I WAS SAVED!
How can something so embarrassing turn into something so priceless? How can one’s greatest weakness turn into one’s greatest strength?
THRU GOD’S SAVING GRACE!
Once upon a time, my family was so proud of my success as a model and as an actor. Then came this 16-year addiction binge when they would just cringe with embarrassment whenever they were asked how they were related to me. How does one recover from such indignity and humiliation? Many have been arrested but news of their arrest was never splattered all over the FRONT PAGE!
On August 4, 1995, while working as a DJ at KISS FM in Cagayan de Oro I was arrested and charged for pushing and possession. Media had a field day at my expense! Did THIS finally make me consider reforming? NO WAY!!! Right after the court hearing, my very first stop? My pusher-friend’s house! That’s how distorted an addicts mind becomes! THE ADDICTION WAS MORE POWERFUL THAN ALL THE FEAR AND SHAME PUT TOGETHER!
This is just one of the many shameful teleseryes of my 16-year “OJT” as an addict. As a Pitoy Moreno model during the peak of my career modeling in Malacanang Palace for then Pres. Marcos and FL Imelda, I was privileged to enjoy food flown in from different countries. In just a few years thereafter, I was in the drug-infested slums stealing empty coke bottles for its P5.00 deposit…good enough for 2 pieces of cheap bread, my meal for the day! Suffering from a severely deteriorating health, sleeping in parked jeepneys and along the filthy rocks of Roxas boulevard, shoplifting and rummaging thru thrown fast-food packs in search for ‘untouched’ leftovers when hungry, multiple arrests, stealing from friends and loved ones, and hanging out with an assorted group of criminals from pushers, users, car nap gangs, human traffickers, prostitutes, pimps, bukas-kotse guys, hold-uppers, forgers and dirty cops DID NOT MAKE ME STOP! Nor did the time I was almost executed by a drug syndicate member who accused me of theft. I was living in hell on earth! I desperately needed to be saved but the irony of it all is that despite all my sufferings and hardships I DID NOT WANT TO BE SAVED!
Only when I was selfishly stealing from my terminally-ill mother’s budget for her medication, and then being told that she was more concerned about ‘MY’ safety and whereabouts than for the stolen money, did I reluctantly consider rehab. I was brought to DARE and after completing its program as a scholar, I became it’s center director for 10 years. After it closed last 2011, I decided to continue my advocacy, doing my little share in my mission to help change lives! I have campaigned against addiction through social media and have been invited as a resource speaker and lecturer against drug abuse for many years now in a good number of schools and companies. I focus mainly on the youth, the students, those vulnerable and at ‘high risk’ to fall into this deathly trap!
I have been asked time and again how I am able to share my life’s humiliating moments with the world. It is never easy to share about degrading ‘experiences’ which most ex-addicts try their very best to hide or cover-up…. but it is for THIS REASON that God has saved me! To be HIS instrument in helping educate and warn others.
Is it being “courageous” or “brave”? I’d rather label it as the REALITY and TRUTH! I am no different from the many in recovery who are doing the very same thing.
This once demoralizing news clipping is the perfect example of my “message” becoming more important than my EGO!
And my wife and family? PROUDER AND MORE SUPPORTIVE THAN EVER!
Thank you, Jesus….
I AM NOW FREE! ❤
*HELP ME SPREAD AWARENESS! I am more than willing to be invited as a resource speaker. To help educate and warn the youth and their families as well. Because real-life experiences can NEVER be taught in school!
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