After 5 days of volunteer work here in Boracay, I was given 2 days off.
The very night on the 5th day I ask the hotel staff to send one massage therapist up in my room.
Manang Melcha, in her mid 50s went up to my room, and started soothing my body pains away.
While her hands were gliding my sking, we had a good conversations that covers various topic.
I gather that she is a native and can vividly remember the “Paraiso” as she calls it.
With a big sigh, she blurted ” wala na ang paraiso sir” (the paradise is lost).
She said back then the sand were whiter, they dont have electricity but candle and oil lamps. The few resorts were made of bamboo and nipa shingles. “Lahat ay mga native house lang sir” (all were native houses sir).
But now the paradise becomes a concrate jungle, it look like a city already.
Another thing bothers her is the fact that the island is now to expensive for the local. “Masyado nang mahal ang mga bilihin”( prices are to high).
For here to be able to work as massage therapist, she has to pay the local government 3,500 php for her license anually, ang 100php monthly as Association fee.
They normaly do the massage by the beach and charge 350php, 50php goes to the owner of the property or in my case goes to the hotel. In start rated hotel they charge 800php, 500 goes to the hotel. On a good day they could take home almost 2000 to 3000 but on the low season good if they have 2 customers or 600ph.
The sad part is that there are many. unlicensed massage therapist, who doesnt pay any taxes, and do all those hanky panky thing the put thier profession a bad name.
I barely notice the hour went by.. I was refresh and very sleepy, my bodies reaction to a good massage. I hande her 500php and she said she doesn’t have a change for I was here first for the night. I told her to keep it.
The next time you be in Boracay please give these ladies a try.