Alcoholism In The Philippines
Bro. Alfredo and Sis. Cecile (Southern Philippines)
Glory be to the Lord Jesus Christ for his great love and wonderful works
for our lives.
It has been long since the bondage of sin have enslaved me. The power
of alcoholism had caught me by the neck until things seemingly offered
no chance to become better for me and my family.
It started when I was still a teenager, now I am 28 years old. I was
raised as an orphan. I worked hard to find ways to have the so-called
‘better life’ – I worked my way up from early years
in school until I finished college. I consider myself a hard working man
because, were it not for it, I would be very far from finishing my college
degree. I started my career as a journalist. I reached the top of it when
I was appointed as an editor-in-chief of a local newspaper here in Southern
Philippines. However, being an orphan, what I wanted more than anything
was to experience what companionship is, rather than material accomplishments.
First, I tried to mingle with people, lost people. There I begin to know
what vices are. So I adventured to see what they could offer to me. The
vices that interested me most was not drugs, but ALCOHOL. Considering
myself an intellectual person, I chose alcohol rather than drugs because,
I thought, it would be a lesser evil. For a moment I thought it was, but
as it went on longer – days after days, months, then years, I found
myself being tied with a bondage I could no longer take away from me.
I then became addicted to alcohol. The longer I engaged in it, the more
bitter it became in my life. For so many years, I was wrapped by the sting
of alcoholism. So then I longed to be free from it.
I tried to befriend others in the society that surrounds me. Perhaps,
I thought, they would lead me to my quest for freedom from alcoholism.
However, no person ever satisfied me, instead it worsened the loneliness
and pulled me away from the peace that I longed for.
Maybe, I said to myself, my personal relationship with others is just
too shallow, so I must go deeper. Thus, I engaged myself to a lady in
the hope that she can help me find the freedom that I sought for. Later,
she became my wife. My high expectation for marriage failed when, two
days after we were wedded, I found out that the companionship with my
wife could not even help me. The woman that I expected to listen to me
when I would give myself to alcohol became my worst enemy. Every time
she would reprimand me for my drinking, I would look at her face as the
‘devil’s advocate’. It was indeed a disaster.
So instead of clinging to my wife for the cause of our marriage, I gave
my faithfulness once again to my compadre – alcohol. This is then
where our marriage was wrecked, torn-apart, and shattered. Whenever my
wife would rebuke me of my drinking, then she would have the taste of
my fist. I keep on hitting her – I hit, hit, hit, hit, hit her.
Instead of becoming an ideal, she became a battered wife. Many time she
would spit blood from her mouth. Lots of times she would find her nose
bleeding. And it was countless times that she would have felt the strength
of my fist in her face.
When my wife was two months pregnant, I remember hitting her and she
held her stomach because of the excruciating pain. I could still remember
the words that came out to her mouth when she cried: “Honey,
please could you not show your mercy even to your unborn child?”
Twice were the times that I thought she would miscarry our baby because
of the hitting that I had been doing to her. I wanted to stop my drinking
and stop my hand from hitting my wife but I really couldn’t do it.
I felt pity on the child inside my wife’s womb, but I just couldn’t
stop myself from hurting my wife. I tried many ways to solve my addiction
with alcohol but it was to no avail. I read lots of books on alcoholism,
browsed through the internet on the many solutions to this addiction,
consulted physicians, but all these were to no avail. It instead worsened
every passing day.
One day, while I was browsing in the web, I came across the websites
and then www.biblebasicsonline.com.
The sites captivated my interest and I spent hours and hours reading the
books written by a certain Duncan Heaster – at this time, I never
have the idea of who this person is. With so much of my reading of Mr.
Heaster’s book, there I discovered that what I needed most is the
true doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. It took so many of my tears to
come to know that my ultimate need is the presence of God in my life,
and my family. Later, after re-reading some chapters of Bible Basics and
Living with Alcoholism, I went home and, for the first time, my wife experienced
my warm embrace while telling her, “Honey, the true Jesus is
all we need.” We spent that entire night in praying for God’s
forgiveness, and accepting Him as Lord and Saviour in our family. That
was the first time my wife saw tears falling from my eyes.
For the first time in our married life, and in my entire life, I experienced
peace that I can’t described. After a long time of marriage, it
seemed that our honeymoon stage in marriage had only just started –
we eat, pray, hug, kiss, and sleep together. For the first time in my
life I find that I belong to someone. In all my past life of alcohol and
not knowing the Truth, I really felt alienated from everyone all those
The thing really amazed everyone that surrounds me. I stopped drinking
and gave myself entirely to my family. Today, seldom is the time that
I and my wife will not go anywhere together. I accompany her everywhere
she goes. She now experiences that she has a husband.
With all those years, I found out that:
a. Marriage plus alcohol will truly give tragic disasters to every
family – either the husband, wife, or children.
b. Commitment to each other is the most significant aspect of marriage
(Were it not for my wife’s commitment for our marriage, ours will
surely have been a broken home. Once I heard her pray, “Lord,
you know that, despite of the aches that I experience from my husband,
I really love him so much that I could nor leave him.”)
c. God is the only solution of every problems, frustrations, desolations,
and crises of our lives. The quest for freedom from anything starts
when we surrender our lives to Him.
With all these goodnesses God has bestowed upon our lives, Cecile (my
wife) and I gave our commitment to surrender our lives in the ministry
of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. From day-one, that we received and
committed to God’s true gospel, we are continously preaching to
every family in our community – especially those families who were
ruined by alcoholism. For almost three or four months now, there are already
five families in our community who surrendered their lives to a quest
for the true Lord Jesus Christ. And it is continuously growing.
We feel an urgent call. There are so many in our country that encounter
the same problems and struggles. We know for sure that God called us to
this ministry to administer the need of the millions of people here –
who have deserted from the message of the true gospel and therefore are
in bondage to the power of sin. We know for sure that there are husbands
and wives out there that need God.
I resigned from my job, and also my wife, and we gave ourselves fully
in the preaching of the true gospel. We are living according to our faith.
As we answer God’s call for us in this area, we know it is seemingly
impossible for us to succeed. But I would say, “The naked eye
may impossibly saw it, but we have these eyes of faith.” We
are living by faith.
My wife and I have this vision of establishing a ministry where every
victim of alcoholism must be rehabilitated, especially those husbands
of longsuffering wives, those who were in just our position. In our area,
alcoholism destroys 70 percent of every home. It means it is everywhere.
It destroys much more than drugs. This ministry also aims at educating
people who, after receiving God’s providence of freedom, would surrender
themselves to God and join me and my wife in preaching the gospel of God.
These preachers, if there will be (and I know that there will be), I believe,
MUST be educated with the untainted principle of the Bible as taught in
I wrote this testimony in the hope that there is someone out there, within
the four corners of this world, who would include us in your PRAYERS.
Your prayers will be the greatest thing that you can give to us. Or perhaps
help us – me and my wife, in anything that you can. I thank God
for my good friend Duncan Heaster and his wife Cindy for their prayers
and support. For spending so much of their time for personally ministering
to us. Truly, they (Duncan and Cindy) let me feel that I have a family.
My wife and my child means so much for me now because, as being orphaned,
I have nothing in this world that I can call my ‘own’ except
for them. So great is God’s grace that I couldn’t ask for
more. King David says, “What shall I give to the Lord for all
His benefits toward me?” For me and my wife, our answer is
Note: Alfredo and Cecile are setting up a centre for victims of alcohol
abuse on their island in the southern Philippines. To support them, please