Beauty queen turned reporter, Athena Imperial, takes yet another turn.
This time, a turn that leads to her forever.
Read about this beautiful wedding proposal that happened at CaliBurger.

Ben Rodriguez puts on a smile as a sign of courage and hope. Behind it, are feelings flooding his entire system. Anxiety, fear, stress, frustration, uncertainty.

But as they say, feel the feeling and keep on moving.

And so it was at 5pm on that fateful day at CaliBurger, Timog Avenue, Quezon City branch, Ben and his volunteer production team conducted technical rehearsals, adjusted to the changes, and lifted everything else to God.

The cameras were set-up. The technical equipment were tested.

Right beside Caliburger was Starbucks. Friends started arriving and they gathered on the second floor of Starbucks to wait for the signal for them to go inside CaliBurger.

Ben stayed on the second floor of CaliBurger which was actually reserved for Elite Toastmasters Club’s meeting. They were kind enough to allow Ben to hide in their meeting.

Past 7pm, GMA News anchors and reporters (friends and colleagues of Athena) arrived. Mariz Umali, Raffy Tima and Sandra Aguinaldo.

Two of the volunteers pretended to be students who scheduled this interview for Mariz, Raffy, Sandra and Athena.

Around 8pm, Athena arrived and was told that it was her turn to be interviewed. So far, everything seemed legit, since Athena saw her colleagues present and she believed they were interviewed.

After she was asked five questions, the “student” asked her to watch a video on their laptop. She was surprised to see that it was about her career winning national and international beauty competitions in the past, and her present job as reporter and anchor.

And then, something appeared on the video wall of CaliBurger. It was a montage of Athena and Ben. She knew it was happening, she’s been waiting for this for so long, and yet, everything seemed surreal. She was disoriented.

She knew this was it. She was already convinced that Ben’s behind it. But since way back, she told herself that she’s ready for this and she won’t cry. Really now!?

Seeing their pictures together stirred her strongly inside. She started to… you guessed right! Waterfalls.

Friends already walked inside but Athena didn’t recognize them. It was all a blur.

Tears ran down her cheeks. Emotions overtook composure.

The reveal. The man of the hour stepped outside the sliding door of the second floor and walked down the stairs to make his way towards Athena.

Athena started screaming and crying and all sorts of funny that we all couldn’t help but laugh at this point.

Ben led her to the center and delivered his speech. Down on one knee, he popped the question. “Will you marry me?”

Athena ran away for a few seconds, and walked back to the man still down on one knee and she said….. YES!

And then, as if it were a press conference, people packed the area with cameras and gadgets. Athena looked at them as if seeing them for the first time. They’ve been there for a good fifteen minutes, but time stood still for Athena and it was only Ben that she saw.

Finally, she recognized the people around her weren’t strangers, but people close to her heart. And she started screaming again. As if in a state of shock.
And from the second floor, members of Elite Toastmasters Club were clapping and cheering and shouting. Hahaha. The event disrupted their meeting big time. Thank you for your understanding.

Here are two videos right after she said yes. Listen to Ben and Athena:

Here are some group photos:

The #PleaseSayYesAthena Project was intense, emotional, entertaining and heart-warming.

Special thanks to the following:
Shelly Viguilla: Director
Serafin Gozon: AVP producer and videographer
Ekkis Jacoba: videographer
Lee Junio Gasid: TV wall operator
Student Actors:
– Brandon Medrano
– John Michael Aniel
Cameramen: Audee Villaraza, Carlo Lorenzo
Accomplices: Mariz Umali, Raffy Tima and Sandra Aguinaldo
TL Dela Pena and Richmon San Juan
Friends from: UP Broadcasting Association, UP Diliman, College of the Immaculate Conception, YFC, SFC and The Feast.

And thank you CaliBurger! Now to get a glimpse of their menu, click here.

Address: 118 Timog Avenue, Across GMA Network Center, Sacred Heart, Quezon City
Tel. No.: (02) 507-9415
Instagram and Twitter: @CaliBurgerPH
Facebook Page:
Operating Hours: 7am-10pm Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun / am-11pm Fri, Sat
Email: [email protected][email protected]

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