Stories of hope and inspiration.
The plan of the team was simple: to collect stories from those who actually experienced them — stories that warm the heart, stories that can inspire other men and women in the same profession, stories that provide a different take on how the Armed Forces of the Philippines performs its role as the protector of the people and the state.
It was a straightforward, no fuss type of project: collect the stories, select and edit, layout and put pictures, and print. We were particularly looking for stories showing how our soldiers mitigate the escalation of violence in a locality, effectively address security threats, balance the competing demands of being a parent and serving the country, bridge the needs of the community with relevant institutions, win the affection and confidence of the community, conduct international peace support operations, or help in disaster response and preparedness. The stories were then selected by our Editorial Board based on how compelling and convincing the story was, whether the story will inspire other soldiers to become better and civilian stakeholders to take part in peace and security efforts, and the insights that the readers can gain from the story.
As we moved forward, however, we didn’t anticipate that among the biggest hurdles we’ll face is the writing style of most of the contributors to the project: the soldiers.The story is there, the details are there, the protagonists are enumerated — but we can’t find the drama. It was as if we’re reading an After Activity Report that is being narrated by an unfeeling, no-emotion, no-reaction soldier.
We rationalized that such is their writing style because that was also how they were trained — focus on the essentials, forget about the frills, and simply get the job done. But really, we realized, the mechanized training of our soldiers have framed their entire personality, not just the way they write but also the way
they move, the way they talk, the way they handle tasks, and even the way they frame their very own experience — even those that pierced their hearts and significantly touched their lives. They have, collectively, become mechanized. Also the way they move, the way they talk, the way they handle tasks, and even the way they frame their very own experience — even those that pierced their hearts and significantly touched their lives.
This realization made us even more convinced that the project we are doing is necessary and timely. While we were initially looking outward— to tell the external audience of the AFP of the good things the soldiers are doing, it becomes equally important to direct the message inward — to address the members of the organization and provide them with stories that inspire, stories that can give them ideas on how others from their organization do things, stories that can make them even more proud of their institution… stories that bring out the heart of the soldier.
This, we believe is the value added of this project. It shows the other side of the soldier—one who, like the rest of us, cries and laughs and becomes inspired to do good things and is willing to sacrifice for others. It shows the heart of the Filipino soldier.
This compilation of stories aims to bring together how different members of the AFP — rank, location, and generation aside — move as one in trying to contribute in promoting peace, development, and unity in localities. It gives us as a glimpse of how soldiers give life to the concept “winning the peace” that is the bedrock of their Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan. It shows us how reform and transformation in the AFP is not just about policies, military assets and capabilities. There is the strong dimension of how the military is able to transform its engagement with the very people it has sworn to protect, how trust and confidence is earned, how relationships are built and nurtured, how the military and civilians are able to come together for peace and security. It hopes to show how peace can be won by valor, by working together with other stakeholders, and ultimately by putting the Filipino people first. Indeed, the spirit of Bayanihan is very much alive in the AFP.Mabuhay ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas!
Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU)
Department of Political Science
Working Group on Security Sector Reform (WGSSR)
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Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108
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The Asia Foundation (TAF)
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Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines
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Military Line: +632 774.5625
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Fax: +632 757.8268
Philippine Copyright ©2013
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, except brief quotations for review, without permission in writing from the Authors.
This publication is produced by (or is a product of) Working Group on Security Sector Reform, Department of Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University with support from the Australian Aid – The Asia Foundation Partnership in the Philippines. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this volume do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government or The Asia Foundation.
Jennifer Santiago Oreta, Ph.D.
Kathline Anne Sigua Tolosa
Miracle Jacklyn Z. Espinas
Aimee O. Tagasa
Bernadette N. Patañag
WORKING GROUP ON SSR, DEPT. OF POLI SCI, ADMU
PRINT VERSION LAYOUT & DESIGN
Maria Veronica O. Balabagno
ONLINE VERSION LAYOUT & DESIGN
Marlon C. Magtira
Miguel Monico C. Magtira
Newsbytes Philippines – www.newsbytes.ph
DWDD 1134 kHz KATROPA RADIO – http://dwdd.com.ph/bayanihan/
AFP Civil-Military Operations School – www.afpcmos.com