A new acquaintance gave me an idea to blog about: massage places in Davao. While we were engaged in conversation, Austin asked me about the best place in Davao to get a massage. I realized just then that there are actually quite a few now here. A colleague in the IT industry even opened a shop at the Matina Town Square.
You can differentiate massage services in Davao into roughly 3 categories: spas, or full-fledged services that offer more than just massages; massage clinics, where people go for no-fuss, no-frills body kneading; and home service. (Never mind the extra-service type — I have a GP rating here… well, sometimes R18, but not today )
I’m going to have to do a serious survey of Davao’s massage offerings (yes! this is what I love about writing!). But for now, here’s a quickie of some of those that I’ve already tried.
Holiday Spa. They offer Swedish massages, in separate common areas for men & women. There are saunas and baths, the works. Holiday also has a gym, boxing ring, wide range of aerobics training programs, a swimming pool, and an indoor jogging track. Also a salon and a coffee shop (free wifi!).
I’ve tried Holiday Spa twice only. It’s about P450 for the massage and you get to use the facilities like the sauna for free. At both times, there was nothing to complain about, really. Austin, however, probably had an unlucky time when he tried the place. He also didn’t like the fact that everybody’s in one huge common room. So for those of you who’re queasy about getting down to your birthday suits in front of other people, this place might not be for you.
Bahía Spa. Even pricier than Holiday, and with just a few added perks too. The service isn’t bad, though, and the place is comfortable enough. The one time that I was there, it was P500+ for a massage (Swedish) and use of the sauna and shower. They have both wet and dry saunas, but the showers were reminiscent of my college varsity days. Bahía is inside the Metro Lifestyle gym building on F. Torres St.
While in Holiday Spa they only have masseuses, at Bahía they have both masseuses and masseurs. The massage rooms are also common, divided by decorative hangings. There are private rooms for the more expensive kinds of massage — something to do with hydro-therapy.
Philosophy Spa. Even more expensive than the preceding two, but I hear the service is good. I haven’t tried this place yet, but I do have a mind to. Philosophy Spa, it would seem, is trying to maintain an ultra-exclusive ambience, hence the price tag probably (P700+ if I’m not mistaken). According to a friend, the place is small — or rather, cozy. Or intimate, as the case may be.
Philosophy is in the Florentine building, on Bonifacio St., behind the Apo View Hotel.
Firm Massage. The name’s rather unimaginative, I know, but this is actually one of my favorites. From the outside it looks like a hole-in-the-wall joint, but the interiors are clean and presentable. Simple but functional. It’s just an old apartment building whose couple of units the proprietor transformed into a clinic for those aching bodies. They specialize in combo methods: Swedish mixed in with Thai. They also do shiatsu, but mostly for foot rubs. Masseurs and masseuses. The place is on Veloso Road, behind Victoria Plaza; landline # 227-9314.
Tan-Ton. Thai-style massage with all that stretching, pulling, bending and cracking. Personally I don’t like it, but apparently lots of other people do. They have branches all over now (3, I think), the main being at that arcade across the street from The Venue. Another one is at the Centerpoint Mall in Matina.
For the life of me, I can’t recall the name of the shop that my colleague put up. Anyway it’s in Matina Town Square, right in front of the convenience store. It’s a different kind of Thai massage, specializing in foot-&-leg combinations, and you get them while you’re enthroned in a lazyboy. It’s just a petite affair, but very comfy. They also serve Thai teas and other ready-to-prepare refreshments.
Everywhere in Davao you see small signs posted on telephone poles, advertising for massages. On newspapers as well. Price range is from P150 to P300 per hour. Some of them are OK, probably a third of them are shady, but most of them are more or less genuine masseurs/masseuses trying to make a decent living. But I’m not vouching for their skills, legit or otherwise.
There are plenty more out there. It just takes a bit of looking around or asking a friend for recommendations.