When the Best Gets Better

Noel S. Villaflor

ON ITS fifth year, SunStar’s Best of Cebu list just keeps getting longer and longer. All this is testament to what makes Cebu one of the world’s best islands, a soulful, vibrant place that continues to evolve while keeping its sense of self, place and time. This soulful vibrancy is best exemplified among this issue’s 110 winners across 8 categories.

Most of the Best of Cebu 2017 winners are familiar names, a number of whom are returnees. Do take note that those who’ve won three times in the previous years now belong to a select group of annual Grand Slam awardees, a feat that becomes more remarkable with each passing year. Being adjudged a Best of Cebu winner is no mean feat — nominees go through six months of deliberations as members of the Best of Cebu panel throw objections and plaudits as they deem fit. In the Food & Drink category, several nominees go through blind taste tests with secret voting. And when the panel still can’t decide on a definitive winner, it’s time for SunStar’s well-informed readers to decide through an online poll. Fair enough, right?

Most of the winners, though, have survived the panel’s tried and tested selection process, the same process that has made the Best of Cebu an awards institution. On a personal note, I am thrilled to find names that have finally won after the award eluded them for years. As editor and panel member for the last five issues, I attribute this development to the Best of Cebu’s efforts to become more inclusive and to cover as much ground as humanly possible. The past five years have been a wonderful ride for SunStar, the winners, its readers, and Cebu as one big community. With all the great news that SunStar President & General Manager Julius “Jayjay” Neri Jr. revealed, the next five years for the Best of Cebu can only get better.