IT’S easy to tell why singer Selina Sevilla and partner Lalen Calayan have made Cebu their second home.
Since opening the Calayan Medical Group clinic at Oakridge Business Park (A.S. Fortuna Street, Mandaue City) June 8 of this year, the couple has been spending most of their time here and have always been vocal about their fondness for Cebu and how they have grown to love Cebuanos.
Sevilla, a certified aesthetician, says she is touched by her Cebuano clients who have made them feel like they’re part of their family. Those who have availed of their treatments and services return because of her, says Calayan, chief operating officer and business development manager. “It’s all because of her,” she explains of their loyal clientele.
“They keep coming back because of the personalized service. They would always look for me such that I couldn’t leave for Manila especially during the first two months of operations,” admits Sevilla, who became popular in the 1990s for her songs with “double meaning.”
In turn, the Cebuanos have warmly welcomed Sevilla and Calayan, as well as the entry of Calayan Medical Group to Cebu.
“Tumao lang ako dito. Hindi ako umalis. They would bring me gifts. Kanina nga may nagdala ng alimasag. Parang family. They invite me to gettogethers. Pumupunta naman ako,” Sevilla says. “Feeling ko marami na akong friends, di na ako nalulungkot.”
In fact, it wasn’t easy to convince Sevilla to join the Calayan Medical Group and take a shot at starting a branch in Cebu, leaving her kids in Manila.
“Nahirapan akong ligawan ‘yan to join the company. Ayaw nya. I told her: ‘I cannot do it myself. You have to help me out.’ Ang tagal ko syang kinon-vince,” Calayan reveals.
“Kasi I had my own spa, which was more on wellness and aesthetics. At first I was skeptical. What will do I here? Lahat ng kamag-anak ko, pamilya ko andun sa Manila,” Sevilla says. “And I was also working on my album for Alpha Records.”
When they got an offer to build a clinic at Oakridge, the couple checked the place out, started the construction early January this year and lifted everything to God.
Sevilla said they went to the Basilica del Sto. Niño to ask for guidance. “Sabi ko kay Sto. Niño, why am I here? Lord, bakit po ako napunta dito?”
Calayan, on the other hand, has always been upbeat about the possibility of expanding their business outside Manila and venturing into Cebu.
“Meron lang talaga akong gut feel. Sabi ko: ‘Cebu is gonna be our second home,’ ” she adds.
Calayan has been proven right. Just four months since officially opening their doors to Cebuanos, the Calayan Medical Group is already looking at starting two or three more wellness centers in Cebu City next year. They are also aiming at increasing revenues by 30 percent by the end of 2015.
In a short time, the couple’s personalized approach has endeared themselves to their clients.
“What I noticed about Cebuanos is that they really take good care of their skin. They’ll pay good money as long as they see results. They’re smart buyers,” says Sevilla.
Calayan and Sevilla have been very visible in events in Cebu, notably when the singer performed during the Mr. and Miss Press Freedom pageant held in September and during the launch of “Waterfront goes Pink,” a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. On Thursday, Nov. 12, Sevilla will launch her album at Slabadu
in Mandaue City.
“I can see myself growing old here,” declares Sevilla. She says of her new home: “Ang gusto ko dito sa Cebu, kung gusto mo nang magtipid na matipid na matipid na buhay, kaya mo. Kung gusto mo namang magpaka sosyal next week, pwede. Kasi everything is here. You have the choice.”
*Calayan Medical Group Cebu has an ongoing “BERmonth” body promo. For appointments and more details of their services and treatments, contact (032) 263-7056 or 0917-595-6221 or visit the clinic at the 2nd Floor of Block 88 Bldg. Oakridge Business Park in Mandaue City.