Tokhang on Our Doorstep

Putang ina! Putang ina talaga!!!I am so sorry for the inappropriateness, brothers, and sisters. But those were the words I repeatedly utter after finding out that Kim was shot dead after picking up two of his friends  detained in the  police station.


My daughter kept telling me I am letting the devil win with those words that automatically runs out of my mouth when everything sinks in. The devil wins really. He uses sixteen million people to win.

If you knew Kim, and if he was your brother, you will probably feel the rage I have inside. Yes, he was my adopted brother. In fact, he was just a year older than JC. They were playmates at one point growing up.

He provided so much joy with my mom and my two younger siblings. They were his family. They raised him up the way they knew best. He was just a normal kid, except that he never really knows who he was. Mom never had the courage to tell him until her dying days, when she was left with no choice.

Like many young teenagers, Kim had a lot of friends and a lot of drinking friends.  When we lost our mom, I had to keep him with me. But his drinking brought him into trouble. He cannot stand school, he cannot stand work and probably he was   lost with himself, finding who he was.

My younger  sister tried to look for his real parents in the hope that it will help him do better. Me, on the other side, believes that with his continuous drinking, whether we find his parents or not, would be very difficult for him.

When I was fed up with the trouble his drinking was causing him, I have to return him back to my sister in our hometown. Setting our boundaries, he continues to be the Kim we knew. The typical brother most of us had.

He prepares food for our children when he can. He asks money when he needed. He was around when you need him. He doesn’t talk much except when he wants some things. He gives chocolates to neighbors when he felt we had so much. He was a child  who needed so much more than he could give.

Left on his own, he went to the wrong people. He had it all. The disease of alcoholism, the oblivion of a lost identity, the sick crowd, the feeling of unloved and rejection.

All of us his sisters had no idea that he was into drugs. I  just pick up the pieces of stories during his wake. I cannot ask him now when he started using drugs and why. It was probably after losing JC, one of his drinking buddies. I have heard so much to conclude that my brother was a victim of a disease as cunning as satan.

These are the stories of thousand of tokhang victims we had in our midst today. Should we kill them all? Is it fair? Was the rage I felt within justified? Is this the way we should handle the disease of addiction?


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