July 2020

Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry18 Jul 2020 02:39 am

STAGES IN SHABU ADDICTION * The need for an information campaign

eastwind journals * daily tribune – star gazer column
The need for a Shabu Information Campaign.
At first, it is all sunshine and happiness. At the end, it is total darkness and madness.


By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Blogger / Daily Tribune columnist / ex- Inquirer columnist / healing ministry
Facebook “Bernie V Lopez” / “Eastwind Journals”
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This is the first of a three-part series on Shabu, the destroyer of society.


First, it is plain curiosity, which turns to occasional use. By the time a victim knows it, he is sucked into the vortex of a full-blown addiction, and there is no escaping, except through sheer will power.


There are two catalysts to the spread of shabu – curiosity, and the barkada or gang. Curiosity means you just want to try it out. You do not plan to really go into it. You do not realize, because of your ignorance, that the first taste is the first step towards addiction. A Shabu Information Drive is thus important to stop the drug at the root before it grows, to stop the potential user before he tries it out.


Second is the barkada, which offers the opportunity. It is there in front of you on a silver platter, no muss, no fuss, no pay. It seems safe in the confines of the barkada.


A construction worker is going home. He is accosted to join a small private ‘party’ in a corner of the now-empty construction site. The shabu sessions become regular because everybody is happy and animated. You are on your way to addiction without knowing it. Normally, the pusher joins the group and gives a free supply. When he notices, you are now asking for it, he will start selling. A pusher is supported in his addiction by users. This is the same story at the tricycle, jeepney, or bus terminals. For students, they go to the house of a friend where it is safer.


Here is a quick Shabu 101 for the readers. Long-term use of shabu results in psychosis, when brain cells are damaged on a massive scale beyond repair. A millionaire from Ayala Alabang, a drug-lord-addict, lost everything – family, business empire, home, in a single year.
STAGE 1. EUPHORIA. At first, everything is sunshine and happiness, making it intensely addictive. The shabu sessions are lively. You look forward to it. During a high, you do not feel tired, hungry, thirsty or sleepy for two days. When you leave the shabu session, you bring your high to your home and your family, in time, starts noticing your personality changes.


After a two-day high, you ‘crash’, sleeping for the whole day. When you wake up, you take a liter of water and overeat. You start aging fast. Shabu disrupts schedules of students or employees. But it helps jeepney and tricycle drivers. They do not get tired driving, another point of addiction.
STAGE 2. ANTI-DEPRESSION. Shabu is an anti-depressant. It will turn your depression into happiness. If you have problems with your parents or sweetheart, shabu will ‘solve’ them quickly for a while. After you ‘crash’, it comes back double with vengeance. So you take shabu again, a vicious circle that makes you a zombie in a few weeks. A teenager can look like a 40-year-old.
STAGE 3. ‘TOLERANCE’. ’Tolerance’ means – the more you take, the less the effect. At the start, one fourth gram gets you high for 3 days. After 6 months, half a gram gets you high for 1 day. After a year, a whole gram gets you high for 3 hours. At this stage, your happiness starts to evolve into anger. You easily explode.
STAGE 4. PSYCHOSIS AND SUICIDE. Psychosis and suicide are the last stages in shabu addiction beyond rehabiliation. When addiction intensifies, a shabu addict starts going crazy, killing and raping and stealing to feed his need. The addict can pull a knife on his own mother or maul his own father or rape a child sister. It is dangerous to have an addict in your home. All appliances will suddenly disappear, including wide-screen TV, vacuum cleaners. A ‘shy’ addict is capable of heinous crimes. One businessman did not know his son had mortgaged their home and the car sold.
REHABILITATION. Rehab centers managed by soldiers normally fail because addicts are mutilated and mistreated in a jail environment. Rehab requires gentleness to nurse the addict going through ‘cold turkey’, i.e. massive physical and mental stress caused by sudden withdrawal of the drug. There must be a balance between authority (soldiers) and gentleness (counselors, psychologists).


After one year of rehab, the son of a banker was released from a rehab center run by sisters. After just two weeks, his shabu friends visited him, and he was back on shabu instantly. The banker was forced to ‘deport’ his son to the States.


