16 March 2009


Pinoy music history was made on March 7, 2009 at the SM Mall of Asia concert grounds with the Eraserheads: The Final Set concert. And I'm happy that J and I were among the 100,000 or so who were part of the momentous experience.

I wore my Sex & The City t-shirt (it's a t-shirt event), my skinny jeans and my silver studded ballet flats. J wore a black tee, military pants, his Samba, and a Levi's trucker jacket with safety pins (a punk subculture thing).

Thanks to GL, we had free VIP-section tickets. We arrived in SM MOA around 7pm so we had time to grab a quick bite at The Big City – a hotdog joint. The posters claimed they were serving imported hotdogs – “ala-New York?” I haven't been to New York but watching too much Discovery Travel & Living – including a mouth-watering, sumptuous feature on US Hotdogs – had me excited! But one's up for major disappointment whenever one sets her expectations high, too high.

We each had bratwurst on a bun with relish, with fries & onion rings, plus iced tea (each meal costs Php120). Sounds like a good hotdog treat, right? Wrong. It tasted so ordinary. I would have been happier with a Purefoods hotdog on stick / on a bun. The deli suasages we buy from the grocery was way tastier. The relish (what relish?!) was almost non-existent. The fries were too soggy. The onion rings looked sorry – too thin (Burger King as the minimum standard). My rating: Laman-tiyan.
Good thing there was the concert to look forward to.

We got in the concert grounds past 8pm. We found a spot near the VIP area's disabled platform , around 150 feet away from the stage (we didn't mind). J considered my safety – he knew I was not a pro at open-air, huge crowd, standing-only rock concerts. He made sure we were near the First Aid Tent.

From “Magasin” to “Huling El Bimbo” (we left after that, we thought it was the last song), we had a blast. The concert was a celebration of Pinoy music, a trip down memory lane, a shared musical experience among generations, a tribute to Francis M, a date J and I enjoyed. We sang with the Eheads and the crowd. We screamed for more. We danced – well, actually I danced with J hugging me from behind. All throughout the Final Set, we also worried about Ely Buendia – will he survive the show? Thank God he did.

The first concert J and I saw was Julia Fordham's (PICC 2000). He was still courting me then. That date was kilig. The Eheads: The Final Set date was rockin'!


P.S. from my Hubby J:

J's (rear) entry...considering I'm just riding doggie back, er, piggy back on this blog entry.

This is the end. Or so they say. Despite vastly improving their technical skills as individual musicians, as a group, the Eraserheads still sounded every bit (and beat) like the garage band that they were in the early 90s. With this farewell concert, The Final Set, I think they pretty much ended they way they started – with a bad live performance. At least that is how I remember them, maybe 15 years ago, as virtual unknowns auditioning for regular gigs (or at least to play for pay in between sets of regular band performances) at 70s Bistro, a hole in the wall bar, where I was sitting in a table, a spitting distance from the non-existent stage, forced to listen to Ely's bad singing voice and the bad acoustic play from the rest of the band. It's been long since I've rocked the night away, but here I was, doing it in duet with my wife, on a pair of freebie concert tickets, listening and humming along Ely's bad singing voice and the bad acoustic play from the rest of the band, 'til the Eheads sang their final encore. But between the many sets that came between that distant desolate date and this Final Set, I guess nothing and everything has changed – with the band, with me, and with all of us.

**Photo of SATC shirt & tickets: Taken by me


I have childhood memories of my Nueva Ecija vacations where my Ma would bring me to a hilot whenever I had fever. The hilot was an old woman who lived in a dark bamboo hut (it was lit only by oil lamps or gaseras). The townsfolk bring the sick to her for alternative healing through a coconut oil-based massage. She can supposedly feel through your pain. Her touch can detect where your sickness is rooted – naipit na ugat, lamig, pilay, kabag, etc. And she's supposed to make you well through her “magical” touch.

I don't remember enjoying these hilot trips – they were painful and pungent experiences for a child. But I do recall getting well after each visit.

Today's spas are offering hilot services and the trend got me curious – could hilot “heal” me now as it did then? Is it the best massage option for my tired, sore, aching muscles?

J and I decided to go to The Spa Trinoma one Saturday evening (February 2009) for their Traditional Hilot Massage (Php 1,200 each for non-members). Our appointment was set for 7:30pm. We arrived at The Spa 7:00pm – just enough time to shower & steam.

I appreciated the set-up – the massage bed was covered with a Filipino batik blanket (instead of the usual white cotton cover); I was wrapped in starched white cotton blankets (instead of the usual towels); and there were candles in the corner wooden table. The details successfully set the mood for my traditional massage. And the actual session did not disappoint either.

J and I always want our massage hard. And our masseuses delivered. Mine was Christy – hope I remembered her name right. She took me back in time with her hilot moves. The difference is now, I actually enjoyed it – bring on the pain! My favorite part was the really hot but soothing wax paper placed on my back and stomach. I'm assuming it was heated with tea candles.

Our massage dates (often on-a-budget) has taken us from neighborhood spas (Lifestyle, Indulgence, Feet for Us, Tonton, City Lifestyles, etc) to mall spas (The Spa, Dermalogica, Body Tune, Ayuthaia, Nail Spa, etc), to authentic Thai massage experieces in Bangkok (foot only and full body), to our treasured foot reflexology massages in Kuala Lumpur (it was the perfect ending to our day-long walks with the salon perfectly located on the ground floor of our hotel), and our favorite Baguio spa experieces – we like how Baguio therapists seem to all be consistently into it (we get hard when we ask for "hard").

The Spa's Traditional Hilot Massage is curretly number one on our list (it's on equal footing as the Baguio massages). Beyond relaxing, it was therapeutic. I don't know if it's just my childhood memory of the hilot but I felt “healed” after the session. And if what you think impacts on how you feel then I got my money's worth.

We're definitely going back for more heal-lot experiece.

What we've tried on our past The Spa dates: Peppermint Foot Scrub (Too cold for my already literally cold feet – I prefer a warm foot massage.); Aromascalp & Shoulder Massage (Love this! Wish the scalp massage could go on forever!); Swedish Massage (OK); Deep Tissue Massage (OK); Twin Massage (I was disappointed! My expectations were too high.); Volcanic Rock Massage (You'll feel the benefits the next day!); Traditional Hilot (Love it!).

What we love:
- facilities (we've only been to the Libis & Trinoma branches)
- service (very professional, friendly, attentive staff)
- their ginger tea is my favorite

What we not-so-love:
- The Spa closes at 9pm. That's sad for weary bodies coming from work.