Zen and wellness with butterflies

Rhea Claire Madarang
Paruparong Bukid is a heaven for those looking to retreat and zone out

(Left) PART OF THE BUTTERFLY sanctuary. (Right) A butterfly sips it morning nectar. All photos by Rhea Claire Madarang

MANILA, Philippines – Imagine waking up to fresh air and warm sunlight peeking through trees, then starting your day with guided meditation and yoga to stretch your limbs awake.

You can then continue your meditation by walking in contemplation around the labyrinth, or by simply meditating on the beauty of butterflies’ wings waking up in the butterfly sanctuary. 

For breakfast, you drink a light but satisfying smoothie made from the freshest fruits and leafy greens picked from your surroundings. Then you may choose to hop on a kayak and row through mangrove- and nipa palm-lined creeks into a wide river, then into the nearby open sea.

(Left) ONE OF THE TREEHOUSES. (Right) Sunrise as seen from a treehouse.

Stop at a nearby island to rest and be refreshed by coconut water from one of its trees. When you go back to the mainland, a healthy and delicious lunch awaits you — a medley of colorful vegetables and fresh, organic tilapia, if you choose.

You can then settle on one of the wooden benches in the grounds to relax and maybe read a book. Perhaps you fancy a pampering massage and facial at the spa in the afternoon? Maybe even a nap afterwards… 

At night, expect another healthy and satisfying meal, then walk around the grounds to see fireflies light trees up like Christmas lights. Look up and marvel at one of the clearest and starriest skies you will probably ever see. Have a rejuvenating sleep at your tree house, then greet the sun again the next day.

(Left) GREEN SMOOTHIE, A BREAKFAST fare. (Top) Organically-bred tilapia. (Bottom) Red organic rice.

This is a typical day for guests at Paruparong Bukid Nature Conservation Center in Babatngon, Leyte. Just 30 to 45 minutes away from the capital city of Tacloban, Paruparong Bukid is situated amidst green fields, by a river and with a view of nearby mountains. 

All the trees and plants at Paruparong Bukid are grown naturally and organically, as the center also promotes environmental protection and sustainable living aside from wellness. Meals served at their restaurant are organically and freshly prepared.

For those interested to learn more about organic farming and healthy eating, the center also holds or hosts relevant seminars.

KAYAK THROUGH NARROW AND wide creeks lined with mangroves and nipas

Paruparong Bukid’s founder, Helly Yap-Asoy, is a registered nurse by profession but chose to go down the path of natural healing when she realized true healing comes from the holistic — not medical — approach. She has since then trained in different healing modalities like Ayurveda, raw food, Chinese acupuncture and massage. 

As part of her belief and advocacy in natural healing, Yap-Asoy offers detox programs at Paruparong Bukid, starting at 7 days. 

Her dream is to reach more people and urge them to adapt healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. “There are so many illnesses that can be prevented and healed just by eating right,” Yap-Asoy points out.

PARUPARONG BUKID's GROUNDS OFFER a relaxing view of the mountains

Guests need not break the bank to enjoy the beauty of Paruparong Bukid and its healthy meals. Entrance for a day trip is just Php 20, while an overnight stay at the tree house inclusive of breakfast for two is Php 500.

The center’s detox programs, meanwhile, are priced comparably lower than similar programs in other healing and wellness establishments. – Rappler.com


For more information on Paruparong Bukid, visit http://paruparongbukid.com. Paruparong Bukid is offering a 50% discount on their detox courses until the end of August.




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