Saturday, April 3, 2010

Oh, Luxury!

Many people assume that living on an island is the ultimate luxury, but it is hard work sprinkled with sacrifice and patience, not to mention the reality that one is back to the basics and must give up a lot of comforts they may have known.

Luxury to me would be having the ease to do things without worrying about what would happen when they cannot be accomplished simply because you did not have the means to an end.

Luxury is an abundance of specialty food items, unlimited fabric choices, supplies available to make a particular craft item and the unheard of - finding them in all in one store specializing in the item!

The luxury of having well-established walking paths or easy access to areas would be great.

Then there is the luxury of not having to have someone stay in your home while you are gone so that it and your pets will be safe. Of course, making a plane reservation and actually having the plane leave on time and on the day you booked it for would be a luxury and finding that the hair salon you go to is 1) actually open and 2) if open, the beautician is either actually there, out of the shower/bed or not busy cooking a meal for her family!

The ultimate luxury would be having a massage! WAIT! This is one thing we can do on the island!

Before coming to Guanaja, my husband and I had a massage once or twice a month. It was an indulgence that we found relaxing and rewarding. Fortunately for us, for years we had an excellent Massage Therapist in Tampa. When that woman decided not to pursue her chosen profession, we were disappointed and the search for a new Therapist was not easy. However, with perseverance we were rewarded with a German woman who was her equal.

Once we moved to the island I definitely gave up all hope at having a massage here. My doubts were removed once about 4 years later when I met Filiberto.

I don't recall exactly how I was put in touch with Filiberto, but, needless to say, I was elated and eager to see if he had the qualifications of a good Massage Therapist. A rather small beauty shop in town had employed him and given him space in a cramped room off the salon. I had just had foot surgery and was looking forward to a good massage that would also relieve the tightness and stiffness I had in my foot.

Filiberto came in, introduced himself and explained his qualifications. Filiberto is a Honduran and up until that time had been working at Posada Del Sol, a local "luxury" resort on the island. He had learned his craft from two American woman and a Japanese man all of whom taught him the art of Swedish Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, and Shiatsu. His aim is to relieve tension built up from stress, injuries, over-activity and/or poor circulation. He told me that as a Christian he respected my modesty and my body and assured me that my body would remain appropriately covered while he administered the massage. When the time came for me to turn over, he turned his back and waited for me to announce that he could continue.

Filiberto Nadina is a gentle person with a soft, modulating voice. He uses soft music or whatever is provided by the individual whose home he goes to. He asks if you have any concerns or areas that need special attention and talks about various ways to relieve your aches. Filiberto has been a Massage Therapist for 17 years and over time has kept up with various techniques in the art of Massage by reading books on the subject. He has worked in hotels and beauty shops but now free-lances and goes from home to home administering his art.

My first massage with Filiberto was a wonderful experience and totally relaxing. He did a really good job and I was surprised with his knowledge and expertise. Since that time, I have had massages administered by him and over the years and have relied on him to relieve the tension I get in my neck area.

For years Filiberto had to rely upon people to furnish a sturdy table to use for the session. Later, he was able to acquire a massage table and now carries this portable item from place to place, which certainly makes the routine more comfortable for the giver and receiver. He has a variety of oils and creams to use and incorporates the use of a large hand-held massage vibrator on one's arms, legs and shoulders along with a wooden ball-type roller.

Since that time and over the years I have appreciated more and more his skills. I have had massages on the Mainland by people that definitely were not well-skilled in this art. And, it is an art! It takes understanding, strength and stamina to stand all day relieving the stress and pain people have built up in their bodies. I am always amazed to find Filiberto giving up to 8 massages in one day and the last one is as good as the first.

So, if you ever come to Guanaja and are in need of a wonderful, relaxing massage, just ask around or get in touch with me and I will see that Filiberto shows you how rewarding a massage can be. Oh, and the plus, he is very reasonably priced!

Now, this is luxury!


  1. Hey Sharon... I would love to get introduced to him when we are down ther
    next week and see if I can organize for my wife to get a massage.. This is
    Jim and Ann in Vermont and we are coming down again April 8th - 24th...
    Hope to see you and Mike while we are there... Happy Easter!!

  2. Hi Sharon, I met Filiberto on my first trip to Guanaja in 1992! He was learning from a woman named Gwen at Posada. It's so great that he has continued his work!

  3. Things like that are like gems in the rough. My sons are in Nicaragua right now for Semana Santa and they were excited when they went for a walk in the tiny town of Somoto, their iTouch started to beep. Someone had installed a wifi system in town and they were able to send me a text message.