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Styling, Design and Photography by the late Rocky Gathercole


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Table of Contents Living Well 10

Avelina’s Kitchen: A Taste of A Mother’s Home Cooking

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Kani Allie

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Skin Magical Couple Launched Milk Tea Business

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I Don’t Wanna Miss A Tea

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Balancing Act

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Raymond Ragodon, The Late Bloomer Artist

Beauty And Wellness 24

The Pretty You, Beauty Finds In You

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RME Salon: Champions Franchising During Pandemic

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Skinimalism Is In, This 2021

Travel Lite

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Explore Tanay’s Diverse and Charming Attractions in 2021

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IHG Hotels and Resorts Offers A Fresh Take on Clean

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The Palawan Concierge

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Table of Contents Encounters 46

5 Luxury Hotels in Boracay That Help Beat The Pandemic Blues

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L’ Exquisite: The French Secret Ideals for Beaute

Celebrity Travel 52

Redefining Concepts

Postings

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Fashion Trends For The Go Safe, Go Getter

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The Joys of Joyce Pilarsky

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2021 Mega Promos at Vine It is all about mega promos for all clients of Vine Holistic Medical Aesthetics Clinic at SM Megamall. You can now avail of their machine treatments for only P799 per session for a minimum of 10 sessions. These treatments include Vine’s Signature Facial, Microdermabrasion, Photodynamic Therapy, Oxygen Rejuvenation, Lift and Tight RF, Lipocavitation, Body Toning, Ultrasonic Face Contouring and Laser Hair Removal. All drips are 50 percent off - Immunoboost Drip, Snow White Drip, Forever Young drip, Superheroes Drip, Sexy Drip, White Drip, Rapunzel Drip, Baywatch Drip and PA-PRP Drip. Also, at 50 percent off are Botox, Fillers, PRP and Thread Lift. Other promos include Vine Skin Light Carbon Laser at P2,999 per session for a

minimum of five sessions and Vine CO2 Fractional Laser at P4,999 per session for a minimum of six sessions. “We had to revamp the clinic because of COVID-19, and it was a requirement of the mall that we install acrylic barrier in the reception area,” she related. “Since acrylic is rather expensive, we just installed the acrylic in the reception area and then in the other areas, we just used acetate.” Clients are encouraged to call the clinic to make an appointment. Walk-in clients, however, can be entertained but this will depend on the number of clients that are in the clinic at that time. “Before clients can enter the clinic, they need to have their temperature checked. We also do pulse oximetry testing because you can actually check the heart rate if it is normal and the oxygen levels in the body,” Dr. Em said. Additionally, the client will also have to fill up a more detailed health checklist that is patterned after the checklist of a hospital. It also includes a declaration which states that the client can be held liable if any of the Vine staff get infected with the COVID-19 virus. “Prior to getting into the treatment area, the clients will be asked to wear booties over their shoes and their handbags will be placed in a plastic bag. They will only be allowed to hold on to their cellphones,” she said. When client enters the treatment room, she will be asked to lie down on a bed that has a disposable and waterproof lining on top. This lining is disposed of and changed after every client. The area is sterilized after each procedure. “Our staff wear PPEs, face masks and face shields and we make sure that they wear gloves when they are servicing our clients,” she said. Book an appointment now by calling 0977-8438847. Contours by Vine Holistic Medical Aesthetics is located at the 5th Floor of SM Megamall Building A. EX PER I EN C E T R AVEL AN D LI VI N G

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE

The year 2020 is no doubt the most challenging year for mankind. The phrase “the earth stood still” manifested itself with the pandemic, a global crisis that no one expected and anticipated, and not a single soul was prepared for it. Despite the impact of Covid-19 on our personal and professional lives, there lies hope, faith, survival... That “we are all in this together.” In the business arena, travel and tourism were among the major casualties. Travel bans, employee layoffs, businesses that closed shop — these became somewhat of a norm. And after almost a year of unimaginable difficulties, we are now gradually living under a near normal as we work our way to the new normal. We at Mode Devi Publishing have put up with all the unimaginable challenges thrown our way, yet we continue in our endeavor of promoting tourism through the pages of Experience Travel and Living Magazine. The benevolence of our partners, the collaborative efforts of our writers, and the grit and solidarity of the entire exp team made this 2021 issue possible to see print. We also pay tribute to the late Rocky Gathercole for his creative styling, design, and photography. Seeing the final print of the 2021 issue was worth the collaboration. Thank you, rocky! We will continue to write stories, capture moments, explore adventures, and discover the beauty of travel. This is our most humble way of showing — and extending — our support for the travel and tourism industry. Today is a fresh start. It is time to reset. We are one with you. Meanwhile, the “EXPERIENCE” continues. Ana Manansala

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LOUNGE INFUSION BAR

y a w r u o y g n i p p i r s s D e n l l e w to

During the campaign trail in 2019, ACT-CIS Party List Representative Rowena Nina O. Taduran always made sure that she was in the pink of health. She made it a point to take her vitamins regularly. These vitamins, though, are not your ordinary vitamins that you take in orally every day. “Even before I became a congresswoman, I have been going to Drs.’ Drip Lounge and Infusion Bar for about six years,” she said. The Power Vitamin Drip is just one of the 13 drips that are being offered by Drs’ Drip Lounge and Infusion Bar. “We are the pioneer in this industry because when Drs’ Drip was founded seven years ago, we specialized in different IV drips,” explained Tess Gamiao, one of the owners of Drs.’ Drip. Drs.’ Lounge opened its first clinic along Timog Avenue in Quezon City. Their other branches are in Mandaluyong City, along Taft Avenue in Manila and in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. Their best seller drips are the Titanium with Pro CoQ10 (Advanced Whitening IV Therapy beneficial for individuals with heart ailments) and the Platinum Ultra White (also known as Ultra Advance Whitening because it has the ideal high dose of Glutathione, vitamins, minerals and alkaline fluids needed to suppress melanin production which results in fairer, whiter and pimple and acne free complexion). The other bestseller drips include Multi-Vitamin/Myers Cocktail Drip (customized multivitamins solution to boost strength and endurance and helps reduce muscle pain and fatigue) which is best suited for boosting the immune system. “Through our experience and a lot of research, we have developed our own formula for different purposes – for health and wellness, for vitamins, as side by side treatment for disease conditions like cancer,” Dr. Ma said. “These are mere supplements and glutathione which is used for aesthetic reasons and for whitening.” “In the other clinics, it’s salespeople who entertain clients and sell the clinic’s services,” she said. “Here, it is our doctors who will entertain our clients and who can thoroughly explain the treatments they need. That, plus our highly trained medical staff, is what makes us stand out from the other clinics.


Publisher:

Ana M. Manansala

Associate Editor / Copy Writer:

Joy M. Flores

Associate Editor:

Eleanor Leyco-Chua

Editorial Assistant:

Emmalyn Salameda

Creative Director:

Aj Cedo

Graphic Artist:

Neil Mariano

Digital and Social Media:

Stefano Ibarreta Writer:

Anne Ruth Dela Cruz Contributing Writers: Sherbs Mallonga, Red Punzalan, Philip Dizon, Rica Paras, Maridol Bismark, Jenny Medenilla, Dante Nico Garcia, Eleanor Leyco-Chua Contributing Photographers: Philip Dizon, Red Punzalan, Rocky Austria Pagliawan, Angelo Mendoza, Anson Yu Philip Dizon, Rey Veloira and Team Gathercole Sales and Marketing Director: Sales Executive:

Jacinto Aluad Jr. Santy Asperin Layno Jun Escuadro

Baguio Palawan

Ms. Jomai Arnaiz 8 V. Delos Reyes Outlook Drive Baguio City Dante Nico Garcia G/F Casa Nieves Studios 6 Libis Road, Bgy San Pedro Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Malaysia Dubai USA Canada

Ana Karina Jardin Unit Blk C-4 202 CD Condo jalan, Ampang Lhen Magay Zingaloa Zarooni Building, Al Rigga, Dubai UAE Richard Tejada, Lina Tejada Cooking RRite, Island Pacific Oxnard, CA Filipinow

Experience Travel and Living is published bi-monthly by

MODE DEVI PUBLISHING, INC. 116 Esteban Abada Loyola Heights Quezon City

DENNIS SIA, Vice President LILIAN SENGIA, Chief Finance Officer

Visit www.experiencetravelph.com Email: experiencetravelandliving@gmail.com Like us at www.facebook.com/ExperienceTravel.Ph Instagram: ExperienceTravel.ph Twitter: @xptravel.ph The magazine and its editors assume no responsibility for all manuscripts and photographs submitted. While every reasonable effort is made to verify information, facts and figures, the magazine and its editors assume no responsibility for errors or misrepresentations that may appear in the publication. Opinions expressed in Experience are solely those of the writers and not necessarily endorsed by the company and its editors. Printed in the Philippines.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED No part of the magazine may be reproduced in full or in part without prior written permission from the editors.


