EXACTLY 14 years ago today, Patricia Bermudez made former PBA star Vince Hizon 'the happiest man on earth.'
The historic Araneta Coliseum has hosted a number of epic moments, from the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight to the epic Crispa-Toyota wars. But on the fateful day of June 8, 2003, the Big Dome stood witness to the boldest and most memorable proposal in a PBA game.
On the 14th-year anniversary of Vince’s proposal to a then courtside reporter for the PBA's television coverage, Patricia, now the head of Sports5, TV5's sports arm, gave SPIN.ph a blow-by-blow account of the moment when her 'Prince' popped the question.
“I was about to do the report but they made me go to the other side of the court instead of the spot where I am kapag nagre-report ako, so I thought that was different,” Patricia shared.
Still clueless on what was about to happen next, Patricia, the consummate pro that she is, just followed the instructions and delivered her report.
“Then suddenly I heard his voice and I was trying to complete my sentence and I looked behind me tapos siya na, tapos naririnig ko siya nagsasalita but it wasn’t registering,” she said.
When she finally got wind of what was happening, Pat started crying, or more like sobbing.
Paolo Trillo, then a sportscaster and now the team manager of Meralco, along with veteran sports anchor Sev Sarmenta and then PTV director for PBA Frintz Infante, led her to center court where Vince stood already holding a ring.
Problem was, Patricia was unable to move on wobbly knees.
“Tapos si Paolo Trillo came up to me and said, 'Come to the center (of the court)' and ayaw kong galawin niya ako kung asan ako kasi hindi ko alam kung masusuportahan ako ng tuhod ko!” she said.
“‘Yung hagulgol ko, pangit na hagulgol, hindi man lang ‘yung beauty queen type na iyak, tapos ‘yung camera nakatutok sa mukha ako,” she added laughing.
“It was really slow of me, I didn’t know what was happening to me at that time. It was just so surreal,” she continued.
While the crowd at the Big Dome cheered as if it had just witnessed a championship-clinching basket, Patricia was still speechless.
“Then naririnig ko ang boses ni Sev Sarmenta, the people here in Araneta, they were screaming, they were stomping their feet,” she recalled.
“Hindi ko alam kung na-pressure ako when Vince asked me again, “Would you make me the happiest man in the world and be Mrs. Hizon?” she added.
“Syempre nag-yes naman ang lola mo with a cry and everything and matching hagulgol,” she continued.
Fast forward to 2017 and Patricia revealed another detail of that 2003 moment: She wasn't exactly feeling well at all.
“But honestly, aside from the shock, I really wanted to throw up,” she bared. “Parang talagang nasusuka ako na umikot talaga ang tyan ko. Ha! Ha! Ha!”
Still, Patricia, now a mother of two beautiful boys Vincent and Paul, wouldn’t want it any other way.
That Vince was bold enough to put everything on the line, at the risk of being rebuffed before thousands of fans at the Big Dome and many more watching on television, made Patricia realize how blessed she was to have such a guy for a partner for life.
“You know what else I admire on that moment was Vince putting himself on the line, his whole reputation, his whole being on the line, and I thought that was very courageous and that was very moving,” she said of the former Ginebra star.
“So kapag sinasabi nilang, ‘Ang haba naman ng hair mo,’ I thank the Lord because I can’t imagine my life without that moment when he proposed to me,” she added. “It was the beginning of our relationship, our love and our journey.”
To that we say, amen.