Recently, our small town of New Washington mourned with the loss of our kababayan, Mrs. Josie Esto. A Filipina UN Volunteer who was killed in a recent Taliban attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. According to a news post, Esto was killed when Taliban gunmen stormed the Bekhtar Guest House in Kabul’s Shar-e-Now District being used by UN and other international workers.Esto was killed when Taliban gunmen stormed the Bekhtar Guest House in Kabul’s Shar-e-Now District being used by UN and other international workers.The dawn attack, which left four other UN staff members dead, was later claimed by the Taliban.
Josie Esto was from our small home town of New Washington Aklan. She was a former school teacher before she left to work for the United Nations over a year ago. She’s married and with 2 kids. She served as a UN volunteer in Liberia, Timor-Leste and Nepal. It is sad to note that Josie is the 4th Filipino UN staff member to die in terrorist attacks.
I personally didn’t know her nor her family. But despite that, I have come to pay my last visits. I had to pay respect to a woman who risked her own life and spent her last hours serving and helping our world be a better place. During her last night, her remains was brought to New Washington Sports Complex for public viewing. Hundreds of people from all walks of life paid their last respects.
People from her past, and even those who barely knew her, just like me went to honor her. What struck me the most is that, amidst all this, it is her young children who is greatly affected by what happened. 2 young kids will now face their journey towards life without a mom. I wonder, how many other children around the world has to mourn and cry over a loss of a dear loved one because of war or terrorist attacks. Innocent children, moms, dads or even grandparents who are probably peacefully living their own lives that are now gone because of relentless attacks. How many more lives do we have to spare for terrorism?
I wonder is there a way to stop terrorism? What does it take for us, humans to realize that nothing on earth is ever more valuable that life itself.
I bowed down my head and prayed, not only for Josie’s soul but more importantly to us who remain here on earth. That may we continue to help make the world a better and safer place for us and the future generation.
Goodnight Mrs. Josie Esto…