I believe this story started in 2002 when in a series of discussions with my parents, I was convinced to retract my enrollment from the blue school along Katipunan and headed straight to the maroon university a few blocks down the road. If I did not do so, I would not meet this boy with the hexagonal glasses in my Physics class in early 2004. As he was seated in front of me, when the laws of motion got boring, I’d peer through his glasses to while the time away without giving much thought on who he was, how he looked like and without even thinking if I’d ever get to know him. At that time, I was contented looking at the four corners of the room through his spectacles.
My next memory of this boy was in a Chemical Engineering class where paradigm shift was widely taught. The professor gave numerous competitions and every time, this same boy, seated 3 rows back, won the huge chocolate bar. He shared his loots with the whole class hoping to get noticed by this one cute girl who, by the way, was not me. Being the competitive person that I am, I took note of this boy knowing that one day, I’d like to show him that I can beat him in class. As fate would have it, this boy is one of the best friends of my best friend’s friend and in the succeeding months, we found ourselves hanging out in the same circle and even taking classes together with our group of friends.
On the first day of my Natural Science class the semester after, I looked for an acquaintance to seat beside with and I saw this same boy, now more familiar, and was a comforting face in a crowd of university students. With a smile, I claimed the seat beside him and for the rest of the semester we shared stories, disappointments and heartaches – all because we had heard the lessons before and our 3rd seatmate, who happens to be his good friend, always skipped class. Had this seatmate been diligently present in class, we would not have known each other too well by the end of the term.
On the 3rd semester after that Physics class, the boy with the hexagonal glasses was no longer a stranger, in fact he’s one of my better friends whom I can talk and secretly compete with. Just to be clear, I’ve never given up hope on defeating him academically. He never missed a visit to the library whenever I spent my afternoons completing schoolwork while he’s working as a student assistant in our home department. I’d be on the frontlines cheering his band performances – barely beating the dormitory curfew. It was purely platonic until my 20th birthday.
At least from my end of the story. =P
At least from my end of the story. =P
On that day, I competed in a major college event late in the afternoon and I had an important presentation in our Panitikang Pilipino class in the morning. Among our friends, it was just the two of us in that class. By some twist of fate, our professor had gone berserk and humiliated me in front of the whole class! I was shell-shocked as it was my first time to be in that situation. It was tough going through the presentation without emotionally breaking down. When the class ended and the professor had left, I cried in the room while the boy with the hexagonal classes awkwardly hugged me. As if it was the most natural thing to do, he held my hand all the way to the university chapel to hear the 12-noon mass. I did not care that he wasn’t someone romantically special; all I care was he was my pillar of strength at that moment. Maybe he was there at the most opportune time.
My friends skipped class (read: naglaro ng baraha sa cafeteria) to support me that afternoon while I prepared for the major presentation with my team of 5. My friends were our loudest cheerleaders that night. In the meantime, the boy with the hexagonal classes never left my side, he checked on me at the competitors’ area, brought me food and from time to time held my hand. He even walked with me to the auditorium when it was my team’s turn to pitch a marketing presentation. With my partner, we breezed through our carefully orchestrated presentation and the rest of team expertly answered the questions from the panel. When I got off the stage, I looked for that familiar face in the crowd, smiled at him and gave him a nod. Off we went hand in hand back to the competitors’ area.
Trivia: most of the photos in this collage were taken after the competition.
Our team placed second that night but more importantly, I won the person who I spent the next 7 years with exploring the world, creating beautiful memories, experiencing life wins and losses, holding each other’s hand when we stumble and commit mistakes, learning life lessons along the way and we both discovered that it is a day to day commitment to be the best person that we can share to each other.
Lifetime commitment is not new to us. In fact, after my 20th birthday, we took the time to discuss what we will share and what we expect from each other. From Day 1, we knew that this relationship is going to be for the long haul. Team-mates for life. One thing he loves doing is to ask me to marry him in every new place that we visit together. He has asked in a grand church, swanky building, the beach, different caves and even up on the mountains and some remote forest. Most of the time, the question surprised me but sometimes, I just beat him to it and it is I who asked the question. Just because I want to beat him at anything I can.
12.12.12 is just another day. Person A and I took the day off to celebrate the renewal of vows of my aunt.
The plan was from Makati, we will use my car, which is on number coding restriction that day, and we will change vehicle in Alabang before heading to Las Pinas. While I was getting my hair and make-up done in the neighborhood salon, Person A secretly called both my parents to ask their blessing on his proposal that afternoon.
