Rediscovering the Philippines


Our world is once again put to a resiliency test to see if humankind can band together to find a treatment for the COVID-19 virus. I didn’t even know what a coronavirus was until this year, but today, I see there are more than 80,000 cases and almost 3,000 have perished. 

On the bright side, the World Health Organization says it is not a pandemic, so we should not panic. WHO does not recommend travel restrictions, but advises additional screening measures. To me, this is a signal that there is no better time to rediscover our beautiful Philippine islands.

Keeping our immune systems strong is so important in protecting ourselves, so wellness and health are even more important today. How cool is it that I can combine islands and health at the state-of-the-art Aegle Wellness Center.

Aegle is a health and wellness center set in two complementary sites, at the Balesin Island Club and at the five-star, city center facility, Alphaland Makati Place. Nominated as Medi-Spa of the Year in the 2017 AsiaSpa Awards, Aegle is devoted to the maintenance of health through cutting-edge technology from the basic sciences such as cell physiology, molecular biology, and human genomics. It’s the only place in the Philippines that offers thalassotherapy, a medical treatment for weight loss and detoxification that makes use of the components of seawater.

I can hardly wait to join the upcoming Yoga + Wellness weekend being planned at Aegle in Balesin on April 3-5. The weekend offers a special yoga and sound healing experience combined with multiple Aegle treatments, culminating in a one-on-one physician consultation and a customized package of supplements designed for one’s needs. 

Yoga + Wellness is the first is the Serenity Series of lifestyle-plus-wellness events planned by Aegle to rejuvenate our stressed lives. In the works are Pilates + Wellness, Art + Wellness and others. Yoga + Wellness will feature yoga and gong bath sessions led by Kundalini yoga and sound healing expert Rosan Cruz. 

Sound healing is fast becoming a wellness phenomenon worldwide. In the book “How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy Healthy Life” by Dr. Frank Lipman, he recommends multiple doses of musical medicine for lifelong vitality. Sound baths marry deep, intentional relaxation with sonic wave healing. 

Yogi Rosan Cruz

Try it out for yourself, as Rosan will be giving a gong bath on March 11 at 7:30 PM at Aegle Wellness Center in Alphaland Makati Place. For more info, email or call 0917 821 9795.

Balesin is my new favorite playground because of its proximity to the city. Just a twenty-minute flight away, the resort is hassle-free to get to, with its own hangar at NAIA and a private airstrip on the island. 

Jing Pimentel, Emilio Gamboa, Joaquin Pimentel, Malu Lindo, Popsie Gamboa, Tomas Pimentel, Gina Pimentel, Mon Lindo, Maja, Lucia and J Gamboa

Last weekend, birthday celebrators on the island included longtime friends Malu Gamboa-Lindo, Eileen Juan, Jeena Llamas, Carlo Umali and Tippi Tambunting. My hubby Dennis and I found it serendipitous to bump into all these accomplished friends having their own little celebrations in various villages and beaches all over the island.

Also vacationing locally was the family of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno. It was great to meet #Yorme and family at an intimate dinner hosted by Balesin Big Boss Bobby Ongpin at his private villa. We talked about our Lifestyle Asia January cover and some plans to help make Manila great again.  

With the new Balesin Marquee opened up as the events place at the resort, many beautiful weddings are being celebrated there. A recent wedding I attended was the touching Niro-Riego de Dios nuptials. Young couple Noell and Sarah exchanged their beautiful vows at the Balesin Chapel and had their fairytale dream wedding, as they were first to experience using the new Royal Carriage to bring them to the Balesin Marquee. 

The couple’s families and close friends stayed at the luxurious Regency Villas, which was perfect as they had more intimate moments together. The weekend of merriment was kicked off with a welcome lunch at Mykonos, then followed by welcome cocktails and dinner at the Balesin Royal Villa. Congratulations to the families of Yolly and Ruben Riego de Dios and Soc Niro.  

Fresh from my weekend vacay, I travelled locally again to Pampanga for the launch of Hann Resorts, the first luxury lifestyle brand in Clark that addresses the future of travel and seeks to offer guests an all-new integrated resort experience. The Widus Group, owner and developer of the Widus Hotel & Casino and the Clark Marriott Hotel in Clark Freeport Zone, hosted the most amazing extravaganza to introduce their new brand and logo.  

Hann Resorts brings the idea of a “millionaire’s playground” to life by elevating the experience of play with a carefully curated mix of gaming, golf, nature and outdoors, entertainment and hospitality activities and experience within an ultra-luxe, integrated resort environment. Now under one master brand, Hann Resorts, there would be two premium lifestyle resorts all with a coordinated master plan – Hann Casino Resort and Hann Lux Lifestyle Resort.

 Daesik Han, president and CEO of Hann Development Corporation, told me that their vision is “to raise the concept of play into a lifestyle that people would want to discover through world-class experiences.” With Clark drawing a number of tourists and investors, Hann is well poised to make Clark and New Clark City a bustling center for recreation and development. 

In the plans are three, 18-hole championship golf courses by renowned designers Jack Nicklaus, K.J. Choi and Nick Faldo. Additionally, the launch of Hann Resorts brings a collection of world class, luxe brands together, including Clark Marriott Hotel, Swissôtel, Mercure Hotel, Banyan Tree Hotel, Angsana Hotel, the Westin Hotel, and The Luxury Collection by Marriott International. Indeed, this could be the ultimate luxury playground north of Manila. 

More pics on Instagram @seaprincess888

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