After being stranded and expected to function as a nurse in the hospital for three straight days during the height of Typhoon Maring, I could barely move my shoulders and had to drag my feet to be able to walk. I have been postponing my massage appointments and with the untoward event of not being able to go home to Cavite, I had to find a replacement massage center near at hand.
I asked Google, my genius friend, for any suggestions and he had very few. I then walked my way to Robinson’s Manila and was told by Ms. Information Lady that I could only choose between the Blind Chair Massage or Malate Holiday Spa in the second floor. I do not think a chair massage could relax me at this wreck, so second floor it is.
The place had a huge stone facade with its name engraved in bold letters. It is located at the far left of the floor and right next to Bench Fix Salon.
When I entered the place, I must say I was disappointed: the reception area resembles a good-looking sari-sari store! The walls and furniture looks old and the receptionist was clad in mere T-shirt and jeans. I also noticed several therapists seated on the floor seemingly waiting for customers.
I almost want to withdraw but my tensed muscles were so terrible that time and there’s no way I am leaving un-massaged.
When my turn came, I was told that there were only two massage choices, Swedish or Shiatsu both for Php 580. Thing is, I have been to countless spas in my life but I don’t know the difference between the two. In an irate voice, Ms. Receptionist told me that Shiatsu is dry massage and Swedish uses oil. I have never tried dry massage before and it sounds painful to me, so I settled for Swedish.
I was then given my locker keys and slippers. Before I reached the dressing room, I noticed that men and women were properly designated in this spa as two separate hallways were strategically labeled after the reception. But still, with every step, I grew even more disappointed with the place’s interior, I sure hope they have heavenly massage here.
They have free shower and sauna but I decided not to try any as I need to be back to the hospital in a breeze. After changing into the right costume, I entered a dark-lit area with about 10 beds not separated by curtains or whatever: not a good sign. Maybe the management was thinking that since all customers and attendants are ladies here, it wouldn’t be a problem. But honestly, I felt uncomfortable.
In just a few minutes, Bianca, my masseuse, came to my rescue. She started kneading my back in that professional manner that only professionals can do and I swear I was relaxed at an instant. She broke all my muscles knots with her hands and I could not remember any of the events following it. But what I remember is the whole time she was massaging my back, my buttocks were exposed to the world which I think is totally unnecessary. I had to remind her twice to cover them.
There was this one time she made me carry her entire weight from my back. When we landed, I heard a loud crack and I just thought I broke a rib! But after assessing my body, I knew I was fine, in fact never been better. She also lifted me a couple of times as if I was a backpack: I was so surprised I uttered a resounding “Oh My God”. I bet those lying next to me were rudely interrupted LOL.
Not long, one hour of pressing, kneading, and lifting finally ended and I was left by Bianca to relax a little more. Surprised as I am, I fell asleep. Truly, this is exceptional massage I have experienced.
When she woke me up, I bluntly asked her, “Miss Bianca, are you a gymnast?”
And she just laughed.
They have complimentary coffee, tea, or juice after the massage. I had Lipton tea which was not bad as a refreshment. But I still think massage centers should offer free ice cream, vanilla flavor.
I was so relaxed I could not find my way out of the mall and even entered a boutique twice! Thank you Malate Holiday Spa, even though the place was not appealing, the massage was really incredible, not to mention death-defying.
Malate Holiday Spa for Men and Women
2nd Floor, Padre Faura Wing, Robinson’s Place
PHOTO CREDIT: http://18stones.blogspot.com/2011/04/holiday-spa.html