I Love The Fish Spa, Rurouni Kenshin, And Everything Else In The City of Love

Imagine a day, jam packed with stress, stress, and more STRESS!

You haven’t slept all night because of uncalled for family drama. Before and after the said drama, your brain cells were being pressured with the fact that you’re not prepared for the next day’s licensing exam and it felt like your whole career depends on it. Then, you had this feeling of compelling yourself to study even when you’re in an unhealthy situation. Not only that, you were not able to sleep because you had so much drama to handle. Your mind wouldn’t sleep, and you know you have to be awake at 4 am to prepare yourself for travel because the ferry boat going to the next city was going to leave by 6:15 am.

Yep. Those happened to me ALL at the same. Just like the old saying goes,

When it rains, it pours.

Amen to that. The whole time I was going through that phase of my life, I really felt like crying. I was emotionally, physically, and mentally tired, but I know I can’t give up. I can’t back out from taking the licensing exam, so I had to take all those ill feelings in. No choice. With all those stressors, I took the liberty to keep my mind positive. I was thinking

It’s all in the mind. You create your own reality. If you think this day sucks, it will definitely suck the hell out of you.

So I did my best to keep a POSITIVE outlook that day.

My partner and I arrived in Iloilo City around 7:20 am. My licensing exam was scheduled at 9:00 am, so we had plenty of time to keep calm and settle down. We had a lil’ breakfast somewhere in the building where I was suppose to take the exam. While we were in the middle of eating our meal, my manager called to inform us that the exam was moved to 11:00 am because the proctor’s flight was delayed.

Thank God! More time for me to rest a bit.

That’s what I was thinking. So after we ate our breakfast, we looked for a place where we can stay, so we can also freshen up before I take the exam. We looked around the city for a place to stay, unfortunately, the hotels are allowing their guests to check-in at 2:00 pm, the earliest is 12 noon. However, there’s additional payment if you insist on checking in earlier than those times, but the fee’s ain’t cheap. It was getting frustrating, but then again, I have to stay positive, because that’s what I’ve learned from the audios and books that I listened and read for the past few months. I have this strong belief in Law of Attraction, that’s why I was keeping a very positive attitude despite of what was going on. And luckily, the Law of Attraction didn’t fail me. Thank heavens there’s a place that took us in, just when we needed it the most. MO2 Westown Hotel allowed us to check-in earlier than the usual, with no additional fee. They’re truly a blessing to us and I can’t thank them enough for the kindness of their staff. We checked-in and freshen up. After a few minutes, I went back to Philam Life Building to take my licensing exam.

I finished the exam earlier than expected but I don’t know if I’ll pass because my mind was dozing off due to the series of personal events that were going on during that time. My exam was done. My shoulders were kinda heavy. My stomach was empty. I felt like going home, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to go home. By choice, we stayed at the City of Love and tried to relax a bit. My partner and I ate a hearty meal. After that, we went to SM City to kill time and avoid thinking about what’s going on back home.

My partner was and is so sensitive about how I feel, and I bet he noticed that I wasn’t enjoying the day and I looked so stressed out. While we were strolling, he said he wanted to change the mood. So he dragged me to a place inside the mall where both of us can relax and chill.

Question: How will you end a long, tiring, stressful day?

For me, nothing beats a heavenly spa moments to kill those negative vibes away.

Tah-dah!

Surprise! He brought me to The Fish Spa! Woohoo! Blessed enough, my partner knew exactly what I wanted and needed at that very moment. And he acted on it. It’s my first time to be there and I gotta say that I had a good time.

It was fun watching a bunch of fish eating my feet’s dead skin. It made me think that they had this weird kind of appetite for preferring dead skin cells for food rather than eating real food. It also made me think; which is more preferable to eat? Worms or dead skin cells? They do have a weird appetite, ei?

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C’mon fishy!!! Do your thing! Eat me!

Just imagine your feet inside an aquarium with a bunch of fish swimming after none other than YOU! Honestly, I had this fear that they’re gonna bite me, and they’ll gonna bite HARD! Damn! I should have feared how tickly-ish it felt! All the belly laugh and stuff. It was too tickly-ish, I felt like I was going to pee! They are indeed therapeutic fishy because they gave me a good belly laugh, and that was the first time that day that I had a good laugh. The best feeling ever.

Ooops! Sorry. That wasn’t the best part of my Fish Spa experience. There’s more yet to come.

Did you know that The Fish Spa also offers massage therapy?

