As I am writing this article, the 22nd Philippine Advertising Congress is happening in my home province of Camarines Sur. Hundreds, even thousands of movers and shakers of the Advertising industry and its attendant sectors have trooped to Camsur in recent days.
Very good news for the tourism drive of the province, even that of the whole of Bicol region. I have no doubt that the tourism charms of Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC), Penafrancia Basilica, and the Caramoan peninsula will be very much highlighted.
But I have doubts if the sleepy town of Magarao will be included in the stops of the visitors. Which is a pity because it has something special to offer for the massage lovers and runners among the ad congress participants.
|Entrance to Magarao|
Roughly 4 kilometers away from downtown Naga, Magarao is the hilot capital. Its main road hosts half a dozen hilot establishments. And the hilots that ply their trade here all attribute their massage skills to being given to them at birth. God-given.
For old church lovers, the town boasts of one dating back to the late 1700s.
When I was training for the Camsur Marathon a year ago, I had the misfortune of straining my calf muscle in one of the long weekend runs in the province. Rather than have it examined in a therapy clinic or hospital, which would probably have cost me the equivalent of a new pair of Asics Cumulus 12, I went straight to Magarao and have it looked at by a hilot. The hilot I chose had her place of business in the basement of the “white house” which many in Magarao would say is the ancestral house of the family of Dina Bonnevie. There, the hilot (Novie Rosalinas) made short work of my calf muscle in 30 minutes and I was up an about for another training run the following day. The cost of that hilot procedure was half the cost of a pair of Asics socks.
Go ahead . Try the hilot experience in Magarao.