Monthly Archives: June 2013

World Food Expo (WOFEX) 2013

World Food Expo (WOFEX) 2013


“The Ultimate Food Show Experience” is coming to Davao City this June 20 to 22nd at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang! After a successful WOFEX 2013 Northern Luzon in Baguio Country Club, the organizers, Premier Events Plus Group is bringing to Davao City suppliers and all segments of the food and beverage industry. This expo has generated phenomenal rise in exhibitor bookings, visitor traffic and sales in the whole F & B industry and Davao is fortunate to host this grand F&B activity. In Manila, WOFEX 2013 is scheduled from July 31 to August 3, 2013 at both World Trade Center and SMX Convention Center, Philippines. The event will be held in two venues, WOFEX Trade will be at World Trade Center which is for trade visitors only while SMX Convention Center is the site for WOFEX Marketplace where the biggest selling and order taking event of the year will take place. One of WOFEX highlight activity is the PHILIPPINE CULINARY CUP, which has become the most prestigious culinary competition in the country.

Discovering Davao


MANILA, Philippines – It was a leap of faith,” Nigel Fisher admits. Although he had spent sometime in various places in Asia including Bali, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Macau, he had never been to the Philippines before. He looked up Davao City on the Internet, liked what he read about it, and decided to come. Since he assumed his post as general manager of Marco Polo Davao in 2009, he has come to know more about this third largest city in the country (next to Cebu and Manila) firsthand, and appears to be liking it even more.

Fisher shared his story over a sumptuous lunch at the newly refurbished Lotus Court, Marco Polo Davao’s premiere Cantonese restaurant.

Marco Polo Lotus Court’s signature dish, Yin Yang Garupa, served with dark and light sauce
With an estimated population of about one million, Davao City, which covers about 244,000 hectares, is considered the world’s largest city in terms of land area. You can drink water straight from the tap since it was recognized by the World Health Organization as having the second cleanest potable water in the world. It is typhoon-free and enjoys fair weather year-round. It is known as the “Fruit Basket of the Philippines.”

Davao’s tourism tagline says it all: “From Island to Highland.” Davao offers “adventure, culture and nature,” from mountain climbing (the country’s tallest peak, Mt. Apo, is located here) to whitewater rafting (a thrilling three-hour run down the winding Davao River); from the Pearl Farm to the Philippine Eagle Center; from the exquisite waling-waling orchid to the exciting Kadayawan Festival.

“I’m the perfect example of a foreigner with a family on a four-day stay, here to experience everything Davao has to offer,” Fisher remarked. His family — wife, three teenaged daughters, and 83-year-old mother, who all live in Australia — have come to visit him and have enjoyed what he calls “the local experience.”

“The funny thing is, what I consider as really good fun, for the people who live here, it’s just their ordinary everyday experience, like riding the jeepney or getting on the boat to go to Paradise Island to eat kinilaw and adobo.”

Paradise Island and Beach Resort is said to rank among the finest beaches in Davao. Located in Samal Island, it’s a 10-minute, P15 ferry ride away from the city. With nearly 800 meters of shoreline and snorkeling area, you get to enjoy the beautiful coral and different varieties of marine life. Within the resort is a mini-zoo and an aviary with peacocks and peahens, assorted lovebirds, and a cobra.

Gene Bangayan of Ronaldo’s
At the beachside buffet, we enjoyed the imbao soup (halaan or clams) as well as the kinilaw na malasugui (blue marlin). We learned that kinilaw happens to be Fisher’s most favorite local dish. Something unique was the Amik, a Muslim native dessert made from ground rice mixed with sugar, passed through a sieve and deep-fried. Chef Lou Bacharpa, who explained to us how the delicacy is made, had been with the 23-year-old resort for 21 years.

Back in 1971, only wild grass covered a logged over area at the foot of Mt. Talomo. Since then, 100,000 pine trees were planted over 80 hectares, creating a beautiful manmade mountain resort — the Eden Nature Park and Resort, a 45-minute drive from Marco Polo.

There’s a four-kilometer mountain trail, campsites and cottages, a fishing village, an orchard of native fruit trees as well as herbs, organic vegetables, and flower gardens.

One can go horseback riding around the park. There’s also a soccer field. But the sports attraction du jour is the 200-meter-long zipline, the Skyrider, which requires you to climb a tall steel tower and, strapped in a safety harness, sends you gliding over the towering pine trees below.

Eco-tourism and outdoor adventure is high in Davao’s agenda. The newest water sports destination is the Deca Wakeboard Park, which recently opened to the public. It is actually the main amenity of a mass housing development, which makes it rather unique.

