Monday, July 08, 2013

FLOW Negros: Luxe Yoga Weekend Escape

It's been over a week since we ended the last FLOW retreat and I have only fond memories of the experience, the people and the place! Punta Bulata Resort and Spa definitely exceeded our expectations.

I am so pleased with how Tom Zayco (manager and owner) helped us execute our retreat. He was up for yoga before breakfast, came to every single workshop, tour or activity and even socialized with the participants way past bedtime!

Thanks to Mae and Frank of When In Manila for some of the photos I used in this blog. Here's a photo recap on what went on during the retreat:

As soon as we arrived Punta Bulata, we were treated to Lemongrass juice or Tarragon Tea (my personal fave since I tried it many many years ago in Sonya's Garden, Tagaytay!) I was told that the herbs are freshly picked from their herb garden.

 We marveled at our wonderful home for the weekend. Presenting the Punta Bulata Ayu Spa rooms!

Lisa, Camille and Claudia with their Peace Love Yoga eco totebags with goods from our sponsors!

Shiny happy people at the Green Smoothie and Live Food workshop sponsored by Moringana, Breville and Superfood Grocer :) We learned how to make simple green smoothies and nutritious raw vegan snacks in a jiffy!

Superfood shot anyone? Our Watermelon cooler infused with Moringana was so refreshing!

Noelle and I surrounded with fresh fruits and veggies for the workshop!

Vinyasa and Yin Yoga in the native hut facing the sea with the salty breeze flowing and cleansing our lungs.

Being flexible enough to make do with the situation -getting stuck during the downpour of rain in Typhoon Beach! The FLOW-ers were game enough to do a yoga photo shoot for their Instagram accounts :)

 Gourmet meals awaited our taste buds at the buffet table. For the veg-heads, there were many vegetarian options during meal times. My favorite was our Japanese dinner and the Kebab lunch. 

Coconut juice abundance! Since we were surrounded by coconut trees, we have fresh supplies of the sweetest coconut juice. YUUUUM.

Massage in Paradise. Guests had the option to have their hour and a half long complimentary massage at the 3rd floor of the Ayu Spa or in the privacy of their own rooms. Heavenly!

On our final day, everyone got home with a prize from our sponsors. A premium item, the Lagu beach blanket was given away to the last person standing during the yoga showdown -- congratulations again to Nancio Gaston for performing his finale pose - Bakasana to Chaturanga! And thanks to Claudia for being such a sport, too!

After a whole weekend with the #FlowNegros crew, my concluding thought is- it'll be hard to top this one! For more information on what went down during the weekend, read Antoinette Lacson's blog here and Claudia's German blog (don't worry, use Google translate!) here. More photos from the retreat at the official FLOW facebook fanpage here.

Thank you to all those that joined and our generous sponsors: Moringana, Cutieverse, The Superfood Grocer, Belo Essentials Sun Expert, Lagu, Strip, Browhaus, Beyond Yoga, Breville, Rawlicious, The Juice Barista and our media partners Travel Magazine and When In Manila.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Bacolod: The City of Smiles

A few months back, friends from Bacolod invited FLOW to do a retreat in their sugar land. Of course we agreed, since we made a vow last year to visit as much of the Philippines as we can . It is in fact, our very own country! It would truly be a shame if we are not to travel the countless islands we were born to discover.

Sambista Denise couldn't make it this time since she just gave birth to her second son, Pax. So, while she was nursing her newborn day in and out, Noelle and I flew in Bacolod in Negros Occidental a day early to check out as much as we can of their famous city of smiles.

First stop- The Taj Mahal of Bacolod, The Ruins! 

Magnificent, right? I could only imagine how grandiose life was for the family that occupied this luxurious space. I'm drawn to this era, perhaps my last lifetime was in the early 1900's. Read a little history about this mansion here.

Our hosts for the day, Antoinette and Jet then took us to a quaint little cafe, Felicia's in the newly opened Ayala Mall which served desserts, coffee and tea. Who can resist sweets in the land of sugar? Not me! I ordered a chocolate praline mousse paired with peppermint tea which truly didn't disappoint.

The yogini-bones in me needed a good stretch so we decided to visit Arthika Kalma Yoga- a shop, cafe and yoga studio all under one creative hub!

Group shot after Lovely's Vinyasa class. Trina (a past FLOW-er), Nykha (my yoga classmate in teacher training!) and teacher Lovely with Noelle and I.

I really loved the vibe here. It's so nice to see all the student hang around after class and have a cafe to order fresh juices and healthy snacks. I didn't get to try anything listed on the menu but I know that I'll be back to try their lentil burger and calamansi muffins :) 

After class, we grabbed some grub with locals at Txacho, a tapas bar and restaurant also in the ar district next door to Arthika :)

Look at their menu for affordable but yummy eats! I enjoyed their vegetarian friendly tapas and the Pastel De Manzana dessert!

The most memorable apple cinamon crepe with vanilla ice cream! TDF!

Read the next post on what went on during our FLOW Luxe Yoga Getaway weekend retreat in Punta Bulata resort and spa :)


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