Actress Yam Concepcion and her fiancé Miguel Cuunjieng have finally opened up about their engagement, which happened during their visit to Niseko, Japan in December 2018, just before the New Year.
The couple of more than six years spoke at length about their engagement story in a two-part vlog uploaded on Yam's YouTube channel.
“So, trying to plan this engagement trip. I asked you, other than the timing, where would you want to go? And you first said Iceland, so we were thinking Iceland. ... But timing became an issue, and because of the timing, we didn’t want to go to Iceland in the middle of winter when everything was frozen," Miguel began.
"So, it seemed like... [you said], 'You know what? I’m not going to be free this year. Let’s just have time over the holidays. Let’s go somewhere over the New Year.' [I said], ‘Okay, well where would you want to go?’ You said, ‘Maybe Japan?’ … And that’s when the stars aligned because my plan the whole time was to ideally have my wish granted by the gods and to fold a thousand paper cranes," he said.
Yam's fiancé was referring to the age-old Japanese belief that anyone who makes 1,000 origami cranes will see their wish come true.
"So, when you said Japan, it’s like, okay, we’re on the right track," he continued. "So, we started planning a Japan trip, and all the while there was a process of folding cranes that was ongoing after I got permission from your family."
According to Miguel, once they arrived in Japan, the plan was to go to the Hilton Niseko Village, where he had set up the proposal.
“The excuse was they had a great viewing deck for fireworks for New Year’s. I was freaking out [because we missed our shuttle]. … And the whole time, I got my phone out. You know, you’re like, ‘What are you doing on your phone?’ But I was actually texting, e-mailing the photographer. I basically told the photographer, ‘Hey, we missed our shuttle. I don’t know how, but we’re going to get there,'" he narrated.
The couple revealed that they ended up hitchhiking just to get to Hilton before midnight.
“There’s this woman who was just sitting by a car, not doing anything. She did not really speak English, very broken English, but I think she just understood the words ‘help’ and ‘proposal,’" recalled Miguel. "So, we get in the car, we drive down a short drive to Hilton, and we get there and it’s 11:49 p.m.
"So, we got out and you walked straight to the direction of the lobby. So I directed you down a very sketchy-looking path. And you’re like, ‘Miguel, where are you taking me?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, no. It’s just going to be a short walk here, but you should check this lookout.'"
He then handed Yam a scrapbook he made especially for the proposal, which contained photos of their family and friends each folding and holding out paper cranes.
“You were flipping through that book as we were walking down the path. You were like, what’s this book? Why are you explaining what a 1,000 paper cranes means? Why are there photos of everybody that I know holding cranes, folding cranes? And, you’re like, I’m actually kind of having a hard time seeing this. It’s pretty dark. That’s when thankfully, we saw a light up ahead. So I said, ‘Oh, why don’t we just walk over to the light?’ ‘Wait, the cranes in this book, are those the same cranes? Are these those cranes?’ And the way we had set things up is underneath this beautiful tree. There was a cleared area of snow at the base of this tree, and around the branches, kind of in a veil, were the 1,000 paper cranes that were folded by our friends and family," Miguel said.
“And you got to the last page of the book. You were doing your kind of 180 looking at the cranes. While your back was turned… I got down on one knee. You turned around, and I was already on one knee, and I said, ‘My dad said that sometimes it’s the right person that chooses you, and that’s how I’ve always felt about us.’ And then I asked you to marry me. And you say, ‘Are you serious? Yes, of course!'" he shared.
“Then out of nowhere, we hear some fireworks. We realize that it’s midnight, and so we made it just in time for 2018 and it was a big year," he added.
It was just last week when Yam announced her engagement to her longtime boyfriend.
Asked what made her decide to keep their engagement a secret, the Init Sa Magdamag’ actress said: “Miguel proposed to me in 2018, and at that time, I was still taping for ‘Halik’ and my management said that they had projects lined up for me and stuff. So I was just really, you know, in career mode. Of course, having a supportive partner like Miguel, he made it easy for me. He didn’t pressure me to get married right away and honestly, he really witnessed my career journey. He knows how much I love my job and how much I really waited and worked so hard to land great projects. So, yeah, he really just gave me the freedom to decide on when I think we should go public about it and just to make it all happen for real.
“After that I did ‘Love Thy Woman’ and the pandemic happened. Luckily, ‘Init Sa Magdamag’ still pushed through, and it’s still airing right now," she continued. "And at this point in my life, I realized to prioritize our relationship and, you know, he waited two years, and has only been very supportive and understanding of my work, my career, my individual growth. Up to this day, he still is and I feel like that will never change."
Finally, she said: “Finally no LDR (long distance relationship) and, grabe, six years of LDR is no joke and we’ve gone through so much and I’m so happy that we are finally here. We made it through and we are engaged!”