lifestyle

Golden Reel & SkyCab | Up, Up and Away with Macau’s Skylators

November 15, 2019

“Climb high to see how far you’ve come, climb higher to see how far you have yet to go.”-T.M. Isn’t it a travel cliché that one of the things a first-time visitor to a place gets to do is find the highest point in the place to enjoy the panoramic vista? Well, I was fortunate to have been one of the Visayas-Mindanao Media invited to a recent familiarization tour of Macau, China by Cebu Pacific and JG Summit Holdings and indeed, we visited not just one but two of the highest points in the Special Administrative Region, the Macau Eiffel at The Parisian Macau and the even taller Macau Tower. However, we were also fortunate to visit another two of the city’s special attractions where the vista was not just merely a high point but moving ones at that, at Macau's glitzy Cotai Strip (the peninsula's answer to the Vegas Strip). The Golden Reel ​​ Golden Reel memento at the souvenir shop (RMB)   The first of these unique sky sides was the Golden Reel at the Studio City Macau entertainment resort, billed as the world’s highest and first-ever figure-8 Ferris wheel at 130 meters (427 ft). The Hollywood-inspired back story tells how to asteroid crashed through the Gotham City-inspired  main façade leaving a perfectly shaped “8” hole between the resort’s two hotel towers. Suspended from Studio City’s two Art-Deco hotel towers (The Star Tower and the Celebrity Tower), the Golden Reel  features 17 spacious Steampunk-themed  pods, each offering enough space and versatility to host private events. Up to 10 people will fit into each pod and rides last for over 15 minutes, providing passengers with changing views of  Macau and China in the distance.   Full sized Steampunk Aerocopter at Studio City perfectly complements its Neo Art Deco architecture (photo by Nick Olayao)   Golden Dragon turning station (photo by Nick Olayao)   The Chinese have always considered the number 8 a lucky and auspicious number thus in this gambling mecca whose annual revenues are seven times that of Las Vegas, the astral connection is not lost on the thousands of visitors who flock to its casino hoping to ride their luck on the lucky number. Indeed, as one enjoys the ever changing vistas below as the gondolas go through their 15-minute route, there is plenty of time for the traveler to reflect not only on his impending luck at the tables, but on how his life so far has been an up and down ride with changing fortunes that have not always be lucky, but always leave him with memories he can always to return to for the rest of his life. With its faux Art Deco design, the $3.2 billion casino apes the golden age of Hollywood in all the signature ways — glitzy gambling floors, movie-themed entertainment options, a 1,600 room hotel, with the Golden Reel as the center piece, which has also been described as a gigantic 35 mm film reel in keeping with Studio City’s Macau’s Hollywood  aspirations. You can board one of the wheel's 17 cars (each with space for up to 10 passengers) on the 23rd floor of the hotel. As the ride moves, it snakes around the steel gold circles in a figure-8, similar to the movement of a film's reel. There's no crossover in the middle, however, so it's not a true figure-8. To get a sense of the movement, imagine two number threes facing each other.   