Hours under the sun to achieve the ideal tan, hours emerged in saltwater to cleanse the body and soul, hours of dream-filled sleep and waking up to sunrays filtering through nacre-inlaid windows, taking sweet time to savor the flavors of good food, hours of walking barefoot on white sand, three days in a stress-free paradise with no care of the outside world. How else can you put an end to a break like this?
It was as if I haven’t reached the apex of total relaxation, perfectly primed for the next leg my journey of touring a foreign land, I wanted to push the envelope a bit farther. Bluewater Maribago in Mactan, Cebu had one more ace on its sleeve—an “amuma” pampering.
Amuma is a Visayan word which means to indulge with attention, comfort, and care. Amuma is the resort’s guiding word. It is what Bluewater Maribago graciously offers each and every guest who visit. It is what they take home with them. It is the amuma experience that has kept them loyal to the resort.
And what could a more appropriate name for a spa than “amuma”? Bluewater Maribago did just that.
“There’s nothing quite like Filipino pampering. That is what the Amuma Spa is all about. It celebrates the warmth and gracious pampering that the Filipinos are known for. Our name is our promise,” said the resort’s spa manager.
True enough, in the Asian plus Western composition of the spa the distinct Filipino touch in all its facets. From architecture and interior design to the therapies and to the organic products, there is the Pinoy thumbprint.
Amuma Spa has it’s own building, like a boutique hotel. It is designed to blend with the rest of the low-rise buildings of the resort— modern Filipino huts in white with nipa leaves for roofing and recycled wood for balusters.
Impressive is the spa’s minimalist interior design. The clutter-free lobby is surrounded with large picture windows providing a seamless connection with the exterior’s verdant garden. Warm tones dress up the space—recycled Filipino hardwood for the architectural accents and the floating stair steps, and filling the dimly-lit space are the front desk, a comfortable seat, a lamp and a sculpture at its center. The lobby provides access to the Amuma Salon and Amuma Gym as well.
That amiable Filipino smile welcomed me. After completing the client’s profile, I was made to choose which therapy I preferred, the oil blend I wanted, and most surprising, the choice of music I wanted for the room.
The menu of Amuma Spa offers a blend of services that combines ancient and modern therapies, Visayan-Filipino, Asian and Western Cultures.
The “Amuma Signature Hilot” is a fusion of hilot (massage) techniques from the across the Philippines and uses warm fresh banana fronds to loosen tense muscles. This therapy induces relaxation and promotes healing.
“Hilot Lamang”, the spa’s version of the traditional mystical massage of the islands, is quite unique. More than a body message, hilot is a treatment. It is special and never the same twice for the manghihilot (a therapist who inherited the gift of healing hands from bloodline) will focus on areas believed to be the root cause of the problem.
“Malakas at Maganda” is the couples massage, the “Hilot sa Batong Mainit” is the spa’s version of “Touchstone Massage” and a must for highly-stressed individuals, and the “Papaya Wrap” is a full body exfoliation treatment with anti-aging benefits.
I opted for the Amuma Signature Massage (no that my muscles were tense, but I always have the signature massage of any spa on the first visit) and was made to choose my own oil blend.
“We adhere to our farm to spa practice. Our treatments recognize and embrace Philippine ethnic influences and with that we use local, fresh, and natural ingredients. The organic treatment will enhance and provide rejuvenating benefits to your wellbeing and create a healthy spa experience,” said the attendant.
The therapist was introduced next and I was led to the upper floor for pre-therapy ritual— change of clothes at the locker room, a steam bath in my private room and a foot wash at the terrace overlooking one of the resort’s pool.
Minutes into the therapy I drifted into a deep slumber occasionally awakened gently by warm banana fronds applied at my back and a request to turn over. Sleep is perhaps the best compliment any therapist will get because they transported the guest to a place of restful state.
While sipping on the after-therapy tea at the “sala”, still in an extended dreamy and relaxed state, I believed Amuma Spa lived t its name and delivered its promise—I was treated to a royal pampering with a Filipino touch.
Amuma Spa is at Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort in Buyong Maribago, Mactan Island, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu. Visit their website at http://www.bluewatermaribago.com.ph/amuma-spa
Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.
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