Thursday, October 18, 2012



(From left: Lt. Gen. William K. Hotchkiss, CAAP Director General with   
Capt. John Andrews, Deputy General for Operations, CAAP)

 Bird strike at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) does not only poses an imminent danger to the safety of airlines and its passengers, but also a threat to our country’s economy as well. We may never earn an upgrade of our aviation safety classification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to boost our tourism industry and increase commercial activities in the metropolis and parts of central Luzon, because of such issue, other than the modernization of our airports.
Lately, there was tremendous increase of bird strikes at NAIA.  There were  49  bird strike recorded by CAAP from January to September, compared to 30 bird strikes in 2011 and 25 in 2010, which makes the makes the danger more imminent.  Thus, NAIA was prompted to issue a warning to the pilots of the danger to land and take off at NAIA. 
It was reported that a Philippine Airlines (PAL) Flight PR 124 to Manila was canceled last September after birds got sucked into the plane’s engine in order to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. Cebu Pacific's Cotabato-Manila flight was delayed for more than four hours also in the same month.  Earlier in July, it was reported that  PAL flight PR 105 that just arrived in Manila from Guam in also suffered from the same incident and the aircraft’s entire set of fan blades had to be replaced due to irreparable damage. It was reported by TV 5 News that from January to July this year, 39 bird strikes have been reported at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), 50 percent more than the same period last year, data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) indicated.  These incidents involve aircraft of Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, Cathay Pacific, Jet Star Asia, Air Philippines Express, and Qatar Airways.
The population of migratory birds nesting at the Las-PiƱas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Eco Tourism area located about 15 kilometer away from NAIA . . .  DOUBLE CLICK HERE TO WITNESS BY YOURSELF

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

VP BINAY at Fort Mag

Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay in support of the soldier's dependents distributed cash assistance to to deserving dependents of our soldiers   during the "Alay sa Kawal Awarding" at Fort Mag.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Home Soldier . . . Home.

On June 2012, the more than two hundred fifty (250) graduates of the Special Officers Candidate Course Class of 1962, the biggest class of Reserved Officers Training Course (ROTC) graduates from different schools in the entire archipelago who attended military training at Fort Magsaysay as probationary Second Lieutenants shall celebrate their Golden Anniversary.

Many of them became fine officers and gentlemen of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Some of them served the public and private sector in various capacity and most were already retired from the service. Yet, the spirit of what they have learned at  Fort Magsaysay still marks in their hearts and mind. The spirit of brotherhood, as band of brothers.


Dedicated to the graduates of members of
Special Officers Candidate Course Class of 1962, Fort Magsaysay.

By: Col. Benny A. Letrondo (PA, Ret.)

We have sailed the rough seas, battered every storm, crossed the deepest seas and climbed highest mountains despite so many obstacles.  We survived the test of time, surpassed turmoil and debacles of politics yet, remained loyal to our oath and solemn duty to defend the Republic and the freedom we enjoy, which our forefathers dearly fought for. Though some may have lost along the way during rough times brought about by political turmoil and bickering, we remained steadfast and loyal to the Republic, the institutions it represents and to our oath to protect the lives, limbs and freedom of the people we all dearly love regardless of culture, creed, religion or political beliefs, believing in the greatness of this nation.
Gone were the days where we were so divided due to politics, self interest and decaying moral values. Let the politicians say their piece, the judges decide with conviction to truth, justice and fairness, the prosecutors to present their case and the people to live in peace.  Let bygones be bygones for we are brothers in arms and in peace.
Let us march for this Republic to realize that we are united, united as band of brothers, united as a people, united as a nation.  Let bickering, intrigues and politics pass through into to our left and right ears, for we are soldiers. Let us march altogether. Let us lead the march once again at the very place where our brotherhood started.
Let us remember those who were gone before us.

In memory of Col. Larion Lardizabal  .  .  .

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Members of SOCC 1962 belonging to U.P. Vanguard joins SOCC 62' Executive Committee meeting held on March 20, 2012 at Aguinaldo Golf Course Restaurant to finalize the details of 50th Golden Alumni Homecoming of SOCC 1962 at Fort Magsaysay on June 1 and 2, 2012!

The meeting was attended by graduates of ROTC Advance Course from the different Schools all over the country who are members of SOCC 1962, headed by its Chairman Emeritus Gen. Manuel C. Roxas of Arellano University. U.P. Vanguard graduates was represented by Gen. Ruperto Ambil, Jr., Gen. Rolando Crisologo San Juan and Col. Celestino Fernandez Desamito. Silliman University was represented by Col. Mateo H. Luga, Chairman of the Souvenir Program Committee. The University of the East was represented by Dir. Tito Nabua. Col. Arturo Abad from Far Eastern University, Col. Jameel JRM Jaymalin, Al Hajj and Bernardino “Monching Aguillon of Jose Rizal College and other schools from all over the country who were graduates of SOCC 1962 was also represented!

