Greetings all :-)
As you know it has been a while since you have heard from us. How can you blame us? We did just get engaged. But now that things are beginning to settle down, we realized that some of you are probably dying to hear how this event happened? Well I'll tell you. Currently, my beautiful fiancee is tied up in Paris for Singles for Christ planning, so I have this weekend to get some things done for our wedding. Since with that said, here is the story of our engagement through my eyes.
You see, I have been planning this engagement for some time now; actually, since the moment Cay and I started dating I was certain that I was going to marry her. The question was about when would I be able to get over my insecurities and shortcomings and "man up." I had a beast to conquer, and that beast was my will. With the grace of God, through the love of my beloved Cay I came to realize that I could not waste another moment of this life without her in it. Beast conquered. Next - the timing. When would be the best time?
Last year in February, when my parents told me that they were coming to see me and go on the school's pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, I began to formulate how Cay and her family could meet mine. Also at that time I started to research the engagement ring for Cay. From February onwards, I had been fervently asking the Lord for the perfect time for me to propose to Cay. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to propose in Rome, because that was when both of our families could be together and we could have a formal "pamanhikan." I had to notify my parents of the plan, so when my parents and I talked a couple weeks before their arrival I informed them of the event that was to ensue. It was perfect because they were bringing the engagement ring that I had ordered from the US.
My parents arrived in Vienna on November 4th, which was the same day as my love's birthday. I woke up at 4am that morning, and drove to her house in Vienna and made her breakfast before she woke. I called her on my very stealthily called her from my cell phone from the next room over to wake her up and wish her a happy birthday. I then suprised her by opening her bedroom door and serenading her with "Your Song" by Elton John on my guitar. Good stuff :-) We had breakfast, she went to work, and then I suprised her again by leaving a dozen roses on her bed, a new running jersey, and bottle of wine from our favorite place in the world, Cinque Terre. She came home after lunch to the suprise, and we kissed for a little bit. Then we jumped in the car and picked up my parents.
We had dinner, and then crashed at Cay's house. My parents and I then left for Gaming early the next morning and then immediately started getting ready for the trip to Rome and Assisi. I checked out the ring and was amazed at the rock on it. Gentlemen, I highly recommend Blue Nile for your diamond needs. I kept that ring on careful watch from the moment my parents gave it to me until I put it on Cay's finger in Rome. I hate carrying around expensive things, it makes me nervous. I have a tendency of misplacing things.
My parents and I boarded the bus for Rome on Friday night. After a grueling 15 hours we arrived to a very sunny Rome. It was glorious. Cay and her parents left several hours before our arrival via plane. In the end, we all arrived at the hotel around the same time on Saturday morning. We got off the bus, went up to the room and I stuck that ring in the safe :-) Cay and her parents got in a little bit later. It was so good to be with the love of my life in Rome. So romantic. I highly suggest going to Rome with someone you are in love with.
As soon as we arrived in Rome, I immediately knew where we were to have the engagement dinner. It would be at the "Il Papalino" right down the street from the Vatican. It was quaint, quiet, and fairly reasonable in price. After dinner on Saturday night, I made the move to get the ball rolling for the engagement by asking the Santayanas to have the "Pamanhikan" (formal engagement dinner in which both families would be present). But I knew I wanted to make it a little more personal, so I had another plan. I mean, I love our customs and traditions, but I wanted our engagement to also have a little more meaning being that we were in the home of our Church. I wanted to ask the love of my life to marry me in front of the most memorable scene possible.
The next day was it! Sunday, November 8th. Both of our families woke up early and had breakfast around 7:30am. We had to leave for the Vatican via taxi to get to Mass in time. Mass was beautiful, with the processions of priests, bishops, cardinals, and other officals of the Church. You can't help but stand in awe when you are at Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. As soon as we exited Mass, I knew it was the moment. We all walked towards the water fountain in the middle of the square. Both of our families moved to take pictures, and I silently pulled Cay aside in front of the Obelisk in the middle of the square.
I said I needed to talk with her about something, so we were able to get away from our parents.
We moved away, and I took both of her hands and said, "I love you."
She said, "Is this really happening?" And had a look of wonder and excitement, mixed with tears and other emotions.
I got down on my knee and told her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. But the most important thing I said (or asked rather) was:
"Will you marry me?"
(side note: I had no ring at this point, because I had to wait for the formal engagement which was to take place later that night at Il Papalino)
She said "Yes!"
Thank you Lord! We were both in tears. At last, the step towards our lives together has been taken. We kissed and embraced in that perfect moment in the sunlight in front of St. Peter's. I told her that we should wait to tell our parents until tonight's formal engagement, but said that it would be alright to text Rebby (the Matron of Honor). The day lasted a long time. It was a quiet, yet anticipatory excitement till the evening engagement.
When we finally left for dinner at around 7:30 that evening, all of us were slightly tired from all the walking around Rome, but all of us knew what was to happen. Both families prepared themselves for the biggest decision to be made in both of their children's life thus far. We arrived at the restaurant, and ordered the food (which was quite a task since our waiter spoke limited English). My father began the engagement by leading us all in prayer. I sat next to Cay and clenched her hand. He then began to talk about Cay and how much of beautiful woman and blessing she has been to them so far, and that he is looking forward to both of our futures together. Tito Rene (Cay's father), responded positively and gave his blessing, it was at this moment that we all knew that the permission was given to me to formally propose to Cay. I got down on my knee (for the second time today), with the ring in my hand, and confessed my love to her in front of both of our families. I told her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and asked her to be my wife. I kissed her and then showed her the ring. She freaked out. She said yes, and put the ring on her ring finger.
That is the climax of the evening. The rest of the details can be spared, except for the fact that almost immediately after I proposed we began to share about each others lives up until the present moment and how we look forward to all of our futures together. We also began to talk about wedding plans and such. This is our story so far. I asked the woman of my dreams to marry me in front of both of our families. I could not be happier or more complete. I have now to look forward to the day in which Cay and I take vows before our friends, family, and the Lord God Almighty to love and serve each for as long as we shall live. I am the happiest man alive. I have found the one my heart has been waiting for. The woman I have prayed for as long as I can remember is now my fiancee and my heart has found rest.