An unexpected weekend
Sonya’s Garden: Colorful nature, relaxing moments

An unexpected weekend

FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura (The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2018 - 12:00am

Or how my husband Loy, an inveterate shopper,  ended up buying two jackets and an expensive massager at Robinsons during a weekend at Sonya's.

Want to spend the weekend at Sonya’s Garden?” my cousins asked.

“Of course,” Loy and I said. We had nothing better to do. Loy had not been to Sonya’s Garden in ages. The last time I was there was so long ago too. So off we went on Sunday. We left at around 9:30 and I don’t know what time we got there. We were given a very romantic room with three beds, one king size for Loy and me, and the other two were queen size for Mandy and Ruben.

It was called Borage, a Mediterranean herb, though I do not know if any borage grew among Sonya’s beautiful flowers.

Sonya, a friend of ours, had left for Vietnam the day before. We were told we would be given two free meals. We decided on lunch, where I gorged myself on her pasta with all the trimmings. I love pasta. It reminds me of my childhood. My husband is not much of a pasta fan so when it is served outside home, I gobble it up. Then we would have breakfast there.  This meant we would go out for dinner.

There were so many people at Sonya’s. We thought that over time the crowds would lessen, but no. There was a wedding with many guests and crowds of people there to walk around, check out the new stores and shop. I went to her new Apothecary and bought a bottle of Gugo and Neem shampoo, which I used when we got back. It is a delicious shampoo with a touch of mint. She also now sells flowers and plants. A lot of novelties there.

My husband Loy is an inveterate shopper. He always has to buy leather jackets and does not care much if the leather is synthetic. He brought one of his old faux leather jackets and as we traveled strands kept peeling off. So later in the afternoon we went out to find a new jacket for him. We went to the Robinsons Mall that he is familiar with, having brought many women there when he was still single. We looked for the bazaar but could not find it on the ground floor. In the meantime I began to freeze. There was a cold November wind blowing.

As we stood looking at the sign that said “Bazaar” with an arrow pointing to the right, a young man came up and talked to Loy, offering him a free massage. I asked him where the bazaar was. He pointed to a lit archway with stairs going down.  Then he made Loy promise to come up again for his free massage.

If we were cold upstairs, we got colder downstairs where the wind was blasting. I saw a white hoodie, and bought and wore it immediately. Loy bought himself two jackets. When we went back upstairs, the young man found him again and we got dragged off for a free massage.

It wasn’t what we expected. They were not giving free massages. They were demonstrating an expensive massager for free. It is a Japanese product called Kiyoshi and they call it the K-Unique Vibro Therapy Massager. They made us sit down, took our feet onto their laps and massaged us with what they call the Gem Contour, which was nice enough but not really impressive. At least I wasn’t moved. Then they changed the head to what they call the Golden Needle and put it on my palm. Omigod, I loved it! You have to understand, I use my hands a lot for knitting, for making jewelry. It gave me so much relief.

What can I say? After a lot of bargaining, Loy bought a machine for us to take home. They told us if we wanted help or wanted to buy more, we could go to Ocean Park, wherever that is.

Anyway, eventually we went home. We teased Loy about being such a gullible shopper. We went to bed in our beautiful room but Loy and I hardly slept. “We’re getting old,” I said with a sigh. However, we enjoyed our breakfast immensely — champorado with coconut milk and dried fish, an omelet of mushrooms and cheese, daing na bangus with mango salsa, and chicken and pork adobo, which no one had the room to even taste. We got home sleepless and tired. But we all had a wonderful time.

A few days later, after we had caught up on sleep, we tried the massager again. It made us both feel better, more spirited.  “Tonight, let’s do the scalp massage that’s supposed to help us with insomnia,” I said.

“You know, Loy, you are a gullible shopper, but you know the truth? This machine relies on both of us. We must find the energy to do it regularly to each other and it will do us a lot of good. It really makes us feel better.”

“You hit the nail right on the head,” Loy said.

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