When we meet our couples for the first time, the one question I Love to ask is, ‘how did he ask?’. I adore hearing their stories and the different ways people get creative with proposals! Each and every one of them are extraordinary, because it happened to them. It’s their own unique story.
Now, can we just take a moment to applaud all the guys out there who’ve popped the question? Expectations are so high nowadays on the perfect proposal! With Pinterest setting the bar extremely high, I don’t blame all the brave and courageous men out there to sweat before the exact moment!
When Carmen and I started dating, he mentioned that he had never been out of the country. Aside from going on cruise ship vacations, never in his 28 years did he leave North America. Having family members scattered across the globe, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit plenty of countries overseas. So I wanted to make it my mission to bring Carmen with me to multiple countries, and see the rest of the world. Two years ago, his first trip out of the country was to Denmark, where we visited my family. Then to Amsterdam, where we stayed for 2 days to get just a little taste of what all the hype was about. On a side note, we did not partake in any recreational activities aside from sightseeing and visiting tourist attractions! *Haha*
From that moment on, he became hooked, and begged me to plan our next trip. We then decided to visit Italy. The country that we fell in love with completely! If you’ve ever visited Italy, you’ll understand when I tell you that I dream of food in Italy on a daily basis! Our Italian trip could not have ended any sooner, and the both of us were itching to venture onto the next journey. As I brainstormed on other countries we could visit, a thought came to mind. I had not been to visit my home country of the Philippines in at least 7 years! I knew Carmen would enjoy visiting the Pacific Island, so I book our flights for that following October.
The months could not have gone slower, as we anticipated our trip to the Philippines. We were excited to visit Palawan. The island of Palawan, located just south of the mainland, truly is a little slice of heaven! It’s a paradise destination for both the travel bug and honeymooners. It’s a place where it’s effortless to forget all your worries and the stress of tomorrow. The months leading up to our trip, little did I know that Carmen had been secretly hiding the ring he got for me away in a place even I wouldn’t know of. I give him so much credit for being able to keep it a secret that long! We are the kind of people who lets the other open a gift each day about a week before Christmas!
We did everything, from mingle with the locals, eat the local street food, and visit the small islands offshore and hidden beaches. It was paradise with the one person I could only imagine experiencing it with. The second the day were in El Nido, which is located in northern Palawan, we took a boat excursion tour, that allowed us to snorkel with the exotic fish, and visit a few hidden beaches. Although, that day it rained nonstop. Carmen nervously kept the ring in its box hidden deep in his backpack the entire day. He waited patiently all day, for the right moment to ask, among the group of tourist on the same boat as us. As the rain poured down, Carmen decided that it was best to try the following day.
The following morning on October 17, 2018, I looked at the forecast. We were to take another boat tour, this time to other islands. Carmen woke up before I did, in such a good mood too. I found it just a bit odd but didn’t think to question it. Before I hopped in the shower, he skips up to me saying “Morning babe! Hey, let’s go take pictures on the beach!” I just laughed at him and shook my head. So when I proceeded to get dressed, he walked back into our hotel room, which was actually a Nipa Hut, and says “C’mon! C’mon!” I felt rushed, and slightly irritated, so instead I slipped on a skirt, and french braided my wet hair. I didn’t even bother to apply my makeup! After all, it was just a quick photo.
We walked towards the back of the resort, onto the private beach. I grabbed my camera and proceeded to mess with the settings to fit the current morning light. Carmen said he would run back to the resort to find an employee to take our photos. I don’t know how I didn’t find any of this strange, considering Carmen isn’t a fan of being in front of the camera!
I turned around to look at the water. It was quite beautiful. Peaceful and serene. It was about eight in the morning so the water was still calm with not a person in sight. Other than the stray dogs that took residence on the beach, the stillness could put you to sleep. After about two minutes, Carmen walks back with one of the employees. I direct Carmen on where to stand, and I show the hotel staff my camera and how to snap the photo. I run back beside Carmen and wrap my arm around him to take the photo. Moments later, the stray dogs on the beach crowd around us. They seemed so interested and didn’t want to leave! I thought it was so cute that they wanted to be a part of our picture!
Finally they left, and we were able to continue with our photos.
Then it happened. Carmen grabbed both my hands, and turned me to face him. He talked in such a soft voice, I could barely make out what he was saying. All I remember him saying before he asked me to spend forever with him was, “Babe, you’re my best friend–“. Then he got down on one knee. In that moment, I couldn’t believe that it was happening. Right here, in paradise, just the two of us. Carmen pulled out a small baby blue box. When he opened it, all I could remember was a small light inside the ring box shining on a beautiful diamond-filled round cut ring. I looked back up at Carmen. His cheeks were blushing red and I knew it took so much effort for him to ask me what he did. To be honest, I think I started laughing!
This was the moment I had been waiting for. My best friend was down on one knee before me, in one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. In that moment, nothing else existed. No one else existed. If only I could find the right reaction, or the right words, to truly be the finishing touch to this perfect moment. I knew I had to say something. The most obvious. Instead, the words that slipped off my lips were, “How nervous ARE you right now?”
Carmen let out a chuckle. “Yes, of course!” I said, and we both laughed as he slipped the ring onto my finger.