LIGAO CITY: Soldiers from the Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Day with indigent children here.
Lt. Col. Perfecto Penaredondo, commanding officer of the 2nd IB, said children from their area of operation and neighboring barangays joined the troops in the merrymaking at battalion camp.
Penaredondo said soldiers rarely spend Christmas with their families because of their duty to country. But spreading cheer and goodwill in the community they are assigned to protect makes them feel at home.
“Seeing the children happy is like we’re with our own children and family. We’re home away from home but our homesickness to our own family is replaced with gladness when the people we’re serving are pleased and secure,” Penaredondo told The Manila Times.
Soldiers played big brother to the children, feeding them, giving them gifts, and playing games with them.
Peñaredondo also partnered with Dios Mabalos Po Foundation Inc. headed by Ms Mary V. Villanueva to feed indigent families from the villages of Tula-Tula Grande, Ligao City, San Vicente and Pistola of Oas town.
The military here hopes to convince the communist rebels to give up their fight and become productive citizens.
Aside from sharing the holidays with the community, 2nd IB soldiers also planted bamboo to prevent soil erosion and mitigate the impact of global warming.