|Boracay offers pleasures
even for landlubbers
|Author: Anton San Diegeo
I WAS not expecting a spa in Boracay
especially one that is world-class but I was in
for a surprise.
The Mandala Spa, situated by a cliff and
overlooking the pristine beach and azure sea,
truly offers a respite and haven for tired city
dwellers. The spa, which opened about six
months ago, has for the moment four villas
where one can have a massage, facials, body wraps, etc. The place is beautiful
and serene. Instead of going for the Balinese look, the owners opted for a
Filipino touch in the interiors. They have melded the therapeutic philosophy of the
Europeans with the relaxing, Zen-like practices of the East.
The spa has water shiatzu (the hottest mind-body relaxation/therapeutic technique
in California). It will soon have a parlor, offer healthy cuisine and have more
villas. When in Boracay this is a must place to go. You will surely not regret it!
My Boracay experience. It’s my first time to go to Boracay and I absolutely
loved it! Anyone who has been there has surely gushed over the sand and cool
emerald green water. I was with good friend Maurice Arcache and we were
asked to judge the Bikini Open held at the Pearl of the Pacific. Hardworking and
untiring PR Keren Pascual was also there promoting Vodka Cruisers (great
drink!) and Blavod. We partied with him and his models till sunrise.
This really is a fun place to be—think nonstop parties and beautiful sunset and
bodies. Thank God that most Filipinos are body-conscious these days. It helps
make the scenery better. One can never get over Europeans who wear the
skimpiest Speedos despite their beer belly. When they sunbathe they look like
beached whales but, of course, no one wants to help them. Aside from the
Mandala Spa, my favorite place to hang and people-watch was the Hey Jude
bar. For the best coffee and arroz à la cubana go to Caribo. As I write this,
off-the-shoulder publicist Louie Cruz would have opened his newest
restaurant/bar in the D’mall area, so check that out, too.
However, there were some disappointments. Since this is one of our country’s
major tourist attractions, I was a bit dismayed by the lack of organization on the
island. No garbage cans were visible on the beach and people were throwing
their cigarette butts, water bottles, plastic—I even saw a Pampers diaper—in the
water. I feel that whoever is in charge should work together with resort/bar
owners to preserve Boracay’s ecology. Give every arriving visitor newsletters or
brochures explaining how to preserve the beauty of the place. Officials should
draw up stricter regulations for dealing with garbage offenders.
And what’s with the roads? They are just plain horrible. The tricycles also rip off
unwary passengers. I hope something is done soon. This really is such a great
place and I would not want to see it be over-commercialized or exploited.
Must-have self-tanner. Trying to get a tan when you are fair-skinned is like
watching paint dry—it is long, boring and at times painful. So when I have almost
given up on getting a tan and on self-tanning products (I turn orange instead of
brown), along comes a product from Clarins that proved to be different—Clarins
Self-tanning Express. What’s great about this product, besides the fact that it
works, is it dries off immediately (read: you can get dressed faster), is long-lasting
and moisturizing. It also smells good. The product also comes as a spray. Clarins
Self-tanning Express is available at Rustan’s.