Weird, wonderful, wow

Weird, wonderful, wow

9 beauty trends and wellness regimens to try now

Have a drum-inspired workout

Yes, those are drumsticks. Yes, you will get a workout with them. Yes, you will enjoy said workout. Photo from EM Villanueva

Get this from: Facebook.com/PoundPhilippines

Why: It’s a full-body workout that feels more like an actual rock concert.

What to expect: A typical POUND class lasts for about an hour or so, according to local POUND Pro Em Villanueva, and it’s quite intense. You’re
provided with a pair of Ripstix® or drumsticks specifically made for POUND workouts, and these sticks are meant to be beaten like you would to a drum to the rhythm of some great rock music. It’s fast-paced—though
you can move according to your fitness level—and highly infectious—thanks to it being a group workout.

Train like a Pehlwani wrestler with a mace

It looks simple, but try out any of @thenatcruz’s routines in her IG feed and you’ll start feeling them the next day. Photo by Anthony Pontillas

Get this from: Natalie Cruz (IG: @thenatcruz)

Why: Improve your balance and coordination, rotational strength, grip strength, neuroplasticity (how your brain adapts to situations), and upper body and core strength.

What to expect: Swing a mace made of something simple (bamboo stalk with a stone on one end) behind your back and get into a rhythm of moving both it and your body along with the mace. You can start slow and do 10-2’s (swing the mace from left to right) or 360’s (all the way around your body), or flow into something entirely made-up. Spend a couple of minutes doing this and you’re bound to feel it in your arms, shoulders, and core.

Workout anywhere with Sworkit

Get this from: Sworkit.com (free seven-day trial, app available on App Store and Google Play)

Why: Fitness apps make it possible to work out anywhere with space, regardless of your fitness level.

What to expect: Sworkit is a subscription-based app that gives you access to “more than 300 unique workouts and over 400 exercises” at the palm of your hand. It lets you customize your workouts and challenges you without overwhelming you with options. There’s a free seven-day trial if you’re on the fence about trying Sworkit, but you will find yourself opting into a subscription that starts at Php149 (USD3) per month or Php979 per year.

Chill under pressurized oxygen

Get this from: Raya Wellness, 2521 Centuria Medical Makati, Kalayaan corner Salamanca Sts., Poblacion, Makati City

Why: It’ll heal any minor injuries faster than usual, and give you glowing skin.

What to expect: You’ll spend an hour in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, usually lying down. It used to be a cylindrical tank, but nowadays it’s more like a cylindrical tent. You’ll breathe air at three times the normal atmospheric pressure, letting you breathe in more concentrated amounts of oxygen. Good news: you’re mobile phone is allowed in the chamber.

Travel for a purpose with MAD Travel

Traveling is fun and all, but throw in doing it for a purpose and it becomes therapeutic. Photo by Danna Peña

Get this from: Madtravel.org

Why: You will see places like Rizal, Zambales, Bataan, Bohol, and Aurora on a different level and be able to contribute to a local community at the same time.

What to expect: MAD Travel will take you to places you’ve never been in destinations that you thought you knew like the back of your hand: hike the mountains of Rizal and meet the Dumagats; explore the trails of Zambales and experience the culture of the Aetas of Yangil; see one of the last thriving rainforests in Bataan and share stories with the Aeta Ambalan, see the islands of Bohol as the people of Maribojoc see them; and surf the waves of Baler after exploring the rivers of Aurora with the Atlas tribe.

Start a plant-based diet

Get this from: MindBodyGreen: A 360-degree approach to wellness (Mindbodygreen.com) and GoWell.com.ph

Why: To help you detoxify and cleanse your body, plus it’s good for you and the planet, too!

What to expect: It’s far easier to prepare plant-based meals than those with meat. Learn how to prepare your own plant-based meals from these websites with their easy-to-follow recipes. You’ll have to spend money on fresh produce, but once you wrap your head around with which goes well with which, you’ll be whipping up your own recipes in no time. Substitutes are always available if what the recipe calls for isn’t available in your local grocery.

Bathe in herbal oils and feel relaxed

Get this from: Arogya Manila, 8858 Sampaloc St, San Antonio Village, Makati City

Why: You’ll be more relaxed and will be rid of impurities.

What to expect: You’ll be doused in two (yes, TWO) buckets of herbal sesame oil while lying on a hard, wooden bed. “A gentle massage comes in after, which feels like it won’t really do anything to you,” says holistic wellness coach Nikki Torres. The effect it has after the treatment is a revelation: you’ll be more relaxed and feel like you have more energy than you did before the treatment. Treatments can be customized depending on how you’re feeling.

