Tagaytay City: A vanity treat that is fast attracting tourists here borders on amazing, weird or unbelievable—a bunch of tiny fishes feasting on the dry skin of human feet deep in a big aquarium.
The so-called fish pedicure is now attracting both local and foreign tourists to a place called, “All About Fish” inside the Tagaytay Picnic Grove, mainly to get a feel of being pedicured by Garra rufa or “doctor fish.”
Kids and foreign tourists flock to the so-called fish pedicure a business now flourishing in Singapore, Thailand and other Asian countries, declared shop owner, Ma. Cristina Amora.
Amora worked for two years as a ground stewardess in Singapore Airlines until she decided to leave the job and invest in this business. “It was in Singapore that I saw this business opportunity,” Amora said. “I thought of introducing the “fish pedicure” here as an added tourist attraction and a new business break for me.”
Little did Amora expect that her “fish pedicure” business would flourish, providing jobs even to local masseurs. The shops, frequented by tourists, serve from 30 clients on regular days to as high as 50 to 100 during weekends and holidays.
The fish spa lasts for 10 minutes and it is safe even for pregnant women and children, she added. “We change the water every other day to ensure good sanitation and clean water,” Amora said.
The shop has been operating for three years and has provided at least 20 people with jobs, including the masseurs and growers of Garra rufa, which Amora said are imported from Thailand.
The fish thrives in the Middle East and are being used for treating people suffering from skin diseases such psoriasis, she said.
But latest studies showed that other countries have banned the use of fish pedicures primarily because of poor sanitation as a result of using the same fish for several times, which could increase the risk of contaminating the waters and spreading infection.
Lulu Principe, Special Features