The Quest for the Best Manghihilot

Hilot is an ancient art of healing that uses long, deep strokes and stretching techniques to diagnose and treat muscular and skeletal ailments. This is one of the aspects of our heritage that we are proud of because it has been passed down from generation to generation even before the Spaniards came.

Hilot is very popular in the provinces because it is a low-cost healing alternative, but in most spas in Manila, it is being promoted as a Filipino massage more focused on relaxation than treatment.


Traditional Hilot Massage in the Spas?

In The Spa, a 75-min session of Traditional Hilot Massage in a private room would cost you P1,200. They use virgin coconut oil and banana leaves to provide that soothing, deep massage experience. However, this is not the type of hilot we’re looking for.

We are looking for the authentic kind, provided by a true manghihilot. We aim to find the best ones in their craft. Maybe you can help us in our Quest for the Best Manghihilot

Mang Pekto of Magarao, Naga, Bicol

Magarao, Naga is known to be the Manghihilot Capital in Bicol.

One of the most popular is Mang Pekto. We found him literally hanging out in a corner store. He led us to where he performs his hilot — in a small room inside a nearby billiard hall.

Junjee (our partner in the Namit Naga culinary tour that we will launch soon) recommended Mang Pekto. It was not just a very exotic experience (particularly due to the ambiance), it was educational too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mang Pekto shared with us the story of how he learned hilot from a manang and how the practice was taught to succeeding generations.

His hilot strokes were really deep and strong. His stretches and bone alignment techniques hurt a bit but felt relieving afterwards. He just charges P50 per session but most people give him another P50 as a tip.

Herbularyo Dr. Gerry Sy, Makati City

Dr. Gerry Sy is a doctor of Naturopathy and one of the foremost experts on Hilot in the Philippines. He co-founded Shui Hilot Spa that specializes in hilot massage only. What I like about their hilot approach is that it is made part of an overall wellness process.

Every Monday (from 1pm to 6pm)
@ Shui Hilot Spa, Dr. Gerry provides FREE Naturopathy consultations. He can diagnose your ailments just by looking at the nerve endings in your eyes and the quality of your aura. (Call or text +63 922 811-6118 for appointments.)

We tried it, and we were impressed with the diagnosis that we agreed to proceed with their detox program this December.

Dr. Gerry also discovered this “miracle water” called Mori Miracle Drops (BFAD approved), which has 77 minerals, 127 phytonutrients and Oxygen to heal and strengthen the body.

It can lower your blood sugar in an hour and can be used as a first aid healing tool (that’s why I bring it with me when I travel). They say you just need four drops of the Mori Miracle Drops to energize yourself for the day. If you’re wondering what it tastes like, it actually tastes like water. ๐Ÿ™‚

True to hilot‘s roots, Dr. Gerry’s healing philosophy is to use hilot to detect and cure physical ailments. We tried the hilot at Shui Spa for P550/hr. It was good.

The rooms were a bit cramped, though, and only curtains separate you from the next bed. I think it would be best to have your hilot done in the comfort of your own home. (Call +632 707-7453/ 393-2314.) Ask for Jecel or Aiza.


Kuya Robert Nacario, Malate, Manila


Kuya Robert is a hilot,ย therapist and a bentosa specialist. I blogged about him in my post on Sanctuario — The best filipino inspired Day Spa @ the heart of Malate. I don’t recommend the spa anymore because there is something going on in that spa. But people still highly recommend Roberto Nacario as one of the best manghihilot out there.ย 

Kuya Robert’s number is +63 915-3284284/ +63 908-8655463


If you have a manghihilot recommendation, please let us know…

Live an Awesome Life,

Call or Text Me: +63917 5683-627 (LOVE-OAP)
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Disclosure: Dr. Gerry Sy is part of our Maven Secrets 4 Coaching/Mastermind Group.

P.S. Can you help us try the beta system of Awesome.PH? Just log on and register. There, we’ve got one of the best deals for you: Try the Ventosa Back Hilot of Shui Hilot Spa at 92% off. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Good for 50 coupons only. Here is the Shui Hilot Spa Coupon Deal.


39 thoughts on “The Quest for the Best Manghihilot

  1. Hi Anton! is not working. When you click Continue Shopping, you will be re-directed to the homepage. Please check. Plus the quantity drop down menu.

