By HERMES JOY TUNAC, GMA Integrated News
This is your sign to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one outside Metro Manila.
If you want to spend quality time in nature away from the hustle and bustle of the Metro with your significant other, let us introduce you to Pangasinan’s well-kept secret: Hiraya Wellness Resort.
According to Hiraya Wellness Resort’s general manager Golda Zamuco, the 57-hectare property opened in November 2020 as a family farm turned into a resort open to the public. It’s for those who want to take a break and slow down from a fast-paced world.
“Fresh air, open spaces, they’re something that has been taken for granted, especially when you live in the city,” Golda told GMA News Online. “So, that’s what we’re offering our guests here in Hiraya.”
“I want the guests to have a space where they can run, explore, and discover nature,” she added.
Upon arrival at the resort, the receptionist will give guests a customized itinerary of everything they could enjoy. You don’t have to follow all of it, though. Everything is optional, but if you want to maximize the resort’s activities, the customized itinerary based on your arrival time will help.
There are four types of accommodations at Hiyara with the Luxury Villa perfect for couples. It’s a 40 sq.m. suite with a modern Filipino interior design and locally crafted products and pieces of furniture. Aside from the cozy room, it also has a private dipping pool and a hanging chair perfect for lounging on the balcony.
Karen Baluyot, the architect behind Hiraya Wellness Resort, ensured that the villas and rooms reflect Filipino design and craftsmanship.
“Karen got the elements from Bali, but she made sure that the designs were very Filipino, with themes of white and then with a touch of rattan accent pieces locally made in Pangasinan,” Golda said.
She also noted that their rooms are naturally small to encourage guests to go out and explore the vast property.
“We want the guests to not stay inside the villa but to explore the great outdoors, feel the fresh air,” she said.
An overnight trip (or more) to Hiraya really is ideal for adventurous couples looking for other ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day (and other special occasions).
When asked what made her push for these activities at the resort, the general manager said she wants their guests to get their money’s worth through priceless experiences.
“For example, in pizza making, it’s that feeling of creating something new. It gives the maker a sense of accomplishment and experience something priceless,” she said.
Hiraya is a three to five-hour drive from Metro Manila using the North Luzon Expressway. For those who prefer to commute, you may take a bus going to Lingayen or Bolinao, and tell the conductor beforehand to drop you off at Hiraya Wellness Resort.
Hiraya Wellness Resort and Ecopark is located on Romulo Highway, Barangay Ninoy, Aguilar, Pangasinan.
— LA, GMA Integrated News