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Nurture Spa Village: The Making of a Personal Haven in Search for Tranquility

In 2002, some P1 million was invested to establish Nurture Spa Village at Pulong Sagingan, Barangay Maitim II, Tagaytay City as a “personal haven in search for tranquility.” The place is now a must-visit for wellness.

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In 2002, some P1 million was invested to establish Nurture Spa Village at Pulong Sagingan, Barangay Maitim II, Tagaytay City as a “personal haven, as I was seeking tranquility at that time,” recalled Cathy Turvill, Nurture Spa Village president. That “personal haven” soon evolved, so that it has become one of the pioneers in the Philippine health and wellness industry as a venue offering “international standard spa with a distinct Filipino theme.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CATHY TURVILL

ALL FILIPINO
A big source of pride is in the introduction of a distinctly Filipino-branded spa menu. Among the favorites are: the signature “aruga” treatment and its “magsing-irog massage”, and “nilaib” massage (a Filipino version of the hot stone massage).

The village is said to be guided by the SENSES model of wellness (as authored by Dr. Marc Cohen), i.e.: S = stress management; E = education; N = nutrition; S = Social Interaction; E = exercise; and S = spirituality.

As it offers “ecotherapy”, or the healing by and through nature, Nurture Spa Village is located in coffee orchards. As such, and as described in the venue’s Website, “rooms overlook lush gardens and/or a tropical forest which generously showcase a natural symphony of birds singing, beautiful butterflies weaving in and out of flower beds, bright sunlight bathing the gardens and cool, fog-draped evenings gently settling in the nightfall.”

Nurture Spa Village offers a range of facilities and services, including an enhanced spa menu featuring international facial and spa brands BIODROGA and ALGOTHERM; wellness services that include detoxification, weight reduction, anti-ageing and chronic disease management; expanded food and beverage services; and events hosting, including an events pavilion, a technologically backed business center; and accommodations, including deluxe rooms and dormitory rooms for groups. There are also: a swimming pool, a butterfly haven, a herb garden, and a reflexology path.

To even better its products and services, the village partnered with experts, e.g. Tanglad Bistro for vegetarian and nonvegetarian cuisines, Institute of Natural Healing (INH) under Dr. Samuel P. Dizon for its alternative and complementary medicine programs, Healthway Medical for its executive check up programs, Brahma Kumaris for meditation and lifestyle counseling, and Tagaytay Hospital and Medical Center for its medical, laboratory and emergency services requirements.

Nurture Spa Village’s health programs vary, formed in partnership with those with the know-how in their particular fields. For instance, its Joyful Health Program is under the supervision of the INH under Dr. Dizon, a US-trained Doctor of Medicine with 19 years of experience in natural medicine, having studied methods on longevity, wellness, and alternative cancer regimens in Colorado and California. Nurture Spa Village has also partnered with Josiah’s Catering and Dulang Restaurant to whip up nonvegetarian and vegetarian dishes served at Tan’aw Bar, which overlooks the swimming pool and garden.

Having the right people working for it is a big thing for Nurture Spa Village, which is among the few spas in the Philippines with at least six management and staff internationally certified by CIBTAC, UK. All its therapists are trained for a minimum of two months, with refresher training provided by sister company Spa Professionals International Development Center.

HEALTHY CHOW
Nurture Spa Village has also partnered with Josiah’s Catering and Dulang Restaurant to whip up nonvegetarian and vegetarian dishes served at Tan’aw Bar, which overlooks the swimming pool and garden.

While the company makes use of Amu’in massage oils and room amenities blended by another sister company, Spa Essentials, Nurture Spa Village is also proud to offer such international brands as BIODROGA and ALGOTHERM. BIODROGA is a spa and beauty range developed in Baden Baden, Germany, using natural ingredients to purify the skin and help fight the effects of ageing. Nurture Spa Village offers anti-ageing , golden caviar deep cleansing, nourishing facial, and men’s vitality BIODROGA facials. Meanwhile, ALGOTHERM is a marine based product from the thalossotherapy region in France, offering anti-ageing, slimming, detoxifying and anti-cellulite body treatments.

Beyond offering health and wellness products and services, though, Nurture Spa Village has also diversified. Its Salo Pavilion and Garden features a children’s area; while its Salo Garden offers a venue for events. Also, counseling sessions with a Catholic priest or Christian pastor can be arranged; while Raja yoga, meditation and life coaching sessions can be scheduled at the neighboring Brahma Kumaris, a United Nations affiliated NGO.

