By Mark Cabrera
When I was in High School, my swim team teammates decided to forego our ROTC exemption and join the Air Police instead. We heard that the training was tough and that was what we wanted. Yeah Boy!
True enough, during our ROTC activity period, while the rest of our batchmates were seated in their lecture rooms, my Air Police buddies and I were doing physical exercises in the field. This went on until college as I continued doing service as an Air Police sergeant. This time, our physical training was at 4:30 in the morning and we patrolled the ROTC grounds in the afternoon ROTC activity period. Those were good old days.
Flashforward to 2006, I was already living on Boracay when I learned that there was a Philippine Air Force Reservist (PAFR) Training Program on the island. I immediately joined and boy was I in for the training of my life.
Our PAFR training for that batch was patterned after the actual Air Force training program. The instructors for that batch gave us the proper training meant to produce high caliber soldiers. The physical, mental, psychological, and spiritual training was topnotch. We would start physical exercises in the morning followed by whole day lectures. Discipline became second nature to us as we were punished for sloppy attitude. We became snappy and hard like a bamboo sticks.
Nowadays, the PAFR Boracay has evolved into an organic entity. Aside from giving civilians military training, the PAFR Boracay are now active with many community activities. Allow me to share how the PAFR Boracay are have been immobilizing of late.
I remember responding to sea emergency situations back in the day when we used to have two rescue rubber boats. Recently, the PAFR Boracay responded to the Ambulong Fire last October 24. Several PAFR Boracay members were able to assist in controlling the fire while others provided coverage and documentation.
Last October 13, the PAFR Boracay were able to raise funds and organized a feeding program for the victims who lost their homes in the fire of Barangay Yapak. And on October 26, they had another internal fundraising and distributed relief goods to the victims of the October 24 fire in Ambulong. Sorry to break the silence of your acts of goodness guys but you deserve to be called out for this. Keep it up!
Civil Military Operations
Last October 13, the PAFR Boracay members volunteered to clean classrooms of the Balabag Elementary School. They also volunteered in the recent “In-campus Boy and Girl Scouting Program” at Bloomfield Integrated Academy last October 25. They have been doing these activities in schools for a while now since they have been partners with local schools as part of their civil military function.
The Philippine Armed Forces are known to produce top-class athletes and the PAFR Boracay Air Force Dragon Boat Team is one of them. This team has won championships in several dragon boat competitions. Aside from dragon boat, the PAFR Boracay also boasts of athletes in other sports such as swimming, triathlon, obstacle course run, and ultra-marathon, to name a few.
PAFR Boracay is very active with environmental activities on the island. They have attended every beach cleanup, including the recent Basura Run 2019 last October 20. They also joined the mangrove tree-planting in Manocmanoc. They are currently co-planning a comprehensive tree-planting project for the island.
These are just snippets of the various community activities of the Philippine Air Force Reservist Boracay. I may not be very active in their activities lately, but I am confident that this group is now in great hands under the batch of new inspiring leaders. These selfless men and women are embodying the true meaning of volunteerism.
So when you see these living angels wearing royal blue and gold, rest assured that good things are about to happen. God bless.