At 1PM, I was already running late for the wedding and flower girls should never be late for a wedding. I met up with him at my place and when I saw him, he was sweating profusely. I just breezed through my place and the next thing he knew, I was out of the door and ready to play hide and seek with the MAPSA on a number-coding day. He initially planned to pop the question at my place.
Seeing that he missed his chance, he planned to propose before we reach the church and in my car – not in somebody else’s vehicle. Once we successfully evaded the MAPSA, he asked me not to call my cousins yet until we’re in Alabang. Being the worrywart that I am, I started calling my aunt and 2 cousins to inform them that that I will head straight to the church. I finished the calls at the Skyway exit.
Then Person A gave me a card, it was one of the finest cards I received from him. The last line was “I’d like to spend eternity with you”. I was so touched that I told him “Awww… Thank you… I am sorry that I don’t have anything for you especially that it’s 12.12.12, a special monthsary!”. I was wearing white jewelry as accessories and thereafter Person A commented.
Person A: You have to take off that piece of jewelry that doesn’t fit.
Me: Ay! This ba? * holding my gold and green bangle and took it off *
Person A: No, not that one.
I looked through my body and noticed the gold ring I wore on my right ring finger.
Me: Ay, na-ooOC ka? I’ll take it off.
All this happened while he’s driving at 60-80kph down the skyway ramp. Then we continued the conversation.
Person A: Will you marry me?
Me: * being used to this question * Of course!
Person A: Sure…? You’ll marry me?
Me: Yes! *putting on my cutest face knowing that I feel pretty in my make up*
By this time, we were at the Alabang Viaduct and I just took it as a typical question given that we’re in a travelling car and we’re running late for a wedding. Then he asked again.
Person A: “Will you marry me, kahit may singsing na ako? * And while he’s left hand is on the steering wheel, a ring magically appeared on his right hand *
Me: “Ooooohhhh my Gooooodddd…!!!!”
I can’t remember the details that happened between the Alabang Viaduct and the Asian Star Building. All I can remember is he put the ring on, I told him it is very beautiful and there were a lot of “Oh my God!”, laughing, shrieking, tears welling in my eyes and probably the stupidest smile on my face. As he guessed, I never answered the actual question (“Oh my God” doesn’t equate to “Yes”, right?) that’s why he planned to ask the first 2 questions without the ring just to be clear that I agree to what he’s proposing.
At its face value, this story may not come out as the most romantic but for the two of us, it is. Not everyone can claim 12.12.12 as her engagement day, the sun was out and shining that day, Person A took the step to ask permission from my parents before he asked the question and it happened in the most natural setting, just the 2 of us going about our daily lives. Personally, this is what marriage is all about, being the happiest with your loved one devoid of all the distractions and material things in life. Just He and I committing to each other.
For the record, I can claim that I got engaged a number of times in the most beautiful of places and formally on the Alabang Viaduct at 60-80 kph. Haha! The latter is so panalo!
Once we reached the parking lot, we hugged and offered a prayer to God. Then I cried because I was happy and no matter how many times I've been asked, it feels magical when the actual moment happens. Then we proceeded to a very beautiful church in Las Pinas, our first church visit as an engaged couple. We witnessed a heartfelt wedding and I walked down the aisle, as a flower girl.
I am excited to walk down the aisle once again but this time, with the man of my dreams (naks!) waiting for me at the altar. Cheeseball!
We ended the day with a celebratory dinner: soup, steak and all the pizzazz.
Who would have thought that his fancy dinner invitation at noon would be to celebrate a very important milestone in our lives? I should have questioned why he made a reservation at a fancy steak house when we are to attend a wedding reception. Oh wait, I did but he said "Let's celebrate 12.12.12!". We winded down the excitement with a cup of coffee at a nearby café and enjoyed Kitchie Nadal’s performance for free.
I guess, God and the universe have a funny thing of planning out our lives to craft the best and memorable stories to share. I never thought that I’d be spending the rest of my life with the boy with the hexagonal glasses. I still can’t fathom the thought that out of the 6 billion people in the world, I’ll meet this person who is my perfect puzzle piece. It was an awesome ride the past 7 years and if it is a preview to what’s in store for the rest of our lives; triumphs, challenges, disappointments and that most comforting hug at the end of the day, I can’t wait to start forever with Person A.