My X-Menish experience in Cebu

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By Danny B. Dangcalan

A Walk in the Park

Monday, May 26, 2014


NO, I don’t mean encountering mutants, which is what the movie X-Men is all about. In this superhero film, a mutant is an organism (usually otherwise human) who possesses a genetic trait called an X-gene that allows the mutant to naturally develop superhuman powers and abilities.

In its 2014 installation, X-Men: Days of the Future Past focuses on two time periods as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is being sent from 2023 to 1973 to save the future of mankind. That’s a time warp of 50 years.
My trip to Cebu last week was sort of a time warp, too—for 284 years!
Let me explain.

I and Carla Cañet, a City Hall reporter of Sun.Star Bacolod, were invited by PR Works to cover the launch of OLX (Online Exchange) at the Cebu Grand Convention Center.

OLX.ph is formerly Sulit.com.ph, the country’s leading classified ads site. The rebranding follows after Sulit, founded in 2006, was acquired by OLX, one of the biggest classified ads networks in the world.

Effective March 19, visitors to sulit.com.ph are redirected to the new URL olx.ph. Sulit founder RJ David says, “The name change to OLX aims to inspire Filipinos to re-think what they know about Sulit, and to re-think what they have to sell online.”

“The rebranding also reinforces the great feeling of being able to get value from items that are just gathering dusts in your home,” he adds.
David says OLX.ph is opening physical offices in key cities outside Metro Manila, starting with Cebu this year. They aim to encourage one million new online sellers and further hopes to invade Bacolod, Iloilo and Mindanao.

David and his co-founder (his wife, Arriane) are thinking way ahead of their time. David realizes that Smartphones are the future of online selling. Thus they are doing additional improvements with OLX such as the OLX Android app, with the promise of an iOS app coming soon.

In this way, online sellers can use their mobile phones to post an ad using OLX application available for iOS and Android users.

This modern way of trading at OLX is so ahead of the Chinese trading system with Cebuanos, as shown in the miniature galleons at the 1730 Jesuit House, or also called Museo de Parian because it is located in the Parian district of Cebu.

After the OLX launch, PR Works treated us to a Walk Tour of Old Cebu, which included a visit to the Jesuit House.

Built centuries ago, the Jesuit House is possibly the oldest documented house in the Philippines. A marker says “Año 1730,” but it was probably built earlier than that.

Nothing is known about the original owners of the house and the Spanish man who bought the house a long time ago but it was believed that a Chinese family owned the house, based on the coins found buried in the house, which was used during the Ming Dynasty.

The earliest record, unearthed by Michael Cullinane, an American historian on the Philippines, on the house reveals that it once belonged to the pious Villa family of the Chinese mestizo principalia or local aristocracy. The Villas gave the house to the Jesuits around 1880 on certain conditions, including one on the dedication of specific prayers for living and dead members of the family.

Ka Bino Guerrero, our tour guide, showed us photos and miniature replicas of Chinese galleons and narrated how the Chinese traded in Cebu. He said the Chinese traders had to sail for months, riding in the two opposite wind directions of the Pacific Ocean (which they mastered for centuries) to arrive in the Philippines and to return home.

But today, it only takes a few seconds to post our products online and get a buyer!

Having gone to the OLX launch and the Jesuit House on the same day, with a time interval of four hours, is, for me, as close as I can get to the X-Men universe.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 26, 2014.

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