ONELIFE Love

ONELIFE Love

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to meet someone online who would change my life. I got a message from Tanya Aguila, introducing me to pilates and the ONELIFE Studio, with an invitation to try it out. I had always been curious about pilates. In the past, I had attended exercise classes like yoga, zumba, and even pole dancing, and made it a point to go to the gym a few days a week. I knew that trying a new class would be an interesting change, and I was up for the challenge. So we scheduled an appointment straight away.

Your first day at ONELIFE is an initial assessment and aligning of your goals. They take your weight, and measure your body fat, while testing your flexibility and endurance. With that, the coaches come up with a program that is just right for you. From this first step alone, I knew this class would be a very personal experience, unique to my needs and hopes when it came to physical fitness – a welcome change to past exercise classes in which I was usually following behind, not sure if my form or timing was right.

When it was finally time to begin, I got on the reformer and I felt comfortable and safe. The movements started out easy, but gradually amplified in intensity as the session went on. The coaches go at your pace, and make sure to incorporate proper stretching throughout the duration of the class.

My first day was made even more special by the presence of one of my closest friends, Mika (Lagdameo-Martinez), who had started her pilates journey just a few weeks before. She was so encouraging with me, just as I became with my other close friend Patti (Grandidge-Herrera), who months into my training, started a program of her own. That’s another thing about ONELIFE – it welcomes you into this community of like-minded individuals who value health and wellness through fitness.

It’s been around 10 months since I started this journey and I cannot be more grateful to have been introduced to a workout that makes me feel the way pilates does. I know I am getting stronger physically. I also love being able to do movements I thought I could never do. These sessions have truly become a part of my lifestyle, and the perfect tandem with my cardio exercises. So much so, that I got my husband into it as well. Having been a professional athlete for many years, pilates is the perfect work out which combines proper stretching with strength training. He loves it because of the specific focus on each muscle group, which aids in resistance training and toning.

I urge you to try ONELIFE Studio. From the wonderful coaches to the one-on-one sessions, the inviting interiors, and of course, to the incredible workout – I promise your body will have never felt better, and will thank you for it for a long time to come.

ONELIFE has locations in San Juan, Makati, and Alabang. To find them and learn more about their packages, click this link:

https://www.theonelifestudio.com

Or follow them on instagram @onelifestudio

Three Coconuts El Nido

Three Coconuts El Nido

A secluded island paradise, a quick ride away from your resort

 

Palawan is known for both relaxation and adventure – from its endless blue waters, and coral reefs, to the glorious caves and limestone cliffs – it is truly a paradise for nature seekers and explorers. When visiting El Nido, situated in the northernmost tip of Palawan, you must plan a day trip to Three Coconuts El Nido – A privately owned cove well equipped with all the amenities you may need for a perfect beach day while ensuring a truly unique and exclusive experience.

A boat takes you on a magnificent ride through calm waters to the cove, and once there, you can enjoy the white sands and sunshine. Feeling active? Start the day off by kayaking or paddle boarding to some of El Nido’s impressive structures. For those that prefer relaxation, you could indulge in your current read, lying in one of the locally handcrafted day beds while snacking on Filipino treats. You can also take a dip in the ocean, and be one with the fish as you snorkel through the coral.

As for me, I was on honeymoon mode so though I did all those things, I also just wanted to spend time with my husband. We enjoyed a quiet day and feasted on the delicious lunch they prepared – an assortment of grilled seafood and pork belly, lovely vegetables and fresh fruit, and of course, rice – plush a few refreshing gin & tonics.

Most of the day was gorgeous and sunny, but even in the hour that it rained, it was lovely, and completely peaceful. Three Coconuts El Nido comes highly recommended. Check them out on instagram – @three.coconuts.elnido!

Boozy Brunch

Boozy Brunch

It’s never too early to have a few catch up laughs, a sinfully delicious meal, and a round of cocktails with your friends

Ladies who lunch has always been a concept many women enjoy. But today’s fast paced female begins her day earlier, and has a lot to accomplish before it ends, which is why brunch makes perfect sense. Breakfast food also easily whet’s the palate, giving many options when it comes to dishes. And what’s a brunch without a little bit of bubbly?

I decided to host some of my closest friends in Cicchetti, a newly opened Italian concept in the heart of Bonifacio Global City. Though the restaurant is known for their pastas and small bites, it recently launched a brunch menu, chockfull of scrumptious starts to the day, delicious egg dishes, and refreshing cocktails. All that over candid conversations made for a fun morning of catching up in an intimate setting.

Because the restaurant took care of the food and drinks, I just brought in a single flower arrangement by stylist Zenas Pineda to liven up my table. As guests began to filter in, we were served fresh house made bread, warm from the oven – focaccia , baguettes and breadsticks with a simple dipping of good quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Blogger and wine enthusiast Stephanie Zubiri – Crespi was enjoying hers with a cold glass of sangria, while stylist LA Lopez opted for the Limoncello Collins. The other cocktails served were sparkling wine based – ‘Rossini,’ which had a fresh strawberry puree, and ‘Lemon and Bubbles,’ which offered a more citrus flavor.

