Philippines Boosts its Image as Health and Wellness Destination

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The Philippines boosts its image as a health and wellness hub through an array of products and services at the Biosearch Zone at Manila FAME International on October 16-19, 2008 at the SMX Convention Center Manila.

The BIO-Search Zone's expanded showcase is a timely response to the rapidly accelerating global health and wellness economy

The Philippines boosts its image as a health and wellness hub through an array of products and services at the Biosearch Zone at Manila FAME International on October 16-19, 2008 at the SMX Convention Center Manila.

Living a lifestyle of health and wellness is an option; more so is the choice of beating inconvenient means of maintaining good shape with healthy alternatives, in terms both of products and services, that are at par and truly innovative that Filipinos can showcase.

As the global market clamors for healthy alternatives, the Philippines optimizes its natural resources to answer this need by coming up with products with natural ingredients, developing some of its breathtaking landscapes, as well as enriching its workforce for health and wellness -- and these will be presented in one joyful showcase at BIO-Search, the country's show for the health and wellness sector.

Nourishing the body inside and out

This year, buyers from all over the world will be presented with a new line of hair and body care products using plants and herbs indigenous from the Philippines, such as coconut (Cocos nucifera), cashew (Anacardium occidentale), lauat (Litsea glutinosa), gugo (Entada phaseoloides), and deep water seaweed, including aromatherapy and essential oils from lemongrass (Cymbopogon marginatus), mango (Mangifera indica). The national flower sampaguita (Jasminum sambac Linn.) and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) are now also getting into the mainstream of natural personal care products as is it starts gaining recognition around the world.

"Many Asian countries, specifically Japan and Korea are fascinated with the aromatherapy properties of sampaguita," said Jose De Villa of Giga Ventures. Giga Ventures makes lotion, liquid soap, insect repellant, and even linen spray with sampaguita and ylang ylang essence.

Another plant abundant in the Philippines that is also gaining acceptance because of its medicinal properties is the moringa oleifera, also known as malunggay, will also be featured in BIO-Search. Greenplus, a Filipino pharmaceutical company produces malunggay in capsule form to free busy people from preparing dishes with this miracle vegetable. "Many people are developing awareness on the benefits of malunggay, especially in preventing diseases," said Patricia De Guia, Corporate Secretary of Greenplus Corporation. To tap the younger market, especially those who are not fond of eating vegetables, Greenplus will introduce malunggay tea and Motap, a tasty and dry condiment that can be sprinkled on top of rice or other dishes. Motap is a combination of fish, flaxseed, sesame seeds, nori seaweed, and of course -- malunggay.    

Touch therapy

BIO-Search is also an opportune time for spa enthusiasts to discover the therapeutic and rejuvenating effects of hilot, the Filipino healing modality practiced by 42,000 villages in the Philippines long before the advent of Western medicine.

The Association of Traditional Health Aid Givers Inc. (ATHAG) will be at the forefront in promoting hilot at the fair. "Our previous participation in BIO-Search brought good results for the association, and we are confident that again, through this show -- we could further strengthen hilot as the Philippines' alternative healing modality," said Bibiano Fajardo, ATHAG President.

Actual Hilot experiences will be provided in the show, using several intuitive massage techniques, such as: touch diagnosis, wherein the therapist identifies areas of energy imbalance in the body; customized strokes, based on the needs of the client; and manipulation of the body's electrical charges, to harness the body's bio-energies of the body towards balance, harmony, health and wellness.

ATHAG's participation in the BIO-Search Zone at the Manila F.A.M.E. International last April resulted in a deal with a hotelier in Bahrain for a spa center, plus a boutique for Philippine-made products. Meanwhile, the association's recent participation in the ASEAN Health and Wellness Exhibition (AHWEX) paved way for hilot to be recognized in Japan and Laos. A Japan-based Hilot therapy school with four branches in Ginza expressed their interest to learn more about the Filipino alternative healing modality -- not just as a spa massage, but as therapeutic art as well, while a delegation in Laos invited ATHAG to conduct talks and lead the possible adoption of hilot healing modality in their country.

Great hideaways

As growing number of foreigners opt to live abroad, the BIO-Search Zone will highlight its tropical ambiance, cosmopolitan lifestyle, and breathtaking hideaway for retirees. This year, BIO-Search will feature retirement villages that offer both modern and rustic lifestyles.

Just 37 miles south of Manila, retirees may enjoy an unobstructed view of the Taal Lake with the terraced design of Belle View at Tagaytay Highlands. The contemporary facility offers golf and other sports amenities, as well as exclusive spa services.

Puerto Galera, an eco-tourism site gifted with white-sand beaches, quiet coves, and stunning natural harbor will be positioned as a health and wellness destination. Vacationers will be offered amenities that shows the magnificent and pristine view of the coastal town, as well as numerous services such as diving and water sports for the appreciation of its diverse marine life, plus massage and spa treatments for those who want an ultimate relaxing experience.

Healthy Gourmet

A savory experience also awaits BIO-Search visitors with delectable line from Rizal Dairy Farms. The dairy producer and organic food caterer, which also grows some of the ingredients in their own organic farm, will serve healthy gourmet snacks and sandwiches loaded with kesong puti (white cheese, the Philippine's version of cottage cheese. Sweet Rush Lemongrass tea will also be launched in the show, a healthy thirst quencher and natural detoxifier that can be enjoyed cold or hot, along with other organic and all natural gourmet treats.

"Organic food is a big and still growing market globally. The Philippines has so many things to offer when it comes to organic farming. Transforming these healthy produce into delectable items is an attractive way to introduce the quality and great taste of organic food, and will help to develop the country in a more sustainable way," said Jacqueline Haessig-Alleje, owner of Rizal Dairy Farms. Alleje is a proponent of the organic movement in the Philippines and represents the region in the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). She's also a founding member of the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP) and Organic Producers Trade Association in the Philippines (OPTA).

Nurturing the health and wellness industry

BIO-Search is the Health and Wellness industry segment of the country's show for the design-driven sector, the Manila F.A.M.E. International, to be held on 16-19 October at the SMX Convention Center of the SM Mall of Asia. The show is led by the Department of Trade and Industry's Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

"The BIO-Search Zone's expanded showcase is a timely response to the rapidly accelerating global health and wellness economy," said Elvie Borje, Chief of CITEM's Health and Wellness Division.

In the United States alone, retail sales of health and wellness industry reached US$102.8 billion in 2007 based on Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) research. Topping the list are functional/fortified foods and beverages (US$38.6 billion), vitamins/minerals/herbal and dietary supplements (U$21.7 billion), organic foods and beverages (US$19 billion), natural foods and beverage (US$14.1 billion), and personal care category (US$7.8 billion). The research firm also predicted that the market will continue to grow for the next several years and expects to record total sales of US$ 170 billion by 2012.

Global Spa Economy Report likewise unveiled that the industry is estimated to be over US$250 billion this year. It is based on the 2007 estimated revenues from core industries amounting to US$60.3, while US$194 billion is related in hospitality, tourism, and real estate.

BIO-Search will be exclusive to trade buyers from 16-18 October, but will be open to the public on the 19th. You can also pre-register for BIO-Search for the April 2009 edition of the Manila F.A.M.E. International. For more details on BIO-Search Zone, contact CITEM's Health and Wellness Division at (632) 8312483, or log on to http://www.biosearch.com.ph.

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