Jul 18, 2009

How things work in Epitome

Epitome logo. From past posts here in Discreet Manila, you should already know where Epitome is (and how to get there), how the bathhouse is laid out (so you won’t get lost or look lost), and what are its themed nights. So now I’ll explain how things work in Epitome and what norms, procedures and things that you can expect there so that you won’t go around looking clueless (and therefore prey to others).

Epitome’s entrance, manned by a friendly security guard, is just a doorway leading straight to a stairway. On the second floor landing is a bulletin board where you can check out the posted promos and events. To the left is a door which leads to yet another stairway on top of which is the registration booth, which is usually manned by a hunky guy.

If this is your first time to go to Epitome or you are renewing your membership, the attendant will give you a registration form that you need to fill up and you need to provide him with an ID. I think you can get away with providing minimal information in the form, but the name you write must match the one on the ID. The attendant may also have you sign the back of a membership card that he will provide you (or later before you leave). You also need to pay the membership fee which I think is P280. The membership fee also serves as your entrance fee for that night.

If you are already a member, then you only need to provide the attendant with your membership card and an ID and you need to pay the entrance fee, which varies with the time you arrive (the earlier, the cheaper) and the day of the week (weekends are more expensive). The average price you will shell out is around P200.

After everything is in order, the registration attendant will give you a padlock and a pair of keys. If you brought a bag, the attendant will also claim it for deposit there. In addition, depending also on the time, you may be given a drink stub that you can redeem for a free drink. The attendant will then ring a bell (of sorts) where you will be ushered into the left door. Inside, a waiting attendant will get all your valuables and deposit them in one of the safety deposit boxes using one of the keys given to you (the box’s number matches your padlock’s). You have to leave everything valuable: cellphone, wallet, keys, wristwatch, etc. The attendant will then frisk you to check that you have left nothing else.

From there you can proceed to the lounge area. During Fridays and Saturdays, there is usually a show on the lounge’s stage, usually a gay comedy show with karaoke singing—basically your typical bar program that you can see elsewhere. You can opt to stay and watch the show (and sing if you want) and drink at the bar there, or proceed to the bathhouse proper.

The bathhouse proper’s entrance can be found from the back of the lounge going outside the back and down a steep set of stairs. After entering the door, you will find yourself in the locker room where a waiting attendant will give you a towel and a pair of slippers. He may also ask you your padlock number and point you to the matching locker where you will deposit your clothes. You have to change into the towel and slippers before you can proceed to the other areas. The keys are attached to a wrist band which you can then wear while inside the bathhouse proper.

From then on, it’s pretty much up to you. I suggest you go and explore. Try to familiarize yourself with the floor plans I provided so that you won’t get lost. In addition, you can also get your drinks at the bar on the ground floor. When ordering your drink, you can give your drink stub if you have one. Additional drinks will be charged to your number which the bartender will ask every time you order a drink. The payment will be conducted at the registration booth when you leave. (Surprisingly, the bartender rarely checks your keys to confirm the locker number. So theoretically, you can charge your drinks to somebody else.) You can also order food if you want; just ask the bartender.

Once you’ve had your fill of, uh, men and want to leave, just change back to your clothes at the locker room then give the attendant your towel and slippers. You can also freshen up using the provided toiletries at the dresser there. Then, retrace your steps back to the safety deposit boxes where the attendant will get your stuff and hand it back to you. From there, you go to the registration booth (via a different hallway) where you give the registration attendant your padlock and keys. You then have to pay for any additional drinks you ordered. The attendant will then give you your ID and your membership card, and your bag if you brought one. Finally, you can leave the premises and come back another day.

Shown above is a photo of the back of the membership card, which is just a piece of cardboard. There’s a bar code, an ID number, and a space for your signature. The front of the card just depicts Epitome’s logo. They used to have the card laminated but now no longer.

