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by Patricia Bermudez-Hizon

It was an ordinary Sunday. Nothing hinted that it would be anything more than that. I was assigned to cover the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) game at the Araneta Coliseum, as was my usual Sunday stint. I had my hair cut that day, but it was just a trim. I had lunch with my then boyfriend of nine months earlier that day and even though spending time with him was always special, nothing gave him and his plans away. It was an easy Sunday.

When I got to work, the production team was their usual busy selves. Someone complimented me on my necklace and asked if it was my good luck charm. It wasn’t. I went back to preparing for the coverage. I asked our producer if she was able to find a copy of “Dilemma” by Nelly because she had called me a few nights before asking about “our” song. She said she was putting together a compilation for her beau so she needed inputs. I went back to preparing for the coverage.

Hard at work during the first half of the game, giving reports, insights, invading the teams’ huddles, I was able to sneak back in the dugout because I knew he’d be there, getting ready to play the next game. He looked excited, and understandably so since his Red Bull team was to go up against his old team, Ginebra.

By halftime, my floor director asked me to go to the far end of the court instead of standing near the side of the dugout. They said they wanted to get a different angle and use the scoreboard as the background. I was excited to try something new.

I kept looking back to again see the score as I rehearsed what I was to say on-cam in my head, but the she practically scolded me, saying they needed to measure the light so I had to always face the camera. I’m sure I made faces to make the people in the OB Van laugh.

“Stand by…” I was told. Then, I was on cam delivering my half time break spiel. They tasked me to ask a poll question and I even used my boyfriend as an example, and I had this smirk on my face, feeling giddy like a high school girl inside.

In mid sentence though, I heard something being announced in the coliseum…and it sounded familiar. I heard his voice. But I kept talking and going on with my spiel. Then I managed to look behind me to see what was going on. What I saw was a life altering moment.

“What???” Then a loud thud. I dropped the microphone on the wooden floor and covered my face. It was happening in slow motion, it was even getting hazy. My mind went blank. My stomach was going ballistic. I seriously thought I was going to pass out. “Dilemma” was playing!

“Will you make me the happiest man in the world and be Mrs. Vince Hizon?” he asked. With a microphone connected to the coliseum and tv system in one hand and a bouquet of flowers on the other, wearing his red t-shirt, his black shorts, and a big smile, Vince was walking towards me asking me to be his wife. I could not believe it. Not that I couldn’t believe that he wanted to share the rest of his life with me. I just couldn’t believe that he was asking me in that manner, in front of all those people, and on live television.

I heard screams from the stands and loud thumping on the floor, but it was drowned out by me screaming inside and my heart pounding heavily, ready to burst. Sev Sarmenta came on the microphone and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, Vince Hizon has just proposed to our colleague, Patricia Bermudez!” That made it all the more surreal. As Paolo Trillo and Direk Fritz Ynfante made me walk to center court, to which I remember saying no to because I was afraid my knees would fail me and part of me was convinced it was just a dream.

“Ano dapat ang sagot?” Sev asked the fans who were extremely elated and on edge like it was the dying seconds of a game 7 finals and everyone was there to see it, including the entire coverage team from Jannelle So, Lala Roque, TJ Manotoc who was crying on Vitto Lazatin’s shoulder, to Coach Leo Isaac, Coach Norman Black, and so many others. Amidst the commotion , there I was, in tears, like someone dear died. It wasn’t very pretty. It wasn’t very easy.

“What’s your answer?” Vince asked me again as he put the microphone to my face. All I could say was, “Are you serious?” I pushed the microphone away. I really didn’t know what my answer was going to be. We had never really talked about marriage. We had only been dating for nine months.

Sev made another comment about Vince’s outfit and that he was dead serious. Vince got down on his knees and asked, “Will you be Mrs. Vince Hizon?” I took a deep breath, and said what was in my heart. “Yes! “Vince Hizon, three points!” When Sev announced that, I was in Vince’s arms. And that was the beginning of our forever.

From hugging each other for what seemed like a lifetime, we took our first steps. But I had to ask him again if he was serious. Never thought anyone would ever love me that much.

No day was ever ordinary from then on.