Aug 29, 2009

Trying out Hilom

Before this year, I had not tried going to a gay massage parlor. But since I see nothing wrong with trying something new that’s relatively harmless (so drugs are a no-no for me), I decided to go to one such place early this year. The lucky spa I chose was Hilom and the choice was because I read the blogs of the two guys that own the place and also because of the heavy promotion by their blogger friends, like Migs, CC and McVie. I was especially sold on the fact that the owners of Hilom tried to position their spa as an upscale version of the seedy places that I see in movies like Masahista.

My verdict? I don’t think I’ll be going back to Hilom anytime soon, or to any other gay massage parlor for that matter. After trying the service, I can tell that gay massage parlors are definitely not for me. If I want to have a massage, I’ll go to the “legitimate” spas instead.

If you’re asking, no, I didn’t avail of the “extra service”. I went to Hilom fully expecting to get a nice massage and maybe just get teased a little bit. The thing is, I find it very uncomfortable mixing money with sex. My personal view of sex is that it is most pleasurable when done between two consenting adults with no contractual obligation of any sort. Payment for sex is an obligation and so, I don’t like that.

My experience in Hilom, at least with the particular masseur I had, was that the massage was rushed and that he was fully expecting to get paid and to do additional service. Instead of haggling for the price of the extra service, we ended up haggling on whether there would be one in the first place with him cajoling me for it and saying that he needed the money among other reasons. I ended up just giving him a very generous tip (considering the forgettable massage that I received).

Furthermore, the managers (I believe they were Derek and Gardo then), performed their duties quite perfunctorily. I didn’t feel as welcome as I would have hoped and this certainly did not help alleviate my discomfort and apprehensions at visiting the place.

As for the facilities, Hilom’s interior decoration was pleasant enough. The shower room though is quite cramped (being under the stairway) and I really don’t like getting a body massage on my belly on a plain mattress: either you tilt your head to one side and possibly strain your neck, or you keep your head straight and suffocate on the pillow.

Have you tried Hilom? I’ve read tons of comments left at Hilom’s website or blog posts about Hilom from people who’ve gone there. The comments are decidedly mixed with some saying they’re looking forward to going back to Hilom after returning to Manila while others criticizing every shortcoming (there’s plenty such negative comments on Migs’ blog post).


Anonymous wrote on August 29, 2009 at 9:13 AM:

Personally, I would review HILOM the same way. Generally speaking, the place quite good to start with, but the service they provide is such a mockery that you would soon realize it was just the same cheap MP service where massage is over-rated and ES is routine. I'd like to see some changes on HILOM's setup.

Vince wrote on August 30, 2009 at 3:45 PM:

Anon, well, Hilom is still a gay MP in the end so I guess people have to learn that despite the classy interior, the economics of other MPs still apply here. :-/

jonas_091184 @yahoo wrote on August 31, 2009 at 1:53 AM:

sino mairerekomenda nyong therapist?

lobster-tony wrote on September 6, 2009 at 2:05 AM:

awwww too bad you didn't enjoy your visit. :(

Nahiya naman daw ako bigla. ><

Vince wrote on September 13, 2009 at 11:25 PM:

Tony, hindi lang talaga siguro ako hiyang sa mga massage parlor na iyan. Hehehe.

Anonymous wrote on November 28, 2009 at 11:17 PM:

Actually lahat naman ng MP for gay ay mahal at hindi credible ang service. Isipin mo na lang, ang rate ng massage ay ranging from 350 to 400, then they also have the standard tip pay which you are required to pay. Nangyari to sa akin sa bocy spec massage along west ave. hindi na ako nag-avail ng ES nila pero to my surprise when I get out sinisingil ako ng 750. at ang breakdown ay 400 for the massage and 350 for the std. tip nila. Kaya beware when you enter those establishments na magkaliwanagan before hand sa cashier kung ano ano mga charges bago magpa-massage baka mamaya ang paglinisin ka pa dun pag kulang budget mo.

Anonymous wrote on November 28, 2009 at 11:22 PM:

Sana may massage parlon na all-in na ang rate for a total of 1k sa lahat which includes massage at ES nila. Please recommend if you know some place. Madalas kasi ang mga taga massage they request 1,500 sa cost ng ES then yung entrance 400 and baka may tip pa na 350, so meaning just for that massage and ES you will spend 2,250, OMG. ganyan na ba ngayon kamahal???

Vince wrote on December 1, 2009 at 12:30 AM:

Anon (Nov 28, #1), I think tipping is quite standard even in straight spas. But I think the tip should be the discretion of the client. Wala dapat standard amount.

Anon (Nov 28, #2), di ko kabisado mga MP, pero tingin ko walang ganyang klaseng all-in-one package na matino-tino ang lugar. Mahal talaga ang mga MP.

Anonymous wrote on October 29, 2012 at 1:11 AM:

not a good experience muka silang pera.. puro ES utak ng masahista.. dapat focus is Massage option lng si ES..ayusin ang masahe. pag hindi k kasi pumayag ng ES you have no value to them na :(

Anonymous wrote on September 3, 2013 at 3:34 PM:

magkano ba usually hinihingi nila for ES sa hilom?

Anonymous wrote on October 29, 2013 at 12:39 AM:

sino masseur na pinili niyo?

Francois Buzi wrote on December 2, 2013 at 7:17 AM:

Visited Hilom Spa in Manila on the other day with my friend and we have bad experience. First, that the place is pretty run-down. The mattress was dirty too without towel so I had to ask for it. The massage was so-so and the masseur did his job like a machine. He only wanted the get the money for the extra, which was expensive so I decided to not ask for it. Then the amount dropped to the level, which is offered to local people. Being a foreigner he tried to get some extra upon the "regular" fee. I learnt it from my frien, who is filipino and he was asked for less. While I did not take the extra, my friend did but this also meant that the 60 minute massage dropped to 30 minutes only. While waiting for my friend in the receiving area I could read about the "tip policy" of this venue, which read: "Are you confused on how to tip? Ask our manager they will help you in our top policy". So it sounds that the tip has a minimum level, same as of the quality level of this massage parlor, it also a minimum. As I was not confused on how to tip at all I did not ask for help and left the place without giving any. This was my first time here and surely the last one as well.

Anonymous wrote on December 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM:

I asked for the 800 with body scrub. The masseur just scrubbed and massage just my back? After the so called "massage ended" he asked if I want extra service. I told him i did not have much money(but I can withdraw). His smile changed to a grin. He said " pang tip lang yan, sana hindi nyo ko pinili." Money is no issue its just his attitude towards the client.Then he wore his clothes without giving me any fresh towel. I wont go back because of his attitude, dont even know how to massage and forces clients to give tip even if you did not enjoy the service. Masseur was JL.

Anonymous wrote on February 25, 2014 at 4:14 PM:

As a western visitor tried out this place in feb.'14. Am very used to visiting such places in Bangkok. The place is really rundown and very basic, cabins open out at top, you can wear shoes till inside them.
As it was all new for me in PH, I asked manager about tips etc-but that gave not much info. The massage I got was quite OK, mostly same, some parts different as what I am used to here. Also got more as bought time. Boy seemed not to be much used to westerners there. Was then asked about ES and then that dreaded haggling. Anyway he seemed quite satisfied with it and urged me to come back soon. Whereas it was for me OK, not great, the total came up to a little more as here in BKK, but for a much less quality experience-in the place itself and what was done in the massage.