Being healthy is more than just about losing weight or dieting- it’s a mind and body connection.” – Chef Chip Lopez, The Lazy Chef

Health has been on my mind lately.

That’s why I’ve been cutting down on carbs and sugars while exercising as much as I can, but Chip points out another thing I need to take into consideration. I’ve got to find ways to keep my mind healthy too.

It’s easy to ignore this and let it fall by the wayside. We all seem to have a tendency to run our mind ragged. Do you go through 12 hour work days? Is your mind racing before you sleep? Can you remember the last time you gave your mind a rest?

Thankfully, Chef Chip Lopez, a Plant-based, Whole Foods advocate and Bernadette Pacana, a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 500), decided to hold a health and wellness retreat called Ubuntu Festival.

Ubuntu /oo-buun-too/ is an African term roughly translating to human kindness or humanity towards others. It is the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.

Hale MannaWhat is the Ubuntu Festival?

A weekend inside a tranquil beach resort inside Hale Manna, a space designed to unplug you from all the stresses of everyday urban life.  You’ll hear birds chirping. Waves hitting the rocks. No city noises guaranteed.

While there, you’ll be treated to sunrise Yoga with Bernadette. Do all those poses while the sun rises behind you as you breathe in and out to the rhythm of the wind hitting the trees.

Before you know it, it’s almost lunch time. Chef Lopez teaches you all her little secrets with a healthy cooking demo. If you haven’t tried anything from The Lazy Chef, you are in for a treat. The food is going to be uncompromisingly good and guilt free.

You’ll experience many different ways to relax your mind and stay present. Jake Maningo will talk about creative expression through art. You’ll listen to a few tunes from Cattski Espina. You can even do a little exercise by kayaking and snorkeling in the water. Hale Manna also has plenty of little nooks perfect for reflection and simple relaxation.

It’s a retreat where you can learn all sorts of skills to keep your mind and body healthy through the sharing of others.

032: Why promote wellness?

Chef Chip: Being healthy is more than just about losing weight or dieting- it’s a mind and body connection. You can’t work on one and not the other. We see that the need is there. Cebuanos are looking for more healthy options, they are eager to make a change but some just don’t know where to start. We want to help these people transition successfully. We want them to realize that being healthy isn’t just about numbers on a scale- it’s eating right, it’s about living mindfully and it’s being happy with who you are and where you are in life.

032: Why should people go to the Ubuntu Festival?

Chef Chip: It’s the first one of its kind in the country. It’s a festival, a retreat, a workshop rolled into one. It’s a great way to meet new friends and build a community. If you need to recharge, if you need some “me” time, if you want to try SUP yoga or learn how to prepare healthy food then this festival is perfect for you.

032: What exactly can we expect in the Ubuntu Festival?

Chef Chip: It is a weekend full of Yoga Classes (vinyasa, flow and SUP) lead by Bernadette Pacana, RYT 500 and Marc Macadaeg of Urban Ashram Manila; Healthy Cooking Demo’s by The Lazy Chef, Chip Lopez; Art Therapy sessions by Jake Maningo of Kulas Ideas and Creation; Music Appreciation by Cattski Espina of 22 Tango Records; and beach activities like Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) by Buzzy Budlong of Island Buzz Philippines, Kayaking and Snorkeling.

hale manna ubuntu festival cebu032: When is it happening?

Chef Chip: Set to happen on October 17-19 at Hale Manna in Moalboal, Cebu.

032: What is it about Hale Manna that makes it perfect for the Ubuntu Festival?

Chef Chip: Hale Manna in Hawaiian means “house of good energy.” When we asked the owner why there weren’t any signs leading up to the resort, she simply answered, “Coz I believe if you were meant to come here you will find it.” I think her answer sealed the deal.  The place is so beautiful and peaceful. It’s a great place to do beach activities like SUP, snorkeling and kayaking but at the same time the little nooks make it perfect for the reflective parts of the festival like journaling and yoga.

Want to join? Send them a message on their Facebook page or contact them at 0923 5032267 or

Learn more about Hale Manna here.

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