Sleepover At The Bay

Year after year ever since we got married, Mike and I have always been planning to celebrate our wedding anniversary in a special way. But because of our opposite personalities and preferences -- (I love adventure, being close to nature, and backpacking. I love to go on vacations but I hate spending much, while he, on the other hand, loves comfort and because his nature of work always involve being with so many people, he likes being away from the crowd when he is on vacation mode), we just always end up malling or watching a movie. This year, for a change, I've decided that I will not insist my preference to him. When he asked me where and how I wanted to celebrate our anniversary, I felt how happy he was when he heard these words from me, "Sasama ko sa'yo kung san mo ko gustong dalhin." (Wives, it's confirmed, husbands love it when they feel that we trust them to take the lead--in everything!) 

In response to my submission and respect to his decision to not go out of town, he lovingly gave me the privilege to choose a hotel by the bay so I can still feel somehow close to nature. He suggested Solaire or Sofitel, but as usual, I didn't feel like spending that much money for a one night staycation. As I continued searching, I found out that H2O Hotel has an ongoing promo which slashed off almost 50% of its published rates! We knew it was God's favor, so we booked their Club Bay Room for July 26-27 right away.

We (post) celebrated our anniversary on July 26 by attending the Sunday worship service at CCF first thing in the morning. After that, we had lunch at my parents house which is just a few minutes drive to the hotel.

We arrived at the hotel lobbby 30 minutes earlier so the front desk officer told us that we had to wait for their standard check in time of 2pm. As we were waiting, I sensed that Mike was a bit disappointed because the hotel lobby and the ambiance didn't meet his expectation. He was expecting a more luxurious ambiance since their original published rates matched the rates of Shangri-la, Sofitel, and Solaire. It was a Sunday, and due to the hotel's proximity to Manila Ocean Park, there were flocks of people at the ground floor (he doesn't like being in too much crowd when he is on vacation mode, remember?). 

At exactly 2pm, the guests started to line up at the front desk to check in. For some reason, the check in process seemed a bit slow, and we were overhearing some of the other guests already complaining. If you know Mike and I, you probably know that there are issues in our hearts that the Lord has been addressing for many years. I have an issue with patience -- I hate waiting (that's why most of the time when I pray for something, God's answer has always been WAIT. He's been helping me to grow in this area). Mike, on the otherhand, has an issue with bad temper. Being born and raised in a military family, he easily gets irritated and angry especially with inefficient service. We were both quiet the whole time we were on the line, but from time to time we were smiling at each other, because we already knew what God was doing -- He was once again allowing these things to happen to test and teach both of us. We also remembered Pastor Peter's message that morning: to add value to people's lives. To always honor every person that we encounter, to treat them with utmost respect, whether he/she is a VIP or a servant.

It was already 2:30pm when we approached the front desk. After checking our room reservation, and after speaking to someone over the phone, the front desk officer wrote a note in a bond paper (maybe so that the other guests in line won't hear), that our room was not yet available and we would need to wait for another 10-20 minutes. Mike and I were both upset, check in time was 2pm but the room was still not available at 2:30. The guests that checked in before us were also asked to wait in the lobby for their rooms to be ready. Though feeling upset, Mike and I remained composed. Later on, Mike whispered to me that he has been praying. He told me that his prayer was, "Lord, if it is not Your will for us to stay in this hotel, please make a way. Do something that is beyond our control." So when the check in process seemed to be getting complicated, it wasn't difficult for Mike to make a decision, he has been praying the whole time. With a calm smile on his face, he politely told the front desk officer, "Hindi nalang po kame tutuloy mag-check in."  When the officer heard it, he excused himself to speak to someone in their back office. Apparently, there must have been a delay in the housekeeping department preparing the rooms, and the people at the front desk were the ones having to explain and pacify the disappointed guests. Mike was already explaining to me that as much as I like this hotel, if things won't work out, we would have to follow God's will because He has a better plan. I felt sad, but I agreed. The front desk officer returned after five minutes and told us that fortunately, there was already a room available for us! He even told us that we can check out late the following day to make up for the disappointment that they might have caused us. So at around 3pm, finally, our staycation officially began!

Mike and I were talking as we were finding our room. We congratulated each other for passing the test of patience and the test of anger. We thanked God for being so involved in our lives and for always using our circumstances to mold us into better persons. And His reward to us -- a breathtaking beautiful room to celebrate our anniversary!

This Kid enjoyed the Jacuzzi so much!
Mike asked me where I want to eat dinner, and I immediately chose the White Moon Resto-Bar. I didn't choose the restaurant because of the food (I haven't even seen the menu yet!), I just chose it because of the romantic ambiance and the good music playing at that moment.

Photo from Manila Ocean Park Website.

I once again sensed that Mike didn't like to eat dinner there. He didn't like the menu and the prices of their food was not worth for the amount of serving. But I wasn't deciding based on it, I just wanted the ambiance and I was ready to order even the least expensive (even if I don't like it) just so we can stay there. Mike was once again quiet, he just told me, "Sige, kung masaya ang baby girl ko dito, dito nalang tayo."  He called the waitress, and when we she was about ready to take our orders, it suddenly rained, and we had to run back to the hotel. I was laughing when I asked him, "Nag pray ka noh?!" He said, "Hindi ako nag pray ah, promise!" 

Clearly, the Lord didn't want us to eat there, so He led us to the hotel's restaurant: Makan-Makan. We had our dinner (and buffet breakfast the following morning) there. The food was delicious and was really value for money! We thanked God for interrupting us, His will is always (yummy) and the best!

Sambal Squid

Mike and I had a really great time together! We laughed and teased each other. We talked about so many things, our dreams, our plans, our faith. We looked back to everything that has happened to us the last five years and we were so amazed with how God has always been so involved in our lives! He is always speaking, always leading us to right path, if we would only take the time to be still, carefully listen, and be willing to let go of our own will and follow His perfect and pleasing will. 

The next morning, we had our quiet time God while gazing at the beautiful sunrise! 
We thanked Him for such wonderful gift of marriage.

Hotel Website: