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    There was an unmistakable homespun charm during the recent launch of the My City, My SM campaign in at the Event Center SM City Iloilo.

    During the event, SM paid tribute to two Ilonggos who have brought much pride to their city – Dr. Josette Talamera-Biyo, Director of the Philippine Science High School Iloilo Campus and Mr. Edgar “Injap” Sia II, of Mang Inasal Philippines – and yet have chosen to stay in their home city.

    Dr. Biyo was the recipient of the prestigious Intel Award in 2002, when resulted in having a planet after year, yet continues to teach high school students because “that is what it teach for, that is what I live for.”  Injap, on the other hand, is a business folk hero of sorts who dreamt to be an example of a probinsyano who would make it big in the national scene, and with his 208 Mang Inasal outlets was voted Entrepreneur of the Year for his outstanding achievement in business.

    But what has made them stay?  The program, which highlighted the best of Iloilo, revealed perhaps just why.

    Just in time for the Dinagyang Festival, the program featured performances from the UP Hublag Dance Troupe and songs from Dingdong Avanzado, whose roots can be traced to Iloilo as a part of the prominent Oton family.

    Guests led by Iloilo City Vice Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog were treated to cocktails prepared by Ilonggo world- class chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing, which featured a nouvelle take on traditional cuisine.  Chicken Inasal was served on pizzetas, Molo Balls were given a fried and crispy vibe, the iconic Fresh Lumpia came in bites, and Fried Ibos were served with Muzcovado Syrup.

    Mallgoers also had the opportunity to appreciate the exhibit, which features a showcase of Ilonggo delicacies and fabrics that celebrate Iloilo’s artistry and ingenuity.

                The Iloilo launch was the third in the My City, My SM series, which features prominent personalities from key cities in the Philippines taking the reader through a visual tour of his or her city and SM.  The first, I Left My Heart in San Fernando, which was launched in SM City Pampanga, featured internationally acclaimed film director Brillante Mendoza and Mutya ng Kapampangan 2006 Nicolette Henson.  The second, Cebu, Cebu highlighted Ms. Teresin Mendezona and the Aldeguer brothers Jay, Chris, and Michael.


    A new take on the traditional Chicken Inasal in pizzeta form by Al Dente


    Instead of the soup we are used to, Crispy Fried Molo Balls are served with sweet chili sauce by Al Dente


    Nachos with Malunggay Pesto Dip and Quezo de bola dip with pimientos


    Ilonggo civic leader Eileen Benedicto and Chona Bondoc of the Club Iloilo City II and Dr. Teresa Sarabia of Zonta


    Prominent Ilonggos Valerie Maravilla, Pinky Rojo, Dodot Pison, Eleanor Guevarra, Marife Hofilena Joren and Annie Divinagracia


    Mr. Dodot Pison, Westbridge School’s Romy Reyes and SM City Ioilo Leasing Manager Marlea Gonzaga


    Iloilo City Vice Mayor Jed Mabilog with SM City Iloilo Mall Manager Maria Majella Liboon and SM VP for Marketing Millie Dizon.


    The UP Hublag Dance troupe in a cultural performance


    Balladeer Dingdong Avanzado, who has roots in Iloilo, serenades the crowds during the launch


    Iloilo’s Pride:  Dr. Josette Talamera-Biyo and Mang Inasal Philippines’  Edgar “Injap” Sia II with (L-R) SM City Iloilo’s Asst. Mall Manager Engr. Gilbert Domingo, SM VP for Marketing Millie Dizon and SM City Iloilo’s Mall Manager Maria Majella Liboon.


    Dr. Josette Talamera Biyo with her family and students.


    Mang Inasal Philippines’ Edgar “Injap” Sia II with his family and friends


    ( L-R) Mr. Zedrick Señeres, Bobby Rodriguez, Ms. Pauline Banusing, Event Director Kevin Pison Piamonte


    Cocktails by world class Ilonggo chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing featured a nouvelle take on  traditional cuisine.

               My City, My SM is a project of SM and the Department of Tourism in cooperation with the Philippine Star.