Mara and Bryan

Image 4 of Mara and Bryan

How We Met

Bryan and I met back in college. The first time I saw him was during enrollment day. I glanced at him and instantly told my roommate, “Hey, that’s my crush!”

Fast forward to the 2nd semester of our freshman year, we became classmates in one subject. I could not have been any happier. I see him twice a week, and yet we never really talked.

One day, the loner the I am, I was in the library minding my own business, when my one and only campus crush entered and was kind of looking for someone. I pretended not to notice him so I stared blankly at my book. Suddenly I heard someone talking beside me, it was him! Standing right next to me. Talking to me! And he went, “Hi, you’re Mara, right?” I managed to pull myself together and said, “Yup…”. Then he said, “Oh hi, I’m Bryan!”, while beaming his ever breathtaking smile right to my face. I was tantalized, hypnotized. Then embarrassingly I answered back, “I know…”. He smiled again, surprised or maybe creeped out by the fact that this girl whom he never met before, knows his name. Awkward silence followed. Then he started talking – “Aaaahm, I was wondering if maybe, I could copy your assignment for our class today??”. Of course I said yes! I gave him the key to my locker and have him take my notebook there and happily copy my assignment. So there, thanks to his laziness in doing homework, I met the love of my life, whom I have spent 10 years of my life happily and contently. And now, finally, we are getting married. I will continue to be the happiest girl on earth.

Image 1 of Mara and Bryan

Image 2 of Mara and Bryan

how they asked

Let’s go back to October 9, 2006. He first told me he loves me. How he did it? He gave me a letter, and in that letter were the tasks I had to do for his “surprise”. He basically sent me to an adventure in a Mall, wherein I had to go to this boutique and look for a laady named, Lorna, and give her this piece of paper with numbers scribbled on it.

So I did just that. Lorna then gave me this huge Teddy Bear, and said, “Maam, eto na po”. Baffled, I took the huge stuffed toy and just stood there for a few seconds. First, I’ve had suitors before, but this Teddy was quite big for me to carry, considering I still needed to go to UP for my class, should I carry this, should I leave it here?; Second, where in the world is he?; Third, what should I do next?. Suddenly, Lorna handed me back that piece of paper with numbers scribbled on it. She said it’s for me to keep. So again, confused out of my wits, I looked at the paper and tried to decipher what exactly its purpose was. Finally, my phone (remote-like Nokie 3650, wow) vibrated. It’s him! He asked me if I got the Teddy already. I said yes, and asked him what I am to do with the piece of paper. Then he said, “Set your phone’s dictionary on, input the numbers and you’ll see my message.”. For those who are not familiar with the T9 predictive text dictionary option in the old Nokia phones (hi, millenials!), it is a function that combines the groups of letters on each phone key with a fast-access dictionary of words. So you just press the numbers, and words will be formed. Going back, the piece of paper had these numbers on it –

As per his instructions I went to my phone’s Write message tab, typed in those numbers and as I did, words started to appear. Only three. I guess you know what they were. So that was how he first told me he loves me. He could have just called me, right? Or wrote a letter. Or talked to me like a normal guy. But nooooope. It was Bryan David. He has to do it the Bryan Way. It has to be grand, and one of a kind, and downright unforgettable.

Fast forward to October 9, 2016. The day he finally asked, “Will you marry me?”. How he did it? Let me tell you.

Few weeks back he told me his cousin who studies Multimedia Arts in Benilde needs models for their project for a resort named Zambawood. They needed a couple model coz the resort wants to promote their place as a wedding and prenup venue. I said no at first, thinking, no way I’m a model, no way i’ll pose for people, the awkwardness would melt me. But knowing Bryan, makulit beyond compare, he somehow convinced me to join. I received emails, schedule for the photoshoot, mood boards, pegs for the clothes to wear, everything was believable. I really thought it was gonna be a photo shoot. Come October 8, Saturday, the whole crew consisting of the director, photographers, stylist, and other models picked me up and before I knew it we were at Zambawood. The place was divine. The shoot started at once. I had my makeup, had my hair done, the other models did as well. Day 1 of the 2-day photo shoot was over. I realized, mahirap pala trabaho ng artista at models.

Day 2, October 9, 2016. Woke up at 5:30am, coz the director said so. We were oriented with the day’s schedule. Then, sumptuous breakfast. Even while we were eating, cameras were filming us. At around 10am we were scheduled to have a shoot at the beach where there was a romantic date set-up for the couple. As i walked towards the exquisite set-up, Bryan was there, holding a violin. I said to myself, wow, these guys went all out with the props. I was asked to sit opposite him. As i stared at him, he started to fake play the violin. It was funny. As all these were happening the director were instructing us what to do and cameras were everywhere. Suddenly, the director stepped back, i kept my act, staring at Bryan fake play the violin. After a few seconds, he wasn’t pretending to play anymore. He was playing a tune. “Huh? He knows how to play the violin?”. I have been with him for 10 years, i know for sure he doesn’t know how to play any instrument. My heart started to beat so fast. I was shaking coz he was too. I asked everyone around us, what’s happening. Bryan kept playing. It was my favorite song, “To make you feel my love”. I started to panic. No one was paying attention to me. I called Bryan, “Honey? What are you doing?”. The song was over. He put the violin down. I looked around. Cameras continued filming, but this time, the models, the stylist, now had their phones out, recording as well. Then I looked back at Bryan, he was starting to say things. I tried to focus on him. He said, “Honey, this is not a photoshoot for Zambawood, everything you see here, is only for you. Yes, this is our prenup…”. I couldn’t help myself, in a split second i broke down to tears. I was living it. The one we both have been dreaming of. This is his proposal. There was a speech. I was crying uncontrollably. He cried too. The last time he knelt down on one knee crying was our 2nd anniversary, we were about to graduate from college. He knelt, showed me an empty ring case, and promised me that someday, when he has saved enough, he will put a ring in that case, and ask me to marry him. That was 8 years ago. He kept his promise. And i could not have been any happier to say yes.

I did. I said yes. If he asked me 2, 5, 8 years ago, I would have still said yes. If he asks me 2, 5, 8 years from now, I will still say yes. They say that in life you get a few moments that you remember for the rest of your life, the happiest moments. This man has given me countless unimaginably happy moments i cannot keep count anymore. I can never understand how lucky and blessed I am to have him, and still i thank God every single day for him. Thank you, Bryan for everything you have done and is willing to do for me.

Image 3 of Mara and Bryan