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My sister is my real ride or die partner

CEBU CITY, Philippines—I’d be lost without my sister.

I am who I am today because she made sure to stand by my side no matter how crazy life gets— for both of us.

Today, as we celebrate Siblings Day,  I am going to share with you the other Janne in our family who is the best Janne for me— my elder sister.

With just a two-year age gap, my sister and I grew up like twins. Although you could tell which one’s which because she’d be in a polo and I’d be in a sparkling dress with a small bag.

Just like most siblings, we hated each other when we were younger.


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She didn’t like how “arte” I was and the friends I was with. And I didn’t like how controlling and boyish she was then.

Nonetheless, we outgrew that, and little by little we started getting each other’s drift.

I’d be the more “kikay” one and she’d be the one in a skirt playing soccer baseball at the pentagon.

She always sparked the light in me to be active and to try sports.

I guess playing sports was the only outlet for her during her high school and college days.

We, the Janne’s, had a rough time when we were younger, we had to make do with what we had and make sure we did good in school because it was the only thing that could help us get the life our family wanted us to have.

With the support of my mom’s family, our friends, and other relatives, we made it to where we are today.

My sister and I had to start life a bit earlier than others after our parents separated. We had this sense of responsibility to keep everything afloat for ourselves and most especially for our Mama.

My sister is my real ride or die partner

One of our catch up session over video call.

We never really always see eye to eye. Sometimes we go on for days of not talking, but a simple gesture always does the magic.

Heartbreaks and heartaches we were both there for each other, sometimes I cry for her and she cries for me, or most of the time we cry and then laugh it all out.

If you know us, you know how we’d always turn something sad into a comedy. A trait we thank our Papa for.

We were always the life of the party. We love to make people laugh, most especially our family.

My friends are her friends and her friends are mine. Yes, we are that close. We look out for each other and sometimes this is where the conflict starts.

I was the more protective one when we got older.  If I knew my sister was dating someone, I’d go ask her friends who the girl was and get the consensus of her friends.

My sister is my real ride or die partner

Janne Michelle and Janne Ma. Immae during their trip in New Zealand in January.

Then I will talk to my sister, ask her to let us meet, and let her know my verdict.

I was the terrorizing sister to her girlfriends. But once I get to know them I will quickly become their ally.

Even with some of her new friends, I keep a close eye on especially when I feel that there’s something fishy about the circle.

My sister, on the other hand, lets me pick who I want to date or who I want to hang out with.

She’s always so nice and happy to meet them. But all hell will break loose once she sees me crying.

We were inseparable.

Until we had to take a leap of faith in 2022.

It was one of the most heartbreaking days of my life. It was May 20, 2022, when we bid farewell to my sister at the airport as she wore her big girl pants to try her luck in the United States as a medical scientist.

I had to put on a brave face. I hugged her like there was no tomorrow and I whispered

“Size 7 1/2 ko sa Jordans ha?”

I told you we never were good at being sad.

From talking every night in my room and ordering midnight snacks with our last P200, we are now talking through video calls and sharing a meal virtually.

All of a sudden, we were away from each other.

But being thousands of miles away from each other could only mean one thing, a better life awaits us.

Every day we send memes, videos, and quotes to each other which makes it feel like she’s just somewhere in Cebu working late hours while I am in some other parts of the city drinking.

Our term of endearment is always “dai.”

When she sends me a message with just “dai” that’s the cue for a two-hour video call session.

But you know what they say about sibling telepathy, you just know something’s not right with your sibling even from miles away. Do you have this kind of feeling too?

My sister and I always feel for each other and I love how we get each other.


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I love how she knows how I am always putting pressure on myself and finds a way to ease the tension I am feeling. She offers help in ways she knows I would accept it, she knows how I am not very comfortable asking for help or favors.

I remember calling her in the middle of the night, sobbing, and trying to make words come out of my mouth.

She begins and says “tao ba to? bagay? hayop?”

(Is this a person? thing? animal?)

Then I answered “TAO! Sumakabilang condo!”

(A person! at the other condo!)

She replied, “Tumpak! Proceed to the next round.”

(Right! Proceed to the next round)

Then from crying, I started laughing. Just like that, I feel light again. Just like that, she reminded me who my real partner and ride or die is, it was her and will always be her.

She gets me.  I get her. The best relationship I could ever wish for.

I love listening to her adventures abroad, her growing shoe collection, her travels with friends, and with her girlfriend.

She’s living the life she deserves. And that makes every lonely night worth it.

Even though we are still far from reaching our dreams in life, we’ve come quite far too. Little do we know that we’ve been fulfilling the greatest wish of our mama for us.

My sister is my real ride or die partner

From left to right: Janne, our mother, Jivy, and I, Immae living one of our dreams and that is to be able to travel together abroad. This was taken in the town center of Gisborne New Zealand.

To take care of each other and love each other. A wish every mother would ask her children. Ma, one wish granted.

We promise to always stand by each other no matter what. Not a single “yuta” or “mana” war can separate us because we don’t have “mana” to begin with.

Kidding aside, I hope you get to appreciate your siblings a little extra today. Our story might be relatable to others and others might have a more colorful and beautiful story than ours. We all have different relationships with our siblings, it may not be as good as my relationship with my sister, but we all know we still love to be around our siblings even when they annoy us.

Just like what Geoff Greif, co-author of Adult Sibling Relationships said, 

“You can choose your friends, but not your siblings – they are a constant shadow in your life, for better or worse.”

To all the siblings out there, thank you for making life a lot easier and a lot of fun! Thank you for being our best friends and truest lovers.

To my ate, I got you always in all ways.


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