Originally from the Philippines, Emmanuel moved to San Antonio, Texas with his family in his 20s before meeting his wife and moving to Calgary five years ago.
“Cooking has been my passion,” Emmanuel says. “I started cooking when I moved to Texas, I got all my training there, and when I came to Canada I started working as a cook.”
But the long hours and late night and weekend shift were challenging, so when a friend recommended MaKami’s Advanced Clinical Massage Therapy program, Emmanuel was interested.
“I became interested in massage therapy when I started getting treatments myself,” he says. “I wanted to help others and make them feel good too. So when my friend went there and she told me they have a really good program I decided to take a tour.
They told me all about the program and the services they offer like tutoring, and I decided to enroll.”
Emmanuel says what surprised him the most about the program was how in-depth it focused on the anatomy of the body. “You really learn a lot about how the body works. You learn about the muscles and bones, it’s very interesting.”
He says his favourite part about going to the school was the amount of hands-on experience he received and all the support he had from his teachers and tutors in the Student Success Centre (SSC). “The faculty and tutors helped me a lot with my studies, especially if I started to fall behind.”
Emmanuel graduated the program in 2021 and decided to open Rockyview Massage and Spa in New Horizon Mall, near Balzac in October 2021. The spa offers a variety of massage therapy treatments and facials. Emmanuel is a co-owner of the spa.
“I wanted to start my own business because I wanted the flexibility that comes with being your own boss,” he says. “Before when I was cooking it was really hard, sometimes didn’t have time with my family, so I really wanted that extra freedom and to be able to work with my own schedule.”
Emmanuel credits the business plan part of MaKami’s curriculum for helping him on his entrepreneurial path. “I really learned a lot from that course, it helped me in many ways when I decided to open the spa,” he says, adding his life has definitely improved after graduating from the school.
“MaKami gave me all the training I needed. I would definitely recommend MaKami to a friend because it’s great. They have everything there – tutoring, a great curriculum – everything you need they have it.”