It Is Done & I am Free!

16 05 2008

10:30 AM 15 May 2008 @ Jamindan & 7:00 PM @ Iloilo Airport

I woke up at 3:00 AM to prepare and board the only PAL flight to Roxas City from Manila for the day together with the General Officer who will replace me as the Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the Party of the Newly-Installed Commanding General of the Philippine Army. The plane left Manila at 5:30 AM and arrived in Roxas City as scheduled at 6:30 AM. After a brief breakfast and change to our Battle Dress Army Uniform, we were on our way to Camp Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz which one hour and 15 minutes ride from Roxas City.

After Arrival Honors for the Commanding General of the Philipine Army was given, we had a brief talk in my office where the Incoming Commander of the 3ID, PA, the Commanding General of the PA, and myself signed the result of the audit & inspection of the financial resources of the command made by the Internal Auditor of the Philippine Army. The result of the inspection showed that I am turning-over an amount of almost 1.7 Million Pesos to the Incoming Commander as part of the unspent financial resources of the Command up to the end of the 2nd Quarter of this year.

The turn-over of command ceremony started at 9:45 AM and it was finished at 10:30 AM. I was awarded the third highest award of the AFP for the accomplishments that my Command had done during my tenure as the Commander for one year and two months. In my farewell speech, I paid tribute and thanks to my commanders & soldiers who successfully dismantled two (2) Guerrilla Fronts and downgraded another two (2) Guerrilla Fronts of the CPP/NPA in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Aklan, and Negros Occidental during my stint as the Commander of the Division and the Command is on the right track and on schedule to finally clear all the remaining six (6) Guerrilla Fronts in Negros & Panay Islands before the mid-part of 2010. Noteworthy among the accomplishments is the cementing of a road that connects the Camp to the Provincial Road from Jamindan which was neglected for the past 21 years and the return of about 8 Million Pesos to the Finance Center of the Philippines which represents pay and allowances of “ghosts” or unfilled CAFGU quotas in my Area of Responsibility.

Before the ceremony/program ended the CG, PA gave me a memento of a replica & mini-statue of  a “Bald Lapu-lapu”, the symbol of a “warrior” in the Visayas (which looks like me!) and a Command Plaque. My Assistant Division Commander gave me a painting of our Grotto in the Camp with Mother Mary overlooking the whole camp. The Division Sargeant Major gave me a one-foot statue of “Bald Runner”. The Officers, Enlisted Men, and Civilian Employees gave me a framed blown-up picture of “Bald Runner” while running the Runnex@25 at the UP Campus with their signatures written on the borders of the picture. But what made me laughed and elated was a painting/charcoal caricature of myself while I was a cadet at the PMA with my head full of hairs and a Chuck Taylor/ELPO Rubber shoes and Bald Runner with my sunglasses, Nike Pro Running Kit & ASICS Running Shoes, running side by side! To all the members of “Team Spearhead Division”. thank you very much for all the gifts. I will treasure all these gifts!

Finally, before I left the Camp, I was given a full military departure honors with a 13-Gun Salute (for a Major General) and after the ceremony, I was given a mounted Gun/Cannon Shell that was fired first. After posing my last group picture with all the Officers and Men of the 3rd Infantry Division, I was already on my way to Iloilo City to board the last PAL flight back to Manila.

After 33 years and 3 months of military service with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and 4 years at the Philippine Military Academy, a total of 37 years & 3 months, I am going back to civilian life once again!

At last, I am done with my military service and I am already free!

Nalpasen!

Tomorrow, I will run 20 kilometers early in the morning to celebrate my 56th Birthday!


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17 responses

16 05 2008
bullrunner

Bald Runner, what can I say—Congratulations! Thanks! Happy Birthday! Yahoo! and that’s all accompanied by a salute, bow, and high five. You’ve accomplished so much during your service—now I understand why running a marathon is easy for you! WIshing you many many more years to come indulging in all your passions (especially running) with all the freedom in the world to do so!

16 05 2008
bananarunning

happy birthday baldrunner!

16 05 2008
loonyrunner

Congratulations BR! That’s really a lot of accomplishments! Happy Birthday!

16 05 2008
junc

Congratulations! I salute you. You just finished one race that our Creator have given you to do and I’m sure you did it with flying colors..Well done! Happy Birthday!!

