My Harry Potter Engagement ⌁☍

Thursday, January 3, 2019

December 28, 2018
Purple Owl, Tagaytay City
No, I didn't have any idea.
Yes, I was surprised up to my very core.
My inner goddess was screaming and jumping the whole time.

To start off, Rab is the reason I started to become a Potterhead. It was our second Christmas together when I decided to start my Harry Potter marathon. He was sleeping over that night. I told him I had always planned to do the marathon he said we'll do it together since he was a fan. After eight movies, I fell in love with the wizarding world. I think I actually ended up loving it more than he ever did. I was obsessed. 

With plans of tying the knot soon (we've been discussing it for a very long time), I won't deny I had pictured Rab's proposal a million times before. The Harry Potter theme crossed my mind, but I normally would shrug it off because I thought it would be too hard and probably expensive to pull it off. I imagined there would be lots of balloons, probably a few candles, etc. Rab, yet again, exceeded my expectations. He has outdone himself again.


Rab told everyone about the plan since October.

Diday, a very good singer and friend, asked me if I was willing to cover a year-end party in Tagaytay on the 28th. She even set the "client's" budget to P10,000. Regardless of the price, I agreed to do it. I charge way less, so I thought it was a blessing. I also thought it was a great coincidence since my family planned an overnight stay in Tagaytay on the 26th at my cousin's house. After learning about the proposal, they had all this act saying, "mag-two nights nalang tayo, bitin ang overnight." Little did I know, they wanted to extend to the 28th so I'd already be in Tagaytay, ready for a big surprise.

Rab, on the other hand, told me he had training for work on the 27th and 28th in Cavite. I fell for this too because he's had trainings before and they were all in Cavite. He told me his training certificates have expired and has to be renewed. Boy was I fooled.


Prior to the big event, I was asking Diday the capacity of the event given the client's budget. I knew that if there would be 30pax up, I couldn't do it alone and I'd have to get help. I helped them on this part because after reading their secret group chat, Nikki was telling Diday to tell me that there were 50-70 pax so I would get her to come. Long story short, when I woke up that day, I knew I was going to work on this event with Nikki. I was really into it. I was taking the "event" seriously.

I told Diday I'd stay at a particular Starbucks branch while waiting for them. I had my parents drop me at this Starbucks and before I went down, my mom was all, "are your cameras complete, are your batteries charged, do you have wipes, do you have money" and a lot more. She was very supportive of my event. I was calling Nikki to tell her which branch I chose, but she wasn't answering. After four unanswered calls, I dropped it and chatted Diday instead. There was also no response. I chatted Paolo, and finally someone replied. Apparently, they weren't together yet. Lol! There I was, thinking the three of them were together but no! Nikki had a driver; she went to Tagaytay with Pat and Vincent! The reason she didn't answer my calls was because they were scared I might want to talk to Diday as well. They really got me.

Paolo and Diday ate late lunch somewhere in Tagaytay, and honestly, I still didn't pick up any vibe. None. Zero. Nada. Pao even had the nerve to ask, "have your practiced your face when Rabi proposes?"I just answered casually, "No nga eh. Of all things, that's the one I haven't practiced yet." I still didn't think Rab was going to propose because again, I was really under the impression he was in Cavite for training and he'd be dead tired afterwards. I was even telling everyone, including my parents that Rab would follow to Tagaytay after our gig. Nope, I was fooled.

Over their late lunch, Diday asked if it was okay if we went to their hotel because they checked in. My world stopped for a bit because I thought, "how the hell am I gonna go home if the only car at the time was theirs, and that they're checked in!?" Had I known, I would have brought my bag with me but no. I had my parents bring it home. I was so paranoid and kept on texting Nikki in the car asking how we were gonna get home. With my "10k budget", I was willing to use Grab but unfortunately was unavailable in the region. Nikki, on the other hand, texted Diday telling her I was so worried about the ride home. When we got to the hotel, Diday said they were going home; they just checked in so she could shower and rest for a while and because the room was so cheap. I again fell for that because it sounded rational. Lol!

Thinking Diday was really going to sing at this year-end event, after shower, she was putting on her makeup. I didn't mind at all, and I didn't want to touch my 8hr makeup because I didn't have my own and I assumed we had different shades. They told me they so badly wanted to retouch my makeup but I was being stubborn about it. Their new plan was to have Diday put makeup on Nikki so I'd get jealous... and they were successful. Hahaha! I even chose the most sparkly eyeshadow shade because I'm extra like that. I was wearing a pink blouse, and so I chose the pink glittery eyeshadow. As I allowed Diday to put my makeup on, I still didn't have any idea that in the next few hours, the love of my life would go down on one knee.

Their persuasion's output


The road was steep, and there were a lot of cars parked. I was seated behind at the left side and I wouldn't be able to open the door 'cause I would hit the parked car.

It was raining. Upon parking...

Diday: Mauna na muna kami ni Pao bumaba, kausapin lang namin yung organizer.
Nikki & Me: Sure.

Diday comes back with Ate Arlene (staff of Purple Owl) and an umbrella. They pick up Nikki.

Diday: Tina wait lang ha, isa lang yung payong eh.

