meeting for upcoming renovations. -Ms. Cacho
meeting for upcoming renovations. -Ms. Cacho

Marco Polo on renovation

CATHAY International Resources Inc., the owning company of five-star Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, is earmarking P300 million for the renovation projects of the hotel this year.

The hotel will be embarking on renovation projects specifically for the grand ballroom, Blu Bar and Grill and the hotel’s suites and premium rooms. The ballroom renovation started last March and the first phase of the upgrade is expected to be completed by August this year, in time for Cebu’s hosting today’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC).

Marco Polo announced it will upgrade in phases its Blu Bar and Grill this month. It will have an outdoor and indoor area, inclusive of a private room for exclusive dinners and events. From a 60-seating capacity, the improved Blu Bar can now sit up to 150 persons.

“Since its opening in 2008, it has steadily gained popularity due to its fantastic view and exquisite fine dining offerings and with this came higher business demands,” said Najar.

Moreover, the hotel will continue upgrading its rooms. After completing the renovation for 228 deluxe rooms last year, Najar disclosed the hotel will now focus on renovating its 101 premium rooms and suites.

Migrants bringing out Europe its Best and Worst


A group of refugees, mostly from Syria, marched on the highway in Denmark toward Sweden on Wednesday after being detained for days at a Danish school in Padborg.

Thousands of volunteers have heeded calls to help the stream of migrants arriving in Europe in recent days, cheering them at train stations in Austria and Germany and showering them with food, drinks and toys. But signs of tension have continued to appear this week, even in the most welcoming countries, reflecting fear, misunderstanding or racism as the Continent struggles to cope with an influx of tens of thousands of people.

Since a center-right government took over in Denmark this year, the country has cut assistance benefits for refugees by half — a fact the government sought to make clear by taking out advertisements in a newspaper in Lebanon, where hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have fled.

As a result, some migrants who declined to apply for asylum in Germany have sought to pass through Denmark in hopes of pressing farther north to Sweden or Norway.

As the tension in southern Denmark, alerts were found out from police officers in the western state of Saarland said a fire had broken out early Wednesday in a former school that was being converted to take in dozens of migrants. More than 22, 000 people were now suffering and many more.

Australian surgeons and trainees suffer discrimination and harassment


medical group apologized to surgeons and trainees in Australia and New Zealand after a report found that almost half had suffered discrimination, bullying, and sexual harassment from senior surgeons.

It is said that there are 6,000 surgeons and 1,300 trainees in the two countries.

The investigation followed the Sydney vascular surgeon Gabrielle McMullins’ controversial media interviews in March in which she said female trainee doctors should just give into request for sexual favors because reporting to sexual harassment to authorities would destroy their careers.

The report found that 49 percent of surgeons and trainees, including foreign medical graduates working in the male-dominated Australian and New Zealand surgical systems, complained of being subjected to discrimination, bullying, and sexual harassment.

Of these, 19 percent reported workplace harassment, 18 percent discrimination and 7 percent sexual harassment.

The report recommended cultural change and sanctions against those responsible for discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment. It recommended changes to surgical education and independent scrutiny of complaints management.



CEBU, Philippines – Two people were killed while four others were injured in two separate road accidents in Cebu on Wednesday night.

In Barangay Kanyuko, Dumanjug town, 78-year-old Teodoro Baybayon was pinned to death by a delivery truck that accidentally hit his house at 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

Truck driver Reuben Ley Villeno, 40, also suffered serious injuries and was brought to South General Hospital.

Police Officer 3 Rafael Albero of Dumanjug Police Station said Villeno was believed to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor when he drove the truck.

He was reportedly driving the vehicle at high speed then lost control, hitting a house near the road where the victim was sleeping alone.

Albero said responding rescuers had to use cranes to remove the truck from the house and managed to do it at around 3 a.m. The victim was found, but was already dead.


CEBU, Philippines – Starting today, the police in Metro Cebu will be on heightened alert as they expect the arrival of the first six foreign delegates who will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this weekend.

Senior Superintendent Marciano Batiancela Jr., the acting chief of the Cebu City Police Office, also said two days before the opening of the APEC summit in Cebu, the whole police force in Central Visayas, will be declaring a full alert status for the safety and security of the expected 3,200 delegates.