The Show Must Go On Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s national art fair pulled through with its “2020 Vision for a Future Reimagined.” The theme, was intended to sustain arts and culture in our current context and in line with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)’s 2020 theme for Museums and Galleries Month, “Engaging Exhibitions for Emerging Generations.” At the venue, contactless visit and social distancing protocols were strictly observed. Despite fewer casual visitors (no minors below 18 allowed), art enthusiasts, collectors and buyers came with a clear purpose. Immersed in art while staying safe Twenty-seven galleries showcased the works of their artists who were glad to have participated in the event. Renowned wood sculptor Agi Pagkatipunan remarked: “Although the crowds were not as voluminous as the previous fairs, and understandably so because of the protocols, the quality of the works and curation came out this year.” In terms of the execution, both local and international guests were impressed with the safety protocols, with one foreign guest remarking that they would not have come if they did not see how prepared the event was. Setting a precedent Hopefully, ManilART 2020’s successful practices could serve as a precedent for arts and cultural events slated to happen

soon. It is not just for the collector or viewing public, but for its own cause --for the artists, galleries and the whole support infrastructure that make up the visual arts’ creative economy. The ManilART is not just for the collector or viewing public, but for its own cause --for the artists, galleries and the whole support infrastructure that make up the visual arts creative economy. Inspiration at an all-time high Several awardwinning pieces were on display: Hyperrealist painter Ed Coronel’s American Art Awardwinning works had to be seen in person to appreciate their full intricacies. There were sold-out shows, as well, including Glassmaster Ramon Orlina, steady-seller Demi Padua, in-demand Marge Organo and Michael Cacnio. Several works focused on the coronavirus

pandemic, such as Jinggoy Salcedo’s Corona, Roger San Miguel’s Life Must Go On, Jerry Morada’s Paindemic, and Anton del Castillo’s My Possession series. ManilART mainstay Romulo Galicano also exhibited The Apocalypse, an allegorical chronicle of the pandemic’s realities. With thoughts and emotions surging, many also produced uplifting pieces that focused on hope for the future, as well as homage to the heroes of our times. For instance, Coronel’s Diversity is a symbolic rendering of his vision of unity despite our differences. Mark Belicarpio’s Frontliners depicts a day in the life of essential workers who put their life on the line for the safety of others. In the context of everything, ManilART 2020 carried on: to provide respite and inspiration, to protect its patrons, and to ensure that arts and culture remain relevant in our current context.

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LIVING WELL

Avelina’s Kitchen: A taste of a mother’s home cooking TEXT BY ANNE RUTH DELA CRUZ PHOTOS FROM AVELINA’S KITCHEN

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mother’s love is an epitome of selflessness, she gives until she has nothing more to give and she cares until she sees her child shining like no other. And this is how businessman Rodrigo “Rad” Pelayo describes her

mother. When he started in the food business, “Rad” was always fond of telling stories of how his mother played a big role in his decision to get into business. “My mother Avelina came from a well-off family in Nueva Ecija and is the youngest of 13 children,” Pelayo related “At 18, she married my father, a farmer. She had to work hard and train herself to be a good housewife because she didn’t do any household chores when she was growing up.” His training as an entrepreneur started at an early age, his

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mother taught him how to manage a small home-based business. Pelayo’s mother who did everything to learn about being a good wife and amazing homemaker got so good at cooking that she came up with heritage family dishes that only use natural ingredients with no preservatives, which are cooked and served in the province. “As a way of honoring my mom and all the other mothers in the world who loved and made a lot of sacrifices for their family, I opened Avelina’s Kitchen by Healthy Meals PH,” Pelayo said. “Avelina, in Arabic, means Gift of God.” The dishes that Avelina’s Kitchen, which is located in Scout Limbaga in Quezon City, serves include Baked Lechon Kawali, Pancit Habhab, Sinigang sa Bayabas, among others. This is in addition to the other dishes and products that Pelayo already sells like bread products – Pan de Coco and Spanish Bread, cakes and pastries and his


line of healthy meals such as Keto meals and plant-based meals. Other products in the pipeline include breakfast favorites – tocino and longanisa, bottled products like Baked Peanut Butter, Burong Isda and pesto sauce. “We make use of natural ingredients to prepare our heritage dishes,” Pelayo said. “I grew up in Pampanga and I grew up eating those dishes and this is my way of promoting the food that I grew up eating.” Pelayo’s business principles are greatly influenced by his parents, since his father is a farmer, he made it his advocacy to support local farmers and the producers of local food items. “I also have a small shop where local food producers can display and sell their wares,” he said. At the height of the enhanced community quarantine, Pelayo set up a store where Avelina’s Kitchen is located to sell farm produced and locally-produced food items. At that time, farmers were having a hard time disposing of their products because only a few of their customers were open for business. In addition to helping the farmers, Pelayo continues his advocacy by promoting healthier alternatives. He transformed the place into an open market where people living nearby can avail of fresh farm produced in a clean and safe environment complete with praise songs playing in the background. Those who can afford to visit the place, they can order from a wide range of vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and poultry products and have them delivered to their homes. There’s no need to brave the long lines at the supermarkets or worry about social distancing for your food stocks. In addition, Pelayo also took the opportunity to introduce their plant-based products. The whole-food, plant-based diet, according to Healthline.com, focuses on minimally processed foods, specifically plants and is effective at stimulating weight loss and improving health. The diet excludes refined foods, like added sugars, white flour and processed oils, and it pays special attention to food quality. “This is another way of attracting people to get into a healthy lifestyle and

Food biz owner honors mother with new concept

we have Gising Gising, tofu and pinakbet that makes use of plant-based bagoong,” Pelayo added. “We also have plant-based tocino, which is made from mushroom, and what makes our tocino and other similar products stand out? It caters to the Filipino palate.” For a short span of time, Pelayo has achieved a lot over. In 2018, he put up Healthy Meals PH, which delivers carefully-prepared food to customers in Metro Manila. Healthy Meals PH offers well-balanced meals that contain the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. The response he received when he started his healthy food delivery service was overwhelming. In its second month of operation, Pelayo was already delivering almost 500 packs of food weekly. “Our products are very tasty and reasonably priced, and these make Healthy Meals PH different from our competitors,” Pelayo said. “The price range is between P1,500 to P2,400 a week, depending on the meal that you want delivered, plus a delivery charge of P20 to P40 depending on the area.” “Healthy Meals PH aims to promote complete, balanced, proper combination and sequence meals for every Filipino with different needs, without compromising the joys of eating,” Pelayo explained. “You can now enjoy healthy and luscious food without compromising the desire of your taste buds and unminding effects on your health.” With a successful food delivery service, it only seemed logical that the next thing Pelayo did was putting up his own restaurant, a place where he would meet up regularly with his clients and friends. Thus, the birth of H Café And Events Place, which later evolved into Avelina’s Kitchen by Healthy Meals Ph. “We have a lot happenings in the coming months but when you taste our heritage menu, you will remember your mother, your lola,” he said. “That’s why we welcome you home at Avelina’s Kitchen.” Avelina’s Kitchen is located at Ground Floor, Torre De Venezia Condo, Timog Avenue, Tomas Morato Ave, Quezon City, 1103 Metro Manila.

