ThePanerios: No, It Didn’t Start With A YES!

Sharing with you, for the first time, our journey to the most beautiful day of our lives… and it didn’t start with a YES!

I’d say, our journey to our wedding day didn’t begin when I responded to his “Will you marry me”.

Year 2017, we were planning for our marriage that time, can’t remember when, how, where… but it was just a normal conversation that we had, and then we went on discussing how we should be getting married soon.

No date, no theme, no wedding ideas either. None yet. Vague concepts. We’re just focused on how we should be building up our finances to get things ready. He’s the type who doesn’t want to burden anyone, especially our parents, so he was really determined to save up.

Apparently, we had to persevere a long distance relationship to make that plan work. He has to continue working in Luzon as he’ll be earning more there. I, on the other hand, decided to leave my previous work. There was an urge in me to help the ministry, wanting to spend more time with my family and also, I see myself just earning enough to live in Laguna.

He went along with my desire to settle in Cagayan de Oro city. He supported me, and all he desired too was for us to settle down.

Long story short…

He puts almost everything he earns to my bank account saying it’s for our future. However, no definite plans for the wedding yet. What we did at first was to find a good space for us that we can use once we get married. God, in His favor, granted us an affordable condo, which we can use during our early married life and soon will be our passive source of income in the future.

I, like any girls hyped with the idea of weddings, had been browsing for wedding ideas on the internet and had been looking for possible wedding coordinators and such, in spite of being unsure when. All I know is that it will be very very soon, which might be within a year or two (positive thinking!). And so the entire time, I’ve been contacting some wedding suppliers, canvassing and checking venues – but haven’t booked anyone or anything yet.

Will you marry me?…

8th December 2018. We had a company training and we stayed in Manila for 3 days. That’s the time he popped the magical question.

Surprised. I didn’t expect it to happen neither do I am expecting that he would go that far with all the effort for a proposal. We’ve been planning our marriage for a year, so why bother asking me that now? You know that I would say ‘Yes’ right?! Lol. And he, in his awesomeness, said to me “I want to be different”. Well, he’s always amazingly different. I laughed and can’t believe the idea of him cutting papers, doing artworks, buying stickers and printing our pictures. Just like a kid. Cute. Lol.

I knew then that it was the “GO” signal he has been preparing for in our almost 7 years together. The perfect time for us. Now I am so sure that we will be getting married in a few months.

Our closest friends and siblings knew everything right then. However, we made it more intimate and discreet by avoiding social media, as I want our parents and relatives to personally know and hear our big decision before anyone else.

Face to face…

The moment he came back in CDO, he then expressed his intentions to my parents. Talking to my father and asking for a schedule, Cheng announced the ‘pamanhikan’ to my relatives on the new year’s eve.

6th January 2019. The day came. Excited, anxious and nervous. I honestly don’t know what would happen. One thing I am grateful for is the support of his family and friends. I now understand how blessed a person is when he’s full of supportive friends. My Captain America together with his ‘Avengers’ prepared the dinner with awesomeness. Again. Lucky me.

Everything ended smoothly. Thank. You. God. So that’s how a ‘pamanhikan’ is being done! Okay, now my siblings know what to do when their ‘own time’ comes.

The preparation…

Okay, our big day will be in more or less 3 months. Short time? No, i guess. Practically, I think if you are financially ready with your wedding and you know what you want, like how your wedding should be, then an average of 3 months might be enough. But of course, more time the better and the lesser stress and anxiety.

I was able to book a venue and a planner/coordinator before the scheduled ‘pamanhikan’. That was it. The details and all were just prepared 3 months before the wedding. What we did is one step a a time. After the ‘pamanhikan’ we were able to focus on our preparation – from preparing our documents to the details of our big day.

I’ll be sharing some details of our wedding preparation in my next blog post.

Showers of love…

24th March 2019. One of the best night ever. I never thought our friends, and major-major my siblings, could pull off a surprise like this. Felt the love and the joy they have for us. It made us laugh and cry!!! Normally, boys going together and ladies having bridal showers. But no, not this one. This is like no other! It was a couple shower party! Now we realized that we are so blessed with a huge circle of friends.

It was just one of the normal nights – that’s what we thought. We were running some errands for our wedding and together with my siblings, we were planning to have a karaoke after (just like any of our usual bonding). This time in Superstar KTV Lounge & Club – okay, expensive. Who cares? My ate says she’ll pay for us to celebrate and welcome her boyfriend who just came from abroad. Yehey! We were fooled.

Cheng, with his superior signal and surprise detector, even failed to catch anything fishy. None of us suspected, and that was the best thing. Seeing all of their faces excited to see how surprise we would be. Even my ‘bogus’ friends were there. You know who you are if you are reading this! Lol.

Games, food, karaoke, laughs – what a fun night. I believe everyone was really happy. None of us has gotten over the happiest night. Cheng and I can’t even stop smiling til the next day. Crazy.

The big day…

28th March 2019. I can’t express the joy I have for God’s favor and faithfulness. Can you believe it? Day before my wedding, I was worried sick about the 60% chance of rain on my big day, the guests and families arriving, and stressing out about every detail of our wedding. Stress level as high as.. whatever. I even broke down due to all the anxieties coming through my head, all the what-ifs.

But the awesome God we serve gave me the best weather, the best people to share the moment with and the perfect wedding I’ve dreamt of. Normally they’d say, there are always that little imperfections in a wedding. But, I don’t know, why it felt like… it was just perfect? It felt like I’m in a dreamland, like scenes flashing before my eyes – the waves of the sea, the music in the air, the people around me, the blush pink roses as I walked down the aisle – why everything is just so perfect? This is how I imagined my dream wedding would be. Now I remembered.

The day before, I laid down all my worries to God and said, “Father, please give me the best weather tomorrow. I don’t know how our wedding would go but one thing I’m asking is for your presence to be there. Let me feel your presence, just be there, and I know it will be perfect.”

I only asked for one thing. I only asked His presence and everything became perfect. I was then the happiest girl on the 28th.

After everything we’ve been through, I’ve realized that our journey didn’t really start when I said ‘Yes’. It was not just about me wanting to be on that day. Our story had began 7 years ago when God allowed us to meet and be together on the 31st of March. Even to this day, I still stand amazed by how He fabricated every detail of our lives to be witnesses that miracles do happen, hard hearts can get soften, love can get stronger and best things do come to those who wait. People close to us who have seen our journey could attest to that.

Isaiah 43:19 was my life verse as I waited for God’s perfect beautiful time.

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. 

New Living Translation

While we were waiting, God had already been doing something great behind the scenes. He was making something new.

Often times we don’t feel or see it but when He said that He’s making a pathway through the wilderness, He’s talking about making the possibilities in an impossible or hopeless situation.

Our situation was a wilderness. Four years ago, we really don’t know how or when could we get here (being married) but little did we know, God had already written the best storyline of our lives – and it was worth the wait.

It’s a reminder that it takes three to have a perfect relationship. It takes God’s loving hand to have a beautiful love story.


P.S. There’s more about my big day on my next blog post. See you!

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