As the food arrived, my best friend Sandra Pena – Paradies and I were excited to begin the meal. The first dish was a Tomato Soup, served with a Parmesan Tuille – a nice way to warm our tummies. Following that was the Sicilian Eggs Benedict. This dish was well balanced, having the richness of the runny egg and the pesto hollandaise pair perfectly with the crisp bread, Italian dry cured ham, and the freshness of the cherry tomatoes and herbs.

Following that was a real treat – Cicchetti’s homemade prosciutto ensaimada topped with almond slivers. Everyone was suggesting we split these, worried about the calorie spike, except model and influencer Mikaela Lagdameo – Martinez, who was happy to consume hers all on her own. I, of course, took her lead and enjoyed the fluffy pastry that completely satisfied that sweet and salty combination craving.

Though the menu was heavy on prosciutto, each dish was well thought out, showing different ways to creatively use the charcuterie staple. The Prosciutto and Coppa Open Faced Sandwich served it on toasted bread with melted cheese, while the Prosciutto and Eggs featured it alongside sautéed mushrooms and a perfect fluffy scramble.

Jeweler Macky Fah frequents the restaurant for its mouth-watering pasta offerings, so she happy to see the final dish, a White Wine Carbonara. Rich, creamy, and sinful – it was everything you would hope for both in texture and flavor – perfectly cooked spaghetti, twirled in a mix of egg yolk, Parmesan cheese and guanciale.

Because I would’ve loved for my group to sample some of the other pasta offerings, I didn’t let them leave empty handed, giving out some sauces to try at home. As the meal came to an end, there were still conversations to be had. The cocktails kept coming as laughter filled the table. The setting was perfect for a catch up amongst friends. With delicious food, and impeccable service – it is now one of my go to places.

Cicchetti serves brunch daily, from 10am-3pm.

PHOTOGRAPHS by Jar Consenjo (@campfiremedia) for Metro Society Magazine (@metrosocietyph)

Frangipani El Nido

Frangipani El Nido

Named after the beautiful fragrant white flower found across the Philippines, this simple but elegant boutique resort in Palawan is truly an island paradise. The quaint structure stands on the sandy shores of Corong-Corong, El Nido – giving guests picturesque sunsets that the Philippines is known for – as well as the beach right at their footsteps, and a view of the beautiful Bacuit Bay from each of the 7 rooms they offer.

I was fortunate enough to call Frangipani my home for a couple of days, and while there I was greeted with incredible service that one would expect from a luxury hotel chain. I also couldn’t help but be in awe of my surroundings – outside of the interesting take on modernizing Filipino furniture against white walls and pretty machuca tiles, the place is gorgeously landscaped and filled with pretty plants. There’s also 90’s alternative music quietly filling the air against the crashing of the waves, bringing that hint of nostalgia while you are truly able to live in the moment.

Another element that makes Frangipani a great experience is the local fare – Filipino dishes cooked to perfection, using fresh ingredients. From raw fish (kinilaw), to coconut seafood soup (binakol), to Adobo sa Gata, as well as superb Filipino breakfast options – their garlic rice alone is one of the best I’ve tried, making me feel at home with every bite – the menu in their Cala restaurant makes for the perfect island experience.

We treated ourselves to the ‘Cala Fiesta,’ a tasting menu, showcasing their yummy dishes, done with just the right Filipino flare. We started the meal making ‘dikdik‘ key ingredients used in filipino cuisine – garlic, local chili (sili), and peppercorns – and the paste was brought back to the kitchen to flavor our meal. Steamed ‘kare kare’ vegetables served with shrimp paste (bagoong) was the first course, followed by seafood – an array of grilled lapu-lapu, prawns, and squid. The meat platter came next where the clear star was the suckling pig (lechon). Of course we ended on a sweet note – ice cold halo halo, mais con hielo, and buko pandan accompanied by fried plantains (turon).

A lot of people have been messaging me online inquiring about Frangipani so I have included key links below, as well as some quick details on the rooms.

SUITE ROOM

Our suite rooms are located on our Lower Deck (with pool and beach access) and Upper Deck floors (reception and street access). Each room can comfortably accommodate 2 guests and 1 extra adult.

Web Rate: Php 12,500/night

Rack Rate: Php 14,000/night

*Rate is good for 2 adults. Additional 1 person will be charged Php 3,500/night with breakfast

1-BEDROOM SUITE

Our 1-bedroom suite is located on our Bridge floor (top floor). This spacious room has a bedroom and a living space that we convert into a bedroom for 2 persons. It also has 2 bathrooms located in each room. This space can comfortably accommodate 4 guests and 1 extra adult.

