Originally posted on August 27, 2012.
You all probably experienced or heard of the devastation that the last nameless monsoon brought about here in Manila. Makati, urban and advanced as it is was not spared at all. The underground walkways that crisscross Ayala Avenue were completely submerged, Buendia was impassable, and a lot of families living in the outskirts of Makati had to be evacuated.
Pero, being Pinoy, shempre almost everyone was still smiling, and making jokes and making lemons out of lemonade — including me.
So, I was victim of the nameless habagat.
I drive an older model pick up truck. I call it Truck or Trucky when I’m making lambing to it. I’ve had the Truck since freshmen law school. I have gone through blood, sweat and tears with that pick-up — literally. There was a time I had to transport a bloodied frat brother from the college to the infirmary when a group of rival fratmen beat him up with lead pipes and baseball bats; many a time I sweated it out hauling stuff for friends and family; and I’ve cried and bawled inside the confines of Trucky whenever I was making drama about C, or my mom, or life in general (a.k.a. ‘pag nagmemeron ako).
Trucky saved me during the habagat onslaught. The office announced a little too late that we can go home before the day ended. So off I went as fast as I can to my tiny mouse hole of an apartment — but it was already flooded in front of our building. Lampas tuhod na ‘te, at di pa din tumitigil ang ulan ng mga panahon na yon. I drove through it with utmost faith and conviction na hindi titirik ang Truck ko. Sa awa naman ng diyos, nakaabot ako ng building ko ng maluwalhati.
I had a decision to make. In case work wasn’t going to get suspended the following day, I might be flooded in pa din the next day and I really didn’t want to risk Trucky anymore than I should. So I packed some clothes and thought I could go to a friend’s apartment elsewhere in Makati kung saan hindi bumabaha — or so I thought. Binaha din yun sa may apartment ng kaibigan ko… I was getting so stressed. I was tired, hungry and wet. My solution was LASEMA.
Lasema is a 24 hour Korean Spa located along Malugay Street inside the Makati Golf Compound. I discovered this place a few months ago when an office friend took me coz she thought I needed to unwind. Lasema houses authentic jjim jil bang which is basically Korean Dry Sauna. The entire facility is equipped with huge locker rooms, massage rooms, sleeping and lounge areas, smoking room, canteen, indoor pools or what they call wet saunas, and the dry sauna “ovens”.
There are three pools that you can choose from in Lasema: 2 heated ones ranging from 42-47 degrees Celsius, one is a Ginseng Pool and the other is a Green Tea Pool. The other pool is filled with regular cold water that you’re supposed to dunk in to close your pores after dipping in the hot ones. One thing though: you have to be completely and utterly naked while you’re in the pool. Separate naman ang wet sauna for men and women, but I’ve found out that this set up is not for everyone. C, for example, absolutely refuses to go into a pool naked with other naked men. I love it though (not the getting into the pool with naked men ha…)… the different compositions of each pool is supposed to target certain ailments or prevent them.
Then there’s the dry sauna (jjim jil bang) area. This is the common area, where men, women and children all hang out. There are 3 dry sauna ovens, with temperatures ranging from 47 to 72 degrees. Each room is made out of different materials which gives each a distinct aroma, and is supposedly therapeutic for different conditions. You can go in and out all of these three rooms whenever you want. And you can rest in between baking yourself. There is a sleeping area, a huge TV for those who just want to chill, or you can go to the cold room, which is at -9 degrees Celsius. The canteen is right there so you can order their homemade cold ginger drink (which I think is awesome) or some noodles and whatnots.
(Sleeping area and common area)
Did I mention that this costs a total of P450? And for that amount you can spend 12 straight hours inside. Hindi pa kasama shempre dun yun massage, if you want to get one, or the food.
Therefore, dun ako natulog noong mga panahon na humahabagat sa Makati. Malinis naman yun tulugan, may shower (with soap and shampoo — wala lang toothbrush ha), ang locker room may hair dryer, lotion, cotton buds, baby powder, everything…
So para sa mga naghahanap ng pagoovernightan minsan, whether dahil sa baha, bagyo or ayaw mo lang umuwi for any reason, I suggest you go to Lasema for a relaxing vibe (plus, nakakatanggal ng water weight ang sauna…you can lose up to 3 lbs. in one visit, promise — meron weighing scale dun just to prove it.)
Check out Lasema on Facebook!