Thursday, September 17, 2009


Jessie Ni is a Chinese national. She came to Manila sometime in the year 2000 to pursue her studies at the De La Salle University. She lived in my Sis Nela's house. She is not a relative but her "Unkuh" William and Aunty Nela treated her as their own daughter. She finished her post graduate studies with a Master's degree in Special Education(SPED). After graduation, she went home to her family in China. That was the last time I saw her.

She comes once in a while to visit her foster family, the Wei family. She continues to be in touch especially with Unkuh William. She used to make the first move to say hi and exchange updates about life with them. My daughters would receive text from her, too. I never had a chance to see her personally but she always sends me her regards.

Jessie is a smart beautiful young lady who is happy by nature. Her Chinese descent can hardly be noticed. She passes easily as a "fashionista" Filipina with flawless complexion. Her Filipina looks worked to her great advantage. She never got herself into trouble during her stay in the country. She is health conscious. She knew when she had crossed the line and was afraid to look fat. I will never forget how a good cook she was. I liked her dumplings.

Despite language barrier (she could hardly express herself in English), she was a good listener and showed that she was a fast learner. Soon, she was enjoying herself learning basic words she needed in daily conversation like "Para Mama", "Sa tabi po Mama", "Bayad ko po, Mama", "Salamat po", which she used to brag when she came home after classes. I remember how she laughed when instead of saying "Bayad po Mama", she said "Para Mama". And poor Jesi alighted from the jeep because she didn't know what more to say.

She loved to go shopping on weekends. She used to be thrilled like any other student when classes were suspended. She would go out shopping with friends, with her foster family or even by herself. She was confident because she knew her way around the city. She haunted the SM, Rustan's, Harrizon Plaza and even Quiapo and Divisoria. She would come home excited to show her purchases- bangles, earrings, trinkets, clothes, bags, shoes, and almost anything a moneyed-single lady would buy.

In Filipino slang Jessie was not "plastic". She used to say she didn't like people with such bad attribute. She was lovable because she was sincere and related so well to people close to her. She is a well-bred interesting lady. Her own parents must be very proud of her. And they trusted her so much. She used to tell us that she would bring us with her to China to attend her wedding when she finally found her Mr. Right.

However, little did she knew that her Unkuh William will never become her Ninong. He died a very sudden death recently. We tried to reach Jessie but we failed to contact her through her cell phone because William's phone book yielded only phone numbers. We prayed very hard that she would make a call. And she did! When Jessie called, her Unkuh William was already interred in a cemetery. She cried bitterly and came home to Manila within five days. She arrived on the forty-first day of his death, to pay her last respect to a lost loved one. I had not seen her because I went home to the province after the 40th day family commemoration and prayer.

Before she arrived in Manila, she was able to get our email address from Aunty Nela and we chatted. Indeed she finally found her Mr. Right. It was then that we learned that she was busy those days because an engaged-to-be-married party was just thrown for her and her fiancé, a Chinese-American, based in the USA. Her fiancé and she were also working on her US visa. She called to share this happy event in her life to her foster family, not knowing what happened. Amidst that merriment, Jessie still went out of her way to show her undying love and loyalty to her Unkuh William.

We, foster families of Jessie from the Philippines, wish her all the best and congratulate her and her fiancé, Jason on their approaching Wedding Day. Best Wishes and Good Luck! Muwahhhh!

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