My flashpack trip started with a ferry ride from Bacolod to Ilo-Ilo. Day 1 in Ilo-Ilo was not purely for pleasure as I needed to renew my professional license at PRC's regional office. My previous renewals were easy peasy, I'm usually done with the whole process before lunch. I thought it will be just like 3 years ago, so I planned to visit the heritage sites in the afternoon. But then, my plans shattered into pieces when I saw a huge crowd outside the PRC office! It looked disastrous, major trip hassle! So, there I was, on queue on several windows for almost 12 hours; only went out for snack and lunch. Anyway, enough of the ranting, let's jump to the happy part: I successfully renewed my license before 7 pm. Then, I treated my exhausted self and my family, who got tired of waiting for me, to a relaxing fish spa and foot massage!
Tibiao Fish Spa was a part of my defunct Ilo-Ilo itinerary. Half an hour of fish spa in Dubai costs a fortune, five times the price of a fish spa package in the Philippines! So, it's a must-try for me. I have been pampered and exfoliated in a spa, but never by a school of fish! I was curious, excited and scared at the same time.
Tibiao Fish Spa's interior is amazing! The spa is decorated with bamboo and banig (handwoven mat). The Filipino theme sets it apart from other contemporary spas. At the reception, I read the fish spa's guidelines and paid the fees. We were given rubber slippers to wear. Then, we washed our feet with soap and water. As soon as we're ready, we were assisted to the spa's VIP area, though we only paid for a classic one! The frown on my haggard face turned upside down. Guess it wasn't my unlucky day after all! :)
|the spa's very organized shoe rack, each basket with a costumer's number|
|The Classic Fish Spa section|
|for the VIPs|
VIP!!! In my head, I was jumping and screaming in delight. In reality, I remained calm and collected; I didn't want to disturb other clients with my extreme happiness. The VIP area is covered with sheer curtains. We were seated in a very comfortable couch with soft pillows. As we placed our feet in the tank, Thera fishes gathered around and nibbled dead layers of skin and calluses. As much as I wanted to be quiet, I couldn't stop myself from giggling. My family and I laughed at each other's facial expressions until the ticklish bites turned into a relaxing sensation. And so, the giggles were replaced by intimate family conversations with tranquil silence in between.
|family spa time (me, my aunt and my parents)|
After more than 30 minutes of soothing fish spa, we were assisted to the foot massage section. The well-trained staff kneaded our smooth and callus-free feet. Though the spa pamphlet says that it's an express massage, I never felt it was. My tired feet were slowly kneaded, from the sole to the tip of my toes!
Ever wondered why the fish spa is called Tibiao? Here's a history I got from the company's website: Tibiao Fish Spa was founded by a group of UP Visayas students. The spa uses species of fish from Tibiao, a town in the province of Antique. It is where they opened their first branch in 2009. After a year, they opened another branch at SM City Ilo-Ilo. Aside from affordable fish spa, the company offers reflexology massage, ventosa therapy and Tibiao adventure tours.
I was not paid for this review. The spa personnel didn't even know that I blog. I am very grateful of the special VIP treatment. We had a very unique, fun and refreshing experience. I hope I can visit their main branch next year; might as well join the Tibiao adventure tour. Adventure followed by a relaxing fish spa sounds fantastic... or should I say, fishtastic!!!
Tibiao Fish Spa Locations:
*Ilo-Ilo Branch: SM City, Mandurriao
Lower Ground Floor
*Tibiao branch: National Highway