Latest Stories

Backstage Pass

Wheatgrass diet, moderate living—Why Michael Di Lonardo is the perfect GM for The Farm at San Benito

A staple in his bathroom is The Farm’s Handmade Coco Soap


MICHAEL Di Lonardo

Many spas offer to cleanse us of the stresses of modern life. Yet only a few can give a truly detoxifying experience the way The Farm at San Benito does. The man who ensures that San Benito lives up to its commitment is its general manager, Michael Di Lonardo.

Michael has spent more than 30 years in hospitality management. From Waldorf-Astoria in New York to Amanpuri in Phuket, to the Vigilius Mountain Resort in the Italian Alps, and now The Farm at San Benito in Lipa, Batangas, Michael knows how to put guests at ease.

As The Farm’s GM, he oversees everything—the detox programs, therapists, staff and award-winning raw vegan food. His creativity, skills and leadership helped earn The Farm the 2012 Senses Wellness Award for Best Medical Wellness Resort worldwide—its second so far.

When you’re running a sanctuary like The Farm, serious business can also be pure pleasure. Key to this is Michael’s philosophy of “promoting wellness from within.”

Good omen

My most fulfilling experience while managing The Farm was… when our white peacock, Nirvana, was hatched, six months after I started working here. Because I believe in omens and spirits, I took that as the greatest of good omens.

A new project I’ve been busy with is… our latest book, “Cleanse,” with Jennifer Hazen and Luca Tettoni. It is based on the historical study of the Tonsorial parlor of a century ago. I want to expand the wellness and health options for men outside of a hospital setting.

The most notable events hosted by The Farm were… the two visits of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the guru of The Art of Living Foundation. It’s a compliment to know that we motivate the motivators!

My favorite quote from a guest after staying at The Farm is… “It was a life-changing experience… and I came with my wife kicking and screaming.”

Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo; The Farm’s Virgin Coconut Oil; Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger; Hermes’ Poivre Samarcande Cologne

A shot of wheatgrass

My daily diet includes… a shot of wheatgrass each morning, and my blood is like candy for a vampire! Lately I’ve been fascinated with fermented food of all kinds; they supply 100 times more good bacteria for our digestive systems. Kimchi, achara (no sugar), or any of the Japanese fermented vegetables are great. And also some good Italian wine.

My favorite saying is… “All things in moderation… including moderation.”

Personal hygiene

A staple in my bathroom is… The Farm’s Handmade Coco Soap. Patchouli is my favorite scent. Premium Virgin Coconut Oil for shaving and moisturizing. I shampoo with Kiehl’s and Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger.

When I’m in the city, I get my hands on products like… Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo, and Hermes Poivre Samarcande Cologne.

handmade soaps

To relax, I indulge in… Purification Treatment. Found only at The Farm, the treatment is body balancing, relaxing and polishes away dead skin cells while stimulating the lymph system to remove toxins.

Top Tip:


The Farm is all about healing, wellness, beauty and fitness in a posh, eco-friendly location. Try Michael’s favorite products from The Farm: The Farm’s Virgin Coconut Oil at P385 per 100-ml bottle. It’s 100-percent natural from fresh, mature coconuts. Applied topically, VCO alleviates eczema and other mild skin ailments such as diaper rash. As a massage oil, it is quickly absorbed by the skin and does not leave a sticky film behind. Available in scented massage variants Lavender, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Rosemary and Lemongrass. Handmade Coco Soaps come in different scent variants at P125 per 120-gram bar.

Call 8848074; 0917-5722240; e-mail rm@thefarm.com.ph; visit www.thefarm.com.ph.

Shop 12, G/F, The Peninsula Manila, Makati City

The Farm is at San Benito, 119 Brgy. Tipakan, Lipa City, Batangas

Michael’s choice products come from Rustan’s, The Farm, and Kiehl’s boutiques nationwide.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Lifestyle , Michael Di Lonardo , People , The Farm at San Benito , wellness

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  2. Lover’s quarrel linked to hunger – study
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Encounter with a ‘Mangkukulam’
  5. ‘Kamias’ for fever, ‘siling labuyo’ for headache–first aid in the kitchen
  6. Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  7. ‘Heaven is for Real’: Nonfiction book on life after death reaches screen
  8. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  9. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors


  • AFP denies hand in disappearance of Tiamzon’s gardener
  • PH gov’t to verify MILF presence in Basilan clash
  • Padaca ‘eager’ to air side on trial over graft, malversation raps
  • DPWH to favor road rehab over preventive maintenance in next 2 years
  • Uruguay’s leader declares $322,883 in wealth
  • Sports

  • Power Pinoys salvage 7th place in Asian men’s volley club championship
  • Knicks prevent Nets from clinching fifth seed
  • Arsenal beats West Ham 3-1 in Premier League
  • Memorial service marks Hillsborough anniversary
  • My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  • Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  • Entertainment

  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Gary Valenciano just keeps moving
  • Business

  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Relief worker draws inspiration from helping Yolanda victims
  • Philippines says peace pact should hold despite clashes
  • No travel restrictions to Middle East amid MERS-CoV scare