16 05 2008
doralicious

Congratulations! Indeed, our country is blessed to have someone like you serve in the military… We hope all those soldiers who have gone under you, as well as those who are starting out … emulate the kind of discipline and dedication to your work and to our country that you have shown them.

God speed! With that kind of heart you have, we are pretty sure you will be able to conquer whatever other races in life you plan to finish!

Coun. Doray Delarmente & my dad, Col. Teddy :O)

16 05 2008
quicksilverrunner

Congratulations BR on your birthday and retirement!

Once you’ve been a general, you are addressed as “General” for life. And rightfully so. Out of a large standing army, less than 300 may attain that rank. The government can also recall you any time. I think that is true for any country.

I will dedicate my first ocean swim to you Sir! I think seeing the courage and commitment you’ve shown thus far, the leap I’m taking today seem trivial.

Happy running!

Quicksilver in San Diego, CA

16 05 2008
runmd

Congrats BR! You inspire us to continue running and hope that we’ll run our life’s races like the way you’re doing it. Happy Birthday and welcome back to the civilian world.

16 05 2008
miraclecello

Sir, an entire nation is grateful.

17 05 2008
nb69

You’re inspired us to run and we’re forever thankful for your contribution in our time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR…..To fellow my runners BR for President 2010…..from Jhamfrens of Malate

17 05 2008
levyang

baldrunner,

congratulations and happy birthday!!! the military’s loss will be the running world’s gain now that you have more time for running. i salute you for the work that you’ve done all these years. hope to have the honor of meeting you in person one of these days.

17 05 2008
annalenemb

hi BR! happy birthday and congrats! si..consummatum est. Now you can succumb to your passion with undivided attention… Go run to your heart’s content.

kudos and see you around!

17 05 2008
markfb

Br, Congratulations! Welcome back though im sure its a big loss for the service to have you retire and bid farewell.

Any chance we can join your birthday 20km?

17 05 2008
markfb

Oops, belated Happy Birthday BR! So you ran yesterday, how was it? I ran from 6 to 8:30pm. Buti ka pa di naulanan. It was my first run with the rain, ibang klase! Its important to keep the waterproof hat on to keep the heat.

I hope your 56th celebration was a memorable one.

17 05 2008
m8parco

Congratulations and belated Happy Birthday. We to see you more often in the races.

Regards Mark & Tiffin

17 05 2008
carlo

Happy birthday and congrats on your retirement! Here’s to more years of running!

17 05 2008
kingofpots

ms jaymie, thanks for the greetings & the nice comments. i’ve been using “running” to test and evaluate the attitude of my officers and men. as a commander, i should be able to show my men that i am still strong and with a firm & positive attitude..hope to see you soon!

bards, loony, junc, thank you very much for you bday greetings and nice comments. see you at the next road race.

councilor doray, thanks for the nice comments. the soldiers know me as the “running general” and for being a disciplinarian as i was then the camp commander of fort bonifacio and camp aguinaldo. i am sure the soldiers will never forget the things that i’ve done for the service. hope to seeyou soon!

quicksilver, thanks for the greetings. to tell you the truth, i am more appreciative if people call me “bald runner” rather than calling me “general or sir”. thanks for that ocean swim you have dedicated to me! i am looking forward on your visit to the country and for us to have a running workout together. good luck & happy running!

runmd & cecil, thank you very much for those kind greetings & comments. see you at the next road race.

jhamfrens, thanks for the comments..writing about running in this blog and being able to inspire others to develop their physical potentials is my goal right now. somebody might get jealous & undermine our goal if we push that “idea”. i hate politics! we’ll just enjoy running!

levy, thanks for the greetings. don’t worry, if ever you see me in one of the races, feel free to talk to me. see you at the next road race.

annalene, thanks. you are right, i am done with my military service and i don’t have any complaints. i am happy now that i could run anywhere and anytime without any pressure from any responsibilities. see you soon!

mark, thanks for the greetings. i had a nice 20K run during my bday and i think i had a better time. now that i don’t have any schedules to follow, maybe we can run together in one of your workouts. see you soon!

mark, tiffin, carlo, thanks for the greetings. i am looking forward to seeing you in all the incoming road races. happy running!

18 05 2008
markfb

Br, I will be more than happy to run with you. Pwede tayo train together in some runs.

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