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After more than 60 years, long-lost twin sisters have finally reunited with the help of popular magazine show “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” (KMJS).
The twins, both named Nelia, were separated when they were very young. Because their mother had a hard time differentiating them, the midwife put a mark on them.
The elder Nelia, or Nelia Panganay, had a mark near the right side of her nose, while the younger Nelia, or Nelia Bunso, had a mark on her left cheek.
While the twins were originally from Iloilo, Nelia Bunso ended up in Valenzuela City in Metro Manila, while Nelia Panganay ended up in Narra, Palawan.
Life was tough for the sisters. Born into poverty, their father was an alcoholic, leaving their mother to take care of them, until she fell ill and eventually died.
“Naghiwalay kami nung namatay nanay ko, matapos libing, kanya-kanya na ang dampot sa amin eh. Ang tatay ko nu’n, walang pakialam eh,” Nelia Bunso said.
They also had another younger sister, Delia, whom Nelia Bunso took care of since their mother’s passing.
“Naalala ko noon na sumasama kami, kung saan kami magpunta…naulila kami ng maaga. Ang alam kong nag-alaga sa amin, ‘yung kapitbahay na lang namin. ‘Yung kapitbahay namin, naka-contact daw na may lola kami dito sa Palawan,” Nelia Panganay said.
With no one else to take care of them, the sisters got separated. Nelia Bunso lived with an uncle in Capiz, but eventually ran off, eventually ending up Valenzuela City; and Nelia Panganay and Delia went to their grandmother in Palawan, but were then separated, and the elder Nelia settled in Bgy. Aramaywan, Narra, Palawan.
“Ang anak ko, walo. [Taong] 1990, nagkasakit naman si mister. Pinasan ko na ang [pagiging] nanay at tatay. Pinalaki ko ang mga anak ko, maglabada, nakaranas ako magpataya ng jueteng para lang makabili kami ng bigas, maglabada ako sa ilog ng halos ilang araw,” she said as she tearfully described the hardships she faced while raising a family.
KMJS arranged for a reunion of the sisters, with Nelia Bunso flying to Palawan to meet her long-lost twin. It coincided with the Barangay Thanksgiving day of Aramaywan, where Nelia Panganay was commended by the barangay for her dedication to more than twenty years of service.
While it was a tearful reunion, the twin sisters were in for a surprise, with KMJS also bringing in Delia, their youngest sister.
The sisters are thankful to KMJS for bringing them together.
“Hindi ko sukat akalain na makikita ko siya ngayon. Kasi, mahabang panahon…parang wala nang pag-asa [na magkita uli kami]. Kaya salamat,” Delia said, barely holding back tears.
The original segment on Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho can be viewed here.