We were welcomed by a curiously dressed attendant. I badly wanted to take a photo of him -- I thought his outfit was adorable -- but I felt a bit shy. I was also absent-minded enough to forget Shin-Chan2 at home, so I was at the mercy of Alex's Canon 30D (dSLR). I could probably work better with her kit lens, but she had brought along her 50mm lens (f/1.8 II).
Anyway, the moment we entered The Manila Hotel Spa lounge, I gasped at the interiors. It was so Filipino! I'm guessing most of the furniture were made of rattan and hard wood.
We were later led into a small room, where foot massages usually take place, and GlobalXChange Corporation's representatives explained what Beyond Bath Organics is all about. Okay, I'll spare everyone the nosebleed-inducing list of natural ingredients and just concentrate on the magic words that certainly piqued my interest: "Free of paraben, mineral oil and alcohol." The brand is certified organic by Greentech, which is one of Europe's authorities in natural and organic cosmetics. Furthermore, Beyond Bath has partnered with Bantay Kalikasan in preserving the La Mesa forest. That tidbit had me applauding the team behind this.
It was emphasized that Beyond Bath products are supposed to make bathing a leisurely ritual. Three regimens were introduced: the Stress-busting Sunflower, Perk-Me-Up Energizing Grapefruit and the Stimulating and Lightening Nature Glow. Everything smelled great and Jared de Guzman, Watsons Brand Manager, assured me that none of the notes used here are synthetic. This means that whatever it is that I smell, it's the natural scent of the fruits.
The women left us alone so we could shower and change into our robes, but Alex and I spent most of that time taking photos. Two pictures above is where I had my feet scrubbed and massaged with the Beyond Bath Grapefruit Rejuvenating Sugared Body Scrub. My sister, who sat across me, had the same service.
Anyway, after the relaxing foot scrub, we were prepped nicely on the bed and were given an hour-long full body massage. That was a heavenly experience. Not only were the attendants very pleasant, the grapefruit's scent also wafted gently around my senses. I felt the aches and pains slowly ease away.
When we were done, the attendants excused themselves so that Alex and I could change back. They returned with fruits and tea a few minutes later.
Ginza is The Manila Hotel's Japanese restaurant. The buffet feast, however, was composed of Chinese, Japanese and French dishes. I'm not complaining, though. The food was pretty good.
Anyhoo, it was a lovely experience overall. I discovered two things: (1) an inexpensive alternative to imported organic products, and (2) that The Manila Hotel's seemingly unappealing exteriors belie the wondrous textures of its newly renovated interiors.
There are so many things I want to say (and stuff I actually forgot to say), but I'll just lead you over to my sister's blog, since we share the same sentiments about Stratigem's events and some of the ingredients I wanted to question.
Alex wrote about her side of the story here:
You can learn more about Beyond Bath Organics here:
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