What this year has taught us
How the Pandemic Shaped the MassageMNL Family
Almost 8 years ago, I was working in the corporate world with a thriving online business on the side. I was in my early 20s and I knew that for my age, I was doing well. My schedule was nonstop and it almost felt like I wasn’t living my life. Yes, I was able to buy the things I wanted and more but I had little time to share with my family and friends. The latter two which I consider very important. When my husband and I were blessed with our first child, we knew we had to do better.
People who are close to us saw how we were going through so much hardships as our newborn baby had to fight for his life. With God’s Grace, our baby boy was given another chance at life. A life that I promised to protect and make sure to provide as much as I could. I want him to have only the best. I am sure all mothers feel the same way.
I understand that this is very personal but all my experiences, both the good and the bad, became a motivation. It became the core of how I wanted my future ventures to be built on. So come October 2018, when MassageMNL was born and became the pioneer in Philippines’ specialized home service massage industry, I applied the same mindset and values I have in my family life.
MassageMNL became our second child and once again, it wasn’t an easy task to handle. We faced a lot of trials at the beginning but that didn’t stop us from continuing to provide the best services with a budget-friendly pricing.
Aside from the usual massage services, we are also the first home service company to cater to pregnant women and mommies (Prenatal, Postnatal, Lactation massages). We didn’t stop there, we are also the first to offer Lymphatic Drainage Massage in December 2018 and Myofascial Massage in September 2020. We have many more coming up as MassageMNL continues to grow.
As any successful business, we encountered and still do up to present day, “competitors” who shamelessly copy and steal our business format. Me and my husband are thankful for our loyal and dependable staff who are all there since day 0 with us. This company is more than just a business for us, we treat everyone as family.
I wish we can say that “we all lived happily every after…” but this isn’t a fairytale. As the country got hit by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) with no preparation at all, we were blindsided. With the government mandate, we had to temporary close on March 2020. We thought it will only be a few days but as it got extended with no clear end in sight, I couldn’t stay still.
There were many donation drives happening but none focused on babies or families with new born babies. This was very close to my heart since my son is a preemie baby (born premature) and spent a lot of time in the NICU. I knew exactly what they were going through hence why I had to step up and do something.
We had to find a way to organize our care package legally since there is a Milk Law here in the Philippines (donation of milk is illegal). After a few days, we were able to raise P150,000. This wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the following celebrities and influencers who shared and donated: Cristalle Belo, Mariel Paddila, Patti Grand, Anne Curtis, Tricia Centenera, Isabel Oli, Feliz Lucas, Sky Gavin and many more who chose not to be named.
Knowing that I helped families made my heart full. But of course, I had to do something as well for my MassageMNL family. Noticing that a lot of people couldn’t go out, queues took hours in the supermarket and no public transportation available – I started the MNL Riders. It was like a Lalamove or Grab Express Pabili but there was no app or website. I was connecting people who needed to buy something to one of my MassageMNL riders or a family member of my therapist. I had no idea that it will blow up and next thing I knew, we had 8,000+ members in the group already who are all customers. 100% of the “fare” went to the riders.
“Amidst the pandemic, I wanted to make sure MassageMNL team still gets to provide for their families. They are my family. I want to take care of them especially in difficult times.”
We anticipated that we will soon be back in operations, we did extensive research on how spas with massage services in other countries were operating. We made sure that we are abiding by the new normal guidelines of DOH and that my staff and clients are all safe. We elevated our protocols and added more to ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone.
Of course, the sales were not the best but we are still thankful that we were able to continue. My MassageMNL operators were very hands-on and quick to identify what we needed to do. With 80+ employees and servicing a total of 24 cities in Metro Manila, no doubt that they are helping me tremendously. They are the backbone of the company. Thank you Faye, Mary, Achie, Miriam and Nica!
Aside from the ongoing pandemic, MassageMNL also went through natural calamities, with the recent typhoon and flood that some of our therapists had to endure – 2 of my therapists lost everything that they owned and had to be evacuated from the roof. When some of our clients heard about this, they also did not hesitate to reach out and help.
We are grateful that we have managed to still operate because a lot of business had no choice but to shut down. I guess the biggest motivator that I have to keep on going is the fact that I have families who rely on me, my staff that I cherish.
There are times that I breakdown because I want to do more for them. For every difficult choices that I make, God finds a way to give me an answer. One of them is to have all of my MassageMNL employees receive the COVID-19 vaccines. We have to keep on moving forward and think ahead. I know in my heart that this is the best decision that I have made not just for the company but also for my staff’s health. I am not only helping them but once again, their families as well since they can worry less about the virus and being a super-spreader.
“When it feels impossible, trust the process because God will provide.”
As MassageMNL leads the Philippines’ specialized home service massage company, one of our priorities is to ensure that not only our employees are safe but also our clients by having them vaccinated.
As I look back, this past year has been one of the most trying times that we have encountered. We have learned to be resilient and flexible but at the end of the day, we still struggled but we were able to conquer it all as long as we all stood by each other, as a family.
Please note that our new normal protocols will not change and will continue to be practiced even though our employees are fully vaccinated. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry.
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea." Psalm 46:1-2