Co-workers, survivors, life partners – This married couple is all of the above
MANILA, Philippines — Most workplaces do not usually encourage or allow romantic relationships. For Sammy and Gina de Jesus, it has been nothing but the opposite, with their company serving as their fateful meeting place and even becoming their trusted life partner in more ways than one.
Sammy and Gina have been married for 24 years, and it has been three decades since they began working for Sun Life. Through the blissful days and toughest challenges, Sun Life has always been by their side.
Their unique story of love—and “marriage” to Sun Life as one may say—has been featured in “Kwentong Kaakbay,” an online series of short films on lifetime partnerships nurtured by Sun Life Philippines.
The right time
Both Sammy and Gina are longtime employees at Sun Life Philippines, clocking in 29 and 28 years of service, respectively.
In the video, Sammy remembered so well that fateful day in April 1992 when he was asked by Gina for some files. He was still under the General Services department then while she was with Finance. He knew that there was a “spark” between them but he needed to wait for the right time.
Gina, on the other hand, felt the natural connection between her and Sammy. She said, “I saw that he was a gentleman and I told myself he could be the one. In a month parang kilalang kilala ko na siya. Ako talaga, ang prayer ko that time was, gusto ko kapag nagka-boyfriend ako, siya na rin yong lifetime partner ko.”
Prayer answered, Sammy and Gina married three years later on May 13, 1995 and were blessed with a daughter a year into their marriage.
Through the worst
The young and happy De Jesus family, however, was struck by a tragic accident in 2001. On their way to work at Sun Life, the couple’s car was hit by a bus.
“Noong unconscious ako, totoo pala ‘yong nag-flashback lahat. Ang nasa isip ko lang noon, daughter ko, my parents, who will take care of them? Alam ko something bad happened to us. So ang una kong ginawa was to check on Sammy if he was alive,” Gina recalled in the video.
The doctor had both good and bad news for her. Yes, Sammy was safe but the baby she was carrying didn’t survive the crash.
“There was pain but more than the physical pain there was emotional pain knowing that I lost my baby,” Gina said.
Thankfully, the couple only needed to think about themselves and their loved ones because their medical expenses were covered by the company’s HMO up to a certain limit. The excess was covered by Sun Life as financial assistance.
For their recovery, the couple used proceeds from their Sun Life Pro-Family Insurance for therapy and other related expenses.
“I know that sa lahat ng marriages may challenges. And this accident made us realize that Gina and I also need a lifetime partner to help us get through the difficult times. We found that in Sun Life,” Sammy said.
While Sammy and Gina still feel a pang of pain from flashbacks or memories of the accident 18 years ago, they are forever thankful for the second life they were blessed with.
They were able to raise their daughter Regina Joyce, who is a graduate of the University of Sto. Tomas with a degree in Architecture. She was also a Sun Life scholar who received partial funding for her studies.
“Parang second home na talaga namin ang Sun Life,” Gina said. “Sa Sun Life ko nakilala ang aking lifetime partner at dito ko na rin natutunan ang pagiging isang ‘Kaakbay sa Buhay.’ Mula sa company benefits to the moral support of my teammates, pinalakas ni Sun Life ang pagsasama ng aming pamilya.”
As they are set to mark their silver anniversary this May 2020, the couple wishes for a future that is still with Sun Life and with each other.
“I wish that we grow old together, and I wish that we can travel more with our daughter. This is the time when we can really bond together as a family,” Gina said.
“I promise that I will always be here to support your dreams tulad ng pagtulong sa atin ng Sun Life through the good and bad times,” answered Sammy.
Having found life partners in each other as well as a trusted partner in Sun Life, Sammy and Gina underscore the importance of financial security amid life’s uncertainties.
Watch the full video of Sammy and Gina’s “Kwentong Kaakbay” below:
Sun Life Philippines is a leading life insurance company that has been helping people achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives since 1895. To find out more about Sun Life’s products and services, visit their website here.