At right: Col. Celestino Fernandez Desamito,Former Deputy for Civil Military Operations, Southern Command, former Battalion Commander 20th Infantry Battalion, Dr. of Veterinary Medicine, 1973 TOYM Awardee for community Development, former Commandant U.P. DMST (Diliman). Below: Co. Jameel RM Jaymalin in blue checkered polo shirt with Monching Augillon at left and Col. Benny a. Letrondo, standing.

Gen. Manuel C. Roxas with Col. Mateo H. Luga at the right of Gen. Roxas.

Gen. Roperto A. Ambil, center with Dir. Tito Nabua at his right and Col. Rigor, standing.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pahingahan Area at Fort Mag . . .

Pahingahan Area at Fort Mag have a big hall for special events and a sleeping area that can accommodate about 100 plus persons. It is located beside a lake where one can relax in a floating nipa rig or enjoy boating and kayaking. It would be fun to reminisce the good old days over a bonfire and barbecue with friends, buddies and brothers, after all these years. We were really surprised how Fort Mag have transformed after 50 years since we graduated in 1962.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Col. Benny A. Letrondo, P.A. (Ret.)

Contrary to the perception of many, Fort Magsaysay’s beginning was actually not of war but, of peace and development. Fort Mag, as what it is popularly called today, transformed into a place we have been dreaming of for our country . . . peaceful, orderly, tranquil and with an environmental friendly atmosphere. Of course, with a well disciplined, always prepared, courteous soldiers with virtues of courage, integrity and honor.

It was after World War II when the remnants of Huk Balahap (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon), whose members were the armed combatants of the guerilla movement fighting side by side with the Philippine government against the Japanese Imperial Army, decided to part ways with the government when war ended. The issue of continued armed struggle to bring about change embraced by HMB was actually rooted from the tenancy problem among landless farmers, who are members of the guerilla movement. Originally founded in 1942, the Hukbalahap was part of a broad united front resistance to the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.[2]

On March 29, 1942, peasant leaders converged in Sitio Bawit, Barrio San Julian, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, at the junction of Tarlac, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija provinces and formed the "Hukbong Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon" was chosen as the name of the organization. After the meeting, a military committee was formed with Luis Taruc (chairman), Castro Alejandrino (2nd in command), Bernardo Poblete ("Banal"), and Felepa Culala ("Dayang-Dayang" – an amazon whose unit had killed several Japanese soldiers) as members.[5]

In 1950, the Communist Party of the Philippines PKP reconstituted the organization which became the armed wing of the Revolutionary Party, changing its official name to Hukbong Mapalaya ng Bayan, [3](HMB) or "Peoples' Liberation Army," emulating the Chinese People's Liberation Army. HMB continued to be popularly known as the Hukbalahap, or popularly known as the "The Huks" from 1945 and 1952. The strength of the Huk organization came from the mostly agrarian peasants of Central Luzon. The group's leaders, among them figurehead Luis Taruc, Communist Party Secretary General Jose Lava, and Commander Hizon (Benjamin Cunanan), aimed to lead the Philippines toward Marxist ideals and communist revolution. Hukbalahap Insurrection (1946–1954).

Being a major threat to the central government, Quirino assigned Ramon Magsaysay, minister of national defense, to combat the Huk insurgency. The Huks would then be undermined by Magsaysay's strategy of gaining peasant support and reforming the army and constabulary. In early 1954, Benigno Aquino, Jr., then a news reporter, was appointed by president Ramon Magsaysay to act as personal emissary to Luis Taruc.[1] After four months of negotiations, Taruc surrendered unconditionally to the government on 17 May 1954,[4] effectively ending the Huk rebellion.

The place where President Ramon Magsaysay and Luis Taruc signed the peace pact, was later named as Fort Magsaysay, now popuplary known as “FORT MAG”.

Today, we were surprised that “FORT MAG” does not only honor the soldiers who fought for our freedom, but the civilians as well, who are then incarcerated at Fort Magsaysay, as well as the old guards, who were just doing their duties to secure and protect our country. Both of them are now welcome and being honored a “FORT MAG”! We were really surprised! The experience and the opportunity, the ambiance extended by the 7th ID shall surely be missed by our fellow graduates! Nevertheless, we shall return to this place, once again as bond of brothers! Join us in our Grand Homecoming!


(Alumni of SOCC 1962 was welcomed by BGen. Arnulfo A. Atendido, Deputy Commanding General, 7th Infantry Division and Staff, in behalf of BGen. Alan R. Luga, CG, 7th ID)

(SOCC Class 1962 at the Aquino-Diokno Museum)

(SOCC Class 1962 with Col. alfredo Sanchez, at the First Infantry Tabak Division Shrine, were many of the Alumni served, then under BGen. Emilio S. Luga, Jr.)

(SOCC Class 1962 at the Heroes Memorial)