If you go there, I highly recommend their Signature Massage. Why? Well, why not? It’s the best massage I ever experienced so far. I’ve been to different spas and I’ve met a lot of massage therapists, but this one’s the best so far. Remember I said earlier that my shoulders were feeling heavy? The therapist was able to release the tension. And I forgot to mention, my chest was in pain before we started the session, but after the therapist gave it a lil’ massage (and she used a device I forgot what it’s called) the pain was all gone. Hooray! I felt so ALIVE right after the massage. I love The Fish Spa.

Aside from The Fish Spa, there’s more!

To top it all up, we watched my all-time-favorite show in the cinema. Can you guess what is it? Yep, it’s Rurouni Kenshin. Nothing more, nothing less. My bad day turned BEST DAY EVER!

Is it because of Law of Attraction? I think so. All in the City of Love: Iloilo City!

With love and respect,

Ms. Rai

P.S.

Thank you partner for doing all of these for me. You are a gift of the Universe to me =)

[ Credits to agboi.blogspot.com for the image used ]

Yoga: Day 1

Ouuuuuuuch! That hurts!

It feels like whole body is so painful. So painful, I just wanna lie down and sleep. No alarm clock please!

A few weeks ago, my friend asked me to attend a Yoga class with her. At first, I was excited because last year, one of our clients was a Yoga Master and I was doing research for him about Ashtanga Yoga. It was a very interesting topic for me at that time because those things were new to me. I got really excited with the thought of actually doing it. But then, it dawned on me, ‘Wait! Yoga? Are you serious? you can’t be serious!’ So I gave it a few thinking sessions before I hopped in to my friend’s wagon. It’s just this week when I said to myself, ‘Hey, why not?’

I went to the Yoga class this afternoon and I was late by the way, because of flood. Yes. FLOOD. It was raining really hard earlier today, but who cares? I was determined to attend the Yoga session. So I was there. One of the attendants gave me a Yoga mat, then I followed what everybody else were doing.

I admit that I was terrible in following whatever the instructor was doing. I can’t even reach my toes when we were asked to do so. My body is so stiff, I can barely bend over and stretch all the way like everybody else. I didn’t really feel bad that I can’t reach my toes. I felt bad for being stiff and my back was already hurting. I wasn’t that stiff before. I recall my younger years wherein I’m able to spread my legs and touch my toes while stretching. I was dancing before when I was in high school, so you can just imagine my frustration for not being able to perform any better. Now I’m thinking that I’m too old and I won’t be as graceful as before. I really feel old, and I’m only 28! Pif!

Again, I admit I wasn’t great in the whole process of ‘posing’, and half of the time I was cursing the moment I’m there. There were a lot of thoughts going through my mind, and one of which was being envious of the old lady beside me who can actually bend down and touch her toes. Why the hell can’t I do that? Basically I was there, feeling the pain running in my whole body, plus I was butt hurt with the fact that the older woman beside me was more flexible than I am. So yes, I was envious.

But then, when we were asked to do the Savasana (also known as the corps position), there was a sudden switch in my mentality. It changed rapidly that I barely noticed it. Maybe because I was more focused on my breathing when we were doing the bridge position, more than being focused on what everyone else’s doing, and when we switched to Savasana, I felt more at ease. Well, who wouldn’t? It’s Savasana for crying out loud. Anyway, during that position I felt peace inside me. I became more conscious of my breathing and it felt good. For a second, I thought I was in a trance, or maybe I fell asleep for half a second because lying down is the best Yoga pose I’ve ever done so far, and it felt good. I felt relaxed and I forgot about my aching body. Then, our instructor asked us to do a series of poses again, and when we did, I actually felt better because I was more relaxed and I wasn’t bothered anymore with what’s going on in my surroundings. Then, I’m surprised that it’s done. It’s done but I wanted to do more… next time. Not today. 😛

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I realized that my approach when I stepped in the room was wrong in the first place because I was too conscious. My level of consciousness was so high, it became a competition to me, which is not suppose to be. I was envious for a moment that they can all do the poses with less or without any problem, while me, it felt like my back is a pack of crackling chips, or a big pouch of chicharon. I was so envious that I forgot that it’s my first time to do Yoga, and I’m trying to compete with someone who’s never missed out any Yoga classes. If there’s such a thing as ‘Perfect Attendance in Yoga Class’, the older woman beside me will probably get that award. It’s so wrong for me to compare my Chapter 1 to somebody else’s Chapter 20, which led me to uneasiness within myself.

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Never rush. Take things one step at a time.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others because that might do you more harm than good.
  • Respect your body by knowing its limitations.
  • Stay FOCUS on yourself.
  • Don’t be late in Yoga class so you can still prep yourself before you do the extreme poses.

Since I have those realizations, I am looking forward to our next Yoga session. I’m looking forward to it because I know I have already realized the mistakes I did today, so I’ll definitely know where to adjust and what to focus on. For a second or two, I was able to feel inner peace, and I’m looking forward to attaining that feeling again. Next time I’ll be more receptive and more self-aware, which I think is good. I need to increase my teachability index to level 10.

I’m thinking that I have to refresh myself with Ashtanga Yoga, so I’ll research about it AGAIN. I’m also thinking that more than getting my body ready for the next session, I have to prepare my mindset, too. And lastly, I have to prepare my budget if I’ll take this course seriously. I’m thinking of buying my own Yoga mat, a pair of Yoga pants, water stash, towel…

and hey! Where can I get this one?

whens_savasana_z1

JUST KIDDING!

How about you? Have you been to any similar experience to this? I’m excited to hear about your story.

With love and respect,

Ms. Rai

Smoke and Spirit

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“Well? What brought us here? I don’t think the beach is the best place to be at this hour. It’s way past two and it’s so damn cold!”

“Oh c’mon! It’s a great place to drink these!” Ian grabbed a cooler full of ice cold beer and placed it under a coconut tree.

“Seriously, it’s really cold out here. Give me your jacket! You’re so damn ungentle man, d’you know that?” She continued “You shouldn’t have disturbed my beauty rest or you could have at least told me where we’re going.” Claire took a packet from her handbag and lit one of the cigarettes in it.

Both her smoking habit and unsolicited remarks did not bother him at all. In fact, Ian and Claire had known each other since 10th grade and they were already used with each other’s odd behaviors.

They placed a picnic mat on the sand and sat about two seats apart. Ian opened a couple of beer, gave one to Claire and took the other one for himself.

“Hey, let’s continue where we left off. Now, where were we? Oh yeah! About your—“

“Claire, please. Enough with the topic. I told you for the nth time, I wasn’t the one who made the first move. She was obsessed with me, plus she got me drunk then—“

“Ohhh so she got you drunk!”

“Yes, she came over to my place with her friends, and they invited me for a drink.”

“– at your place? Now that’s weird.”

“Yes! They brought bottles of whisky with them and we drank until they almost drop. Got that?”

“Ohhh whisky…” Claire gave a malicious stare at him with a mocking tone in her voice. She loves it when she creeps in to his nerves and looked annoyed.

“Yes, whisky! Anne knew that I was a whisky person like my dad and she brought a lot.”

“And now we’re drinking beer on the beach at almost 3 a.m. How ironic?!”

“Oh come on,” he sounded more pissed “I can’t do this anymore”

“Okay, I’m sorry! Go ahead with your story.”

He calmed himself by reaching for the lit cigarette from her hand and finished the stick for her. He knew that, not ending the story will never get him unhooked from her scrutiny, hence he offhandedly went on with his narration.

“Her friends left us alone in my apartment. We were drunk… then we had did it! Of course we did. I’M A GUY!”

He opened another bottle of beer and munch on the chips that he brought with him. Claire lit another stick and fell silent for a few sec. She then continued…

“You made love.”

“No. We had sex! I told you I didn’t love her.”

“Right. You didn’t, but she got pregnant and you married her! IN THE CHURCH! WITH ME! AS THE BRIDE’S MAID! How convenient was that?”

“Are you mocking me?”

“I’m not mocking you. I’m telling you a fact that you made love with her.”

“But I didn’t mean to!”

“What? You’re married to her for what? 8 years now? Is that right? Wait…” Claire counted the years in her hands from the date of the wedding to the present

“ Eight. It’s eight years but we’ve only been together for less than five.”

“And your point is?”

She stared at him with that prying look in her eyes, waiting for an answer but he never conferred.  She opted to change the topic to lessen the tension, but she gave out yet another heavy subject for him.

“How’s your annulment? If you don’t mind me asking?”

“I always mind you asking but you never seemto stop, you little monster!”

He smirked and patted her head. He gave it a deep thought knowingthat she will not allow him to get away from it.

“Let’s just say that it’s tough. It’s quite an emotional encounter especially for my mom. You know how theatrical my mom is.”

They mutually leered recalling the instance when Ian’s mom made a scene on his wedding day, telling everyone that she wasn’t prepared for her boy to get married just yet. She always treated him like a kid even now that he’s almost thirty two.

“Can we move on now, please?” He asked.

“So you never loved her?”

Ian asked her yet again to stop. He had grown tired of the topic that she was indisputably familiar with. Claire has this unusual habit of making fun at his expense. He was irritated but he liked that part of her. For him it was endearing and irksome altogether.

Claire finished up her first bottle and didn’t get the next one. She opted to filch the bag of chips that Ian was munching on. All of a sudden her humor disappeared and carried on to her third smoke.

“Just a question”

“Shoot.”

