Anyone who visits Tirta Spa will be in awe. From the quiet hide-away location, to the sprawling gardens, the amazing seascape, the architectural mix of Asian-inspired villas - everything seems so meticulously planned. All the elements naturally come together to offer the visitor a unique experience for blissful rejuvenation. As with all good things though, getting this spa to be where it is now was not an easy feat at all. It was a journey filled with challenges, many of them unimaginable, every step of the way.
It all started as a vision in 2004. Overflowing with a passion to propagate the benefits of natural wellness, then Hong-Kong based Filipina, Miss En Calvert, contemplated putting up a world-class spa in the land of her birth. Knowing how outstanding Philippine beaches are compared to other popular beaches around the globe, it was natural for her to choose Boracay Island as a target location. Armed with her vision, she set out on visits to the island and eventually purchased a parcel of land on a hilltop in the Manoc-Manoc district. The land was a short tricycle-ride away from the beachfront; a perfect distance for a hide-away spot.
It seemed obvious to her to create a wonderful mix of Asian architecture for the buildings. After all, these Asian cultures evoked the most exotic and mystical characters of wellness and healing. In her mind, countless images from Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, India and even as far as Egpyt played with indigenous Philippine narra, Vigan red bricks, Capiz shells and Baguio woodcraft. Translating all these into tangible designs however, required the invaluable technical help of Filipino architects, most noteworthy of whom was Jonathan Leonardo. He enhanced the ideas and concepts that flowed from Miss En’s creativity and lent important proportion to the many structures that now stand.
Once the land was being leveled and construction of the buildings began, Miss En and her sibling “A” shuttled between different Asian countries to simultaneously source furnitures and natural raw ingredients for the treatments. In the end, Tirta Spa took almost two years to construct and required two 40-feet container vans to ship the exquisite choice of antique furnitures, doors, artifacts and stone walls, not to mention the astounding signature temple gate entrance, to Boracay.
Millions of pesos were poured in, but time seemed to slow and more investments was required as Miss En experienced the unscrupulous exploitation of the many suppliers who took advantage of her being a neophyte entrepreneur. It was a painful realization of the damaged business culture in the country.