Balikbayan | Inquirer Business


12:05 AM October 16, 2016

Gil Santiago migrated to the United States of America in 1994 only to return in 2013. Why would a hotelier/restaurateur like Gil who had a great career in America long for his native land 20 years later?

In 2012, I received a personal message via the biggest Filipino hotelier group on Facebook (Filipino Hoteliers Worldwide) from Gil asking if there is hope for someone like him to find suitable employment in the industry here in the Philippines. Judging from the resume he sent me, I said ‘yes, of course, come back home’. And so in the first quarter of 2013 Gil was back and it did not take long for him to find immediate employment. Upon his return, The Cravings Group entrusted to Gil the management of their exclusive restaurants located in Fraser Place Salcedo Village and in the luxury boutique Hotel Celeste in Makati.


Since his first employment in 2013, Gil has moved on to other career opportunities that came knocking at his door. Among them the pre-opening of The Harvest Hotel in Cabanatuan City, managed by Hospitality Innovators Inc. After opening The Harvest, Gil was invited to join the ultra exclusive Balesin Island Club and it’s sister company The City Club in Makati. In 2015, Gil was once again offered to managed multiple high-end restaurants including the highly revered Aubergine at The Fort.

Middle this year Gil was appointed General Manager of Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa in Panglao Island, Bohol (, which is one of only three ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’ in the Philippines ( Gil manages this resort which is considered the most expensive and exclusive property in Bohol.


Since his return in 2013, there has never been a dull moment for Gil. Armed with this rich experience in hospitality from the greatest nation on earth, Gil has successfully intertwined this with our very own – one of the most sought after hospitality cultures in the world.

And so to the many other Filipinos overseas wondering about opportunities back home, ‘balikbayan Gil Santiago is a living example.

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