Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Nurture Wellness Village: Going Back to the Basics to Promote Health and Wellness Tourism (Part 1)

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Life in the city can be so stressful and time-consuming that we often sacrifice our health and wellness just to get through the tedious and challenging tasks of the corporate world. We often forget to take care of our bodies and personal well-being in exchange of a better career or to become financially stable enough to provide well for ourselves or our family.

It is high time we remember to always allot a special time to break from all of those hectic, tedious and never-ending work loads, obligations and responsibilities. Life becomes so dull if we sacrifice our personal pleasures too much, and we may not be aware of it, but we often turn into sad, weak and less productive individuals if we continue this routine towards an eventual destruction of our bodies, mind and soul.

Let's take a breather, refresh and go into a journey of health and wellness, even just for the weekend. Living life to its fullest does not mean being able to accomplish a lot of task and endeavors. It should mean being able to enjoy life while we reap the rewards of our success.For me, it's all about being able to reach our full potential, and we could only do that if we are completely healthy and well.

A visit at the Nurture Wellness Village helped us with our search for the real nurturing experience. When we want a satisfying journey into a place where nature surrounds and creativity abounds, there's no other place to go but in Tagaytay where you can start your journey into health and wellness.

Just around 1.5 hours of drive from Metro Manila, the Nurture Wellness Village is located at Pulong Sagingan, Barangay Maitim II West Tagaytay City. Tagaytay is where the weather is always cool and the air is so fresh that it is undeniably one of the best places to live in the Philippines. Many have built their vacation or retirement homes there as it is so peaceful and scenic as well.

Accredited by the Department of Tourism, you are assured of a quality destination highly recommended by even the government. This Filipino-themed pioneer in the spa and wellness industry  offers spa, detoxification, wellness, and natural healing services in a beautiful setting perfect for occasions like romantic weddings, team-building events, family reunions, or just a weekend getaway to relax and unwind.

Arriving at the the Nurture Wellness Village, attendants will greet you with complimentary amenities to relieve you of the stressful travel from the Metro. Wow! They even threw some rose petals like we were royalty.

Every corner of the Nurture Wellness Village is "instagrammable" or depending on what social media network you use. My instagram is connected to Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts  so I am able to share the beauty of my experiences in so many mediums.

There are so much wonder in this place that you may want to extend your stay here. Or better yet, not go home at all. But when work beckons, all you could do for now is miss it so much and hope that you'll get another shot for a weekend vacation again.

Our invitation to the Nurture Wellness Village is for the introduction of their new "Gabriella" area, an expansion made to further infuse their visitors to a higher level of health and wellness this time encompassing the once loved but now forgotten Filipino traditions that our ancestors used to practice.

Think about eating native foods like "kakanin" (kutsinta, biko and puto), "arroz caldo", "tsokolate" from tablea,  enjoying fresh farm-picked vegetables from their organic garden, eating fresh bangus, tawilis, sardinas, tapa, and siomai, and rediscovering the lost activities of yesteryears that now just fascinates us especially the youth who never had the opportunity to experience them (playing the "trumpo", learning the steps of a native dance, walking with stilts, and a lot more) that are fairly strange for many already since we never got to take part of it during our younger years.

Nurture Wellness Village is owned by Mike and Cathy Turvill. Miss Cathy, along with her brother, was there to welcome all of us. She is at one with us in our effort to promote health and wellness tourism in the Philippines.

They let us try hand-crafted drinks formulated by their very own Liquid Chefs like Blue Ternate Daiquiri (Blue Ternate flower, tarragon and citrus), Cosmo Sour (cosmo flower, parsley and citrus), Basil Lime (basil, lime and citrus) and Tarragon Lemon Drop (tarragon and citrus). Each of these concoctions are rich in antioxidants, Vitamins and other sources for good health.

We also tried a few food samplers that are not just healthy for us, but they were also so tasty.

We were also taught some steps of some native dances. It would have been fun if I wasn't so stiff. But all things can be learned if given proper time and effort, plus the discipline that is so difficult to attain if you are burdened with too much work in mind.

It was an opportunity to let loose and give in to the rhythm.

When they finally opened the doors to "Gabriela" revealing a provincial setting that is so green and serene,  and welcomed by a group of native dancers, the fun thoughts started to overwhelm us. It is not everyday you see this kind of ambiance. Even the province is already congested with so many urban influence that the original unadulterated rural areas are a rare sight to behold.

