how we met
We first met when we were in the Philippines almost a decade ago through a common friend. We would hang out and talk sometimes but that was the most interaction we did. We were happy as friends back then and never really thought about how we were going to end up. Fast forward almost 5 years later, both of us found each other in America through Facebook. She was planning a trip to Disneyland which was literally 5 minutes away from where I lived, and she knew I lived close by because it said it on my profile, so she reached out and we started talking, again. We found out that we came over the same year (2009) and the same month! (December) and only 3 days ahead of each other. What were the odds!
After keeping in touch, we decided to meet. It was her birthday then. Things surprisingly took a turn from there. Long story short, we clicked and started dating. I lived in Anaheim and she lived in the Bay Area and so that didn’t really bode too well. Eventually, I moved out and got closer and it was then that we spent more time together and worked on our relationship.
how they asked
After almost 4 years of ups and downs, dates and fights, I decided I wanted to be this woman’s husband. So I carefully picked out a ring, and planned a trip out to Tahoe for Christmas. Her mom was a jeweler and knew jewelry really well so I felt pressured to get the perfect wedding ring that will impress her too, but Reigene is a very simple person which was one of the things I love about her, and so I did my best to get something in between. It worked. I contacted her cousin Marco who lives in Seattle and told him about my plans and coincidentally he was planning to surprise them on Christmas day as well so I asked him if he could help surprise Reigene for me. Marco flew out to CA and as soon as he arrived, we along with Reigene’s sister and a friend (who were clueless about the plan) went straight to Tahoe. I gave him the ring soon as we settled in Tahoe and told the other guys about our plan proceeded with the day.
On Christmas day, I intentionally did not give her a gift as we were exchanging gifts. To release any suspicion that something was brewing, I just said sorry for not getting her anything because I thought we agreed on saving money and we agreed not getting anyone anything (although she broke the agreement too by surprising me with this cute bucket list book). So we went on with our day as we planned to snowboard and go ice skating afterwards. Everyone was tired after snowboarding but the plan was to go ice skating, and so we did. Little did Reigene know I had already been contacting the ski resort weeks before our trip asking for someone to help us with the proposal. I had my difficulties because I couldn’t get anyone on the phone so I almost gave up that idea but I couldn’t. It just had to happen. So I decided I would talk to them on the spot and right when we got there, Marco and I headed straight to the rink office and spoke to the manager. She was nice and was excited to have us do it there so she helped us make it work and that she would clear the rink right before the Zamboni guys start cleaning the ice. All was going according to plan until the DJ told us he couldn’t play the song I wanted him to play because he had no laptop or any way to get it on his playlist.
At this time, the skating rink was already cleared and ready for cleaning, and I was in the middle of the rink. I turned away from where Reigene was, hoping she wouldn’t notice me alone in there until the music started. I stood there for about 10 minutes before the DJ found a different song he could play. He started playing Bruno Mars “Marry me” song. The manager ran to where Reigene was and started dragging her onto the middle of the rink with her just clueless about what was happening and why. She saw me in the middle of the rink, and I saw the biggest smile I have ever seen from her face. Almost like she knew what was going to happen next. The crowd was cheering us on as I slowly walked towards her, grabbed her hands and tried to speak, but all that I had rehearsed to say would not come out. I was just too happy to see her smiling like that. All I could say was, “I love you” and I knelt down, and the cheers came louder. She said yes, and that rest was history.