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I was born pretty on May 28, 1992 in Ocean Side, New York, and was raised in Manila,


Growing up, I was educated in Poveda Learning Center until 4th grade in 2002. After this, my parents transferred me to TMA homeschool until high school in 2010. For college, I entered Ateneo de Manila University in 2010 until 2014 and majored in Management Economics minor in Financial Management.

I was 16 years old when I tried my first stick of marijuana. The second time was after four years, I remember my boyfriend re_introducing it to me. With gradual and increasing frequency I developed a penchant for it eventually leading to almost daily use.

I thought it was cool. It relieved stress in school, pressure from family, friction from relationships. I use it after school as a way of relaxation, inviting my friends over to my place to chill versus going to clubs and partying.

However, I started to abuse it, developed a disturbing dependency compromising my ability to relate with my family that was compelling enough to send me to a rehabilitation facility against my will.

TCI Village, a management center for those with conditions such as mine was to be my stay in domicile for 8 months and 4 more months of gradual community re-entry prior to final completion of treatment.

I guess my father felt secure knowing the center is complete with female staff handling the program for female residents. At the time of my entry, there were already around female 10 patients each on different lengths of stay at the facility.

I was properly welcomed and briefed as to the policy of stay, I found the facility to be clean and comfortable despite the number of inpatients which at that time numbering to 60 including the male wards. I was assigned an air-conditioned room with my own bath and toilet accommodation.

When I found out that an 8-month stay inside is a non-negotiable program requirement, I felt it was not only unnecessary but unacceptable as well. I knew that among the many struggles I have to hurdle this has got to be the most challenging.

Aside from clinical assessments to determine any co-occurring disorders, constant evaluation from the program counselor was a regular structure the center applied. In between these activities are the various applied practices and unseen forces at play working on slowly adjusting the destructive habits and behavior acquired and developed during addiction.

Day in, day out, with constant repetition, the focus on the smallest of behavior deviancy is called out as a concern by everyone, I believe this is the mirroring strategy they apply to make you aware of your "pag-uugali" or your behavior. By the way, once welcomed in the center, you immediately become a family member, and those older in the program are called Kuya or Ate.

The program is designed to work on behavior because it is in such that attitudes are influenced positively after all attitude is a thought habit as well as an action habit.

The first few months were not easy for me, I knew I needed help to eradicate my substance addiction but I was defiant as to the process I was going through to get me fixed. I wanted a shortcut, I wished for a magic pill to release me from my troubles. I had no realization that the important inner change everyone aspires for could not come overnight, that you have to work for it, yearn for it, will it.

I have to admit almost everyone in the facility was having a hard time dealing with my being mayabang, walang pag tanggap and entitled, but they did not give up on me, the daily rigors of constructive mirroring and behavior call outs, the regular counseling eventually tipped me over the brighter side of acceptance. but it took time. it needed time. 8 months of time.

"Mayaman kami, maraming katulong , hindi ako nag huhugas ng pinggan at kaldero."

In the facility, each was had a chore to do. No exemptions. I was made to wash dishes, and sometimes all by my lonesome especially if I was misbehaving. I cleaned bathrooms, I swept the floor. Everyone has got something to do daily. Lahat ng yabang, tinatanggal, lahat ng luho inaalis. lahat ng matigas ang ulo , pinapaintindi. Lahat ng hindi napapagawa ng magulang mo sa labas due to your negative behaviour napapagawa sa iyo sa facility in a humane way because the program is working on without let up, na mag karoon ka ng pagtanggap, na maging huwaran ka sa youngers in the program.

After three or four months yata we get earn visitation privileges, we earn that through good behavior, my parents immediately observed a marked improvement on my behavior, I was more respectful, less reactive, and quite understanding. And why not, such can be attributed to the program's emphasis on the relief and management of feelings and emotions, the facility even run an anger management program which most of us needed address. TCI taught us the ability to understand and manage emotions.

Fire is the test of gold, adversity is of strong men, Sabi sa loob ng TCI, the harder the struggle the sweeter the victory. Pinaghirapan ko and changes na nangyari sa sarili ko sa tulong ng mga taong nagpapatakbo ng TCI. They did a good job on me. Actually sa lahat. Maayos patakbo nila. I felt safe the entire time I stayed there. Malaking bagay din ang tulong ng mga kasama ko na nagrehab sa TCI. Madami kami memories to go back to pag dating ng panahon. Nangingiti na nga lang ako remembering the many issues I have to deal with to tweak my mindset and bring out a goal-laden life.

Madami Nagtatanong kung nakatulong ba ang rehab sa akin, at kung paano ako natulungan. It may be too early on my stage of recovery to be 100 percent sure, but i am confident to say natulungan ako dahil una i am not using and i do not feel the need to use drugs again, pangalawa, i was taught skills to avoid relapse, third, may magandang relapse prevention ang TCI, kasi they value connection, they pursue a connection, they always connect you to the program, welcome ka palagi sa facility, basta wag ka lang bibitaw kasi addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease, there is no cure for it, at best you can only manage its symptoms, that's the best you can do.

Memorable sa akin ang last day ko sa facility, when I said my goodbyes I cried. Habang nilalagay ko sa mga bag ko ang mga damit ko the night before ako sunduin ng father ko para umumi na sa amin, I can not help but be emotionally immersed. I have come to love the place, and the people na sumaklolo sa akin noong basag ako. They built me up. Now we part ways. Masayang malungkot. But now, rid of my addiction, I am to live my life again.



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