The Brother I Never Had

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Philippines, you have disappointed me once again. An innocent, young soul who deserved a long-lasting existence more than your crook government officials had sacrificed his life and is now gone forever. Your idiotic Zamboanga siege has given me another profound reason to condemn your government and to continuously denounce your politicians as morally corrupt pigs and crooks who deserve to be skinned alive, literally. While your shameless politicians are throwing lavish parties and clinking their wineglasses with another scoundrel friend of them, a life is being snatched away from a good-natured family. While your indolent politicians are sitting in their posh vehicles, a soldier is trying his best to literally dodge a bullet, so he can still go home in one piece to give his children a firm, lasting hug. While your politicians’ offsprings brag about their fancy cars and costly purses to their friends, a mother and a father are shedding tears mourning the loss of their son at this very moment.

Halfway around the world, a heart-broken soul is grieving with this family.

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The agony of losing you, a great person whom I have known since I was a child burns and that it weakens; it breaks; it cripples . A harrowing, emotional pain which is worse than those few times I felt unbearable pain while your dad tried fixing my dislocated shoulder when I was younger. You were a childhood friend, an older brother, a filial son, a brave soldier who now lies in a cold casket.

You were my older brother that I never had indeed. That despite the vast distance between us, you never failed to make me laugh with your puns and witty remarks. Those words of wisdom and those pieces of advice you selflessly gave to an immature girl like me, they will be cherished. And those short conversations on facebook loaded with your humour, with your “salamat” and “wasdi en mamangset,” with your “hehe” and “haha,” with your insistent of calling you “Iyun-a” or “manong,” they will remain within me. These virtual memories are my anchors to keep on believing that you are still corporeally real, alive and smiling somewhere.

Wherever you are, you will always be remembered as the courageous soldier from Anunang/Pap-ayangan, and your memories will always be embedded in our hearts. You will remain an immortal hero, a fearless soldier who sacrificed his life for me, for your family, for your friends, for your comrades, and for all the Filipinos out there.  Again, may you rest in peace Manong.

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