Photographer Mark Nicdao and fashion director Pam Quiñones were part of the setup.
At the recent GMA Ball, actors Bea Alonzo and Dominic Roque made their first official appearance since announcing their engagement days before. In the celebrity-packed event, there was an evident flurry when the duo arrived. Alonzo was resplendent in a cream-colored AZ Factory gown as cameras zoomed in on her diamond engagement ring.
Days before, the acclaimed Filipino actress narrated the surprise proposal: “It was a balmy afternoon in Las Casas. I was there for a shoot, but little did I know that the next thing that would happen would change our lives forever,” she says of the sunset proposal. “I have done so many proposal scenes in my entire career, but nothing beats the real thing,” she adds.
According to Vogue Philippines’ fashion director, and Alonzo’s longtime stylist via Qurator Studio, Pam Quiñones, Roque had initially intended on proposing a little later this year during one of their planned trips. But when the actress got wind of it, Roque had to adjust. “Dom immediately changed course and decided to do it immediately. And in a way, that’s most unexpected,” shares Quiñones.
The actor enlisted the help of Quiñones, photographer Mark Nicdao, and Alonzo’s road manager Nina Ferrer. July 18 had initially been booked for fittings, providing the perfect cover for Roque’s romantic plan. “Dom staged a shoot around it as a way to document the fitting, by Mark Nicdao, no less,” says Quiñones.
Quiñones suggested that since they were trying on gowns anyways, they should just shoot another set of portraits, reminiscent of the one that Nicdao had captured years ago. “They were so evocative and timeless, says Quiñones of the images. “We told Bea that we would like to do another series three years after the first one. It’s a way to capture her graceful transition and growth.”
An entire production was planned, and Roque even got his video team, Black Peak, to film it. Everyone was on board to do this “fitting and shoot,” and even going as far as organizing a creative deck that would necessitate the old-town and courtyard venue.
Ironically, it was Alonzo herself who had a hand in her own surprise, as her road manager Ferrer was adamant that it should be the actress who would come up with the idea for the location, albeit with a little nudging.
To keep up with the ruse, the glam team had made a show of brainstorming, pitching various heritage buildings and areas in Intramuros, the Walled City in Manila. This led to the actress suggesting Las Casas in Quezon City. Quiñones even feigned reluctance, sealing the deal.
During the “shoot,”the actress noted in her Instagram announcement that the photographer kept asking her to turn around. Though she found it odd, she complied, thinking it was to capture the silhouette of the gorgeous Toni Maticevski Dare gown that she had on.
When she finally turned to face them, she found Roque on his knees, holding up a small jewelry box. That it happened, according to Quiñones, in the courtyard fronting a church, was just the proverbial cherry on top.
“Everything went in slow motion. And I felt different emotions all at the same time—joy, excitement, love,” said Alonzo in her post, sharing that she was overcome with emotion that she even started to cry. “But I didn’t want that moment to end. I want this real thing to happen forever… and right then there… In front of the people we love… we decided on forever,” she says.
The pair, who started off as friends, went Instagram official in 2021. Since then, they’ve shared snippets of their romance to their fans as they traveled to places like the USA, Japan and Switzerland, and even high profile red carpets events, like the recent MEGA Ball where they were asked if about their relationship status.
Immediately, friends of the couple have congratulated them, with fellow actors like Maine Mendoza, Anne Curtis-Smith, Andrea Torres, Ellen Adarna, Sanya Lopez, and Gabbi Garcia sharing their well wishes on social media.
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