And catch the fish, he did.
Before getting engaged, whenever Keng acted jealous, I would
tease him even more by showing my empty ring finger. I’m still a fish in the
sea, I would tell him. To which, he’d roll his eyes and laugh in response. Certainly,
that’s his inspiration for tagging his proposal as #projectcatchthefish . (Yes,
a hashtag is necessary.)
Ever since we got engaged, I’m the one getting all the “How
did it happen?” questions.
So for the
record, this was how it went:
We just finished watching a beautiful, lingering sunset at
the deck. I thought it was the highlight of our day. When it was dark already,
our guide, Dave, directed us to walk along since we’d try to catch a nice view
of the fireflies. The walk wasn’t easy, since we only relied on flashlights and
phones to light our path. It wasn’t a long one and we traversed the same route
going to the deck earlier, so I wasn’t expecting to see anything new. After we
got through some big rocks, Dave started pointing at the Mangroves in front of
us. He was saying something about fireflies but I wasn’t interested. Then I saw
someone digging up something in the sand. It was only when the guy turned
around that I found out it was Ken, our friend. And he wasn’t digging, he was
trying to light up some candles. I was about to make a joke about fireflies and
candles but I noticed our friends were staring to take a few steps back, so I
did, too. Now, after that, these are the only things I remember: Keng called me
and asked me to stand by his side. He said something and I knew already what he
was trying to do. A few more words after, he got down on one knee. I whispered
‘I love you’ to his ear and gave him my hand. I came back to my senses when our
friends started asking for my answer. I said yes, proudly, and they started to
cheer. That’s it. That’s my proposal story.
But as days passed, and as Keng and I talked more about what
happened before the proposal, that’s when I realized that the story isn’t
merely about me saying yes. The real golden story is everything that happened
leading to that moment.
Little by little, every bit of effort he put into his
#projectcatchthefish was revealed to me. I found out how he connived with my
friends, the island facilitator and even with my ultimate girl crush, Cat Juan.
It warms my heart listening to my friends share how they avoided answering
all my questions when they were busy preparing for the set-up on the other side
of the island. He even
had imessage conversations with my soul sister/his main accomplice regarding his outfit choices. He sent her pictures of him wearing different formal
shirts. He even insisted that she made sure I’d be wearing a dress for that
moment. In reality, we were both in tank tops and shorts, and in aqua shoes,
when everything happened! We hiked, visited a bat cave, and snorkeled for hours
that day. Being in a dress and having perfect hair were simply not possible!
Days later, I knew about his initial plans of using paper lanterns. He also wanted a grand
set-up with candles and music. He planned every detail to perfection. But his
place of choice being a remote island with no fresh water, let alone
electricity, he knew he had to manage his expectations. The morning after he
proposed, he told me, he considered doing it at Punta Bulata, the exclusive
resort we stayed in the night before we left for Danjugan. It would have been a
lot easier, logistics-wise. His lantern plans, the live music, everything would
have been done seamlessly in that resort. But he told me, there are a lot of Punta
Bulata in the Philippines and only one Danjugan Island. Regardless of the
outcome of the set-up, he knew, he told me, I would’ve already found it
infinitely special getting engaged in that place. My heart melted.
I particularly enjoy listening to his “finding the perfect
ring” tales. He had an excel file that compiled prices across several jewelry
shop in different malls. He dragged Lyn, his friend, to jewelry shops after
jewelry shops just to get a girl’s opinion. In the end, he got the diamond from
a supplier and had the ring custom-made. He told me that he wanted it simple
because that’s what I wanted. He was so keen about the setting not being too
high and the crowns almost not visible. He was also very particular about the
band being the slimmest possible because that’s always my main concern with
rings. He even had BTS pictures of the ring being made.
Just this afternoon, more than 2 weeks past that fateful
day, I discovered that there was music playing in the background while he was
doing the entire speech. He wanted the song to be When You Know because that is
sort of our theme song but he left his phone in our cottage. They played I’m
Yours by the script, instead. I swear, I heard nothing.
