In celebration of healthy living, a day filled with healthy lifestyle activities filled Global Wellness Day 2018 (GWD 2018) at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa last Saturday, June 09, 2018. From scrumptious vegan breakfast choices to fun Tae-Bo fitness exercises, activities for the whole day made you feel fit and fab.
When our mind travels around the idea of wellness and having to be fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle, what first comes to mind would be no fried food, no soft drinks, and of course, a lot of sweating. With all that’s happening in our daily lives—may it be work, school or travel, it is imperative for us to live well, both physically and spiritually.
Started in the year 2012, a global wellness awareness day entitled Global Wellness Day was made to commemorate a special thing valuable to all—living well. With its slogan, “One day can change your whole life,” it is celebrated every second Saturday of June every year as an international day.
Global Wellness Day is an entirely not-for-profit day, and a social project dedicated to living well. The purpose of Global Wellness Day is to be able to ask the question, even if for just a day, “How can I live a healthier and better life?”. With this one day full of wellness activities and dishes, it aims to direct the thoughts of both individuals and society towards “living well”.
It aims include to break free from the stress of everyday city life as well as the bad habits that go along with it. It also raises awareness about living well and to recognize the value of our lives while pausing to think, even if it would be for just one year.
More than being free from illness, choosing wellness is a dynamic process of change and growth. It’s a satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by not only health but also happiness, prosperity and welfare.
Conscious of the development of the whole self, guests started off the day with delectable food choices with food made of seafood, homemade vegan yogurt varieties, a wide selection of fruits, and a sizable amount of greens.
Contrary to the common Filipino breakfast choices, there were no silogs found anywhere near the buffet table. It was either nuts or fruits or bread, with different detox water choices.
Aside from the morning breakfast, guests were welcomed with a taste of the hotel’s Chi Spa through a relaxing morning massage that would make you just want to go back to bed.
Rest and relaxation is a huge part of our everyday wellness. Stress can eat us up from time to time and that’s why in this year’s Global Wellness Day, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa includes the rest and relaxation the Chi Spa at Shangri-La provides for its guests.
From a variety of body massages, to beauty facials to relaxation treatments, the Chi Spa gives you harmonious comfort right at its garden villas.
Gaining the spotlight was Chi Spa’s Water Shiatsu treatment, a gentle form of body therapy performed in warm water, (around 35°C.). It is a combination of elements such as massage, joint mobilisation, shiatsu, and muscle stretching. The receiver is continuously supported while being floated, cradled, rocked and stretched.
The simulation was done with the receiver rocked just like a baby, for a good 30-40 minutes. The therapist shares that the therapy is for nurturing the emotionally disturbed, releasing them from the the reality’s gravitational prison.
Of all the Shangri-La resorts in the world, only the one in Mactan offers the Water Shiatsu treatment at their Chi Spa. The sensation would be, according to the therapist, as if you were back in the womb of our mother. Doesn’t that just want you to feel like a baby again?
After the tour of the glorious Chi Spa, guests enjoyed a 4-course meal of still, healthy, good food at the hotel’s Acqua restaurant. The meal started off with a seafood-based dish covered in different florals and greens flavored with pesto. The soup was still a seafood dish glazed with a little bit of rum. The pasta, which was handmade, was accompanied by a local favorite in Mactan Island– the Lapu-Lapu Ragout. The dining experience was completed with a still healthy choice, covering up the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream were all sorts of fruits– from the national fruit mango, to ones uncommon such as that of kiwi.
After that one hearty full course lunch, it was time to burn off all the calories, if any, as Shangri-La’s GWD 2018 prepared various exercises for everyone to get them up on their feet. With trainors from Zink PH, the workout Pound was brought to Shangri-La’s outdoors coupled with a variety of dance programs that surely broke sweat for most of the participants.
Following the recreational workouts include an introduction to Arnis training, which is available at the resort during Mondays and Wednesdays in the afternoon. Arnis, dubbed as the national sport and martial art in the Philippines, was formerly called eskrima. Having arnis sessions within the resort is Shangri-La’s way of highlighting Cebuano and Filipino culture, especially for its tourists to know and experience.
To end the wellness exercises on a rocking note, Tae-Bo, an exercise system combining elements of aerobics and kick-boxing, was done by the beach before sunset. Caring for one’s wealth never looked this beautiful and fun, much when you’d have to groove to the latest songs and hits of the season.
The day was capped off with delectable drinks and cocktails which weren’t even the slightest bit unhealthy. Drinks were mixed with fresh fruits and greens and the mini munchers served were a mix of seafood, cheese and a healthy serving of flavored bread with ham bits. Cocktails at the Shangri-La’s Cowrie Cove prove that even grabbing drinks out or spending a fun weekend night can still leave you with a wide array of healthy choices.
With just one day, a healthy choice may change your lifestyle for the better. Whether it may be taking the long way home through walking instead of your daily commute, or choosing water instead of your usual cold carbonated drink, it’s the choices we make in the little things going on around us that promises a lifetime of wellness.
Artisanal Cebu: Aspiring calligraphy artist Abigail Condrado
Sugilanon sa Pasko Celebrates Christmas in a Uniquely Cebuano Way
Editorial consultant Allain Fonte shares his first Christmas experience at Cebu Parklane International Hotel.
by Allain Fonte
For the past years, I had been spending my Christmases overseas away from family and friends; and worst, away from my mom’s delicious cooking for the Noche Buena. In those three years, I spent my Christmases in the refugee camps in Egypt and in Java, assisting lawyers process the relocation of refugees to Canada, Australia, Germany and France. Although it is delightful to be the bearer of good news on Christmas day, informing them that their relocation has already been processed, it is also heart breaking to tell the other refugees that their applications have been denied and that they must wait for another year in the camps. What a whirlwind experience to celebrate three Christmases!
This year, I am very excited because I shall be celebrating Christmas in my most loved city, Cebu. As early as September, you can see Christmas lights blinking, even from a distance. And, there is something comforting about the rain; most especially when you hear Jose Mari Chan singing in the background. Alas, November came and the spirit of Christmas is much stronger, as you hear Christmas carols almost everywhere, Christmas decorations brighten houses and buildings, Christmas lights lit every corner of the streets, and most of all, you will hear lots of merry-making in pre-Christmas dinners and parties.
On the 12th of November, Christmas has officially started at Cebu’s premier business hotel, Cebu Parklane International Hotel. It was one of the grandest pre-Christmas parties in the city; with the guest of honour, no less than the governor of the province of Cebu, the Hon. Gwendolyn Garcia. What made this event extra special is the theme of the party, which was uniquely Cebuano. The marketing and events offices of the hotel prepared a very entertaining program that showcased Cebuano culture, and presented by Cebu’s most talented artists from the MDF productions. The hotel’s general manager, Madame Cenelyn Manguilimotan, explains that the program is meant to welcome home the balikbayans and remind them, including the locals, on how beautiful the Christmas celebrations are in Cebu. It is also to let the foreign guests experience the best of the cultures of Cebu and what it is like to be celebrating Christmas in the Queen City of the South. For someone who celebrated three Christmases away from home, the pre-Christmas program got me teary-eyed; especially, the re-enactment of the nativity and the heart-touching Christmas carols of the MDF Chorale. Every guest was smiling with the nostalgic presentations and dance performances from the MDF cultural dance company. Even the kind governor stayed throughout the event, amidst her tight schedule. Hence, I had to compliment the Marketing and Communications manager of Cebu Parklane International Hotel, Miss Jaybee Aquino, for hosting one of the best pre-Christmas celebrations ever staged, and she gracefully shared that in Cebu Parklane International Hotel the practice of excellence is a culture; so, the Marketing and Communications office was pressured to put up only the best for their guests and partners.
The pre-Christmas program was highlighted by the lighting of the Christmas tree. Following the hotel’s mission to the environment, their 25-foot Christmas tree was made from old newspapers. The newspapers were dyed in the colours of autumn, and were cut into 15,000 pieces of maple-leaf-shaped ornaments decorated all over the tree. Under the tree are life-sized figures of the nativity made from papier-mâché. The whole lobby of the hotel glimmer in Christmas decorations.
The program concluded with a sumptuous Noche Buena prepared by their Food and Beverage team at the Victoria ballroom. To my surprise, the hotel’s Corporate Executive Chef, June Rhoses Fernandez, partnered with the local municipalities in Cebu, and served all of Cebu’s most exquisite delicacies. It was an adventure for the palate. The buffet table took us all around Cebu; from Carcar’s lechon and chicharon, Asturias’ budbud moron, Argao’s torta, Lilo-an’s rosquillos, to Boljoon’s hamonada. Although I am on a strict diet plan and would only have Sundays as my cheat days, I totally lost myself with what Chef June served. Every food on the table was a must-try, and nothing on the table disappointed me. Every food served was competing to be the best. However, my personal favourite was the chef’s specialty, Ube champorado and Dilis. The champorado is literally translated as ‘chocolate rice’; yet, this champorado was not made with cacao but with purple yam and coconut milk. When I took the first bite of the Ube champorado and Dilis, it took me to a whole new world; and, I almost forgot my name because it was just amazing. This is something only The Parklane can offer, truly an experience not to miss. The Parklane’s heritage and cultural ambassador, Associate Professor Gavin Sanson Bagares, construes that The Parklane does not only provide international standards of excellent hospitality service to its guests, but is also committed to promote Cebuano heritage and culture to the world, making the Filipino products world-class; thus, the authentic Cebuano cuisine can only be experienced at The Parklane.
It was a night that I shall never forget. Cebu Parklane International Hotel did not only remind me on how beautiful it is to celebrate Christmas in Cebu; but it also rekindled my spirit of nationalism, making me proud to be a Filipino, and even prouder to be Cebuano. Maayong Pasko Cebu Parklane International Hotel! Maayong Pasko Cebu!!!
Here’s a Glimpse of The Mactan Newtown Lifestyle
The idea of coming home—whether for a short visit or as permanent residence—to a place where everything you need is within reach is an appealing one. Here’s why each day is a tasteful living experience at The Mactan Newtown.
Scattered around the globe are remarkable islands offering stretches of fine, white sand, stunning vistas of deep blue waters teeming with colourful life underwater, and warm, glowing sunsets, but there’s nothing quite like Mactan Island.
Named as one of the best islands in Asia—as part of Cebu—just recently, Mactan Island is a getaway paradise in and out itself. With people flocking from all over the world to get a glimpse of the island’s pristine white sand beaches and glimmering blue seas, it’s no wonder that it’s become not just a premier tourist destination in the Philippines, but a prime residential area as well. As one of the major tourist islands of Cebu, Mactan boasts of some of the best diving, island hopping, sailing and cultural activities in the country.
It’s for these reasons that real estate giant, Megaworld Corporation, decided to set foot on the shores of the historic resort city. For the last 30 years, Megaworld Corporation has built communities across major cities in the Philippines—and the 30-hectare property in Mactan, called The Mactan Newtown, is the first major township development outside Metro Manila.
Since opening in 2016, The Mactan Newtown has brought in a lot of opportunities that encompass its “live-work-play-learn” concept; the township is steadily growing, and its residential buildings, office spaces, 24-hour grocery, food spots, beach, and even school, are evidence of the company’s efforts to create a thriving, holistic community.
The idea of coming home—whether for a short visit or as permanent residence—to a place where everything you need is within reach is an appealing one. Here’s why each day is a tasteful living experience at The Mactan Newtown:
It’s a foodie’s paradise
There’s no denying that Cebu is a culinary melting pot—aside from years of trading relations and colonial influence, there’s also the island’s magnetic pull of tourists (whether local or foreign) that drives demand, especially for delicious, authentic fare. To ensure a complete gastronomic experience, The Mactan Alfresco houses a variety of food spots that are worth trying.
