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    Henrik Kelly Yu, Joanna Cris Yu, and Catherine Genabe represent the new generation of Cagayan de Oro entrepreneurs who are bringing the best of their home city to the rest of the Philippines.

    Friends since childhood, their paths slightly diverged when they studied for their university degrees in Manila – Henrik and Joanna took business courses at the Ateneo de Manila University, while Cathy studied Culinary Arts at the CCA in Katipunan, and later the American Institute of Baking.

    When they returned to Cagayan de Oro in 1998, their love for their hometown and their collective passion for good food encouraged them to put up a restaurant – Bibgy’s Café, which has since revolutionized the dining habits in the city.

    Today, Bigby’s Café and Restaurant has become known as a destination for good food and excellent service. It has grown to eleven branches around the Philippines, six of which are at the SM malls – in Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Cebu, and Bacolod in the Vismin provinces, and in Megamall and the SM Mall of Asia in the Metro Manila area. Bigby’s has also been awarded as the Grand Champion in Kumbira, the Philippines’ longest running culinary competition for the years 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009.

    Here, they talk about their Cagayan de Oro and their SM.

    “ We saw the value of family and friends in Cagayan de Oro, and it’s easy to be just ‘you’.  Everything is also just a few minutes away, so it’s easy for us to go home and eat together with the family.

    What we like about Cagayan de Oro is the proximity of the highlands to the lowlands, the mountains to the beaches. We have the best of both worlds.  When you are in CDO, you have the city, you have SM, and the nightlife, but you can always go back to that laidback state of mind.”


    Henrik, Joanna, and Catherine’s love of their home city and passion for good food led to the establishment of Bigby’s Café and Restaurant, which has become the ultimate dining choice of families, young urban professionals, and businessmen in CDO and other cities in the Philippines.

    “CDO is also a place for adventure- it is one of the pioneers of white water rafting in the country.  The advantage of white water rafting here is that you can enjoy it the whole year round.”

    There is nothing quite like a white water rafting trip on the Cagayan de Oro River.  The stretch from Barangay Dansolihon to the city provides you with a strikingly beautiful panoramic view of the river’s rocky walls, the untouched vegetation, and the sight of the resting havens of monkeys.  Breathtaking rapids provide the adventurous with the thrills and challenges of rapids at intervals not less than 10-15 minutes of each other.


    “The Malasag Eco-Tourism Village is one of the attractions in the city.”

    A cultural village in a botanical garden setting, the Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village showcases the culture and crafts of Mindanao tribes.  It has an Ethnic Museum, houses of the Talaandig, Higao-non, Subanon, and Maranao tribes, and a souvenir shop of ethnic products.

    The village also serves as a learning center for Northern Mindanao’s eco tourism, ethnic arts, flora and fauna.


    “ One of our unique delicacies in CDO is Sinuglaw, a kind of kilawin mixed with sinuglang baboy (pork inihaw) and the extracts of tabon-tabon, a kind of fruit nut. We serve Sinuglaw at Bigby’s along with our house specialties like Rack-A-bye-Baby, Fisherman’s Platter, and Southwest BBQ Fish Salad.”


    Sinuglaw, Rack-A-Bye-Baby, Fisherman’s Platter, and Southwest BBQ Fish Salad.


    “We love to hangout at SM.  We go to the supermarket, the department store to buy clothes and gifts, and to Our Home for furniture and décor.  We are very thankful we can find it all at SM.”


    SM City Cagayan de Oro has raised standards of shopping, leisure, and fun in the city.

    “We like to bring our daughter Skye to Toy Kingdom and the children’s section of the department store.”


    SM City Cagayan de Oro is a place for kids and kids at heart.

    “People really go to SM for sales, especially at the Kitchenware section. Also, SM is the only store that gives special rewards and discounts as it does for SM Advantage and Prestige Card Holders.  I hope they will continue to make more programs like this.”


    The SM Department Store is a haven for smart shoppers who can earn rewards points and enjoy premium services with their SM Advantage and Prestige cards.