Proposals That Pop

Arvin and Kathy - Beating the Odds

Arvin Bautista and Kathy Cua met as officemate but their love story, all the way up to their proposal, was riddled with many hurdles. Only two years after meeting did they start a friendship. And after two attempts at courting did Kathy agree to accept Arvin as a suitor. As Arvin says in the interview below, it was likely because their journey toward the altar took years, many tears, and prayers that a mere three day preparation for his proposal seemed apt. Kathy was planning to meet her friends on the weekend and Arvin says, “I can’t say that there was any inspiration for the proposal, it was just the perfect timing to turn a random Saturday meetup to something a bit more special.

Read below how this couple overcame the differences of their cultural background.

How did you become a couple?

Arvin: Kathy and I met as officemates in 2012 but the relationship started off on the wrong foot. It took two years of us being officemates until we actually became friends. As we started doing the same activities–travelling, attending church–our friendship grew. I’ve always cared about Kathy but never thought about pursuing her because of the difference in cultural background. But two years ago, I decided to give it a try and see where it goes. She said no to me twice when I asked if I could court her, but on April Fools 2018, she said Yes. Our courtship had a very rough start because of the cultural background–there were tough conversations, lots of crying, and uncertainty if we’ll ever get to really be a couple. Thankfully, we had a handful of married couples who helped us. Their advice, wisdom, and prayers, helped us to navigate the challenges that we faced along the way.

What made you feel that it was the perfect time to pop the question?

Arvin: Because of the pandemic, the only place we could meet was when I would visit their house. This opened up opportunities to interact more with her family, especially her parents. The lockdown also forced some classes to be available online so I was able to take up learning Fookien which improved my interaction with her parents. We were able to celebrate birthdays in their house, which made me feel like I could start asking for her parents’ permission to marry Kathy. Thankfully, her mom and dad gave their blessing, and this was the moment I was sure that I would ask her to marry me.

How did it all happen?

Arvin: On the morning of the proposal, I had the bouquet of flowers delivered at my house. In the meantime, Kathy’s friend went to True Boss early to setup balloons and pretend it was the store's anniversary and even asked the store crew to pose in the spot where I should be proposing. I tried memorizing what I was going to say, but felt like I would end up forgetting it. So, I wrote it down in a letter–I know that she appreciates written letters so this would be something she’ll like to keep. 

When I arrived, they were already seated near the door beside the balloon decorations. I had a bouquet in one hand and a mini tripod with my phone on the other hand recording the video. The security guard in the establishment opened the door for me as I entered, the song from Something in the Rain played, and that’s when Kathy turned around and saw me. After removing my mask and sanitizing my hands, we stood beside the balloon decors and I read my letter for her. I knelt down on one knee and asked her the words I didn’t think I could ever ask her, “Will you marry me?” 

She said “Yes”, hugged me and we started taking photos. We video chatted with some of the important people for us, and some people dropped by to congratulate us. Some may say that the planning and execution for the proposal was very short, I only did it in three days, but from our journey as a couple, we’ve shed many tears, and prayed for years, that this moment would come.

Kathy: It was a normal Saturday for me. I had planned to meet with two of my friends at a tea store. There was nothing out of the ordinary for me even as they have requested a color-coordinated outfit and that there was balloon setup for the store's anniversary. And so when Arvin arrived at the venue, I was surprised me to see him that day. As soon as I realized phone cameras were out and were focused on us, it dawned on me that this may be a proposal. As Arvin went down on his knees, I already knew what I wanted to say! I have been waiting for this day for a very long time.