New Aussie’s twin pledge

Allen, Jerby, Mayor Springfield, Aileen, Miracle and Pauleen just moments before the proposal occurred.

By Shelby Brooks

A marriage proposal has surprised a soon-to-be bride and the mayor after a brave suitor got down on one knee at a recent citizenship ceremony.

Jerby Teatro, originally from the Philippines but now living in Pakenham, gave his citizenship pledge on Saturday 7 May at the Cardinia Cultural Centre but decided to make the day even more special by proposing to his longtime partner Aileen Revina at the ceremony.

Jerby had been an Australian citizen for only a few minutes before nervously going down on one knee when friends took a photograph of he and Aileen with the Cardinia Shire Mayor Jeff Springfield.

“I decided to do the proposal at my ceremony due to the fact that I wanted a lot of people to witness my sincerity,“ he said.

“And also to show to people that Aileen is the woman I really want to be with for the rest of my life.“

Jerby became a citizen at the same time as seven year old daughter Miracle, who he shares with Aileen.

Alieen and her other two children Pauleen 16 and Allen 13 are hoping to become citizens soon.

Mayor Jeff Springfield said it was “quite beautiful and unexpected“.

“It’s my first time seeing a proposal happen and the first time in my life someone has knelt down in front of me to ask the question,“ he said.

“The ceremonies have such a warm and special environment. It’s beautiful that the groom to be wanted to wait until he was an Australian to ask.

“If there’s an invitation to the wedding, I’d love to come.“

Aileen said she was shocked when she realised what Jerby was doing.

“Everybody in the room was shouting and clapping their hands. The world stopped for me and I didn’t know what was happening but then I was like it’s a yes!

“I can now officially say I’m engaged to an Australian.“

Jerby said he planned the proposal along with his friends from Bairnsdale who also attended the ceremony.

“The involvement of the Abejuela family, Cantutay family and Myra Biro is so much appreciated to make it happen. We owe it to them big time,“ Aileen said.

“This will happen once in our life so we are hoping we can do the wedding that we are dreaming of.

“We are sure there will still be tough times and bumpy roads coming but we will promise to each other that when that time comes. We will be there for each other.“

Jerby and Aileen first lived in Bairnsdale when they moved to Australia in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

“We just been here to Pakenham for more than a year and we decided to move due to our self growth and of course work opportunities as well,“ Aileen said.

“We love it here.“

Aileen works at Amart Furniture Pakenham and Jerby as mechanic for Pakenham Mazda. Their children attend Lakeside College.

The pair met at university in the Philippines when Jerby was an exboyfriend of one of Aileen’s friends.

“I hated him the most as he looked so arrogant,“ Aileen said, laughing.

“And then after eight years we met again by accident and then that’s it!

“All of our friends were shocked.“