It was raining hard. It was so easy to leave me inside the car not noticing anything at all. Diday again comes back, opens the trunk and says,

Diday: Kunin ko lang dress ko. (Again, I believed her because she was the "singer" at the "event")
Me: Sure, no problem.

Ate Arlene finally comes back to get me. As I entered the venue, I noticed there were a lot of shoes by the door. My inner goddess was wondering "what type of party is this? They're all barefoot?"

Me: Ate, kailangan ko ba mag tanggal ng shoes?
Ate Arlene: Ay ma'am hindi po, sa ibang event po yan. (Si ate, alam ang isasagot.) Dito po tayo ma'am. 

Ate takes me to this huge door.

Ate Arlene: Dito po yung event ma'am.
Me: Okay po, thank you.


I opened the door, saw a candle. I closed it.
I opened the door a little more, I saw Rabi. I closed it.
I opened the door a little more, I saw Rod on the left side, and he signaled, "come in."

Photo by me

Photo by Ojela Alejo

Photo by Ojela Alejo

Photo by Ojela Alejo

Photo by Patrisha Bagalso
To be honest, I've pictured my engagement in my head a million times before but I never imagined it would be this special. The setup was perfect. It was unbelievably perfect. Goosebumps were real. Butterflies in my stomach were real. Weak knees were real. I was shaking from head to toe. I think even my hair felt it. It was magical.

I walked down the path, realizing it was Harry Potter themed. Then it all sunk in.

  • Rab never attended training
  • There was no year-end party
  • My parents knew about it that's why they kept on asking about my cameras and batteries to keep up with the act
  • Diday and Nikki wanted me to look perfect on the night my life will change
  • Funnily enough, I hated myself for cutting my bangs before leaving for Tagaytay and it was a mess
As of writing, every time I close my eyes, I can still see his smile. He was so happy, he looked really excited and nervous at the same time. He was perfect. He always has been. 
Photo by me
I am sharing everything about the proposal but his speech. We prefer to keep it to ourselves. But as I was listening to him, I knew Paolo, Diday and Nikki were somewhere out there hiding, but before Rab knelt down on one knee, all my friends suddenly appeared. I literally didn't think there would be more surprises! 

Cristina Dominguez Cembrano, will you marry me?

Screenshot from a video by Patrisha Bagalso
Well, it's obvious I SAID YES.

Then more friends started to show up and more tears started to fall. 

Missing in the photo: Kuya and Carol
"If it's a dream, don't wake me."

I'm engaged. 

"This is real. This is me. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be."

To my friends who made time to be there, who took the day off work (unpaid), who braved the traffic just to make the night more special for the both of us, thank you, from the bottom of my happy heart. 

To Nix, who went home from Dubai to witness the proposal but couldn't make it because of high fever and chills, thank you. I have no words - the fact that you took the time off work and spent a lot just to be here is more than enough for my heart to feel your love.

To Rabi's family, thank you for all the support and love.

To Rod and Ojela, who cut their vacation short just to be there, thank you.

To my parents and family who knew about it and supported Rab's plans, thank you.

To my fiancé, you amaze me. Thank you for being you. Thank you for always showing me how much you love me. Thank you for giving me the love I need and deserve. Most of all, thank you for teaching me to how to love myself so I could love you more. I always knew it was you. It has always been you.


After all this time?


  • Did you really not know/notice anything? NO.
  • Did Rabi ask permission from your parents? YES.
  • Did you expect for him to propose before the year ends? YES. This is not me assuming he would, but this is because he told me last October that he was supposed to propose last time but couldn't due to an unfortunate circumstance.
  • How did you feel when you saw the ring? To be honest, I didn't see the ring before I answered. Videos of the engagement will prove that - I was covering my face while crying. After saying yes, he stood up and put the ring on me. I wasn't looking. The first time I saw the ring was after I saw all my friends. I told him I purposely didn't look at the ring because I didn't want the ring to be the basis for my answer. A lot of people know that I love jewelry and yes, I was into diamond rings before. Rab changed that. Being his girlfriend, and wanting to be his wife someday, I told him that he didn't need to propose to me and I would still marry him. He has always been enough. But to answer the question, it is one heck of a beautiful ring. Of course I was very delighted.
  • Do you like the ring? Damn it, I love it. It was more than what I wanted. I never really thought I'd have such a beautiful ring. Whenever I feel like "it's too much, I don't deserve it etc", I would always think of what the people closest to me told me - "Let Rabi give you what he believes you deserve."
  • How did you say yes? Uhm, well I was crying so hard and I knew they were all waiting for my answer and I uttered the words, "of course I will." 
  • Why weren't both parents present? They both wanted to be there so bad but they had prior engagements on that day. My parents called immediately after the whole "event", laughing about their acting and all. The next day, Rab's parents congratulated us and gave a lot of marriage advices and shared the love.
  • How does it feel to be engaged? Feels really special. It's different. Yes, after all the glam, after all the surprises, people would think things will go back to normal. Just the fact that I can call him my fiance, he can call me his, and legitimately share to the world that we're getting hitched is very different. Also, it makes me feel like I now have more duties to fulfill. In conclusion, it's very breathtaking.

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