Jessica, I started to know her as LESBIAN living in an orphanage we call LINGAP CENTER IN CSWD (City Social Welfare and Development Office) Butuan City , Philippines. She looked like a guy, I continued observing her when I was assigned to the CSWD office , in the PWD (Person with Disabilities) division last July, 2012. My first meeting with her, she was running errands in the office, Mam Alesa instructed her to load 100php on her globe number. Jessica had left at 9am and until 2pm came no load received by Mam Esther. Another child was then asked to find Jessica, coz they’re doubting that Jessica divert the money, until it turns out that the LOADER STATION had a mistake of the number loaded. From this observation , I start to observe Jessica from the office. Until one day Mam Fairly approached me and said, if I like, Jessica can share a home with me. I had a mixed emotion that time because handling like this is not that easy, but when Mam Fairly talked to me, I just don’t know. My heart wanted to help this girl Jessica. Even though I have 4 children but all boys, I decided to take care of Jessica as my little girl. So, I agreed to share a home at least for 6 months. Mam Fairly trusts me a lot, even if I don’t have that much money to give Jessica for all her needs, but to give her and let her understand about family and her life to live good. Now, when everybody knows about this, one social worker talked to me and informed me that Jessica is: STEALING, WILD, VERY UNSOCIAL, DONT EAT ORDINARY FOOD , KEEPS COMPLAINING, ALWAYS GOING OUT, and NO IDENTITY. Where she came from MIGHT BE SICKLY and my children might be harmed. As I listened, I wanted to give up, but when I saw Jessica I felt pity on her instead of listening to negative comments about Jessica’s story, I talked to Jessica about all this why all this happen and she openly tell me what she wanted. I am touched because SHE WANTED TO FINISH SCHOOL TO FIND HER FAMILY. I really don’t know what to do, because my financial condition is not that stable for her to extend a help for school, until God give blessing …I MET GARY AND LYN HAWKINS, I share to them Jessica ‘s story and they help me to find a solution for Jessica, and now Jessica is enrolled in a standard school(private) STARLAND INTERNATIONAL INC. Here in Butuan City, Philippines. Do you want to know why I’M able to choose private school? Very expensive one ! It’s because I do believe that God will provide the best thing for JESSICA, and besides she is intelligent! At first I am thinking, if I enrolled Jessica in a public school were 1 teacher is to 60 students in one room what would I expect for Jessica? She was so BROKEN and needs much ATTENTION, with no FEAR ! I enrolled her in a prestigious school and told her story to the School administration Name Jan Delina. I said Jessica will represent an example for all the street children and orphanage for her SUCCESS STORY with the help of STARLAND INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL., and this makes Mam Jan discount Jessica’s tuition 50% off. Instead of paying much for the whole year its only P20,000 pesos ($500) and we will be able to complete her things permitted to pay it soon the balance, like her uniform, books, miscellaneous. What is important that Jessica will start schooling as GRADE 3 (a 14 year old girl) plus consider that the requirement will be provided later like Jessica’s Birth Certificate and Report Card from Grade 1 and 2. I am secretly sad thinking to solve Jessica’s birth certificate problem because she is totally a STRANGER and we don’t know where she came from. She was just seen in the street near a garbage can of a certain concerned citizen at around the age of one. Until 3 year old she was indorsed to LINGAP CENTER. During her childhood many places she experienced because many wanted to foster Jessica, she came from Dumaguete , around Butuan City with different foster parents with her and she was influenced with a surrounding of lesbians and she get back again to Lingap Center because of her WORST attitude. BUT, IN MY CUSTODY! GOD IS GOOD! ALL THE TIME… Jessica feels love and importance..(you can interview her, this statement from her) I share a tear because she express to me and thank me taking care of her, she do good and not lazy anymore. All those negative on her past never happen anymore as she’s with me. She start to keep her hair long influenced by me with very girly looks and wanted to copy me. Hahaha. I am so happy after she declared this for her life. She was baptized with Gary and Lyn witnessing this Baptism of Jessica in Buenavista beach also with Kuya Molong. We have a great time together. She’s responsible, I teach her how to cook “PINIRITONG ISDA” fried fish, coz she’s afraid of the oil to touch her skin, always the fish is overcook! Ohhh not yummy… I keep her trying and trying until she knows how to fry the fish , at first she over cooked the rice. I wanted to retreat because my money was wasted but the lord tells me, worry for the living things not for the non living things. I am able to survive these emotions. Many things I encountered as Jessica’s negative attitude turned into a positive one. We had time together and our relationship as mother and child grow. Until one day were apart because I was accused of illegal keeping her with me. I needed to have all those requirement of the DSWD before I’m able to let Jessica stay with me. Now, Jessica has returned to Lingap Center, the first week of getting back this all happen; SHE CUT HER LONG HAIR, WILD IN THE CENTER KEEP QUARRELING WITH THE OTHER CHILDREN, GO BACK ON HER OLD SELF. I visited her after the Worker informed me of all this and talked to Jessica, she really got angry with me. She don’t want to go to school anymore, I talked to her about all the things why this happened. Thank God she understood and is waiting after all those requirements, SHE WILL GET BACK TO ME, now I keep monitoring all she needs, she will visit me at home for her assignments and all she needs in school. This time I am busy complying all those requirements for DSWD , and birth certificate of Jessica. I am in need of support on her school. I trust the lord that Jessica will be blessed to finish her school. For she said repeatedly: I WILL FINISH SCHOOL TO FIND MY FAMILY. I don’t want her to be disappointed on her dream. She likes to be an ARTCHITECH and said to me, ate I will build a house for you. (ohh so touch when she told me this) , 2nd I will help those kids in the Lingap and on the street. This girl really has the heart to serve her GOD. That’s why I’m able to contact kuya Gary Hawkins and Lyn . How would I address all this need for Jessica ‘s SUCCESS STORY?
“ WORRYING DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING, BUT TRUSTING THE LORD CHANGES EVERYTHING. WHEN WE PUT OUR CARE IN GODS HANDS. HE PUTS HIS PEACE IN OUR HEARTS”
( everybody can interview Jessica for all her testimonies… UNTIL the next episode! ) here the picture before and after… see attached.
Written : MARNILLE ZOILO-GABAGAT
Jessica and other names in this story have been changed and he photos distorted to protect identities.