  2. well im based in the province and we have a good one here… ๐Ÿ™‚ i go to her specially when i have cough and colds… she definitely can fix me… ๐Ÿ™‚
    i like how ate rene starts from my forehead and ends the hilot in my finger tips and toes… she explains while she does her hilot… hehe telling me how much cold i have inside my body…she definitely emliminates them one by one… her hilot session can sometimes last upto 3hours… sarap! ๐Ÿ™‚ she’s beginning to have lots of customers here in zamboanga… she doesnt charge anything and it just depends on you how much you give her… ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Charm,
    Galing! I would like to have a hilot with her when we go to Zamboanga ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you have a number where we can call to reserve?

  4. If people go to hilot for a relaxing massage, that seems ok. However, going to hilot to cure all sorts of ailments like cough, asthma, some kind of misalignment of skeletal or nervous or circulatory system is not only misguided, it can lead patients away from real medical treatment. If you feel stressed and need to relax, go get a massage. If you’re unwell, seek medical opinion. If you need nutrients, take supplements. If you need oxygen in your body, please breathe! There is nothing miraculous about drops of water. There are better ways to get oxygen into the body (e.g. lungs not digestive tract).

  5. don’t recommend the spa anymore because there is something going on in that spa. –> what is going on? care to share?

  6. i want one again! since i’ve been to shui, i already know what they offer. the only asks for my email but i’m already a subscriber. there is no link on where to log-in. thanks

  7. Hi Paula, just enter your email again if you are already registered. We will improve the interface so its easier to navigate next time.

  8. wow this is such a helpful post! thanks for posting this. i havent personally tried hilot. ive only watched my cousin undergo one when she was sick. i’ll ask my mom to get the name of the manghihilot in our province ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Can someone confirm what the “Dr.” in Dr. Gerry Sy is for? If it’s true that he claims to be able to diagnose your ailments just by looking at the nerve endings in your eyes and the quality of your aura, then we should immediately close down all medical schools immediately and ask our future doctors to study this wondrous new miracle diagnosis method instead. Why have ultrasound, MRI, x-ray and all other expensive machines when some guy can look you in the eye and tell you your complete medical history? C’mon Anton, we’ve been through this before. Please stop endorsing these bogus services by people who claim to do amazing things.

  10. Oh oh oh… check out this cached wikipedia page:
    Guess who wrote his own wikipedia page… guess why it’s not up anymore…
    here’s an excerpt: He is also a Psi graduate, an Alternative Medicine Specialist, Naturopathic health practitioner , Life Coach , Hilot Practitioner, Hilot Healing and a Spinal manual alignment therapist. I am into wellness industry since 2000 and have a wellness clinic in Mindanao. After taking PSI Starshooters Team 73 last 2008, I was able to set-up another clinic here in Manila and a hilot spa in Makati City the โ€œShui Hilot Healing Spaโ€ After taking PSI Heroic Leadership Class 29, I discover my purpose โ€“ I want to advocate hilot, to position it in the wellness spa industry and to promote tourism here in the Philippines specifically local jobs.

  11. During that time, he had several patients who could not afford especially coming from local churches, pastor leaders and other rural areas that mostly had health problems. He really wanted to help them. For this reason, he went up to the mountains in Mindanao for herb research. He met some local indigenous tribes told him a story about cobras and other snake kind family fighting and when get hurt they went to a tree, bit it and get healed. They also told him whenever the local tribes are fighting or at war, the warriors went ahead to the tree and bit it. In his investigation, he went up to the highest mountains checked it out, slowly hid in the tree and found out several cobras were present and afterwards he went back from the mountains. He talked and asked sample from the tree. He brought home one wild berry tree and that was how it started.
    The two Naturopath helped him processed the tree 100,000 times smaller than a regular molecule. The process is called Nano process. It is powerful where this tiny molecule accelerates to the cell in 3 seconds. Currently, he is using the product for stroke, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, insomnia, arthritis, asthma, skin asthma, high blood, poor eyesight, lung problem and other health problems. Until 2008, MORI was only used for clinical purposes.

  12. Haha, I was about to react to the same thing:)
    Went there twice a couple of years ago to bring my balikbayan family. But after the 2nd time, didn’t go back. The jacuzzi, a large steam room and bath area are communal. They give you a nice set of clothes so you don’t walk around naked, and i saw a couple of really buffed guys! But on the second time I went there were two guys in the steam room who were obviously kissing. it made me uncomfortable:)
    BTW, i went to the Shui website, their services are expensive considering Anton described the place as cramped. I havent tried a hilot, Im a bit skeptical as to how they learned it. I hope the Philippines studies this well so it can be really promoted.