Go on a yoga retreat in Dumaguete

Yoga retreats aren’t all about yoga. Photo by Nikki Torres

Why: Yoga retreats are both relaxing and invigorating, and it’s not all about yoga like the name suggests.

Get this from: Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, Dauin, Dumaguete

What to expect: Yoga retreats can be done anywhere as long as it’s peaceful, but holistic wellness coach Nikki Torres swears by Atmosphere Resorts & Spa’s treetop yoga platform that overlooks the ocean as one of the best places for a yoga retreat in the Philippines. They’ve got a three-day and six-day full board yoga retreat program with two yoga classes and one meditation class daily, various workshops and presentations, access to the resort’s facilities, and a discount on the resort’s spa services.

Get loud hair color, guilt-free

That’s our editor Monica De Leon, and she still has other colors to show off from @rainbowhead_ph. Photo by Monica De Leon

Get this from: @Rainbowhead_ph

Why: For an instant makeover— and with a bang.

What to expect: Hair dyes have never gone out of style but one that comes in screaming tones yet won’t harm your health or the environment is the way to go. Brand Manic Panic (@manicpanicnyc) is more of a conditioner than hair dye, thus it restores what your hair has lost, hydrates your hair, and uses natural vegan dyes. Punky Color is another vegan hair dye brand that will guarantee the same vibrant effect sans the harmful effects other hair dyes give off. The downside: you’ll need to bleach your hair once so the colors will come out vibrant. The upside, the vegan hair dyes, which last for four to six weeks, can be replenished for as long as you want for they are—again—vegan and safe.

Interested in other weird, wonderful, and purely wow treatments? Grab a copy of Dash Issue 8 today and see our full list!

5 must-see sea creatures

5 must-see sea creatures

Marine biologist Miguel Azcuna curates of underwater species in the Philippines you should see at least once in your life.

The Philippines is an archipelago. This means it’s made up of groups of islands surrounded by a vast expanse of water, ergo, a rich diversity of marine life. Diving is the best way to see the beauty that our water holds.

We spoke to a marine biologist, Dr. Miguel Azcuna from Batangas State University, to know which marine species in the Philippines you should see at least once in your life.

Nudibranchs

Photo by Lisbeth Jensen

Where to find them: Anilao, Batangas

The name rolls off the tongue, right? These are the cute, colorful, shell-less mollusks (scallops, clams, snails, cuttlefish) you see in those island hopping package pamphlets that offer snorkeling. They love seawater and some have been referred to as sea slugs.

Thresher sharks

Thresher
A thresher shark at Monad Shoal near Malapascua Island. Photo by Klaus Stiefel

Where to find them: Malapascua Island, Cebu

“Thresher sharks are unique in that they use their unusually long tails to catch their prey,” says Dr. Azcuna. This particular species have found a home in the waters off of Malapascua Island in Cebu, known for its magnificent and quiet beaches. They are often found in Monad Shoal and pose no threat to humans. Be at the site early, like around 4am to 5am, for better chances of sighting.

Orcas

Where to find them: Tañon Strait, between the islands of Cebu and Negros

Dr. Azcuna says they rarely pass by the Philippines but they do swim from time to time. “These apex predators prefer cooler tropical waters and can (in very rare cases) be seen in Tañon Strait between June and October.” The last time orcas were seen in Philippines waters, it was 2018.

Sea Turtles

Photo from Inaladelan Island

Where to find them: Apo Island, Negros Oriental

Yes, there’s more than one place to find the humble pawikan. They can usually be found nesting in the waters of Palawan (for instance, just offshore of Club Paradise), but for a better chance of spotting one, Dr. Azcuna recommends Apo Island. You’ll usually see them grazing on seagrass.

Freshwater Jellyfish

Where to find them: Sohoton Cove, Siargao

You may be asking yourself this: “Why would you recommend seeing jellyfish as a once-in-a-lifetime activity?” Well, these jellyfish are ones you can actually swim with and not be extremely worried. Dr. Azcuna says the jellyfish that swim in Sohoton’s jellyfish pond are stingless “because they have no need for stings in freshwater.” Go early in the day to avoid the crowd.

Who is Dr. Miguel Azcuna?

Miguel Azcuna is a marine biologist who specializes in Bioprospecting for New Medicine, particularly from marine sponges. He holds a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, where he majored in Marine Biotechnology.

He was a part of the team from UP MSI’s Bolinao Marine Laboratory that donated giant clams to Camiguin’s Giant Clam Sanctuary.

He is currently an associate professor at the Batangas State University – ARASOF Nasugbu Campus and a member of the research staff at the Verde Island Passage Center for Oceanographic Research and Aquatic Life Sciences (VIP CORALS).

