“Lifestyle Homes” by Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid (Manila Bulletin)

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By: Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid

A concept of a residential community described by author and real estate developer, Grace Eleazar as a “new lifestyle perspective” will soon open in Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City. The first phase of this project which is situated in a 3.8 hectare development consists of a hotel, fully furnished affordable condominiums, a wellness center, and organic garden will be operational at the end of the year. It is the first of its kind – a mixed-use residential development which integrates lifestyle service and a wholistic approach to health. Over the past year, a monthly open house organic market/ art exhibit is held for the public and future residents.

What is remarkable is that the development of the area was designed in accordance with the philosophy of the developer, a passionate environmentalist and practitioner of the wholistic life. Ms Eleazar had devoted twenty years of her life to the study of consciousness and how to bring about harmony between the two planes – the inner and the outer self. Since 1989, she has been an advocate of alternative medicine. But it is in the area of real estate development where she has been able to put into practice her philosophy of community development. The architecture of La Bella Tagaytay has been purposely designed around the natural terrain without cutting down 30-60 year old pine trees. Thus, one is able to enjoy the lushness of nature since all the structures are laid out against open gardens. The rustic Greek-Mediterranean design of the buildings provides an ideal backdrop for a relaxed and laid back environment. A unit owner is co-owner of the Hotel and will enjoy hotel amenities while earning from his investment.

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We look forward to 2019 when the Lifestyle Homes which are especially intended for retirees and “actively living seniors” will be turned over to the owners. The Project will offer various homecare services including proper nutrition which is focused on preventive healthcare as well as programs and activities tailor-made to the needs of seniors. The Project encourages “inter-generational” occupancy where ownership is open to senior citizens, professionals and entrepreneurs, and retirees from other countries. Thus, recreational facilities and program activities are organized in such a way that residents from various age groups and interests are encouraged to interact, and share talents and skills.

At another real estate project, – a condormitel development – the “El Pueblo in Manila and Quezon City, Grace likewise adheres to her concept of wholism and integration. The Project offers affordable housing under the LIKAS (Lifestyle Integration of Well Kept Affordable Shelter) housing project.

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In one of her books, The Soul Speaks (2002), Eleazar shares in the 10 chapters (The Nature of Mind; The Absolute Reality (Mind as Matter); On Transcending; On Solitude; On Love; On Nature; On the Nature of God; On Freedom; The Now Moment; On Unity of Life, and Whose Way?), and mainly through poetry, her understanding of the principles, the purposes, and the means – the physics- of inner change.

She notes in the Foreword that “a new age is approaching – one where all modalities of learning – science, art, religion, philosophy, the healing profession, astronomy, and mysticism are all merging and are recognizing that underneath all these doctrines, discoveries, and dogmas, certain values and principles interconnect all of them. The increasing awareness of the common truths will hasten the shift to the new age idea of the oneness of life, to alternative medicine, to abstract concept of art..and to all studies that emanate from the innate intelligence….and will give us greater insights and comprehension of the world that confronts us…which will lead us to greater understanding of ourselves and our fellowmen… This will herald what has been called the Golden Age of Man…where man will reach his greatest heights of involution and evolution. Man will not anymore be limited to what the senses can perceive, but will have the conscious use of the inner senses and when he does, he not only reaches for the stars…He becomes the star.

This book and her other publications are endorsed by several critics who suggest that it is a must reading for everyone. Indeed, it inspires, stimulates, and enlightens.

My email, Florangel.braid@gmail.com

Source: Manila Bulletin Online

Book-bound, Pinoy-style

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It wasn’t your usual bus ride. For one, the passengers argued over which translations were better for classic novel titles, until the conversation naturally evolved to a convergence of ideas about philosophy and ethics.

Others indulged you with the stories of their tattoos based on the stories they have read. Most chose to read in silence as the bus chased the sunset.

 When the author talks and bookstore tours were over, the participants convened on their own. They downed a couple of beers at Session Road when night came, and even sipped the best coffee Baguio had to offer at Burnham Park in the morning—all in between their talks of the books on their list, books they just bought, and books they have yet to write.

This was in 2016, when the National Book Development Board (NBDB) launched the Pinoy Bookstore Tour in celebration of National Literature Month. The tour started in Quezon City and went to Baguio City, visiting six bookstores.

Book tour rerun

It was a project that most of its participants wished would have a rerun. Now called the Pinoy Book Stop Tour, the bibliophile’s dream field trip continues.