Patterned after Singapore’s famed hawker centers, The Mactan Alfresco is a covered dining strip that is designed to showcase the best authentic Cebuano cooking and cuisine—it isn’t hard to embark on a food trail here, as the space has everything from snacks, main courses, desserts, and drinks.
Whet your appetite with short orders, sink your teeth into the day’s freshest catch, breathe in the signature smokiness of charcoal-grilled meat, and cap off your meal with sips of refreshing, fruity drinks.
Of course, no trip to Cebu will be complete without sinking teeth to its culinary pride: lechon. At Mactan Alfresco, diners can enjoy ‘the world’s best pig’ (as the late Anthony Bourdain puts it) in the most delectable and crispest of ways with its ‘Lechon Pit’. And, here’s a pro-tip: if you’re looking to enjoy Cebu lechon, make sure to drop by The Mactan Alfresco during August, as they hold the annual Lechon Festival that showcases the island’s most mouthwatering roasted pig!
The beach is (quite literally) just a stone’s throw away
Mactan Island’s charm lies in its clear blue waters and sandy white shores, so of course, it is only natural that The Mactan Newtown has its own beach. Aptly called The Mactan Newtown Beach, it’s a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to leave the island.
Accessibility aside, the beachfront is dotted with colourful cottages and lounge chairs perfect for relaxation, or a quick snap for a social media post.
You get to come home to paradise
No township project by Megaworld Corporation is complete without a residential aspect. Currently, at The Mactan Newtown stands 8 Newtown Boulevard, One Manchester Place and One Pacific Residence.
There’s also the soon-to-rise La Victoria Global Residences, which is heavily inspired by Spanish architecture. More important than its overall aesthetic, though, is how La Victoria Global Residences highlights the historical significance of Ferdinand Magellan’s ‘Galleon Victoria’, the first ship to have circumnavigated the globe back in 1521.
Each residence offers a wide variety of amenities and facilities, from spacious receiving areas or lobbies to wide hallways, to manicured lawns and refreshing pools, well-equipped gyms and leisure centers, down to the thoughtfully-planned livability in each unit.
Whichever residential development one chooses to have as their domicile, it’s guaranteed to be a space meant for one to enjoy coming home to at the end of the day.
For travellers who’d like a taste of what it’s like living in Mactan, the up-and-coming Savoy Hotel Mactan—one of Megaworld Corporation’s homegrown hotel brands—is set to open this November, with 547 guestrooms and suites, so stay tuned for that.
The hustle isn’t a hassle
Now that we’ve touched upon the “play” and “live” aspects of the township, let’s move on the the “work” and “learn” parts—The Mactan Newtown further cements these concepts with the establishment of its high-end office towers and school.
The township is home to a couple of office buildings which house international business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, which comes as no surprise, seeing as the Philippines is one of the best and biggest BPO service providers worldwide—in fact, in Cebu alone, the BPO industry registered a 19% hiring growth in the first half of 2019.
For parents who seek to provide quality education for their children, the township has The Newtown School of Excellence, supervised by the Lasallian Schools Supervision Services Association Inc. (LASSSAI).
There’s no need to go far to grab your essentials
With such a large market to cater to, it’s a given that the township has an array of shops and services to provide for their needs. There’s a convenience store, a grocery, and a pharmacy, which are readily accessible throughout the day and up until late at night.
Soon, the township will get to enjoy the P1.5B Mactan Newtown Beach Walk. Set to be built on a shoreline cliff, the mall will be highlighted by a man-made lagoon, boutique hotel, garden chapel, beach walk, and rows of retail shops & restaurants including four cinemas.
True to its commitment to sustainability, this project will use solar roof panels, and will utilize an open layout scheme for passive cooling and natural lighting in most of the development’s common areas.
Over the past few years, The Mactan Newtown has changed the landscape of Mactan Island. With so much more developments in store, one can only wonder how it will be like. Glimpses of the Mactan Newtown lifestyle should be enough…for now.