It was our 8th wedding anniversary yesterday =)
It’s my looooongest relationship to date.
ALVIN: Malamang. Mag-asawa na talaga tayo eh!
I have known Alvin since I was 14 years old. That was in 1994 and it has been 23 years. I’ve known Alvin majority of my living years on earth. Ang cool. It’s great because I know him inside out. It’s not that great because he knows me inside out too. Facial expression pa lang, interpreted na talaga. Actually, even before I make my facial expression, he knows na what my reaction will be. Nonsense magpoker face ako with him around.
I’ve said this a million times and I will say it again. I have always known I will end up with Alvin. The moment he courted me when I was 14, tumatak na sa isip ko siya na ang papakasalan ko. Cliche as it may sound, I am amazed by it too. It even went to a point that even while still in High School, I knew that all my kids will have names starting with letter A. Kasi nga si Alvin ang magiging asawa ko. Weird huh? =) Despite always bickering with Alvin, I believe in destiny. Siya yung destiny ko.
Tara, let’s go. Masyado nang cheesy.
Anyway, when I went home the other day, there was a bouquet of one dozen roses waiting for me. Si Anika, hindot, hindi mapakali. I was still parking my car and she was outside my window, getting all agit and excited.
ANIKA: Oh my God, Nanay! Tatay has a surprise for you! It’s something big! You have to close your eyes!
I’m very happy Alvin still sends me flowers during our anniversary. I’m happier that Anika sees it. She will have a standard for her future man. Women should be given flowers. Period. Whatever women say about it, wag niyong pansinin. We love receiving them.
The next morning, I brought out the cake that I got the night before. What’s an occasion without a cake, right? Anika blew the candle just before her school bus came to pick her up.
When I got to the office, I checked out where we can have our dinner that night. Knowing Alvin, for sure, hindi pa siya naka-plan. I wanted to have dinner at Long Bar in Raffles Hotel in Makati. I’ve heard so many nice things about it. I called Alvin up.
ME: Babe, gusto mo sa Long Bar tayo magdinner and drinks mamya?
ALVIN: Ah! Oo! Sige, Babe! Gusto ko diyan sa Long Bar! Diyan na lang tayo! Ummm.. San ba yan?
ME: Eto naman maka-react, akala mo most frequent guest sa Long Bar! Hindi mo pala alam! Sa Raffles Hotel yan sa Makati. Malapit lang din sa office para hindi na tayo matraffic pagpunta.
ALVIN: Osige! Gusto ko yan! Diyan na lang! I-cancel ko na lang reservations ko.
ME: San ka nagpareserve?
ALVIN: Manila Pen.
ME: Teka, gusto ko diyan! Dun na lang.
ALVIN: Joke lang. Hindi pa ako nagpapareserve.
I knew it. 23 years and I very much know him.
ME: Sabi ko na nga ba eh.
ALVIN: Hehehe. Pero Babe, promise, iniisip ko na dun tayo sa Manila Pen kakain. Tatawag pa lang talaga ako.
So anyway, I called the dining reservations of Raffles Hotel. I told them that we will be arriving by 7pm and it’s our anniversary. I requested to have a nice table by the window. Nilambing ko pa yung reservations officer to make it happen kasi anniversary namin.
They got my name and cellphone number.
Alvin picked me up at work. I left my car na at the office because walang ka-dating dating sa pagka-romantic if we go out on our anniversary date and arrive in separate cars, di ba?
Traffic was bad. The 10 minute trip to Raffles from my office became 1 hour. Exage. I had to call Raffles Hotel again to tell them to move my reservations to 730pm instead. Okay daw.
When we arrived at Long Bar, we were so hungry. I gave the bartender my name and I told him that we have reservations. He led us to this big low sofa, with low chairs and with a low table.
ME: Kuya sorry no. I specifically said table by the window kasi alam ko na mabababa yung tables niyo if hindi by the window. Paano kami kakain ng dinner diyan?
BARTENDER: I’m sorry ma’am. All of our tables by the window are already taken kanina pa.
ME: Kaya nga kuya I called ng maaga to have a table reserved eh.
BARTENDER: I’m so sorry, ma’am. Dito na lang kayo sa bar.
ME: I don’t like sa bar. Anniversary dinner namin kuya. Ayoko magdinner sa bar. Kaya nga I called beforehand eh.
I was trying my best not to cry. The manager approached us and told us the same thing. Pwede din daw kami sa ibang restaurants nila if we like. I said I don’t like.
