in Nigeria since 2006
After a year in
I was full of apprehension of what life would be in
After a week in
Guiller called to tell me about a Filipina doctor who is married to a Nigerian (hence the term 'Niger-wife') and has been living in
I decided one day to pay her a visit and went to Faye's Bakeshoppe at
I said, “Yes, I'm looking for 'my sistah'.”
"Is madam dey?"
"A dey", a Nigerian staff member replied.
She then called somebody. "Auntie, your brother is looking for you..."
I looked into the kitchen and saw an 'oniyocha' (white-skin) woman looking at me in astonishment. She was a typical Pinay, petite with Chinese eyes and as old as my mother.
"Filipino?" she asked.
"Eyyy, chinike (oh my god! )," she whispered as she came to cheerfully hug me.
As we were making the usual 'kumustahan', I sensed from her accent that she was not Tagalog. So I asked where she was from in the
"Yay, Waray." I said, as we both laughed.
I have finally met Doc Fely (Fely Maglasang-Chioke), a retired doctor, and now a full-time businesswoman baking cakes and pastries and doing catering. She is well-known in
Doc Fely (I call her 'Nang Fely') has been in and out of
After the death of her husband, she decided to retire from medical practice and put up a modest bakeshoppe. She’s running her business by herself since all her children are now working overseas.
I am so glad to meet Nang Fely. When I got sick of malaria (p. falciparum) and had thyphoid fever, it was Nang Fely who brought me to good clinics and also helped to treat me.
When I get hungry during lunchtime, I would go to her bakeshop for a free lunch. Lami gyud basta libre. – D
I am also her official taster. I am the first to taste her hamburger, hopia and peppered chin-chin, a kind of doughbread cut into small pieces. Good for ‘pulutan’.
It was through Nang Fely that I was able to go to Anambra to attend the traditional wedding of the daughter of a Filipina (from Butuan) who is also married to a Nigerian. There, I met other Filipina Nigerwives. There were at least four couples. I was also introduced to Nigerians who had studied and finished Engineering and Medicine in the
Nang Fely is also the contact person of the Philippine Embassy in
There are now three of us Filipinos in
Through Nang Fely, we were able to meet Ate Mayette, a Filipina from
Ate Mayette and her husband have been in
Nang Fely rues about the Filipino's lack of entrepreneurial interest in putting up business in
Nang Fely told us stories about the late 70's to 80's when Filipino doctors, teachers, nurses and engineers came to
She said she will take a vacation to
At Nang Fely’s age, this feisty waray is still thinking about expanding into other business ventures in
As my time in
I have come to like
So to the Pinoys and Pinays travelling to
“Kachifu” (Igbo for goodbye)
By: Maynard Flores