By Roy Mabasa
Two Filipino-American servicemen joined their colleagues from the United States Civil Affairs Team as well as their counterparts from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for the conduct of a one-day education outreach program in Palawan.
Civil Affairs Team members Alvin Bautista and Mark Abraham, both Filipino-Americans, together with joint Philippine-US servicemen, spent the day distributing school supplies and spending time with the more than 70 three and four-year-old children West Coast Day Care Center in the province on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
During the outreach activity, the participating children had the opportunity to ask both Bautista and Abraham about their experiences growing up in the Philippines, immigrating to the United States, and eventually joining the military.
“This type of community outreach is one of the most rewarding aspects of our jobs. We’ve been blessed in our lives and careers with the US Army. To be able to come back to the Philippines and continue paying it forward is an especially meaningful experience for us,” said Sergeant First Class Alvin Bautista.
Philippine and US service members have a long tradition of conducting joint outreach events, and these events reaffirm both military’s commitment to supporting local communities and the Philippines as a whole.
PCG Lieutenant Junior Grade Mona Villacillo noted that the country’s “enduring partnership” with the United States offers many benefits.
“By working together we are able to help many people who live in remote areas,” she said.
The US embassy in Manila said that last year, more than a dozen Philippine orphanages received volunteer support from joint US-Philippine military missions.