Let’s Talk about PAFCPIC

PAFCPIC LogoAre you a member of Philippine Army Finance Center Producers Integrated Cooperative or PAFCPIC? Have you read the newest memo released last December 3, 2012? If you are a member and you want to further invest in this Military Financial Institution through Coop’s Share Capital and Preferred Savings Deposit (PSD), I believe this article is for you. I want to disseminate this information because it wasn’t mentioned or posted in their website.

PAFCPIC Control Measures

Last December, PAFCPIC officially released their memo regarding their new policies. It was a shocking news for everyone especially those who just started investing their money to Share Capital and Savings Deposit. The PAFCPIC Board of Directors has decided to implement three full control measures to regulate the amount of Capital Contribution or savings deposit of its members.

First, there’s a reduction of Preferred Savings Deposit (PSD) ceiling.

***Note: Preferred Savings Deposit (PSD) is different from the Regular Savings Deposit (RSD). PSD represents the blue passbook while the RSD represents the green passbook. PSD has a higher yield with a rate of 14% per annum compared to RSD with only 5% per annum. If you plan to to put your money from RSD to PSD, you should apply for it. Automatic Salary deduction for PSD is not allowed so you have to personally visit PAFCPIC to transfer your money from the green passbook to the blue passbook. Salary deduction is only allowed in RSD so your salary deductions go to this account. Only P10, 000 is allowed per month to either PSD or RSD.

It can be a little confusing but you have to know these facts if you want to maximize your dividend. You can invest your money to RSD as high as 1 Million unlike PSD.

On the other hand, if you’ve bought shares, it’s the Share Capital. It has the highest dividend with a rate of at least 20% per annum. You can only buy 100 shares per month. 1 share is equivalent to P100. It’s the king of all investment in PAFCPIC.

By the way, PAFCPIC doesn’t accept anymore associate membership applications. ***        

To continue, last April 1, 2013, PAFCPIC Preferred Savings Deposit (PSD) ceiling was reduced from P500, 000 to P450, 000.

Last July 1, 2013, it was reduced to P400, 000.

By October 1, 2013, it will be further reduced to P350, 000.

Secondly, it was officially decided that there will be stoppage of acceptance of additional Share Capital subscription from members who already have        P10, 000 required capital.

It was implemented last January 1, 2013.

Lastly, issuance of Share Capital (SC) to new members and members who have not reached the P10, 000 required capital was limited. It was not specified how they will limit the said issuance but I think it will be the discretion of the members of the Board. It was implemented last January 1, 2013.

Is PAFCPIC Going Bankrupt?

I don’t believe it’s going bankrupt. These were just control measures to protect the Coop’s stability. More Filipino soldiers are investing through Savings Deposit but loan applications are dwindling. Meaning, there are lot of excess money that become unproductive. Fewer loans mean lesser dividends for the investors. Still, yields depend on the Coop’s profitability. They announced to have 22% per annum rate for the last 12 years.

I hope this will last longer.

What Shall I do with my Excess Money?  

If you have extra money and thinking of other investments other than PAFCPIC, I suggest you invest it in AFPSLAI as capital contribution. The dividend rate is higher compared to PAFCPIC and most importantly, dividend pay-out is done quarterly. Mostly, soldier investors who have reached the capital contribution (CAPCON) limit in AFPSLAI turned their attention to PAFCPIC.

This is a nice move.

Remember, it’s good to put your money to several financial institutions with higher investment returns.

Forget investments to commercial banks if you don’t have emergency fund.

You can also try investing to Philippine Stock Market. It’s better than commercial banks if you are willing to become a full-time investor. Just look for reliable local stockbrokers. If you don’t have time, try online stockbrokers like COL Financial. It is the best online stockbroker in the Philippines. It’s so easy! Just invest a minimum of P5, 000 to start buying and selling stocks. Just remember, every investment has a certain degree of risks.

In the conclusion, this PAFCPIC memo bothered a lot of Filipino soldier investors including their dependents. I just hope the PAFCPIC Board members will do everything to disseminate their decisions to all the regular and associate members to avoid confusion. On the other hand, interest rates for loans might lessen to attract loan applicants. It’s still a win-win situation for both investors and borrowers.

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A Tribute to a Fallen Comrade (Part 4)

The firer shouted, “Clear the back blast area!”  Suddenly, there was a loud whooshing sound. I observed silently 20 meters away from the firer. Whoosh! The sound of the bazooka roared like thunder. Wham! The blast echoed around the firing range. Smoke and dust were all over the ground then silence. Damn! It was a thing of beauty. I felt a light satisfaction inside me. My confidence was getting higher. I wonder how any individual could survive a direct hit. I thought to myself, this ultimate weapon would make our enemies hide in their Mama’s undergarments.

The 90mm Recoilless Rifle “Bazooka” is a light-weight tube artillery weapon designed to destroy tanks. It is normally used in the Southern Philippines to counter Muslim secessionist group’s Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG). Unlike RPGs, a bazooka needs an ammo bearer to insert the ammo at the weapon’s rear before firing. There’s no recoil but the back blast could injure anyone standing directly behind the firer. Your face will burn like barbeque. That’s the reason why the firer warns everybody to clear the back blast area. He doesn’t want to produce a ranger barbeque. Of course, it’s not part of his diet.

After few hours of weapons training, it seemed that everything was in a hurry. We went to the bleachers. The RI’s talked to us. Consequently, it became an informal briefing. They’ve told us that they will go with us to Jolo. It would be an honor to be accompanied by our respected RIs. Some RIs who were formerly assigned in that battle zone told us that it would be a bloody battle. They shared their experiences. They told us that Abu Sayyaf terrorists were fearless. “Never leave anyone behind. They will decapitate the dead or worse, they will mutilate his genitals.” These words struck fear in our hearts. Imagine what they can do to you if you were captured alive. They hated Scout Rangers. I will always leave one bullet for myself. We listened to our RIs like there’s no tomorrow. It was a firm instruction. It’s all clear to me. Our Scout Ranger training will be put to the final test.

Scout Ranger Vendetta

Unfortunately, there would be no Scout Snipers joining us.

Sniper RiflesScout Snipers are the meanest of all snipers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. You must be either a member of Special Forces or Scout Ranger in order to be qualified to take the Scout Sniper Course. They move by buddy- the sniper and the spotter. They can also switch position. They are a perfect killing machine. They use .50 Cal Barrett Sniper rifle. They are also equipped with automatic rifles. There were stories that a legendary Scout Sniper killed at least five enemies using only one bullet. The enemies he killed were in a file formation. The first man’s body was almost cut into half. Perfect killing machine!

How I wish we could still have a Scout Sniper buddy.

Scout Ranger’s organization is different from the Philippine Special Forces or the usual Philippine Army Infantry Squad. The smallest unit is composed of a 7-man team. Each member of the team is highly specialized on skills designed for his position. For example, the Contact man is the demolition expert of the team. Scout Rangers are trained to stalk on their prey like a Black Panther then move swiftly like a hunter, killing its opponents in one destructive blow.

krisDue to this concept, combat knife fighting skill is a necessity. My knife is no match for the Abu Sayyaf’s Kris, I need a bigger one. I discussed it with my ranger buddy.

He told me, “You’re not the only one, sir. Everybody was thinking of buying their own bolo.”  Jungle Bolo

My mind was floating again. There was a sudden urge for me to learn past combat debacles of the troops in the South. Shit! I don’t have time for this. I have to prepare everything including my men.

Then I asked myself, “Are we really prepared for this?” 

(To be continued)    

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A Tribute to a Fallen Comrade (Part 3)

shadowThere was a shadow reaching for me. I couldn’t move my body. I was screaming. The shadow was getting closer. My hands and legs were tied up. It’s creeping slowly. I’ve seen its eyes, it was red as hell. I thought it’s going to get me. I tried to wake up. I shouted for help. Damn it! I couldn’t move! Finally, I realized I was having a nightmare. I forced myself to wake up. My God! I never expected to see him! Nicanor showed up behind the shadow. He was yelling at me then he pointed his finger towards me. The shadow went through him then they disappeared. Bell sounded. I woke up. It was 0400H. It was the reveille.

The nightmare was a bad omen. I never told my mistahs about it. Nicanor was there. The late 2LT Nicanor Fabia gave me a warning. I have to take care of myself or else the shadow will get me. I believed that the shadow represented death.

