June 13, 2021


News and Information Portal


Me with Emmanuel Llenos


Me with Emmanuel Llenos

I am blessed to share another amazing story of recovery. Real-life struggles filled with lessons and warnings, as well as triumphs worth emulating. Having come from hell on earth, I know firsthand how difficult it is to have the will power to want to change. That is why I am so proud of my brothers and sisters who have defeated addiction and have made it their mission in life not just to stay and watch on the sidelines… But to have accepted God’s call to reach out to others in bondage of addiction. Emman is one of the driving forces of change. Here is his personally written story:

My name is Emmanuel and I’m 41 yrs of age. Growing up I was living a normal and happy life that every kid could ever imagine. Most of the time I played basketball and would be around with my parents and siblings. During highschool days my love for basketball grew and I even became a member of the school varsity team. I hated drugs and alcohol back then. I just wanted to live a life that is normal and healthy. I was always looking forward to become successful in life.

By the time I reached college, things turned 360 degrees.

Because of peer pressure and my curiosity I tried drugs specifically shabu/meth. At first I was just using it occasionally but slowly without me noticing, I  was starting to get addicted to it.

As my addiction to drugs grew I’ve learned how to steal, lie, cut classes, pawn and even manipulate neighbors. I’ve learned to borrow money without paying them back in return. As far as I can remember I almost borrowed money from all the neighbors that I knew and because of that stupid act I became alone with no family and friends.

I was sent to rehab and this time it was a facility called DRACC. Life inside DRACC was never easy and we were constantly punished. Because of that my drug addiction worsened. December 2004, I was released from DRACC and from moment I left the gates of the facility, I immediately took drugs again because I have learned nothing but hate and anger.

Fast forward, 2005 I went to Cadiz City, Negros Occidental to finish my studies. Even though I was still using that time I was still sane enough to think that I needed to finish my studies. True enough at the age of 28 yrs. old I graduated with a degree in Management.

I went back to Cebu and applied for a job and I thought that my job would help me change but it made my life worse. Many times I would come home bringing nothing. I was earning good money but I always lose it all due to drugs and gambling.

Sad to say I already had a child that time but still I was so selfish that I had to leave her with my mom almost all of the time.  Since the first month of my daughter until she was 10 years old I was an irresponsible father to her. It hurt me a lot but drugs took control of my life. I was trying so hard to stop but I was having a hard time. Drugs destroyed my life and the lives of the people I love, big time.

Last 2015 I was put into treatment again, then this time it was different. I was able to realize things. I completed my program and volunteered to work for a treatment facility known as Safehaven. Safehaven has helped me stay clean and sober. With the help Pastor Ronnie G Delos Santos, our President, a mentor and my big brother in recovery, I’ve realized that true healing comes with love and passion.

I am now on my way to being 5 years clean and sober from drugs, gambling and alcohol addiction. As the Program Director now for Safehaven, I will continue to love suffering addicts because I strongly believe that in life there’s hope and life will get better.

Now, I always make it a point to make my family feel special every single day, most especially my mother, daughters, wife and siblings. Day by day I’m showing them that I am so grateful and thankful for them not giving up on me. Most of all our Lord God above, for without Him I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Safehaven Program Director
Ambassador of Change