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BK Retreat Day 1

This Holy Week, I planned joining a retreat. I knew I had to go somewhere else. I can't afford to stay at home... alone. No way! I might just have another breakdown. As they say, an idle mind usually becomes the devil's workshop.

God directed me to the site of Brahma Kumaris, and  I found out that their BK Tagaytay Retreat Center will be facilitating a retreat from Holy Thusday to Black Saturday. The title of the retreat?

Forgiving and Letting Go.
"Forgive and forget. Is it possible? Forgiving is not really for anyone else. It is for giving myself the chance to see and discover what is true, good, and beautiful in myself. Then I discover what is true, good, and beautiful in everyone else, and  in everything."

Coincidence? Sorry but ever since I met Mr. Richard Yu, I dropped the idea that there is such a thing as a coincidence. Everything happens for a reason. There are no coincidences in this world.

So, on a Holy Thursday afternoon, off to Tagaytay I went. As I sat quietly inside the bus, a lot worries began creeping into my mind.

Will I make it alone?
Whom will I eat with?
Will I have new friends?
Will the people there like me?
Will I have friendly roommates?
Blah, blah, and blah!

Do I sound pathetic? Oh well.... let me tell you a secret. Ever since me and my special someone became a couple, I've been too dependent on him. I never, as in NEVER tried going to places alone, meeting new people alone, going on a retreat alone, doing things alone! I was always in my comfort zone with the company of our common friends, or with him.

Eventually, I got tired of worrying, and I decided to pray. I prayed the rosary while casting the CoL. Along the stretch of Aguinaldo Highway, memories of those sweet moments with him flashed before me - Camella, Anabu Kostal, Golden City, and even the inn somewhere Dasma where we once slept! Ouch! As in.... OUCH! It felt like a hundred big needles were pricking my heart. I felt so much pain that I just closed my eyes and prayed again: "Angel Raphael, please ease my pain. Mama Mary, please hug me."

After a couple of minutes, I felt Mama Mary's and Angel Raphael's presence. I felt them comforting me. As I opened my eyes.... Voila! I was like in another world. Outside, through the glass window of the bus, all I could see are luscious green trees and flowering plants that all seem to be smiling at me. Now, I know.... God postponed my "vacation plan" with Mr. M (let me just refer to my fiance as Mr. M) so that I can get the chance of seeing the beauty of paradise.

Upon reaching Brahma Kumaris Tagaytay, I was welcomed by women wearing all white. They were all smiling at me... but something felt different. I can't pinpoint what exactly it is, but something felt different.

I was given the key to my room. It was spacious, with a big window that overlooks the garden. Another picture-perfect view. There was no aircon, but who cares? We're in Tagaytay anyway! The bathroom was neat and clean, the tiles were well-maintained. There were 3 beds, but I was alone! Before starting to panic, I dropped my bags down and went out of the room to explore the whole place.

I saw the Dining Area. No, I didn't look for it on "purpose", I just saw it! One table had 3 women chatting with each other. On a separate table was a woman, around same age as mine, and she was alone too.Where should I sit? With the 3 women who already seem to know each other? Or with this lady who was alone but kinda looked like a snob?

I chose.....

to sit.....


As I quietly savored the freshly baked empanada which they served while sipping my hot pandan tea, I kept on telling myself: "Kaya mo yan Kaye, kayakayanin mo yan, kailangan mong kayanin yan!" (You can do that Kaye, you will do that, you must do that!)

One of the Sisters approached me, said hello, chatted a while, then went on to entertain the other guests who began arriving. After gulping down the remaining tea that I had which was already cold, I went to explore the other areas of the retreat house. At the ground floor, there I found the garden, the meditation room, the big function hall, the mini meeting room, the receiving area, the TV area, and the dining hall.

As the session started, we were asked to introduce ourselves and to state our objectives for the retreat. Since I already expected this "Introduction Activity", when my turn came, I uttered my script and flashed the biggest smile that I can... "I'm Kaye, I live at Makati, I'm working as an all-around super multi-tasker at ____, and I hope to learn 3 things from this retreat: how to meditate properly, how to radiate a positive aura, and how to control my emotions."

After the briefing, it was already time for dinner. There goes my anxiety again. There were more people, thus, it was more difficult for me to choose where to sit. I got my food while my eyes did a random scan of the whole dining area until I spotted an empty seat together with the three ladies I saw earlier during the afternoon break. I asked if the seat was occupied, and they said no and invited me to sit there. I laughingly said to myself "Oh, they're nice people, why was I too afraid? For as long as they don't eat humans, I'm safe!" During dinner, everyone seemed to be quiet - and I was no exemption! But I enjoyed the food! We had red rice, oyster mushroom soup, deep fried oyster mushroom coated in batter, mashed potato with crunchy fresh veggies, and purple yam for dessert. Burp! Vegetarian dish has never been this tasty!

As I stood up to get another glass of water, a curly-haired, thin, and smart lady who introduced herself earlier as a "journalist" approached me and said "Ikaw pala si Kaye!" (Oh, so, you're Kaye!) I was shocked and I wondered: She knew me? Where did we meet? Until I remembered, I was wearing my name tag! How could I forget! I immediately returned back the smile and said: "Oo, ako nga, bakit?" (Yes, I am, why?) The girl, Cecille, said: "Ikaw daw kasi ka roommate ko. Hanapin daw kita." (They said you're my roommate. They told me to look for you). My heart leaped... at last! I have a roommate. One of the simple joys in my life!

to be continued...

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