Yes, you read it right. If I were dead, future me would not be writing this sentence at this very moment.
Want to know how I survived? Let’s go back seven hours earlier when I boarded off a 24G multicab just right across Oakridge Business Park in A.S. Fortuna Banilad.
Scanning the area, I couldn’t find Thai Boran, but upon asking the barangay tanod standing by on the outpost, he pointed using his lips a few meters to the right and there it was.
Wow, two floors, and sure looks new. Opening the glass doors, a scent of peppermint oil immediately entered my lungs and made me teary-eyed.
Telling the front desk that I was waiting for my blogger friends to arrive, I immediately targeted the inviting brown sofa and oh was I surprised with its super ultra mega soft cushioning with a pull of gravity so strong, I died a bit as I sat down. Then laughed subconsciously.
Then I asked the owner, Ms. Jenny Sison, what Boran meant. It’s actually a Thai word meaning old, ancient or historic and was chosen to highlight the documented age of massage itself.
Glancing around, I noticed that their reception area was clean and elegant then I read their spa offerings. Hmmm, stone massage at 600 pesos for 90 minutes, interesting. Oh here’s another one, Combo 6 meant unlimited choice of massage for two hours. Oh okay so I could do Thai, Back, Foot and Swedish massage for 30 minutes each, amazing.
And oh, there’s a free Korean face mask. I felt sad for the dude studying English who they skinned faceless.
Since nature was calling me, I asked if I could use their restroom. They said okay so off I went through the massage area.
First impressions? Well, it looked like a Japanese abode from the samurai movies because of its partitions. There are also white pebbles on the side of the pathway which I doubt are from Santander’s Pebble Beach.
After a few more minutes of waiting, I was asked to expose my stinky feet, which I obliged, but quickly put on some white slippers and led to the feet rinsing area. When Richie wiped my left foot signalling the end of the washing, stupid me put it back again on the wet bucket instead of the slippers. Genius.
Now I’m led to my own bed with towels shaped creatively like a flower and a folded shirt and shorts that would’ve fit ten year old me. I guess I’ll be wearing only my boxers.
Waiting for Richie, I decided to take note of the surrounding sounds. The playlist was a combination of Sitti’s album, some instrumental piano classics and the sound of crashing waves. However, it was mixed with the noise of the air-conditioning unit conveniently right above my head. In all fairness, the room was pleasantly cool, not the type of cold Jack experienced in Titanic.
Based on my deduction of her overall strength and physique, I told Richie that I preferred medium pressure because I know deep in my heart that she could squeeze my bones to a pulp if she wanted to. And boy was I right because my muscles popped on the first minute, panuhot if you’d ask her.
Placing a towel on my back, four round objects were placed on my lumbar area. Heat building up, that’s when I realized that she was already using the volcanic rocks fresh from the microwave oven.
You need to understand that there’s a big difference when it comes to heating rocks through boiling water from a rice cooker and through microwave. The latter heats on a molecular level which stings like burning charcoal and the heat dissipates quite a while. Nothing to worry about since the heat was bearable because of the thick towel.
But then I felt a tinge of pain, a hint of a slight burning sensation from two strokes. She was now using the hot stones on both her hands to directly massage my right leg.
This was the time to tell Richie to keep the stone in constant motion and never on standby. On the receiving end, you’ll be put on a pain threshold bordering pain and tolerability, the same feeling as that of pouring hot water on your skin in a sauna, eventually you’ll get used to it. But I guess this isn’t the type of massage to request if you’re planning on sleeping.
When a hand towel is put on top of your shorts and rolled just enough to reveal your buttcrack, you’ll know that the back massage is getting serious. This was the moment where a point near my shoulder blades was repeatedly stroked to release something toxic building up inside me. Eight hours after the massage, I still have a souvenir of pain when I flex my shoulders.
Anyway, you’ll know when the first half of the massage is about to end when the therapist would be kneeling on both your thighs, with you face down, both your hands clasped together while your chest is being pulled off the floor, resulting in you fully stretched like an ugly butterfly.
And oh did I forget to mention one cool manoeuvre she did where she crossed one of my legs and twisted it, with her other hand on my opposite shoulder? It was like a body lock in UFC mixed martial arts.
The great thing about this experience is that when you get used to the heat, you’ll start to enjoy every moment of it even with your eyes closed, that same tingling sensation Anastasia Steele felt when Christian Grey used ice cubes to trace every inch of her naked body, but with hot stones .
Basically, the procedure mentioned above, along with the use of aromatherapy oil was professionally applied on all parts of my body, well except on the head massage which was my favorite. What can I say? My head is extra sensitive.
And oh, who can say no to a hot cup of tea afterwards?
Thai Boran near Oakridge Business Park in AS Fortuna Cebu is open 24 hours and is the largest branch occupying two floors with a capacity of 18 beds and 6 foot chairs. It is also the only branch that offers hot stone, aromatherapy and hot oil massage.