Spectacular views of the city and the South China Sea are guaranteed. Bookings can be made through Studio City’s website. Golden Dragon turning station (photo by Nick Olayao)   Wynn Palace SkyCab Another skylator ride we experienced was the SkyCab at the Wynn Palace Macau, also at the Cotai Strip. The a 10 minute cable car ride skirts along the outside of the Performance Lake just in front of the Wynn Palace property and is unique in that it has two stages. The first one gets you to Wynn Palace and the next one gets you out of it. I had only previously rode on a cable car in Hong Kong and what made the SkyCab unique was that it is reputedly the only cable car that can turn a corner without a mid-station which once you experience it, is a tale that would grow with each telling. Skycabs taking the turn at the Golden Dragon way station on their way to Wynn Palaca Macau (photo by Nick Olayao)   As one traveler relates online, “The Wynn SkyCab makes a total of 6 turns with 2 stations because it operates in a unidirectional configuration. You have to be inside one of these to experience the turn which feels a bit like you the way you would at Disneyland sitting in one of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups but of course, with turns that are not as sharp and abrupt.” Aside from its unique operating characteristics, the red gondolas are undoubtedly designed with opulence and glitz in mind to match its environment. Two of the system’s towers are built in the form of a golden dragon while the cabins were all equipped with a custom audio system and air conditioning. Despite the advances made in ropeway technology, air conditioned cabins are still uncommon. Golden Reel 2 (studiocitymacau photo)   Cabs have two seating benches for up to six people. The journey is around 4 stories above the ground level, giving you a nice glimpse of the hotel. Rides during the day will be better for photography of the Wynn Palace property. The best times to enjoy the SkyCab would be after noontime just before the fountain show so you can also experience the fountain palabas as you make your way to Wynn Palace. Or you can try taking the ride after 7PM and you can enjoy the fountain show spectacle complete with lights every 20 minutes from 7 am. SkyCab tickets are MOP100 per person and rides are available from 10am to midnight daily. There are two entrance platforms. You can begin the ride directly in front of the Performance Lake at ground level or from the elevated platform at the back of the lake, access from within the hotel complex. Our Macau guide Tata and Cebu colleague Cass at a SkyCab Gondola (photo by Nick Olayao)   These two unique rides offer more than just a way of getting from one point to another. For the next 10-15 minutes, as the traveler goes up and around, the ever changing scenery reminds him how his world is constantly in flux and how the unique vista overlooking a panoramic look of what lies below tells his story in a way only he can understand and appreciate. As the late Anthony Bourdain puts it: “It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I still have to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that here is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Selfie with Toots Jimenez aboard the SkyCab   Macau is a great destination for a weekend getaway--easy to fly there as well for us Mindanaoans via Cebu Pacific. Cebu Pacific has the most number of flights between the Philippines and Macau, with direct connections from Clark, Manila and Cebu. It's a seamless connection from Cagayan de Oro/Laguindingan to Cebu (or Manila, if one prefers) then on to Macau. Up, up and away we go!   You can opt take a day trip or exit via Hong Kong, which is an easy ferry trip or bus trip through the new Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau bridge, the world's longest sea bridge. Or you can fly direct to Hong Kong from Cebu or Manila, take the ferry or bus to Macau, then fly back from there to the Philippines. Voltarei a Macau!   VisMin Media at Studio City (photo  by Nick Olayao)