Chef Lou with native dessert amik at Paradise Island and Beach Resort
It was raining when we visited the Philippine Eagle Center, about an hour’s ride from the city center. This is home to the Philippine Eagle, also known as the monkey-eating eagle. Marco Polo Davao, a staunch advocate of environmental protection and green tourism (it won the 2010 ASEAN Green Hotel Award), supports the center in its program to propagate the endangered specie.

Back in our hotel room, a warm tub bath was just what we needed after a long day of marathon sightseeing.

As guests in the newly refurbished Cabana rooms and suites on the fourth and fifth floors, we enjoyed the same benefits as the exclusive Continental Club on the top floors.

Said to be the tallest building in Mindanao, the 18-story Marco Polo Davao, located in the heart of the city, offers great views of Davao Gulf, Mt. Apo, and Samal Island. The 245-room hotel, which won the prestigious “Hotel of the Year” award in 2009 and 2007, is just beside Aldevinco, where you go for pasalubong shopping, and is right across the Ateneo de Davao main campus as well as the post office.

The Deck on the fourth floor, with its resort-like ambiance, also features a 25-meter swimming pool, a gym and fitness center as well as the Lazuli Spa, the ultimate haven for soothing comfort and deep relaxation. The Polo Bistro, also on The Deck, is Fisher’s current “work in progress” where he has taken a personal hand in planning the casual dining layout around the pool, and developing the outlet’s hearty and healthy menu. After all, his many years of experience in the hospitality industry include 12 years as F&B manager in various Hyatt properties in Australia. He can tell you exactly how the ciabatta is made — which, frankly, we could not seem to get enough of from the breadbasket. The pomelo crème brulee is also a must-try. When the Café Marco reopens its doors in July (it will be closed for refurbishing starting March 28 to June 30), its buffet offerings promise to level up to those found in such five-star hotels in Cebu and Makati. The Eagles Bar and the Lobby Lounge are the other venues in the hotel that provide just the right mood for unwinding at day’s end.

Davao, too, is a dining destination. We had more than our fill. How can we forget Ronaldo’s and its charming owner, Gene Bangayan, who also happens to be the president of the Davao Tourism Association?

CJohnny Cupcake’s Dark Chocolate Beer cupcake

Piero Lucarini of La Toscana was another pleasant host-cum-chef-cum-Italian bar and restaurant owner. As the name suggests, his menu reflects the Tuscany kitchen of his home country. The authentic taste of the Tuscany sausage with the freshly made pasta that we enjoyed continues to tease our taste buds and will linger in our memory.

There are other memorable dining places, like Claude’s where the homey dining room is set in a restored house built in 1929 for the first mayor of Davao City. Then there’s that charming boutique hotel, Legaspi Suites, where you can enjoy their signature Lychee Margarita while lounging on wrought-iron chairs and tables set under the trees. Or pick up a cupcake or two at Johnny Cupcake behind the Central Bank building. The dark chocolate cupcake with beer is certainly unique. Blugre is the homegrown coffeehouse where the very first durian coffee frappe was created and served. A slice of durian cappuccino crunch is a perfect accompaniment, with no risk of a durian overload.

What more can we say? Davao seems to have all it takes to make it to the top of your “places to go to” list.

“What we have to do is to let the local people realize and value what they have,” Fisher observed. That’s coming from someone who simply took a chance and was easily won over in no time by the city that he has come to love.

* * *

Marco Polo Davao is located at C.M. Recto St. corner M. Roxas Ave. 8000 Davao City For reservations, call (63 82) 221-0888 or visit

Text and photos by: By Julie Cabatit-AlegreRoy Baterbonia



PEOS, Job Fair, Legal Assistance and E-Registration


Greetings from SM City Davao and SM Global Pinoy Center!

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration ( POEA ) , a government agency under Department of Labor and Employment ( DOLE ),

will conduct a comprehensive and sustainable Pre – Employment Orientation Seminar ( PEOS ) , Job Fair , Legal Assistance and E – Registration

on June 19, 2013 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Wednesday at SM City Davao The Annex.


For further inquiries, please call SM Global Pinoy Center at 297.6998 local 111.

Visit SM City Davao’s Facebook page, click on this link:

See you in the City’s hippest hub! All hip, all here!
SM City Davao, where we all come together.

Best regards,

SM City Davao
Quimpo Blvd. Ecoland, Davao City
Tel No. : 297-6998 local 111


The Great Kadayawan Trade Fair

The Great Kadayawan Trade Fair, one of the city-accredited events during the month-long Kadayawan Celebration in Davao City.

