By Patricia May P. Catan
Photos: Arni Aclao
THE Best of Cebu Party promised to be bigger and better on its fifth year and it delivered. Held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino last July 13, the awards event gathered the best of Cebu’s products and services under one grand ballroom and for one night only. The most talked-about party presented by Organique and Air Asia proved to be a joyous celebration of all things Cebu, starting with the murals painted by Southwestern University-Phinma talents that were displayed before guests entered the venue.
While the free-flowing food and drinks from everyone’s favorite winners are a given every Best of Cebu Party (and the main reason everyone wanted to score a pass), a show band also took the spotlight playing throwback tunes with raffle prizes in between.
There’s no denying that the Best of Cebu Party is something Cebuanos look forward to every year, much more to all the winners who get to showcase their food or services during the party with their booth game getting stronger each year to win the coveted Best Booth title.
So, what does it take to be the Best Booth? This year’s judges – designer Hanz Coquilla, UVNS Founder and School Director Genesis Raña, and photographer Joseph Ong – reveal what they look for in a booth.
Himself a Best of Cebu winner as best up-and-coming designer in 2014, Coquilla stated that it was a tough decision to come up with a Best Booth winner. “I and my two equally talented and amazing judges, Genesis and Joseph, had to sit down and discuss everything we have to consider before coming up with a winner,” Coquilla said, pointing out that one thing they were looking for was the overall experience.
“That’s one of the biggest factors why we picked Rustan’s Fresh. That night, they made you feel and experience what it’s like to be inside their supermarket! The presentation and decor was not pretentious and it’s something that would tell you about their brand,” Coquilla added.
Raña highlighted key elements the judges wanted to see in a Best of Cebu booth: authenticity, brand experience, creativity and design. “The booth must own the recognition of being SunStar’s “Best of Cebu,” he said. “It must communicate the brand promise through visual design, customer experience, and that personal touch represented by the owner or brand ambassador. All things being equal, creativity and aesthetics will separate the best among the best.”
Ong added: “Aside from standing out visually, the best booth should also stand out in terms of its offerings. People should enjoy a complete experience — more than just Instagrammable aesthetics.” Truly, Rustan’s Fresh was able to capture exactly what the judges were looking for, and this earned them the Best Booth title. Diet In A Box came a close second, while Ibiza Beach Club came third.
With the awarding of the Best Booth title to Rustan’s Fresh as one of the party’s many highlights, the Best of Cebu 2017 Party exceeded expectations, for Cebuanos have seen, tasted and experienced the best that the Queen City of the South has to offer. So long for now, and we’ll see you next year!