“Starting with the humble dreams of just one individual and another dreamer, we have evolved into a strong team of 120 committed employees.”
RAISED by a family of entrepreneurs, Ayeza Almario’s upbringing inspired her to get into business at a young age. Witnessing the hard work of her parents and grandparents, she harbored a strong desire to follow in their footsteps.
At the age of 6, she fondly remembered selling coffee beans to her grandparents, who owned a coffee farm, and engaging in various small businesses while studying.
Even at such a young age, it was evident that Almario had shown interest in business. However, it wasn’t until college that she figured out the specific type of business she wanted to pursue.
“I didn’t know it was physical therapy until my mom walked me through the University of Perpetual Help in Biñan, which, at that time, was famous for physical therapy [degree],” Almario said, adding that she took the degree when she found out it was known as the hardest course in that institution.
Being the risk taker that she was, Almario successfully finished her degree in physical therapy. However, the journey wasn’t as smooth sailing as it could be. Amid financial hardships, Almario found herself treating patients to save money for her education.
Following her graduation, she took on multiple jobs overseas, temporarily setting aside her dream of pursuing further studies due to financial constraints.
With tears in her eyes, Almario looked back on her past: “It was a tough time. Being separated from my family was difficult, especially not knowing what the future held. I juggled my responsibilities as an assistant physical therapist and part-time worker in restaurants and events.”
Eventually, she found a way to pursue the profession she learned to love. She happily recalled: “Luckily, God is so good, I met this husband and wife, the owner of Physio Asia Singapore in Orchard. We began as business partners, we became like a family also. They also hired me as a consultant.”
In her previous roles as a business partner, assistant physical therapist and consultant, she had the opportunity to travel to different locations and observe how physical therapy patients were treated in other countries. Yet, she couldn’t help but notice the lack of genuine tender loving care for patients in the treatment process.
After some time, Almario returned home and built her first physical therapy center with the vision of elevating the physical therapy sector in the Philippines. Her approach involved not only incorporating top-notch technology, but also infusing compassionate care into the practice of physical therapy.
“In 2006, I embarked on an exciting journey by establishing my very first physical therapy center in Calamba, Laguna — known as the Asian Wellness Hub — a place where the realms of dermatology and medical spa converged seamlessly,” said Almario.
She further added: “The Asian Wellness Hub was not just a place; it was a vision brought to life. Over time, my commitment to innovation shone through. I replaced traditional ice therapy with cutting-edge cryotherapy machines, offering our clients a new level of comfort and effectiveness. Drawing inspiration from my studies in Thailand, I introduced locally crafted herbal balls into our treatment. This commitment to progress allowed us to create diverse treatment aids, ensuring our patients’ continued benefit even when they were not in our care.”
In the following years, Almario acquired all the shares of Physio Asia Center in the Philippines and transitioned it into Almario Physio Team Center.
However, she realized something important: “This transformation allowed me to understand that my last name was merely a component of a much larger team effort. I felt a profound sense of accomplishment in being recognized as part of a dedicated team rather than relying solely on my last name.”
To honor her team’s contributions, she decided to rename her business to what has been known as Physiaré, a wordplay of physical therapy and care.
Physiaré began in Almario’s hometown of Laguna and has since extended its presence to major cities across Luzon. Just this year, it introduced two new centers in Alabang, Muntinlupa, and Santa Rosa, Laguna. This was in addition to its existing clinics in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, and Makati.
Almario and her team consistently worked to provide comfort to both patients and physical therapists. This has been made possible by employing cutting-edge machines that aid in alleviating patients’ pain in the process.
Almario proudly shared: “These pioneering machines hailed from Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and the United States, representing the forefront of innovation.”
In its mission to advance the nation’s physical therapy industry, Almario added: “We continued to push boundaries, reaching new heights by introducing the world’s first robotic machine for pain management, a global postural assessment system and the latest muscle gain technology. Each of these innovations was meticulously chosen, grounded in evidence-based studies and designed to revolutionize the field.”
For almost two decades, Physiaré has provided comprehensive and specialized care that catered to a wide range of health and wellness needs. Its expertise has spanned across various areas, including back care, shoulder care, temporomandibular joint or TMJ concerns, conditioning, myofascial therapy, complete liposuction rehabilitation and thorough medical care assessments.
Dedicated to setting the industry benchmarks, Physiaré focused on innovating its offerings and recently introduced a new program that seamlessly combined beauty and physical therapy.
“This program, which took nearly two years to meticulously craft, aims to enhance your well-being from the inside out. It draws its roots from the millions of patients we’ve had the privilege to treat over the years,” said Almario.
After more than a decade of experience and the establishment of five branches, Physiaré has emerged as a reputable provider of physiotherapy endorsed by numerous personalities. Esteemed clients from various industries, including William Gatchalian, Jessie Alice Dixson, Sen. Pilar Juliana “Pia” Cayetano, to name a few, could attest to its quality services.
Almario reflected with gratitude, saying, “Starting with the humble dreams of just one individual and another dreamer, we have evolved into a strong team of 120 committed employees.”
Almario revealed that her ultimate dream was to establish Physiaré clinics in every barangay (village) and extend assistance and physical therapy education to underserved communities.
She expressed: “I want to reach out to less privileged communities and educate them on how to take care of their health, specifically addressing issues such as knee and back pain. This way, they can lead more productive lives and contribute to their families. I hope that the government can support us in realizing this dream.”
As founder and chief executive officer of Physiaré, Almario’s typical workday has always been a mix of personal and professional activities. Before diving into work, Almario made it a point to include meditation and exercise in her routine. She has consistently attended to both major and minor tasks, setting the right tone for her workday.
Quality time with her family has remained a constant priority. Her weekends have been packed with church visits, rounds of golf and lively karaoke sessions with her loved ones.
Almario has remained hopeful for the future of Physiaré and the team. Looking ahead, she envisioned passing the torch to her younger sister, a doctor of physical therapy, who graduated from Monash University in Australia with high distinction awards, ensuring the continuation of their shared advocacy and commitment to health care in the Philippines.
She concluded: “Nearly two decades have passed since I embarked on the journey of realizing my vision. Today, I stand on the precipice of a new chapter as I proudly welcome my youngest sister, Dr. Ace Almario, into the fold. With the steadfast support of my sister, Anya Almario, and my whole management, the succession plan is set in motion.”
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WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
None because my system always anticipates the worst scenario.
WHAT REALLY MAKES YOU ANGRY?
Professionally, it makes me angry when protocols are not implemented in the clinic.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO WORK HARD?
What motivates me is my dream to build a clinic in every barangay (village) in order to reach out to marginalized communities.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH THE MOST?
I am happiest when I am with my team or with my family.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WON THE LOTTO?
I’ll give it to the management and staff with the hope of providing them and their families with a good life. I’ll also donate some to charity.
IF YOU COULD SHARE A MEAL WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL, LIVING OR DEAD, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I would like to share a meal with underprivileged individuals, who have no shelter.
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
Books about leadership and how to raise an intuitive child.
WHAT CELEBRITY WOULD YOU LIKE TO MEET FOR A CUP OF COFFEE?
Not a celebrity but a well-known personality: the late Miriam Defensor Santiago. Growing up with a strict mother, I wanted to ask her about how she balanced life and managed to be the successful and fearless woman that she was, fighting for things she believed in.
WHAT IS THE MOST DARING THING YOU’VE EVER DONE?
In my career, the most daring thing I’ve done is to combine beauty and physical therapy.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WILL NEVER DO AGAIN?
I don’t regret anything; instead, I think of it this way: the consequences of my actions will help me grow and achieve more.