Latest Stories


Year of Water Snake marked colorfully in Cebu


CONSUL General Zhang Weiguo dots the lion’s eye at the Marco Polo.

The entrance of the Water Snake, and all its portents of economic prosperity, was celebrated with particular relish all over Cebu, especially by its leading hotels and resorts. All were spectacular in their own special ways.

People’s Republic of China Consul General Zhang Weiguo and wife Chen Lianning were busy attending numerous functions, amid the clangor of cymbals, lion and dragon dances, deafening fire crackers and breathtaking fireworks.

Three of the main celebrations were held on Feb. 9, eve of the actual festivity. At the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, the fun was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., led by general manager Alfred Portenschlagen. It culminated with the most brilliant fireworks ever seen in Cebu.

It was 7 p.m. for the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. It started with the parade of giant chopsticks carried by staff dressed in red silk, descending dramatically through the grand staircase to the lobby for the ceremonies.

General manager Hans Hauri and wife Bo, both clad in brocade robes, led Consul General Zhang to a huge salad bowl for the yee-sang salad tossing. Together with other VIPs, they tossed the auspicious ingredients.

“As high as you can,” said someone, “for luck and prosperity.” Did some of that lettuce plus raw salmon reach the Swarovski prisms that dangled from the high ceiling?

Resident manager Julie Najar was at the forefront, as well as food/beverage director Stephan Wieprich, sales and market director Lara Constantino Scarrow and public relations officer for media Kyra Cabaero.

Among those present were Honorary Consul of Portugal Samuel Chioson, Bobit and Jessica Avila, Cathay Pacific Airways Cebu manager Grace Ho and Connie Cimafranca, Cathay’s marketing and communications supervisor.

Over in Mactan Island, it was the Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort and Spa that gathered a large crowd of revelers. They had the eye-dotting on the lion followed by its dance, and the yee-sang salad was also tossed with the corresponding stamina.

Welcoming Consul General and Ms Zhang were chair Yong Jun Park, president Justin Uy, CEO Jason Uy and general manager Edward Cho.

The Cebu Consular Corps was well represented by Canada’s Robert Lee and wife Anna; Spain’s Anton Perdices with wife Maripaz and their three children; and John Domingo, consular agent of the United States.

Also present were Tourism’s regional director Rowena Montecillo, Cebu Business Club president Dondi Joseph with wife Corinne, and Ronald Llamas, presidential adviser on political affairs, who like many guests wore red.

For Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, the most propitious hour to mark the Chinese New Year was on Feb. 10 at 11:17 a.m. A large crowd of guests awaited the arrival of Consul General and Ms Zhang who had earlier been for a similar ceremony at SM City Cebu.

To welcome them were Christina Kuok with Constance Bartholomeau, the resort’s general manager Jurgen Doerr with wife Yasmine, director for sales and marketing Agnes Pacis, and communications manager Mildred Amon with her staff, among them Cassandra Cuevas who is assigned to press relations.

Watching the excitement were food/beverage director Jurgen van Workum and executive chef Joris Rycken, who indicated that the action would move to the Tea of Spring Chinese specialty restaurant. There, chef Bun Boom Hoe had prepared a fabulous lunch menu.

Mildred Amon was quite amused as Dr. Nestor Alonso scored every dish with superlatives. Also in the same table were Valeriano Avila with daughter Katrina, Divine Sanchez Ngujo and Ehda Dago-oc.

With Consul General and Ms Zhang were a full complement from the Chinese Consulate: Consuls Sun Chan, Liu Jinrong with wife Xu Lan, Huang Rhongzhi, Tan Huiqin, Wang Yanyan, plus consular attachés Zhang Ran and Fang Xun.

Cebu Bailliage

Next grand event at the Mactan Shangri-La will be the 20th anniversary gala and induction of the Cebu Bailliage of La Chaine des Rotisseurs on March 21. Ladies are expected to wear long gowns; the gentlemen, either tuxedos or formal Barong Filipino.

Michel Lhuillier, honorary consul of France for the Visayas, and wife Amparito Llamas Lhuillier, baili for Cebu, have prepared a two-night “chapitre” with focus on the historical heritage of Cebu.

The night before the Shangri-La event, Michel and Amparito will host a fellowship gathering at their beautiful hilltop home on Maria Luisa Estate Park. The food will have a Filipino theme, and that means succulent and aromatic Cebu lechon. Wines will come from their well-stocked private cellar.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cebu , Consul General Zhang Weiguo , Makati Shangri-La , People’s Republic of Chin , Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa , Year of Water Snake

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  7. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Two Popes who would be saints
  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Sports

  • Duke freshman declares for NBA draft
  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • Lifestyle

  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus