24 February 2015
I was born on February 14, more commonly known as Valentine’s Day. It is internationally celebrated by billions around the world. As for me, Valentine’s Day holds much more significance because it’s the celebration of my being another year older. The most notable thing about a February 14th birthday is that people tend to remember it. I've had friends of friends randomly remember my birthday, and what more do you want on your birthday than well wishes from friends? I feel really lucky in that department. In my biased opinion, it’s the best holiday around, and, well, that’s because it’ll always be my birthday.
This year, I would like to make my Valentine’s day feel romantic, unique and special with my very special someone. I decided to celebrate V-Day and my B-day with my wife, Yang, to three places that are special to us. Eight years ago, Yang and I meet in Jakarta during a business trip. We both had the same assignments and worked on a project in Cebu. Months passed, I found her really very interesting. Fortunately, I was able to steal her heart and we officially became a couple in Manila.
My idea was to surprise her with flowers. My wife loves flowers very much. It always makes her giggle every time I surprise her with bouquets or petal arrangements so I pick out flowers to which I can find a sentimental connection in our love life. Flowers are the timeless messengers of love and can convey volumes with their colours, fragrance and touch. And who more worthy of receiving these tokens of love, than my beautiful wife who is my helpmate, my best friend and of course my lover.
Makati Shangri-La, Manila. The room greeted us with a glass of champagne, petal arrangements, fruits and chocolates. My wife was surprised with the extra thoughtful touches of rose petals on our bed and a decadent tray of chocolate covered strawberries. Her reaction when she sees it made it all worthwhile.
We wanted to escape to the quaint streets of Manila where the lamp-posts are decked with valentine holiday cheer & decoration. After the romantic wander, we pampered ourselves with a private chocolate massage by one of hotel’s finest certified professional therapists.
Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta. I told them that I was going to surprise my wife and so I ordered champagne, petal arrangements and chocolate-dipped strawberries to be placed in the room for that evening. When we arrived, the bed and floor of our suite was covered with rose petals. Her jaw dropped, but with tears in her eyes she threw her arms around me. I must admit, I became emotional too.
It is always amazing to see the blend of the familiar and the unexpected. Fascinating sights of Jakarta's beauty is familiar to wanderers and for us to stay in a luxurious hotel with quality service and good location is indeed unexpectedly fulfilling. We call it staycation. We want to have this kind of experience, a place like home away from home. And after an enjoyable city trip would have to be just soaking up the relaxing atmosphere and vibrancy over a cup of coffee in our room or in the urban oasis.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa. I and Yang need a perfect hideaway because it is a wonderful way to wash away the pressures, stresses and bustles of everyday life. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa is a remote and secluded hideaway of great beauty and peacefulness. We want to submerge ourselves to nature, a tropical island life experience where swaying coconut palms lean over the lagoon and enjoy pure relaxation on a hammock while watching the sunset. The experience of being cocooned by the natural elements and be gifted with peace of mind, delight to the senses and wellness to the soul. We need a sanctuary to decompress and to experience a perfect balance between exquisite comfort in a resort and home-like settings in a private and tranquil environment.
I requested a romantic set up of our room because what’s more romantic than surprising your special someone, who’s crazy about flowers, with rose petals scattered throughout the room? While we were out to dinner, they set up this special romantic package to surprise my wife upon our return. I got the same reaction and thanked me with a tight hug.
Finding a partner who isn't scared off by the V-day-B-day duo is also a bit daunting. Fortunately, I found one who loved the idea of Valentine’s Day birthday plans. Happy mood, warm words, hugs, kisses and smiles are important ingredients of a happy V-day. But making it more romantic with flowers and an amazing vacation for my wife are sure gestures bound to make her feel extra special.
The triple Shangri-Love celebration was indeed tri-rific!