It’s quite odd that time seemed to pass so fast, even if time also somehow stood still during the pandemic. With all our busy schedules cleared for more important matters, we have now been living this “new normal” for exactly a year today! Looking back at my 2020 calendar, I still had a couple of events, travels and celebrations mid-March, just before our first nationwide lockdown, all because of the then unknown disease called COVID-19.
A year ago, we were all back in Manila, fresh from all the adventures of our Baguio trip to celebrate my hubby’s new position as president of Alphaland Corp. March 2020 was additionally filled with more activities like Go Negosyo’s Women Summit at World Trade Center, the art exhibit of talented artist Michelle Perez, and birthday parties for close friends.
For now, events like these are impossible to mount until everyone gets vaccinated or the world finds a powerful disinfectant spray to wipe out all the germs! Even going to Baclaran Church to pray my novena is not totally safe for me to resume.
At least, I have started going to actual Bikram yoga classes in the studio of Ollay Aninion in Bikram Yoga Manila at 88 Corporate Center in Makati City. They practice the strictest protocols and have limited students at the studio, which is constantly being disinfected. Although I miss the energy of a packed yoga class, I am just glad to get the much-needed chance to detox and sweat in the hot room.
Check out @bikramyogamakati168 on Instagram for class schedules, as they have also started limited classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays aside from weekends.
Path to total health
Yogi Ollay will also be conducting outdoor Bikram yoga sessions for the Serenity Series of Aegle Wellness Center in Balesin from March 26 to March 28. Aegle Wellness Center believes that the path to total health involves a mix of mindful practices and physical well-being, and programs such as yoga are vital to a full and healthy lifestyle.
All weekends at Aegle Wellness Center in Balesin include Serenity Sessions that focus on mindful practices. This March, the programs range from Nirvana Body and Mind Exercise with Madie Dinglasan to Pilates with Linzi Arellano Co. Sessions are at 4 p.m. every Saturday and 8:30 a.m. every Sunday at the Aegle outdoor deck.
After more birthday parties for special friends in the city, I was still able to squeeze in my last out-of-town trip before the lockdown. On the occasion of the launch of Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort, energetic PR Keren Pascual invited several friends to fly to Davao City and enjoy a relaxing vacation and experience the new sister resort hotel of Dusit Thani Davao.
Located in Davao de Oro, which has perfect tropical weather all year round, Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort is an island in the heart of Davao Gulf surrounded by coconut trees, white sand beaches and unique marine life. We were even greeted by dolphins playfully swimming by the bow of the boat on our way to the resort. We opted for the 30-minute, high-speed boat transfer from Dusit Davao City Jetty instead of the 60-minute luxury van shuttle featuring relaxing views while passing through Davao’s banana and coconut plantations.
After checking in at our well-appointed seafront villa, my roomies Tessa Alindogan and Anton Barretto scoped out the spacious toilet and bath that includes an outdoor shower, the private terrace and plunge pool. Utmost luxury and privacy can be experienced at the two-bedroom villa.
Wonders of nature
An ideal place for exclusive stays, destination weddings and island dining, the resort embraces the wonders of nature by providing comfort and convenience at its finest. The resort offers beachfront luxury, where gracious hospitality meets tropical elegance.
As with typical Keren events, the #FamousParty had themed activities that we all enjoyed in the different areas of the resort. We were also able to tour the island and check out the sustainable programs to save the environment and its resources.
For an exquisite dining experience, Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort’s Tarictic Grill and Burger Bar & Restaurant provide a wide array of local and international dishes for its guests. One can enjoy indoor or alfresco dining by the sea while relishing culinary delights.
The resort’s venues offer a naturally relaxed setting for all kinds of events—from meetings to grand weddings. The breathtaking scenery can make any day and occasion more special. Tamsi Hall is an indoor venue best for intimate celebrations. For bigger and more elaborate events, The Pavillion is the perfect place to express elegance and sophistication. It is a few steps away from Holy Infant Family Chapel.
As a regular practice, I made my three wishes in the chapel, and I did wish to return to the resort to enjoy a family vacation with our grandson, Louie Crespo Prieto. There are so many water activities for him to enjoy. In addition to all the fun water sports, there are amenities like a tranquil spa, a fully equipped gym, cultural and natural tours, fun indoor and outdoor facilities such as a tennis court, e-games center, billiards and recording studios.
To match new normal guidelines, island buyout events are also becoming a trend for Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort. Guests can book the entire property to enjoy exclusivity with family and friends. The resort also offers complimentary, round-trip, scheduled luxury van shuttle service to and from dusitD2 Hotel, Davao City, and a short boat trip from Dusit Davao Mabini Davao de Oro Jetty.
Who knows if I will get my wish to return to this beautiful resort? At least, for that wonderful first trip, I was able to enjoy the freedom of dancing and laughing with friends with no social distancing, chatting endlessly without masks and even taking photos with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Dusit Thani Davao big boss Tomas Lorenzo. Clearly, adventures like these will remain memorable until new ones are made!