Trivia: Epitome's official name is Epitome Cafe and Fitness Center and the corporation behind it is named Hedoniste Inc. How do I know the corporation? I’ve seen the business permit posted at the registration booth. :-) I’ve also learned that Epitome is registered in the City of Manila as a restaurant, would you believe?


Anonymous wrote on July 19, 2009 at 8:33 PM:

the manager and the owner himself are friendly too... though the owner is a silent type person.

i been to club bath, farenheit, sunctuario but the cutest and the most discreet guy i found inside the bath house in manila was at epitome...

a reader from dubai, uae...

Vince wrote on July 23, 2009 at 1:30 AM:

Anon, isn't Sam the owner? I think he's pretty gregarious.

Anonymous wrote on July 25, 2009 at 9:01 PM:

sam is the manager... napasearch tuloy ako sa gregarious, heheh!

i keep on following you vince...

more power!

a reader from dubai, uae.

Vince wrote on July 25, 2009 at 9:53 PM:

Anon, ah, thanks for the clarification! And thank you very much for the support!

pugeee wrote on July 25, 2009 at 10:04 PM:

what i like in epitome:

1. may sauna (kahit maliit)
2. maayos ang steam room. malakas ang steam.
3. may hot water
4. laging may laman ang soap dispenser.
5. may libreng isang beer kapag pumasok ka.
6. mga pogi ang mga staff :p

what i don't like:
1. masyadong madilim
2. may jacuzzi, pero mapanghi.
3. maingay at malalakas tumili yung kalimitang customers sa table na malapit sa bar.
4. ewan ko natataon siguro, pero kalimitan mga effem ang naabutan ko. ok lng naman na effem wag lang maiingay at malalaks tumili nakaksira kasi ng diskarte.
5. masyadong matarik ang mga hagdan. kaya medyo delikado kasi nga madilim.

Vince wrote on July 26, 2009 at 3:29 PM:

Pugeee, thanks for the comment! I agree with most of your observations. Masyado ngang madilim sa Epitome at masyadong matarik ang hagdan.

jayblue wrote on August 10, 2009 at 12:18 AM:

Pag ako tinatanong kung how many times ako pumupunta sa bath house, I usually answer them ng "daily" at from opening to closing. he he This is a good place parang resort specially sa baba i mean sa bar area. pag ayaw niyo ng madilim, go there during saturday, i think they are open @3pm.
Saka the attendants are somewhat good looking specially they wear white uniform.
Suggest ko lang sa mga bathhouses, i hope they will allow the guests to bring their CP up to the locker room para we could check if we have importatnt messages kasi communication nowadays is very impt. Saka, if you have a partner who calls you at no reply, malamang maghinala you're in a bathouse kasi gasgas na yung low batt na reason.

manuel wrote on August 11, 2009 at 1:31 PM:

Magkano ba membership? Haven't been to a bathouse yet... hehehe

manuel wrote on August 11, 2009 at 1:54 PM:

My bad.. 280 pala... In-scan ko lang kasi post. hahahah!

Vince wrote on August 12, 2009 at 12:03 AM:

jayblue, well, if you're in an exclusive relationship, you don't have any business going to the bathhouse, right?

manuel, hehehe. :-)

manuel wrote on August 13, 2009 at 11:47 AM:

Pasama naman one time sa Epitome. Hahaha!

Vince wrote on August 13, 2009 at 11:46 PM:

manuel, tibayin mo ang loob mo. Kaya mo iyan! :-)

Hirashi wrote on October 29, 2009 at 5:55 PM:

I've been to Club bath a couple of times (I would say I can be described as parokyano as well), I've never been to other bath houses within Manila though. Gusto ko ding itry epitome kaso takot ako. Hehe.
Club Bath is still the most discreet I think based on your posts.

