The past few weeks have been a nonstop cycle of work-stress-work-stress for Jason and me and a couple of days ago it finally started taking a toll on us. My normally quiet Jason suddenly bursts into fits of laughter and launches into a series of random hyperactive movement whereas I morph into a silent narcoleptic. It was a Jekyll-and-Hyde thing, go figure. A little break was imperative in order to keep our sanity back but scheduling is a different matter. My peculiar work schedule blocks weekends off and we both work afternoon-through-evening shifts. It looked as though any chance of some RnR had to be put on hold.
That is, until Jason got sick.
Not confined-to-the-bed sick (that would be terrible) but sick enough to not be able to function well at work. I say it was the exhausting combo of work, gym and an anticipated headache. Coincidentally, he fell ill right on my day-off and he permitted me to bug him during his intended “peace and quiet” time. Lucky lucky! Now there’s real love for you.
Ace Water Spa. A watering hole amid the crowded Del Monte avenue, Ace, which promises utmost relaxation with its 25 hydro-massage systems, is a stark contrast to the otherwise hectic traffic outside. A first of its kind in the Philippines, it’s not surprising why people from all ages flock here for those much-needed breaks.
This wasn’t the first time (my third and Jason’s second) we tried the different massage systems Ace has to offer. They have a dizzying variety that ranges from feet, legs, buttocks, back, abs, neck, and head–plus a set of warm herbal pools, a freezing pool, lap pools, saunas, and a cozy lazy river that wraps around the entire place.
Each massage system works by strategically placing vents that shoot water out on varying degrees of “intensity” on specific areas. Informative placards containing intensity, target areas, time, and disorders prevented/eased, are also installed near every facility.They make great entertainment as you lay back, enjoying the shooting water working on your body. Just be wary of the typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings. They add to the amusement, I tell you.
The entire spa is arranged systematically–the massages are in the middle of the lazy river where the laid back can just float around carelessly on the large mats made available. Just a few steps away is the lap pool where lanes are divided into “leisurely swimming” and “serious exercise.” A timer is also made available for the more… driven, competitive types. On the other side are the colorful herbal pools setting off scents of mint (36 degrees), jasmine (38 degrees), and lavender (40 degrees). As if designed for ultimate relaxation, free from the stresses of conversation,a low concrete barrier segregates males and females in the herbal pool. Even attempts to shout over the divider are futile. While it’s tempting to spend the entire 500-peso four-hour trip in the warm pools, each dip is sadly limited to a short few minutes for health reasons. An ingenious cold metal, bar, installed in each of the six aromatherapy herbal pool, keeps blood pressures stable. Also, each dip must be followed either with a cold shower, bucket splash, or submergence in the ice-water pool. Now I know how polar bears feel if they were suddenly shaved bald. The saunas, also segregated, are located in this area.
To keep hair fall, filtration maintenance costs at a minimum, guests are required to wear cloth swimming caps in shades of either red or blue. In my humble opinion as a non-swimming-cap wearer, the cloth caps do a perfect job of keeping hair fall AND hair loss in check. Proper swim wear (preferably body-hugging) is also required.
There’s also no need to worry about towels, shampoo, soap, or the possibility of being robbed as you float around. Ace Water Spa makes everything available for its guest–each bathroom stall stocked with soap and shampoo. Hairdryers, face powder, roller brushes (use at your own risk), styling gel, and plastic bags (for wet clothes) are public domain.Each guest is also allowed one locker with a lock and key. The key is attached to a band one can wear in the spa.
The downside of the spa? No photographs. For all the enjoyment and relaxation it promises, it’s unfortunate not to be able to document anything.
Jason and I found this particular trip to Ace more fun not because we didn’t have the wonderful company of Riza, one of my best friends, and her boyfriend, Angelo, but because on a weekday, the place was practically empty. Most of the guests opted to stretch and work there muscles out in the lap pool–my least favorite facility. The spa is usually crowded with elderly men and women and there are usually long lines to the more popular Bubble Bed and Rainfall Acupuncture. Except for two other young couples lazing around the place, it was all ours.
Who knew water (+Jason) could be so therapeutic?
Some of the facilities are not meant for women, such as the Chest Jet massage, a hard massage targeting a rather sensitive part of a woman’s body.
For more information, www.acewaterspa.com. (shout out to you, I can be your spokesperson).