Zennya: The Uber for Massages

I don’t know if you guys saw my tweet earlier this morning, but it’s true. My lower back just suddenly decided to cramp up towards the end of my workout. I don’t even know if it was the muscle or — God forbid — some slipped disc or something. All I know is that it hurt the whole day and I was looking forward to getting a massage tonight.

I contacted our favorite home-service masahista whom we met from Asian Massage. She’s quite a big woman who isn’t afraid to knead our muscles HARD. I say our muscles because Jim loves massages as much as I do so we get one at least once every two weeks. We used to get one every week but we decided that was a little too much indulgence. Haha.

Unfortunately, our loyal therapist didn’t reply to my texts or answer my calls. It’s a bit hard to book a massage through Asian Massage (plus, their therapists are inconsistent) so I didn’t bother. Sad news, too, my favorite Phone-A-Massage closed down months ago. I used to imitate the suplado gay concierge to my friends’ amusement: “FONAMASADZ, HELLOHH?” *sigh* I will no longer hear his masungit no-nonsense voice.

The good news is, I remembered an app I downloaded back in March when I saw an ad on Facebook. It’s called Zennya and it literally looked like an Uber for massages. I feel like that’s what every business is trying to achieve now. Everybody wants to be “the Uber for something.” It was a no-brainer. I love Uber and I love massages. After a bit of research and mostly because of its beautiful interface (admittedly), I finally booked a massage through the app.

Screenshots from iTunes store
Screenshots from the Apple app store

Look how cute the design is!! The app currently offers shiatsu or swedish massages and lets you choose between a male and female therapist. Decide how long you’d like your massage to be and you can book your massage right away. My favorite part? It’s cashless! Here’s a true story: I messaged Jim asking him to withdraw money before coming home because I ran out of cash. Initially he agreed but after a few minutes he replied, “OH NO I FORGOT MY WALLET AT HOME!” LELZ. This exchange happened before I booked through Zennya. It’s also one of the reasons I remembered to use the app, because I knew they only accepted payments via credit card.


The app has a nifty little credit card scanner so I didn’t have to type in all my details. It’s SSL-encrypted which is tech-speak for DON’T WORRY, YOUR INFO IS SUPER SECURE. Before I could book an appointment, I had to register my mobile number and wait for a verification code. I don’t know why, but I had to click “resend verification code” because I didn’t get it the first time. Second time’s the charm because I successfully booked a masseuse named Ramona in just 2 minutes!

The app shows you a photo of your therapist and how long it will take for her to get to your place. Zennya said she’d get here in 23 minutes but she arrived in about 40 minutes. Pretty bad accuracy but, hey, I didn’t really mind because they’re a start-up on-demand service. Better than calling the usual massage agencies and always hearing that the next available therapist is not until 1AM.

Ramona didn’t provide towels but she asked for two — one to protect my sheets from oil and one for me. I prefer using my own towels for hygienic reasons but I assume some people expect towels to be provided. I was also given the option between scented (calming) and unscented massage oils. Like Uber, the therapist had to click “START” from her app before we started. Once she did, soft spa music played on her phone. Nice touch!

At first, I was ready to be disappointed because I was so used to my old masseuse’s hard pressure technique. But after a few minutes, I noticed she was applying just the right amount of pressure on all the right spots! Before our session began, I told her in passing that my lower back was hurting and she really focused on it! Turns out, all of them are licensed and trained therapists. Okay, I wish this was a paid testimonial haha but it’s not — I felt AMAZING after the hour-long massage. Even better than I did with my favorite heavy-handed masseuse. Heck, I feel great, it actually got me to blog tonight. Haha.

When the massage ended, the app asked me if I wanted to tip her 0, 50, 100, 150, or 200 pesos. I liked that there was an option for tips! It also asked me if I wanted to put Ramona under my “FAVORITE THERAPISTS” list so the app could match us next time if she’s available.

I asked Ramona if she came from another client before me and she said she came from Robinson’s Galleria. She said she used an Uber to get to my place! It made so much sense! They partnered with Uber, that’s why their app looks a lot like it! Super cool, I can’t get over it. Give it a try! It’s my first time to use their service and Jim is 5 minutes away from finishing his own massage from Ramona. I’ll let you know what he says when he’s done! Be wary though: Jim’s a tough critic!! I call him Jiminy Critic.

UPDATE: Jim says she was really good! Yay!!

Hope you’re having a relaxing Thursday night as well!!

Zennya currently services the following areas: Makati, Mandaluyong, BGC/Taguig, Ortigas/Pasig, Eastwood, Greenhills, Wack Wack, San Juan, Cubao.

RATES are as follows:
60 minutes – Php400
90 minutes – Php550
120 minutes – Php700

Download the app from the App Store.



Originally published on Rappler.com / Written by Krista Garcia


johnnie walker

Millennials have a “starter pack” of hashtags to categorize their life on social media. There’s #OOTDs for their current sartorial obsessions. There’s #ThrowbackThursday for things they want to be reminded of (such as how cute they were as babies). They’d caption #OnFleek for things that are, well, on point.

