General Manager Ramon Cabrera makes it better at The ManorThe summer capital’s only five-star hotel, The Manor at Camp John Hay, has launched a top to bottom intensive training program entitled Make It Better. A total of 300 staff, including those of the hotel’s food and beverage partner Billy King’s Le Chef, attended programs specially designed and conceptualized by The Manor’s General Manager Ramon Cabrera. The Make It Better training program is composed of workshops for managers, supervisors and rank and file staff. The main message being "last year, our objective was to exceed guests expectations and in 2012 our goal is to make things even better!" Cabrera states.

The Manor's continuous efforts at improvement solidify its appeal as the summer capital's getaway choice.The Manor opened in 2001, with 177 suites and full deluxe hotel services, including a spa. Initially managed by Baguio’s adopted citizen German hotelier par excellence Heiner Maulbecker, the hotel appointed Ramon as General Manager in 2009 and promoted Maulbecker to Managing Director. This team of two great hoteliers has transformed The Manor into one of the best-operated five-star hotels in the country. Cabrera proudly says that The Manor and the city of Baguio are favorite destinations for many Filipinos and foreigners because of the very rich and interesting heritage the Cordillera region has to offer, above the given fact that it is the summer capital of the Philippines due to its year round cool weather. He further states that with the continuing improvement of the road networks accessibility to the city of pines has just improved a great deal. The NLEX and SCTX have already cut short the road trip to four to five hours. The construction of the TPLX (Tarlac, Pangasinan, and La Union) expressway will bring all vehicles to the entry of both the Marcos Highway and Kennon Road and further cut the trip to only three hours!

The Manor at Camp John Hay, Baguio CityThe Manor General Manager Ramon Cabrera signed a training agreement engaging Vic Alcuaz for the conduction of training programs for the resortʼs managers, supervisors and rank & file staff. An estimated 300 staff will participate in the program aptly titled “MAKE IT BETTER!”, a brainchild of GM Cabrera. The programs that will run in May and June
are the following:

  • MANAGERS, LETʼS MAKE IT BETTER! is a leadership workshop for managers.
  • SUPERVISE, TO MAKE IT BETTER NOW! is a practical and hands-on workshop for supervisors.
  • LETʼS MAKE IT BETTER! is a service and team excellence workshop for all staff.

Vic Alcuaz will be assisted by his training partner Anabelle Ochoa.

Alegre Beach Resort & SpaMs. Dottie Wurgler-Cronin, General Manager of the Alegre Beach Resort & Spa engaged the consulting & training services of Vic Alcuaz to help their triple-A resort re-define their vision, mission, values & culture statements. This re-definition will be participated by 25 of the resort’s best staff and is scheduled on June 29, 2012.

The other training programs that will be conducted by Vic Alcuaz are the following:

  • Leadership Workshop
  • Supervisors Workshop
  • Service Excellence

All these programs will be conducted from July to September this year. Annabel Ochoa will be co-facilitator.

Alegre Beach Resort & Spa is considered one of Cebu’s best resort and a favorite of many foreign and local travelers.  It will undergo a major renovation of all it’s rooms and guest facilities within this year.

For more information about Alegre Beach Resort & Spa please visit their website at

The Puzon Family of Dahon Gourmet Tea LoungeIn a recent trip to Australia to attend the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2012. I met the Puzon family, who owns and operates a hip and trendy Filipino restaurant called Dahon Gourmet Tea Lounge (Dahon). The head of the family, Romeo Puzon, hails from Bataan and his wife, Fe, from Cebu. They migrated to Australia in 1977, when their eldest, Cherry, was only four years old and their second child, Edward, was three. Upon arrival in Melbourne, Fe was seven months in the family way with their third child, Roy.


Dahon's EscabecheThe early years of the Puzons in Melbourne is a wonderful story of a real family struggle to earn a good living in this country they decided to call home. Every day after school, the Puzons together with their three siblings gather in their family kitchen and for a couple of hours, prepared ‘Pinoy’ delicacies like longganisa, tocino, tinapa, chicharon, and atchara. On Saturdays and Sundays, the whole family would hop into their car with all the goodies in the trunk and do the rounds of Filipino homes knocking on their doors announcing “bili po kayo ng longganisa, tocino, tinapa at chicharon, masarap na, mura pa”!

They would take every opportunity to join Filipino fiestas and festivals all around Australia. Edward Puzon, currently Dahon’s Restaurant Manager, remembers fondly how he would get so tired at the end of the day because of never ending orders of halo-halo, therefore never ending kaskas ng yelo. It was through the family industriousness that all three kids were able to finish schooling and eventually start their own careers. In 2007, the family decided to buy a franchise of one of Australia’s popular Portuguese food chains Nando’s. They closed down this restaurant in 2011 and then set up Dahon, which opened in August last year. Cherry Puzon Moore, the eldest who is in charge of all the buying requirements for Dahon, says majority of their clientele are the Filipino community and their Australian families and friends. They are seriously encouraging more Australians, as well a nationalities, to try and hopefully like Filipino food. They intend to continually study the Melbourne market and introduce new items to their current menu to keep their loyal customers coming back.

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