Learn all about holistic wellness from Nikki Torres

Learn all about holistic wellness from Nikki Torres

“Holistic wellness is more than food and exercise. It’s when you connect emotional and mental health to your diet and exercise.”

I found a magazine back in college with a couple of yoga poses, and I started to copy those at home. I enrolled for classes at Bikram Yoga in 2010. This was the time when I realized I really liked yoga. I would set aside a part of my entry-level salary for it, skipping shopping, eating out, and hanging out with my friends. After four years in advertising, I left my job and pursued teaching yoga full-time.

Holistic wellness is more than just food and exercise. It’s when you start to involve the connection between your emotional health, mental health, and your environment to your diet and exercise. It’s being able to decide if you’re still going to go to a CrossFit class or have a gentle massage after a long tiring day.

Before you try a trend on wellness and fitness, research—it’s what most people don’t do. Before you enrol in a class, you have to find out if it works for you. Find out what it’s about and if the coaches in that class you’re taking are qualified to safely guide you through the workout. Feel it out when you try it.

NT Sweat is a fusion of bodyweight circuit training, mobility and cardio dance. It’s a 60 minute workout rooted in all my movement practices, the pace set to Hiphop R&B and Dance music. I always have a DJ with me when I lead mass workouts and events to add to the party vibe.

I train on my own using a program I designed for myself. I also like to join group classes so I get to learn from other coaches in my field as well.

Those may not be bone conduction earphones on Nikki, but if you’re looking to workout they’ll do just fine.

My workout essentials are… Aftershokz Trekz Air Bone Conduction wireless earphones, my iPhone, and a water bottle. I make sure I bring a pair of white Adidas sneakers.

I became a vegetarian first in 2011. I’ve always been sensitive when it comes to animals. It’s not for health.

Lifestyle brands I support: DermAid from Healthy Options for personal care. I support local vegan brands like Zero Basics (@zerobasicsph on IG). For food, there’s Go Vegan in BGC and Green Bar in Makati. There’s also the Good Food Market at the Mandala Park Sunday Market where all of the merchants serve all-vegan food.

I’m a big fan of salads; SaladStop is a favorite. SaladStop can customize your food and they are aware of vegans. In BGC, it’s Go Vegan at The Fort Strip. It’s fairly new and they serve vegan comfort food like burgers and palabok made with chickpeas.

Nikki in La Union.

US-based Filipina who runs ASTIG Vegan (Astigvegan.com) is one of the OGs in vegan cooking. She is religious in posting recipes. She would have the Filipinos in mind and come up with a vegan version of Filipino dishes like adobo. Another one I follow is BOSH! (Bosh.tv).

Among my favorite vegan chefs is Lakapati Basa of The Real Happy Cow (@TheRealHappyCowPH), which you’ll catch at Mandala Park on Sundays. She comes up with everything on the menu, including a vegan version of chicken nuggets.

I love a good lymphatic drainage massage. It’s not the usual massage for muscle soreness that I love but the detoxification. It’s light strokes all over your body that passes through your lymphatic system, boosting your immunity and detoxifying your body. I also like Swedish massage, hilot or deep tissue massage, and Abhyanga, an ancient Indian oil massage where the therapist pours two buckets of chosen herbal oils on you, massages the oil until it’s absorbed, and then you rinse.

My go to spa salons: Massage MNL mobile spa or Zennya app for the lymphatic drainage massage, Swedish, and hilot; Arogya Manila for Abhyanga.

My travel essentials: Adidas activewear, my Adidas UB19 running shoes, and my Macbook Pro not because I want to work while I’m on vacation but because it’s the best place for inspiration to strike.

The best mindfully-operated tour I know of is MAD Travel (Madtravel.org). I appreciate their travel-for-a-cause concept.

Nikki in Siargao

My most memorable holiday has to be my first visit to Siargao in 2015. There wasn’t much happening there yet and there weren’t a lot of vegan food options available. I loved how free I was to ride my bike around. The small community of locals were very warm and welcoming and it felt like home to me.

My favorite beach is anything with white sand, is exclusive or away from the crowds. It’s pretty old school, but San Juan before La Union was developed is one of them. Baler was one I used to go to a lot before it was developed. We would stay at a friend’s farm, about five- to 10-minutes’ drive away from the beach. I still like Boracay because of its beauty and accessibility to restaurants and shops. I also like islands like Siargao’s Naked Island.

Nikki at Atmosphere Resort.