Web Rate: Php 20,000/night

Rack Rate: Php 22,000/night

*Rate is good for 4 persons. Additional 1 person will be charged Php 3,500/night with breakfast

All our rooms include the following:

* Daily breakfast

* El Nido Airport Transfers (direct booking)

* Free use of Kayaks and Stand Up Paddleboards (subject to availability)

* Pool access

 

Masungi Georeserve with TUMI & Waves for Water

Masungi Georeserve with TUMI & Waves for Water

I have been working with TUMI for a few years now. Asides from being a brand that I trust with products that I love, the local team behind TUMI Philippines is a group of exemplary individuals. Asides from the degree of professionalism I have witnessed, they are kind human beings, allowing our relationship to span from a business one to a friendship. So it didn’t surprise me when they invited me to join them in an intimate activity that would allow us to help supply clean water to a community in Cayabu, Rizal.

TUMI teamed up with Waves for Water, a non-profit organization that provides the Sawyer One Point Filter and buckets throughout the Philippines (along with many other impoverished areas around the world), to communities that don’t always have access to clean drinking water. This filter can take contaminated water and clear it off diseases such as salmonella, cholera, diarrhea, and typhoid along with many more harmful strains, making water safe to drink, and use to clean open wounds and wash hands. Each filter is usable for 1 million gallons, making it functional (if cleaned and maintained properly) for roughly 10 years. That’s a lot of clean water!

Because the filter itself is quite pricey, a portion of the proceeds from purchasing any TUMI bag or luggage goes to these filters, which are then donated to struggling communities. TUMI then put together a group that could learn more about the benefits and uses of the filter, as well as how to assemble and clean them properly. I was lucky enough to be part of this group, and even luckier to be able to impart the knowledge I was given to other people.

Cayabu, Rizal happens to neighbor Baras, Rizal – the home of the Masungi Georeserve. After our clean water mission, we were challenged to an afternoon of climbing one of the mountains in the Sierra Madre range. Asides from being a place that is committed to preserving our natural resources, it is a wildlife sanctuary. For those who enjoy climbing, Masungi has a few beautiful trails to choose from. It is daunting, but very rewarding. Not just for the stunning views, but the interesting manmade areas that add challenges, as well as spots to relax and kick your feet up.

Together with the team, we tackled the mountain and enjoyed a lovely homemade lunch at the top. What started out as a ridiculously hot treck up, turned into a very wet and rainy trek down. Both were glorious. Though they brought our bodies to their limits, they also sent gratification pulsing through us all. What a wonderful initiative, and a great day with my TUMI family. A special thanks to Carlo Delantar of Waves for Water and Ann Dumaliang of the Masungi Georeserve for aiding in bringing us back to nature for the afternoon.

Ciao Bella

Ciao Bella

One of Manila’s most well known ready-to-wear designers has just launched her summer collection. And even if said designer is one of my closest friends, I say this without any biases – it’s gorgeous. Fun, flirty, and exuding femininity, Rosanna Ocampo – Rodriguez’ personal style is definitely on display with each piece.

To celebrate the launch, Rosanna decided to invite a few of he girlfriends to an intimate brunch to showcase her lovely summer dresses and separates over Italian tapas and Aperol Spritzes.

Cicchetti’s Aperol Spritz

Cheers Bellas!

‘Ciao Bella’ was the theme for both the collection and the boozy brunch. Set in newly opened BGC hotspot Cicchetti, the girls caught up and clinked glasses to tunes reminiscent of a morning drive up the Amalfi Coast.

Bellas in their Studio Rosanna Ocampo Summer Frocks; Standing: Kelly Misa Fernandez, Maggie Wilson Consunji, & Nicole Jacinto Gonzalez; Seated: Xandra Rocha Araneta, Bianca Roque Brander, designer Rosanna Ocampo Rodriguez, Nicole Hernandez delos Angeles, Mikaela Lagdameo Martinez, and I, Georgia Schulze del Rosario

Back Details

Here is a photo diary of the meal amongst friends, and a get together to remember.

Beautiful Arrangement of Lemons & Greens c/o Zenas Pineda

Personal Touches on the Table

Warm Welcome

A Quick Pic Before the Meal

Cicchetti’s Burrata

Cicchetti’s Calamari Ready for Service

Sangria and Starters

Cicchetti’s Frittata

Cicchetti’s Crab and Ricci Pasta

Cicchetti’s Pollo alla Sostanza

Ladies and Laughter

Cicchetti’s Panna Cotta

Cicchetti’s Cannoli

Favorable Favors

All these pieces are available at Studio Rosanna Ocampo in Power Plant Mall. Ciao Bella!

The Kelly Coords

The Consunji Coords

The Xandrita

The Jacinta

The Georgia (My favorite, and this is where some biases come in)

The Mikaela

The Cole

The Brander

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS BY LUTHER ABCEDE