We ate our morning mess. Schedules were announced. We will be conducting test fires of our bazookas. It was new to me. I never experienced using it even in my unit since I was assigned in NPA areas in Central Luzon. It was a big nasty bazooka. Only big men can carry it. Mortars will also be used. I know how to use mortars but I’ve never used it in actual battle before. Mortars are prohibited in most areas of Luzon and Visayas. Eventually, I absorbed every instructions how to handle every single weapon that day. These heavy weapons will be our best assets during firefight.

While listening to the RIs, I remembered Nicanor.

Nick was a jolly fellow. He looked intelligent with his eyeglasses. He was assigned in Jolo, Sulu immediately after our graduation in PMA. He was a proud son of Pangasinan. He was one of the most combat experienced members of the Maliyab Army group since our graduation. I still remembered him well. He was a very thrifty officer. We called him business man because he’s a money-wise soldier. We can’t make him spend a single cent. That’s because he came from a poor family. He valued every centavo he got. It’s been a year since his heart-breaking death.

Before he died, something strange happened. He was having an R&R and stayed in Taguig. That time, he gathered available Army members of the class presently in Manila. It was a night of fellowship. We went to Starbucks. We drank beer. We played DOTA and C&C Generals. It was fun. He was the king of the night. He paid all the expenses. He never did that before. A mistah told me that Nick might be possessed by the evil spirits. We all laughed. It was like a moment in the Academy. He told us stories about his combat experiences. He was there in Jolo when the MNLF Breakaway Group (MBG) conducted series of offensive retaliatory attacks against the government forces. There were dozens of MBG satellite camps within the island of Jolo. The MBG had a ceasefire agreement with the government but during that time, war broke out again. He was there. He fought hard. They were able to kill several enemies. These were all his stories. He never slept that night. He wanted us to listen. We were very sleepy but he wouldn’t let us sleep. It was an omen.

We never thought it was his last night with us. Days after the fellowship, I heard the dreadful news. They were on board M35 truck when they hit an IED. The truck was almost torn into pieces. It was a big landmine. It was destroyed in half. He was rushed to the nearest military hospital in Zamboanga but later, he died. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe he’s already gone. He was the first casualty of our class. He died with honor.

I could still remember him well.

(To be continued)

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A Tribute to a Fallen Comrade (Part 2)

Map of Philippines and Jolo,SuluJolo, Sulu – This place is the most feared field assignment of any Filipino soldier. The Abu Sayyaf bandits are well-known for being ruthless. They decapitate the heads of their enemies. They want to create terror. They want to be feared by their enemies. They belonged to the tribes of Yakans of Basilan and Tausugs of Jolo. They are the bravest and merciless of all Moro warriors in Mindanao. They have fought a thousand battles. Their ancestors have fought for decades. The hatred is unfathomable. Hatred made them savages. Their savagery is unthinkable. That place was cursed for eternity and I was about to be sent there.

Abu Sayyaf

Slowly, anxiety replaced excitement. I felt like I’m going to the land of no return. We really thought we’re going to be sent to Davao or Samar to hunt down NPAs. All of my expectations were fading away. We should be happy. We’re going to have an early test mission. At that moment, everybody was preoccupied. We’re going to confront the most formidable and hated enemies of the state. Sometimes, enemies respect each other as warriors. In the case of Abu Sayyaf, only hatred existed in my mind. I checked my watch. It’s already 1300H. We didn’t notice we’ve skipped our noon mess. I wasn’t hungry at all. Suddenly, I missed my daughter and wife. It’s so nice to be home, I thought, but not yet. I have to finish the course no matter what. We have to avenge the death of our comrades. Hatred must overwhelm fear.

Finally, we arrived inside Camp Tecson. There was no sign of excitement. I looked at the faces of my fellow rangers. They showed no emotions. The news made us speechless. I looked at the sky. It was calm, the rain has stopped. We made preparations during the rest of the day.

I couldn’t sleep that night. All I think of was my 3-year old daughter. She’s so pretty just like her mom. How I wish I could hug her that night. I also thought about the hardships I’ve went through just to undergo this prestigious training. I’m so lucky that my Battalion Commander is also a Scout Ranger. He approved my application to join the course. It’s my dream to become one. The rest of my classmates also came from different units sent by their Battalions to undergo SR training. These soldiers were all die-hard Scout Rangers. It was a rare privilege. I wish we can can make the forefathers of the Scout Ranger proud of us. We were lucky to become one of the Musangs.

Still, I couldn’t sleep. My mistah, 2LT Dao-ayan, came to me. His name is Rene. He’s from Kalinga. He shared his thoughts about the incoming mission. He shared his boodles while telling me a lot of happy memories. He told me stories about his previous assignment in Boracay. He got tired of doing nothing in that paradise island. That’s the reason why he volunteered. It was his ticket to get out of that beautiful fortress. He wanted action. He wanted to experience what every second lieutenant wants to experience in the field. He was supposed to graduate ahead of our ranger class but he failed one critical mission in their FTX so he was recycled to our class. He also had a fiancée who was a pretty Kapampangan. He told me he’s going to marry her as soon as he graduates from SRTS. 2LT Madayag and 2LT Joaquin, also my mistahs, came and we talked about life and our families. We even planned to start a bar business in Boracay. We will call it Maliyab BarWe belonged to PMA “Maliyab” Class of 2004. Maliyab means fiery.

PMA MAliyab Class of 2004

That night, we’ve sworn that we will protect each other. We will never leave anyone behind. Mistah is thicker than blood. We will fight to the death.

Finally, I fell asleep.

(To be continued)

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A Tribute to a Fallen Comrade (Part 1)

Scout RAnger

It was raining so hard that day. My hands were getting shaky. I hated my Jungle Pack! I felt that it was ripping my back. My legs were burning, trembling as if crying to me and begging for rest. I didn’t mind. I was focused but my head seemed to split up. Damn again! There’s no time for self-pity. I looked at the faces of my teammates. They were so tired of walking. It’s been four months. We run, marched and walked in and out of Camp Tecson. Nevertheless, I could still sense their fighting spirit to finish the mission. They were just like me. The Panther inside their body was very much alive.

Finally, we’ve reached the objective and climbed the hill where we can conduct an OP operation after an early morning recon. It was the third day of our Field Training Exercise (FTX) “MUSANG”, the last FTX before we could finally proceed to Combat Maneuver. We’re getting nearer to our main objective, Scout Ranger’s final phase, the Test Mission.

We finally conducted OP in a secured place. After a while, I planned to conduct a leader’s recon. I was about to give instructions to the recon party when I observed that something was bothering our Ranger Instructor (RI). I postponed the mission. I thought that there must be a problem in Manila since there were several destabilization efforts happened just months ago. Countless possibilities were floating inside my head. I looked again to our RI. Still, he was silent but anxious. He told us to pack-up and prepare to move out. We just followed his instruction but my mind was still floating. “This is really strange” I told myself. I thought that something big is really going to happen.

My team and the rest of the platoon linked-up somewhere in the vicinity of northern part of San Miguel, Bulacan. It was raining cats and dogs. What else was new? It was early September of 2006. Rainy season’s vicious months.

Hours later, the rest of the class arrived. Out strength was around 80 heads out of the original 130 SR candidates four months ago. There were 12 officers in the class and three of them were my classmates “Mistah” in the Academy. Many candidates didn’t survive for the past months. I’m so glad I made it that far. Finally, the RIs have arrived together with our Course Director (CD). They brought the news that we’ve been waiting for.

“Rangers! Your FTX Musang has ended today!” Senior Tac shouted.

I couldn’t hardly hear his voice because of the hard rain and thunderstorms. Damn it! My legs were still shaking. “There will be a sudden change in this course. You are going to proceed immediately to your Test Mission!” he added.

What the f#@$%k! It was the first time in the history of the Scout Ranger Training School! Excitement was flowing inside my veins. I could feel it. Slowly, anxiety is increasing as much as excitement. We were almost two months advance than any other classes. There must be a serious reason behind this.

You are going to Jolo, Sulu three days from now. Start preparing. Withdraw everything you can carry: ammo, grenades, radios, everything! Withdraw 90 RR Bazookas and designate strong men to handle it. Gentlemen, we were instructed to do this for the sake of our fallen comrades. Some of our brothers were beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf led by Janjalani and Kumander Radulan. The Regiment Commander will not tolerate this incident. We will avenge their death. You will be the main effort of this campaign. Don’t worry, I will accompany you, I will lead you to battle.” CD said calmly.

