of diligence but of beauty as well. Whether it be in singing, hosting, event styling or organizing, clients will surely be satisfied.

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Coffee Space – a new hangout uptown

August 12, 2019

NOW there’s a new café in this bustling city of Cagayan de Oro that brands itself as Pinterest-inspired. When you drive along Macapagal Avenue uptown near the entrance of Courtyard, you’ll probably notice that the entrance of Coffee Space is simply minimalist. But dwell closer to the interiors and you’ll be awed. (Heck don’t take my words. Try it.) Coffee Space’s interiors are inspired by the global travels of its owner Kim Navarro, who benefited largely from his previous soiree as a flight attendant. The brick walls within the café are real and what makes the whole place cooler and even more ventilated. There’s a lighted map of the globe for coffee lovers to have their photos taken Pinterest style. Now let’s get down straight to why we’re here in the first place – coffee! Coffee Space offers the following: espresso, brewed, Americano, caramel macchiato, mocha, latte, matcha latte, cappuccino (goat’s milk add-on), uncola, cola, black tea, green tea, super tea, soya milk, iced tea, seasoned fresh fruit juice, matcha, frappe, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. According to Kim, all their coffee beans are sourced here in Northern Mindanao to promote locally grown produce. All their pastries on the side (chantilly, choco crinkle, kaya tart, peanut butter toast, cinnamon mini rolls, cheese cake {blueberry/strawberry}, espasol, banana cake, ube mango biko) are likewise homemade so Coffee Space can help budding entrepreneurs as well. Coffee Space also offers wine and cheese/cold cuts pairings per bottle. It is ideal both for professionals and students on the go who can simply boot up their laptops and work on their respective assignments. The whole café can be converted into an exclusive hall for functions good for 25 persons. Coffee Space is located at Door #2C, Golden Glow Compound (near Ark Island School), PN Roa-Macapagal Drive, Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City.

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