Modern medical practitioners usually sneer at the benefits of hilot, which generally translates to “massage,” but in some areas are used for far more than relaxation and is done to get rid of various physical ailments. If we stick to the strict “massage” aspect of it, no one can argue that it does soothe stress and tired muscles.
TJ’s been looking for a good massage lately, one that doesn’t cost too much (I was pushing him to try BlueWater Day Spa before, where I had a really good massage months ago), so today, we decided to try Hilot Pinoy along Commonwealth Avenue, a short distance away from Casa Milan. We’ve been passing it every time we drive in the area and wondered what kind of services they offered.
When you walk in, you could see that the place was done up with what you might call native furnishings: lots of wood and woven materials. On the counter is a list of the massages they offer, the most expensive one being Hilot Espesyal, an hour-long massage using coconut oil. We opted for Hilot Mabilisan, which costs P250 with oil, P2oo without. You have to go up to the second floor to the massage area, which really wasn’t anything fancy, just a bunch of beds separated with curtains. There are no separate areas for men and women, and from time to time, you can hear the chatter of the massage therapists beyond the curtain. Not that intrusive, really, and besides, you’ve got the old Filipino love songs playing to keep you focused. While I found the surroundings not at all that impressive, I suppose you can say they serve their purpose.
The massage itself was satisfactory. It wasn’t especially thorough, but that’s a 30-minute massage for you. TJ left feeling quite happy with his massage, and I wasn’t complaining at all; for P250, it was a steal and a half. After the massage, you also get free cup of hot tea, which mainly consisted of calamansi blended with honey–yummy, by the way. By the way, apart from the massages, Hilot Pinoy also serves food, mainly sandwiches and pasta, including one called Tinapa Pasta (P90).
I don’t think Hilot Pinoy will do brisk business in their current location, and they might want to have a sniff around other places too to plumb their potential. It’s a promising concept though, and certainly a good place for people who need a cheap way to relax.