Proposals That Pop

Kim and Pochai - London Lockdown Proposal

This couple went from workmates to life partners

Michael Kim Genilo and Rubie May San Miguel met when both nurses flew to UK to work. From colleagues, they became flatmates, and eventually, romance blossomed. Though the pandemic caused a delay and a change in Kim’s proposal plans, he still managed to pull off a memorable proposal that included London, the city where they met and fell in love.

Below, Kim talks about how he surprised Pochai, and how he created and pulled off plan B despite London’s strict lockdowns–and how he made it work for them!

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How did you become a couple?

Both of us are nurses from the Philippines who went to the UK in the same cohort/batch. We are working in the same hospital as operating room (theatre) nurses. Poch was then working in pediatric theatres while I was working in adult theatre. After our free accommodation from the hospital, we found a flat to rent as our starting place to live in together with other batchmates. As we were living together that was the time when we started to get along and started to go out. We took our OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) exams together and passed the exam together. We have a lot in common in terms of food preferences, values, principles, and beliefs, which made us get along so well.

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

We have been together for more than two years now, and the more we spend time with each other, the more I realize that she is the woman I want to spend my lifetime with.  I was longing to pop the question since last year but due to Covid pandemic everything got cancelled and I postponed. The very moment that I asked the question was perfect, right outside St. Paul’s Cathedral at the heart of London city.

How did you come up with the proposal plan? What was the inspiration for it?

The original plan of the proposal was in the US when we were planning to go for a tour of Arizona, the Antelope Canyon. Due to Covid pandemic, all plans from 2020 were cancelled and I had to find a way how I could get hold of the ring. The ring was actually bought from the Philippines with the help of my mom. I was able to send the ring here in the UK through one of our closest friends from work who went home in the Philippines for a short holiday. As soon as they got back, I started re-planning and thinking of how I will pop the question.

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Tell us about the planning process. How were you able turn the plan into a reality?

As soon as I got the ring (April 4, 2021), I was trying to coordinate the plan with some of our closest friends. I wanted to make it memorable and at a place that represents London, where we met and started our love story.  I requested a colleague who happens to also run a photography business , Roy Santos, to capture the moments.  

During the planning phase, London was still on lockdown (due to second wave) and will ease lockdown starting April 12, where non-essential shops will start to open and operate again. I have a friend from work who advised me why not do the proposal on the 11th of April (the last day of lockdown) primarily because there are less people in the area and we will be able to maximize the area with less people. In less than four days, I together with close and trusted friends planned everything as an ordinary pictorial day. I was really worried that Pochai might have an idea to the point that every time I come home from work, I always check her nails if she polished it.

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Sunday, April 11, came and I was really worried and thinking of a script to say as I bend on one knee. We started going around the city and just as an ordinary pictorial day, we just posed and kept going. As soon as we reached St. Paul’s Cathedral, there was a phone booth outside, we posed for the photo, just typical fun photoshoot until I asked the question: Will you make me the happiest man? And knelt down on one knee.

Please share with us your proposal story in your own words.

As much as I wanted the proposal to be grand, I could not pull off the plan that I had in mind. With the current situation, everything was made simple yet magnificent. Everything was just perfect—the weather, the friends who backed me up, places were not packed as per usual, and the perfect moment she said “Yes”. Despite the one year delay of this proposal, it is always and still an exquisite milestone in our lives as a couple. It is a start of something much more beautiful, of building our future together.

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