OFW in Malaysia receives special memory quilt from employer of 34 years


An overseas Filipino worker received a special remembrance from her employers after she decided to retire, ending her 34-year service with the family in Malaysia.

Anselma Naces Tecio, or more famously known as “Auntie Alie” in the Lau family, said that she did not expect the special gift that Esther created especially for her.

According to Esther Lau, since she put up a customed memory quilt business last year, it would be more memorable for Auntie Alie to receive one.

“Auntie has been taking care of my two sisters and I for the last 34 years. She’s basically a permanent fixture. When we found out she wanted to go home permanently to rest, I decided to make a memory quilt for her. I felt that it would be really meaningful. She could bring back a part of us home with her to the Philippines,” Esther shared.

Esther started creating memory quilts around April 2023.

“I just thought that if I’m doing this for other people, we should totally do this for auntie.
She didn’t know I was doing this for her. It was going to be a surprise. They were mostly clothes that belonged to my nieces and nephews, maybe one or two shirts that belonged to us girls,” Esther said.

Few months before Auntie Alie’s departure, Esther handed over the memory quilt on May 14, 2023.

“At this point, receiving the quilt, she was just holding it up and crying behind it. She obviously didn’t want us to see her crying. We didn’t want her to cry at the airport. So I decided to film her reaction when I gave her this quilt earlier this week,” she recalled.

“We reminisced together on the different pieces of clothing and fabric on the quilt. We later went into a room and had a little bit of a cry,” she added.

Auntie Alie couldn’t help but become emotional after seeing the special gift from Esther – her first and last employer in 34 years.

“It’s very meaningful for me. Kahit wala na ako sa inyo, para ko na ring hina-hug [kayo] every night. [Kahit] anong problema ko, tinutulungan nila ako. Tini-treat nila ako ng their own family. I’m very thankful for the Lau family for allowing me to work for that long,” Auntie Alie told The Philippine STAR.

It was way back in 1989 when Auntie Alie left the Philippines to work for her family. 

“Nagpunta ako dito dahil sa kahirapan ng buhay,” she said.

Auntie Alie said that her retirement was one of the hardest decisions she made in her life.

“I love them a lot. I miss them a lot. Million times pinag-isipan ko dahil napakahirap [iwan]. Half of my life is with them. Imagine, 34 years, hindi ako nag-change ng employer,” Auntie Alie said while crying.

“I used to be really upset that auntie had spent too long with us. I felt that she had nothing for herself. My older sister actually said, ‘No, auntie has so much to speak for her service with us.’ She brought us three children up like her own so she should be proud that she’s like a mother to us too,” Esther said.

Esther said that Auntie Alie is a huge part of her life.

“My impression of auntie changed from when I was a young girl to the woman I am today. I used to see auntie as the disciplinarian in the family. But now, looking back on those years, I now see auntie as someone who’s immensely patient with us. To be able to put up with my family. Super hard working and just someone who is always there for us when we need a listening ear,” Esther reminisced.

Esther said that Auntie Alie will always be part of their family and that they will see each other from time to time.

“Auntie, there are not enough words to say how grateful we are to have you in our lives and for everything you have done for us. This is not goodbye but see you soon. All your years that you have sacrificed for my family. We love you so much. You’ll always be part of the family,” she said when asked about her message to Auntie Alie.

Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano likes long walks on the seaside and listening to people about their lives. When she isn't writing, she travels and discover new places.