There are still many more details that’d be revealed to me
probably in the coming days. The more side stories I hear, the more I realize
that this proposal is a process more important for a guy to go through that it
is for a girl. I mean, of course, it is a highlight of any woman’s life getting
asked for marriage. But if you are I in a serious relationship and timing is
already given, it should be very easy to say yes. For men, though, it’s a different
story. One has to go through all the scary hypothetical questions in his head,
man up and have enough courage to move forward despite not having all the
One time, in the middle of a random conversation, I asked
him what he realized after all that he went through for the proposal that
didn’t even go as planned and something that I couldn’t even remember very
‘That I really want to be with
you.’- was what he said.
The look in his eyes and the calmness in his voice, while
uttering those words, made me want to say YES again even without him asking.
Indeed, this fish is so happy to no longer be part of the sea. ;)
I am writing a letter, that I am sure of. The tricky part is
I don’t know who to address it to. The only thing I know is there are words
that needed to be written down. And these words, they’ll only make sense if I
write them for someone, anyone.
So this letter is addressed to you, you reading this. I
supposed that’ll do.
There is this man I have loved for more than 11 years now.
Being 26, that counts as almost half of my life already. A few days ago, he
asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Frankly, that question didn’t
need answering. It need not been asked with a ring and a grand gesture, in the
A quiet conversation to
agree on the date, church and venue to book for the wedding would have been
perfectly fine with me. But that boy, he’s always been
so persistent in making all the necessary stops for me. So when he got down on
one knee and uttered the question, in front of our dearest friends, in a remote
island, I responded with the easiest YES of my life.
For a few seconds after that moment, I was staring at the
ring with a confused look on my face that prompted him to ask if I didn’t like
it. I confessed that my worry was I don’t seem like the type to wear an
engagement ring. Parang hindi bagay sa
kin may suot na ganito
, was exactly what I uttered. That second after
committing myself to a lifetime with someone, of entrusting my future to be in
the hands of someone else even though I know I could do so well on my own, all
those difficult things to consider, and the only thing I was worried about was
that I’m not the diamonds are a girl’s best friend kind of girl. We both
Don’t get me wrong. We both know how serious this is. It
took a couple of days before the euphoria faded and I started thinking about
the big things that come with that moment. There’s a pain in my gut just
thinking about it. But you know what made it so easy to say yes? Him; he did.
I am marrying a man who treats me like a 10, and has done so
consistently all the years we spent together. He looks at me like I’m the
perfect girl. When in reality, I am far from being perfect. Most times, I’m
barely even a girl.
He is kind and loving and honest, but he is his kindest,
most loving, most honest self when it is just the two of us, when we are each
other’s audience. He possesses this gift of being honest without having to
hurt. He is not a push-over, no. He knows how to duel when a duel needs to be
had. But even in the middle of disagreements, I am certain that we are both
gutting it out because we love each other.
I’ve written this before, but it’s worth mentioning again: I
love this man effortlessly, completely, without leaving anything for myself
because he loves me the very same way first.
I am marrying a guy I love and like, at the same time, and
in equal measure. How can you love someone you do not like, anyway?
When he proposed to me, he started by saying, ‘I want to
remind you that what we’re about to do is not easy..’
. I didn’t hear it at that
moment. Honestly, I didn’t hear a thing the entire proposal. He repeated his
speech over dinner and I found myself feeling grateful that he knew, when he
asked me to marry him, he knew that we are in for a long, bumpy ride with no
option of turning back, but still, he did it.
There are so many moments when I still find it hard to
believe that someone can know me so well and still love me this much.
don’t know what the future has in store for us, but I do know that in this
lifetime adventure of ours, I will have this man by my side no matter what. No ifs, no buts, no doubt.
This seems like bragging, I know. I hope I thought of
another way of putting all this but I couldn’t. I didn’t write this, though, to
make you envious. I wrote this because I want you to believe that someday you
are going to write a letter like this one. You will tell the story of your one
great love, and people who’ll read it might feel that you’re being too proud
about it. Because you are. You should be. So be.
Find a love you can be proud of, my
sweetheart. It’s out there and it’s worth it.
I’ll expect a letter when do.
No diamond and proposal story will ever measure up
you’ve always loved and taken care of me all these years.
Those are the things
I said yes to.
But you picked a pretty ring, too. Hihi