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Macao Fashion Festival 2019 | Hanz Coquilla raises PH Fashion high in Macau

November 8, 2019

A Cebuano designer has been raising high the Philippine’s colors in fashion for the past three years in Macau, China. I was fortunate to be part of the Cebu Pacific Fam Tour for VisMin Media to witness Hanz Herzl Pableo better known by his Nom de la mode  Hanz Coquilla showcase his Hanz Coquilla Alta Costura Spring/Summer 2020 at the Florence Hall of the Venetian Macau Hotel and Casino last 19 October 2019. Hanz told us it was his third year to participate in the Macao Fashion Festival but his first time to be featured in a Brand Show. Described as “Classic. Elegant and Exquisite” in the Macao Fashion Festival 2019 magazine, “Hanz Coquilla Alta Costura is Hanz Coquilla’s longest running line and has been favored by personalities to celebrities since its debut 10 years ago. A perfect marriage that combines undertones of minimalism paired with that touch of grandiosity, it is prized for its avant-garde designs inspired by women from her beauty, grace, trials and triumphs.”  “Last year we were invited to open the show for the second time,” Hanz said in our exclusive interview at the Media Room of Florence Hall following the Brand Collection Show 2  where he was featured along with leisure and professional wear maker ANIFA, Macao leisure fashion brand MACON Leisure Home series and Leo Wong’s multi-awarded SOUL for women. Macao Fashion Festival 2019 featured some 20 designers with at least two shows daily on its October 17-19 run with at least two shows daily featuring five designers each show. “Most opening designers are foreigners from Portugal, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan, while brand shows usually feature Macanese and Chinese designers,” Hanz notes. “We have found a home here.  It’s amazing how Macau embraces foreign designers, since Macau Fashion Week was mainly created as a showcase for local designers.” However, he admits it is a constant struggle to create a collection especially when he started as an Opening Show Designer in 2017. “Although the Macau government extends special privileges to us, you need to have a portfolio to open the show. We worked hard for it. You need constant communication with the organizers especially considering the limits inherent in the language barrier.” Putting together this year’s 15 piece collection) which he calls his Bohemian Collection proved to be “very tough and challenging.” “You need to cry sometimes to come up with a good collection,” Hanz admits. “Unless I cry over a collection, I don’t quite consider it to be a good one.” Asked which celebrities he would most like to cloth, he named Fan Bingbing, Zhang Ziyi, and Crazy Rich Asians like the ones featured with Michelle Yeoh in the recent hit movie of the same title. Would he be joining Macao Fashion Festival again next year? “Hopefully I’ll be here next year. I would like to make this an annual event as a way of giving back for the hospitality our hosts showed us. Not everyone gets that kind of treatment.”  Besides Macau, Hanz is also in talks to join other Asian shows in Seoul, Japan, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, and even as far as Boston Fashion Week. “In fact, I received a nomination this summer for World Fashion Week in Paris but had to set it aside for Terno Con. Making it to the final roster is a big achievement already like being passed a key for the future of Philippine fashion,” Hanz quipped/ Terno Con is a terno-making convention and contest that aims to encourage the use of the terno as a popular form of dress, inspire and motivate emerging designers to create designs which are grounded in its history while using a contemporary approach to further its objective of preserving the authenticity of one of the country’s most distinctive ensembles. “No international exposure can equal re-imagining a national treasure like the Terno and the chance of being mentored by our best designers like Inno Sotto as chief mentor, Philip Rodriguez  (Cebu City), Ivarluski Aseron (Metro Manila), and Lesley Mobo (Aklan). “ Not the least, Hanz expressed his profuse thanks to Cebu Pacific which sponsored his flights to Macau for the festival for the second straight year. “It’s never easy to mount a show abroad. Part of the journey makes it fun and lighter with direct to Macau that saves us a lot of money and logistics since we don’t have to pass by Manila.” Cebu Pacific has the most number of flights between the Philippines and Macau, with direct connections from Clark, Manila and Cebu. It's a seamless connection from Cagayan de Oro/Laguindingan to Cebu (or Manila, if one prefers) then on to Macau. You can opt take a day trip or exit via Hong Kong, which is an easy ferry trip or bus trip through the new Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau bridge, the world's longest sea bridge. Or fly direct to Hong Kong from Cebu or Manila, take the ferry or bus to Macau, then fly back from there to the Philippines. Hanz Coquilla Alta Costura creates tailor-made designs for that woman who yearns for their very own Hanz Coquilla, with a personalized touch. Contact. Mr. Stevan S. Serneo/ Mr. Hanz Herzl Pableo aka Hanz Coquilla by email hanzcoquillaatacostura@gmail.com/ or theramenboi@gmail.com or visit his Facebook Page Hanz Coquilla Alta Costura to see more of his custom-made suits, gowns, and RTW clothing.

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Golden Reel & SkyCab | Up, Up and Away with Macau’s Skylators

