Open letter to my dearest, newly wed ‘little’ sister

Centeno sisters, Andrea (right) and Jamie (left)

Our own beauty expert and lifestyle writer Andrea wrote a heartfelt letter to her sister Jamie Centeno who recently married her boyfriend of 5 years. The ceremony was a traditional Christian wedding with only families and closest friends present. We decided to share Andrea’s open letter for all the sisters in the world.


As I free my most-treasured makeup products from their boxes and lay them on the vanity table where I’ll do your bridal makeup, it took me back to my early memories of us playing dress up. Whether it was the most expensive Barbie doll our parents bought for us or that one peso paper doll set we got from manang’s little store, we enjoyed prettifying them all. The memories of the early 90s were too vivid and I felt like everything had happened just yesterday. And just like that, we’re no longer playing dress up with our dolls.

Here I am trying my best to perfect your makeup and help you slip into this poofy white wedding gown. It’s crazy how I used to doll you up for your band performances in high school but now I’m the makeup artist for the biggest day of your life. This is it! You are really getting married!

Andrea (left) and Jamie (right) on Jamie’s wedding day (photo: courtesy of the author)

It’s crazy how time flew by like this. Up to this moment, I still tend to forget that you have already tied the knot and moved out. I would still call your name for dinner sometimes! You know how excited I was for your big day but then, at the back of my head, I couldn’t help but wonder about how my life would go without seeing you around every day.

The “move-out-you’re-18” setup was never a thing in our traditional family. With us living under one roof we could just pull each other out for impromptu movie dates or chat about our woes all night ‘til the sun shone through the window. In one quick glance we would know what the other meant and with small things like this I would always be comforted by the fact that someone understood my thoughts at this level. We’re sisters by blood and best friends by choice.

I’m just a year older but I have always seen you as my little sister. I have always felt the need to protect you. We don’t always agree over things and we get into these petty fights—especially when we were younger. But every single time someone messes with you, you know I’d never let it slide (let’s not dig into the details of how I waged wars against those bullies of yours, I have become a more rational person now, haha). You have always been so kind and calm that some people took advantage of that. It worried me – what if I wasn’t around?

Andrea (left) and Jamie (right) in one of their impromptu coffee dates (photo: courtesy of the author)

Now that you have your husband with you, I know that he will always be there to love and protect you, too. I always pray for the both of you to be more understanding of one another. He needs to know that you tend to be super sensitive and that you easily cry over upsetting things so he needs to provide comfort – fast. He must also know that he should never take the leg part of the chicken because it is yours, and yours alone.

Since you are married, I must admit that along with the joy I feel comes a tinge of fear that things would change drastically between us. ‘You may not need me as much’ is a selfish thought that constantly ran in my head in the weeks before your wedding. It’s an idea that my own mind subconsciously created. It truly pulled some heartstrings. It’s a feeling that’s foreign to me, but I guess that’s just normal, right? As what may seem an odd way to combat this inexplicable ‘sadness,’ I went back and reminisced over my favorite memories of us.

The times when we would walk the streets of Pearl Drive on our way home from work, take the jam-packed bus out of desperation just to reach home, I could go on and on! I thought this sudden nostalgia would only make me sadder, but surprisingly, it made me think of how huge a chapter I am in your book! I guess now is the time for me to give way so you can carry on writing the next ones with your husband (and your beagles). To see you so gleefully thrilled in this new phase brought me pure happiness.

Jamie (left) and Andrea (right) in 1996 (photo: courtesy of the author)

I have been writing this letter for more than a month already. I told myself I’d show this to you before your wedding, but I just didn’t know how to wrap it up without tears uncontrollably rushing from my eyes. I’m not even sure what these tears mean. I guess I just miss you, like, a lot. Not seeing you around the house will take a lot of getting used to. Nonetheless, all I know is that I’m extremely happy to see you happy with the man you have genuinely loved with all your heart. I am grateful to God because He gave you someone that will surely take care of you and for that, I’m worry-free. We may not be able to see each other as much as before, but know that I will always be here for you—in good times and in rough times. I will always be your best friend, your confidante, your big sister.

Oh, and don’t worry, we may not share the same vanity dresser anymore, but you will still have access to my beauty blogging PR kits for you to regularly fill your makeup and skincare stash. 😉

Andrea Centeno

Andrea Centeno

Andrea is a beauty blogger and a makeup aficionado based in Manila, Philippines. In her blog, Shimmering Thoughts, she shares her love for K-Beauty and K-Pop through product reviews, makeup tutorials, and documents the exclusive media events she's been to.