A big source of pride is in the introduction of a distinctly Filipino-branded spa menu. Among the favorites are: the signature “aruga” treatment and its “magsing-irog massage”, and “nilaib” massage (a Filipino version of the hot stone massage).

Nurture Spa Village is jointly owned by Briton Dr. Mike Turvill and his Fllipina wife Cathy. Mike is a Doctor in Organic Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, UK; while Cathy is an internationally licensed therapist (CIBTAC, UK). They also own two spa related companies: Spa Essentials, a supplier of spa and hotel products to five star spas and resorts and Spa Professionals International Development Center, the only internationally accredited spa school in the Philippines which offers spa training and consultancy services.

Nurture Spa Village was named one of the “28 Most Relaxing Spas in Asia” by CNN Go (June 2010) and one of the “Top Seven Spas of the Philippines” by Asia Spa Magazine (May-June 2010 issue).

“The wellness industry is the trillion dollar industry of the future. Many people are now joining the wellness bandwagon and are going to spas as part of stress reduction, and not just for pampering. Spas are part of complementary medicine. The UK House of Lords recognizes massage therapy as part of natural medicine. This is the industry of the future, and it is perfect for the Philippines because of our inherent compassion, healing touch and caring nature,” Turvill ends.

For more information, call Nurture Spa Village at (+63) 9188888SPA or (+63 2) 5844228, email info@nurture.com.ph, or call www.nurture.com.ph.

Believing that knowing on its own is not good enough, "you have to share what you know, too", Mikee dela Cruz gladly shares through his writing. A (BA) Communication Studies graduate, he had stints with UNAIDS, UNICEF and Ford Foundation, among others, writing "just about everything". Read on as he does some sharing through Zest Magazine.

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Destinations

Embrace the city’s pulse with Citadines Living

Citadines emerges as a haven for those seeking a genuine city living experience, blending comfort and convenience seamlessly. The brand invites you to embark on an urban adventure, so you don’t just visit the city, you get to live it and explore infinite possibilities.

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As travel and hospitality continue to evolve, Citadines emerges as a haven for those seeking a genuine city living experience, blending comfort and convenience seamlessly. The brand invites you to embark on an urban adventure, so you don’t just visit the city, you get to live it and explore infinite possibilities. 

Citadines: Fostering the Love For Cities

More than just a place to stay, Citadines embodies a lifestyle crafted for guests in search of a home away from home. With a global presence, Citadines stands out by creating a space where comfort, convenience, and style come together for the love of cities. 

Citadines adds its unique charm to prominent destinations through various properties in the Philippines, including Citadines Bay City Manila, Citadines Salcedo Makati, Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila, Citadines Cebu City, Citadines Amigo Iloilo, Citadines Roces Quezon City, and upcoming locations like Citadines Bacolod City (opening on March 2024) and Citadines Paragon Davao (opening on December 2024).

Each location acts as a gateway for exploration, providing convenient entry to corporate offices, entertainment districts, dining venues, and vibrant shopping centers. Whether it’s the dynamic streets of Makati City or the business hub of Quezon City, Citadines creates the perfect backdrop for a fully engaging urban adventure.

Citadines Benavidez Makati: A Modern Oasis

Citadines Benavidez Makati blends modernity and comfort with its 207 meticulously designed units, ranging from the cozy Studio Deluxe to the expansive Two-Bedroom Premier. Guests are welcomed into contemporary interiors featuring fully equipped kitchens, plush bedding, high-speed Wi-Fi, and state-of-the-art flat-screen TVs. The property’s unique charm extends beyond its physical spaces as a dedicated team of “Citazens,” local experts ready to unveil the city’s hidden gems, are available to help guests through their stay. 

Culinary delights await at Catalogue, the property’s all-day dining restaurant, offering a tantalizing fusion of local and international cuisines. With a thoughtfully curated menu spanning various regions and cultures, Catalogue elevates the dining experience, contributing to the overall sense of comfort and sophistication at Citadines Benavidez Makati. The rooftop swimming pool and fitness corner with panoramic city views further enhance the urban oasis, catering to both business and leisure travelers.

Citadines Roces Quezon City: A Haven in the Former Capital

In the pulsating corners of Metro Manila’s largest city and former capital, Citadines Roces Quezon City takes center stage with 185 thoughtfully appointed apartments – from spacious studios to comfortable two-bedroom units. Each space is curated with modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for every urban explorer.