Batiancela said as of now, half of the security force from the CCPO intended for this event, are already deployed especially to the hotels in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, where the APEC meetings will be held and the delegates will temporarily stay.

Batiancela said the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy will provide security in the seas around the Cebu area.

Of the six delegates arriving today, four will be from Mexico, one from Australia and the other from the USA.

The Cebu Organizing Committee for the APEC conference has advised the public to stay away from the ceremonial routes of delegates or those leading to the billeting hotels and venues of the meetings.

“There might be inconvenience. But let us roll our red carpet to welcome our visitors. These are not ordinary people, because these are senior officials from 21 member economies. This time, we will have the opportunity for all important people form important countries. These 21 economies account more than 50 percent of the global trade,” he added.

There are nine hotels where the delegates will be billeted. They will be shuttled to different venues of the meetings. Among the hotels are Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, Cebu City Marriott Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel-Cebu and Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa.

Cebu will start hosting the third Senior Officials’ Meeting on August 22 to September 6.

Four ministerial meetings are also set to be held in Cebu. These are on structural reform on September 7 to 8, finance on September 10 to 11, transportation on October 8 to 10, and energy on October 12 to 14.

He added that the traffic situation must be managed carefully and if possible the police station chiefs will recommend to the local executives not to hold any activity in the major roads in the municipality.


MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has signed the law declaring August 18 of every year as “Jesse Robredo Day.”

Aquino signed on Wednesday Republic Act 10669 declaring the Jesse Robredo Day as a special working holiday.

Under the new law, the new holiday will be celebrated in all elementary and secondary schools in the country.

In the event that the holiday falls on a weekend, it shall be observed on the Friday of that week.

The Department of Education will plan and implement activities for the Jesse Robredo Day.

The agency shall ensure that Robredo’s “legacy of good governance and leadership is given emphasis to encourage students to continue the same for the good and the Filipino people.”

“Napatunayan ni Jesse at ng mamamayan ng Naga: Hindi kinakailangang maging madumi ang pulitika. Puwedeng makamit ang mga layunin nang hindi isinasakripisyo ang mga prinsipyo,” Aquino said.

During the commemoration of Robredo’s third death anniversary on Tuesday, Aquino said Robredo’s great political will raised Naga City’s status from a third-class municipality to a first-class city.

Aquino thanked and lauded Robredo for the reforms he introduced in public service. He praised Robredo for standing up to everyone and for his principles.

Peregrinate to A Solitary Wanderer’s Paradise


Imagine walking through leafy jungles, wide beaches, and mouth-watering yet affordable cuisine. If it sounds like heaven to you, Thailand is your paradise. “The Land of Smiles” is known to have an incredibly vibrant culture and low cost of living so great value for money is a guarantee.

Solo travelling to Thailand is perfect not only because of its affordability but also because there are so many means to go about places and the local people are approachable. You would also have the chance to meet new people. Meeting new people is a great way to educate yourself to other ideas and culture as well.

The first advice would be to head to the capital, Bangkok one the world’s most visited city. Bangkok is a city wherein ancient traditions mix with the cutting edge of modern world activities. You will find monks with iPhones, restaurants filled with backpackers and locals and tourist getting together. In this city you will also find the best street food sold by the nightly food vendors in casual spots. Bangkok is also where the famous floating markets, the Grand Palace and where the UNESCO World Heritage site, Ayutthaya, is located. There is so much to do in this colorful city which must be why it is a well-known travel destination.

After the buzzing of the city, you might want to get away from it all. Chiang Mai, the largest city of northern Thailand makes the perfect escape. Chiang Mai is often the starting point for travelers of all descriptions wishing to trek through the lively green forests. This city is also the best place to meet the famous elephants and to get to know some of Thailand’s indigenous hill tribes. Although, what Chiang Mai is greatly known for besides the green trekking sites, is the night market. The market which starts in the early evening and runs till daybreak, holds a variety from clothing to jewelry to other forms of local art. The market is also a wonderful way to experience the Thai culture in a non-intimidating fashion as the vendors expect the buyers to bargain with them for better prices. Another plus for this city would be that it is a whole lot cheaper than its counterpart, Bangkok.

Thailand and its culture is spectacular yet budget friendly, your visit would surely be a riveting experience. You will fall in love with this country and might even end up considering staying longer. Stay focused though! It’s easy to go off the deep when in paradise.