“Why didn’t you pursue me instead?”

Silence fell and she felt embarrassed with her own inquiry. She began to play with the sand beside where she was seated as she rehearsed inside her mind how she will continue with the conversation.

“J-John told me some time ago that you liked me way back in college. He even told me that you were tempted to tell me that you lo—“


He burst into laughter while she was dumbfounded. She couldn’t understand why he was acting that way. Ian was aware that Claire got annoyed so he stopped. He gulp on the beer on his hand and composed himself.

“John wasn’t lying.”

“Seriously!?”

“Seriously.”

“Hmmm… Then why didn’t you pursue me? Was there something wrong with me? I mean…”

And then there was this awkward silence. They went on listening to the sound of the waves as they both sank in with their own thoughts while indulging their senses with smoke and beer.

At that very moment, there was a battle inside Ian’s mind. He was in the urge of telling Claire what he feels, but there was a voice inside that was holding him back from doing so. ”You’re too good for me Claire, and there’s nothing that I can offer you.” He told himself.

“There’s nothing wrong with you.” He broke the long silence. “It’s me.”

“Oh, what a cliche!” She exaggerated. ”You’re such a dumbass! Sometimes I wonder why you’re one of my best buds.”

“That’s because you’re a dumbass, too.”

She playfully threw some sand at him and gave him few strikes on his arm. In her heart she was hoping to hear answers that will set them free from their never ending what ifs. She didn’t bother to probe, though she was dismayed.

Ian handed over another bottle to her. She took it and they both drank again. They tuned in to the sound of nature while they were seated on the sand, now closer to each other.

“So, is this your dramatic goodbye?”

“Yes, this is goodbye. Are you going to cry?” Ian jokingly responded as he took some chips out of his bag and munch them. Claire allowed him to joke about it. She kept on gulping on her beer and indulging herself with cigarette while keeping her composure.

“Ahh, don’t be such a douche bag. I’m going to leave the day after tomorrow. We can still do this tomorrow. Oh shit!” he took a peek on his wrist watch “It’s 4:43. I mean, we can still do this later today.”

“You’re still going to leave. That won’t change a thing.”

He emptied the bottle on his hand and opened another one. He wanted to tell Claire that he doesn’t want to leave anymore. He was thinking about all the possibilities that can happen once he decided to stay. “I can get a job here, though it’s not as high paying as my current job. My money in the bank is more than enough to buy a house for us Claire” He told himself “But I won’t do that. I can’t do that to you.”

“I will wait for you.” She said straight, right after she finished her drink and was heading for the third one.

“Enough for you Miss” Ian made an effort to pull the can of beer off her hand but he failed “You’re drunk.”

“No I’m not. And I’ll drink as much as I want to, if you don’t mind.”

“You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“I know what I’m saying.” She said to herself as she lifted the pin and drank half of the can’s content.

“I told you I will wait for you. Do you understand?” She said again with confidence.

“Don’t do that. You don’t have to do that.”

There was an abrupt change in the atmosphere. The romantic scene of the beach under a starry night disappeared all of the sudden. There they were seated in a room filled with their misery and doubts.

“I know it’s hard, but I will wait for you.”

“My wife left me a year ago, and that’s because she can’t wait for me.”

“I’m not your wife.”

Pain was evident in his voice. That episode in his life deeply bruised his ego and that made him question his capability as a husband, a father, a provider, and a man. He wanted to move on, and his life and work in a foreign land was his only salvation. That was what he believed in from the time when his wife left him to find her own version of adventure with another man.

“I thought you never loved her.”

“She took my daughter with her, that’s why I’m kicking in.”

“I know. Anika was the only reason why you wedded her in the first place.”

He didn’t give a sign if he agreed on that particular note. He just raised his bottle and continued drinking with his eyes fixed on nowhere.

“Sir, that’s your 8th bottle for tonight”

“Correction, it’s morning.”

“Right.” She sighed “I think you have had enough for this… morning.”

“Don’t worry I’m a hard drinker. You’re the one who gets drunk easily.”

“Well, who got laid for being drunk?”

Ian and Claire stared at each other and laughed. The atmosphere turned lighter.

“The dawn is breaking.”

“Are you trying to sing now?”

“Of course not! You know I don’t sing.” He mumbled “You’re being such a brat again. Why don’t you grow up?”

“I’m just kidding.”

“I know.”

He got this unusual light in his eyes while intimately gazing at her. He pulled her closer to him as they watched the horizon slowly glows. In quietness they agreed that some things are better left unsaid as to not to spoil what they had at the moment.

She wrapped her arms around him and softly she said…

“I will wait for you.”

[Original version was published on June 29, 2012]