Vince wrote on November 1, 2009 at 11:31 PM:

Hirashi, you should try Epitome at least so that you can compare and contrast. Epitome is in a pretty discreet location. :-)

vicente wrote on November 14, 2009 at 2:04 PM:

Gosh! what a very disappointing night when I went at epitome for the first time. It was monday. The place is very dirty, Bathrooms tiles seems not been cleaned for days, to think it was the first hour of their operation. When I checked the small rooms they got there, I stepped on something which is used condom. I was among the first customer to get there, nobody used the room yet so meaning they have not cleaned the place a day before. Tub is not operational, schedule for steam room is not followed. One of the customer was given two complimentary stubs, I didn't receive any when I registered. At 11pm someone was dancing at the bar, I was laughing because the performer looks malnourished, he was not lean but thin, he got chicken legs, not a stripper material at all, doesn't even have a face value, I was wondering how much he was paid, maybe the the management is cost cutting so they opted to have this performer because his all they can afford.

taurus top wrote on November 14, 2009 at 4:28 PM:

@ vicente

i have addressed your concerns immediately on the staff assigned on that day, i have reprimanded them for not doing their job. thats pretty bad experience for a first timer to encounter especially if he was an early bird attendee.

with regards to the male exotic dancer, there are many body types some prefer twinks, some prefer hunks, some prefer boy next door, some prefer hung, some prefer handsome, some prefer ordinary, some prefer short, some prefer tall...
i shall sked some guy to your liking next monday.

as much as we can do everything to please each guest who come to epitome, we are always there to make sure they are ok.

the wet steam room is normally open from 9pm to 10pm, 1030pm to 1130pm, 12midnight to 1am

the outdoor heated jacuzzi has been fixed already last tuesday nov 10, the heating up of the water takes a awhile so by 11pm its pretty warm already

just ask the staff kindly of your request, suggestion, and they shall immediately address your concern.

hope to see you again @ epitome

Anonymous wrote on November 16, 2009 at 10:18 AM:

wat time nagbubukas ang E pag weekdays?

taurus top wrote on November 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM:

Weeknights - 7PM to 2AM
Weekends - 7PM to 3AM

First Timer P250 Only - includes membership fee, entrance for the night and complimentary drink
Please bring an ID for identification.

Early bird rate - P130
Regular rate - P180 with drink (weeknights)/ P220 with drink (weekends)

09178268570 - for inquiries

Life is beautiful. And ours is as colorful as the rainbow.
Hope to see you there. Enjoy!

Anonymous wrote on November 28, 2009 at 11:03 PM:

Hi Vince and everyone, though I am in a relationship gusto ko ring mag-visit minsan sa bath house (once a month or once per quarter). My request kasi of bringing in the cellphone inside is because of my job on sales and logistics na dapat 24/7 ang operation at laging open ang communication. Kaya Club bath is the best for this rule because they allow members to bring in the cp's at the locker area lang para from time to time you can check if there are urgent messages to answer.

Vince wrote on December 1, 2009 at 12:26 AM:

Anon (Nov 28), I agree that it's good that Club Bath lets you keep your cellphone in your locker so that you can check it from time to time. By the way, does your partner know you go to the bathhouse? :-)

Anonymous wrote on March 28, 2010 at 7:27 PM:

Walang Bar code sa card ko.... I guess they phased it out recently.

Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on April 9, 2010 at 11:49 PM:

@Anon, baka hindi naging useful...

Jhon wrote on September 3, 2010 at 3:10 PM:

I would like to experience a bathhouse. Im new to Manila, I'm here for 6 months on work/vacation. Is it still open?

Anonymous wrote on September 5, 2010 at 1:26 PM:

kinakabahan ako hehehe.

Anonymous wrote on September 6, 2010 at 12:03 PM:

punta ako club bath on tuesday, September 7... sama ka.. magkita tayo sa seven eleven around 7pm... i'll be wearing white shirt and jeans..

Jhon wrote on September 8, 2010 at 8:31 AM:

Hi!! Sorry... I just check my email today. I missed your message. How can I get in touch with you?

Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on September 10, 2010 at 11:56 PM:

@Jhon, as far as I know they're still open though I haven't gone there for quite some time now. If you have a PlanetRomeo account, you can check out their announcements at the G4M_Tagalog forums. HTH. :-)

Jhon wrote on September 12, 2010 at 11:47 AM:

Vince... I dnt have an account there.

Anonymous wrote on September 14, 2010 at 9:26 AM:


i am going to club bath again tonight..let's meet at 7 eleven (along fb harrison) at 6:30pm.. sabay tayo pumasok sa club bath..


Anonymous wrote on October 16, 2010 at 7:13 PM:

like vince - the blogger :) I find your posts very very useful. for a novice like me, sobrang helpful talaga ng posts mo. I totally enjoyed my first visit in that bath house - thanks vince again for the posts! i didn't feel as if im really a newcomer because of this blog. hehe. Good for me because I've done some research and a plus because it's your post that I've read. A big thanks again from me!

Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on October 18, 2010 at 11:19 PM:

@Anon (Oct 16), you're welcome! And I'm really glad to hear that you found my posts helpful and got to enjoy E. :-)

Anonymous wrote on February 14, 2011 at 5:20 PM:

nung nabasa ko ang blog na ito, im so excited to go at E. nakapunta na ako sa club bath, the mansion, F, and queeriosity. gusto ko naman i-try ang Epitome. and this information helps me a lot.. lalu in directions of going there (mahina kasi ako sa direksyon eh). im so excited na pumunta next week..

Jherry, marikina

Anonymous wrote on February 15, 2011 at 5:21 PM:

i've tried Club Bath and Queeriosity... Im intrigue with Epitome, i want to try it... also, a someone i've met at Club Bath mentioned the Mansion being a sosy place, and allows customers by referral... no more info but i'm likewise intrigued


Rodrigo wrote on April 17, 2011 at 12:25 AM:

I really like Epitome. Most of the guys who go there are very straight acting/macho types. The jacuzzi can be great fun. I have found people there to be generally friendly. Yes, I'm intrigued also by Mansion...Somebody told me its very close to Club Bath. Vince, do you have any info ?..

georgethegreat wrote on May 23, 2011 at 8:46 AM:

Hi, how do I go to the Mansion? Been to Club Bath and Queeriosity... wanna try the Mansion next time.

Anonymous wrote on June 7, 2011 at 9:34 PM:

Is a bathhouse really a place for sex? Ahaha. akala ko kasi pwede ka lang maligo. Extra nalang yung sex. Haha. And may bathhouse ba na may pool? :D

Anonymous wrote on October 28, 2011 at 8:38 AM:

If you are the more masculine gay guy with standards, this isn't your place. It is really dirty, dingy and mostly had bony teens. The older guys are queens and can be loud enough to sing campy anthems. The sauna can only fit 3 people and the steam room is too dark. I left after 30 minutes. It isn't my scene...

Anonymous wrote on November 16, 2011 at 7:06 PM:

hi, i haven't gone to epitome for almost a year. i am planning to go there this friday. Hope i will find someone.

Anonymous wrote on November 27, 2011 at 11:03 PM:

i am tourist visiting im december.
What type of ID is required. Passport? Wouldnot like to lose my passport. Student Card?

Anonymous wrote on February 1, 2012 at 9:41 AM:

ask ko din po kung ilang ID ang kailangan? anu po ang latest rate nio sa membership at entrance fee? ty

Anonymous wrote on February 2, 2012 at 10:09 AM:

Vince, Nagpunta ako kagabi ( feb.1 2012) wednesday at nakita ko guy na naka long sleeve) na pumasok sa locker room, ask ko lang kung cya ung may ari or manager? ty

taurus top wrote on March 18, 2012 at 5:34 AM:

Important Advisory:

Epitome Club Malate will have its FINAL Week of Operations at Leon Guinto St from March 18 to March 25 before we pack up and move for a better home. A Big Finale Show will be on March 24 Saturday.

Thanks for all the love, loyalty, bonding and memories we shared since 2004.

Until we meet again.