Shinrin-yoku: How to remove stress through forest bathing

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 19, 2019   •   2200

Shinrin-yoku is Japanese for forest bathing. Shinrin meaning “forest” and yoku meaning “bath”. It can also be called Tree Therapy.

What is Shinrin-yoku?

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Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese practice that started in the 1980’s. It is basically connecting with nature through all your senses, like smelling the forest air, feeling the leaves and the branches.

Why try Shinrin-yoku?

There are studies that show how forest bathing brings health benefits to an individual. Phytoncides, the antimicrobial chemicals released by trees to prevent from rotting also helps in giving health benefits to humans.

Most trees also contain organic compounds that support our own natural killers (NK) which fights off cancer.

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Other benefits include:

  • Reduced stress
  • Decreased depression, fatigue, anxiety, and confusion.
  • Boosted immune system
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased ability to focus

How to start forest bathing?

First, find a forest that will suit you. It doesn’t matter if it is an hour away from home or it will take hours of travel, as long as it is a place that will surely bring you comfort.

No gadgets. It is better to keep your phones in your bag or leave them behind.

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Some ‘forest bathers’ walk barefoot to fully experience nature. But it is not required.

You don’t need to jog or do any exercise. You can walk, sit, or just lie down on the ground.

Where to forest bathe?

You can try visiting Arroceros Forest Park in Manila, Ayala Triangle in Makati or La Mesa Eco Park in Quezon City.

If you want to go somewhere that will really immerse you in nature, visit the provinces or try hiking.

Mt. Arayat

Palawan hailed as ‘Best Island in the World’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 10, 2020

Palawan is again hailed as the “best island in the world,” by international travel magazine Travel+Leisure.

“It’s dramatic at sea level, with mountains rising directly from the ocean palm-edged beaches. Though it’s difficult to reach from many parts of the world, once travelers get there they can dive in World War II wrecks, explore old-growth rain forests, and paddle one of the world’s longest subterranean rivers at Puerto Princesa,” according to Travel+Leisure magazine.

The magazine released its Top 25 Best Islands in the world on Wednesday (July 9), in which Palawan ranked first with a score 94.83. This is the fourth time the island topped the list.

One of the fans wrote, “The landscape and scenery are just gorgeous. It offers the most beautiful beaches, resorts, and scenery anywhere.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism celebrated Palawan’s recognition. DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the “rehabilitation and sustainable development efforts last year, especially in El Nido and Coron, were well-received by tourists everywhere.” AAC

Sagada reopens doors to tourists; new rules set amid COVID-19 threat

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 24, 2020

After its temporary closure, the tourist spots in Sagada, Mountain Province have been reopened to the public but with a new set of rules as precautionary measure against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019).

Sagada Mayor James Pooten, Jr. has signed an order lifting the suspension on all eco-tourism activities in their area. However, Pooten said spelunking and sunrise viewing will remain suspended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The official also said tours will begin at 7:00 a.m. and tourists need to undergo health screenings upon arrival in Sagada.

“Assessment will be done when registering at the Tourist Information Center when checking in at accommodations, and before tours start,” he said.—AAC

DOT: 15% increase in tourist arrivals in 2019

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 11, 2019

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has reported a 15% increase in tourist arrivals in 2019.

Based on the data of the DOT, tourist arrivals went up by 6.8 million from January to October 2019.

This is 15% higher compared to the 5.9 million tourist arrivals from January to October 2018.

Meanwhile, tourism revenue is also up by 25% compared in 2018. From January to August 2019, the DOT already recorded P27.3 billion revenue.

The bulk of the tourists visiting the country come from South Korea, China, and the United States.

Meanwhile, Boracay Island remains the top tourist destination in the country.

Foreign Tourists:

Korea = 1,609,172
China = 1,499,524
United States = 872,335
Japan = 569,625
Taiwan = 282,220

According to the DOT, progress in tourism creates job and business opportunities for the country.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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