Adventures Of The Massage Kind

An afternoon run followed by dinner.  After dinner, restless, I walk back to the “town” of Sabang Beach to explore.  It’s an entirely different world from our quiet beach just minutes away.  Girlie bars.  A couple of ladyboys lurking in the shadows.   Massage parlors.  Hotels and restaurants everywhere.

Sixty minute massage for $10?  Sure, I’m in.  I’m led upstairs to a disreputable looking room, told to undress, and given a small handtowel to cover myself.

My massage is unlike any I have ever had, at one point being lifted off the ground by my tiny Filipina masseuse, her back on the floor, her feet on my back, holding me skyward.  My limbs are twisted and pulled, pressure points prodded.

Best. Massage. Ever.  Dull background aches I’ve had for years are gone.

(And to answer the question you may be thinking – there was nothing sexual about the massage.)

Next night, back to Sabang Beach.  I definitely need to try another massage.  For that price, how could I not?  I decide to try somewhere else.

One place is randomly closed for the night.  Perhaps just as well, given it’s location next to a girlie bar.  Next place I give a miss – it’s obvious the girls will encourage a ‘happy ending.’

A block over, I am caught off guard when a ladyboy offers to let me take one of two women standing nearby to a room for ‘sexy massage.’  Ah yes, the Philippines that you hear so many stories about.  I certainly never expected though to experience a ladyboy pimping a woman.  A bit unnerved, I quickly move on.

I walk down a random alley I missed before.  $9 for an hour massage.  Definitely worth a try.  A beautiful young woman (my theory now is that all young Filipinas are fantastically gorgeous) leads me up a seedy looking building – for that price you can’t expect a luxury experience.  In the room, she stands there watching while I undress.   Hmm… we are definitely not in the US. 

Once again, an outstanding experience.  And if your mind went to the gutter this time, sorry – it was professional and appropriate (though a bit disconcerting that I was unable to undress in private).

Reason enough to love the Philippines.

Next night, my final night in the country.  Manila.  I’m determined to get one last massage.

We check out multiple spas.  Here, a true spa experience is possible.  The place is beautiful.  I request a 1 hour body scrub followed by one hour Thai massage.


I have discovered that sometimes the best adventures require no effort at all.  After three great Thai-style massages in three days, I feel amazing.

Happiness is…. all those little aches and pains we just get used to in life being completely erased.  

Six weeks later, I am still wishing I could experience those massages again.  They were an outstanding experience, and my body felt better for a couple of weeks.  I guess I will have to return to the Philippines.

(and… the photo is obviously not me.  I just wanted a photo that gave an idea what the experience was like)