|Hours before my vacation, at the St. Luke's Medical Centre emergency room.|
One beautiful wedding after another, December and January are Manila's wedding-est season. As the radiant bride marches down the aisle, I head back to the atelier to check on the next batch of bridal gown and bride's maids' dresses, each beaded neckline, each hem fold. I've already cut back on accepting orders as age has been catching up on me, but my obsession for the perfect fit and fall of a dress has kept me glued to the workshop till Dr. Love signs off on the radio. I've postponed going back to the gym and I've rewarded myself with food after my work hours. In a wink, I've become overweight, my clothes wouldn't fit me and I dread going to events because dressing up has become a contact sport for me. Black tee-shirts, gartered shorts and slip on shoes became my most reliable allies.
February, I usually get to relax a bit. Every year or two, Kris Aquino, my dear friend with the most fabulous of hearts, treats her family and close friends to equally fabulous destinations. I was very excited because this year, we were going back to Japan. Our itinerary included Ito City, Hakone and Tokyo. Ito is known for its onsens, I could already imagine soaking in hot spring waters without a worry in the world, I felt my fat disintegrating!
A week to our departure date, I was still working on a few more orders, I was sleeping four hours a night. I was counting on the six days in Japan to rejuvenate me. Alas, the day before my flight I was coughing so bad my stomach hurt. As evening came and my coughing continued, I started having stomach cramps. It was so painful, I decided to go to St. Luke's half crying in pain, half crying with the thought of not going to Japan. I was given a pain killer shot and nebulized twice. I was physically and emotionally fatigued, I was burned out. At 4am, I was given clearance by the doctor. I made a quick stop to the drugstore for antibiotics, a quick fill at the gas station and a quick bath. I made it to the airport for my 7am flight to Narita with a few minutes to fix the things I threw inside my hand carried bag and have a bowl of warm rice porridge.
Japan was beautiful and the hot spring waters did wonders to my body pains. It was a thrill to see cherry trees starting to bloom and I chanced upon a traditional Japanese wedding at the Meiji Shrine. These were all healing but the knowledge that I was cared for and loved, healed everything else. One must take time to hold hands, to hug, to put a hand over a shoulder, to laugh over nothing, to share a burger, to say thank you and I love you. It heals.
Thank you Krisy for making me a part of your happy birthday celebration in Japan. It's always a joy to be with you and your two boys. It gives me pride too that you've raised them so well, seeing how respectful they are to strangers and how loving they are to your friends.
Thank you as well, Dom and Katrina, Juan, and Pam for allowing me to walk slower and for bearing with my loud snore. Love, love, love.
|First signs of Spring.|
|Our home for the first two days, Seizan Yamato.|
|First sight of the magnificent Mt. Fuji.|
|From size XXXL to L, Joshua is the man to emulate for discipline and dedication to getting healthy.|
|Fun becomes hilarious with Pam Pamintuan.|
|Katrina Chua-Hernandez, Bimby Aquino Yap, Joshua Aquino and the author.|
|Relax mode with Bimby and Joshua at Gotemba.|
|Our home for the third and fourth days, Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa.|
|My Ash Wednesday breakfast.|
|Our happy crew, (from left to right) Katrina and Dom Hernandez, Kris Aquino, Bimby Aquino Yap, Joshua Aquino, the author, Pam Pamintuan and Juan Sarte.|
Keeping warm in Bench's Albertus Swanepoel bonnet/caps.
|Our home for the last 3 days of our vacation, Park Hyatt Tokyo, Shinjuku.|
|Bath with a view!|
|I had the chance to meet up and enjoy Yoyogi Park with Tokyo based fashion model and old friend, Tetta Ortiz-Matera.|
|The wishing tree at the Meiji Shrine.|
|Details of the Meiji Shrine door.|
|It was a real treat to see a traditional Japanese wedding at the Meiji Shrine.|
|Simply Kris, on a Metro ride to Ginza.|