Neri: What's up? What's new?

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

THIS weekend is the most festive in our Queen City. We have the Sto. Niño procession on Saturday and the Grand Sinulog Parade on Sunday.

Meanwhile there's the Miss Cebu Coronation Night tonight at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel at 7 p.m.



For the Sinulog season, Cebu Artists Inc. has come up with a group exhibit entitled Sinulog - An Interpretation at the second level of Ayala Center Cebu. Guests of honor on opening day were Amado Go, Nelia G. Neri of Sun.Star Cebu, Dr. James Guardiario and Dr. Annabella Guardiario, Dr. Vic Verallo and Dr. Susan Verallo. Exhibit ends on Jan. 26.


Ongoing at Cafe Marco of Marco Polo Plaza till Jan. 20, is Sugbusog - Street Food Classics Dos, an extensive buffet of the finest Cebuano street food specially prepared by the Marco Polo team of chefs under the guidance of culinary expert Jessica Avila.

It is a one-of-a-kind feast.


The Cebu shopping scene has reached new heights with the opening of the upscale Ayala Center Cebu Expansion. The new wing counts four levels with the first one housing premium foreign brands. The second level concentrates on fast fashion and popular foreign brands, while the third level is an IT domain as well as the place for specialized shops for kids and the home. The fourth level houses selected dining outlets, a modern chapel, and a state of the art cinema. What makes this level stand out is its outdoor setting, featuring landscaped areas and water features. The entire expansion will be fully operational in a few months. It is bound to change the face of the city's shopping field.

Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal officiated at the mass and blessed the premises during its soft opening. In attendance were the Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and Ayala Center execs from Manila with ALI president Antonino Aquino on the lead as well as the Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) team headed by CHI president Francis Monera.


One of the attractions at the fourth level rooftop garden of the Ayala expansion is Ulli's Streets of Asia, another venture of the Laguna Group of Restaurants founded by Julita Urbina (fondly called Ulli by her grandchildren). This time around, she and chef son Raki U chose to focus on the flavorful street food of Singapore, Hongkong and a bit of Japan. And this means a variety of grilled favorites, noodles, salads, fish balls in broth or curries, stone pot meals and the like. What's more, the resto offers 10 combinations of freshly juiced blends. This makes for healthy drink options.

Yes, Asian street food at its most inviting is what you get at Ulli's!


Lebanese fare is not an ordinary, easy-to-get food hereabouts but now it is readily available, thanks to the Abaca Group headed by well-known chef, Jason Hyatt who has opened Beqaa, a Lebanese resto at the Design Center Bldg. in A.S. Fortuna St. He believes that there is a market for contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine, which features tasty and healthy mezze and main dishes along with a wide choice of vegetarian specialties.

In the menu are delicious salads and kebabs, homemade Saj bread, lamb dishes, and more.


A streetcar named Big Daddy is the newest destination along the Salinas Drive "foodtown." For sure it is no ordinary streetcar but one with a well-equipped kitchen.

Parked near Chikaan, it is the latest venture of Chikaan owners Alex and Loreta Dytian whose chef son Derek thought of the food-to-go business.

Also very much involved is their other son John. Big Daddy offers burgers and hot dogs, pasta and pork chops as well as chips and salads. It is the place to go for yummy quick meals.


Heartfelt thanks to everyone who remembered me in a special way during the holiday season. I really appreciate your thoughtfullness. Wishing all of you more of God's blessings for the year 2014.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 15, 2014.


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