  13. No, Ingrid, I am not. However, it does not take a doctor to know that “Dr.” Gerry Sy is a quack and should be ashamed of himself for combining fake medicine iridology, with fake medicine homeopathy and fake medicine chiropractics and trying to call it original. tsk tsk tsk.

  14. Not sure if this fits your definition but really good hilot massage from Healing Hands Spa along Scout Borromeo in QC. Their number’s 985-5358. I’ve tried a lot of more commercially popular (aka expensive) spas but this one does a much better job at half the price!
    Went there with some back pains and I can honestly say walked away kink-free ๐Ÿ˜›
    I know this sounds like some paid ad but I swear I get nothing out of this. Just wanna share my new favorite discovery ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Hi Anton! We have tried Spa Rga at #1 Sta Escolastica St. Cor Roxas Boulevard Pasay City. Their hilot treatment is by appointment and only on Tuesday and Friday. The treatment cost 1,500.00 but its worth your money. My boyfriend had dis leg pain and we’ve been to therapy and a few doctors but it didnt work. After one session with this Hilot treatment his pain just went away. Ive been recommending this place to friends and family and they love it. Contact no. 836-9143 email:

  16. you have to try Delia “the DragonLady”, the legandary hilot of Iligan City. She burps as she kneads the “hangin” out of your body. only P250 per session. And a session can last two hours!

  17. i’ve been wanting to try Sanctuario, after reading this though and learning that you don’t recommend the place anymore, i’ve had a change of heart.

  18. I tried Shui Hilot. it was a letdown: there were only 4 small glasses for the ventosa, and it was not the ventosa treatment that i expected. The hilot was no big deal. Nothing earth shaking. Not worth for the price of P799 (which they said is already promo price.)

  19. I’ve been looking for a manghihilot for a long time. Our family used to this manghihilot but she passed away without passing her skills to her children. It’s really hard to explain how her massage works. I remember before, the area where the “pilay” will be cold. The massage will be quite painful, but then, you have the sensation of warmth as if blood has started flowing again.
    I have this nagging problem in the shoulder. I tried commercial manghihilots but it was just like a massage, only a bit more painful and the problem did not go away. I’ve been to multiple doctors as well. Those hot/cold packs with low-volt electricity never really worked for me.
    I hope somebody feeds back more manghihilots that live in Metro Manila.

  20. hi, anton!
    can you also do a blog about acupuncture?ive read that aside from hilot, acupuncture is also a good form of treating ailments in our body.thanks and more power!

  21. Hi Anton. There is an exhibit of Luzon products and services at the Megatrade B Hall sponsored by DTI and I was surprised that the Magarao manghihilots have a booth there. They offer the famous Magarao hilot massage. I will go there again tomorrow to try it. Don’t know if Mang Pekto is there, though. But I had a free “diagnostics” and the lady knew my aches and pains just by massaging my hands. Didn’t tell her of course but when she said I had back pain, bullseye. And leg pain, and buttocks pain, etc. Anyway, thought you might want to try them.

  22. Hi Anton, I highly recommend Bench Fix at Glorietta 4. The masseur name Chari is the one of the best I’ve tried. I’ve been hunting for great spa with relaxing massages and I found it at G4, I’ve tried almost every known spa in the city, and this is one of the place that one should visit, and it’s not expensive either, it only costs around 500php for full body massage. PS. eto lang ang massage place na bina-balik-balikan ko so I guess it’s worth a try.

  23. My husband and i went to Shui last night because we were able to avail of a groupon. I have to say we were disappointed. I honestly haven’t tried hilot in general.. but if that was what it was, i think it’s just pretty similar to swedish massage. The foot therapy using bamboo sticks were quite lame, i think. Different pa din if you use the finger and knuckles like in foot massage spas.
    Plus the place is kinda creepy. i can see cracks on the walls of the foot massage room. and the acoustics were bad. we could hear steps and “kalabogs” from upstairs.
    Over all, the best massage pa din for us is in Family Spa above UCC TOmas Morato. It’s not a nice place but clean, and the technique is just fantastic! And i have to say, all of the masseurs have the same level of technique, which is good, i don’t have to look for a certain person when i go there. We usually do the back and foot. Last week, i tried the full body massage, i have to say technique is just as impressive!
    Wensha is not bad actually.. the technique of their masseurs are also good. but i don’t like going there because of the ambiance of the place.

  24. Are you sure these hilots at Shui are really trained. When I went there my back ached more than ever. If it weren’t for my vouchers that are expiring I wont be back. I dont recommend this Massage place.

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