Slated to happen on April 7-8, NBDB’s book tour will continue to feature independent bookstores. The board has also included university libraries and campus-based bookstores, as well as book museums located within and south of Metro Manila to continue their show of support for the growing community of independent bookshops, publishers and readers.

The tour will visit the Marikina Book Museum cum Ethnology Center, Quezon City Public Library and University of Santo Tomas Publishing House Bookstore on the first day.

The second day heads south to Bodhi Mind and Body Shop in Tagaytay City, then journeys to Laguna to see the Komikero Komiks Museum, Books, Crafts and Coffeeshop and the DepEd Laguna Library Hub.

There will be book talks to be facilitated by the National Book Awards winners, poetry readings and musical performances during the tour. Walk-in participants are welcome at every book stop.

By: – Writer / Editorial Production Assistant
Read more: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/258907/book-bound-pinoy-style/#ixzz4fDwIbTMA

A Retirement Home Like No Other

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My dear friend Grace Eleazar has always been a maverick of sorts, having pioneered a number of innovative concepts in the country. Over a decade ago, she started Wholesome, the first natural food store in Pasig, with wooden shelves, fresh bread, and lots of natural produce. Following the store’s success, she decided to expand. However, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis forced her to discontinue the venture.

Her newest baby is her retirement home in Tagaytay, known as La Bella, which I have had the privilege of exploring firsthand. It is beautifully and artistically appointed amidst the lushness of the environment, with each unit having a feel of nature. The soft programs that go with it are what make her “offering” unique. We have always been kindred spirits in terms of health. Like me, she is a staunch believer in exercise and a largely non-chemical approach towards well-being.

Our country has so much to give. Our greatest strength is our resources and our people. Grace’s concept maximizes these strengths to benefit the more senior members of our society.
I particularly like the concept because of the services such as health and fitness, medical practitioners specializing in alternative medicine… even community service! The development also includes a hotel for tourists or visiting family members, as well as residences for the younger market. Entertainment and necessities are abundant thanks to La Bella’s multi-faceted commercial cluster, restaurant cottages, heritage center and kid’s hub. The big attraction here is the cost. The area looks very upscale and one can access the environment with all its services for a mere P5,400 a month! Well, there are payment levels — so for more luxurious settings, one would pay more. But I went around and even the least expensive setting looked nicely comfortable.

Grace’s conviction is that the Philippines can be the premier retirement capital in Asia because of the intelligence and temperament of the Filipino caregiver, our tropical climate and our largely inexpensive medical services. Here, the elderly or even the Filipino expatriate can bask in a quality lifestyle that feels truly like home because of the gentility of the Filipino temperament and the comfort of our climate (we don’t have the severity and dryness of winter). In Tagaytay, even the summer is comfortable.

Source: www.philstar.com/sunday-life/2014/03/23/1303917/retirement-home-no-other

21 Romantic Restaurant Getaways in Tagaytay

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El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo – La Bella Residences

El Cocinero is a homegrown Spanish restaurant tucked away inside the La Bella Residences development, offering a fresh and lush scenery that’s a welcome sight compared to the commercialized streets of Tagaytay. It is owned by Chef Arnaldo Limeta who trained in Ibiza, Spain for more than ten years. Read our full feature here.


Photo from @joshuavgarcia

Photo from @rashisalariosa

Source: http://ph.phonebooky.com/blog/romantic-restaurants-tagaytay/

BODHI: A One-Stop Shop for Mind and Body in La Bella Tagaytay

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Everyone is always on the go in Manila and we rarely pump the breaks to smell the flowers and just enjoy the things that take our breath away.

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One important reason why I love doing Yoga is the flexibility for me to rethink and reassess life. It prevents me from going postal! 🙂

However, drastic change of lifestyle like deciding to work from home is a life-changing event. It’s not something you can decide overnight. It’s basically, modifying your lifestyle that will affect you and the people around you.

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Most often than not, reading a book is the fastest and effective way to keep me sane.

According to studies, while working from home sounds ideal and can alleviate other problems such as commuting, money, among other things, it could intensify mental and physical stress, which I absolutely agree.

Luckily, there are one-stop shops/places that are perfect for retreat and enlightenment in Tagaytay City.

Therefore, a trip to a library would suffice. As fate would have it, I found a gem of a public library in Tagaytay!

Almost a thousand books from the personal collection of the owner are available on hand. Some were donated by her close friends which account for the variety of topics in this unusual library. There are rare books whose original publication dates back to the 1900s, thus making it an Antiquarian bookstore.

