You gotta love Manong Masahista

I played a lot of ball most of the afternoon. As a result I’m completely bushed and aching all over, but overall I feel great. I outlasted a lot of guys mostly because, I think, I managed to get a good massage a few days ago. At this point you might think I’m about to recommend some ultra posh Thai or exotic place. Would you believe it was courtesy of your everyday typical manong barbershop around the village corner? And all of a pittance: P250.00 at that, with a haircut included.

I was having a haircut at said neighborhood barbershop when he started giving me a vigorous neck rub, a sign anyone who regularly goes to such places knows marks the end of the session. It felt great so I asked if he does massages, he said yes mentioned p200 and off we went. Now I’ve tried all sorts of ultra posh massages at so many places and even expensive home service types already, but this one made me feel like I wanted to knock my head for all that wasted money. Manong twisted, gripped and kneaded my back, arms and legs like so much pliant dough. He used his rough fingers (made smoother by some cheap lotion. Mental note: bring my own next time) to find knotted up veins jammed with toxins and proceeded to attack it with the force of a vise grip over and over until it softened and passed through. To the uninitiated it would have felt like complete torture, but I knew what he was doing. The last time I went through anything like that must have been more than a decade ago, when I was still playing for a team that had a guy like manong masahista slathering myself and my teammates with buckets of what seemed like ben gay, but was 10 times worse – and stung to high heavens, and then used the same tortuous procedure that makes you swear and spit in pain as if you were being knifed.

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