Hilot (/hee-lot/) is an ancient Filipino art of healing, commonly used today to relax stressed muscles, otherwise known as massage.
There used to be Manang Nene, our next door neighbor, to soothe those growing pains, she was very effective in relieving body pains, cough, colds and fever with efficascent oil, when we were younger. I don't know where she is now, for sure she's very old by now. Hers was the authentic Filipino way of hilot.
In recent years, massage parlors have been sprouting everywhere in the city. I certainly welcome this development, making it more accessible and affordable. Years back, when Manang Nene wasn't available, I had to go to a hotel for a massage. Massage parlors also turned wholesome although there are still a few that offers that extra service (a friend's experience may warrant a completely different post.)
The most luxurious massage I experienced was probably at San Benito Farm in Batangas. Four consecutive days of different types of massage including one under the stars was superb.
I like best the routine of a Thai massage. It is a dry massage that involves stretching and deep massage, perfect for my sore musscles. For only P300, I enjoy an hour and a half of relaxing massage at Thewi Thai Massage. Theirs is very similar to the Thai Massage I had in Bangkok.
The stone massage is my second best routine. The warm stone rubbed and laid on the skin relaxes the muscles. Although I'm sometimes bothered by balancing the stones on my back which should not be the case. I had this at Medah Spa for P800 and it's low-end counterpart Touch 'n Heal for P400 or less, the former employs Physical Therapists.
Today, instead of going to the gym, I went to Holiday Gym and Spa for an oil massage to soothe my weary bones and spirit and my ankle that I sprained earlier today during a badminton tournament (injured myself again!). Luckily they had a promo, I paid P300 for an hour's massage; which normally costs P400-700 an hour.
When I have injury, I normally go to San Vicente Sotto Hospital's Rehab Center, there's a rehab nurse that is very good with Manipulative Therapy including joint manipulation (associated with the production of an audible 'clicking' or 'popping' sound).
More than the usual sights and food trip, having a good massage is one that you must experience when visiting Cebu.
Experience first class amenities at Cebu's most luxurious spa in Chi Spa Village in Shangri-La's Mactan Resort. A day spa costs around P5,000 to P20,000, in spite of being pricey, they get fully booked. Priority is given to inhouse guests, call(63 32) 231 0288 loc 68304 to 68307 to reserve. They open between 10 am to 10 pm.
In the city, more popular spa with sauna, with price range of P400 - P800/hour:
Molave Street (Off Escario), Camputhaw, Cebu City
(63 32) 231-0408
Holiday Gym and Spa
(63 32) 234-4791
2/F MD Bldg, Banilad, Cebu (Between Cebu Country Club and Crossroads)
(63 32) 234-4171
The Spa at Cebu
with indoor and outdoor spa
Maria Luisa Road, Banilad
(63 32) 412-0888 & 345-1777
(63 32) 234-2080 & 234-2083
Affordable massage parlors without sauna, with price range P180-250/hour:
Thewi Thai Massage
3 Llorente St., Capitol Site
across Palladium Suites
(63 32) 412 5278
Tonton Thai Massage
Doña Luisa Bldg., Fuente Osmeña (with branches in Mactan and Mandaue)
Nuat Thai Massage
Body and Sole
(i do not recommend this since I had a bad experience with peeping masseurs)
Touch and Heal
I've been to all these except for two, Thewi Thai Massage is my personal favorite.