And now for a semi-good story. I was given a number to call so I can request for airlifts for the critical care survivors during the Florida bus crash in Bontoc. Someone gave me a number saying “ito, sundalo, si Manny - matutulungan ka niyan, kilala mo yan.” So I call this number late late at night to guarantee that a ride will come and fly sila Abby Sicam, Mylo Cabardo, and the rest to hospitals in Manila. I bugged him and was a bit stern and firm, told him, “Sir, aasahan ko yang helicopter ha ng 5am sa Bontoc.” And he was really listo and said, “Yes Ma’am, I guarantee it.” I even name dropped a Colonel (Zagala) whom I was calling and who helped us during Typhoon Yolanda and said if wala doon ang chopper, tatawagan ko ang Colonel. And he said, “Ay sige, Ma’am pero ako rin ang tatawagan ni Colonel.” So that was that. True enough, when we got to Bontoc, the Air Force was there, available, willing, efficient. They flew everyone as best they could. Done and done. I was so grateful. So I msgd Manny the soldier again and said thank you, broke the news that Mylo didn’t make it but we were grateful for the chance to try everything for his family. So he called me back and said, “At your service, Ma’am, condolence, sorry about your friends.” And that was that.
The next day nakita ko sa diyaryo na nasa Baguio pala si Manny (sundalo) kasi PMA reunions at nakita ko do’n, apparently AFP Chief pala siya. Wasak! Lt. Gen Emmanuel Bautista was “Manny Sundalo” on my phonebook! Aaaaaaugh! Dyahe!! Kaya pala he was saying “Eh ako rin ang tatawagan ni Col. Zagala.” Shet!!!!! Diyahe. But I must say - ang bait ni Lt. Gen Bautista, hindi niya ako inangasan at the time I was in a state of edgy panic and urgency. He didn’t (though he COULD HAVE) pulled literal rank on me. But he didn’t. I’m so grateful hindi niya ako inastahan ng “hindi mo ba ako kilala?” Or nag alpha-male-whatever, though he must’ve chuckled at how clueless I was when I was bugging him so late at night.
I am as diyahe as I am grateful. Mabuhay ang AFP na tumutulong sa mamamayan!
Rock Ed Philippines