Cebu, Philippines — Vibo Place, the newest “IT” place in town, hits the Queen City of the South with vibrancy and hippie vibe that characterized the modern lifestyle of the Cebuano. It is a place where new opportunities and friendships are forged, with a relaxed ambience. To the young at heart, the area where Vibo Place stood is reminiscent and nostalgic of the party atmosphere of the 70’s. Recently, I was fortunate to be a part of its unveiling where five different and colorful personalities rule the empire. Wanna know why? Here it is down below.
When you hear the word vibe, what comes into your mind? Merriam-Webster would say that it is a feeling that something or someone gives you. Certainly, Vibo Place has this certain traction toward the positive side of the spectrum.
Vibo and Everything Along With It
Vibo Place, under Vibo Group of Companies, is shining in its own light under the leadership of visionary and entrepreneur Gerardo V. Borromeo. The area where Vibo Place stands is in a two-hectare development, which is located along Escario Street, just across Capitol Parish, is a big community that housed a variety of establishments including Cebu Grand Hotel, The Apartelle, CAIAA Center and the recently launched AXIS Entertainment Avenue.
Before, this place was called Cebu Capitol Commercial Complex and was formed back in 1970’s. A lot of establishments actually called this adress their home. Back then, Vibo Place has already been a go to address for fun and entertainment. Gardenia Restaurant and Ballroom was the perfect place for great food and nightly entertainment in the 1980’s. I wasn’t even born yet at that era but my mom and dad already experienced how it is to party all night at Gardenia. I remember my mom told me that she loved the hype and the happy environment it exuded, and she has a grand YOLO time. Red Tomato, which I remembered so well, and which opened back in 2000’s was flocked with patrons and food critics for its authentic Italian cuisine offerings. I remembered having to pass by the establishment if ever the fambam would hear mass at Capitol Parish just across it. It was nostalgic and I was a bit saddened when it closed down. I also notice that a lot of companies like airline ticket offices and corporate workplaces had their own hub here.
Cebu Grand Hotel, an icon of true Cebuano Warmth and Hospitality, a 100-room business hotel, still reigns under the leadership of its President, Ma. Camille B. Suarez and General Manager, Carlo Anton B. Suarez. The Apartelle and CAIAA Center, which has its own set of tenants, are managed by General Manager Ian Martin G. Borromeo, who also heads the Engineering Division of Vibo Place.
“Vibo Place takes pride in offering both locals and tourists a variety of dining and entertainment options, in keeping with its history and legacy,” says Marketing and Leasing Head Allen Andre B. Suarez with the addition of AXIS Entertainment Avenue.
AXIS Entertainment Avenue
Aptly #AxisAtVibo, this six-building cluster serves as a dining and entertainment hub. Set in a refreshing backdrop, with visible lush patches of greenery and spacious walkways, it has a certain level of garden-like feel. And I really felt relaxed and chill when I step foot at this place. It brought me childhood memories and glory days basking in the summer sun. This area is a refuge of a modern hippie soul who wanted to just chill and enjoy the sunset sky.
This strip mall is a part of a two hectare property that is everything fresh. Marketing and Leasing Head Allen Andre B. Suarez shared that in a fast paced world, AXIS Entertainment Avenue aims to be an urban oasis that provides the best of both worlds – an environment that strikes a balance between work-related and leisure pursuits.
As of writing, the dining establishments opened are: Starbucks Coffee, Suzukaze Japanese Restaurant, Pigafetta Italian Restaurant, Burger King, Ilaputi, Senor Kimchi LA Street Food and Birdseed All-Day Breakfast Club. Aside from that, offices that already opened are Nikon Cameras, RICOH Photocopiers, Architectural Interior Sources (AIS) and Cordlife Philippines.
The Magic 5
Meet the Magic 5, or the 5 Personalities that you will meet at Vibo Place. They seamlessly make it a point to run the facility with no sweat. 🙂
Gerardo V. Borromeo
President, Cebu Capitol Commercial Complex Corporation
The visionary and head honcho of Cebu Capitol Commercial Complex Corporation (CCCCC), Gerardo “Dindo” Borromeo is at the helm of VIBO Group of Companies’s five-person executive team, having taken over as its President back in 2009. He oversees the operational aspect of the entire facility, the evolution of which he has witnessed over the years, when his father was the head of the family business. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, Mr. Borromeo’s attention to detail is remarkably consistent.
Now at 62, Mr. Borromeo continues to live out the legacy that his parents have passed on to him, saying that “the values of handwork, perseverance and humility are qualities that will stay with me forever; these are the very same values which I am passing on to my children, Alessa and Ian.”
Maria Camille B. Suarez
President, Cebu Grand Hotel
The younger of two siblings, Ma. Camille Borromeo – Suarez, wife to A. Suarez Sterling Corporation President Apolinar “Allan” Suarez, Jr., already knew how to strike a balance between work and relaxation even as a young lady. When she graduated from college, she worked at Montebello Villa Hotel for a few years then helped run The Apartelle after that. She also got involved in the business of sterling silver, attending international trade shows and fairs with her husband and kids over the years.
It is no wonder why she is seamlessly able to combine her role as a homemaker with that of a businesswoman. Today, she is the President of Cebu Grand Hotel together with her eldest son, Carlo — the hotel’s General Manager.
A big believer in the value of family, she constantly makes it a point to spend time with her husband and children through traveling or thru family dinners, preparing home-cooked meals for them. She shared that her parents instilled the importance of putting family first in them, so she happily passed on the same philosophy to her three kids.
A woman of true humility, the best advice she would like to dispense to the younger generation is: ” Be Grounded. We should not forget to live out the values that matter, especially those that our parents and mentors taught us.”
Carlo Anton Apolinar B. Suarez
General Manager, Cebu Grand Hotel
Carlo, eldest of three siblings, has had extensive experience in the hotel industry over the last ten years, officially taken over as the General Manager of Cebu Grand Hotel in 2009.
This young executive is a reflection of the family’s well-entrenched values of hardwork and dedication, with overall supervision and crucial decision-making entrusted to him on a daily basis. As he continually strives to perpetuate the hotel’s legacy that has stood the test of time, he willingly takes on the challenge of maintaining and enhancing the genuine Cebuano hospitality that it offers, expressing that “Everyday is an opportunity to learn and to improve. With every chance we get, the management team makes it a point to implement strategies to enhance the establishment’s business culture, so we can give our customers the best experience possible.”
Exposed to the family business at a young age, Carlo is an International Business and Management degree holder from Northwood University in Florida. He underwent two more years of studies at Center for International Education. He proudly admits that he learned most of the work philosophy and ethic that he adopts today from his parents, with one of his strong suits being his people skills.