A Tawag ng Tanghalan contestant had back-to-back reasons to celebrate on Monday, winning not just the daily round but the sweet “yes” of his girlfriend and now-fiancée.
The hopeful from Davao City, Ralph Angelo Merced, was being interviewed by the hosts, including Vice Ganda, when he mentioned having a girlfriend. Noreen, Merced’s partner of one year and five months, happened to be in the audience.
After briefly interviewing Noreen, Vice Ganda asked her to join them on stage. Unknown to her, Merced had asked the staff of “It’s Showtime” to help him carry out his wedding proposal.
“Ano ang gusto mo sabihin sa kaniya?” Vice Ganda asked Merced, prompting to go ahead with the plan.
As the lights dimmed, with romantic music in the background, Merced professed his love to Noreen, crediting her for changing his life.
“Gusto ko sabihin sa buong mundo kung gaano kita kamahal. Kahit ano’ng mangyari, ikaw at ikaw pa rin ang pipiliin ko araw-araw. Ikaw lang,” he said.
“Ito na ‘yung chance siguro na na yayain ka,” he went on, to the visible shock of Noreen, and cheers from the audience.
At that point, Noreen was in tears, realizing that her boyfriend was indeed set to propose marriage.
Merced told her: “Alam mo naman na mahal na mahal kita. Ayoko mawala ka sa buhay ko. Ikaw ‘yung bumuo sa akin noong walang-wala ako, noong wasak na wasak ako. Binago mo ang buhay ko.”
Getting down on one knee, Merced popped the big question, “Will you marry me?”
“Yes!” a tearful Noreen answered.
Noreen, who long been wearing a ring to signify being single, agreed to have Merced replace it with their engagement ring. “Hindi ko ini-expect na mangyayari ‘to, as in!” she said.
Being a newly engaged man was just the first reason for Merced to celebrate, as later in the live episode, he was also declared the daily winner of Tawag ng Tanghalan.
He will have a chance to steal the “golden mikropono” from the defending champion on Tuesday, taking the stage for the first time as a future husband.