When Precious Jewel Forrosuelo was eight years old, her father, TSgt. Claudio Forrosuelo, a bemedalled Army ranger, was killed in a battle with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
On Saturday, Precious joined the Philippine Army, a week after her graduation from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). She was commissioned as Second Lieutenant. She is among the nine female members of PMA Siklab-Diwa Class of 2014 who joined the Army.
TSgt. Forrosuelo was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest award given to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He was a member of the 8th Scout Ranger Company, Second Scout Ranger Battalion and he led his team in a daring tactical assault against 500 MILF rebels in Matanog, Maguindanao on May 3, 2000.
For the young Precious Jewel, entering the military service was not in her to-do list.
It was only upon her graduation from high school that she entertained the idea and decided to enroll at the military academy.
Precious said it was her father’s heroism that inspired her to join the Army.
But she believes that she has big shoes to fill.
“Expectations were high and the pressure is even greater because they think of me as someone as strong and brave as my father,” she said.
“People usually ask me why I chose to join the profession of arms that also caused my father’s death.” She said. “But the thought of my father’s sacrifice not only for our family, but for the whole nation uplifted me and provided me the motivation to carry on,” she added.
“I slowly realized why my father preferred to stay in the service and even sacrificed his own life. It is because we have this certain pride among ourselves that this profession is the best way of demonstrating our love for our country which should be every Filipino’s duty,” she added.
The young lieutenant admitted that it will not be easy to continue the legacy of her father and to display his kind of heroism. But she said she can be a hero in other ways.
“The courage in combat exemplified by my father can be the same courage which can be manifested through moral integrity and by standing firm on upright principles. This is a challenge not only for me, but for all members of the Siklab-Diwa class, to prove what we have learned in the Academy for four years and that we are molded to be leaders and servants of our nation,” the young Forrosuelo said.