And then there’s #LifePeg for tagging successful people who they aspire to be, such as a popular radio jock, an influential blogger, a sought-after band vocalist, or simply someone who gets to travel all over the world with the love of her life.

Enter Saab Magalona, who happens to be all of the above. Everything about her and her life is on a millennial’s bucket list. At least, that’s according to her 277k+ followers on Instagram, half a million followers on Twitter, and the thousands who read her blog. Brands and businesses who collaborate with her for sponsored content seem to agree wholeheartedly, too.

In that sense Saab is not only a #LifePeg for this day and age, she’s #Goals.


Saab finds it weird when people ask her what she does. “I can’t really label myself,” she says. She’s always trying something new, and always surprising others – including her own self. Whatever she’s up to at the moment, it’s chronicled on her blog, Spell Saab.

She’s been blogging for 12 years now – longer than many other fashion or lifestyle bloggers out there. Sure, the public already had an idea of who Saab was – after all, she’s the daughter of Francis Magalona; she’s progeny of rap royalty. But rather than rely on the instant fame brought about by her last name, it was through her own words and thoughts that people got to know and love her.

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Saab recalls how, before, there were only a few bloggers on a handful of platforms. But now, social media has exploded, and every other celebrity is also capitalizing on their online following. Still, Saab has managed to keep the followers that have been with her from the start and gain even more. She sticks to what she’s always done: being honest and generous with what she shares – from her relationships, to her gigs, and even her diet plans.

“All the fashion bloggers came out,” Saab says, “And I used to feel bad because I didn’t know anything about fashion, I didn’t like taking photos of myself. But I think that’s the thing I’m proudest of. I didn’t have to feel pressured into following the trend. I like what I like and it’s just like that.”

Saab would write about her favorite books and TV shows, and readers would ask for recommendations. She’d discuss her love for Doc Martens and get asked where she buys her limited-edition pairs. She’d do a makeup vlog, and get emails asking about what look would be appropriate for a debut or a graduation. Naturally, brands wanted a piece of the pie.

In an age where success is measured by social metrics, Saab likes to keep it as real as possible. “I know that I could be marketing myself in other ways and I would be getting more work but I’m so happy that just by being myself there are companies that want to work with me,” Saab says. “Doing what I love, doing what I do, there are these brands that actually value being true to one’s self.”

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Until now, she still prefers not to know her actual traffic or follower count. There was a time, not long ago, when she stopped writing about her personal life. She had become too focused on avoiding any topic that might offend or clash with brand requests. “Then, I realized the reason why my readers have stayed with me through all these years is because they do like me being candid,” she says. “I don’t have to say sorry for what I’m thinking.”

Her mom Pia is her manager, acting as a bridge for collaborations and inquiries. But when it comes to what Saab writes, tweets, says, or does, nothing is checked or pre-created. “It’s really just me. I only have to ask her if my schedule permits it. She encourages me… I’m really so lucky that I have her to guide me because she chooses all the right projects,” Saab says.

Today, she’s simply motivated to inspire her readers. “I’m not saying I’m a role model,” she clarifies. But, she acknowledges that aside from her responsibilities as an endorser or what-have-you, girls in high school do read whatever she posts. “I always think my best market is my little sister. She does read my blog, and I have to be careful of what I put out there.”


Being a writer is not a strictly 9-to-5 job, although Saab insists that she still follows a system: “I do have work hours in my head, like, ‘you can’t play video games until 7PM’,” Still, she’s got more freedom than most to pursue other passions, such as music. It’s futile to ignore the genetic references; her father Francis, after all, is one of the most successful MCs of the 1990s. Most would point out that it’s expected. Few would recognize how much hard work Saab actually puts into fulfilling the dream. Twice a week, Saab hosts a radio show on Jam 88.3. Her band plays regularly around the city. Both commitments entail research, rehearsals, and the grit to show up to work even if you’re nursing a cold or just not feeling “up.”

Still, this girl makes all the effort seem fun. The hosting gig, she gets to do with her best friend. The band, she gets to do with her best friend AND her husband. Is there anything not ideal about her life?

“I really think what brought me to where I am now and what I’m doing is really choosing to be happy,” Saab says. “[It’s] making all the decisions to really just choose the path of happiness.”

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That path led her to her current band Cheats, which just released their first EP earlier this year. Recently, the band reached a major milestone by becoming the first Filipino band invited to play at Laneway Singapore, the biggest music festival in Southeast Asia. The band is feeling the pressure, but Saab is taking it in stride. “We hope we make them proud and that they don’t question why we got in,” she says. Then she backpedals: “Actually, I do know: it’s because we make good music. I’m very confident in saying that.” Saab, together with her bandmates, put in a lot of hard work just to get noticed: hours of rehearsals and song writing sessions, playing weekly gigs, and submitting demos to various agents. Now, all the effort has paid off big time.

