Chef Margarita Araneta Forés said on Saturday, October 7, that she hopes more Manila-based Negrenses decide to invest in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.
“There is so much more development in Bacolod, you can see a real spike in the economy…the energy is changing,” she said.
Fores, who is upbeat about the local economy, opened her second Cibo restaurant in Bacolod at SM City on Saturday, which was attended by Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Rep. Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) and Silay Councilor Ryan Gamboa.
The Cibo restaurant at Ayala Malls Capitol Central in Bacolod that opened in March 2022 was her first outside Metro Manila, she said.
“I feel really happy and fulfilled that I was able to open a Cibo in my home province. It was a big decision to make to start expanding outside of Manila,” Fores said, adding that she is happy with its reception in Bacolod.
“We believe in the potential of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental as destinations of growth,” she said.
“We are coming in at the right time,” she said, adding that she hopes “Negrenses based in Manila see the opportunity to invest in the province at this moment”.
The Cibo branches in Bacolod have provided jobs for about 60 Negrenses, and a market for organic growers, she said.*