Soneva Organic Spa

She was good with her hands and I had a good time

Massage area for two

Massage area for two

I was groaning in pain as the masseuse deftly kneaded the area just above my shoulder blades.

Ito po Sir, maraming ‘lamig’. Ito po ang nagpapasakit sa likod. Kung maramdaman mo na ito, stressed ka na at dapat ka nang magpamasahe. (This one Sir. This is the ‘cold.’ This one causes your backpains. If you feel this one, you’re already stressed and you need a massage.

Signage that greets guests upon reaching the 4th floor

Signage that greets guests upon reaching the 4th floor

Evangelyn the masseuse told me in between pressing and running her thumbs on my skin lubricated with Nirvana oil, organic oil that has a faint pleasant smell. She was clearing the lumps in between muscles. Is the pressure okay sir?, she asked from time to time as the in room music was playing a flute version with nature sounds of Pachelbel’s Kanon. She was petite, middle aged. Her physical stature doesn’t speak much of her expertise. But once I got under her nimbly hands, I was sure this was what I needed. Badly.

Front desk of spa

Front desk of spa

It was hard finding Soneva Organic Spa, a spa in Quezon City, as I’m not so familiar with this establishment in Quezon City as I’m more of a Makati and EDSA person. But with the help of the location map at the website and Google maps, I was there in no time. Located at the fourth floor of a building, one will be greeted by a cozily lit place.

There are bamboo accents around the walls, spa products, and soothing music. A framed photo of Miss Earth beauties announce that it’s the official spa for these pageant. The frontdesk attendant was helpful.

Soneva Spa ante-room for waiting guests

Soneva Spa ante-room for waiting guests

What do you have to offer? I asked. If you want a regular massage, these will be good… as she narrated the products. If you have backpains, we have Traditional Hilot with Foot Reflexology… That! That is what I need! I blurted. And she smiled. Wait a minute sir.

I took a shower. Didn’t know that the liquid soap was placed in a cylindrical container that easily spilled (probably use a better one?). Afterwards I returned to the massage room. Two massage beds with a small pillow and two towels each. I took the other one. When Evangelyn entered… Dapa Sir (Go prone, Sir).

Hallway inside Soneva Spa

Hallway inside Soneva Spa

Hilot is the Philippine’s own traditional massage technique and I used to have this with the local albularyo (medicine man) when we were children. With Evangelyn, hilot was just good. After massaging my back, she lit a wooden tray with candles. Got one piece of cut banana leaves, dabbed oil on it and passed through the fire. She then rubbed it on my back, and placed it on one part.

Banana leaves blanched and will be used for the hilot massage

Banana leaves blanched and will be used for the hilot massage

The heat at first surprised me but got used to it, eventually. She did this until my entire back was covered. She got a towel and covered the banana leaves and added another layer of towel. She then worked on my arms and then my legs and feet. Just as the massage was done, she removed the banana leaves and those piled on my back and offered me ginger hot tea.

Ginger tea

Ginger tea

It was one of the best massages I had in months! Evangelyn was good with her technique and made sure that I was also pleasantly comfortable. And I would not mind going back again to have another good one.

Soneva Organic Spa
Tomas Morato corner Limbaga St.,
270 4th Floor, Forum Building,
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Service Hours: Monday-Sunday 1:00pm – 12:00mn
(632) 926-6249 and (63) 0917 4071129
Email: [email protected]onevaspa.com

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

2 Comments

  1. Karl Ace
    April 14, 2014 @ 13:54

    I just might try that hilot service soon. Recently I had the so-called superfacial and months ago I had jadestone naman.

  2. estancabigas
    April 14, 2014 @ 14:04

    i really liked the traditional hilot. 🙂

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