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Patron Saint and Prophet


Patron Saints of Nothing: A Summary

Patron Saints of Nothing is a poignant narrative exploring themes of family, identity, loss, and the complexities of growing up. Set against the backdrop of political turmoil in the Philippines, it tells the story of a teenager named Jay as he grapples with the sudden death of his cousin Jun, a death that raises questions about truth, justice, and the inescapable shadows of one’s heritage.

Prologue: A Connection Lost

The story begins with a powerful memory from Jay’s childhood, visiting his family in the Philippines. The death of a puppy, for which he felt responsible, introduces him to the raw realities of life and death. This memory is intertwined with his bond with his cousin Jun, who, even then, showed a depth of understanding and empathy beyond his years.

Current Struggles: The Pressures of Adolescence

In the present day, Jay, now a high school senior in Michigan, is caught up in the typical anxieties of teenage life. His interactions with his friend Seth reveal Jay’s insecurities about his future and identity. Despite having been accepted into college, Jay is dissatisfied, reflecting a deeper struggle with his purpose and direction.

The Shock: Jun’s Death

Jay's world is upended when he learns of Jun's unexpected death. The news is delivered abruptly by his father, who offers no details, leaving Jay in a state of shock and disbelief. This event triggers a spiral of confusion and introspection as Jay struggles to reconcile the loss of someone once so integral to his life.

Delving into the Past: The Power of Letters

Seeking answers, Jay turns to a shoebox filled with letters from Jun. These letters, a testament to their once-close relationship, reveal Jun's growing disillusionment with the world around him. Jay is haunted by the realization that he never responded to Jun's last letter, a confession of loneliness and yearning for understanding.

Uncovering the Truth: A Harsh Reality

In a quest for closure, Jay confronts his mother for more information about Jun's death. She reveals the harsh reality of Jun's life on the streets and his tragic end at the hands of police, a casualty of the Philippine government's brutal war on drugs. This revelation forces Jay to confront his ignorance of the political and social issues that claimed his cousin’s life.

A World Unseen: Discovering the Drug War

Driven by guilt and the need for understanding, Jay immerses himself in researching the Philippine drug war. He discovers a world of violence and government-sanctioned killings, a stark contrast to his sheltered life in the United States. This journey into the dark underbelly of his homeland's politics is both eye-opening and distressing.

Reflection and Realization: The Impact of Silence

As Jay delves deeper, he begins to question the role of his family's silence and his own inaction in the face of Jun's struggles and the broader injustices in the Philippines. He grapples with the moral implications of staying silent in the face of wrongdoing, both in his personal life and in the broader societal context.

Conclusion: Coming to Terms with Loss and Responsibility

In the end, "Patron Saints of Nothing" is a story of coming to terms with loss, the search for truth, and the painful realization of one’s own limitations and responsibilities. Jay’s journey is a poignant exploration of the complexities of family ties, cultural identity, and the pursuit of justice in a world filled with inequity and political strife.