The interiors of each apartment incorporate clean lines, contemporary furnishings, and a harmonious color palette to create an ambiance that is both inviting and stylish. The design inspiration draws from the pulsating rhythm of urban life, with nods to the rich cultural heritage of Quezon City. Subtle touches echo the vibrant art scene and historical landmarks, creating a seamless blend of modernity and tradition within the living spaces.

Citadines Roces Quezon City takes pride in its array of facilities designed to elevate the overall experience. The fitness center, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, invites guests to maintain their health and well-being even amidst a busy city schedule. The swimming pool, residents’ lounge, and rooftop bar with panoramic city skyline views become extensions of the living space, providing opportunities for relaxation and socialization. Whether it’s a refreshing dip in the pool, casual conversations in the residents’ lounge, or sipping a drink while enjoying the cityscape from the rooftop bar, each amenity adds a layer of richness to the urban living experience.

Loven Ramos, Director of Brand and Marketing of The Ascott Limited Philippines, expressed the brand’s vision: “Our goal is to curate spaces that inspire a genuine connection with the heartbeat of cities, creating an environment where guests not only reside but truly thrive in the love for the dynamic energy, cultural richness, and endless possibilities each city holds. With Citadines, we aim to cultivate a deep appreciation that transforms stays into love stories with the cities we call home.”

Both Citadines Benavidez Makati and Citadines Roces Quezon City embody the brand’s commitment to fostering love for cities, inviting guests on business or leisure trips to not just visit the city but live in it – whether it’s for a night, a week, a month, or a lifetime.

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Dining Out

Lanson Place Mall of Asia, Manila announces offerings

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As the Chinese New Year approaches, Lanson Place Mall of Asia, Manila invites you to welcome the Year of the Wood Dragon with a delightful fusion of romance and tradition just in time for Valentine’s. This 10 and 11 February 2024, experience the vibrant festivities that will set the stage for a prosperous year ahead.

The heart of Lanson Place will come alive with the rhythmic beats of the traditional lion and dragon dance, ushering in good energy and fortune. Guests are welcome to join the traditional performance starting at 10:59 AM on 10 February, creating an auspicious atmosphere for a year full of joy and abundance. Following the ceremony, guests are welcome to join us at the 3F lobby and Cyan Modern Kitchen for the ceremonial Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss, a symbolic ritual headed by Executive Chef Kristine Oro, beckoning luck and good fortune leading the guests to a Prosperity Feast at Cyan Modern Kitchen.

CYAN Modern Kitchen: Tradition Meets Romance

Take the chance to win lucky prizes from the Tree of Luck and Love when you indulge in a delectable lunch or dinner for every single transaction of P8,888 at the CYAN Modern Kitchen, setting in motion a year of good luck.

Treat yourself to a delightful meal at Cyan Modern Kitchen to please your senses and revel in the captivating ambience while savouring a sumptuous Chinese New Year lunch buffet or an equally enticing dinner buffet for PHP 2,888 net per person.

As the sun sets on the Lunar New Year celebrations, Lanson Place transforms into a haven for lovers. A romantic evening waits for a Valentine’s Day experience with a specially curated 4-course dinner, followed by a tempting dessert buffet for PhP 3,800 net per person. 

Let the contemporary charm of Cyan Modern Kitchen captivate you, where floor-to-ceiling windows frame the scenic vistas of the Manila Bay, the city skyline, and the courtyard, crafting dining spaces that define Lanson Place Mall of Asia. Celebrate in the warmth of February by sharing moments of laughter, love, delectable fare, and abundance with your loved ones this 10 to 14 February 2024.

Extending the celebration through a relaxing stay? Lunar Escape Room Package, rates start at PHP9,888+++ per room per night for two persons inclusive of welcome amenities, buffet breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet at Cyan Modern Kitchen.

Embrace love with our Valentine’s Room Package, rates start at PHP 10,900+++ per room per night inclusive of welcome amenities, buffet breakfast, and 4-course Set Dinner for two persons at Cyan Modern Kitchen.

Grab these promos for the booking period of January 28 to February 8, 2024 through the official website now, and indulge in the perfect blend of tradition and romance at Lanson Place Mall of Asia, Manila. 

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Travel

Philippines as the country with the world’s largest bats

“The Philippines has 79 recorded bat species, half of them endemic,” explains Dr. Mariano Roy Duya of the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology (UPIB). North America, with a land area that is 66 times larger – has but 45. We have an incredible diversity of bats since each of our 7100 islands is geographically unique. And of course, we have the largest bat of all.”