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LIVING WELL

KANI ALLIE

Being part of every Pinoy handaan

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ike many others, I thought of putting up a business even before the pandemic. Early May of 2020, we provided food packs to a medical team of a hospital. That was when I realized I could be on a food business as we could do a production line. I still did not know which product to sell until I experimented on my own recipe for baked sushi. I posted it on social media and the response was immediate. In ten minutes, I made my first sale. The rest is history. We have now served 2,500 trays and counting. Over the past nine months, we have not only started a food business but we have built a brand. Our vision is To Be Part of Every Pinoy Handaan, sounds challenging right? But we are up for it. “Sushi bake is the new birthday cake” This has been coined originally by one of our KaniAlliezens which we later adapted. We have been thrilled on how our customers would refer to our sushi bake as the main “handa” on their birthday celebrations. Christmas and New Year are indeed special occasions which only call for best handa possible and we are very happy that Kani Allie has made it to the tables of over 200 families for their Noche Buena and Media Noche. Ultimately, as a woman I

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To all those who have supported us, thank you for choosing happiness. Thank you for choosing Kani Allie. Donna Elaine P. Villarin,

33 years old A wife and mom of two children Entrepreneur/ Owner of Kani Allie Director of Sales, Seda Residences Makati

cannot think of a more important handaan than one’s wedding reception. And we are honored to have been a part of two wedding receptions already. Being true to our vision, we want to reach as many Pinoys as possible even globally. With this, we have been offering our thoughtful package where in our Kababayan living abroad can order sushi bake anytime for their families back home. To date, we have served orders from Switzerland, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, San Diego USA, San Jose USA, Los Angeles USA and Australia. What made us truly successful is being able to share our blessings to others. With less than a year in operations, we

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have been able to partner with two organizations already. We were approached by Project Smile to which we donated our week-long profit helping over 130 children with disabilities. Secondly, we also accommodated a project by Hills of Zion City Church to help families rebuild their houses and livelihood destroyed by the Typhoon Rolly. Over 60 families were aided thru this partnership. We hoped that our platform has encouraged other small businesses to welcome charitable

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organizations therefore creating a culture of not only making profits but also but extending a helping hand whenever needed. We take pride to be one of the pioneering brands of baked sushi. At the same time, we are humbled for our KaniAlliezens who take their time to provide feedback to help us improve. We are constantly reminded to always be improving to be better until we achieve our vision.


LIVING WELL

Skin Magical couple launches milk tea business TEXT BY ANNE RUTH DELA CRUZ PHOTOS FROM TEA TALK

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fter successfully putting up Skin Magical, probably one of the fastest growing distributors of beauty products in the Philippines, the husband-and-wife team of Jerry and Rogelyn “Ghie” Pangilinan have ventured into another business – to bring authentic Taiwanese milk tea to the country. During one of their family trips to Taiwan, Ghie, who is a big milk tea fan, and her team thought that it would be a good idea to give her fellow Filipinos the chance to sample and enjoy authentic

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milk tea with ingredients sourced straight from Taiwan. She named their milk tea business “Tea Talk” and opened her first store in Morong, Rizal on August 11, 2019. To date, she currently has five branches nationwide, with the latest one located in the vicinity of SM East Ortigas in Pasig. She also has plans to widen Tea Talk’s reach further in 2021. Prior to launching their own line of skincare products, Jerry was an overseas Filipino worker while Ghie was trying to help make ends meet by starting a few businesses that did not do well. Ghie’s first try in the skincare products business was NO. 1

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through Speaks G. Something happened along the way which made the couple lose everything that they worked for. They literally had to start from zero because they lost all their savings. A manufacturer friend helped the couple pick up the pieces by advising them to rebrand their business and provided them with rebranded products on a consignment basis. Ghie and Jerry’s line of skincare products, which they called Skin Magical was born in 2015 with the help of their friend. In a period of five years, Skin Magical had over 200 distributors and over 50,000 resellers nationwide and even


abroad. They were able to overcome all their problems and have begun reaping what they had sown. “Together with my team, I can really better balance my time between Skin Magical and Tea Talk and I am truly thankful that both are doing well,” Ghie said. She has tapped the services of Ivana Alawi and Vice Ganda to be Tea Talk’s brand ambassadors. “We want to have Tea Talk branches all over the country and the only way to do that is through franchising,” Ghie said. “I would like to invite everyone to invest in a Tea Talk franchise because we have laid out a strong and solid business structure with tremendous marketing and advertising support.” “You will be proud of our product because of its authentic milk tea taste from Taiwan, the home of the original milk tea,” she added.

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LIVING WELL

I don’t wanna

miss a tea

What do dreams sound like?

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eating the odds as cities shut down amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic, I Don’t Wanna Miss A Tea founders, Mark Dela Rosa, Joy Dela Rosa, and Kailah Catibog recall how following the tune of their hearts led to the launching of a now growing milk tea and coffee business a year ago. Mark can still remember how it felt when he took that big leap of faith when he ventured into this beverage business, which was playfully named after a song they randomly heard on the radio—the Aerosmith’s I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing, which was also a soundtrack of the movie Armageddon. Mark, Joy and Kailah likened their journey to braving a year full of uncertainties while belting high notes until they finally got the right pitch, and having forged a bond stronger than that of kins, siblings, and partners. They worked in harmony to concoct the signature I Don’t Wanna Miss A Tea flavors and services. With milk teas setting a trend in home deliveries and gaining a growing popularity across the country, I Don’t Wanna Miss A Tea seemed to have come at a perfect time, more so, with the surge in on-demand food and beverage services due to the lockdowns. Hence, Mark,

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Joy, Kailah, and their band of milk tea connoisseurs sought to find the perfect blend of flavors, sweetness, and creamy goodness for their milk tea recipes. Indeed, dreams are not just visions; they also come with the right tune. I Don’t Wanna Miss A Tea might just be the right accompaniment for any occasion that people need when trying to be together while staying apart—from online class in-betweens, jamming sessions, e-workshops, after-work relaxation, to simply giving in to your cravings for a refreshing cup—it knows by heart how to tune your day up and give you the right boost. Made with quality ingredients, these refreshing and distinctly flavorful beverages can surely hit the right spot! Liven up your day with each cup of handcrafted milk tea and enjoy the soft symphony of its flavorful layers sip after sip. I Don’t Wanna Miss A Tea is also open for franchising. To know more about their products, branches and franchising, send an e-mail to idontwannamissatea@gmail. com. NO. 1

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LIVING WELL

Balancing

act

Batanes Tayid Lighthouse in Mahatao Town

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hese past few years I have found myself on a unique path. Twelve years ago, in a blink of an eye, I lost the love of my life. I was thrust into the theretofore-unknown world of being a widower, and suddenly, single parent of two. Aside from that, I was also intimidated by a new career in the corporate world with the family pharmaceutical business. Looking back, the challenge was how to move on and fulfil all of those daunting tasks, while finding some harmony in the midst of it. One of the things that helped me keep my sense of balance was to get into my old passion and love for photography, my chosen medium of expression to engage my artistic nature. I love meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and going off the beaten path for the best of nature’s scenery. Thus, the life-changing adventure of Phil’s World was born, combining the people-oriented portraiture with the travel-heavy fine arts and landscape

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TEXT AND PHOTOS BY PHIL DIZON

photography. In this day and age, with the advancement of online technology and digital media, most of us are blessed to be able to easily educate ourselves. Thus I delved into the world NO. 1

