Alvin and I attended the Discovery Weekend last July 17-19 at the OMI Retreat House. It was a gift from my mom. I am thankful so much to her because she sent us to this retreat. I know she loves us both very much and would not want what happened to her and Papa, happen to us.
At first, I was so nervous. It was because they said that in attending this weekend retreat / seminar, it can make or break your relationship. Come careful thinking, I said to myself, why not try it. Even if we have already booked and paid ALL of our wedding suppliers, we decided to be brave enough and attend this seminar and see if we were really ready to get married.
On Friday morning, we proceeded to St. James the Great first for our Canonical Interview. I have to mention here that i highly commend the service of the parish staff of St. James. They are very acommodating and understanding to their clients. Unlike the Cathedral of St. Andrew’s in La Huerta Paranaque, where, aside from being so rude to Alvin, they have this “i don’t care if you’re getting married. I will release your baptismal certificate when i feel like it” attitude. Grabe! Somebody really has to write to the Monsignor in that church. Cathedral pa naman sila! Instead of welcoming people to their church, they drive them away with their attitude! Seriously.
Anyways, happy thoughts. The Canonical Interview went well. The Monsignor that interviewed us was Bicolano and was so nice and patient with Alvin and Me.
It was raining really hard that day. After the interview, we picked up Alvin’s mom in RITM, had lunch at Festival mall and went back to our houses to pack. At around 4pm, we left for Fairview where the Discovery Weekend will be held. They gave us a map that was so easy to follow. Therefore, we didnt have a hard time getting there.
We arrived at the OMI Retreat house at around 6pm. It was a very peaceful place with lots of trees and grass. Alvin cant believe that there’s such a place in the middle of Metro Manila. After registration, we were pointed to our separate rooms. Yes, girls stay on the second floor while boys stay in the ground floor. The room was tidy with two beds and its own CR. Except for the pillow (which was hard as a cement bag), i love the acommodations.
The bell rang at 7pm for dinner. This bell will control our actions althroughout our weekend. It will signal the waking up time, meals, ending of the dialogues and whatever reason our chaplain says. After dinner, we had a session with DW graduate couple sharing their experience. It was nice. We ended at around 11 pm and after saying our goodnights, went to sleep. Well on my part, I TRIED sleeping. It was so difficult not sleeping on your own bed.
The next day was full of activities. Two sessions in the morning and two at the afternoon. We were never hungry though. There was always food and in fairness, the food was okay. They never repeated a viand =) Every after sessions, Alvin and I would dialogue about the questionnaire given. We were not allowed to talk to other couples. If you see the place, there are a lot of chairs in pair scattered around. You would just have to find your spot so that you can talk with your love one. There was no sharing of feelings with other couples. You do not share your problems with the group. It was just you and your partner. They have also requested us to leave our cell phones and watches in our room. The whole weekend will be just about the both of us. Alvin was so busy with work and I was so busy whining and doing the wedding preparations all these weeks so this was a good break for us to focus on each other. Like what they said there, you should not only prepare for your wedding but also for your marriage.
We had confession that Saturday night and before we finished on Sunday, we celebrated Mass.
I think that this was the most sulit thing that we have ever spent on. We got to talk about things that we haven’t talked about before. I came to understand Alvin and myself. We were taught how to fight without damaging the relationship. The DW graduate couples shared their real experiences and most of them were really entertaining.
Our chaplains Tito Jojo and Tita Dixie really did a great job.
There after we have graduated, I felt closer to Alvin. I am more convinced that we made the right choice of getting married. Some of us weren’t that successful. With the experience, they realized that they are not ready to get married and decided just to be friends. However, one cannot say that they lost in that aspect. Its still a win win situation because you discovered yourself, your partner and your relationship. Whatever decision you will make after the seminar/retreat, it will be for your own good. It removed the possibility of you getting married and later realize that you made a mistake.
We highly recommend this experience to the other couples. It will worth your time and your money.