Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thai Massage in the Philippines

The past years has seen the growth of the spa industry in the major cities in the Philippines. These spas offer different varieties of massage, which has overshadowed "hilot" or the traditional Filipino massage.

One of the more famous massage is the Thai Massage, or Nuad Phaen Boran. Thai Massage is sometimes called yoga massage. Usually done on a padded mat on the floor, the masseur uses his/her hands, elbows, knees, legs, and feet to apply rhythmic pressure. There is also a lot of stretching involved which deeply relaxes and revitalizes the body.

Over the weekend, I have visited one called Nuat Thai located in Valleyfair Building in Taytay. Nuat Thai has many branches in Metro Manila, either company owned or franchised from the Nuat Thai mother company in Cebu. But I noticed that their rates are not standardized , with the Taytay branch being more pricey than the Nuat Thai in Quezon City.

My favorite Thai Massage Center , though, remains to be Tha-Tong, in Davao. Their masseurs are really good- and well-trained by a Thai massage professional. I hope they bring their services to Metro Manila soon.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And Pacquiao Wins...

If you ask any Filipino who among all the personalities is best able to unite this politically-torn country, they would have a synonymous answer: it's Manny Pacquiao. Amidst the never ending political turmoil, every Filipino, regardless of political affiliation, unite behind him whenever he has a fight.

Pacquiao is acknowledged as one of the best boxers the Philippines has ever produced. Today, he has proven it again as he won over the legendary Oscar de la Hoya.

Before the fight, there were many who doubted if Pacquiao would indeed make it. Nevertheless, Filipinos supported him. Win or lose. And they were not wrong, Pacquiao made de la Hoya surrender after the 8th round.

The Pacquio-de la Hoya bout, I would say, was not as exciting as I expected it to be. It was one sided, with Pacquiao doing all the offensive moves, and de la Hoya hardly throwing his punch. De la Hoya seemed to be out of his element, for some reason. Whatever the reason is, it was Pacquiao's speed and strength that prevailed. But of course his coach and trainor, Roach, was to be given credit for the win.

I am not a boxing afficionado, nor am I a Pacquiao fan personally but I do watch his fights whenever I can because he is one man who makes this country proud in the profession he has chosen.

My congratulations to Manny Pacquiao.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Paskong Pinoy 2008

Paskong Pinoy means the Filipino way of celebrating Christmas. I think we're one of the most excited bunch over Christmas (not sure if it has something to do with us being mostly Catholics in this country).

Usually, radio stations would already start playing Christmas songs as early as the first "ber" month. By October, malls would go on sale and many people will already be rushing to the mall to start "hoarding" Christmas give aways. By November, malls would start getting crowded. In December, going to the mall becomes a very inconvenient thing to do, as they are already very, very crowded, there would be very, very long queue at the counters and traffic at the malls is usually very,very bad.


It already is December and malls had been going on sale since October. Yet, there are still very few people going shopping (compared to the past years). I went to do some Christmas shopping today, and was really surprised to see no lines at the counters. It felt weird, today being a Saturday, and the shops being on sale at that .

All the media, be it TV, radio, newspaper or internet, have been talking about global recession that it has practically became a buzzword. Yet, hearing or reading about it, is different than actually seeing it happen. Economists talk about the decline in purchasing power, yet this simple experience at the mall has helped me realized that indeed, recession will happen, if it hasnt happened yet.

And we see it even in the neighborhood. Where before, all the families put up Christmas lights, now, 50% of the families in our street did not , to save on electricity cost.

While it is good to note that people are finding ways to cope, and are actually learning the value of saving and conserving, the thought of recession is becoming "the Grinch", threatening to steal our Christmas.

But then again, there are other ways we celebrate Paskong Pinoy. Being together even for a very simple Noche Buena already spells Christmas for us. Sans the material things, what matters most for Filipinos is to be with the family during this season.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hap Chan: Latest Addition to the Restaurants in Antipolo

After a gruelling 8-hour-team-meeting-day at our new office in Antipolo, me and my business partners decided to wind down before heading for home. We looked for a place to had dinner together, and we found a new place: Hap Chan Tea House.

It is located along Circumferential Road, at Gems Resort and Conference Center. It is right across Max's. The place has just recently opened, and it looks very new. Service is also very good, and with unlimited serving of house tea.

Hap Chan is a Hongkong tea house, serving Hongkong/Chinese food. I love their Yang Chao rice (Php145 per serving, good for 2-3 people). And since I love being healthy sometimes, another favorite is the fish with tofu.:-)