It’s officially Valentine’s Day as I write this, having just received from my husband Rob his “Day of Hearts” gifts: a dozen red Ecuadorian roses for me, and a small bucket of pink carnations for Nicole.
We also got small, do-it-yourself toys that Rob got from Bungalow 300, a cute home store on Buencamino St. in Alabang, just off Alabang-Zapote Road.
I try to recall the romantic things I’ve either witnessed or been a part of, especially times when a guy asks a girl, “Will you marry me?”
Below are a few of those times, plus my own first date that led to an engagement I will never forget:
My brother Gerard’s wife, DJ, has the greatest love for Winnie the Pooh. One fine Southern California winter, a couple of weeks before my wedding, we treated her to a trip to Disneyland in Anaheim. Little did she know that Gerard would propose to her there.
We had a few things arranged, including meeting Winnie the Pooh and his friends in one of the restaurants. I met with the characters at a concealed location and gave Winnie the ring. One of the ladies at the restaurant told DJ, “I think Winnie has something for you.” Winnie then gave DJ the ring. Surrounded by her favorite Disney characters, friends and Gerard on one knee, DJ burst into tears and said yes.
Rob and I were asked to help one of his good friends propose to his lovely girlfriend. We were asked to light candles laid out in the shape of a huge heart on the floor, and sing “A Whole New World” on cue: the moment his friend pushed a remote control to play a chime.
We lit the candles then hid in the bathroom wearing wireless microphones, waiting for the cue. The chime started to go off, but we could hear that they weren’t in the room yet. Finally, we heard screams of delight from the girlfriend as she entered the room and saw the candles. We figured it was as good a time as any to start singing … and so we did. We later found out that the remote was hidden in our friend’s pants pocket; his pants were too tight and kept hitting the remote by mistake. Despite that, everything went without a hitch. They’ve now been married nearly 10 years.
During the run of the musical “Cinderella” in Manila, we received an e-mail from a young man who wanted to propose to his girlfriend on stage. Our company management helped make this happen. We arranged a backstage tour for the couple, disguising his true intentions. They finally ended up on the stage, surrounded by the entire cast and crew. He then gave a speech, professed his love for his lady, got down on his knee, and popped the question. Thank goodness she said yes.
Rob takes the cake for my best first date. I mean, how many guys do you know who had three full pages of options for venues, and a practice date under his belt before the actual date?!
The man was very, very prepared. He had a clean car, a brand-new sweater (it was autumn in LA, which can get pretty cold), and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
He brought me to three places – a Korean barbecue restaurant, a great dessert place and then a music club. The entire date lasted seven hours. If you think that’s romantic, his proposal beats it.
Rob’s intention was to recreate our first date. It was July 28, 2002. I thought the proposal would be made at one of those venues on the three-page list. Well, no. I was disappointed. When I headed into the house, I was a little alarmed that the door was unlocked. I then saw a glow from the balcony that looked like it came from plenty of candles. By the time we walked out to the glow (there were lots of tea light candles, as well as rose petals strewn about), I was screaming.
He then got down on both knees at a pillow he had previously set, and brought out the ring. I joined him and started crying. “A Whole New World” then started to be sung. I looked up at the upper balcony, and it was the same two friends we had sung for previously. We then called family and friends to break to them the good news. We tied the knot a year and a half later.
I hope your celebrations of love last Tuesday were unforgettable and filled with people closest to your heart.
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