The past year has been one of the most challenging times in John Arcilla’s life, not just because of the ongoing pandemic, but because of the tragic losses of life within his family, which began with the passing of his father Dominador in April of last year due to heart failure. This year, John also mourned the loss of his elder brother Emmanuel last June and more recently, the passing of his youngest sister Teresa, both of whom were tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
During his solo mediacon for On The Job: The Missing 8 last September 10, John talked about how he lost both siblings this year.
“Ang bigat. Masakit. Nilalabanan ko. My father died within this pandemic. It’s not COVID. My second brother died because of diabetes but it actually I think aggravated because of his parang weak immune system, I think na na-acquire niya yung COVID. So it turned into COVID but it’s more of diabetes since he’s been suffering from diabetes for several years now, siguro five to seven years na.
“Yung sister ko medyo wala kami talaga kaming kaalam alam, yung bunso kong kapatid. Ayoko sana manisi ng tao. My sister kasi was so afraid to take a swab (test) kasi ayaw niyang malaman kung positive siya because there are a lot of talks about facilities and I understand her kasi ang dami daming negative na mga sinasabi sa facilities, nagugutom ka lang, wala kang makain, yung napaka miserable ng buhay so takot na takot siya dun. Sabi ko magpa-ospital ka na lang. Ayaw din niya ng hospital kasi punuan, yung mismong hospital halos wala ka ng malagyan.
“Parang natatakot siya. Sabi niya baka dun pa ako grumabe, dun pa ako mamatay eh. Mas gusto ko na lang dito kasi kasama ko yung mga anak ko. Wala kaming magawa to force her kasi I am not beside her. I’m here in Ilocos. She’s in Manila. And then that thing happened. After that it was aggravated and when she reached the hospital, ayun na, nasa puso na niya and then sabi ng findings din, nagka-COVID din pala siya,” he explained.
While talking about his late siblings, John couldn’t help but show his frustration with those running the country.
“My thing is this, habang ang lahat ng tao ay natatakot at nawawalan ng pag-asa, nawawalan ng tiwala sa facilities at saka sa mga hospitals, meron kang mababalitaan na mga nawawalang bilyun bilyon na sana ay ipinagawa ng facilities na may magandang procedure, itinayo ng hospital at binili ng gamot para sa mga ganitong klaseng tao para lumakas ang confidence ng mga nagkakasakit. Bigla kang makakabalita ng mga nawawalang bilyun bilyon.
“I felt that the death of my sister particularly is part of the social injustice. I think she is a victim of social injustice. Ayoko sanang lagyan ito ng ganito. Paano na ako? Yung kapatid ko meron akong pangpa-ospital sa kanya pero natatakot siya magpunta ng hospital. Paano na yung walang pang-hospital? Na ganun na lang, magtitiis na lang? Why? Nawalan na sila ng trust kung saan sila pupunta. It’s so sad and it’s so painful,” he said.
The On The Job: The Missing 8 actor said he does not want to spend his life putting blame on anyone about what happened to his family and instead made an open plea to those in the government to do better and improve the current handling of the pandemic in the country.
“I’m also asking for your prayers to make me stronger kasi ang hirap talaga. Right now I’m doing a lot of things just to ease my pain and then I’m praying to God. I’m sorry for my sister. I love her so much. Ayokong i-drag yung pangalan niya dito sa ganitong klase ng mga social injustice pero nakakalungkot kasi yung may mga nangyayaring ganyan tapos ganun. Bakit? So right now yun lang ang panalangin ko.
“Gusto ko na rin putulin yung culture of hate eh. Sabi nga nila, ‘Don’t wish them bad, wish them consciousness.’ So I’m praying for those people, kung sino man talaga yung gumagawa ng mga ganito na mga inaasahan mo supposedly. Sana magising na sila. Sana i-touch sila ng Diyos, sana makonsensiya sila sa ginagawa nila. Alang alang sa bayan natin. Alang alang sa mga Pilipino. Kasi sobra na. Sana magising sila. Diyos ko Panginoon ko touch their hearts. Make them change. Para naman itindig muna natin itong ating bayan at tulungan natin ang ating mga mamamayan. Kung hindi kayo maawa puwede ba balikan niyo na lang yan after ng pandemic, yung fascination natin to accumulate a lot of money and properties na galing kung saan yung pera,” he shared.