I know that the best time to stay in Metro Manila is during the Christmas break and Holy Week because vehicular traffic is at its lowest, and going from one point to another is always a breeze. However, the invitation from my friend Marla Fresnido, Marketing Communications manager of Taal Vista Hotel, to spend the New Year’s countdown with them was too exciting to pass up on. So, the morning of the last day of 2015 found me leaving Manila, with my sons in tow, driving up to that iconic hotel in Tagaytay.
We decided to leave our Malate abode early because we have heard of the horrendous traffic jam in the Sta. Rosa area, and we wanted to arrive at the hotel with enough time to laze around and rest before the start of the New Year’s Eve Mass and the countdown party.
Tagaytay is really an ideal place for relaxation. The fresh air and the cool environment is definitely what every stressed individual like me should have, to combat the pressures that fire up a success driven world. Staying at the balcony of my hotel room, looking out into verdant fields below, was enough to soothe my frayed nerves, making me simmer down from my “harassed state” which came as a result of the frenzy of activities that was the norm during the holidays.
From my vantage point, I could see the fog slowly creeping over the fields and, in no time, there was almost-zero visibility. The sight of the fog blanketing the entire area around me was soothing to the senses, to say the least. Even if I wasn’t seated, I felt so relaxed; it had such a calming effect on me… better than taking tranquilizers!
The New Year’s Eve Mass was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. so we made sure we’d be on time as, from past experience, the function room they usually hold it in is always too small for the crowd that attends it. Sure enough, when we got there, the attendees spilled over to the corridor and foyer but it was not a problem as the hotel staff immediately furnished us with chairs, and cool fresh air from outside the hotel somehow found its way to where we were seated.
After the Mass, ultra-efficient Marla and her team – Marketing Communications assistant Hazel Sarmiento and Guest Services supervisor Dennise Javier – escorted us to the Ballroom for the show, dinner and the countdown. Practically circling the entire Ballroom were the buffet tables which offered a mesmerizing array of food choices that would please any royalty. Naturally, newly installed hotel general manager James Evans, who dropped in on us just to say “Hello,” was beaming with pride as he watched the satisfied guests enjoying the culinary offerings.
I was thrilled to see the venue spruced up for an “’80s” theme party and was even more excited to hear sultry singer Suy Galvez performing all my jazz favorites, and the super energized band, Music Network, playing the ’80s disco music that dominated my evenings and energized my physique 50 pounds ago.
After a sumptuous meal, I had so much fun waiting for the countdown to start. The songs played by the band were too tempting and I wanted so much to revive my “cool moves” on the dance floor but was too shy to just grab anybody to partner with. So I did the next best thing – I danced stationary beside my table, especially upon seeing the other guests doing the exact same thing. I enjoyed myself so much, I didn’t realize I have been “dancing” for more than an hour – until some muscles and joints inside me creaked their age. I had to stop and give my no-longer-a-spring-chicken musculature a rest.
At the stroke of midnight, the cacophony of horns, noisemakers, screams, laughter and Auld Lang Syne erupted and, shortly thereafter, we were all herded towards the garden of the hotel where a colorful fireworks display lit up the evening fog, creating a surreal effect on the environment. Again, like how it was earlier in the afternoon, the fog not only cooled down every happy partygoer, it had a calming effect on all of us watching the bright and blazing pyrotechnics that welcomed the start of the New Year.
Looking back at what the fog does to my psyche, I equate it with what it means in my life – Faith. No matter how many challenges I encounter, my Faith always calms me down so I can take life’s “pyrotechnics” in stride, dust myself off and continue to move on along the pathway to Success.
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