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Weekend Retreat at Gaia Edit

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Gaia Retreats  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

All photos by Melissa Villanueva 
Original text by The Spark Project

Our Story

Melissa and Gwyneth (with support from their loving and talented husbands) first started to hatch this partnership in 2015. They met through the Good Food Community and realized they had a lot in common as transnational Filipinas who have actively sought to make a social and environmental impact in the Philippines. 

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Both were directing the operations of small non-profit organizations: Gwyneth’s TCIP with projects in Nueva Ecija and Metro Manila and Melissa’s TIGRA with projects in Bantayan Island and Boracay. They thought, why not combine our efforts and create a social business that can help sustain our shared advocacies? 

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In 2017, Gwyneth’s mum, Mama J, herself a development worker and environmentalist, agreed to lease their beachfront property for use as an eco-tourism sanctuary.

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Currently, the 4-hectare property is used occasionally as a family getaway for beach bumming and stand-up paddle board. There is a wood cabin, outside kitchen and basic bathroom. The site is blessed with free-flowing freshwater all-year round. 

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About the Experience

Dingalan’s relative proximity to Metro Manila makes it a good contender for weekend warriors looking to retreat from it all. Local tourism consists of trips to Lamao Caves and Tanawan Falls. White Beach is just a short walk from Gaia Retreats. Guests enjoy swimming, snorkeling 20 m from the shore, and eating fresh seafood.

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Food at Gaia Retreats will be sourced locally, direct from fishers and organic farms in the area, when possible. Our partner TCIP champions organic farming in Nueva Ecija and offers fresh vegetables, organic meats and rice through www.gaiagardensph.com. Melissa is also a fermenter and culturer (kefir, sauerkraut, cortido etc.) and is excited to share this ancient practice and its modern day science with Gaia guests. 

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Gaia Retreats is a social enterprise that commits to giving at least 10% profit to a community fund managed by TCIP and designated for community-based resource management in Dingalan proper. 

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Limited edition prints - individually watercoloured art works. Collect them all! Contributions of Php1500 will receive a 5" X 7" work, contributions of Php 3000 will receive a 8" X 10.5" work. 

Follow us on Instagram and use the hashtag #sparkgaia. 


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Ignite inner and outer transformation! Join us in Dingalan, Aurora for an off-grid yoga experience! Book here

Gaia Retreats is an ecotourism and wellness destination in Dingalan, Aurora, Philippines. We are home to a bamboo yoga shala, campsites near the beach, family cabin, and common kitchen and bathroom facilities. We welcome guests who want to disconnect from the stress of daily life to enjoy our quiet stretch of beach, savor the view, commune with friends, and marvel at the stars. This is the place to renew your relationship to nature! Nearby and on-site activities include yoga, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, waterfall treks, or simply relaxing.  


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