Cheats (not in photo: guitarist Mau). November, 2015
Cheats (not in photo: guitarist Mau). November, 2015

She also fell in love with Cheats’ front liner, Jim Bacarro. They just tied the knot last year. “He is part of the reason why I became a happier person,” Saab admits. She used to be more pessimistic, but Jim would call her out on it. “I think we balance each other out,” she adds. Case in point: Jim has always dreamed of giving up the corporate life, and it was Saab who finally persuaded him to do it and co-start a business. The two are now enjoying the perks of managing their own time, together: Recently, they went on an extended tour around Europe.


6 years ago, her dad Francis passed away. “I could’ve easily gone down the wrong path; spiraled down [then],” Saab says. “But what I chose to do was to really put my mom first. Everything I did was to make her happy and proud.”

These days, there’s certainly no shortage of things for Pia to be happy and proud of: the cheeky girl who used to be known as Francis M’s little girl has certainly come into her own and made a name for herself as a creative force. She is not afraid to speak up for herself, and in doing so, she has become the voice of her generation: millenials who are not tied down by labels or expectations, or traditional notions of success.


So how does Saab attain her own set of #Goals? “You have to choose to do something that gives you happiness,” she says. “You have to choose to do something that is making a difference in this world, even in just a small way.”


For Saab, that something is simply finding joy in being herself, and consequently, inspiring others to fulfill their #Goals just like her. “If that’s the most I could do in this world, then that’s something to be proud of,” she says. – Rappler.com

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Photographs by Shutterpanda | Makeup by Jill Felix | Shot on location at EDSA BDG

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Joey Bear Goes To Barkingham

I was so sad when I found out that Joey’s longtime grooming salon, The Dog Spa along Libis, had already closed down. They’re moving to a nearby location but it’s still currently under construction. I couldn’t just send Joey to a random groomer I’d never met before. Because of my crazy schedule the past few weeks, Joey’s bath and haircut had to wait. But you know how the saying goes… When God closes a Spa, he opens a Palace.

Okay, that’s not the exact saying but you get the point.

I got an e-mail from a new Dog Grooming place along E. Rodriguez Sr. called Barkingham — dubbed after the residence of the British Monarchy, the Buckingham Palace in the U.K.

First of all, the name got me squealing to Jim when I read the e-mail. “A pet grooming place called BARKINGHAM wants Joey to try their services!!” Hahaha it was too cute! Their logo is adorable as well.


It’s much farther than our usual Libis trip but a quick peek at their Facebook page and the photos of their place pushed me to give the place a try. Besides, I had a fitting and guesting on Timog that day so it was on the way! Perfect!

They even have this fabulous guide on how to get there:


Look at my giant higad before her haircut. Her hair was so unruly!! Mana kay mommy🙈




We’re heeere!!


The interior did not disappoint!!




Sometimes she really looks like that penguin from Madagascar #facepalm


"Oh is it time already?"
“Oh is it time already?”
*licks lips*
*licks lips*
"Hi, mama"
“Hi, mama”

This cute Maltese-Poodle (I assume) was watching Joey get a haircut


"I'm okay to get a haircut as long as I can see you, mama"
“I’m okay to get a haircut as long as I can see you, mama”
"What is this? Are we playing a game?"
“What is this? Are we playing a game?”
"Oh. No. It's a bath."
“Oh. No. It’s a bath.”
"You tricked me, mama..."
“You tricked me, mama…”

Hey, bear, don’t get mad at me!! Look at how adorable you are after your bath and cut!!!

Joey's first grooming session with #BarkinghamPH ! Thank you @saabmagalona !!! We hope to see you again soon 🐶 #JoeyBear

A photo posted by OPEN DAILY 9AM – 7PM (@barkinghamph) on

She looks like a giant puppy!!! They even gave me a loyalty card that gives me freebies once I reach my 5th and 10th visits! Definitely going back there! I took photos when we got home.

Dramatic silhouette shot~
Dramatic silhouette shot~
"I'm still mad at you..."
“I’m still mad at you…”

And I love you too, my bear. I love you too 😍

Barkingham is located at 1321 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave, Quezon City. You can call them at (02)4755026 / 09175504666. Full grooming starts at Php350. Click here to visit their Facebook page.


I Am Hero

Come to Trinoma later for I Am Hero, a photo exhibit for Marvel x folded&hung. They will be selling shirts from their Kawaii collection and proceeds will go to World Vision for the benefit of Typhoon Yolanda victims.


I will be there later with Elmo, mom, Clara, Arkin and other celebrities who are part of the campaign such as Sam Milby, Angel Locsin, Alden Richards, and so much more!

I look a little drunk in this photo but it’s perfect because I’m wearing my kawaii Venom shirt. Parang na-poison lang ako. Haha! (waley)


Look closely you will see hindi ko nanaman natanggal yung pangtali ng buhok ko sa wrist ko. Haha! In fairness mukha naman siyang cool accessory…

I suggest you buy the shirts today for these reasons:

  • You will see MANY awesome celebrities who joined this cause (yeah I just called myself awesome haha)
  • Wag na maghintay mag December para mag Christmas shopping!
  • The shirts come in many sizes and everyone loves Marvel comics so you can buy them as gifts in bulk!
  • Shop guilt-free because you will be helping out the kids in Tacloban when you buy a shirt today!

See you in a while!!!