A DIFFERENT KIND OF ENGAGEMENT
As J. Lo wrote in her inner circle newsletter “On the JLO: “Life is an art… and we are the artists… make it as beautiful as you want and create it exactly as you want it to be…”
Growing up, I never really had a clear vision of what getting engaged and getting married should be like for me. I remember attending very few weddings during my childhood and teens and it always left me with feelings of lack and sadness coz I felt like I can never have that kind of wedding. My automatic negative thoughts were: “I’m too poor to be able to afford that.” “That will never happen for me”… etc. True enough, you attract what you think. Despite the amount of money I’ve had in my early adult years, I never had that kind of engagement nor wedding.
Then I met Hanz. You can read about our love story here… of how we started as him having a crush on me since High School, me never knowing him until he invited me to his small resort in Oslob in 2012, then us becoming friends when the world I knew was crumbling down. Hanz was the one who picked me up in all my despair and brokenness. He made me laugh, he made me strong, he made me see myself again. He became my instant best friend.
Then Hanz did propose if we can be more than best friends… And I laid out all my conditions if we were to become a couple. I wanted him to talk to all my family from Luzon to Mindanao and if any of them protests, then there won’t be an us. So that’s what he did. He visited my mom in her Quezon City office. I video recorded the whole thing! He went to my dad and brother at San Mateo Rizal. He went to Cagayan de Oro to speak to my sister and my grandparents. Everyone was okay with him. It was my grandfather’s 90th birthday at that time, Aug. 14, 2014. That became our life partnership anniversary. And we celebrate that every month as much as we can. In fact, we just had our 92nd Monthsary recently…
We are so different in so many ways, yet also the same. We have different personalities. I’m the romantic one, he’s the logical one. I’m O.C. and detail-oriented, he’s into the big picture. I’m a worrywart, he’s super chill. I like to shop, he’s very frugal. He’s really like what God intended for me because I’ve matured so much all these years we’ve been together. We continuously learn from each other especially when we fight and there have been BIG fights we thought would be the end of us. But we learned to communicate better and now we’re at a place that we really are enjoying our partnership. It took us ten years to really get to know one another this well, to respect, uphold, and accept our differences, and to enjoy the life we’ve built together — simple yet full of adventures. It was starting to dawn on me that this is it. I may not have that engagement proposal and wedding they portray in movies because it’s not Hanz’s personality and it’s never my intention to pressure him. As long as we’re happy with the life we’ve built for our family, we are 1000% devoted and committed to each other then that should be more than enough.
But then again, I remember one of my mantras.. that we are God’s co-creators in this universe and we can turn our dreams into reality… that what we want is possible. Everything we desire is already there within our reach. It’s just a matter of getting it.
So in one of our bonding sessions, marriage came up and we just decided right then and there to finally set a date for it. We’re not getting any younger and we couldn’t live without each other. We still both believe in marriage despite my previous experience. But there was no grand gesture, no grand surprise. It was just one of those talks we do when we’re both not busy. We were both just chill and simply spending time.
Many times, after that talk, I would come up to him and say stuff like: “Were you really serious? Are we really going to do it?” “What if we don’t work out? Annulment is expensive, you know. I know coz I’ve been there!” or something like “Is this for real? You sure you don’t wanna back out?” or jokingly I’d tease him “Where’s my proposal? I want a romantic proposal!” to which he would squirm and make a face coz he’s not that type of guy. He’s not big at big surprises which took me a while to accept but he’s very big at small, important, every day gestures — the ones that truly matter:
- He took care of me the whole time I was preggy.
- He dressed my CS wound after I gave birth up to many months after that.
- He cooks for us, cleans the house for us, became my super assistant at a time when I was overwhelmed by motherhood.
- Through the years, he’d do stuff that I’d ask him to do — errands, handyman stuff, constant hugs, caresses and kisses.
- Even when he’s too tired to perform in bed, he always makes me come 100% of the time, no excuses. Acts of Service and Touch are my two primary love languages and I have all the receipts to prove it. While his are Loving Words of Encouragement and Acts of Service.
- He’s a very good, hands-on, sweet father to Tuz.
- He supports me in everything I want to accomplish.
- He’s my number fan, cheerleader, and supporter in all things.
Then THIS — the wedding engagement celebration we both wanted as a symbol of our promise that we will soon become legally one. No surprises (except for Tuz who was really surprised when his Dada opened the ring box!), but celebrated the way we wanted it, for the memories, photos, and videos we can bring with us, and leave with Tuz, til death and beyond… If there’s pre-nup photoshoot, this is what we call post-prop, hahaha! (^_^)
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