The Venue

Deciding on WHERE to pop the question was simple. Obviously, Maan and I love to eat, so to have an anniversary dinner celebration was non-negotiable. Since we will be both be coming from hospital, we wanted to have it on a restaurant nearby. We both wanted something new, a place we’ve never eaten at before.

The BayLeaf

So a quick search revealed The Bayleaf at Intramuros — a newly renovated hotel situated near the Lyceum building in Intramuros. I actually see it every time I come back to Manila from QC and was curious at what it can offer. It has a restaurant at the 9th floor aptly called 9 Spoons, and a tapas bar at the rooftop named SkyDeck.

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I searched the net for pictures and reviews if the place and from what I saw, I fell in love with it. It had a beautiful view of the Manila skyline of both Binondo and Ermita districts while overlooking the serene Intramuros golf course. It offered typical pastas and pizzas, as well as pinoy fusion dishes. It also has a churros bar at the ground level where you can have desserts or coffee after dinner. It’s website said you can arrange for a candle-lit dinner for two at ten roofdeck, just the perfect place to pop the question. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Three days prior to our anniversary, I called up Bayleaf and made a reservation. I asked the manager if they had anything special for a proposal dinner. He said he could make some special desserts and turn it to anything that I wanted them to be. Knowing that the Bayleaf is famous for their special churros, I pitched the idea of them serving churros shaped with the words “Will you marry me?” But that idea turned out to be so impractical, how the hell could we devour all those churros right?! Haha. So the manager later offered me to serve three deserts instead. I told him sila na bahala to make it extra special and to not forget to include the magic question when they plate the desserts. So with that, the dinner was sealed, all I had to do was bring Maan to Bayleaf at 8pm that night.

The timing of our anniversary was in-tune with our duty schedule. We were both pre-duty on that day, meaning less work in the hospital, and we both get to come home early that night in time for dinner. But just two days before our anniversary, I got a text from her saying that she’s not sure if she’ll make it in time for our reservations since she was OOD the following day. She then asked if we wanted to have dinner elsewhere, like that french resto in fort haha, or even stay at home and watch movies instead. This of course was happening at the time when everything was already set-up! — the ring, the dinner, the flowers, etc. Nooooo!!! Haha. I just gave her a generic posi-vibe reply “Ok lang yan, tuloy tayo sa Bayleaf.” and prayed that she does finish on time.

This post is actually divided into 6 parts. Read the rest of the other parts here:

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This one’s for the groom – The Eldredge Tie Knot

Cool! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Undomestic Bride

Itโ€™s all about the details!

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Here is an attention grabbing detail that will definitely add a little flair to a simple tux or suit. The Eldredge necktieย knot resembles a braid and can be achieved in 15 easy steps. ย If you plan on adding this feature to your groomโ€™s or groomsmenโ€™s wedding ensemble, keep the outfit simple and let the tie be the focal point. .

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Need a little more help? Check out the video tutorial here.

Happy planning! xoxo

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The Proposal

Eight years is quite a long time and so many things can change — our contry’s president has already been replaced, a baby can already start Grade 1, and a first year medical student is already a resident. So many things can happen in eight years, especially in a relationship. Some even believe that to last more than eight years is a very big achievement in itself, a.k.a, surviving the “seven year itch”. Thus for Maan and I to last this long on this rollercoaster of love, a grand celebration was needed.

And this grand celebration included dinner, a ring, an iPad video and… a proposal. Yes, we got engaged on our 8th anniversary and it feels great and exciting to finally commit to someone you’ll love forever and ever!

So in this blog, let me walk you through the events that lead to this very special day. You might catch some tips and tricks if you’re planning your own proposal. ๐Ÿ™‚ Women may spend countless nights dreaming of THE big wedding day, but as they say, the proposal is the groom’s game.

This post is actually divided into 6 parts. Read the rest of the other parts here:

The Decision

Maan and I have been passing through the thought of getting married from time to time. It’s a given. We’re in a relationship, wherelse could we go?

For the women out there who are in a serious relationship, who think that their boyfriends do not want to get married despite your ever-so-obvious hints, here’s a little secret: we also do. Why the hell should we be still in the relationship if we do not want you to be our ONE?

All those beating around the bush bullshit that we do whenever marriage talks and future family plans come up happens only because of two reasons: 1) we think that we’re still not ready (emotionally, mentally, and most especially, financially) or 2) we just don’t talk about baby names and wedding themes, period. It’s not that we’re not in the same page. It’s not that we don’t like you. It’s because the thought of getting married is really (and plainly) just so scary for us. And the moment we start to overcome this fear is the moment that we think: “So how do I propose?”

For me, a proposal should be a celebration of the cherished relationship — a reminder for the couple of how hard you’ve both loved being together. It should be beautiful and unique, not necessarily grandiose and public, but more importantly, it should be personal. It should reflect how you are as a couple. And one thing is a definite must: it should be P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

Maybe that’s why many grooms-to-be have THE JITTERS on the day of the proposal. It’s not really because of the fear of being rejected. (I tell you, sigurista lahat ng lalaki, haha). I mean, who would want to propose and get rejected right? Of course you’ll pick the right timing. You’ll know it. But the jitters is more from the fear of something might go wrong.

Men are calculating creatures. If something doesn’t go the way as we planned, we panic (and then quickly find a solution, or an alibi, haha). Especially on the day that you’ll express all your feelings and emotions and propose a lifelong commitment to the woman that you love…DISASTER.

