A little over six years ago, Hazel and I attended the Discovery Weekend, a retreat for couples who are engaged to be married. Men and women lived in separate quarters, talks and discussions involving relationships and marriage were held, and lots of praying was done. Except that we weren’t engaged at that time.
I was scheduled to attend a conference on piezoelectric surgery in Phuket, Thailand the week before Valentine’s Day of 2011. Before that, the Discovery Weekend was scheduled. Hazel and I were to meet up on Friday afternoon, February 4 so we could proceed to the retreat. She was also clueless about a few things:
- In the morning of February 4, I paid a visit to her dad, Atty. Nelson Antolin, to ask for his blessing so I could propose to Hazel. He gave me his blessing that very visit.
- I already bought an engagement ring the week before when I was doing some work in a mall branch of MetroDental. I had asked my mom to keep the ring so that when I returned from Thailand, since I was being picked up by the driver, I could also get a sealed envelope with the ring inside from him and go straight to the Antolins.
- Hazel’s mom, Rosalind, helped me make arrangements so I could propose to her without a hitch while fulfilling Hazel’s requirements. These requirements were that we attend the Discovery Weekend, that I propose on one knee, and that the proposal be recorded on video.
The retreat went very well, further cementing my resolve to marry Hazel. And when I returned from Thailand, Hazel’s mom had prepared a scrumptious dinner in their home. She even got the rest of the family to cancel their plans for the night so they could be there for the proposal. Thus, with Jamie on one camera and me with a second one discreetly recording on the table in front of us. The rest is history:
And we’ve celebrated the engagement yearly ever since.
Tonight, we had dinner in Grace Park, One Rockwell. Not a bad place, but hardly a fancy one. They did have good food, though. We had the grilled Caesar salad and a squash soup for starters, muscovado beef belly (my favorite dish of the night), and Norwegian salmon. Hazel also had a red grape shake which I surprisingly liked, but then I like grapes. We had their Eaton Mess for dessert, a creamy mix that tasted like Sans Rival cake with fresh strawberries and mangoes. I would give the place a 3.5 out of five. We also had a third wheel. A really cute one.
We quickly went home after and got settled in for the night. Nixi was tired and fussy already but we also got in a bit of play before she slept. Hazel’s now getting some much-needed rest as her stomach isn’t 100% well yet, and I can’t wipe the smile off my face because of my reminiscing while I type in today’s entry.
We never celebrate Valentine’s Day anymore simply because the day before is far more significant to us than February 14 will ever be. At least, so far.
Sweet dreams, everyone!