By Denise Rayala of Royal Domesticity
If you are just browsing and happened to arrive to this site, I encourage you to please take a seat. Go and make your coffee if you can. Indulge me; I have a story to tell.
My husband works in the military. Inevitably, he’s assigned nowhere near home. For 8 years, I already got the hang of it, the family set-up, that is. I’m okay with me being the primary caregiver of our only daughter. It’s just me and her at home, 99% of the time. Aside from being a blissmaker and occasional foodpreneur over at Bebeng’s Kitchen, I am nothing but a servantless hands-on mom.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and this vocation I was called for! In fact, this is what I have dreamed of since I was a gradeschooler.
But you know, just like any mother out there, I get tired. And not just simple lethargy from our daily routine; there are days when my emotions are too high I just lock myself up in the bathroom to cry. So as an Army wife who has learned to take control of the situation all the time, I thought of resolving that deep-seated issue instead of sulking in sorrow.
I asked my husband to come home so I can get a day off on Mother’s Day.
Sadly, he couldn’t. It caused us a bit of argument because it was one of the rare times that I asked him to come home for me. A few days passed and eventually, I accepted the fact that I won’t get what I longed for. La-dee-da. I was online and so was Martine. Little did I know, I got a slot to a day of pampering, delicious food and free shopping a day before Mother’s Day! *insert virtual cartwheels* I can picture out God smiling down on me. He surely knows how to spoil this close-to-losyang momma.
I asked my sister if I can leave my little darling to her and she agreed. That “parenting takes a village” wisdom isn’t cliché after all, it’s real! So, we’re settled. I felt like an excited teenager who’d go to camping for the first time.
Oh, wait. Surprises, surprises!
Two days prior the event, my husband texted that he’ll be attending a conference at the Army headquarters here in Manila; that means, he could come home. Wow. This time, a few of His angels were patting their backs for a job well done, that is, making me super happy. Day off + all-expense paid pampering + husband driving you to the event = hashtag blessed. Forgive me for using that, haha!
You see, it wasn’t just about getting a free makeover at Salon Privat or eating the sumptuous food from Yoree Korean BBQ, not even the mani-pedi sesh at Manos Nail Lounge, which actually lulled me to sleep. Or the glamorous feeling of using the The Luxe Bus the whole day or the shopping high at Mango. It was not even about receiving the loot bag that has gift certificates from The Aivee Institute and Neo Day Spa or the flower that was waiting for us at our seat in the bus. Yes, I am grateful for Lifestyle Network and Working Mom Magazine for honoring moms through all the treats they gave us, I truly felt spoiled; but thinking of how it miraculously came to this, it was more about the testament of how God can make the impossible possible. Truly, life is more blissful for a woman who seeks God.
Before I let you go, take this Bible verse with you; my mom has always included this in her prayers with us. Psalms 37:4 – “Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.”
I had the most blissful time at Manos Nail Lounge a couple of weeks ago! My sister-in-law and I hied off to the nail spa in Burgos Circle for some much needed “me time,” and it was well worth the trip from our place! (We live in Quezon City but Manos is located in Bonifacio Global City.)
Manos Nail Lounge takes its name from the Spanish word for “hands.” It is the collaborative business of three friends who desired a spa experience that went beyond the quintessential pampering. You’ll surely notice this when you make an appointment at Manos. Unlike other nail spas, Manos has an eclectic Filipino vibe that evokes — and promotes — social and environmental consciousness. From the moment you step into the nail lounge, you can tell from the vibe that this is not your ordinary nail spa. Aside from being reasonably priced (considering its upscale location), you’ll notice how every aspect of the spa is weaved into one inspiring story about a business that is responsible, socially conscious and truly compassionate towards its employees as much as it is towards its patrons.
“Manos” evokes age-old Filipino values, which includes pagmamano — a sign of respect. At Manos, respect is apparent in the way we treat our clients, employees and suppliers. Respect for the environment is the cornerstone of our establishment and as much as possible, we source locally (to reduce our carbon footprint), use natural products (scrubs and lotions using organically-grown ingredients and nail lacquers without harmful toxins), and incorporate eco-friendly designs in our architecture (LED lights and energy-saving practices.) — From the Manos Nail Lounge press kit
What I love about Manos is its genuine empowerment of women, beginning with its own staff. If you visit their website, you’ll see the stories of these amazing, skilled women, many of whom have come from the Gawad Kalinga projects around the country.
The “hands behind Manos.” The nail lounge’s website is the first ever site with a section dedicated to the inspiring stories of their nail techs. Love it!
Some of the products used in the spa itself are locally made, their ingredients sourced from farmers in various parts of the Philippines. In fact, the nail technicians can tell you exactly what’s going on your skin and where it came from, right down to the very lotion they use for their hand and foot massage.
The Manos Experience
The nail lounge itself is a haven of rest. The photos really don’t do justice to the experience: You have to try out Manos for yourself. (I highly recommend the Awakening mani-pedi spa treatment (Php800.00), which is an invigorating scrub, mask, nail cleaning, massage and polish using elements of barako coffee, peppermint and eucalyptus. It’s one of the best treatments I’ve ever had, price and quality both considered.)
Distinctly Filipino. The owners are intentionally local about the Manos experience. Many of the decorative elements use recycled, repurposed materials, such as this rosary made from old magazines, to the decorative picture frames sourced from various GK communities around the country.
The main treatment area. I love the eclectic, local details of this entire space! I could live here.
My complimentary spread during my spa mani-pedi: Mini nacho chips with salsa and fresh guacamole, along with three soft cheeses. I’ve never been more spoiled in a nail spa!
Manos uses vegan, camphor-free Zoya nail polish. There are so many shades to choose from!
Love that they have proper swatches so you can see the real effect of the nail lacquer.
My hands: Metallic pink Zoya lacquer, with damask nail art accents.
A lovely old rose shade for my tootsies. These stayed on for two weeks with no chipping!
Try Manos Nail Lounge for yourself. A basic express manicure is just at Php160.00, making it very affordable considering the amenities and the premium location! I do recommend, though, that you book an appointment during the weekend or the early afternoon, especially if you’re looking for some mommy “me time.” I also enjoin you to converse with the uber-friendly staff, and listen to their inspiring stories (if you’re the type who likes a good chat, anyway!)
Manos Nail Lounge
Unit 2-1 Cresent Park Residences
30th Street cor. 2nd Avenure,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
+63 478 4057 | +63 915 184 2120