Before I begin writing this post, I’d like to greet all the valiant members of the Philippine Army — both living and fallen (addressed to their families), a Happy 117th Founding Anniversary!
Do you know how it feels like to face your own giant? I am alluding to a famous Bible story wherein a young boy named David courageously faced a Philistine giant named Goliath during the reign of King Saul of Israel. My daughter happens to like this story a lot so I pretty much know the nitty gritty of it by heart. You know how the story went and how we all got amazed by the bravery he exhibited that rewarded him Goliath’s head, and a peaceful Israel.
© Superbook by CBN Asia, “A Giant Adventure”
As I relieved David’s triumphant story in my head, I have to admit that I see myself in the person of King Saul. If my studies still serve me correctly, I’ve known that it is Saul’s responsibility being king that time to fight and defeat Goliath. David is just a shepherd boy, and he just happened to be in that exact time delivering ration to his brothers who are members of the army. I think we already have a clear picture of what transpired that day — it was a dreadful day for the cowards, including the king himself.
Let me tell you about my own Goliath as a military wife. I dread the day that someone would come knocking on my door bearing my husband’s military dog tag. I believe it is any military wife’s nightmare to learn of her husband’s fall in battle.
About 3 years ago, I was newly married and somehow familiarizing myself to my husband’s world, the military. I felt like I was placed in a room constantly hunted by my own fear of losing him that early part of our marriage. I kept on praying to God to send His peace across to pacify the storm in me.
Two weeks after our wedding, I was left alone in the small home that we established for ourselves and our soon-to-be-children, I came across a late night GMA-7 documentary: Reporter’s Notebook aired on October 16th, 2012 that discusses about the topic that I have been avoiding all these time! It’s like rubbing salt in a wound.
Going through that night wasn’t easy for me but I tried gathering all the strength that I need to be able to finish watching the show. Little did I know that that night would also be an eye-opener for me to understand a greater and more valid concern in the military world.
I realized that aside from leaving widows behind, a lot of Filipino military children are actually becoming fatherless, and a heavier burden is given to their mothers in meeting their basic needs singlehandedly. Some of these children would even need to sacrifice being in school in exchange of meeting the basic needs of their grieving family. I was rebuked of being self-centered after these things unfold right before my very eyes. Even if I wasn’t sure of what help I could offer to lessen their burden, all I am certain of was I have to do something.
This is how I’ve first met Mrs. Tambong, wife of PFC Tambong who died in Agusan Del Norte clash with New People’s Army in 2005.
Watch the YouTube Video Here : “Ulila ng Kawal”
I wrote an email addressed to HERO Foundation Inc. that same night offering my time to help them out in anything that they might need. HERO Foundation Inc. is a non-government organization that works hand-in-hand with the AFP Educational Benefits System Office (EBSO) in making sure that the children of our fallen and fully incapacitated soldiers will continue their studies by providing educational stipends to them.
One year passed after I sent that brave, heartfelt email and I got a word from a woman named Michelle Chan. She’s the Director for Marketing & Resource Mobilization of HERO Foundation Inc. A lot of things already happened and changed, I am already a mom to a 2-year-old daughter and a family lifestyle blogger, but my time offering for the foundation still stands unchanged.
With my good friend and HERO Foundation Inc. Marketing & Resource Mobilization Director Michelle Chan
Michelle and I have been meeting every now and then, and she tirelessly updates me on what has been happening to HERO. The blogging community has been very good to me because it allowed me to meet with new and reunite with old people who would all become channels of generous blessing for the foundation. It has opened a lot of doors for people to know and take part in building up this foundation.
Just recently, Mrs. Judy Araneta Roxas and the whole Araneta Group, pledged to support HERO and its cause. You will now see HERO Foundation Inc. donation boxes scattered all over the Araneta Center premises. If you’re watching a movie in Gateway Cineplex or Ali Mall, don’t be surprised to see ads from HERO Foundation, even from the Philippine Army.
Discounts for all Philippine Army Soldiers at stores /establishments that display this sticker in Bonifacio High Street and Market Market until April 9, 2014. Bring your ID or wear your uniform to avail of the discounts.
To Ayala Foundation for first believing in what HERO Foundation is for and all about. I can’t thank you enough. Same goes to Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, and BCDA.
Araneta Group actually started helping out the HERO scholars since last year when they invited the children to watch Disney On Ice as guests.
Thank you very much also to my very good friend, Ms. Dianne Romero for dedicating yourself to these children of our heroes. This is God’s answer to what we have been praying for together for the Philippines since we were in High School.
Araneta Foundation invited the HERO scholars to watch Disney On Ice Treasure Trove in December 2013.
I am also touched by your dedication and generosity, all of you from Globe Telecom — Mr. Bong Esguerra, Ian Meimban, and Ms. Apple Evangelista.
HERO-Globe Telecom Turnover of Donations at the Philippine Army Officer’s Clubhouse on March 21, 2014.
Globe Telecom treated the HERO Scholars together with their mothers to an educational trip to The Mind Museum, gave them a specialized SIM card with discounted call and text rate, G-Cash enabled so they could receive their stipends fast and secured, and a new mobile phone. They will go around to do this to all the HERO scholars nationwide.
The HERO Scholars can now receive their stipends quick, easy and secure. Thanks Globe Telecom!
To the Philippine Army and all its officers, through its Civil Military Operations Group – Public Affairs Branch, Col. Ramiro Rey and Capt. Jeffrex Molina, for supporting and hosting a tour for all of us yesterday at the Philippine Army Museum, and for always accommodating the gatherings of the foundation.
A salute to all of you for supporting HERO Foundation Inc.!
Thank you for Philippine Army for welcoming us!
The HERO scholars carefully listens to how the Philippine Army K-9 units are used to help keep peace and order
We also toured the Philippine Army Murals
The Philippine Army Murals, about a kilometer wall stretch, was inaugurated by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos during the Philippine Army’s 78th Founding Anniversary
The “giant” still comes around every time but looking and spending time with the families of our fallen heroes gives me that one great example of what courage and bravery is all about. And as long as there are people and private organizations who believe in what the Armed Forces of the Philippines serves hard for and HERO Foundation fully supports for, I know I will always emerge victorious in the battles with my giants. I am not doing these people a favor. Ironically, through their military family life example, it is them who are doing me a huge favor by encouraging me to fight and win in my own battle.
From TV to reality. I’ve finally meet Mrs. Mhay Tambong and some mothers of the HERO scholars.
You can also be a HERO. You don’t have to be super rich to donate, and donating is not just all about money. I challenge you to be a HERO even just for a day. Be a hero to our heroes’ children. I am sure that you can find a way to reach out. All you have to do is to take that one, brave step.
Support our troops and the HERO Foundation Inc. today! Please visit http://herofoundation.com.ph to discover the HERO in you.