Incidentally, our class name is called VENDETTA.

(To be continued )

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What is the Ranger’s Creed?

scout ranger seal

Ranger’s Creed

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers.

Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite Soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other Soldier.

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some.

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger’s word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.

Rangers lead the way!

ranger tab

 

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A Message to the Genius Who Invented the Push-up

Starting position, front leaning rest..1, 2, 3…49, 50.. (put@#$%#na!!!)

PFT INSTRUCTOR (Captain No Count):

No count! No count! Minus TEN!

Ranger Perots (thinking deeply):

OMG! WTF is wrong with my push-up?! What’s wrong with this guy?

Whew! Sounds familiar to you? Yeah! Probably, you can relate to me if you’ve taken your Physical Fitness Test (PFT) at Training and Doctrines Command (TRADOC) at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija. Fortunately, I passed the PFT during the Infantry Officers Advance Course without any retakes. I survived the fury of Captain Sanamagan Mr. No Count! BTW, do you have any idea who invented the push-up?

Origin of Push-up

military push-upThere’s no clear origin of this popular exercise. The closest origin I know is that push-up believed to be originated from the classic Hindu Yoga exercises specifically from the difficult Yoga push-up called Chaturanga. Like the regular push-up, it focuses on the development primarily on pectorals and triceps. It was widely used in the ancient military as an essential combat conditioning exercise. Today, there are several variations of push-ups and the one that we’re required to perform is the full push-up. However, there are instances that we can also perform wide push-up especially those people who have longer upper extremities. Diskarte ba tawag dun? Aside from that, there’s also a possibility that Captain Sanamagan’s ancestors invented the push-up. Go ahead Sir!

The Importance of Push Up

Reception rites

For me, push-up or press-up is one of my most favorite military exercises. It’s not really hard compared to other exercises of the Army Dozen. It looks so simple but it can totally drain your strength. Also, it is very indispensable for combat soldiers to develop their upper body in order to perform their job. When I was assigned at Aurora Province somewhere in Sierra Madre, the terrain is truly unforgiving. Soldiers should be physically fit in order to traverse those killer mountains. You can feel the agony of your muscles when you are clutching the vines or tree roots surrounding the cliff so that you won’t fall several hundred meters from above. Can you imagine the hardships of the automatic rifleman or the machine gunner? Kung nahihirapan ako, how much more yung nagdadala ng M60 machine gun with ammo links on his body including his jungle pack?

The Strength of Upper Body is Crucial

Minsan, pagbaba namin ng bangin eh biglang nalaglag ang isang malaking bato na sinlaki ng isang malaking refrigerator which was accidentally natapakan ng tropa sa taas. Kaming nasa ibaba, nakakapit lang kami sa mga ugat ng puno na nakausli sa cliff wall. The troops above immediately shouted, “BATO! BATO!”, when I looked up, I saw that big nasty rock is falling directly at me. In a split of a second, I released my grip from the vine and let my body fall down. It was like in the movies, the nasty stone was an inch away from my head as it fell down. Luckily, I was able to hold another vine several feet from my original position. I was carrying a 40-kilo jungle pack with M16 and a bandoleer. The radioman and machine gunner beside me said, “Swerte nyo sir, kung hindi kayo nagpatihulog siguradong patay kayo”.

Finally, I think the vine was not solely the reason why I was able to save myself but it was my body conditioning during training. May pakinabang talaga ang pagpapalakas and I told myself at that moment, I will always love doing push-ups. Captain Sanamagan is a necessary evil after all. No Pain, No Gain! No count?! Bring it on! Kaya nga may retake, Sir!

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Freedom from Skag

Filipino soldier's skaggingFilipino soldiers are always bombarded with so many stress-inducing activities and often resulted to vicious skagging. By the way, “Skag” is a Filipino soldier’s term for cigarette. If you research this word in any search engine like Google, you will find out that a Skag or Scag is a slang term for heroin or any illegal drugs. Here in the Philippines, it is a popular PMA cadet’s lingo used in the Academy. Eventually, this term was adopted by their fellow Filipino soldiers. