Text and images by Catherine Choachuy
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR : The serene island at Maribago Beach Resort
Sunflower in full bloom at Sirao
One of the windmills of Sirao
THE PERFECT PLACE FOR RELAXATION : One of the pools of the resort
Maribago premiere deluxe room
Eva, my therapist at Amuma Spa preparing the foot bath as part of the ritual
reflections along the path of Terrezas De Flores
Monday, we conquer the streets of the metropolitan city trying to get to our destination along with several millions who all need to go to work at the same time.
At work, we tend our commitments, appointments, deliverables, sometimes with our eyes glued to the computer screen waiting for the long day to finally end. We travel back home and play our roles as parents, students, homemakers, and as regular citizens. Come Tuesday, the same cycle repeats itself and we go through this the next three days.
How often have you felt like you were just going through the motions? Our lifestyles can be so demanding that we switch ourselves to autopilot and lose that sense of awareness and purpose because there is so much on our plate.
A change of mindset
There has been a rise in promo fares and vacation packages to the point that some websites would go down because of the overwhelming demand. Traveling has been more popular these past few years and local tourism has boosted because of the rise of social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Another reason can be because of the realization that life is too short and we should make the most out of it. People now are beginning to value the work-life balance and the positive effects taking a break has on one’s well being, at home, and at work.
Hie off to Cebu
Cebu is the oldest city in the Philippines and a place I consider my second home. Cebu has been a regular getaway for me because my ascendants are Cebuanos. Being known for its rich history and culture, beaches, dive sites, food, and nightlife, this city continues to expand into a tourist friendly destination.
In my last visit, we went to Sirao, a privately owned garden, situated in one of the mountain barangays of Cebu. This place aims to be the Holland of the Philippines where you will see windmills and a variety of flowers such as the celiosa, known as the Sinulog flower.
For more Instagram worthy pictures, Terrazas de Flores is another privately owned garden. Like our Banawe Rice Terraces, this site is literally a terrace of flowers with over 100 species of plants cascading down with the support of gabion walls. Located in the heart of Busay, this is a place of reflection with quotes on wood scattered around the area to inspire you as you walk along the stone paths.
A few minutes drive from Terrazas de Flores is the Taj Mahal of Cebu, the Temple of Leah. As testament of his love, businessman, Teodorico Adarna had this structure built and dedicated it to his late wife Leah. The grandiose building is a repository to the collection of antique vases, statues, and other items collected by Leah during her travels. From the columns on Athens to the pyramid of the Louvre, a mixture of different architectural elements has been put into one place. This is a place to see if you want to be immersed in European architecture.
An Island Staycation
For 25 years, Maribago Bluewater Resort has been continually servicing locals and foreign tourists alike into their Filipino-inspired property. During our stay, there was no need to leave the premises. In a day, guests can enjoy the beach, try the recreational sports, watch cultural shows, and have a relaxing time at the spa. There are three lagoon-shaped pools to choose from with slides and waterfalls and more than enough to accommodate all of the guests. They also have a children’s playground and full-service restaurants and bars.
The Amuma spa voted as one of the best spas in Cebu was the highlight of my trip. We tried their Amuma Signature Hilot, which was a 90-minute therapy. As you enter, you will be welcomed with a refreshing lemon cucumber drink. After selecting your treatment, you get to choose the oil to be used. They had Virgin Coconut Oil. which is good for moisturizing your skin, and Ylang Ylang, which has a sweet scent to it that can help you relax and fall asleep. Green Tea Oil has a rejuvenating effect to it and can reduce aches. Last, there is Lemongrass Oil, one of the most common oils used in spas on account of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate muscle pain and boost your energy.
Once you’ve selected your oil, you will be given a choice as to what music you want, from classical tunes to the sound of water flowing. The choice of sound is essential because it brings you to a different state of mind and can help the mind let go.
Start making room for vacations in your schedule. A weekend holiday doesn’t have to be far and expensive. It is just a matter of giving your mind and body the time off it deserves.
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