"Pitasin at Ihahain" - Challenge accepted. Get ready for me Kale, Lolo Rosa, Parsley and Tarragon veggies!

As mentioned earlier, we were presented with a wide array of traditional food choices that we don't normally see anymore in the Metro where many fast food restaurants has taken over the city. It is great to be reunited with the simple yet nutritious foods that are indeed fresh from the farm or the sea, and containing no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Going organic is the way to a better and longer life minus the dangerous effects of eating fatty, processed and oily foods.

The Pandan juice is a better alternative to the common Iced Tea since both do came from leaves of plants.

Arroz Caldo has so many names like "lugaw" and "goto" but I still do not really know the difference among them. Add some roasted garlic, onion strings, etc., for a much more interesting taste.

So aside from the chocolate drink, there's a Java Plum Bark (Duhat) tea that can be concocted to relieve stomach pains. Apparently, there are so much things to learn on how we could benefit from the many curing possibilities of herbal plants and vegetables.

I most especially loved all theree of the "kakanin." I can practically lived by them alone, but of course, I prefer a complete meal so we were eyeing the veggie garden as our next destination.

Walking on stilts to reach greater heights? I could also use those to look taller. Have you also noticed the staff are all walking on their bare feet. Looks like its also refreshing to feel the grass on our bare skin.

Just look at those marvelous veggies that are so pretty together. It sure beats the sight of seeing junk food.

The organic garden boasts of green leafy vegetables highlighted by the "Kale". An amazing sight as well. I wish our home had the same climate as taf=gatya so I could also grow similar veggies.

A Nurture Wellness Village worker carefully handling a young vegetable plant that's ready for transplanting. Not everyone has a green thumb that can effectively grow a plant up to maturity. I used to remember my childhood days when I was the only one among my siblings who is able to keep a plant alive and well.

Everyone also witnessed some planting activities where they transplanted a young vegetable into the garden. All of us were given native hats to protect us from the heat of the sun, and could very well be a fashion statement for some. Pretty good also for some photo ops.

The feeling of washing your veggies so you can have them for lunch as a salad, or part of your viand is so comforting. At least you know where it came from and how fresh they really are. The garden uses only natural fertilizers so you are assured of no chemicals in your veggies.

Freshly shredded "kayod" coconut meat to put in our "kutsinta." Not to reveal my age so much, I have tried to do the same thing during my childhood at the home of my great grandmother. That was several years ago, and now there are automated equipment that does the job for many of us.

Rice grains are usually pounded during the old days using old age mortar and pestle made from wood. It's hard work, but that's probably why people are healthier during the olden days.

A ladle made from coconut husk was used to scoop out the arroz caldo. An ingenious way to serve porridge we all love until now.

For the purpose of photo ops, I arranged my meal to look as pleasant as this.  With the "arroz caldo" in the center, and several cooked fishes and tapa meat, plus the healthy bread, what else should you look for?

Added with onions and tomatoes, plus some dressing to taste, the veggies we harvested is now a yummy and healthy salad.

Aside from a few more dance steps after a hearty lunch of arroz caldo, kakanin, tawilis and kale vegegies, the day proceeded with an interesting demonstration of blending a mixture of vegetables, and even fruits. There are combinations that make them heart-friendly, liver-friendly, or kidney-friendly. Honey is used to sweeten the blended mixture into refreshing healthy drinks that are quick and easy to make.

Just put it all in and shake, shake, shake!!! The possibilities are endless, you may want to join in and become a Vegetable Smoothie Chef.

Participants also were given an opportunity for a relaxing head and shoulder massage, plus other services to check on your body conditions as administered by their resident nurse and therapists.

There's just a lot of things that you can do and see at Nurture Wellness Village that I might fill this blog post with so many information and photos that it may affect the loading time. So since I won anyway an overnight stay at their place during the media presentation of "Gabriela", I guess I will just make a part 2 of my experience.

Thank you to the staff of Nurture Wellness Village, most especially to the 3Rs namely Robin, Rommel...and what's his name again? Lol... I keep forgetting the name of the guy who fetched us from the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati.

Many thanks as well to the owner, Ms. Cathy Turvill for the warm hospitality she showed to us all. We truly appreciate your advocacy on making the Philippines a wellness tourism destination. More power to Nurture Wellness Village.

I'm already planning our staycation there soon, hopefully after the holidays. I'm definitely looking forward for a lot of nurturing! So watch out for Part 2 of my health and wellness story!

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