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of reinventing myself and that meant engaging in various practices, philosophies, and sciences – both old and new – to achieve the best version of who I can become. This also meant espousing


a holistic approach, including physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. To achieve this sense of holistic wellness, I followed my interests and pursued my passions. From this was born the idea of a travel show where I would travel to far-flung places of interest, and experience their diverse cultures, practices, and cuisines. Along the way I would of course meet similarly diverse individuals and share their stories with the world. With my love for photography I hoped to share my journey through these captured images and moments in time, and I am very excited that after much effort and planning, this idea is now a reality. My travel show will be aired on multiple platforms, including television networks and various social media. Aside from fulfilling my passion for photography, I also entered into a new business venture that aligns with my lifestyle and goal of holistic wellness. I partnered with The Observatory Tagaytay, a new events place and boutique hotel in the heart of Tagaytay, which has the best view of the iconic Taal Lake and volcano, and is the perfect location to rendezvous, to celebrate special milestones in our lives with family and friends, or

Pagsanjan Boatman

Fashion

Norway Northern Lights

Tarlac Ita Tribe

even simply to reset and recharge. I find myself staying at The Observatory with my kids nearly every weekend as it is the perfect healing sanctuary for body and soul and allows us our bonding moments away from the hustle and bustle of the metro. And so we end up at this beautiful complementary interplay of passions and pursuits: the fast-paced and sometimes hectic Phil’s World, tempered and soothed by the rejuvenating sanctuary of The Observatory. This is part of what completes and keeps me in balance these days, and I hope to share that with more and more people.

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LIVING WELL

Raymond Ragodon,

the late-bloomer artist TEXT BY ANNE RUTH DELA CRUZ PHOTOS FROM RAYMOND RAGODON

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ven if he belonged to a family that had a legacy in the arts and graduated from the College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines in Diliman where he majored in painting, it took Raymond Ragodon 50 years to finally pursue the career he trained for. When he graduated in 1981, he decided that he loved electronics more than painting and became a self-taught circuit designer. He did that until he retired in 2016. It was only a matter of time before Ragodon would return to his roots since he had been an apprentice of his father, the late famous painter Rodolfo Ragodon. The older Ragodon was known for his paintings of the Philippines’ old churches, local landscapes, and scenic site of colonial Manila. “I decided that it was time for me to return to painting because God said it was time for me to pursue this,” Ragodon said. He had his first exhibit of abstract paintings in August 2019. The exhibit showcased his love for colors “as they blended in different perspectives and were able

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to recognize the nature of colors because they bring life.” Ragodon started exploring colors with acrylics when he was in college and tried to express his thoughts in abstract painting which was the trend in those days. “Mixing colors with color made me think deeper on how harmony and color can be integrated into a decorative painting with neutral flavor to the art audience,” he said. “Colors depict the emotions of the world around us.”

It was not easy for Ragodon to capture the colors of the world in canvas, but he eventually was able to do so after much practice. In addition to color, Ragodon is also fascinated by the drawing pen, an instrument he has been using since his high school days. “I have always wanted to capture black and white photography in pen and ink drawings,” he said. “This is a dead art and I want to revive it and bring back the beauty of intricate details in art.”

He added that pen line drawings are very challenging and it takes patience, skill and drawing techniques not taught in art school. ” I was inspired and motivated to do more pen and ink pieces because of the very intricate and detailed subjects,” Ragodon said. “This also made me notice and recognize the small details of its composition because small details are important just as the big ones because it can give a major difference.

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BEAUT Y & WELLNESS

THE PRETTY YOU: Beauty Finds in 2020 By Anne Dela Cruz Styling & Photography by Team Gathercole.

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Jessa Macaraig Photography and Styling by ROCKY GATHERCOLE EX PER I EN C E T R AVEL AN D LI VI N G

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Jessa Macaraig Photography and Styling by Rocky Gathercole For more information on how to get into the BelleSkin business, visit tem at Facebook www.facebook.com/belleskinbytpy.

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he year 2020 was surely an unforgettable year for everyone, it was a year of uncertainty, fear and depression. Many have failed the challenges of the pandemic, but immense number of people also braved and succeeded in the battles of this trying time. The successes and triumphs came in different forms. To most, good health is the greatest victory achieved last year, while others ventured into businesses, which flourished during the lockdowns. And there were a handful who really made a difference not just because they earned a good profit, but they were the ones who slaved the hours away and fought hard not just for themselves but also for the people who depended on them. These conquerors had the sweetest taste of victory just like the Macaraig couple who almost fell on their knees while trying to save the business, which they just establish in 2019. Marvin and Jessa Macaraig are the founders and owners of the growing beauty and aesthetic clinic – The Pretty You. However, before they finally found the perfect investment for their savings, the couple ventured into different trades as they try their hands on different small-scale businesses like online selling of whatever-youcan-think-of products. They also opened a retail shop of plastic wares, which according to them was doing well, but they had to close since the owner of the place they were renting will occupy it.

“There are opportunities out there even if there is a pandemic and thanks to this, we were able to come up with a line of products that will hopefully be a source of income for everyone,” Jessa said.” studied medical aesthetics and took up other courses on permanent make up and microblading. “We also have dermatologists in the clinic now and they are the ones who supervise the services that we offer there,” she said. The business was doing so well that the couple decided to franchise The Pretty You and because of this, Pasig and Taguig outlets were opened. Everything, however, ground to a halt in March 2020 when President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the entire Luzon will be under an enhanced community quarantine or ECQ , thanks to the pandemic brought about by the coronavirus disease or Covid-19.

Admittedly, they felt that something is missing, that the businesses they have tried were not really meant for them. “We did well with the businesses we tried but for no reason, suddenly, things don’t feel right until in October 2019 we opened our first beauty clinic in Mandaluyong City,” recalled Jessa. The husband and wife, who used to work for a pharmaceutical company as medical representatives, and where they fell in love with each other, finally felt that they were on the right track. “My wife is really good in business development, so, in a short span of time, we opened our two more branches in Pasig and Taguig cities. These are all her ideas, she’s really good at these,” Marvin shared. Jessa Macaraig Photography and Styling by Rocky Gathercole Marvin Macaraig Styling by Rocky Gathercole

“I can plan and design the products and services we will offer but Marvin does the management, since he is more adept in running our businesses because he has the managerial skills, he is also good with people. This gives us the balance,” Jessa quipped. The husband-and-wife team of Jessa and Marvin Macaraig opened The Pretty You because they “want their customers to experience a beautifying treat with less frills but at an affordable price.” It offered manicures, pedicures, skin tightening, lashes, eyebrows, lip blushing, facial treatments, beauty drips, cautery, and other non-invasive procedures. In short, it was a one stop shop for all your beauty needs. Jessa has always enjoyed going to beauty clinics to make herself look and feel good. When she decided to go into the beauty clinic business, Jessa made sure that she is on top of everything. She

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The business was doing so well that the couple decided to franchise The Pretty You and because of this, Pasig and Taguig outlets were opened. Everything, however, ground to a halt in March 2020 when President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the entire Luzon will be under an enhanced community quarantine or ECQ , thanks to the pandemic brought about by the coronavirus disease or Covid-19. Businesses were forced to stop operating, people had to stay and home and there was no transportation. There was a lot of uncertainty at that time because there was no clear indication as to how long Luzon would be placed under ECQ. The only establishments that were operating at that time were hospitals, groceries, markets, pharmacies, and banks but people were only allowed to go out during certain times of the day. A curfew was also imposed at night. Jessa did not allow the situation to dampen her entrepreneurial spirit. She was determined to find a business that would not only help her family overcame the pandemic but her staff as well. “When Marvin and I were starting as a couple, I am already determined to have our own business that’s why I tried selling different products. And when we were already feeling the effects of the pandemic, I sorted to selling and delivery of (via online) Samgyupsal meals,” Jessa recalled. It was during this time that Jessa and Marvin came up with producing not only soap products but other beauty products as well, thus, the Belleskin line was borne. Thanks to a chemist who developed a prominent papaya soap brand, the couple produced the soap on their own with Marvin literally stirring the large vat containing the mixture until it was deemed ready to be cooled down and then poured into the soap molds. “We would allow the mixture to cool for one whole day before pouring them into the molds,” Marvin related. “The molds would then be allowed to harden and that usually takes another day. When it is all ready, we would personally wrap each piece of soap and then sell them.”