Atmosphere Resort in Dauin, Dumaguete is a boutique resort that I really like going back to. They have a spa called The Sanctuary with a massage area that’s like a secret garden. They built their own weather-proof outdoor gym, have a pro athlete as a guide for a 20-kilometer bike tour, a restaurant with plenty of vegan options, and diving operated by certified diving instructors. They even have a tree-top yoga deck that looks out into the ocean!

Who is Nikki Torres?

Nikki created NT sweat, a choreographed toning + cardio fitness class that focuses on muscle toning and building cardiovascular endurance while moving to the beat of the hottest HipHop-R&B and dance tracks. She’s also a yoga teacher, an ambassador for Adidas Philippines, and the blogger behind Pretty Darn Fit (prettydarnfit.com), one of the top Health & Fitness blogs in the country.

All photos courtesy of Nikki Torrres

Dashing Spot: Darigayos Cove in Luna, La Union

Dashing Spot: Darigayos Cove in Luna, La Union

La Union isn’t just for surfers. Case in point: Darigayos Cove.

You can surf in San Juan or simply enjoy this view in Luna. Photo by Jerico San Andres for Tupang Gala

Everyone knows that La Union is to the North what Siargao is to the South. It has surf spots for days, with locals that would drop everything once the swells are up.

What most people don’t know is that La Union offers so much more than surf spots. A perfect example of this is Darigayos Cove, a scenic, 800-meter beach in the small town of Luna. Known mostly for its pebble beaches, the town of Luna is best known for the Baluarte Watchtower, a Spanish-era fort that sits in the middle of the town, and this diamond amongst its pebbly beaches.

The beach has fine to coarse white sand and is a great place for sunsets. Most of the resorts in Luna are located here, so expect a small crowd midday. It becomes a surf spot during the months of September to November, with waves higher than those in San Juan.

Things to do

  • Visit the USAFIP NL Military Shrine and Camp Spencer (free)
  • Swimming
  • Snorkeling and Diving (guides needed, check with local resorts for the spots)
  • Beach bumming

Stay
While there are resorts in the area, it’s best to rent one of the cottages on the beach for the day, which can go for as much as Php500 (USD10) each.

Get there
Take a Partas Bus bound for Vigan and get off at Bacnotan, La Union. You can then ride a jeep from Bacnotan to Luna and get off at Darigayos.

A month of street parties: Events in January 2020

A month of street parties: Events in January 2020

Don’t think for a second that parties are going to stop just because January 1 has passed.

There are festivals left, right, and center, a visit from “Josep,” and a celebration that comes in a bit earlier than expected.

Sinulog Festival

January 10 to 19

Photo by Pradeep Swaminathan

Hit the streets of Cebu City and scream “Pit Señor” as you dive headfirst into the biggest street party in the Queen City of the South: the annual Sinulog Festival. See streets are filled with dancers in their most colorful costumes and vibrant parades, all done in the name of The Child Jesus.

Ati-Atihan Festival

January 10 to 19

The colorful costumes seen during the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan play well with how the locals paint their faces in black and white. Photo by Edgar Allan Zeta-Yap

Kalibo, Aklan is your alternative in celebrating The Child Jesus in an extraordinarily colorful way at the annual Ati-Atihan Festival. Held every second and third week of January, the festival held in honor of the Santo Niño has the people of Kalibo dressing up in yellow-and-red costumes dancing and chanting “Hala Bira” on the streets. It’s a lively festival that pays homage to both pre-colonial and Spanish era customs.

Jo Koy: Just Kidding World Tour

January 14 to 15

Poster from mmilive.com/jokoy2020

He’s known and loved by many as Josep, the “unfortunate” man who spent his formative years living with his Filipino mom in Seattle, Washington. He’s brought joy to thousands with his viral clips on Facebook. This time around, Jo Koy returns with his Just Kidding World Tour, sure to fill us with more “insight” into Filipino culture, his mom, and possibly his son.

January 14 at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, bit.ly/2svo3PS | January 15 at SM Mall of Asia Arena, bit.ly/35ab4Ag

Chinese New Year 2020

Dragon Pose
A lion dancer poses for the camera. Photo by Ruth Joy Sta. Maria

January 25

Hit up the streets of the world’s oldest Chinatown and experience the closest thing you’ll get to celebrating Chinese New Year 2020 in China. Binondo will literally be painted red—and gold—with people watching fireworks displays, fanciful dragon dances, agile lions who will entertain both young and old; visiting temples for well wishes; and possibly capping the culture-ful day feasting on authentic Chinese food like noodles and dumplings. Make sure you bring a box of mooncakes home with you.

These are but a few of the festivities that will keep the party poppin’ this January. Got others we might’ve missed? Hit us up in the comments!

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