A Shabu Information Drive has three components. First is integrating Shabu 101 in high school and college curricula. Second is obligatory seminars for workers and drivers via OWWA and DOLE. The best speakers are former addicts. Third is the telecast of shabu documentaries for television and Youtube.


Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry18 Jul 2020 01:45 am


eastwind journals * daily tribune – star gazer column
When eagles soar, they sometimes take a deep dive into a bottomless pit.

By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Blogger / Daily Tribune columnist / ex- Inquirer columnist / healing ministry
Facebook “Bernie V Lopez” / “Eastwind Journals”
Blog link –
Daily Tribune link -
This is the second of a three-part series on Shabu, a true story related by an ad agency director.


Ruben was the best most-admired Executive Producer in a multi-national advertising agency. Anything the director asked for, the hardest rarest prop to find, he gives in a silver platter way ahead of the deadline.


Office peers started to notice Ruben’s peculiar behavior, easily angry, easily laughing, over-talkative. Finally, he could no longer keep it a secret. The agency discovered he was a shabu addict, and instantly kicked him out. After a year in rehabilitation, he got well. He went back to the agency, which took him in again without question. Everything was fine, until, one day, after six months, they had a location shoot in Baguio for a TV commercial. He decided to take just a little bit. It was cold. It was nice to get high. That was when hell broke loose.


After continued use of shabu, one develops ‘tolerance’ or the ability of your body to adjust to the drug. This slowly lessens the effect of the drug on you. If you take a third of a gram as a beginner, your high can last 2 days. But after 3 to 6 months of constant use, you may need a triple dose of one gram to get a high for half the time, namely 1 day instead of 2. You need more and more shabu to get high through time. Within one or two years, you become a zombie, desperate for a high which becomes harder to get. You start to become mad.


In the case of Ruben, his successful rehab took away the addiction. It also took away the tolerance, something he knew nothing about. After rehab, he was like a beginner all over again, super-sensitive to the drug. He was taking say one gram as a veteran addict before rehab because he was very tolerant. In Baguio, after rehab, he was taking shabu for the first time in a year without tolerance. He needed only a third of a gram to get super-high, but he too one gram, which was close to over-dose.


When you are high on shabu, you do not feel hungry or sleepy or tired for the two days you are high. Then, when you ‘crash’, you sleep for one whole day, and take a liter of water and devour a lot of food when you wake up. The crash induces depression so you take more shabu, an anti-depressant, the vicious cycle of addiction. Some addicts have with them a portable DVD player to watch movies, to kill time anywhere anytime when they can’t sleep. Addicts normally look ten years older.


At the Baguio location shoot, unable to sleep due to the shabu ‘overdose’ he took, Ruben came to the set at 430 a.m. When the camera crew came at 6 am, he screamed at them for being late. He methodically instructed them what to do, even though they knew what to do better than him. When the client came at 8 am (very early in client standards), he also screamed at him for being late. He was a senior VP of the company and the client contributed about 70% to the agency’s gross income. Of course, Ruben lost his job instantly. His peers do not know where Ruben is now. They speculate he may just have committed suicide.


An ex-addict I interviewed (his words reconstructed), said, “Two of my friends committed suicide. Three were in and out of rehab. I know only of one who really got out of it, Jackie, me ex. She’s been off shabu for five years now. But I am not sure if, one day, out of the blue, when she gets depressed or lonely, she goes back. I am deadly scared of rehab. I’d rather just die. Please pray for me.”


Tricycle and jeepney drivers must be educated on the trap shabu offers. They are often given a taste for free, to get them hooked. Many squatter areas are littered with addicts and pushers who entice kids with free shabu to become couriers. They wait for them at the sari-sari store to buy vinegar for their mom.


