by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, newmedia specialist
MANDAUE CITY, PHILIPPINES — As a Mandauehanon, Cebuano and a businessman, Mr. Eric N. Mendoza has always wanted to showcase the best that his home city and province can offer to local and international visitors because he is proud of our heritage and our products.
“But it has also been a frustration for me that we don’t have such a common venue or one-stop tourist destination to showcase not only our products but also our culture and performing arts,” Mendoza disclosed in a press briefing recently. “Thus, the dream of Vivo Sugbu was born.”
“It is strategically located halfway going to the north of Cebu and halfway going to the south. Thus, it would be an ideal place to set up a one-stop shop for tourists to buy and taste quality products coming from the north and south of Cebu and beyond. This will also give tourists a foretaste of Cebu’s scenic and heritage spots,” Mendoza added.
“Maybe, it is also by God’s design that this dreamer met another dreamer and creative soul, a former classmate in college, Mr. Val San Diego, who was also trying to find a permanent venue to showcase his performers,” he further went.
The San Diego Cultural Dancers, whose excellence in performance is synonymous to the Sinulog festivity, has been representing Cebu and its cultural heritage through the dance – one of the seven arts.
The group, formed in 1947, is commissioned to perform for Pope Francis on January 19 at the Quirino grandstand in line with the papal visit.
“San Diego Dance Company (today) has now found a home here in Teatro Sugbu. They will be performing nightly every Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the week,” according to Mendoza.
By the third quarter of the year, the entire Vivo Sugbu complex at a series of lots on what was occupied by then Amnezia Club (North Reclamation Area), will be opened.
The new venture in tourism is in line with Mandaue City’s vision for 2020 – to become the primary source of high quality manufactured consumer products in the Philippines. To which Mayor Jonas Cortes assured of valuable support in return for business confidence.
“Few stores open with a heart to showcase our own culture, so I commend Mendoza’s team for the effort placed on this endeavor. Rest assured that you are in good company. You are not a separate entity, you are a part of Team Mandaue. Don’t consider yourself as only a wave. You are certainly a part of an ocean,” Cortes vowed.
“It would definitely be more fun in Cebu for 2015 with this new venue, new concept. Everything is here – from talents to dances, culture and the arts,” Department of Tourism – Central Visayas regional director Rowena Montecillo said in closing the program to give way to a spectacle of dances and acrobatic acts at the Teatro Sugbu last January 6, 2015.#