Couple got engaged while flying at Everest zipline

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

A MAN in love will do everything to win the woman of his dreams. Including doing extraordinary ways to propose to her.

Before, we consider it unique if proposals are made over dinner dates, where the boyfriend will ask the waiter to put the engagement ring either on a covered platter or hidden in a scoop of ice-cream with matching bouquet of flowers and a group of singers serenading them.

But a new twist of proposing happened over the weekend at the Everest Zipline in Don Salvador Benedicto owned by Everest team leader Art Valdez and his wife, former Bacolod City Mayor Joy Valdez.


Last May 17, zip line enthusiasts Arch. Abemar Gegantoni and his girl friend Rodilene May Hofilena and some friends decide to try the Everest zipline.

Abemar did not inform Rodilene that he has a plan to propose to her because he wants to surprise her.

"The plan was to distract me from the actual thought of him proposing, so they put up and made me believe of their alibis," Rodiline says.

"The fake story was that Mar was supposed to meet at a client at Don Salvador Benedicto by 8:30 in the morning. His friend, Arch. Jether Miravalles, told me that he will visit an on-going-project in Murcia and Mar's other friend Junmark de la Cruz wanted to experience the Everest Zipline. And because of that schedule, Mar asked me to tag along since the meeting will not be that long and we can ride the zipline as well with his friend. Obviously, the meeting and the site visit are just an alibi to make me preoccupied and clueless.

"On our way to DSB, we stopped over for a call of nature. I saw Mar answering a phone call (a fake call, I learned later) and he told me that his meeting was moved to 10 a.m.. So we decided to go to the Everest Zipline first before meeting with his client. We arrived at the Everest Zipline by 9 a.m.

"While waiting for the prepping and checking of the harness, the first batch of tandem Superman ride was Jether and Junmark. I am estimating that after three minutes of their takeoff, we will be prepped for our turn.

"In that three-minute leeway, after Jether and Junmark being released from the harness, they rushed to Manang Inding, a resident who agreed to get the tarpaulin they left behind three days ago as they survey the landing point of the Zipline.

"Now it's our turn. I can hear some personnel at the landing point breaking a message on the radio to delay the take off. I still didn't have any clue.

"As we take off, I just enjoyed the view, the winding road of the DSB. Mar then held my hand, I looked at him and smiled. When I looked forward, I saw Jether waving and holding a camera. I thought he is taking a picture but he is actually recording a video. I kept on smiling while waving on the camera.

"As we arrived at the stand, the personnel grabbed us and dragged us to the center of the stand. I then saw Jether going up in the stand and handing Mar a small box. I looked up further, I then saw Junmark holding a tarpaulin with words "WILL YOU MARRY ME?" Then I realized, this is not just an ordinary adventure day... THIS IS A PROPOSAL!

"I started crying after I saw the tarpaulin and Mar looking at me.
I felt my knees weaken, I couldn't stand properly from the Superman position after the personnel released me from the harness. I was crying like a baby and just laughing at the same time.

"After we went down from the stand, Mar went down on one knee and asked the most awaited question of all, he popped the question.
I obviously said YES!!!

"Funny thing, I heard the personnel at the landing point breaking over the radio, "1, 2, 1, 2, naka-propose na (he proposed already). I just laughed and said thanks to everyone who helped Mar. I experience Everest Zipline with the sweetest twist because I got engaged," Rodiline concluded.

Meanwhile, Art Valdez said he had thought of putting up the Everest Zipline as one of his passions as an adventure explorer. He was the team leader of the Everest expedition of the Philippine team that successfully reached the Mt. Everest summit.

He had built the Everest Zipline last year, which is considered the first and longest zipline in the country so far, with 1.7-kilometer span.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 22, 2014.


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