Young Star

May I have this dance?: A series of promposals

Mariah Reodica - The Philippine Star

What if he or she says no?

Don’t settle for less, and ask who you really want to ask! Of course it’s a risk, but think of it this way: you’ll never know until you try.

MANILA, Philippines - Ah, prom. Simultaneously loved and hated, awaited and dreaded. It’s talked about for months before it takes place, and things like what to wear or how the night will go are planned months beforehand. Prom night is the stuff of teenage flicks like High School Musical and Ten Things I Hate About You, where magic is in the air, people slow dance to the right songs, the school geek becomes the prom queen, etc. It’s a landmark of high school life, supposedly.

Despite that, the term “prom date” is capable of striking fear into the hearts of many high schoolers. During prom season, the peer pressure to make a promposal is dumped on the already heavy burden of navigating adolescence, with all its hormones and angst. Some teenagers may deal with it by crossing their arms, smirking, and calling prom overrated, but it doesn’t stop hopeless romantics from going all-out on promposals. The experience goes different ways for everyone. Take it from these people of different ages and schools to tell it like it is:

1. The serenade

“I had a massive crush on this guy who played in a band. He invited me to one of his gigs, and during his band’s set, he called me onstage and asked me to prom in front of the crowd. It was embarrassing and sweet at the same time.” — Claire, 24

2. The Bard

“I had this English prof na yung typical na matanda na walang kalokohan sa katawan, but then one day he had one of our classmates read a love poem and then a guy from another class went in and asked her to prom. It turns out he had planned it out with the prof!” — Miguel, 26                        

3. The laws of motion

“I pretended I needed Physics help, so I borrowed my best friend’s laptop to view slides, and I secretly wrote a computer program with it that said ‘Will you go to prom with me?’ Answering ‘no’ would bring him to an infinite loop. I guess you could call that persistence, because it worked.” — Trixie, 21     

4. The class crush

“During our homeroom period, our class president was discussing some class matters. He pulled down the projector screen, and it had a big poster saying ‘Go to prom with me?’ on it. My ears are still ringing from hearing all the girls in the class shriek at the same time.” — Paolo, 18                                

5. The grand gesture

“My date and I were both from exclusive private schools who had an interaction which was organized by teachers. There was this really boring talk called ‘Boys and girls can be friends’, and I went onstage while it was midway through and asked him to prom in front of all his batchmates and mine.” — Asami, 22

6. The other (sort of) grand gesture

“Have you heard about that guy who twerked in gold spandex shorts with ‘PROM’ written on his ass? Look it up on YouTube! I didn’t do my promposal that way, though. I just had a sign saying ‘PROM?’ because I didn’t know what to do.”— Keith, 19

7. The modest proposal

“I hung out with my date at the mall. I had knots in my stomach the whole time because I didn’t know whether I should ask him because we weren’t close. Before we said bye, I blurted out ‘Will you go to prom with me?’ Now that I think about it, I wish I had asked in a more creative way.” — Stel, 19

8. The pride flag

“I asked my girlfriend to prom by making her a mix with ‘Prom with me?’ written on the album sleeve. We weren’t officially dates because our school didn’t allow girls to take other girls, but it didn’t stop us because we said we went stag anyway.”

— Sara, 21

9. The set-up

“I was set-up with a friend of a friend, but I still wanted to do something for him, so I recorded a silly video of myself asking him to go to prom with me. I sent it to him and he replied with a video of himself jumping around his room saying, ‘Yes!’”             

— Janine, 17

10. The stag

“Prom wasn’t a big deal. I went stag and ended up eating pizza with my friends on a balcony until the early morning after prom. I hated high school. On the upside, my suit looked great.” — Mark, 23                                                                     

11. Unlabeled

“Promposals are weird. They sort of define what you two are and it puts a lot of pressure on things. I don’t like labels. Maybe I’m just overthinking. Ayoko rin ng arte, so I just asked him flat-out.” — May, 18                                                       

12. The teenage film

“My school is co-ed, so we didn’t really have to ask people to be our prom dates beforehand. We were MU’s—yuck, what a high school term—so I went up and simply asked her to dance with me. Okay, it wasn’t simple because my heart was racing and my palms were sweaty, but she didn’t seem to notice. The agony of hesitating and waiting felt like forever, but she might not have become my girlfriend a few months after if I hadn’t tried.” — James, 27                                                            

Yes, the act of making a promposal can be daunting and frustrating, but it’s definitely more exciting than asking someone out over text the way it’s usually done in adulthood. The promposal is a chance to do crazy stunts or make grand, romantic gestures which can be thrilling and rewarding for hopeless romantics, wallflowers, and cynics alike. The truth is that prom doesn’t have to be the way it is in movies for it to be something to remember, but it only happens once, so it’s best to make it count.










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