Jessa Macaraig Photography and Styling by Rocky Gathercole

“We almost thought of selling or closing our beauty centers but we cannot because we have employees who are depending on us,” Marvin added. grapeseed oil, snail extract, aloe vera and glutathione.

“The soap was formulated considering the type of skin our users have,” Jessa said. “We make sure that it is mild and yet has an intensive glowing effect on our skin.” “One of the things that our clients were looking for were skin care products, so we actually started it before. We just had more time to develop it during the lockdown.”

In addition to their line of soaps, the Macaraig couple also came out with different beauty sets – Dermpeel Set, Perfect Pit Set, Glowlush Set, Primeglow Set and LuxSkin Set – that would not only give customers healthy and glowing skin but also a business opportunity for them.

The line of BelleSkin soaps include SnowBelle, Orabelle and Margarette Intensive Whitening Soap. The top-of-the-line soap is SnowBelle, which contains 12 active ingredients such as coconut oil,

The Food and Drug certification for BelleSkin’s soap products came out on November 1, 2020, giving the couple the go signal to formally introduce BelleSkin to the market.

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RME SALON

champions franchising during pandemic TEXT BY ELEANOR A. LEYCO-CHUA PHOTOS BY REY VELORIA

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ME Compassion, decisiveness, and selflessness, these are the traits that RME Salon owner Ronel M. Egang possessed and utilized during last year’s most difficult times when the global pandemic covid-19 affected his business. In 2010, Egang opened the first branch of RME Salon in Bacoor City in Cavite, and in a short span of time, opened 4 more branches in Cavite and Manila. Everything was running according to his plans until President Rodrigo Duterte announced the lockdown in March 2020. Finally, he formulated a plan and offered the RME Salon branches in Imus, Binakayan in Kawit, Noveleta, and Molino in Bacoor to three loyal patrons and friends to acquire the business through a franchise deal. “Fortunately, they liked the franchise deal I offered them, the best thing about this deal was there’s no need to let go of the brand, instead, we retained the brand.” He added. RME Salon (company owned) are located in Bacoor and Manila. For more information and franchise opportunities, visit RME Salon Main Branch (Bacoor) or email them at rmessalon2016@gmail. com.

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RME SALON

BINAKAYAN, KAWIT Q ueenie, just like any other models, had a promising career until the pandemic took place. Young, wise, and beautiful, Queenie did not waste her time but instead grabbed the opportunity when Egang offered him the business opportunity. A good friend and RME Salon in-house model also found herself trusting Egang more by acquiring one of the branches that the latter put on a special franchising deal. “Ronel is my favorite hair and makeup stylist. We have been working together for RME Salon whenever we join local and international hair and makeup competition. I know his caliber and how he manages his people and business. I cannot say no to an amazing offer coming from him,” Queenie said.

Though the offer came in during a time when there are a lot of uncertainties, Queenie never doubted the brand RME Salon since she knows that all its customers only have good words for its products and services. “With the years of experience of Ronel, the trainings of his staff and the products they use, I know the business will flourish. It’s a bit tough last year but things are getting better and we are already making good sales now that salon can accommodate more customers,” she opined.


BEAUT Y & WELLNESS

RME SALON

MOLINO, PAGASA

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ith her extensive experience as a Six Sigma Black Belt in the Corporate world and who has worked on several continuous improvement projects in the corporate world, Kristine applied her skills and learnings with her new business. With high hopes that the through perseverance and a good marketing strategy, her newly acquired RME Salon Molino Town Center and RME Salon Molino Pag-Asa RME branches will gain good customer traffic amid the many challenges brought by the pandemic Covid-19. Many would say that investing on a beauty center during the peak of lockdown is a bad decision however, for Kristine her decision to franchise RME Salon was a good choice. “Ronel offered us a good deal, and because I am also one of his customers, I know very well that when all these hardships are over, we can easily get back our investments. It is true that last year put our patience, perseverance and faith to a test, there were days that we hardly see customers inside our salon but as soon as the government loosen up the quarantine 32

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protocols, customers started booking appointments, some tried to walk in, and inquiries on our social media page also picked up, she narrated. Kristine put her trust not only in the brand – RME Salon – but she first trusted the fact that Egang’s resolve to put his branches on a special franchise deal was an act of compassion for the staff who might lose their jobs if Egang will close his shops. “Ronel worked hard for many years to establish his salon business and for someone who is still considered a ‘baby’ in the business industry, it’s remarkable how he formulated and executed his plan to save his branches from closing down and his salon staff from losing their jobs.”

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NOVELETA

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ne of Ronel’s customers and a good friend was Chezka Joyce De Luna. Chezka was planning an important event in her life when the pandemic happened. She had to rearrange everything and wait for the situation to change. However, the quarantine’s taking longer than she predicted. She found herself without nothing to do, confine at the four corners of their home in Cavite City and cannot also go back to the States. So, her mom asked her if they can open a business while waiting for things to be better, or for the lockdown to be over. “I knew about Ronel’s plan and without any doubt I told my mom that I will franchise RME Noveleta” she said. Agreeing with Egang was not difficult for De Luna since she knows the quality of Egang’s works and his staff. “I trust him, and I am aware how his people do their jobs. I know how the Covid-19 affected everything and everyone, but it was the perfect time for me to do this business. RME Salon is the only salon that is still operational until this very moment in our area,” De Luna added. “It’s not that I’m happy with what happened to our competitors, which closed down after several months of lockdown, but Ronel’s decision to offer his branches through a special franchise agreement, saved his brand or branches from closing down, and it was a brilliant decision,” De Luna further explained.

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BEAUT Y & WELLNESS

RME SALON

IMUS CITY

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ME Salon Imus branch was one of the newly established branches of RME. Mr. Ponciano Nicol is an overseas Filipino worker, an engineer who just came from Saudi Arabia just before the pandemic happened. He was looking for a good investment until his plan was shelved due to the announcement of the quarantine. Firmed with his decision to invest his money on a business that can be reliable in times of trouble, Nicol kept looking until he found Egang. “I came from a family of engineers and this salon business was never in our plans, not even in my wildest dreams. But I was meant to meet Ronel, the fact that I have no idea how to operate a beauty salon, our meeting was no accident,” Nicol shared. Nicol said they faced difficult days since the salon business was one of the industries that were really put to a halt, but he is hopeful that it will pick up as soon as the quarantine is lifted. “True enough, when the ECQ was lifted, customers started to come in. I believe that the good reputation of the salon has helped us in getting back old customers. Their loyalty despite the long months of absence was still with RME Salon.” Though Nicol is still learning the ropes of his new business, he is happy that he made the right investment.

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This 2021, Skinimalism is in! Find the secret to simple, subtle, and natural beauty in the heart of ASEANA City Ever since the pandemic began last year, we all struggled to achieve our long list of #goals. Being stuck at home for the longest time while juggling responsibilities at work and attending to family and friends can take a toll on a person’s mental and physical health. This 2021, trust us when we say we owe it to ourselves to focus on our peace of mind. Luckily for us, our haven to holistic wellness is within reach. Tucked in the heart of ASEANA City is the country’s premiere aesthetic and wellness center, SKINIVÉ. The Centre is led by Founder and Medical Director Dr. Lyndon Paolo Asuncion. He personally develops the treatment

protocol for every patient and administers the clinic’s advanced procedures. Together with his team of specialized and welltrained medical professionals, Dr. Paolo ensures every treatment is conducted with the highest standard of safety, efficacy, and attention. This is the SKINIVÉ promise. This homegrown company is your first step to unlocking the beauty within. Stepping inside the SKINIVÉ clinic means your strong commitment to finally attain your modern Zen. Whether you aspire to blur the signs of aging, highlight the contours of your face and body, or achieve flawless, healthy skin, SKINIVÉ delivers.

