Yesterday I arrived Dipolog with no sleep and restlessly tired from my trip. Call me insomniac and so I decided to just go around the city center which is actuall where the hostel that I am staying in is located. This city is amazing! They have one of the best sidewalk systems and it can accommodate a lot more people than the pavewalks of EDSA! What I am saying here is that they have huge pavewalks for walking around. The town is small enough to go around and I was in search of a barber shop to get a back massage.
I ended up at Barberya sa Dipolog ni Antonio and got a massage from Andres dela Cruz. We ended up talking about life and got to know more about him in the process. He has one sibling who works in Makati City working for Mayor Jejomar Binay. In addition, he has a sibling who got married and is based in Cebu City. He has four sons and four daughters and got married at 36 years old! Get this — he married a 16 year old! He’s now 60 years old and is a beaming proud father of a 22 year old Cebuano boxer by the name of Joel dela Cruz. He mentioned that his son already competed in South Africa and Thailand. Upon checking Google, the details seem right and accurate. Wow! It is small world after all. He lives in the next town called Manukan can has been a barber for more than 30 years!
Would you believe that at the end of the massage I actually dozed off for close to 15 minutes? I guess the massage was relaxing to put me to sleep. After that, I paid 150 pesos and gave 20 pesos as tip to the barber. I will definitely try to go back there and get another massage before I leave. But wait, I had another massage elsewhere on the same day!
On the same road towards the boulevard near a hotel, there’s a Thai Massage center! And one hour of Thai massage is just 200 pesos! If there’s one thing that I truly enjoy traveling the Philippines is this — everything else is cheaper outside of Metro Manila [with the rare exception for Boracay -- which for some strange reason is expensive and even more expensive than Manila when it comes to basic services]. As I entered the shop and inquired of rates and all, I ended up deciding to get a Thai Massage. The lady at the front desk was pushing for me to get a Swedish massage [which was P300 pesos]. I told her I am more interested in Thai massage beause it involves a lot of stretching. One thing I like about getting a thai massage is that I am capable of reaching my toes without strain right after the massage. It loosens that muscles that are tight around my quads and legs.
I was brisked away towards the area where I was to leave my shoes. The place did not have any showering facilities, but they did provide a wooden basin filled with fresh flowers that floated in the water. I was asked to put my feet in it and the attendant cleaned my feet prior to being brought to the massage area. Then, I slipped into comfortable house slippers and picked a cubicle and given a pyjama to change into before getting the massage. So what can I say? Well, my measure of a good Thai massage is when I can reach my toes with ease — which I did right after the massage. For those who are interested, they even have a promo of 50 pesos all massage and spa treatments from 10am to 3pm!
For a first day in Dipolog, it’s more than I could ask for. For the price that I paid, that’s just equivalent to an hour’s massage at a regular spa in Manila. The cheaper ones come at 300 pesos and tha’s just a plain massage. I guess the massge is one major factor I slept well during the entire night. Thank you, O God. I really needed this break away from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila. I love the chaos of Manila — but I also enjoy the long slow holidays that I get from time to time as well to catch up with sleep, with reading and with everybody else I’ve lost touch with. It’s a start, but like everything else I keep writing here — it’s just one step at a time.