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The Spa Association of the Philippines (SAPi) inducted its new officers at Enderun College’s Restaurant 101 in Wynsum, Ortigas Center. With incoming president Ms. Marjorie Lopingco of the Bellevue Spa Club at the helm, SAPi members can expect an exciting and dynamic year ahead.

Ms. Lopingco’s leadership team is composed of: Vice-President Cathy Turvill, Secretary Carl de la Viña, Treasurer Lynette Zotomayor, and P.R.O. Gladys Conserido. Dr. Edwin Bien and Ms. Ethelyn Perez were the hosts during the program. No less than Tourism Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano expressed his support to the association by gracing the occasion and he spoke about the Spa Association of the Philippines can help usher the Philippine spa industry to the next level and be at par with spas with world class standards. “Hilot is nowadays a widely accepted word,” he says. He also took part in distributing certificates to several members of SAPi who recently passed the accreditation by the Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (CIBTAC) on human anatomy and physiology and among them were: Ms. Marjorie Lopingco, Cathy Turvill, Gladys Conserido, Carl de la Viña. Mary Jane de Guzman and Mary Judith Josef.

sapi-chefs.jpgSeveral students of Enderun College concocted the delicious buffet and the Spa Association of the Philippines recognized them by way of certificates for the evening’s food selection. The students were also busy going around serving cocktails and drinks. After dinner, we were led to a wine tasting session where F&B Manager Chad Davis gladly educated us on the basics of wine. We sampled three varieties,sapi-chad-wine.jpg namely: Beringer White Zinfandel 2006, Beringer Chenin Blanc 2005, Stone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2004. They were more than happy to refill our glasses. We were also served ementhal, brie cheese and plum. It was a crash course on the health benefits of drinking wine, its characteristics, which kind goes with certain foods. A common question asked is about the difference between red and white wine. Red wine contains the skin of the grape while white wine excludes it. He shared tips on how to handle and serve wine to guests. Chad gave us a demo on the proper way to serve wine, and that we will be able to distinguish between impeccable and lousy service after that. He also discussed the use of screw caps in wines as a future trend. Screw caps remove the risk of sapi-wine-cheese.jpgcork taint and sporadic oxidation. They are easy to open and they maintain the quality of wine. Screw caps will soon be the norm. Enderun College offers quality wine at very reasonable rates compared to the offerings of five star hotels of the same brand.

The proliferation of wellness centers, resorts, destination and day spas in the country signify a booming industry. The Philippines as an in-demand medical tourism haven in Asia is not far-fetched. Congratulations to the new officers of the Spa Association of the Philippines and the newly passed CIBTAC graduates!


When Deedee and I met other BNI members in the Singapore Conference we attended, there is an instant rapport even if you meet them for the first time. We can assume to have the same mindset and the same ideals that we are working towards. One such member was Judy Koh Teck Neo of Creative Culinaire. We caffepralet-in1.jpgvisited her restaurant Caffe Pralet on Eng Hoon Mansions and we savored her coffee, rose tea, Laksa and chocolate mousse. Deedee and I also met up with Maya Hidajat, Senior Event Manager of IMG as they are working on the planning of Philippine Badminton Open in Manila.

caffepralet-out.jpg Her café is very cozy and she told us that several BNI chapters have their breakfast meetings there. In fact, another chapter bumped off even the chapter she belongs to, Crescendo.

The café features her poems on her wall. One poem I liked read was entitled “Teabags”:


Teabags dipped in water
Listening to talks between girls
Stolen secrets, hearts poured into china teacups,
Pain diluted and friendships stirred,
Sweeten with honey,
The lemon no longer sour,
And sip it slowly
And somehow, it tastes better than water unadorned



Stately aromas from English Earl grey,
Jasmine flowers plucked from the fragrance of Chinese bosoms,
Teas from India, dressed in veils of mystery
Choice aplenty and you have it all,
The world at a sip away,
Have tongue will travel,
And let your mind’s eye roam the perfumes of the lands

Judy Koh
15th Jan 2004

She also conducts cooking lessons at her huge kitchen beside Caffe Pralet. When in Singapore, check it out!

Related posts: Harvest meets Harvest, BNI Day in Singapore: Simply Amazing!, Al Argo in Action

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