i still vividly remember how Ryan & i met. that was in college, circa 1995. we were in our freshman year. he was introduced to me by an old flame at the Student Union Building’s canteen. he was wearing a white shirt. he was suplado. frugal with words. just nodded in acknowledgment of my presence.
a few months later, we became neighbors – he lived in Calma Dorm, while i stayed in Bella Cartash. my roomies and i would occasionally bug him for a calculator, or invite him over for merienda. but he was palpably distant, and i could only guess was just being polite because one of my roomies was the girlfriend of his blocmate.
a year after, we found ourselves in the same Nasci II class under the late Dean Payawal. he was the typical loner in the huge lecture hall. since our class was from 5:00 – 6:00 pm MWF, my Friday nights were usually spent in LB. back then, i needed a dinner buddy as Friday evenings were a total bummer since all my friends and blocmates have gone home to Manila by then. he was a familiar face in the crowd, so i bravely took the first step of befriending him. from then on, we were inseparable! we would always find ourselves hanging out in the campus and enjoying the Friday evenings as if it was the highlight of our week. when i got past his boundary marker, we realized we could be real good buddies. and surprisingly, despite of our differences, we got along quite well! that was the first step towards the realization that we could be more than friends. and so, on the 27th august 1997, after declining three times in the last 6 months of courtship, i finally gave my sweet “yes” to Ryan under a coconut tree at half past 10 in the evening at Bangkal Street, Los Banos, Laguna.
it makes me laugh whenever i look back at how we kept our relationship a hush-hush from his friends and orgmates. the reasons now seem so immature i don’t even wanna remember for fear of embarrassment. LOL! but back then, we believed those were trying times to our relationship. there were complications, hassles, conflicts with friends, and other matters which we had to face, but we managed to get past through despite minimal ease. i’m certainly happy now that we have proved those people wrong, and that we have worked out our relationship in spite of the criticisms and bashing that we heard.
i know people wonder why we only celebrate 9 years instead of 10. i’m not really good in Math, but i don’t suck that much. in 2003, Ryan and i parted ways for almost a year. and when we decided to get back together, we both decided it’s best to take out one year from our official count.
first of all, and very importantly for us, the staff were all courteous and helpful. the front desk guy Anil was very accommodating and polite. after checking us in in their system, he personally showed us the way to the lift while pointing the directions to the restaurants, pool, shops, cafes and spa. we have never experienced such treatment in any other hotel. if this was their standard, i’d have to say all hotels must benchmark their services with them.
of course, he did not dare to forget to take pictures of his cam-whore wife!
while stretching our legs after the long drive, honey & i took turns playing with the PSP.
after almost an hour in the pool area, we went back to our room to prepare for the dinner. at 8:00 pm, we were at the Views Restaurant enjoying our buffet dinner.
while we were having dinner, the staff from the Spa of Le Meridien sneaked in to our room to set up my gift for Ryan. a few days before our trip, i phoned the hotel and inquired about the spa services that they have. after a couple of discussions with the spa personnel, i booked a “Fantasy Chocolate Spa” for my honeybear on the night of our anniversary. it was the best gift i could think of – a luxurious spa right in the privacy of our own bathroom, and just the perfect dose for a chocolate lover.
when Ryan & i returned to our room after dinner, he found rose petals in the doorway of the bathroom. he found them and the soothing background music really nice and sweet. funny thing though was that it didn’t immediately occur to him that it was a surprise. he thought it was a special turn-down treat from the hotel since they knew it was our anniversary, so he went directly to the bed. when i managed to wheedle him to come and see the inside of the bathroom, he was taken aback by the entirety of the set up. and that was when i asked him if he liked his surprise.
one thing i love about my husband is that he is such a sport when it comes to surprises. he’s very appreciative, and he shows it a lot through words and actions. upon realizing that it was my anniversary gift for him, he sprang into action and grabbed the camera for photo op.
and his eyes didn’t miss the chocolate-dipped fresh strawberries.
the spa was good for sharing, so i also experienced the choco immersion. when we went off to bed, we were so chocolatey smelling with the chocolate shower gel for rinsing and specially concocted chocolate flavoured lotion. it was indeed a wow feel!
to cap the night off, a friendly staff came knocking on our door to deliver a fruit basket and a mini-fondant moist chocolate cake – compliments of the hotel.
it was still pretty hot outside so we went back to our room and just watched National Geographic & Discovery Science.
by 1:45 pm, we checked-out of the hotel and steered back home filled with happy memories of the celebration that was.
indeed, our original anniversary will always be fondly remembered and celebrated each year. after all, that’s when we officially became not just a couple, but the bestest friends for life. :)