Consolacion, Cebu — The audience, including officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Central Visayas, thought police patrolman Rojan Caromayan collapsed after standing for over two hours under the heat of the sun.
But little did they know that the stunt was part of Caromayan’s plan to propose to his girlfriend during the recognition rites of the 482 recruits of the Philippine Public Safety College at the Regional Training Center Central Visayas (RTC-7) in Consolacion town, northern Cebu on Thursday, February 28, 2019.
Police patrolman Rojan Caromayan and his girlfriend, Christine Lechido, kiss after the proposal. CDN Digital photo | Morexette Marie B. Erram
The 27-year-old Caromayan, who is from Mabinay town in Negros Oriental, pretended to collapse to attract the attention of his girlfriend, Christine Lechido, who was among the many spectators during the ceremony on a hot Thursday morning.
The plan worked as Lechido, who is 26 years old and is from North Cotabato, came rushing to her boyfriend’s side. Caromayan’s companions in the RTC-7 followed Lechido, bringing balloons and bouquets of flowers.
When Caromayan saw her girlfriend and his friends beside him, the police trainee got up on one knee and popped the question.
“Will you marry me?” Caromayan asked Lechido, getting cheers from the audience.
Lechido, trying to fight tears, answered “yes.”
“I was really shocked when somebody told me he collapsed. But I did not expect him to actually propose, especially in front of a lot of people,” said Lechida.
“I’m really happy that he made effort on preparing all of this. He’s not the showy type of girlfriend or father that’s why I’m so surprised he pulled it off,” she added.
Caromayan, who became a company commander during his stay at the RTC-7, said he sought the help of some of his friends on coming up with the proposal.
“I choose to do it during the recognition rites to show my sincerity (on my plans to marry her), and that I truly loved her. And there’s no one else I will choose as a lifetime partner,” he said.
Caromayan and Lechido have been together for five years and have two children aged three and one.
The two met while both were staying in a boarding house in San Fernando town, southern Cebu.
“He was still working as a security guard when we first met. A month after he courted me, we lived under one roof,” said Lechida.
Their eldest son, John Chrysler, was born almost three years later.
Lechida said Caromayan pursued his dreams of becoming a law enforcer by joining the recruits to be trained at RTC-7, under the Philippine Public Safety College, in 2018.
Recruits in RTC-7 spent at least six months away from their homes, and were rarely permitted to go outside the institution.
The distance between Caromayan and his family did not stop him from planning to propose to his long-time girlfriend.
Police Brigadier General Ramon Rafael, director of the National Police Training Institute that oversees the Public Philippine Safety College, congratulated the newly engaged couple during his speech.