This public library is located inside La Bella properties in Tagaytay called BODHI Mind & Body Shop.

BODHI Mind and body Tagaytay

The word Bodhi is derived from the name of a tree, Bodhi Tree where Gautama Siddharta, now known as Buddha, had his “enlightenment”. This important value in life is the essence of Bodhi Shop, the newest shop for the mind and body in Tagaytay.

The bookshop is located on the second floor along with some artworks painted by different artists.

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Essentially, Bodhi Shop attracts those who seek an easier pathway towards their time travel to their inner selves to find the perfection inherent in all human souls.

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They sell these items that are perfect for meditation. The picture on the left side is an oil you could use to ease chest or heart pains while the other one is a spray for meditation use.

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Some popular items such as soaps made of pure essential oils, blended with goat’s milk and combined with herbs like fennel, cedar, patchouli, poppyseed, charcoal, and vinegar (which turns your body alkaline) are also available here.

Furthermore, you will also find nutritional foods – organic, raw, gluten-free and non-GMO superfoods -that you can sprinkle on cereals, ice cream or any food that lack the minerals, hormones, and enzymes needed for vitality and longevity.

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Gluten free items, along with cutting carbohydrates, and having an active lifestyle, help some people lose weight.

Admittedly, I rarely have my me-time or read a book to keep me sane. In fact, I don’t even know the meaning of “sane” anymore! Nonetheless, I need to go out and discover places such as this to save my sanity.

Now that I have a family of my own, my perspective of enlightenment has changed. I am now more generous with time and I make sure I am present, although, I work from home.

Ultimately, Bodhi Mind & Body Shop is a solemn and relaxing place for anyone who needs serenity and be enlightened.

El Cocinero: Conquering Spanish Cuisine right in our own backyard

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Uncover the secrets of this hidden Tagaytay restaurant.

The phrase, “tara, Tagaytay!” has led most of us to the famous getaway spot even on the most unexpected days. It’s a good thing that more new restaurants are popping up in the area so we’ll never run out of choices.

El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo

El Cocinero is a homegrown Spanish restaurant tucked away inside the La Bella Residences development, offering a fresh and lush scenery that’s a welcome sight compared to the commercialized streets of Tagaytay. It is owned by Chef Arnaldo Limeta who trained in Ibiza, Spain for more than ten years.

Photo from @beysiongco

Photo from @beysiongco

Photo from @shabbygail
Fun fact: El Cocinero has a bunch of trees just sprouting THROUGH the structure because the developer prohibited the cutting of trees when it was being built.

This garden-inspired restaurant is also an artist’s haven as El Cocinero’s two-storey building’s lush interiors are complemented by reprinted Picasso paintings.

Photo from @chefrheasycip

Photo from @shabbygail

Photo from @shabbygail

El Cocinero serves authentic Spanish favorites like tapas, grilled seafood, pasta plates, and their famous El Cocinero Paella and Paella Negra. Indulge in other Spanish dishes like gambas, montaditos, and their special Pescado Al Horno (baked fish). Their paellas are topped with fresh seafood and is served the traditional way–with a crusty layer of rice underneath all that steaming layers of savory goodness.

Booky Tip: An order of their hefty paellas can take up to 30-45 mins to cook, you can can call in your orders in advance so you won't have to wait that long.

The El Cocinero Paella | Photo from @rashisalariosa

Photo from @haveyoumetallen

Paella Negra | Photo from @onefinepinoyboy
Insider Tip: Order their special Rollo Pacenta de Asada (boneless pork roll) at least a day in advance. This cochinillo/porchetta/lechon hybrid weighs a whopping 5 kilos!

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Didn’t find your favorite Spanish dish on their menu? You can ask Chef Arnaldo to cook something similar for you, just call in advance. This is El Cocinero’s second branch, after its first one in Nasugbu.

La Bella’s Open House Kicks Off Organic Market

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Check out an array of organic products at La Bella Tagaytay this Saturday, August 27, as its open house event kicks off the organic market. This is part of La Bella’s advocacy of helping farmers and entrepreneurs by showcasing their products.

There are also other activities visitors to the organic market can participate in. Get to the groove starting at 8 a.m. with Zumba, yoga and tai- chi exercises. Participate in health talks on alternative and complementary medicine in the afternoon.

La Bella is also pre-selling affordable fully furnished studio units starting at P1.3 million to multiple bedroom units of the hotel, residences and lifestyle homes.

Have fun, relax and enjoy the La Bella lifestyle!