November 8, 2019

“Climb high to see how far you’ve come, climb higher to see how far you have yet to go.”-T.M.   Isn’t it a travel cliché that one of the things a first-time visitor to a place gets to do is find the highest point in the place to enjoy the panoramic vista? Well, I was fortunate to have been one of the Visayas-Mindanao Media invited to a recent familiarization tour of Macau, China by Cebu Pacific and JG Summit Holdings and indeed, we visited not just one but two of the highest points in the Special Administrative Region, the Macau Eiffel at The Parisian Macau and the even taller Macau Tower. However, we were also fortunate to visit another two of the city’s special attractions where the vista was not just merely a high point but moving ones at that, at Macau's glitzy Cotai Strip (the peninsula's answer to the Vegas Strip). The Golden Reel The first of these unique sky sides was the Golden Reel at the Studio City Macau entertainment resort, billed as the world’s highest and first-ever figure-8 Ferris wheel at 130 meters (427 ft). The Hollywood-inspired back story tells how to asteroid crashed through the Gotham City-inspired  main façade leaving a perfectly shaped “8” hole between the resort’s two hotel towers. Suspended from Studio City’s two Art-Deco hotel towers (The Star Tower and the Celebrity Tower), the Golden Reel  features 17 spacious Steampunk-themed  pods, each offering enough space and versatility to host private events. Up to 10 people will fit into each pod and rides last for over 15 minutes, providing passengers with changing views of  Macau and China in the distance.   The Chinese have always considered the number 8 a lucky and auspicious number thus in this gambling mecca whose annual revenues are seven times that of Las Vegas, the astral connection is not lost on the thousands of visitors who flock to its casino hoping to ride their luck on the lucky number. Indeed, as one enjoys the ever changing vistas below as the gondolas go through their 15-minute route, there is plenty of time for the traveler to reflect not only on his impending luck at the tables, but on how his life so far has been an up and down ride with changing fortunes that have not always be lucky, but always leave him with memories he can always to return to for the rest of his life. With its faux Art Deco design, the $3.2 billion casino apes the golden age of Hollywood in all the signature ways — glitzy gambling floors, movie-themed entertainment options, a 1,600 room hotel, with the Golden Reel as the center piece, which has also been described as a gigantic 35 mm film reel in keeping with Studio City’s Macau’s Hollywood  aspirations. You can board one of the wheel's 17 cars (each with space for up to 10 passengers) on the 23rd floor of the hotel. As the ride moves, it snakes around the steel gold circles in a figure-8, similar to the movement of a film's reel. There's no crossover in the middle, however, so it's not a true figure-8. To get a sense of the movement, imagine two number threes facing each other.   Spectacular views of the city and the South China Sea are guaranteed. Bookings can be made through Studio City’s website. Wynn Palace SkyCab Another skylator ride we experienced was the SkyCab at the Wynn Palace Macau, also at the Cotai Strip. The a 10 minute cable car ride skirts along the outside of the Performance Lake just in front of the Wynn Palace property and is unique in that it has two stages. The first one gets you to Wynn Palace and the next one gets you out of it. I had only previously rode on a cable car in Hong Kong and what made the SkyCab unique was that it is reputedly the only cable car that can turn a corner without a mid-station which once you experience it, is a tale that would grow with each telling. As one traveler relates online, “The Wynn SkyCab makes a total of 6 turns with 2 stations because it operates in a unidirectional configuration. You have to be inside one of these to experience the turn which feels a bit like you the way you would at Disneyland sitting in one of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups but of course, with turns that are not as sharp and abrupt.” Aside from its unique operating characteristics, the red gondolas are undoubtedly designed with opulence and glitz in mind to match its environment. Two of the system’s towers are built in the form of a golden dragon while the cabins were all equipped with a custom audio system and air conditioning. Despite the advances made in ropeway technology, air conditioned cabins are still uncommon. Cabs have two seating benches for up to six people. The journey is around 4 stories above the ground level, giving you a nice glimpse of the hotel. Rides during the day will be better for photography of the Wynn Palace property. The best times to enjoy the SkyCab would be after noontime just before the fountain show so you can also experience the fountain palabas as you make your way to Wynn Palace. Or you can try taking the ride after 7PM and you can enjoy the fountain show spectacle complete with lights every 20 minutes from 7 am. SkyCab tickets are MOP100 per person and rides are available from 10am to midnight daily. There are two entrance platforms. You can begin the ride directly in front of the Performance Lake at ground level or from the elevated platform at the back of the lake, access from within the hotel complex. These two unique rides offer more than just a way of getting from one point to another. For the next 10-15 minutes, as the traveler goes up and around, the ever changing scenery reminds him how his world is constantly in flux and how the unique vista overlooking a panoramic look of what lies below tells his story in a way only he can understand and appreciate. As the late Anthony Bourdain puts it: “It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I still have to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that here is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Macau is a great destination for a weekend getaway--easy to fly there as well for us Mindanaoans via Cebu Pacific. Cebu Pacific has the most number of flights between the Philippines and Macau, with direct connections from Clark, Manila and Cebu. It's a seamless connection from Cagayan de Oro/Laguindingan to Cebu (or Manila, if one prefers) then on to Macau. You can opt take a day trip or exit via Hong Kong, which is an easy ferry trip or bus trip through the new Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau bridge, the world's longest sea bridge. Or you can fly direct to Hong Kong from Cebu or Manila, take the ferry or bus to Macau, then fly back from there to the Philippines. Voltarei a Macau!

