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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

November 17, 2011

Magarao: Parahilot Capital

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.

Magarao Church
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.      


  1. macky, this blog entry of yours is a very good come-on not only to foreigners but to local tourists as well...two thumbs-up for you!

  2. Padi, how come you shifted to Legaspi-based hilot hahaha!

  3. I've been looking for a good manghihilot for years.Naipitan ako by ugat sa likod for 20 years now physical therapist,Chiropractor can't help my problem.Do u think the HILOT will fix my back problem ?Pls I need some opinion.

  4. Thanks for the query. I really cannot answer your question with certainty, but what I am certain about is that the parahilots of Magarao are gifted and good in what they do.

  5. Where is the exact location please. Thanks for the info

  6. Where is the exact location please. Thanks for the info

  7. Exact location? Magarao is roughly 5 kms away from Naga City in Camarines Sur. As you near the downtown area of Magarao coming from Naga, you will see Parahilot signs.