Q: How did you meet, and what were your first impressions of each other?
A: We met on Facebook… But there’s a little back story to why Alex decided to add me as a friend in the first place.
Before I left to do a service mission for my church in Missouri, I was asked to submit a photo for a news article about how I was preparing to go.
When that article was published, Alex was doing his service mission in the Philippines.
He saw my photo in the article and I guess I stood out because I was Filipino and lived in Ontario.
Just under two years later, we both had returned home (me to Toronto, him to Cambridge) from serving our missions.
I came home November 17, 2014. He came home December 17, 2014.
Alex searched me up because he remembered me from the news article.
At first, he didn’t want to do anything because from my old profile pictures it looked like I was engaged (LOL).
But then he ended up talking to a mutual friend. She confirmed that I was single and encouraged him to add me.
I got his friend request. I knew of his family, but had never met him personally.
I saw that he had just returned from his mission as well. I was really needing a friend I could talk to about post-mission life. So I accepted his friend request and we chatted for a bit!
We met in person at a Filipino Christmas party a few days later.
I guess his first impression of me was crazy because I was dancing with a group of girls at the party. He did not want to approach me, hahaha.
When I first saw him, I think my heart stopped because I thought he was the most handsome guy I’ve ever seen!
Q: What made you two connect so well in the beginning?
A: I think we connected really well because we both had just come home from our missions.
Post-mission life is a little stressful (at least it was for me) and it was really nice to be able to talk about our missions with someone who understood them.
Q: How did you end up becoming more than friends?
A: Before Alex, I had only dated one other person. I dated this person before my mission and leaving him and figuring out our relationship was really tough.
I said an endless amount of prayers asking if this was the guy I was going to marry.
No matter how badly I wanted the answer to be “yes”, I never felt anything that gave me peace about it.
For two years, I prayed and asked…and nothing.
When I got home from my mission, I thought I was ready to date, but being around guys really weirded me out so I barely tried.
When Alex and I started chatting on Facebook I knew he was going to be the guy I would marry.
He didn’t say or do anything that won me over, but the moment we started talking, I just got this feeling that he would be my future husband. It REALLY freaked me out.
I literally went from praying over and over about one guy and not getting an answer from God, to speaking to another guy and having that answer known overwhelmingly fast.
Alex and I went on one date, then went to a conference in Montreal a week later. Throughout the conference, he seemed to be treating me like his girlfriend.
I wasn’t sure what was happening because I knew he was also talking to other girls.
On the evening of the second day of the conference, I sat Alex down and asked him, “what exactly is this? Are we just going on dates or are we starting a relationship?”
I was asking with an open mind. I just wanted to set expectations and boundaries and didn’t want there to be confusion for either of us.
Alex then said, “Well, I see a lot of qualities in you that I want in a future spouse, so I’d like to see where this goes.” I was surprisingly not weirded out by that answer.
That’s how we became more than friends.
A couple of weeks of knowing each other, we already knew we were most likely going to marry each other.
Q: Who said “I love you” first?
A: “Alex did! He made a video for me on Valentine’s Day and in it he said “mahal kita”, which means “I love you” in Tagalog.”
Q: How did you get engaged?
A: Oh gosh, this is going to sound so lame, haha! After dating for a month, Alex told me that if things continue to go the way they are going, he can see us getting married next summer.
Alex and I started discussing marriage more and more. We talked about getting married August 2016 (which was over a year away).
But in April, we were both listening to a worldwide conference hosted by our church. One of the speakers said, “Over time you will come to see that you have made the best choice you could possibly have made. Your courageous decision to believe will bless you immeasurably and forever.”
That really struck me. When those words were said, I thought about how serving my mission was a courageous decision—that I had to put my whole life on pause, including school and a relationship—and that no matter how some days were so hard and I felt unsure why I decided to serve, in turned out to be the best experience of my life.
Right after that thought, another thought followed: “Start preparing for marriage.” I didn’t quite understand what God meant by that because we were already doing that???
When I talked to Alex after the conference, he told me he was talking to his parents and they made the suggestion for us to get married this August instead of August 2016.
I was really taken aback and it freaked me out to be getting married in 4 months when we had only known each other for 4.
However, the more Alex and I talked about it and prayed about it, the more right it felt.
With our time cut short, the engagement was literally just me telling Alex the only available weekend I had for him to propose to me at the grounds of the temple we were going to be married at, hahaha!
It was literally, “Ok, so I’m going to be volunteering at this youth event on April 25, which will be in the building next to the temple. So you’ll propose then.” Hahaha. Oh gosh.
So that’s how it happened. I stepped out of the event during the dinner break, Alex and I met up and walked around the grounds. Then he got down on one knee to propose and make it official!
March 31, 2023