Boracay Beach, Philippines Blog Eight
Blue Eyes recommends Eden (real name), a masseuse who works near Nigi Nigi, a location which is extra convenient if one needs a nap before or after happy hour.
My Boracay Beach massage experiences thus far:
Eden wasn’t available when I arrived—no appointment necessary—so I went with another masseuse who was. She’s young and uninterested. We go into the massage room that offers two massage tables—should one decide to get the two-person-massage deal. I strip down to my bathing suit and hop on the table. All is well, the massage is relaxing, probably because she is one-hand texting during most of it. I’m too tired to care so I semi-doze off. I’m “a nice Canadian,” so I tip—anyway.
The Quick Reflexes (Mine)
One evening I’m heading home and decide to stop for a reflexology foot massage at one of the Strip’s beachside open air offerings.
You want massage, ma’aaam, yes, ma’aaam? She appears in her fifties but, just in case, I say, Okay, but no texting.
She doesn’t speak great English but nods understanding. I hop on the reclined beach lounger. Face down first, ma’aaam. I flip over and I’m sure she’s already flipped her phone open, but I decide that I’m just paranoid from my first massage experience. Within five minutes, I’m sure she’s texting. Without turning around I say, No texting please.
Both her hands are back on my calves, No, ma’aaam.
Ten minutes later, she’s at it again. I flip over and flip out: If you’re going to keep doing that, I don’t want to continue. I’ve caught her red-handed, the glow of her phone’s screen shining in her stunned face as I glare at her.
For an instant, she’s motionless, and then she sorry ma’aaams me and tucks the phone under the thin mattress. Won’t happen again, ma’aaam, as she looks at the also-surprised faces of her associates.
Though she doesn’t text again during my massage, it takes me the whole time to wind down from the cortisol pulsing through my veins from my agitated body. Plus I’m on the alert every time one of her hands leaves my body.
Afterward she tells me, My children, ma’aaam, no food at home.
Though I suspect this is bullshit, I let it go. I mean, how am I going to check anyway? Oh yeah, show me the texts, I could say, but they might be in the local dialect, or worse, prove she was telling the truth.
Note to reader: I have yet to experience a true reflexology massage, you know, with attention to specific pressure points, etc. They are more like a firm foot rub, and calf, and leg.
The Blind Man
One of the lady masseurs leads him to a narrow stairway where he feels his way up and around the corner to a compact room crammed with massage tables and sheer sheet walls with a sarong on one of the tables. There’s maybe twelve inches between the tables. He reaches around under one of them to find a basket and puts it on the table.
Put all clothes here, he tells me.
All? I ask.
He nods. He’s looking toward me with opaque, clouded eyes, and I’m not convinced he can’t see, but I don’t wave my hands around because I somehow think I’d be more embarrassed to out him than have him see me disrobe. I grab the sarong, turn away, take my clothes off, and put them in the basket, leaving my skivvies on and covering my Ta-Tas with the sarong. I get on the table face down and put the sarong over the back of me.
In short order, I’m wanting to bite the pillow from the pain he’s instilling. But I don’t. This pillow could be (is probably) unsanitary, and I don’t need to ingest some pillow-spreading disease when I’ve narrowly escaped getting an STD by wax job (see Boracay wax blog).
He pokes and kneads his way through knots I didn’t know I had, and I’m so tense from it all that I will need another massage to recover from this one. I’m relieved when I’m permitted to flip over, which I do as I maneuver the sarong over my chest and crotch areas while squinting at him just in case.
More torture on this side with a lot of lingering in my psoas area—that be my groin area for those who don’t know anatomy. I tell him, Watch your fingers, as they go under my panty’s seam and nearer my lip bits.
He grunts and works on a knot in my nearby hip flexor, but soon he’s back on the edge of the line and under the seam, and it seems he’s hoping I need a happy ending. Hands, I say and awkwardly laugh. He keeps working the knot—which is actually legit from an old injury. He may not have sight, but he has ten fingers, and some of them have a mind of their own. It happens again and I physically move his hand away and confirm, No happy ending. He laughs. Nonetheless, afterward I have less hip pain.
I visit him again one day after a hard bike ride. As I’m approaching the group of masseurs, I say, Hello. He recognizes my voice. Anna, he says, breaking into a wide smile and standing to attention, err, from his seated position. The massage is a repeat of the first, in all respects. (Blind guys need love, too?)
At least he didn’t text. As much as he’d like to have given me the tip, just the tip, I’m the one who gave him a tip—just a tip.
The Healer/Bruiser. Cecelia (real name)
I need myofacial tissue release but don’t want to have to ward off Blind Guy’s healing (horny) hands. I wander down the Strip until I get to a massage station that feels right and that will hopefully offer a masseuse who won’t wander down my strip. I find Cecelia (real name). She looks to be in her fifties, is of stout stature, and has one prominent tooth missing.
I already know that I’m not really going to get a real reflexology foot massage, so I plop down on the beach lounger and simply let her do her thing. Her thing is good. Damn good. I’m in excruciating pain, but she finds the right spots. She is a healer.
You have knee pain? she asks.
Today, yes, I tell her.
And this hip here—she says it as more of a statement than a question pressing my right hip flexor.
Yes! Ouch. Yes. I’m excited she’s honed in on my ailments so precisely. There’s no funny stuff and, after an hour of ouch, I feel like a person with a new, if bruised, body. I go home and sleep for two hours.
Heaven is Eden
She is awesome. Standard massage, firm pressure, no texting, and conveniently located next to happy hour. Satisfied—edified—without the happy ending. Whew.
What have I (re)learned? You can get the redhead out of her clothes, but you can’t get the Blind Man’s mind out of the gutter or his hands out of her folds.
Homework: Stick with The Healing Bruiser.
P.S. God willling, I am hiking the Himalayas as you receive this blog update. Since I may not have internet for the next ffew weeks, and I didn’t want to inundate you with Boracay blogs all at once, I staggered their publishing dates. What this means is that I may not be able to reply to responses until I’m back in WiFi range, at which point I will be highly holy and wholly high from all the spiritual enlightenment I’ll have directly downloaded with! Yay, God!