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And now… Beauty Tourism
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: By Jaser A. Marasigan
Date: 2005-03-16
Soon, the Philippines will not only be visited for its ecological wonders, but also for beauty makeover services. "Beauty Tourism" is fast-becoming the new buzzword, with people flocking to Asian countries to see the sights and transform their look at the same time.

"What vacation would be complete without a makeover? With Beauty Tourism’s ‘Beauty Holidays’ we take care of clients’ travel and aesthetic needs from arrival to departure," said Cris Aquino, president of Travelpros, Inc.

Cris Aquino observed that when his US-based friends and relatives come to the Philippines, they don’t just visit the country to go to the beach. "They always ask me to refer them to reputable doctors or plastic surgeons. When they come home for a holiday, part of their itinerary is to have a nose lift, breast augmentation, or even liposuction," he said.

So he figured, why not create a tour package that takes clients to the most breathtaking places in the Philippines while providing them also with high quality but affordable surgical treatment from the country’s top cosmetic surgeons.

Travelpros and New Life Center, a cosmetic surgery center, are set to give Thailand a run for their money with Beauty Holidays, a tour package that combines a dream holiday with surgical treatment from the country’s most reputable plastic surgeons.

A first-of-its-kind in the Philippines, the Beauty Holidays travel package includes a three-day/two-night stay, land transportation arrangements, cosmetic procedure with pre-surgery consultation and medical test with New Life Center physicians. Package prices start at $180 that can be teamed up with pre-arranged cosmetic procedures.

"Beauty Holidays has both travel and surgery components. We shuttle clients from the airport to the hotel and clinic. There’s plenty of time to enjoy after surgery because it takes a short time to recuperate, only three hours for a nose job, for example," explained Aquino.

More people all over the world are choosing cosmetic surgery to enhance their features. But these procedures don’t come cheap. There is an increasing number of people from the United States, United Kingdom and many other third world countries, where medical services are either very expensive or not available, who leave their countries in search for more affordable medical options, often packaged with tourist attractions.

Dr. Romeo Vergara, president of New Life Center, revealed that in the US, full body liposuction can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. "In Asian countries, however, it costs much less or about $2,000 in the Philippines," he added. All cosmetic and fertility procedures are performed only by board-certified surgeons from New Life Center. Dr. James Joaquino heads the team of cosmetic surgeons, while Dr. Vergara’s sister, Dr. Ma. Theresa Vergara, manages the fertility services.

Here in the country, there are thousands of cosmetic surgeons, but only 50 are board certified. "Certification is important when you serve 80 million Filipinos or foreign patients through aesthetic surgery or enhancement, and reconstructive surgery to correct accidental or genetic defects," said Aquino.

He added that they will be encouraging clients to pre-arrange surgical procedures with the doctors at New Life Center. "Even if they’ve already had medical exams in their countries, we still require them to be tested at New Life Center for the best service."

After surgery, clients can already hieoff and see the sights in their choice of dream destination: A private beach resort in Calatagan, Batangas; a world-class beach resort at Fairways and Bluewaters in Boracay; a world-class hotel with championship golf course in Manila Southwoods; or a mountain resort in either a private house in Tagaytay City or Camp John Hay in Baguio City. Plus, clients will be treated to an extreme hair and beauty makeover by topnotch stylist Ricky Reyes.


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