Sunday, March 22, 2015

Project Catch the Fish

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. *kilig* 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 answers.

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 clearly.  ‘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. ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dear YOU

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.

Dear You,

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 first place.  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 laughed.

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.

I 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.

You still follow me?

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.

Hey Fiancé,
No diamond and proposal story will ever measure up 
to how 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

Mahal kita.

Your Fish

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]