Recently, a Filipino public school teacher requested TN to publish his emotional letter to his ex-wife who has migrated to Canada and is about to marry a Canadian. And because he was persistent, TN granted his request. Nevertheless, he removed some private information to protect their children’s privacy.
His open letter is quite long, but he hopes readers can learn some important lessons about love and life.
Here it goes:
“My sweet Melissa,
First of all, thank you for the wonderful years of being married to me. Thanks also for allowing me to share our love story to the world, hoping that other couples will learn something from us. I’m sure you still remember the first day we met. I was in my first year of teaching in a private elementary school in Quezon City. I introduced myself to you when you brought your niece, Juliana on her first day of school. I must admit, your sweet smile did not strike me probably because I was too busy handling the students.
As the school days pass by, I learned from you that you’ll be taking the NLE (Nurse Licensure Examination) the following year. It was surprise to me that we instantly became friends. You told me you admire how I seem to be very dedicated to my career despite being young at 23. And I told you, it’s because I really love teaching especially young kids. You said you admire me more because of my patience in handling naughty children. It didn’t take long and we had a mutual understanding.
How can I forget October 23, 1993? That was the day you finally said “Yes” to me. That was the second happiest moment of my life, next to the day when I passed the LET (Licensure Examination for Teachers). For more than a year, we had petty quarrels but we easily reconcile. Well, it’s probably because we are deeply in love and we respect each other’s decision. Despite knowing that you plan to work abroad, I was glad to that you understood me when I told you I plan to transfer to a remote public school.
After 2 years in Dubai working as a nurse, you decided to go home after I proposed marriage to you. We got married April 1, 1997 in front of a judge. And yes, we both know that it was April Fool’s Day but we didn’t care because we are very happy. In fact, we didn’t talk much about money. Obviously, you make more money that I do. But then, we never argued about it. You accepted my chosen career ever since I told you that I was an orphan and a public school teacher adopted me.
I remember you used to call me “hero” and that you are very proud of me. And because of that, you decided to stay here and put up a small business to support the needs of our growing family. But your plans did not work out. It started during the Senate impeachment trial of then-president Joseph “Erap” Estrada in late 2000. Your flower business gradually declined and eventually closed in August 2001. You started to get worried because our twins will start going to school the following year.
That time, you start convincing me to work abroad. You said two years is enough for us to save money so you can start a new business. Despite feeling hesitant, I applied for a pre-school teacher job in Singapore and was easily hired. But at the same time, I learned that only a few teachers want to teach the poor children in Barangay Payatas after the horrible dump site tragedy in July 2000. I told you I do not have the heart teaching children in Singapore while poor children in our country have few teachers.
That was the first time we argue about money. I kept on explaining to you that we can still survive working here in the Philippines instead of being an OFW. I tried to convince you that the dirty politics and corruption should not stop us from believing in our own capabilities. But apparently, you seem to have lost trust and I don’t blame you. You decided to leave the house and brought Myla and Mylene with you. You moved to your parents, and after a year, you went to Canada and worked as a caregiver.
Thanks to your parents, they allowed me to visit our angels regularly. If only I knew that those happy times will not last long, I should have spent more time with them. In 2007, you applied for Canadian citizenship, and asked me to choose which of the twins you want to stay with me. You said you’ve already talked to them and they cried. You know how much I love them, and I don’t want any of them to be away from me. But because I don’t want them to grow up separate from each other, I allowed you take them both.
To prevent myself from being insane, I dedicate all my time with my students and didn’t notice that time flies so fast. Thanks to Facebook and Skype, I can now easily talk to our two wonderful twins. And after more than 5 years of not communicating with me, we talked for hours. Your sweet smile is still the same, although I can still see that strong personality in you. I’m so happy that you’re still proud of me when I refused to be an OFW and continue being a public school teacher instead.
You said that I’m really a true hero, but I told you you’re the hero of our twins. Had you not decided to work abroad, I don’t know what kind of future I can give to them. I told you I’m sorry for not being the good provider that you expect me to be. You did not respond, but the tears in your eyes tell me you have already forgiven me, and I thank you for that. I know you tried your best to be a good wife. You’ve sacrificed a lot when we were together, and it’s not your fault if you have reached your threshold limit.
By the way, I hope you remember Jeffrey, the closest classmate of Juliana from elementary to high school. Well, he was recently promoted to supervisor and bought a second hand car. He admitted he had a constant communication with her even after she followed you in Canada. Guess what? As you read this email, he’s driving me to NAIA to fetch Juliana and our twins. Thanks for allowing them to spend Christmas and New Year with me. I’m sure they’re excited to watch the sunset just like when they were kids.
With much love and respect,
PS. It’s been more than 2 years since our legal separation has been finalized. You deserve to be happy, and I know Bob will take care of you and our twins. As for me, I’m still happily married with my chosen career.”
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