The best law enforcers in the U.S. and Latin American have failed to stop the powerful drug cartels for many decades now, because they are able to buy everyone – policemen, mayors, governors, even senators. They are able to control it somewhat but not eradicate completely. It has the ability to destroy society totally if left unchecked. It is the main reason for heinous crimes in the streets. The information drive and education program on shabu is critical to protect our children before they take the first dangerous puff.
Mother Ignacia Healing Ministry16 Jul 2020 03:47 am


Open Letter to the President, a proposed solution to the modernization dilemma.
By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com /
Blogger / Daily Tribune columnist / ex- Inquirer columnist / healing ministry
Facebook “Bernie V Lopez” / “Eastwind Journals”
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Back in January 2018, I wrote an article about President Duterte’s Transport Modernization Program (TMP) as endorsed by the DOTr. I warned that this needed a lot of planning, and fast-tracking it, imposing deadlines, and premature implementation would not work.


Mr. President and DOTr Sec. Tugade, I beg your indulgence. We need an in-depth study before we start moving. We are not yet ready. DOTr Asec Goddess Libiran announced a deadline of June 2020 for jeepney operators to ‘modernize’. It is now July. Even if operators meet the deadline, is DOTr ready for the massive processing and inspection? What entails ‘modernization’ or the mandatory shift to expensive European engines?


Mr. President, let me show you how flawed the entire concept of ‘modernization’ is. The idea is to replace the jeepney engines with the environment-compliant Euro-4. One Euro 4 jeepney will cost a staggering P1.6 million. Fitting Euro 4s into 300,000 jeepneys nationwide, at a staggering cost of P447 billion, is a massive undertaking which may take five years. (Source – UPLB scientists interviewed).


Clearly, modernization will triple or quadruple jeepney fares, which is unacceptable to marginal commuters. Cost of spare parts alone will sky-rocket. Fish and vegetables can easily soar 3- to 4-fold, if transported by Euro 4 engines. The entire national economy is affected.


This is a game-changer beyond the reach of jeepney operators and drivers, and will strain government and private sector financing. After five years to convert, the Euro 4 will be obsolete. Europe is now working on the Euro-6, which may cost double of the Euro-4. We cannot keep up with and are not ready for this rapid expensive modernization meant for developed nations. Once we adopt the Euro-4, we are stuck. We become the dumping ground for old technologies. We cannot put our eggs in one basket. We need a Third World model based on our economies of scale.


Shifting to Euro-4 means we are totally dependent on foreign firms, and spare parts can come late, or may become non-existent if it is phased out. We also need to train ordinary jeepney drivers the high-tech digital aspects of the Euro-4.
Rappler articles hint that they are pushing hard for modernization. Is this for favored multinationals? Rappler receives a lot of foreign funding, which may blur its perspective and may be a conflict of interest that jeopardizes freedom of the press, for which it says it fights for.


If we hand over the transport sector to multinationals in partnership with a few oligarch ‘jeepney czars’, it will be at the expense of tens of thousands of drivers and operators. 300,000 jeepneys nationwide translates to about 1.5 million family members, not including downstream industries. Profit will be centralized to a few and the marginals marginalized further. This environment modernization may become a social disaster.
TOWARDS A PHILIPINE MODEL. Mr. President, the picture is not that dim. There are avenues for long-term solutions. The approach is to ‘localize’ modernization, to let Filipinos partner with foreigners to produce the engines themselves locally, rather than import them.


We can ask foreign environmentally-compliant engine manufacturers like Mitsubishi and Hyundai to setup engine factories here, train workers, and locally produce engines on a joint-venture partnership. We can forge this deal through a bilateral agreement with South Korea and Japan, which, by the way, may have cheaper engines than the Europeans. Let’s make it an Asian thing.


Jeepney cooperatives and their families can participate in this effort by being prioritized as factory workers. We can give more capital to jeepney body producers, like Sarao, and Francisco Motors to streamline the new jeepney of the future using appropriate technology, the ability to improvise from locally available cheap materials. Let’s make it a Filipino endeavor. Filipinos are ingenious in appropriate technologies.


Mr. President, we understand the urgency to modernize, but we have to plan and prepare well for this, instead of fast-tracking it with little planning, and imposing sudden unreasonable deadlines. We have to forge foreign partners first. Perhaps a Transport Modernization Task Force can be formed, if it has not yet been done, which can include DFA, DTI, and DOLE. We cannot do it overnight. If we hurry, we may easily stumble.