Nelia Neri


THE Valentine fever is at hand. For the romantics, there’s nothing like a coosome-twosome date some place where the setting is dreamy and conducive to love and romance.

At Plantation Bay in Mactan, an elegant candlelit dinner is in store for lovers of all ages in chosen romantic venues (like in one of the private gazebos or somewhere in the beautiful Palermo courtyard). Flute, violin and guitar music will enhance that “loving feeling.”

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

For those who want dinner with exotic entertainment, there is the launching of the resort's new dinner show called Sahara Nights. Dinner is a lavish spread of Middle

Eastern favorites. For inquiries call 340-5900 or e-mail

YEE SANG AT THE MARCO POLO. Frontliners during the early Chinese New Year celebration (from left) Marco Polo GM Hans Hauri, Honorary Consul of Portugal and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Samuel Chioson, Madame Qin Yuan-He, Gov. Gwen Garcia, Consul Gen. of the People’s Republic of China He Shi Jing and former Sen. Franklin Drilon.

Montebello Villa Hotel will have its tradtitional dinner-and-dance affair at the Celebrity Ballroom.

There is also a special package for those who want an overnight stay. Call 231-3681 for more information.

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa has come up with 12 very special Valentine’s Day dinner tables offering five-course dinners and accompanying wines. The top of the line is served by a private butler at Cowrie Cove’s Table 54 with tender violin music in the air. But wait! Dinner is preceded by an intimate helicopter ride over the Mactan Channel which then lands at the resort’s helipad. A bouquet of flowers and a cuddly teddy bear await the lady.

TOSSING THE YEE SANG. Guests representing the 12 zodiac signs did the honors of tossing the salad.

Second in line is a table for two set at the boat jetty. Prior to the romantic dinner (also served by a private butler) is a 30-minute sunset cruise aboard a private yacht.

Yes, the lady gets a floral bouquet and a teddy bear.

And then there are two outdoor cabanas each with a table for two. To add to the intimate mood, a violinist will be serenading the couple. With flowers and a teddy bear as keepsakes, the lady will definitely have a memorable Valentine’s day.

Over at the poolside of Acqua’s infinity pool, eight tables for two featuring an excellent Italian dinner will be set. A bouquet for the lady is part of the deal.

And now, dear lovers, if you’re interested in making reservations, the number to call is 231-8224 or you can email


On the other hand, for couples who would like a hide-away in an island paradise, the answer is Badian Island Resort & Spa.

Just a short hop (a five-minute ride in a motorboat) from the town of Badian (two hours away by car from the city), the island offers a perfectly romantic ambience. It is also an ideal haven for families who want to bond far from the maddening crowd.

The villas are spacious and beautifully appointed, and the gardens are lush. For ultimate luxury, book any of the seaside villas. Each has its own infinity pool overlooking the scenic Tañon Strait. Can anything be more inviting than luxuriating in your own private pool with a view?

Another come-on is the spa, which is perched on a cliffside by the sea. The spa beckons with its team of well-trained masseuses.

An added bonus is the sound of birds twittering happily like there is no tomorrow. Absolutely fascinating. For bookings and more info, call 475-1103 or e-mail


This year, Feb. 14 happens to be the start of the Chinese New Year. The Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino celebrates on the eve (Feb. 13) with Fire in the Sky 2010.

Festivities will start at 6 p.m. featuring classic Oriental entertainment as well as the customary lion and dragon dances. The evening’s highlight is a spectacular fireworks display.

Over at the Marriott Hotel, the celebration will be on Feb. 14 at the auspicious time of 9.58 a.m. when the traditional eye-dotting ceremony and the lion dance take place.

The Year of the Metal Tiger was given an early welcome by Marco Polo Plaza a fortnight ago with the Yee Sang tossing ceremony.

This is a Chinese New Year tradition of attracting good fortune by tossing together different ingredients (each representing something lucky) in a salad.


Friends and clients of Citibank also had an early Chinese New Year “do” at the Arctic Room of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel with Feng Shiu Master Joseph Yau talking about the Outlook for the Year of the Tiger. This was during Citibank’s 2010 Market Outlook forum which had for main speakers director and senior investment analyst Haren Shah who taked about Global Economic and Financial Market Outlook, and Ramon Melchor Tejero III, head of research, analysis and communications of Citicorp who spoke on Phil. Economic and Financial Market Outlook.