But as we always do, we man up, and just. do. it.

Because Maan and I have been together for long time, friends were ALWAYS asking when is the big day. I would jokingly tell them, “‘Pag nagkapera na ako!” which is actually true. At the end of internship, I had NO personal money. Why would I even think of getting married if I don’t have my own money? So as residency started, I told myself that the only time that I’ll be ready to propose is when I’m able to afford a decent engagement ring.

This of course did not come quickly, especially with the meager salary that we get as resident physicians in a government hospital. As a first year surgery resident, I literally spent half of my salary paying for OR needs, diagnostics and medications of our patients. Sad, but real. I only was able to save during my last months of first year and the first quarter of second year, finally reaching my goal around April. And since May was coming soon, I thought it would be great to propose on our anniversary. I was ready.

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This post is actually divided into 6 parts. Read the rest of the other parts here:

The Backstory

Just for a little perspective, here is our backstory. Believe or not, we trace our almost decade long of friendship since high school. I was an exchange student then at her school UP Rural High for the annual UPIS-UPRHS dual meet. For two weeks I became part of their sophomore class, met most of them, especially this odd, nerdy-looking, pink-loving girl named Maan. THAT my friends was my first impression if her. And unfortunately (or fortunately) this impression did not last. Haha.

We were merely acquaintances back then, and soon lost contact when I returned to school. Of course we did not know that fate would be so kind to us to let us meet again after two years at the UP College of Dentistry for our annual dental check-up required before our admission to the Intarmed program.

I vividly recall the moment she screamed “GeraRd! Di ba ikaw yung exchange student sa amin dati?” She was with her other classmates Gideon and Krista. She said she could hear my boisterous laughter on top of all the hustle of freshmen students. We talked, remembering short stint at Rural High, then I gave her my number. She asked for it. Little did I know that it was the start of a very fruitful relationship.

Honestly we were not that close at the start of our freshman year. I was still driving back and forth from QC to Manila everyday while the rest of my dormer classmates went out after classes.

On our second semester, I eventually decided to get a dorm at PYF building. She helped me unpack my things since she stayed two floors up, and on that night we had the most wonderful and most animated conversation about life, goals and ambitions, and most significantly, our love life. It was like playing truth or dare, but only the truth came out. Everything was just between me and her. We soon found out that were both fresh from heartbreak, and this fact became the cornerstone of our friendship since.

We became inseprable since then. We eat, go to school and go out together with friends. Shopping and dieting were our favorite past times. She’d wake me up 10x to get my ass to our 7am organic chemistry class. We talk, text and chat tirelessly, often through YM, though she’s just two floors above me. We became the bestest of friends, and the worst of enemies.

Summer of second year came, and we both decided to take our relationship further. At first we were both denying that we were an “item”. Soon enough, we accepted the lingering feeling that we have for each other. (cheezyy haha) Soon the tandem Maan&Ge became official, and our friends couldn’t agree more.

We were both happy, and unbelievably scared of losing what we already had. But what’s an achievement without challenges right?

And so, eversince the 22nd of May of 2004, when I asked her, at the sala of their house in Sta. Rosa, the question: “So, mahal mo rin ba ako?” and heard the ominous reply “Oo.” our rollercoaster began, complete with all the ups and downs, the loopty-loops, the corkscrews and the big dips, and the speeding ups and the slowing downs.

We’ve gone through a lot — 7 long and difficult years of med school, months and months of reviewing for the boards, and almost a year and a half of residency. We’ve gone to so many different places, tasted the best of foods, and shared so many experiences together. And we are not getting any younger. Future plans have to be made, and so, on our 8th anniversary, I planned to finally take our relationship a notch higher: to PROPOSE.

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This post is actually divided into 6 parts. Read the rest of the other parts here:

The Ring

Getting a ring is actually the first thing that I did to finally say to myself “This is it.” the committed step. No turning back.

I remember somone telling me early this year that a good enough ring should be twice/thrice your monthly salary. WOW. Well, based from my research on the net, that rule of thumb proved to be true. I began by secretly window shopping at the different jewelry stores at Rob and saw that what I’ve saved up was actually too small for the ring that I had in mind. Haha. Then I browsed though different sites on the net — guides on choosing the right ring, mastering the 4C’s of a diamond, etc.

But the question on where to buy proved to be the more challenging question to answer. Should I buy in a mall? or meet up with a jeweler? or go to Binondo/Greenhills? Good thing some of my senior residents in surgery who’ve recently proposed and got married told me of a quaint jeweler in Binondo where most of them got their rings. SUKI na kumbaga, tried and tested too!

Customized engagement ring for Maan

So one Saturday afternoon, only three days before our anniversary, with my batchmate Alvin Chu, I went to Binondo to buy the ring. I had to make a lousy excuse to Maan that I had to cancel on our date night just so I could fit the ring-buying in my schedule. Haha.

We were offered different rings, cuts, colors, settings. I told the jeweler what I had in mind. (Well, since Maan was always hinting on what kind of ring she’d love, I had a clear picture of what I wanted to buy, hahaha) The jeweler then said she could get the diamond that I wanted in one of her rings and set in in another design that I wanted. So after two hours, I finally bought a custom-made engagement ring! It was simple but elegant, no frills, and fit well within my budget. Most importantly, I knew Maan would love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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This post is actually divided into 6 parts. Read the rest of the other parts here: