We are very happy to introduce you to Kili, African American Creole from Louisiana, and his wife, Jesi, Filipina. Kili and Jesi are proof positive that when it is meant to be, it will be and we are so excited that they found each other. They started dating in March 2014 and were married in October 2016. We love their story!
How Did They Meet and Fall In Love?
Kili and Jesi’s story begins on Facebook in 2014 on March the 13th. Kili was browsing through many posts on a community group he had recently joined in search of an Asian companion. Kili was very serious about finding an Asian wife and he actually had spent the previous 3 years seriously praying to God to bless his life with an Asian wife. Kili says, “I had a burning zeal within my spirit to find an Asian woman because I also knew that Asians really do make the best wives, by far, no doubt!” On Facebook, Kili came across a post about chivalry, and he was driven by some unknown need to comment on this post. It turns out that Jesi had written the original chivalry post in the Facebook group. Kili commented in his post, “That’s how my siblings and I were raised… open doors for ladies, pull her chair out for her, and rise when she stands up at the table, etc…” Jesi replied to his comment later that day, and then basically they begin to communicate from that point on. In fact, they have talked every day online or in person since that initial exchange.
Jesi was also quickly struck by cupid’s arrow when she first interacted with Kili. Jesi says, “I felt in my heart that we were a match and I never really expected to find true happiness all of a sudden.” Kili and Jesi are another great example of love trumping race! Their relationship also proves that when it is meant to be, it will be!
How Did They Know That This Relationship Was Meant To Be?
After a couple of weeks of daily online messaging, Jesi suggested that Kili get Skype, so he did and that opened up an entirely new way of meeting and conversing for the two of them! They began to video chat every day and sending photos throughout the day. At the same time, they noticed that they were being drawn to one another more & more every day. Kili said, “I couldn’t wait to hear her voice, her pleasing laughter, and see her every day on video live. Our time zones were so different because I’m in Hawai’i, and she was in Malaysia at that time. She was so shy, but her voice, accent, and laughter all made my day! I felt my day just wouldn’t go right unless I spoke with her every morning. That was the spark, and as time grew, so did our feelings for one another! I knew she was the one for me, the one I could trust and invest my heart in for the rest of my life. She’s so gentle, caring, loving, sweet, and thoughtful of others!”
The feeling was mutual and Jesi started to express that she couldn’t go on without having Kili in her life. As time went on, Kili and Jesi discussed Jesi moving back to the Philippines since she had made plans to go home to the Philippines. Initially, Jesi didn’t want to be in the Philippines because she had been in Malaysia for a few years. After Jesi arrived in Manila airport, only a couple days later she was really upset. She cried and told Kili how she wanted him to be there with her. It broke Kili’s heart to see how upset she was. Kili says, “I comforted her and told her this is what we’re gonna do. I’ll send you a little money to find an apartment, and then I’ll come there to spend time with you! We made plans for me to go visit the Philippines, I got my passport, visa, and booked a flight out from Honolulu. This made my baby so happy…” Now for our readers, we at ABC generally do not recommend sending money in a long distance relationship until you have both met in person and are very clear on your future plans together, but in the case of Kili and Jesi, we think it makes sense given that they had talked every day, most days by video, from the very beginning of their relationship and they both were very clear on them being together long term. Also, the economics between the US and the Philippines are such that a small number of US dollars goes a really long way in the Philippines.
Jesi found an apartment in Baguio City, (6 to 8 hours bus ride from Manila) and she moved in. Kili’s flight was scheduled to arrive just a few weeks later in January 2015. When Kili landed in Manila, Jesi met him at the airport, and she had booked a hotel room near the airport because she knew that after a long international flight, Kili would be too tired to travel another 6 to 8 hours by bus. Kili says, “Upon seeing her at the airport, it was the most amazing and exciting time of my life! She greeted me with such loving arms and we hugged, kissed, and hugged some more, and right at that very moment, I literally felt my heart willfully jump into her hands – where it remains until this very day even! We had coffee at a coffee shop in the airport, we talked, we couldn’t stop staring at each other, I kept falling deeper and deeper in love each second that passed…”
Jesi’s heart was also open to this relationship. Jesi says, “I would never have expected in my life that someday I would find the right one. My husband is the best husband in the universe. There are so many ways I felt his love for me. Kili is such a kind and loving man, and I have learned a lot from my husband. He taught me how to become a better person, and he is the reason I opened my eyes, my heart, and my soul to our God, to know more about a Godly life. I love that we keep each other positive. My husband, he is easy to love, and I’m so grateful to have him in my life.”
How Did They Decide To Get Married?
After spending the night at the hotel in Manila, the next morning Kili and Jesi took the long bus ride to Baguio. Kili says, “We make it hours later to our home my baby prepared for us. She did so much in such a short time all to make it such a very nice, inviting, and loving home for us, and I was so proud of her. We immediately began the process for our spouse visa/green card requirements. On that first trip to the Philippines, I stayed for a couple of months until March 2015, then I returned to Hawai’i.” Kili had to go back to the US to deal with some legal matters, which initially delayed their plans for the spouse visa. Jesi talks about how hard it was when Kili left the Philippines the first time and says, “It was very hard for me the first time Kili had to leave the Philippines. I cried so much missing him being next to me. When you spend all your time close to the one you love, it’s very difficult to not have them near you. I had become so used to my husband being next to me all the time. Everywhere we would go in the Philippines, we always went together. That’s how we became so close.”
During the time that Kili was back in the US, Kili and Jesi continued their daily communications – sometimes up to 3 or 4 times a day, and often for hours on end! As time went on during this delay for Kili’s legal matters, Kili and Jesi spent every special holiday, birthdays and New Years, together on video. Also during this time, they also decided to commit to marriage, even before all the immigration paperwork was completed. Jesi talks about why they decided to get married then and says, “We placed our relationship in the hands of God and we were very thankful that God brought us together. Every day we loved each other deeper and deeper, so we decided to marry because we believed we were soulmates from the beginning!” Kili gives us his thoughts and says, “We knew we were soulmates and strongly felt this was a divine match for both of us after many individual trials and searching on our own. So we saw no need in putting off our union of holy matrimony, and no reason not to move forward in our pursuit of happiness by unifying our lives as one to fully experience God’s purpose for marriage! We accepted this and decided to move forward into our destiny and begin our walk in life as husband and wife.”
Finally, in September 2016, Kili was able to fly back to the Philippines. He even sold his car to help finance the next trip to the Philippines. Kili says, “So I went back to the Philippines after selling my car, and my baby met me again at the Manila airport. She was even warmer and more loving at the airport than she was the first time I met her there. The next morning we took the long bus ride to Baguio City, and by this time, she had moved to a different location for a bigger apartment. So we arrived home and there to my surprise was this huge welcoming banner when I walked in. The banner had a large picture of us printed on it, and that was awesome for me to experience!” Kili and Jesi made their arrangments to get married, and after a ton of paperwork to meet the marital requirements, our happy couple exchanged their marriage vows on October 6th, 2016! Jesi says, “It was such a wonderful day to remember that I will cherish forever!”
What Are Their Long-Term Plans?
On Kili’s second trip to the Philippines, given the marriage and everything, Kili stayed in the Philippines for 14 months. But eventually, he had to return to Louisiana in the US to deal with his legal matter again. Jesi is still at their home in the Philippines, but Kili is expecting to return to the Philippines soon. Kili says, “When I return to the Philippines, we then will finish our immigration requirements so that eventually I can bring Jesi back to America with me. Even while I’m in the US now, she’s already completed much of her requirements for her green card. She has her passport already completed and we’re almost done with the rest of the requirements so when I return home to the Philippines to get her, it shouldn’t take too much time since most everything is already completed. Although I’m currently in the US, our home is in the Philippines right now, and eventually we will move together to the US.”
How Did They Deal With The Long Distance Challenge?
Kili says, “Our long distance experience has been nothing short of emotional challenges which create this constant longing to be next to your soulmate. It’s tough on your emotions and truly will put your faith, trust, heart, and love to the ultimate test, but when it’s meant to be, it will be. Standing firm and drawing from each others’ strength, you become one another’s motivation, and you both know that you can see anything through because of the love, support and remarkable encouragement of your better half. This is the true definition of SOULMATES!”
Jesi adds, “We are never afraid to show our affection for each other, and I can say our love is very unique, so long distance does not matter as long as respect, faithfulness, and trust is in place. Kili gives me smiles when I feel sad. He knows how to make me laugh almost immediately while we chat on the phone from long distance. He is my ray of hope, the one who turns my sadness into happiness. Kili can always sense when I’m sad, no matter how hard I try to not make him worry about me – he knows. My husband is very considerate of my feelings, and every day, he makes me his number one priority, to make sure his asawa (wife) is always doing ok.”
Kili continues, “We’ve been long distance since the very beginning, however we have learned that the more distance between us when we are apart, the more it injects a powerful ‘closer than close’ spiritual connection from our two souls that merge and emerge as one. We see each other every day by video, and when I’m there in the Philippines, we go everywhere together, always side by side. We make the very best of it while apart – but we are NEVER “separated” – we are simply apart temporarily. We know we will be permanently together when all the immigration requirements are fulfilled. That’s why I’ll return to be by her side soon to walk this walk, hand in hand with my asawa.”
Do The Parents Accept Their Relationship?
Kili says, “My parents do accept my loving wife Jesi as one of their own, she truly is a great addition to an already very large family of 12 kids – I have 4 sisters and 7 brothers, I’m in the middle. And, yes her parents do accept me also. We believe in being ourselves and that should be sufficient for others to accept you. It’s really all about positive vibes. Accept yourself, and others will accept you also. But if someone chooses to not accept you, then that is their issue and part of your positiveness requires you to pray for their edification. Love is not a choice – not true love. Love is a destined power driving two hearts together that will leave a trail of echoes in time.”
Any Cultural Issues Or Challenges?
Jesi says her challenge is her English, and Kili says he has the same challenge with his Tagalog. Other than this, they both say they have not had much in the way of cultural challenges. Kili adds one interesting observation, “For me, I had to and I’m still learning that the Asian expectation for respect far exceeds that of Americans. I say that to say this, Asian women are extremely graceful in all that they do, say, and their culturalistic views on marriage are, in my opinion, second to none! My wife has shown me her version of loyalty which I’ve adopted as my own, it goes much deeper than what a dictionary would explain. It is really about humanity and living your life while holding life to such a high value, (or knowing your worth so to speak) yet at the same time, recognizing that same value in others.”
What Advice Do They Have For Other Blasian Couples?
Kili and Jesi have some great advice here and Kili says, “So when anyone sees two people in love, by all means, the only comment anyone should say, should ‘ONLY’ be that of positivity! This is why we always choose to stay optimistic about life. This we believe is how with God’s help we overcome. Jesi and I have discussed this before and we believe that Blasian couples around the globe should always follow their hearts to a happy life, and eliminate from their immediate circle anything and/or anyone who tends to be of a negative nature. Protect what you love most in life, and keep your relationship drama proof from all outsiders. If it is the case that Blasian couples are faced with parental disapproval from either side of the families, don’t force your life upon them, but rather give them the space and time they need. This also is a great way for you to continue improving your immediate circle which should be the two of you and God. When this immediate circle is fortified, others can’t help but take notice that there’s something special there. In time, after all the envy or jealousy tendencies evaporate, and they will, the others will come around. However, the main thing is always the first thing, negative-proof your lives from being infiltrated by non-acceptance. It’s really about you deciding what’s most important, your happiness together, or pleasing others which will create a wedge between you as a couple and inhibit your happiness and success as a couple. Choose to be happy!”
Jesi puts it nicely by saying, “One goal in this life for all of us is to find happiness and love! My husband is my strength and my courage, and I really do hope and pray that all Filipinas in search of a really good husband will find their perfect match and never give up! All of your trials will make your relationships stronger than you can realize! Salamat (thank you) until next time, and God’s blessing on everyone!”
Well put by Jesi – never give up! When it is meant to be, it will be! We love Kili and Jesi and wish them incredible joy and happiness for now and forever. Many blessings to everyone!