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The Two Towers of Macau

October 27, 2019

“On a clear day you can see forever.” During a recent familiarization tour of the Special Administrative Region of Macau in China courtesy of Cebu Pacific for Visayas and Mindanao media, we had the special treat of scaling the heights of two of the highest points in Macau. While most Filipinos tend to ignore or overlook Macau, or just opt for a day trip from Hong Kong, the tiny Special Administrative Region of China will surprise travelers with a myriad of food finds, attractions and entertainment options. While Coloane Alto ( Portuguese: Alto de Coloane) in the island of Coloane is the highest natural point at 172.4 meters (560 ft) above sea level, the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre in Sé, Macau is almost twice as tall at 338 m (1,109 ft) in height from ground level to the highest point. Officially opened in December 19, 2001, the Macau Tower was inspired by the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand which so impressed Macau casino billionaire Stanley Ho Hung-Sun that he immediately commissioned a similar one for Macau. Designed by architect Les Dykstra for the Kiwi engineering firm Beca Group and Gordon Moller of Moller Architects for Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, it was started in 1998 and is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers. Its observation deck features views, restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and the Skywalk X, a walking tour around the outer rim. It offers the best view of Macau and in recent years has been used for a variety of adventurous activities. The glass enclosed elevator will zoom you up 223 meters in under 60 seconds as you have an unmatched view of the Macau skyline unfolding beneath you. We enjoyed amazing 360° views from the level 58 Observation Lounge over a “Cafe on 4” coffee, and later savored an international buffet lunch at the Café 360 Revolving Restaurant. Meantime we had a grand time taking photos of the unmatched vistas all around as well as looking at the daredevils who were seriously contemplating their immediate future with at the 61 Adventure Deck and its various sky tracking attractions such as the Skywalk Skywalk, Bungee Jump Bungee Jump , Skyjump and Tower Climb.  At 233 meters, the Macau Tower's tethered Skyjump and Bungee jump by AJ Hackett from the tower's outer rim, is the highest commercial skyjump in the world (233 meters), and the second highest commercial decelerator descent facility in the world (after Vegas' Stratosphere skyjump at 252 meters).  The Tower has routinely been used as a site for staged bungee jumping events, by professional jumpers or as part of entertainment shows. On December 17, 2006, the father of contemporary bungee jumping, A J Hackett, and popular artist Edison Chen broke two Guinness World Records at the Macau Tower. A J Hackett, broke his own Guinness World Record of "The Highest Bungee Jump from a Building" achieved in 1987 from the Eiffel Tower. Edison Chen represented Macau Tower in the inaugural jump to bid for "The World's Highest Bungee Jump Facility". Please call (853) 8988 8656 for bookings or further inquiries. You may also avail of special rates only available  by E-mail: macau.reservations@ajhackett.com or their website. My good friend Toots Jimenez Jr. of The Watchmen Daily in Bacolod had a lot of fun posting photos of him getting ready for the bungee jump but that was actually as far as he got although he continues to get a lot of queries and likes on his FB post asking him about his experience. All in good fun! The entrance fee is $120 -- slightly steep but still reasonable, depending on what you want to do there. The entrance fee gets you to the indoor and outdoor observation decks -- you can get an amazing view of Macau from there. Eiffel Tower at the Parisian Macau The City of Lights, the City of Love. Paris is at the heart of romance, and the Eiffel Tower is at the heart of Paris. The Parisian Macao, and in particular its Eiffel Tower, has emerged to become one of Macau’s iconic landmarks of the city’s skyline. Although there are now over 30 