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By Gregg Yan

Did you know that the largest bat of all is found only in the Philippines? Planet Earth has 1400 known bat species and the Golden-crowned Flying Fox (Acerodon jubatus) earns the top spot for size and weight. Known locally as kabog, it is endemic or found nowhere else but in the Philippines.

Strikingly patterned with a golden cap, reddish fur and chocolate-brown wings, adults weigh over a kilogram and can boast of a wingspan nearly two meters across – longer than most people are tall.

“The Philippines has 79 recorded bat species, half of them endemic,” explains Dr. Mariano Roy Duya of the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology (UPIB). North America, with a land area that is 66 times larger – has but 45. We have an incredible diversity of bats since each of our 7100 islands is geographically unique. And of course, we have the largest bat of all.”

Once widespread throughout undisturbed lowland forests across the country, hunting and deforestation – particularly from slash-and-burn upland farming or kaingin – have whittled down bat populations.

Dumaguete-based filmmaker Rhiyad Maturan and I were recently invited by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) to film a thriving kabog colony inside the Bacon-Manito Geothermal Project, a heavily forested geothermal reservation nestled between the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon on the island of Luzon. Though the area is now verdant and alive, it wasn’t always so.

“Believe it or not, that entire mountain range was once logged-over,” says Ed Jimenez, corporate relations head for EDC’s Bacon-Manito Geothermal Project, pointing at well-forested hills nearby. “The only trees left were the ones loggers ignored. To bring the mountains back to life, we worked with the local communities to help reforest this area while providing them with an alternative source of income. Decades later, the organizations we helped form, like the Alliance of Bacman Farmer’s Association Inc. Agriculture Cooperative (formerly ALBAFAI) and the Bacman Host Community Multi-purpose Cooperative (BMPC), have become some of our most passionate champions. Even the grandchildren of the original members are helping us plant trees, promote community-based conservation and protect these forests.”

Aside from bats, Bicol’s forests also shelter wild deer, pigs, monkeys and birds – most of which were driven to remote areas by decades of hunting and forest loss.

“I learned to shoot kabog with an airgun when I was still a kid,” recalls Joseph ‘Doy’ Gabion, a former bat hunter. “Bats are easy to hunt by day because they hang upside down from their roosts. When the roosts were eventually protected by EDC and its conservation partners, we hunters had to wait until the bats flew out to their feeding grounds. Back in the 1990s, my uncle and I would wait for them to pass to be able to catch two or three bats a night. Kabog meat has a slightly woody taste.” Doy has since stopped hunting and now volunteers with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ CAFGU Active Auxiliary Unit II to help protect the very animals he once hunted.

The kabog colony moves from one area to another within the Bacman reservation and we chanced upon them roosting on a grove of pine-like Agoho (Casuarina spp.) trees. “We have about 700 kabog individuals here now, our flagship fauna species for this site,” explains Forester Neil Miras, EDC Bacman’s watershed management officer.

Representing iconic wildlife found in its geothermal, solar and wind sites, EDC’s Flagship Species Initiative (FSI) aims to popularize some of the nation’s lesser-known forest denizens. The eight other flagship species include the Philippine Warty Pig (Sus philippensis)Visayan Hornbill (Penelopides panini)Apo Myna (Goodfellowia miranda), plus native trees like Mapilig (Xanthostemon bracteatus), Katmon Bayani (Dillenia megalantha), Red Lauan (Shorea negrosensis),Almaciga (Agathis philippinensis)andIgem-dagat (Podocarpus costalis). EDC has been planting native trees across the country since the 1980s.

“Though millions of trees have been planted under the BINHI Program, we should still recognize the importance and effectiveness of natural seed dispersion – either by the wind, water or by local wildlife,” explainsForester Abegail Gatdula, EDC-FSI project manager. “Flying animals like birds and bats eat the fruits of various forest trees and disperse them far and wide within life-giving guano bombs, giving the seeds a vital headstart.”  

Though not as popular as the Tamaraw or Philippine Eagle, the kabog has been quietly doing its part to make the Philippines greener. “Think of them as the ‘silent seed planters’ of nature. We never pay them but they keep working for our world,” concludes Jean Dayap, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) of Manito in Albay.  

So tonight, please look up at the night sky to thank our uncelebrated wildlife heroes, quietly working the night shift to make the Philippines a little greener – one guano bomb at a time.

Watch our Golden-crowned Flying Fox documentary HERE.

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