SKINIVÉ Aesthetic and Wellness is your haven and rejuvenation center that administers world-class quality services. SKINIVÉ is equipped with only the leading and high-end treatment machines, such as Ulthera® (the first and only US FDA-approved machine to lift sagging jowls and tighten skin), Pollogen LEGEND™ (an advanced medical aesthetic machine from Israel that dissolves stubborn fats and tone muscles underneath using leading industry technologies), and Spectra™ Laser treatment that reduces pores, decreases oiliness and improves pigmentation); providing their patients with the best service by using the most effective methods to address their concerns, to name a few.

SKINIVÉ Aesthetic and Wellness centre in The Shoppes, Solaire Resort & Casino

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SKINIVÉ offers a wide range of cleansing and invigorating COVID-19 pandemic. Advance booking is required at SKINIVÉ. facial skin services to help remove toxins and other impurities from All clients are required to fill out the health declaration form your skin. What is great is that there are options tailor-made for prior to their session, following the guidelines of the Department ladies and gents so couples can go on a SKINIVÉ date at least once of Health (DOH) and the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force a month. It is time to say goodbye to those problem bumps and (IATF). Treatment rooms are used alternately for every patient to maskne, and say hello to your coveted healthy, glass skin! give the staff time to sanitize the room after each use. A maximum There are also more advanced facials for patients with of 4 clients is allowed during each time, and clients are encouraged special concerns, such as the to visit the clinic alone or with SKINIVÉ Signature Premium only one attendant to avoid Facial for anti-aging, Nanocrowding in the clinic. Aside technology Serum Infusion from these, physical barriers, Facial for deep pore cleansing, PPE for the SKINIVE staff, Hydrating Oxyjet Facial for and disinfection protocols and dehydrated skin, and Advanced stations are strategically placed Acne Laser Facial for acnewithin and outside the clinic prone skin. premises. SKINIVÉ’s services are Let SKINIVÉ be your not limited to facials. You can 2021 resolution. Indulge in Medical Director Dr. Lyndon Paolo Asuncion and his team Disclaimer: This photo was taken prior to the Covid-19 pandemic also have skin resurfacing, these luxury and high-quality laser treatments, facial and treatments using world-class body contouring, IV drips and enhancements done in the clinic technologies, for only Php 1,500 up! Book for a consultation by through a variety of medically-proven technologies available— calling 8362-2386 or online at their official Facebook page: www. may it be microdermabrasion, Cryo Contour, Trilipo Radio facebook.com/skiniveaesthetic. SKINIVÉ Aesthetic and Wellness Frequency, Mesolipolysis, Silhouette Stitch Lift, Botox® Injections is located at the Ground Level, The Shoppes at Solaire, Solaire or Ultherapy® to name a few. Resort & Casino, ASEANA Ave., Parañaque City. Open daily from Rest assured, the clinic follows strict safety protocols given the 11:00am to 11:00pm.

Get a variety of treatments for your skin concerns at SKINIVÉ Aesthetic and Wellness. (From left to right: Nanotechnology Serum Infusion Facial, Spectra Laser, Trilipo Radio Frequency, and Botox®)

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TRAVEL LITE

Discover the wonders of Tanay Fresno agro forestry and eco tourist campsite TEXT AND PHOTOS BY JENNY MEDENILLA

Sitio Maysawa Brgy. Laiban/Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal

Fresno Agro Forestry and Eco Tourist Campsite is the newest Hiking destination in Tanay, Rizal, owned by an IP named Mr. Mabini Dela Sada, and Merly (a native Dumagat), developed and managed by Reynaldo Zapanta Fresno. Mt. Kulis and Mt. Sambong There are 2 mountains to hike at Fresno – Mt. Kulis and Mt. Sambong. Mt. Kulis is the first mountain that will greet you at Fresno. It is a climb of 629 MASL (Meters above sea level). The mountains at Fresno are a hill type climb with narrow rough roads, and edges. Do not be fooled by the look of it as it is tiring once you are uphill. A tricycle ride can take you uphill for just P20 for group of 3. The tricycle drivers are all natives of the place so getting you up and down the steep hill would be easy. Cars, mountain bikes, motorcycles, SUVs, Pick-up, Sedan are also allowed. You must be wary though of you and your vehicle’s capacity in climbing rough road terrain as there are no car/motor repair shops nearby.

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Located at the back of Mt. Kulis is Mt. Sambong. Climbing Mt. Sambong will just take you 3 minutes, but again you must be prepared for a steep, rocky, up climb ahead.

Noah’s Ark After Mt. Sambong is Noah’s Ark. Hiking to Noah’s Ark is optional. Getting there will take you 30 to 45 minutes depending on your pace. You must be physically fit before embarking because the trail involves mountainous slopes, rocky and grassy areas. It is best if you start hiking at 5am to be at the summit around 6am perfect for the Sea of clouds.

SPIDER WEB The giant spider web is made of nylon ropes. To climb over I suggest you wear your rubber shoes before finally removing your shoes as you crawl thru the web. As the name suggests, it is best if you crawl like a spider to reach the center of the web. Then ask Manong (the tour guide) for your best IG shots.

Riding a toro-toro Going to Campsite B (Lion Falls, Flower Garden, Hanging Bridge, Twin Mountains) requires you to ride a toro-toro (a makeshift 4×4 vehicle), unless you want to tire yourself from the long walk. Riding on top of it will make you scream; you must hold on tight. You must try to feel the thrill!

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Spider Hanging Bridge The view from the Hanging Bridge is breath taking. It is a perfect place for your pre-nup shoots, emo, or whatever you would want to call it. Only a maximum of 7 persons are allowed this is for safety purposes.

Twin Mountains Once you are in the Hanging Bridge, be mindful to look around and you will see the Twin Mountains.

Lion House Falls It will take you 20 minutes to trek your way to the Lion House Falls. Going there will require you to step on rocks and steep vertical ladders. Once there, you will be greeted with a natural swimming pool with just the right level of coldness for you to dunk in.

Flower Garden The Flower Garden is a man-made heart garden shape. It has colorful and beautiful flowers. Try shooting for pre-nup poses or relive your younger days.

QUICK

We encourage all our guests to observe minimum safety protocols:

TIPS!

· Wear your mask and face shield. · Practice social distancing For reservations:

To enjoy your tour at Daranak Falls, please take note of the following: · Bring 1 Valid ID and your Receipt of Confirmation. · Daranak Falls is open daily for guests, from 8am-5pm · Age limit: 15-65 years old · Entrance Fee – P50.00/person · No overnight accommodations · There are food kiosks at the area. · Guests can bring their own food. · No plastic containers · No alcoholic beverages · No pets allowed. · Tour Guides – P500.00/ 5 guests

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· Call or send message to 09653564493/ 09287838322. · Email: lgutourismtanay2020@gmail.com To visit other Tanay destinations, you may coordinate with the following: · Laiban: Rene 0948.3551300 · Cayabu: Charlie 0999.4764650 · Cuyambay Nagpatong: Lago 0910.9362397 · Daraitan: Allan 0955.5085260 · Tinipak: Kevin 0951.7176655 · San Andres at Mt. Batolosong: Rene 0948.3551300 / 86551773 · Fresno Campsite at Mt. Kulis 0910.7082611 / 0907.6933643 / 0909.2694580 / 0961.8115694)

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NO RESERVATION NEEDED No room accommodation, the place is purely a campsite Open 24/7 Keep trash in its proper place Do not leave cigarette butts, let us maintain and protect the environment Bonfires not allowed Barbeque is not allowed The option for cooking is to bring a butane stove or request a “paluto” at the Kainan.


