When I was little we neither have a bathroom nor our own source of water, hence, big sister and I took our morning shower in public. Armed with a pail, dipper, towel, and soap, our mother would take us to this artesian well in our neighborhood. In our birthday suit, Mama would bathe us with a bar of soap that doubled as our shampoo. Because I was too young I didn’t feel any shame about being naked on the side of the street. Now that I’m in my 30s, I thought I’d never bathe in public again, until I discovered Lasema Jjim Jil Bang Spa, a Korean-inspired public bathhouse in Makati.
For security reasons it’s not open to the public, nevertheless, it is one of the most popular attractions in the City of Flowers. The Mansion is the official residence of the Philippine president in Baguio City. There, you can see tourists taking photos by the gates, ensuring that the embossed lettering of The Mansion is included in the frame. Beyond the expanse of the manicured hill is a white-painted house, of Spanish colonial revival architecture; it was built in 1908.
Even when you’re just looking outside you will be charmed for indeed it’s a beautiful sight. The first time I saw this place was in December of 1997. Just like everyone else I didn’t go any further than the gates. But in 2006 I wasn’t like everyone else; I’ve had the chance to stay inside and saw the beauty hidden from the public view.
When I arrived there’s a long queue outside Genji M., the way people line up to get to a posh club, or to see a film in a theater, or to wait for their turn in a public restroom. I thought there was a blogger event, I was after all, had been invited by my blogger friend. Turns out those people were there to avail of the 150-peso buffet promo. After realizing this I went inside, looked for our contact person, and then I was ushered to one of the private rooms.