I walked to the bar and sat on their high stool.
I wanted to cry talaga.
When we were already seated, the manager approached us again. She apologized again. When I called them daw earlier that day, may naka-reserve na dun sa window seat. I told her the girl at the reservations should have called me back. They asked for my number eh. And I called them again later while we were on our way. Bakit hindi sinabi? The manager apologized again. Wala, I lost it na. I cried.
ME (in between tears): You know miss, if it weren’t sobrang traffic lang talaga, lilipat kami ng place. Wala na kasi kaming choice eh. And I really feel so bad because it’s our anniversary today and I planned ahead of time. Tapos ganito. Ang sama talaga ng loob ko.
The manager apologized again.
I cried on Alvin’s shoulder. Alvin told me not to cry anymore. Wag na daw sirain yung gabi kasi nandun na kami. Make the most out of it na lang.
Paul, the bartender, came to us to give us the menu and to ask for the drinks. Alvin got a beer. Ako, I was browsing pa the menu.
Paul came back with a bottle of white wine and two glasses. Compliments daw from the manager for our anniversary. I said “no, thank you” because I wanted to drink something else from their liquor list. Maghahalo if I drink that wine. We appreciated the gesture though.
And so I ordered gambas and cold cuts with cheese.
Alvin when out to smoke. The manager approached me again and apologized. Gumawa daw sila ng set-up ng table and chairs na hindi low dun sa may band area. Baka daw gusto namin lumipat. I said no more but thanks. She started apologizing again and I said tama na kasi I didn’t want to cry more. I said thank you again.
I was very upset because hello, hindi naman lahat ng couples umaabot ng 8 years. Sa panahon ngayon, that is a feat. And we all know that Alvin and I went through a rough patch last year. I wanted to celebrate. I planned ahead to celebrate. Tapos ganun?
Anyway, Paul the bartender, asked me what I wanted to drink. I asked what their specialty was and he said yung Singapore Sling daw. I said natikman ko na kasi yun. He said that since it’s our anniversary, he will make a specialty drink just for me. He asked what kind do I like. I said ayoko ng masyadong matapang. I like it sweet and refreshing. Osige daw siya daw ang bahala.
After a while, he went back with this drink which he called “The Anniversary Drink”.
Hanep sa presentation! So bongga!
It’s vodka based with blueberry and kiwi. God, it was the best drink I have ever tasted in my entire life!
Everything went super fine after that. Magaling si Paul the bartender. Raffles should keep him and take care of him. Kaka-iba ang customer service niya. Imagine a few minutes lang, I was crying on my freaking anniversary pero he was able to turn the mood around. Magaling. He was being attentive to us without being hovering. Sa totoo lang, I was really turned off at the start because of what happened. Hindi ko matanggap how an internationally known big time hotel can mess up a simple but very important dinner reservation. Pero because of Paul the bartender (and his manager), I have no bad feelings towards the hotel. They were able to make it up to us.
I was watching him work pala that night. I saw hindi lang siya sa amin ganun. He was like that to everyone who sat in the bar. Kinakamusta niya. Inaasikaso niya. Authentic talaga siya ng tao. Kudos to him and whoever trained him.
This was our food. Nagpica pica na lang kami because apparently, the food that’s in their menu in their website, does not exist anymore. Kapapalit lang daw recently.
The gambas were so good. The shrimps were fat and flavorful. The cold cuts were mega delicious especially when dipped diyan sa mustard slash wasabi dip na yan. The cold cuts platter was priced around Php 1,000 but I tell you, it’s so worth it.
Just before leaving, Paul gifted us with a shot of liquor for our anniversary. I told you meron talaga si Paul extra touch just to make you feel special.
All in all, it was a nice dinner. Like what Alvin said to me while I was crying, the important thing was that we were together. He was so right. I had a great time. We got tipsy. We were laughing. It was just like before when we were going out on dates when we were starting. I wish we can do this more often kaso magastos. Hehe. But as they say, mas magastos ang annulment and the hassle that comes with it. We need to keep the fire burning. We need to celebrate anniversaries. It’s that once a year dedicated to the both of you. Milk it. Haha!
Thank you so much to everyone who greeted us!
Thank you Babe for the flowers, the necklace and the dinner treat. I love you. I may not say it all the time but I love you. I’m a lucky wife because I have you. Anika and I love you so very much!