Keeping up with the south

Published January 30, 2018, 12:05 AM


By Sara Grace C. Fojas

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The first month of the year is almost over—just like that—and your excuses of not eating healthy, not exercising, and not taking care of yourself aren’t valid anymore. In the coming months, make a mental note (and commit to it!) that you will start walking the healthy path, no matter where you go. Or you can start down South, in the eco-city of Nuvali, Laguna.

One hour away from Manila, Nuvali is a mixture of the urban and rural life, fresh air with city vibes, a perfect spot for a weekend unwind. The green surroundings, in spite of Nuvali’s continuous development, will encourage you to live a healthy life, thanks to the streets you’d love to walk on because there’s no pollution and its jogging and biking trails that make staying active feel like a vacation.

To get there, you can take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) exits at Malampasan, Sta. Rosa, Eton-Greenfield, Silangan, or Canlubang. If you’re on a commute, you can ride the P2P buses from Makati, Bonifacio Global City, or Balibago.

Here’s what you can do in the big garden called Nuvali:

Pick Your Fresh Veggies

The Greens and Patches is a two-hectare nursery and demo farm where you can find various vegetable plots, vertical gardens, and a greenhouse for growing micro-greens. For P25 entrance fee per person, you can pick and buy fresh vegetables for your daily cooking. Try singing the favorite Pinoy jingle Bahay Kubo and every fruit and vegetable mentioned you can find in the garden.

Get a Dose of Adventure

Nobody’s too old to play. Camp N is the latest addition to healthy living in the south, a premier incubation camp for learning. With its adventure facilities for the whole family, such as trampolines, zip lines, and rock climbing, those muscles will have their much needed stretch. The whole family or barkada can even have an obstacle course race here to double the fun.

Get a Health Check

Nuvali recently opened a 100-bed general hospital named Qualimed, the first hospital in Southern Luzon replete with state-of-the-art preventive care facilities and comprehensive in-patient and out-patient health care services. The hospital is notable for its Qualimed Training and Research Center that provides continuing education and advanced training for health professionals.

Retail Therapy

When you need new workout clothes, there’s Ayala Malls Solenad, the retail and lifestyle hub of Nuvali. The mall is home to more than 300 shopping, dining, and entertainment choices. Shop ‘til you drop, eat at healthy restaurants (this mall doesn’t have fast food restaurants), watch a movie, or just people watch while sitting on the grass in the area.

Try Vietnamese

Vietnam food is serious with their vegetables. At Bawai’s, a Vietnamese restaurant located in Ayala Malls Solenad 3, every dish is generous of vegetables, all the greatness of greens—fresh or fried—filled with flavors. Must try are the Vietnamese spring rolls with peanut sauce, salad, and the grilled prawns with vegetables on the side.

Have the Ultimate Staycation

And if it’s just a break from the week that you’re craving, there’s the eco-friendly hotel, Seda Nuvali. It is a 150-room hotel that promotes a healthy lifestyle and can be an exciting destination for you and the whole family. While staying there, you will notice that the place gives special attention to environmental concerns: highly efficient heating and air-conditioning systems, energy saving light system, low-flow water fixtures, and its construction procedures minimize wastage. The decision to be eco friendly gave them a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and Healthy Places Award given by the Urban Land Institute Philippines.

Its guest rooms feature a contemporary design with a plush bed, LED HDTV, a mini bar, among others. Outside, you’ll see that the hotel sits beside a four-hectare manmade lake that is breathtaking to watch while the sun rises. It is also a perfect spot for boating and koi fish feeding in the late afternoon.

The hotel also features an infinity pool, children’s playroom, and game room as well as a gym and spa. The all-day dining restaurant, Misto, offers international dishes, with chef Danny Gallardo, who specializes in healthy Japanese cuisine.