Kiss92 DJ Charmaine Yee’s Colombian boyfriend proposed to her twice on their holiday
Kiss92 deejay Charmaine Yee’s boyfriend proposed to her during their recent holiday in the Middle East – twice.
Colombia-born tech entrepreneur Camilo Paredes first popped the question to the local radio presenter and host when they were stuck in a rented car that broke down in Jerusalem in mid-November.
The couple had been waiting for three hours at a petrol station for the rental car company to fix the vehicle when Yee noticed that Mr Paredes was looking unusually stressed.
Yee, 35, told The Straits Times: “I thought, it’s no big deal, someone’s going to come get us eventually.”
It was then that Mr Paredes, 38, whipped out a 1.86-carat diamond ring and asked her to marry him.
“I was so taken aback. In my mind, I was like, ‘Did he plan this car breakdown?’ And I was so confused. And then he’s like, ‘So do you accept this?’ I was a bit shocked, and so I said, ‘Okay, let’s do a half yes.’ He said, ‘If you’re cool to do a half yes, I’ve got surprise number two happening soon,’” she said.
“So we decided on the half yes. I still had no idea when surprise number two would happen, but I decided to just go with the flow,” Yee recalled with a laugh.
She said Mr Paredes had intended to propose earlier at a nice Italian restaurant in Israel, but was not successful because she was “not dressed” her best. The next day on their drive to Bethlehem, he hoped for a second chance at the top of a mountain, but the right moment never came as “we were always surrounded by people”.
Yee said: “Turns out, the moment we had our alone time was when our car broke down.”
A week later, he proposed again while the couple were glamping in the futuristic-looking Martian Domes at Wadi Rum, the scenic desert site in Jordan where many Hollywood movies, such as Lawrence Of Arabia (1962) and The Martian (2015), were filmed.
Yee said: “He made his big speech and then, of course, I cried. He cried, and then I was laughing that he was crying.
“It’s not a perfect proposal, but that’s the beauty of it. If it went super well, I don’t think we’d be laughing about this for days. It’s a great memory.”
She met Mr Paredes, co-founder and chief executive of B2B (business-to-business) food delivery start-up CaterSpot, through dating app Bumble in mid-2021. He has lived in Singapore for seven years.
It was her first time using a dating app and both had been single for about a year.
Their first date was at the porch at her parents’ house, where she was living then. The pair connected immediately, and ended up chatting for seven hours straight. Because Yee used a pseudonym on her Bumble profile, Mr Paredes learnt only later that she was a deejay on SPH radio station Kiss92.
The chemistry between them was so strong that by the third date, they were already talking about settling down.
“For us, quite a few things check out in terms of where we are in our careers, where we are financially, where we are in terms of our headspace, what we want in a relationship. We were both ready to settle down, and a lot of our values are also aligned,” Yee said, adding that she moved in with Mr Paredes two months after their first date.
They also get along well with each other’s families. In late 2021, they spent a month in Colombia with Mr Paredes’ family there. He also has a younger sister who lives in Singapore and works in CaterSpot.
Yee regularly texts Mr Paredes’ mother in Spanish, with help from Google Translate. Before proposing, Mr Paredes met Yee’s parents to seek their permission.
The couple plan to get married in 2023 and celebrate with wedding parties in Singapore and Colombia. They also hope to start a family and raise children in Singapore, but it will not be without challenges.
When Yee was 25, she underwent emergency surgery to remove her left fallopian tube and ovary due to a 10cm ovarian dermoid cyst which had undergone torsion (twisting), resulting in a loss of blood flow to that ovary.
To increase her chances of having children, she recently started her egg-freezing journey at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Mr Paredes was very supportive, and personally administered the required daily injections at home. Yee said the experience has strengthened the bond between them. “I think that made us closer, for sure.”
Her gynaecologist has also advised the couple to try to conceive naturally.
“We’ve always loved children,” said Yee, who adds that there are no grandchildren yet on both sides of the family. “I’ve always liked the idea of raising good human beings in the world.”