TRAVEL LITE

IHG® Hotels & Resorts

offer a fresh take on clean

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HG® Hotels & Resorts is enhancing the experience for its hotel guests around the world using new, scienceled protocols and service measures. Partnering with industry leading experts Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey, and launching a global IHG Clean Promise, the strengthened measures will give guests greater confidence and hotel teams the protection needed. Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, commented “By combining IHG’s world-class knowledge and processes, with cutting-edge expertise from Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversey, we can reassure guests and colleagues that we’re focused on protecting their health and wellbeing.” Launched in 2015, the IHG Way of Clean program was developed with

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Ecolab and Diversey, both world leaders in hygiene and cleaning technologies and services. This program is now being expanded with additional COVID-19 protocols and best practices - many of which are already in place - to reflect the advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and local public health authorities in markets around the world. IHG Way of Clean already includes deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants, and going forward guests can expect to see evolved procedures in every area of the hotel. IHG is working closely with a team of medical experts at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic to develop guidance and resources for hotel teams on returning to work and keeping guests safe in this new

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environment. With updated measures in place, IHG is launching a Clean Promise. Rolling out globally starting on June 1, 2020, guests can be reassured that their room will meet IHG’s high standards of cleanliness. If not, the hotel will make it right. Leading this work is IHG’s new Global Cleanliness Board, a group of IHG experts in operations, health, safety and guest experience, working with our new external specialists, including James Merlino, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Cleveland Clinic, to define solutions, best practice and implement processes. For more information, please visit www. ihg.com/clean


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hen people plan a trip to El Nido, they have these visions of long stretches of white sand, green and blue waters, boats ferrying tourists to and fro, souvenir shops, fire dancers, and a night in a small pub with the lights, the music, and the booze.  Been there, done that. Fast forward to today.   Did you ever wonder how it’d be like to be within reach of all the creature comforts that is legal to have around (yes, that’s me doing my signature laugh after delivering my line, pun intended) and just staying there?  I did; and I super enjoyed it!  Imagine lounging by the pool, having hotel attendants nearby for your not-toodemanding requests, and knowing your skin is being touched by the same breeze that came in from the sea and went through that motor banca bearing a load of local tourists. It’s knowing that the same sun that gives the most-wanted tan lines to others is giving you just enough warmth to want a dip in the quiet waters of the hotel pool later.  It is getting to do things at 44

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The Palawan concierge TEXT BY DANTE NICO GARCIA PHOTOS BY ROCKY AUSTRIA PAGLIAWAN

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your self-imposed pace (which is non-existent, right?) knowing well enough that you are in paradise and the rest of it is just a few steps outside of your doors. At Charlie’s, you will see that measures were taken to keep the tourists from out of town to the tourists from Manila and the rest of the country.  So how can we interact?  At Charlie’s, there is this big slab of a table that puts you a good 1 meter away from the person on the other side of it.  It is on the area for locals so I and the friends I came with eat at this table.  You know how it is when I am around?  There is no dull moment, right?  I would talk and talk, and my friends would do the same; and the short distance across the table did not matter.   Now let’s talk about a concept that churned in my head during our 4D/3N stay at Charlie’s.  You know those hotel robes you don’t really pay attention to?  I wear it over my pambahay to keep my look hotel-cool when I want to join my friends at the chitchat table. Ano pa nga ba? By the second morning, I already knew I’m ready to pitch this.   By the third morning, my look is complete – the white robe, cool glasses, and my fedora. I wish I could tell you more but this is where I need to stop. If you wish to know more of what I do and how my days go, you can follow @ dantenicogarcia on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Watch out for the next feature of a different take place where I was born and raised – PALAWAN.

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TRAVEL LUXE

5 luxury hotels in Boracay That help beat the pandemic blues TEXT BY CHRISTINE ADVINCULA

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Staycation Sanctuary at Shangri-La Boracay hangri-La is an industry leader in luxurious accommodations. Their Boracay location boasts of serene rooms and villas where you can reconnect and create unforgettable memories with your family. They also have 4 restaurant options for guests who crave for different cuisines. On top of these are facilities like spas, sports centers (including sea sports), and first-class service are available during your whole staycation. View their website here: shangri-la.com/boracay/

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Enjoy a Calm Beach Getaway at Astoria Boracay storia is proud to be one of the hotels that gives us a slice of paradise. Their location sits right in front of the beach. You can choose to take a dip in their indoor pool, which is just right outside your doorstep, or walk towards the beach to feel the sun and sand on your feet. For meal times you are treated to seaside dishes by White Cafe with an overlooking view of the seaside. At night, you can bask in the plush bedrooms filled with modern amenities and topnotch services. View their website here: astoriaboracay.com

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A Safe and Luxurious Vacation at The Lind Boracay

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he Lind is one of the many luxury hotels in Boracay that practices topnotch safety protocols. They have a pre-arrival checklist that has all the requirements needed before you get to stay in their hotel. This includes a Health Declaration Card and an RT-PCR Test taken 24-72 hours before arrival. Their staff also practices routine cleaning and disinfection with electrostatic sprayers and hospital-grade virucides and have added HEPA filters and UV lights in their space. View their website here: thelindhotels.com

Dreamy Retreat at Discovery Shores Boracay

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ity dwellers usually look for hotels with modern facilities so they can live on the beach with ease and convenience. Discovery Shores is the place for that kind of life. It is equipped with a world-class fitness facility, Terra Wellness Spa, The Sandbox (for kids), and a swimming pool-jacuzzi for people of all ages to enjoy. View their website here: discoveryshoresboracay.com

Travellers’ Secluded Experience at Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay

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rimson Resort and Spa stands out because it is not in either of the 3 stations in Boracay. It is in Station Zero, a secluded area where you wake up to the noise of undisturbed shores and views of mystic clear waters daily--privacy at its finest. On top of this, if you book for a minimum of 5 nights, they include a home service RT-PCR test for 2 persons/room via Detoxicare. View their website here: crimsonhotel.com/boracay

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L ‘exquisite:

the French secret ideals for beauté TEXT AND PHOTOS BY RICA PARAS

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F

rance is known for its magnificent streets, iconic monuments and grand museums, a testament to its obsession with perfection and beauty. The French are very particular on what is seen; everything they show should embody that perfect ideals of beauty. And that zooms us in to the central focus of every person’s discerning eye, to what the French call le visage or the face. The idea of the French girl as a beauty and style icon is so irresistible. Everywhere you look there’s advice on how to eat, dress, shop, wash the face, and do your make-up like a French girl—so much so that these sell the idea of being French, as attested by the popularity of French luxury brands. Let me reveal the secrets, the exquisite ingredients that French women swear to: Micellar water originated in France decades ago is made of tiny cleansing oil molecules called “micelles”. These little babies are suspended in soft water, just hanging out until they meet dirt and oil. It just happens that micelles are attracted to these impurities and draw them out of your skin. Imagine you don’t even have to wash your face after. The cleansing water dissolves impurities while hydrating your skin. It is such a miracle product. L’escargot or snail is a very popular French dish served as an hors d’oeuvre. Snail slime has been recognised for thousands of years for its exceptional properties. A miracle of nature, snail extract is used to purify combination, oily,


