balay hilom spa

Hilot Bentosa and Dagdagay: “Katutubong Hilot” at Balay Hilom Spa

They say that there is nothing better than a full body massage after a long tiring day at work. But actually, there is something better and that is a combination of hilot bentosa or hilot balay hilom and dagdagay from Balay Hilom Spa in Katipunan.

For those of you who didn’t know, workers in Manila has been hustling everyday at work because that is how life is in the city. There’s almost no time for rest which is bad because our human bodies are not capable of continuous work and no rest at all. We should at least reward ourselves, especially our mind and bodies, a relaxing massage to relieve ourselves from stress.

Balay Hilom Spa in Katipunan

It was my second time to get a massage at Balay Hilom Spa and I took my friend, JC, with me. Thanks to Ms Krystine for inviting me to come over. The timing was perfect since I just came back in Manila from a recent solo trip in Davao, read here: Davao’s Eden Nature Park, and a freediving trip that will happen a day after. My mind and body was not in the condition for a freediving trip but good thing that Balay Hilom Spa got my back! (My body and feet literally, haha!)

balay hilom spa

To give you a bit of information, Balay Hilom Spa offers traditional healing from the different parts of the Philippines such as; Luzon, Visayas and Mindadao. The signature healing therapy of Balay Hilom is taken back from the indigenous healing traditions from the highlands of Cordillera, home of the Ifugaos in Bontoc. This is nothing like the modern massage in most spas around the metro. In Balay Hilom Spa, be ready for a journey of rediscovery on how Northern ancestry performs healing.

You can read my review about Balay Hilom Spa last March of this year here.

balay hilom spa

This is what you will first see when you enter in Balay Hilom Spa. The front desk is designed with nipas and the lobby is also traditionally inspired just like the old days of the Cordillera tribes in the mountains. When you get around the spa house, the rooms are kubo-style- the traditional houses in the Filipinos which is made out of nipas.

How to get to Balay Hilom Spa

To get here via public transportation, find your way to the nearest LRT station and drop off at Katipunan Station. From Katipunan Station, walk towards FBR Arcade, landmark is Breakout Philippines or in front of Ateneo de Manila.

Other Information

  • Operating Days/Hours: Dauly/1-11:00PM
  • Official Facebook Page
  • Walk ins are allowed but only if there are available therapists and rooms. Make online reservations through their Facebook page.
  • Wifi: None
  • Parking Lot: in front of the FBR Arcade building

Recommended “hilot” in Balay Hilom Spa

“Hilot Balay Hilom”

This is their signature massage which increases blood circulation, improves breathing and frees your body from lamig, helping rid you of stress and leaving you feeling revitalized.


balay hilom spa

“Hilot Bentosa”

Glass with a fire or “fire cups” is what most people describe ventosa massage, at least for me. I took JC with me to try Balay Hilom’s ventosa since I’m actually curious about the process and how it is done. So what I did was I watched the glass and fire process (as I call it) while one of the therapists perform it to JC.

It was a total of 70 minutes for the hilot bentosa and it’s PHP650.00 per person. There will be a pre-massage before the actual bentosa and another full body massage after. JC commented that his therapists or manghihilot has a very gracious way of massaging.

“It was super relaxing” as he commented since it wasn’t too hard and it wasn’t too soft. Aside from herbs, I also noticed ginger was used during the hilot bentosa process. Ginger is a powerful medicinal plant and can also reduce muscle pain.

Benefits of a ginger


“Dagdagay” in Balay Hilom Spa

Dagdagay is a massage that focus on your feet and lower legs. It’s a 50 minute massage for PHP550.00. After soaking my feet in herbs, they placed my feet in a barrel with hot stones. Then the dagdagay massage followed wherein the therapist used 2 runos (rattan sticks) to stimulate the nerve endings of the sole up to the legs in order to treat muscle cramps and rheumatism. This massage is perfect for tired feet from an all day work.

After the massage, the therapist covered my lower legs with banana leaves then she poured hot water with herbs from my knees down to my feet. I felt the heat that goes inside my covered legs, it was super relaxing and I felt like my feet has been healed from a tiring trip.

List of Massage in Balay Hilom Spa

Below are the list of massage you can avail in Balay Hilom Spa. Aside from the traditional hilot in the North, you can also avail the traditional hilot rooting from the tribes in Visayas and Mindanao.

Benefits of a Massage

If you’ve read my first review about Balay Hilom Spa, you already know the importance of getting a massage and the signs that you need one. In here, let’s try to list down the benefits of a massage.

Always remember to take care and be conscious of your body. We only have one body in this life so let’s give the care it needs.

  • Keeps stress at bay
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Relaxes your mind, body and soul
  • Gives you a newly recharged body ready for work
  • Better sleeping at night
  • Reduces muscle pain

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