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Weekend Challenge: Unwind for Under P1500

Everyone needs a little love on the weekend.
Weekend Challenge: Unwind for Under P1500 Everyone needs a little love on the weekend.

Whoever said that indulging yourself after a full week’s worth of work is a budget killer is living under a rock. Here are five things that a busy city girl can do to recharge on a weekend for under P1500.

1. Escape in bliss at the Ahavia Lounge Spa.

A busy mind often leads to parched skin that seeks soothing and knots that need kneading. Drag your languid self to Ahavia Lounge Spa and hide from the world for a few hours to energize. The spa offers packages that give you about three hours worth of pampering, from invigorating massages to beautifying scrubs and wraps on top of the routine (and absolutely necessary) manicure/pedicure treatments. We recommend the Stress Escape Package (P1423), which includes the Anti-Stress Thermal Massage, the Anti-Stress Aromatherapy Scrub and That Minty Feeling Hair and Scalp Remedy. A close runner-up is the Comfort Zone Package (P1328), which includes the Anti-Stress Thermal Massage, the Organic Coffee Experience (body spa treatment) and the Anti-Hair Fall Therapy. Exactly the kind of royal treatment an achiever urbanista deserves.


Ahavia Spa Lounge is located at Allenby Street, San Juan City

Call: 386-0266

2. Perk up your palate at the Nostalgia Dining Lounge.

After a week of meals on the fly, it is a welcome comfort to enjoy gourmet food without having to fight the banal jungles of shopping malls. Nostalgia Dining Lounge is a quiet and unassuming restaurant, with an elegantly classic (but hardly intimidating) ambiance and an attentive but unhurried service from seasoned staff, reminding patrons of the beauty of la belle vie. During weekends, Nostalgia Dining Lounge offers a well-curated breakfast buffet (P1000 nett per person) from 6:00am to 11:00am. Definitely a good reason to wake up on a Saturday morning with a touch of class. 

Nostalgia Dining Lounge is located at Oakwood PremierJoy~Nostalg Center, 17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

3. Celebrate culture at the Ayala Museum + Museum Café.

Our country has a rich history that deserves more mind space and attention. The Ayala Museum offers choice exhibits divided into several sections of interest, with the top floor of the contemporary structure featuring special events on national artists and even international talents. Permanent displays include dioramas on Philippine history, archaeological finds and treasures, textiles made by indigenous peoples and works by Fernando Zobel. The souvenir shop has a remarkable collection of local books that tackle not only history and politics but also children’s stories and local legends. The entrance fee of P225 is a small price to pay for such an enriching experience.

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Cap the day off with a gratifying meal at the Museum Café with indulgent Roasted Marrow Bone (P245) and Crab Balls (P350) rounded off with a glass of Shiraz (P320).

Ayala Museum + Museum Café is located at Ayala Center, Makati City

Call: 759-8288 (Ayala Museum) / 757-3000 (Museum Café)

4. Show off your skills at the Ninja Academy.

Crossfit and yoga may be en vogue, but parkour will always be an athlete’s dream. Ninja Academy is the perfect place to develop strength, endurance, and reaction time while living your secret crouching tiger fantasies. For a modest price of P600, a walk-in ninja wannabe will enjoy personal coaching for 1 ½ hours plus customized parkour lessons and a tailor-fit workout.

Ninja Academy teaches calisthenics and swordsmanship. Combination classes are also available, mixing circuit training with obstacle courses, and martial arts and gymnastics with break-dancing and capoeira.

And yes – this place is beginner-friendly.

Ninja Academy is in 155 Dr. Sixto Antonio Avenue, Barangay Rosario, Pasig City


Call: 624-2872

5. Love local at the Mandala Park.

The Salcedo Market and the Legaspi Market seem to be the reliable mecca for farm to market food and homemade treasures, while the Sidcor Sunday Market and the Northeast Greenhills Sunday Market appear to be classic favorites for value-for-money home staples. Not to be outdone, the neighborhood of Mandaluyong now offers a family-oriented locavore’s heaven. The Mandala Park Weekend Market features local products and homegrown food and drinks amidst a vibrant atmosphere, with yoga sessions, musical performances and even Zumba classes for kids. Take your pick of bio-dynamic organic black rice, craft beer, artisan candles, to-die-for matcha pancake soufflés, and gratifying mushroom logganizas. P1500 would be more than enough to give you a happy tummy, a well-stocked pantry, and a heartfelt grin.

The Mandala Park Weekend Market is in 312 Shaw Boulevard, Barangay Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong

Call: 834-9505

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