God is in the details

I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). When people say, “Ang OC mo!” as a joke, when it comes to me, it is actually true. OCD is medically defined by psychiatry.org as “a disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions).” 

The diagnosis came sometime between 2004 and 2010 when I was going to Dr. Josefina T. Ly-Uson — a psychiatrist from UP Manila — as part of the requirements for the annulment of marriage. When Dr. Ly-Uson officially diagnosed me, all my years as a student and wannabe athlete finally made sense: I was a perfectionist and it was blocking me from accomplishing more because I would get petrified (of failure).

Hence, in 2010, I went to Bahay Kalipay in Puerto Princesa (yes, the one I mentioned in my first column) for the first time, and my journey towards self-awareness, mindfulness, and conscious living began.

Today, I am a master of my OCD and have learned to make it work for me. It has helped me become an excellent project manager (I am OC about deadlines and work quality) and, I hope, a good journalist. This is because when I do my interviews, I actually begin “interviewing” before the actual interview begins. I see the body language of the subject, the gestures, the nuances, etc. and incorporate them in my writing. 

It’s the small things

When I travel, I see the macro and the micro. I see and photograph details that others would not have noticed, and I do it for me. This enables me to wonder at the beauty of what can be “invisible.”

Lobby ceiling. Photos by KATHERINE L. MAGSANOC

On a recent trip to Davao, I instinctively scheduled a vsit to dusitD2 because of wonderful memories during my first visit last February. I just wanted to see the place again, this time on personal time, and simply go around. I’m grateful to Alyssa Garcia-Salang for helping me secure key cards to some rooms I wanted to see again not as part of a hotel tour, but as someone who wanted to see details up close.

The OC in me needed to be satisfied.

Reception counter

One of the things I noticed upon entering dusitD2 Davao is this intricate ceiling design that you would also see at the wall behind reception and even on the reception counter. When I asked them about the strange but attractive irregular design, they said it is Thai artistry “through the dynamic play of geometric elements.”

Basket-like decor at Siam Lounge beside the perfectly aligned bottles of drinks

I always gravitate towards flowers. Their vibrance makes me happy, and so these flowers that welcome guests to the lobby as well as give privacy to Siam Lounge patrons are actually functional. They also add the pop to a neutral color palette one will find everywhere in the hotel. 

Lobby flowers

Inside the lounge area, at the bar, I noticed this strange looking decor that reminded me of the Rafflesia Arnoldii or corpse flower — the world’s biggest flower that is found in Indonesia. It did not look like a basket. It was not at the center of the bar. It was at the corner, beside this wonderful display of drinks (wonderful because of the aligned way they were arranged, even the ice — the joy of this OC).

Room pillow detail

The pillows inside dusitD2 rooms serve not just to make one’s stay comfortable, but add such a wonderfully ethnic vibe that I literally had to come close and examine them. Using my phone camera, I magnified them. From my first visit, I remember these elements as paying homage to the heritage of the region, from local artisans.

Being OC means I see many things as “art,” and dusitD2 is abundant with these. The one at a Deluxe Twin Room caught my attention because of the ethnic details subtly embedded in it. This is how you know it was made by a local artist, and for someone like me still learning about the culture of this part of our country, it was educational.

Bedroom wall detail

The bedroom wall at the Presidential Suite reminded me of our home in Porac, Pampanga (bahay na matanda, we would call it) that has been demolished. I love designs like this, so I went closer to inspect if the pattern is made of a different material to make it 3D. Upon very close inspection, I found that it was the way the wood was carved and painted on that makes it appear mother of pearl-ish. Ganda!

Artwork detail

I love dim lights, and the elevator lobbies at the hotel did not disappoint (I visited at night time). I loved the mysterious, inviting, and even romantic vibe, and was drawn to the 3D wall decor that was either mid-century art deco-ish or this organic leaf design (I couldn’t come closer during my first visit as we were immediately whisked away to rooms).

Elevator lobby decor

You see a leaf, I see a heart. I see many hearts.

The expression “God is in the details” means that whatever is done should be done well, because details are important. I’m glad I set aside time to visit dusitD2 Davao again, quietly and as a simple visitor. I left happy seeing these details up close, and the OCD was satisfied.

What details about your house or workplace make you happy? Tell me at [email protected]