With more than 200 stalls offering quality, reasonably priced items, the fair has been an event that Dabawenyos look forward to each year. Trendy clothes, fascinating items, tasty pastries and a great place to find those hard-to-find friends of yours…


SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier

SMX Convention Center Davao is the largest and is the first privately-owned and managed convention and exhibition center in the south. Located at the third level of SM Lanang Premier, Davao City, considered as the 4th largest SM Mall in the Philippines.

Boasting of state-of-the art facility, SMX can accommodate approximately 5,000 guests or 380 exhibit modules in its three fully-airconditioned and fully-carpeted function rooms with kitchen, male and female restrooms for VIPS and five additional break-out rooms.

The center has internet access, the area is equipped with telephone lines, wireless fidelity (WiFi) and local area network (LAN). The center has about 1,400 covered and open parking slots. Public transportation is readily available as it is strategically located near hotels, air and sea ports, thus making the delegates’ experience comfortable, convenient and complete.

Davao City is privileged to have SM open a world-class convention center like SMX. Facilities like this will surely entice more Local, national and international visitors, conventions and events to include Davao City in their next destination.

See you in Davao!

Dine Philippines 2013

Dine Philippines is part of Restaurant Management Series organized by Courage Asia. Dine Philippines is back to Davao Shores and is happy to have successful entrepreneurs in the F & B Industry to share some of their trade secrets and practices in business.



Among the workshop speakers include:

Ms. Chit Juan of Philippine Coffee Board and ECHO Stores talks about Promoting a Sustainable and Profitable Restaurant Business.


CHEF Paul Huang of Fire Lake Grilll Tagaytay, shares how to develop a profitable and customer friendly menu.

Screen shot 2013-06-12 at 7.27.15 PM
Carlo Calma Lorenzana, importer of Argentinian wine, producer of Sun Made brown rice, and franchisee of SUMOSAM Davao City, speaks on effective food and wine pairing program for the restaurant business.


CHEF Josh Boutwood of Bistro Group tackles how Menu Innovations become the Best Practices of the Bistro Group.

S&R Membership Shopping

S&R Membership Shopping opened their store in Davao City last May 28, 2013, 12nn. The site has been an important landmark to me since I got here in Davao in 2007. It is just slightly across my office (now my business address).

The day, S&R store opened, Davao City was all a-buzzed, some friends were there at the very first minute it opened, the stretch of Maa road was busy with vehicles, some of which were even parked in front of my place and even upto kilometer and half away from the store….Music from marching / dancing band were playing in the carpark. Long qeues were seen at the entrance. Another long qeue for those filling up their membership forms. Ive already planned of being a member myself, I have had the form as early as February, got it from an S&R staff whom Ive met when they sponsored one of the activities we had for Araw ng Dabaw 2013. Because i knew the place is very near and I can easily drop by and submit my form and my business documents, It never occurred to me that i’d forget and will not be able to process the membership in time before the store opens…So since February until today, June 12, I still have my application form with me.

Randomly, a friend texted me that she’s going to S&R that night, and since, Its been sometime that we last seen each other, I told her, i’d meet up with her and that she bring me in….so I had my first taste of S&R Davao experience last night…

The store is large but not as large as ive expected it…Makro Davao may be larger (i think). The stocks are imported but I’ve seen more brands in Subic duty-free shops. There are also familiar brands that you see on the regular neighborhood groceries. But what caught my attention are the food section, pastries and of course the food service….oh yeah, the pizzas are large (18 inches?) and has several flavors to choose from…and the drink dispensers, they are refillable, reminds me of Burger King stores…reasonably priced at Php 39 per cup. Goody! I can refill it twice and I’d feel happy and “sulit”…the pizzas, yes, the pizzas…reminds me of the giant pizzas we used to order in Manila…the overwhelming JUGNOS’20 inch monster pizza…I’m so happy…makes me miss Manila less and less….everything seems to be coming to Davao City!!!

Other food in S&R’s menu are:
Roast Chicken with Rice
Pepperoni or Vegetable Calzone
100% All Beef or Polish Hotdogs
Bavarian or Cinnamon Churro
Beef Baked or Chicken Baked Roll
French Fries
Chicken Caesar Salad
Clam Chowder
Bottomless Soda
Deli Bar

Php 700 membership card is not bad if you have preference for American brands and you enjoy American deli, large pizzas, refillable drinks, hanging in a cool and socially invigorating place.

See you there…i plan to have my membership form processed today, after all, its Independence Day…or should I wait for Philippine-American Friendship Day??? On second thought, no! I should do it now…they might have more special discounts set for their 4th of July celebration, right, Joe???