I have been waiting for the moment for what seemed like a really, really, really long time, and I had a lot of hopia moments since last year. Mid-2014, my boyfriend and another friend have been teasing one of their friends that his boyfriend will propose to her during a vacation outside the country. During that time, we had a trip planned for October. We're going to Bali - our first vacation outside of the Philippines. I don't know why, but I suddenly had this feeling that Bali might be "it" for us. I got myself all pumped up and saw signs that, looking back now, are just things that really don't mean anything. In May last year, I lost a ring in a hotel in Baguio. I had this crazy idea that maybe he was keeping it and using it to buy me an engagement ring. I was really hoping for big things in Bali. But nothing happened. I wasn't heartbroken about it, though; Bali was beautiful even without the engagement. Maybe, it just really wasn't the right time.
At Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bedegul (October 2014)
So I then looked forward to El Nido where we will be celebrating our 4th anniversary. It seemed to make sense to me - it was our anniversary and El Nido is one of the most beautiful spots in our country. I just felt like Yayay is not the type who'll just propose in an ordinary place, but I also know he won't go through anything that will require extensive planning - nothing like the flash mob types. I had my hopes up again. Every now and then, I'd ask him about getting engaged and in one conversation I asked out loud when it was going to happen. He looked at me with a mischievous smile and said "soon." I was over the moon. I was really, really, really hoping that it'll be El Nido for us. But El Nido came and went, and I am again back in Manila with no bling in tow.
Small Lagoon, El Nido (March 2015)
At that point, I was exasperated. I had conversations with my sister in Skype as evidence. I told her that I am getting tired of waiting, that I don't know if Yayay will ever get around to it. Before going to Batanes, I remember telling my sister that I am not sure what I'll do if I go back home still not engaged. It should be IT; we do not have anything planned after Batanes because we talked about our future early 2015 and we're pretty much set on putting in a down payment for a house. Usually, we'd have multiple trips planned ahead of time (e.g. we booked Batanes even before we got to go to Bali and El Nido even before we got to visit Batanes), but there's nothing after Batanes. Weirdly enough, I snapped out of the craziness as June rolled in. I was still hoping, but I was pretty calm about it.
And then it was time for Batanes. Let me tell you this: pictures don't do Batanes any justice. It was so breathtakingly beautiful. Every spot, every nook and cranny is picturesque. Batanes can be overwhelming on the senses in a REALLY good way. Sa sobrang ganda, mapapagod ka mag-picture! In short, I forgot about getting engaged as soon as I set foot on the island - until we were at the Tinyan-Chamantad view point in Sabtang. That was June 19 - our 51st monthsary.
Tinyan-Chamantad Viewpoint, Sabtang (June 2015)
It was a tiring walk (at least for me. Every kind of walk is tiring for me anyway) to the tip of the view point. Somewhere along the way, while I stopped to catch my breath, I looked around the rolling hills around me. It was so calming, and then suddenly, I remembered the engagement and I panicked! My heart raced and a voice in my head kept on shouting, "Oh no sana wag dito! Ang daming tao nakakahiya!" Sobrang na-stress ako! Hahaha! And then Yayay led me to the rock - one of the spots in the view point where people go to take photos. Sobra kong kinabahan! I was thinking hindi ko kakayanin pag bigla na lang lumuhod dito si Yayay!! Well, to my relief (and disappointment - I can't seem to make up my mind about this engagement: gusto ko ba talaga o hinde??) he didn't propose that day.
Not today, Bianca. Still not today. (Tinyan-Chamantad Viewpoint, June 19, 2015)
So June 20 rolled in - our third day in Batanes. We got into a silly fight that morning, and I was so annoyed at Yayay. Napaka-suplada ko na naman kay Yayay. Haha! He tried to talk me out of my bad mood the entire morning, but I just kept getting annoyed. I think I snapped out of it when we were already in Alapad Hill. The tour is almost done at that point. Maybe just 2 or 3 more spots left and we will be calling it a day.
Konti na lang, girl! (Alapad Hill, Batan. June 20, 2015)
We started the South Batan tour late, so we decided to divert from the usual route. We were supposed to have lunch at Marlboro Country like all other tour groups, but since we just had breakfast, we decided to visit other spots first and just have late lunch. When we got to Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country), we practically have the entire place to ourselves. There is just one group left taking photos while we had lunch. When it was time for us to go up the hill, it was empty already - just us and our tour guide. He took photos of us. We then took some selfies, sat on the ground, and took some more selfies. Then Yayay sent our tour guide away "Sige Kuya, una na kayo. Sunod na lang kami." I was just sitting there, taking all the beauty in - the rolling hills, the ocean, more rolling hills, and Mt. Iraya in the distance and then suddenly, "Babe, tayo ka." Sabi ko, "Bakit?" "Sige na. Tayo ka."
Racuh a Payaman aka Marlboro Country (June 20, 2015)
And then it happened.
"Babe, love mo ba ko?" Arte! Anong love-love?
"Ha? Ano ka ba? Syempre!" Isa pang maarte!
"Babe, nakapag-decide na ko." Oh my God, ito na ba yon?!
Yayay gets down on one knee.
"Will you marry me?"
I vaguely remember asking Yayay, "Seryoso ba 'to?! Seryoso ka ba??" a few times. I can't remember it vividly. But according to him, that's exactly what happened. Sabi niya mukha daw akong nagpapanggap na di ko alam ang nangyayari. Haha! Pero seriously, no matter how many times you've prayed and hoped and prayed some more, an engagement has a tendency to throw you off course. Kahit gaano ka na ka-hopia, you'd deny the moment when it's finally there.
I remember though that I said yes, kissed him, and he slipped the diamond on my finger.
And just like that, my months of hopia moments are over. Biyayaforevs is finally happening.