replicas or similar towers around the world (such as a 1:25 scale one at Japanese theme park Tobu World Square and another half-scale replica atop hotel and casino Paris Las Vegas), the Eiffel Tower at the Parisian Macau is special because of its claim as “the tallest and most realistic” half-scale duplicate, and “has been superbly reproduced with every possible detail intact”. More than 4,500 design drawings were made for the tower, to ensure a creation that was as authentic as possible. How closely does the Eiffel Tower Macau resemble the one in Paris? Like Toots, I also teased my FB friends with a photo of me looking really pooped with the tower in the background griping about the 16 hour flight from Macau to Paris, just to see how many of them actually bought that yarn or fact checked the photo. Well, I am still getting likes and comments on that photo relating to the Paris Eiffel Tower to this  day! For the information of interested visitors to Macau, there are only two flights from Europe that actually link Macau International Airport to the Old World. Both are by the seasonal Russian charter airline Royal Flight airlines  based in Abakan, Russia that operates charter services between  Pulkovo Airport an international airport serving St. Petersburg, Russia and Sheremetyevo Alexander S. Pushkin International Airport one of four international airports that serves the city of Moscow, and is the busiest airport in Russia.  Macau’s Eiffel Tower remains a faithful representation of its progenitor in Paris, but utilizes more modern construction advances in its design with a steel structure instead of the original’s wrought iron, and is engineered to withstand the high winds of Macau’s annual typhoon season and the high traffic of Macao’s bustling tourism industry. The tower features many of the ornamental touches of its counterpart in Paris, including ornate detailing such as with over 850,000 decorative rivets (to resemble the functional rivets on the Paris one), cornice scrolls, balustrades, gusset plates, lattices, staircases, and mesh screens around the observation decks. Also like its elder sibling, a light show will spectacularly light up the tower each night. The views from the Observation Decks at Levels 7 and 37 of the half-scale 525-foot Eiffel Tower offers magnificent vistas of famous adjacent hotels like The Venetian® Macao; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring Four Seasons Hotel Macao; and Sands® Cotai Central, and Studio City. You can also get a view of mainland China in the distance. With your ticket, you can climb up to the 7th and 37th floor observation deck and take in the spectacular sights of the city. Stay for the night and catch the light and music show that runs every 20 minutes from 7:30 PM to midnight featuring 6,600 blinking LED lights with bolts of fire shooting from its tip in a staccato rhythm as its backdrop is bathed in an electrifying display of fireworks and pyrotechnics. For bookings and further inquiries, call +853 8111 2768 / +853 8111 2763 The Eiffel Tower at The Parisian Macau is open from 10am to 10pm. Tickets from level 5 at the Eiffel Tower Souvenir Shop. Call +853 8111 2768 or +853 8111 2763. For more information and prices, visit www.parisianmacao.com or read more at https://www.todayonline.com/lifestyle/travel/paris-macau. Macau is a great destination for a weekend getaway--easy to fly there as well for us Mindanaoans via Cebu Pacific. Cebu Pacific has the most number of flights between the Philippines and Macau, with direct connections from Clark, Manila and Cebu. It's a seamless connection from Cagayan de Oro/Laguindingan to Cebu (or Manila, if one prefers) then on to Macau. You can opt take a day trip or exit via Hong Kong, which is an easy ferry trip or bus trip through the new Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau bridge, the world's longest sea bridge. Or you can fly direct to Hong Kong from Cebu or Manila, take the ferry or bus to Macau, then fly back from there to the Philippines. Viagem Alegre!

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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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