ENCOUNTERS

problem skin. A true concentrate of active ingredients, it unfolds its power for better skin repair. For the face and body, it gently smooths all over. Le venin de serpent or snake venom is carefully selected from a farm in the Balkans. The poison of the “viper ammodytes” or horned or sand viper is much more concentrated than that of other species. It is carefully collected without ever impacting upon or risking the life of the animal. A genuine 100% natural facelift. Carefully selected from the Italian countryside, la truffe blanche or white truffle is one of nature’s jewels. Particularly recommended for mature skin, which it enriches it with its wealth of firming, anti-wrinkle and anti-pigmentation stain properties. La perle de culture or cultured pearls have traditionally been used for healing purposes and are regarded as a remedy in Chinese medicine. Their numerous functions make them a real treat for the epidermis. The pearl flaunts its thousand and one properties to bring radiance and serenity to the skin. It soothes and calms the epidermis, unveiling renewed skin. May it be eau micellaire, l’escargot, le venin de serpent, la truffe blanche or la perle de culture, France is undoubtedly the magnet of all beauty enthusiasts around the world, and the capital Paris is the Mecca of all things beautiful. Rica Paras is an IT Consultant based in London, loves travelling and a beauty and lifestyle blogger. She is an ambassador for French Beauty Brand Olivier Lemaire Cosmetics. Follow her in social media at @ iheartricaparas and visit https://www. olivierlemaire.com/

Rica Paras is an IT Consultant based in London, loves travelling and a beauty and lifestyle blogger. She is an ambassador for French Beauty Brand Olivier Lemaire Cosmetics. Follow her in social media at @iheartricaparas and visit https://www. olivierlemaire.com/

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CELEBRIT Y TRAVEL

Redefining concepts TEXT AND PHOTOS BY RED PUNZALAN

My passion for photography has always been a part of my dream. Having started as a visual artist for local companies and some international brands, these experiences harnessed me to understand my core especially the things which I can translate through my visuals works. But then again as I mature, there is this realization that I could do something more so I could connect and inspire my audiences. I was on a vacation in Pampanga, a friend of mine asked me if I could be a volunteer advocate raising awareness for HIV/AIDs. At first, I was quite skeptical because it is a very sensitive case. But after a short realization I accepted the invitation. After personally witnessing the revelations from the JUST LIKE ME Campaign, I said to myself. “I think I know what to do next”. However, the question was how will I start? What type of photography will I do? Who will I photograph? And the hardest question, “where will I get a camera?” With all the frustrations I was feeling those days, something came into my head. To introduce myself and build my own branding services, I formed “Redefining Concept”. During those days, my motivations were not just for myself; I kept finding meaning in things I am interested in because “for me” every portrait conveys different emotions, sentiments. So, I started collaborating with different people, models, and none models, Talent Agencies, fellow 52

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photographers, and some personalities in the fashion industry like Don Cristobal, Jowie Namayan, James Paul (Fashion Designers Stylists) Lourd Ryan Ramos (Fashion Hair Stylists) and many more. These collaborative works served as a ticket for me to venture into Fashion Photography. The journey wasn’t easy, but after few years, I got my own formalized training in the “Philippines Creative Center for Imaging. And if you’ll going ask me what kept me going, all I can say is “As long as I can see people having a smile on their faces, as long as I can see tears falling on someone’s eyes because they lost someone important in their lives; and for long as I believe we can create beautiful things while living and can be a source of inspiration, then I will keep on capturing those moments.

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Ms Pearl - inPOSTINGS Renee Salud PPE

Edgar Buyan Banig Series

Fashion trends for the Go Safe, Go Getter TEXT AND PHOTOS BY SHERBS MALLONGA

Wear your Culture Masks and PPEs “Support local” and “wear your culture” movement, even prior to the pandemic, is being heralded by nationalists and the fashion-forward in their daily wear. But with the virus that has hit the shores, we have added another layer of clothing in our wardrobe. The facemask culture was born out of necessity to keep ourselves and the people around us safe. Davao’s renowned designer, Edgar Buyan, has truly taken the new normal items up a notch by incorporating his style and signature prints to make the protective gears more aesthetic. Buyan’s memorable mask line ranges from his traditional Filipino illustrations of the banig series, ethnic weave series to something more contemporary like his Pinoy pop culture series with graphic prints of the panghimagas candies of our youth and Filipino superhero series to fight off the virus.

Multi-purpose Protective Gears Another notable local fashion designer - John Guarnes, shared his story of creating trendy PPEs. He uses microfiber materials that are water 56

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resistant to prevent external liquids from seeping through and is easy to wipe clean. The versatility and bold colors of his collection are perfect if you are aiming for a more playful look that can uplift your mood. You may also tone it down with your go-to athleisure pieces if they have easy-toclean fabrics such as polyester, plastic, or leather.

John Guarnes PPE

The New Entrepreneur Friends of designers also became distributors of the wardrobe essentials to help in sustaining and maintaining the sewists and to serve as an alternative revenue stream, especially for the displaced workers. Ms. Pearl Maclang, a hotelier, has used this opportunity to help her longtime friend Mama Renee Salud, to keep the business afloat by reselling Tatak Salud masks and PPEs to her family and friends. Fashion is an integral element of our culture and indeed a reflection of what is happening around us. However, the global situation may be, we must stay safe and fashionable. Make sure you have got your requirements ready and GCQ essentials before heading out to your destination.

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Edgar Buyan Banig Series

Edgar Buyan Pinoy Super Hero


POSTINGS

The joys of

Joyce Pilarsky TEXT BY MARIDOL BISMARK

Beauty Queen

Second skin

Award-winning fashion model and designer, international beauty queen and naturopathic doctor Joyce Penas Pilarsky joined the first Mrs. Mother of the Universe contest in South Africa in 2017. She was 63, while her competitors were 25 to 45 years old. By now, Joyce is used to getting this incredulous reaction when people find out what her age is. With a supportive husband Gunther, a German national, they co-founded the Joycelyn and Gunther Pilarsky Foundation in Germany. Its Facebook page, says the foundation makes a difference by promoting science, research and education, international relations and aid, support for the youth and the aged, and health and welfare services. The foundation had school projects in Bohol and Bulacan. It also provided housing for victims of typhoon Yolanda in 2018. Last year, Joyce herself joined Gintong Palad and Balikatan Foundation in keeping people safe from the COVID-19 pandemic by donating 1,000 designer face masks to frontliners.

Emirates Green Festival at Abu Dhabi Mall, Abu Dhabi and others. Celebrities like Solenn Heussaff, Mikee CojuangcoJaworski and former   Miss World Megan Young-Daez have worn Joyce’s creations.

A prayerful life Joyce remains brave in the face of  challenges because she is sure God knows what’s best for her. “I pray every day that He send me where He wants me to go, so I can do what He wants me to do. I pray that God bless those who deserve to be blessed,” says Joyce.

Teenaged breadwinner Joyce was only 19 when she had to work for her family. Her lawyerfather passed away, so she had to say goodbye to those carefree days and step up to the plate as breadwinner. Thanks to her good looks, grace, height and intelligence, Joyce was accepted as a commercial model and flight attendant.  Modelling clothes all over the world made her appreciate her country’s natural fabrics even more. No wonder her Joyce Pilarsky Collection made the Philippines proud when it was featured at the London Fashion Week’s Ecoluxe Runway, the first Ecoluxe sustainable luxury fashion show, at the United Arab 58

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Besides the foundation she and her husband put up, Joyce launched the Gintong Palad and Balikatan foundations. Forget Me Not, her concert last Feb. 22, 2020 at Music Museum (before the pandemic broke out) helped rebuild a recreational center for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, and aided victims of the Taal Volcano eruption. Last February 2020, Joyce used indigenous pearls in the lavender Filipiniana gown she created and modeled for fashion and arts impresario Zardo Austria’s event, Obra Maestra 2020: Homage to Heritage, a finalist in the Best Special Events Production category of the Aliw Awards.           A significant part of the event’s proceeds will help build the new monastery and chapel of the Benedictine Sisters Reparatrics of the Sacred Heart in Mexico, Pampanga, and the Duyog Marawi project of Bishop Edwin dela Pena and the Redemptorist missionaries.

Check out Joyce’s Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts, You Tube channel @joycepenaspilarsky

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Experience Travel and Living Volume 6 Number 1  

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