If you've never been to Epitome but you have seen Sikil (which I reviewed recently) then you've already seen a good part of the interiors of Epitome, since the bathhouse is one of the major settings of the indie film. The elaborately costumed shows were staged in Epitome's lounge, the locker room scenes are also in Epitome, and the garden-air bathhouse scenes show the heart of this bathhouse (including the jacuzzi from which a nude Richard Guebar came out of). In fact, Sikil had a special advanced screening last March 2007 in Epitome. But, don't think that what you see in the film is actually what goes on in Epitome. For one thing, Epitome is usually open at night from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. except on Sundays when they open from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m., so the daylighted scenes in Sikil is not the norm. Also, there are no costumed stage plays in the lounge, but there are drag comedy shows instead.
As far as bathhouses go, Epitome is not really just a bathhouse. Its 3rd floor lounge doubles as a comedy bar where the Raging Kittens (a drag group) perform stand-up comedy and sing diva songs, from Thursdays to Saturday. You might say that the lounge forms a wholesome front for Epitome to mask the carnal goings-on happening below the lounge. Hehehe. There are several videos of their performances in YouTube, if you're curious.
The bathhouse proper of Epitome is quite complete in amenities. There's a locker room with a powder counter at the entrance. There's a video room where blue films are regularly played. There are eight cubicles in the second floor where you can have intimate privacy with your catch. On the ground floor is the gym area (with a not so-complete array of equipment), a sauna and steam room, a jacuzzi, and open-air showers as well as two shower cubicles, if you're not up to bathing in the buff. There are also two toilet cubicles near the shower area. On the other end of the ground floor is a garden bar with chairs and tables where you can enjoy your drinks or chit-chat with someone, and there is a dark almost pitch-black "maze" where you can grope around your way touching what normally isn't touched.
Unlike its older cousins, Fahrenheit in Quezon City and Club Bath in Pasay, Epitome does not have its own website and so you have to be resourceful to find out any information about this place online. Guys4Men is the perennial PR site of Epitome and the proprietors often post events of Epitome in G4M's calendar and any bathhouse-related threads in G4M's forums regularly get "spammed" by weekly events listings. If you don't have a G4M account (who doesn't?), then you can learn more about Epitome over at this public thread in the Pinoy Pride forums.
So is Epitome any good? Well, it's quite decent and I have enjoyed myself over there. The crowd is quite varied and has more of the yuppie-types and are not too aggressive. I find going there an ego booster, actually, and there are some cuties and hunks that grace the venue. And unless you're a really unappealing guy, physically, it's not impossible to find some quick fun in the dark corridors of Epitome. If you've never been to a bathhouse before and want to try going to one, I would recommend Epitome as a good introductory place.
I will post more about Epitome in the future. In the meantime, shown below are some shots of Epitome's interiors from Sikil.