The ones to watch: Cebu’s creative set | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Second of two parts


A DJ prodigy, a thoughtful chef and an artful traveler are just three of the Cebuanos you should be on the lookout for. With their passion for and dedication to their craft, they could be the next Cebuanos to achieve global success. Their stories:


Joachim Giacobbe Go, 20, student-DJ


Unlike majority of the younger DJs in Cebu, I started out as a true clubber who loved the more progressive, more melodic, “trancier” side of dance music. Outside, acts like Above & Beyond, Cosmic Gate and Eric Prydz are huge main stage powerhouses, but here in Cebu no one was really patronizing that kind of sound so I took it upon myself to do so.


What’s a typical day like?


School takes most of my day, but I play basketball during my free time.


How did you get into DJ-ing?


My passion for trance and progressive ultimately brought me into DJ-ing.


What do you enjoy most about DJ-ing?


Playing tracks close to my heart and seeing the crowd feel what I am feeling.


What is your music philosophy?


It’s not just to be listened to but felt.


Who are your mentors?


DJ War Aballe was the one who really taught me the art of mixing. He was the first to believe in me. Without him, I wouldn’t be a DJ. DJ Jan Areno and I, on the other hand, share a lot musically. I learned about the scene and the industry from him.


What’s the dance music scene like in Cebu?


I am really glad to see that Cebu has adopted the EDM scene, but there is more to dance music than EDM. I believe now is the time for Cebuanos to be more open to the other sides of the dance music spectrum. Deep House is having a renaissance in the US—I can’t wait for that trend to kick off here.


Chip Lopez, 28, plant-based and whole foods chef


Tell us a bit about your brand.


The Lazy Chef is a grassroots movement promoting mindful eating and a plant-strong diet in Cebu. My long-term dream is to change the way people perceive healthy eating by introducing creative, delectable and satisfying ways of cooking whole foods.


What’s a typical day like?


In the morning, I go to the StayFit Box to do mixed modal training. In the afternoon, I do private in-home cooking classes where I go to people’s houses and teach the owners or their staff how to cook healthy meals, or I do wellness seminars or cooking demos. At night when I don’t have meetings, I try to squeeze in another hour of exercise.


How did you get into health and wellness?


I used to be a very sickly kid. After practising yoga for six months, my doctor brother invited me to do a Teachers’ Training in Therapeutic Yoga at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. I worked in the kitchen as well where executive chef Jim Perko, a plant-based, whole foods advocate, introduced me to healthy cooking, and I came back to Cebu with the hope of sharing everything I learned after I had seen what eating a clean, plant-based diet had done for my body.


What do you enjoy most about what you do?


The “Aha!” moment I see on people’s faces when they realize that vegetables can be just as satisfying as meat dishes.


Who are your mentors?


I was lucky to learn from some of the best chefs in Cebu at the Academy for International Culinary Arts. But the most influential person in my cooking life is chef Jim Perko. He cooked with so much heart and passion and chose to work with ingredients that normally would just have been supporting actors on a plate and made them stars.


What’s the health and wellness scene like in Cebu?


Because people are realizing the value of living a healthy lifestyle, the fitness scene in Cebu has significantly changed over the past few years. But we need more people on the culinary side.


Where do you see your brand 10 years from now?


I imagine a Cebu with healthy cafés and farmers’ markets in every street corner, free yoga classes in public parks, a bigger community of plant-based advocates, and a strong team of food revolutionaries. And The Lazy Chef as a pillar in this movement.


Ayla Garcia Gomez, 27, chief marketing officer, owner and designer of The Lost Nomad


The Lost Nomad—proudly made in the Philippines—is all about the modern-day traveler who understands the importance of a multifunctioning bag, but at the same time has a keen sense of personal style.


How did you get into this venture?


After I graduated from college, I had some time off and decided to put up an online shop called The Little Pinky Store. I realized my love for design and creativity while I was running this small online shop. Then one night, over a few beers with my cousin, the idea of making travel bags came about.

It was after noticing his weekender, which he got from Morocco, that we both became so inspired to make bags that were unlike the typical travel bags mostly seen here in the Philippines. Next thing we knew, we were business partners.


What do you enjoy most about what you do?


Apart from seeing my designs come to life and having people like them enough to want to buy them, I would have to say the best thing would be the planning and design process.


What is your design philosophy?


Simple, classic shapes updated with color or pattern, and at the same time have a multipurpose function. Details are key, and attention to them even more.


Who are your mentors?


My father taught me the value of hard work, patience, keeping cool under pressure, and that if it’s something you love doing, it must be worth pursuing. He once told me, “Never rely on a man to buy a drink for you when you can do it yourself.”


My mom brought out my creative side and my love of travel.


Where do you see your brand 10 years from now?


I would definitely want to see The Lost Nomad reaching a more global market, have its own stand-alone shops, and hopefully have its own in-house manufacturers and craftsmen.



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