Darlene and Emil

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How We Met

Emil and I met online back in 2002.  We were both Sophomores but we went to different high schools.  He went to Southwest High School and I went to Escondido High School.  Our first conversation started out as a/s/l (age/sex/location).  As we continued chatting online, we both exchanged our pictures via AIM except he told me he got scared thinking I wasn’t who I was and he sent me one of his friends pictures.  A few weeks after he told me he felt guilty and told me that it wasn’t his picture he initially sent.  Funny thing, back in high school having pictures of your friends or boyfriend on your binder was a big thing.  Shocked as I was, he sent me his real picture which I was still very pleased.  He finally asked me to be his girlfriend April 28, 2002; we talked (when it was off peak hours), texted a lot, and wrote letters to each other.  November 9, 2002, we finally got to meet each other in person at AB Samahan at SDSU, a get together for Filipinos in high school.  We were both nervous, and it was an awesome day to see each other, hold hands and have our first kiss.

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How He Asked

Last year, I told my boyfriend (at the time) that I really wanted to go to Disneyland’s 60th Diamond Celebration by the end of 2015.  I love Disneyland!  Back in October 2015, he asked me if December 19 would work out for me, and I said “Of course,” because that would be the official date for starting Winter Break from work for me.   A month later, Thanksgiving afternoon, he drove up after work to spend some time with my family and for a little Black Friday Shopping as well.  Though his intentions were to spend time with my family and I, his real motive was to ask permission from my parents for my hand in marriage.  When he arrived, I ended up leaving my cousins house to withdraw money for shopping that evening, and that was his opportune moment.

Weeks and days leading up to visit I was posting on Instagram and Facebook countdown pictures and telling my family and friends how excited I am to go back to Disneyland.  We were annual pass holders for 3 years and decided we wouldn’t renew back in December 2014.  For any Disney fan, a year is pretty long!

Finally the Disneyland visit arrives!  I was so excited to spend the whole day at Disneyland – ride all our favorite rides, eat out favorite foods, Hyperspace Mountain (Star Wars incorporated), the afternoon parade, Paint the Night parade, fireworks, and hang out with his brother, who was going to meet with us after  We arrived in Anaheim an hour and a half early and dropped off my car at our hotel (save on parking), and walked over to the park.  It was such a fun day!  We took our picture in front by the gates, in front of the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and rode all out favorites rides before 11:00 a.m.  We even got to eat at out favorite all-you-can-eat BBQ at Big Thunder Ranch on last time before they officially closed down.  Throughout the day, my boyfriend kept having to use the “restroom” and I figured he ate something that didn’t sit well with him or he ate to much of something.  During those times, I ended up waiting near our next ride or I went to get our Fast Passes for another ride or looked at the shops nearby.  At the same time, as I “waited” he was really talking to photographers and City Hall to try and set up something for the evening.

As the afternoon went on, we decided to head back to the hotel to finally check-in and relax before heading back for round 2 at Disneyland.  A few funny things occurred going to the hotel and heading back to the park, but I thought nothing of it.  As we waited to cross the street to out hotel, a car had honked at us and I saw someone had waved at us.  I looked at him and I was like “That was weird.”  He knew who it was.  When we finally decided to go back to the back, I was on my Snapchat and he received a text from my cousin-in-law that we had just walked by them (they were checking into the same hotel we were staying).  It was about 4:00 p.m when we got back to the park and I told him I wanted to find a nice spot (which I did) on Main Street for the Paint the Night Parade at 5:30 p.m.  About an hour later it started sprinkle and I ended up walking to the Emporium and buying an umbrella while he waited on the bench.  The sprinkling turned into rain and I was SO bummed because they canceled the parade.  As disappointed as I was, we headed over the Innovations to check out the Star Wars exhibit and the Marvel Avengers exhibit and to kept dry.  We still enjoyed the rest of the time shopping, riding the train, Haunted Mansion, and taking more pictures.

About 8:45 p.m. we began to head towards the main gates to watch the fireworks; we agreed that as nice as it would be to watch fireworks from Main Street we didn’t want to be squished by the crowds.  Finally, 9:30 p.m. arrives the fireworks start!  I am videoing the fireworks and he nudges me that his brother is in Downtown Disney waiting for us.  I started to get a little upset because I really wanted to watch the fireworks.  We get into Downtown Disney and I am just having him guide me through the crowd while I continued to video the fireworks.  We finally stop walking and I remember him telling me to turn around, but I told him to wait while I was still filming the fireworks.  He urged me saying, “No, seriously turn around!”  I turned around and all I see are signs written in Disney letters with twinkling lights that say, “Will you marry me, Darlene?”  I look down to my left and he is down on one knee with the ring in his hand.  I was completely speechless and VERY surprised and of course I said, “YES!”  It was amazing too because as I got closer to the signs, I saw my cousins holding the signs, my family, his family and some of our friends were there to witness this magical night!  The crowd that we walked through I thought they were watching the fireworks, but according to my cousins people started to gather because they had saw the signs and waited for us.  He truly went above and beyond to make this proposal very special and I loved how he got everyone to drive up!   A night to remember forever!!!  We’re ENGAGED!

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Special Thanks

Jose Munoz
Photographer
Family and Friends