Tuesday last week, my classmates and I went to our very last Communication Environment trip. This time, Julienne brought us to Wensha Spa in Timog. I believe this is also partly inspired by our other class, Women’s Development 227 (which I took last year but Julienne and Jenny are taking it now). It’s really about body imaging and how it affects someone’s communicative behavior.
My favorite spa is actually The Spa. I thought that this would be something similar to that but it turns out that the place does look cheaper. What’s great about this place, however, is that for a mere PhP680, you can avail of a whole body massage and dine for free. You can dine before and after your steam bath and massage sessions, too.
Plus, you can stay there for 6 hours so you can sleep after your massage if you want to.
Here’s the buffet area, which can be very tricky. You must make sure that you only get enough because they will charge you PhP300 for leftovers. Our professor, Dr. Lacson, asked one of the waiters to get us some fish and the waiter got…well, too much, so we ended up trying to force everyone to finish the fish.
As you can see, males and females socialize only in the dining area. The male spa is at the ground floor, while the females remain on the second floor. This is also the only area where picture-taking is allowed. For obvious reasons.
Yummy leafy green vegetables. Julienne and I seem to be the only people interested in these. I think this was my last healthy meal, though. (I’m holing myself up in the condo because I’m now preparing for my finals…which is why I’m not getting proper nutrition. I should go to Wensha more often…)
These veggies were served Shabu-Shabu style. We were famished by the time the group became complete and hot soup felt good on an empty stomach.
Dr. Lacson and Julienne’s cousin Gia posing with our Shabu-Shabu pot. The food wasn’t all that spectacular, really, but it was no big deal. I mean, how many spa services bundle their massages with buffets and Shabu-Shabu for the low low price of PhP680?
We were actually surprised to see that Rod had already gotten into his robe before he met up with us. Turns out, he was already enjoying what Wensha had to offer. Chee, that robe had a scandalously low neckline!
We also forced him to finish off the fish.
This is what the female Wensha robe looks like. I’m covering my face because it was all swollen from being too relaxed (hehe, I really look swollen upon waking up). The shower, steam bath and jacuzzi were all off-limits when it comes to photographs. When you get into the baths, you’ll understand why.
I am not usually shy about walking around in my birthday suit…as long as I am at home, not with a bunch of female strangers. It was also quite disconcerting to see my classmates…well. Needless to say, we Comm Res students were really conscious. It took us a while to get used to all the…exposure. We noticed that Wensha regulars don’t seem to mind walking around without their clothes.
After a while, we relaxed (just a bit) and got carried away with our observation sharing. We steamed ourselves for about three hours, I think? We alternated the warm jacuzzi, steam bath, shower and cold jacuzzi.
As for the massage? Hm. I never thought a very small masseuse could actually lift me up really high and stretch me in mid air. That was kind of scary, but exhilarating at the same time.
I actually enjoyed my time in Wensha. I just have one complaint: the tipping system. I don’t really like the kind of pressure they put on clients because the masseuses ask you to write down how much you’re willing to give. I prefer The Spa‘s tipping system, wherein you are given a named envelope to enclose your tip in and then you can drop that envelope in a tip box. The kind of anonymity it affords is just precious.
(Wensha’s staff also made the mistake of charging me PhP80 for an upgrade that I didn’t ask for. I requested the full body massage since the very beginning. I did not upgrade from the foot massage package. It’s a good thing they waived it when I started complaining.)
Almost a week later, I visited Wensha Buendia with my colleague Cris.
From the outside, the Buendia branch looks bigger. It’s also a whole lot stricter, since they don’t allow picture-taking inside the vicinity.
The baths here have brighter lighting, so you can see EVERYTHING. The women of Wensha Buendia are also braver, despite being bigger and older. This is probably why I didn’t feel shy this time around. They didn’t even close their shower doors. They either just didn’t care who saw that they were exposed or they didn’t care that they had rolls of fat (like just about every woman I know). Or both.
Somehow, seeing all that felt liberating.
The dining area in the Buendia branch is cozier and bigger. Although I still got a little bit stressed when the masseuses pulled out their tip sheets and asked us to write down how much we’re giving. I felt the pressure stronger here because after Cris and I finished signing the tip sheets, I overheard the two masseuses comparing those papers while they were walking away. (Thank goodness, we gave the same amount.)