Candice and Benjamin

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How We Met

Benjamin (BJ) and I met in law school.  We were classmates for almost four years– with me sitting in the corner front part of the class and him, at the backmost corner of the class.  We had different group of friends and have never talked to each other in school then.  We’ve never even been group mates in any school project!  One day, on our third year in law school, my younger needed something which can only be bought in Walgreens.  My brother and I were looking for ways to bring it to Manila, until I saw in facebook that BJ was in Chicago at that time! So I sent him a message asking if I could ask for a favor… and the rest, as they say, is history!:-)

How He Asked

I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know how it will unfold.

It has been a few weeks since my then-boyfriend, now fiancé, BJ, asked me to marry him. It goes without saying that the early part of this month was largely spent staring at blank spaces, trying to recall what actually happened that night, so I can answer the burning question “how did he propose?”. I remember telling him before that I hate long proposal speeches and I wouldn’t want other people listening to what he has to say to me when that time comes. The truth is, I am struggling to recall each and every detail of what happened last Saturday as much I would have loved to. I don’t remember if tears fell from my eyes, if BJ went down on bended knee, or if I ever really said “yes.” Everything, almost everything that happened that night was a blur. But this is what I know.

Many moons ago, when I was about to graduate from law school, I met BJ. Not BJ, my transferee blockmate who used to sit at the back-leftmost corner of my class, but BJ, the PERSON. And somewhere in between going back and forth, asking ourselves if we should continue seeing each other despite the much dreaded, then-upcoming Bar Exams, I did what gushing high schoolers do— I gave him a copy of my graduation picture, and wrote a bible verse at the back from Ecclesiastes 3:11, saying “God has made everything beautiful in its time.” And last Saturday, the only truth that I vividly and intensely remember was that BJ, the person I have learned to so passionately love and care for, held my hand and led me inside a beautiful cabana, and with just the two of us, he looked straight into my eyes, showed me the exact copy of the graduation picture I gave him years back (only now with crumpled edges), and asked me to be his wife, because “its time.” Inside the band of my ring, you can find “ECC 311” inscribed.

The following day, I had to request the photographers (hiding behind the scene ala ninjas ;)) to send me advance copies of the still photos so I can re-live everything that I couldn’t quite remember about that night— the food and cocktails served, the raclette station (my favorite), the decors, and the faces of all our friends and family who joined us later that night. But hey, it isn’t so bad, because MY truth about THAT night, with THAT person whom I am about to spend the rest of my life with will be with me forever. And a day.

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BJ whisked me away that night in the guise of his mom’s birthday celebration, bringing me in a garden cabana two hours away from Manila, and proposed to me with just the two of us, just as I have always wanted it to be…

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…and gave me the most wonderful ring.

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Tears started flowing when I saw our family and closest friends coming out of each corner of the room right after I said yes!

“Can’t say NO” in the Filipino vernacular.;-)

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And this is how that awesome night ended! :-)

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