Love can mean many things to anybody. Love can mean romance with candlelight and wine and roses. It can mean the bashful, tremulous approach of a new
Love can be the love of peace of solitude, of comfort, of finding oneself, and… of loving oneself.
For someone who wears many hats like me, Self is usually the least concern. Although I am a freelance professional, “freelance” does not translate to “free time”. Imagine this: I am a tour guide with no fixed schedule. E.g. “Hi! Can you today/this morning/this afternoon/tomorrow/now?” I am a columnist for a local paper, a blogger and a contributor to publications. Do you know what this entails? I just do not sit down and write. I go out and look for something to write about. I travel. I attend events. I take pictures, take down notes, and talk to people. Don’t forget- I have to dress for the occasion, ride to my destination and spend time at wherever it is. Then, I sit down and write. It takes days to finish an article. My brain does not cooperate a lot of times. Ha, ha!
On top of these, I have to manage my household and a large garden and four dogs and be caregiver for 86-year-old Mama. So, one may ask, “How do you do that?” Good question! I wonder how myself with no regular stay-in help most of the time. Obviously, I managed to do all the above, and did them well.
This multi-purpose life I’m living can take a toll on my body and spirit. Vacations? I take vacations, but most are harried affairs where each day is maximized with activities so that I can go home as early as possible.
I keep telling myself to get away from it all. Yet, I couldn’t. And then L’ Fisher Hotel said, “Yes, you can!” And this is when my search for love ended, while a new love affair started…with myself.
I was still busy one day when I decided to love myself more. Sure, I would still be doing errands, but, L’ Fisher Hotel is centrally located along Lacson Street that I could check in, then go to where I needed to go. I didn’t have to worry about rushing home because I knew where home was that day.
How does a busy woman get away from it all for a while? Or, rather, how CAN a busy woman get away from it all for a while? It is difficult but not impossible. First of all, who said that I have to check in at 2 p.m. promptly? All I needed to do was call Front Desk and tell the lady at the other end that I was confirming my overnight stay. I did what I needed to do for a good part of the day and, then, I finally showed up at the Front Desk to confirm in the flesh that I was seriously taking that room. Fine. She makes me fill up a form, assigns me my room, and hands me my key card. Now, how did I repay her for her courteous attentiveness? I continued with my business, of course. As they say, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do what I would do regularly because I remembered that I did not have to hurry home to cook dinner. I was surrounded by dinner! Just step out of the hotel and you’re in restaurant row.
It was at sundown when I finally sauntered towards L’ Fisher Hotel. the day’s tasks had been tackled and I was giddy with a sense of accomplishment. Ah, finally! I stepped into my room, crumpled my poor tired body into the bed, and reached into my bag for my Amy Tan. I was trying to finish The Kitchen God’s Wife. That window of time gave me 3 hours by my lonesome. Did I mention that I wasn’t lonesome that night? Since love is for sharing, I had invited a girlfriend to share the room with me. An equally busy girlfriend. For that 3 spare hours I had, I was able to read more chapters than usual. Reading books had become a rare occurrence because it meant relaxing and, again, I had no time to relax. Relax? What’s that?
If I said that I did not have time, then I was lying. Making time is a choice, after all. And so I chose to really get away, if not from it all, then part of it all. If I can’t take the day off, I can take at least the evening off from household stuff. Yes, I can! It was a dream come true for me to curl up in bed, read a book, and do nothing else.
Then, my friend arrived quite late at our room, but who cares? We both were taking our sweet time. Our dinner at a Korean restaurant was the start of girl bonding and catching up. It had been months since we last saw each other and the dinner was the prelude to a deeper rediscovery of our friendship.
Back in our room, it was like a slumber party only we weren’t giggly schoolgirls, but adults discussing life. Our discussions of life continued the next day over a leisurely and long breakfast. (We woke up late! Ha, ha!!!) What took us a long time was the fact that the hotel’s extensive breakfast buffet was just too good to ignore and skim over. L’ Fisher Hotel’s breakfast has quite a reputation for its variety and quality. Many customers are walk-ins who get their money’s worth. These gourmets really know a thing or two about having a good, delicious, hearty breakfast that includes a salad bar and an international menu to satisfy all palates. There are lots of dessert items, too. For breakfast? Uh-huh. After all, L’ Fisher is in the Sugar Bowl of the Philippines. When my friend and I were done, we threw in our serviettes not because we were fed up, but because we were fed.
Over breakfast, my friend and I even got to pray together fervently. It was a most profound spiritual experience for us as we were tucked away in a cozy corner of the Ripples, the hotel’s main restaurant. What a fantastic way to start the day! What a privilege for us to celebrate our friendship and our spirituality.
Somewhere in my life, I lost track of myself. At L’ Fisher Hotel, one night and one day, I found an aspect of my life and ended up finding love.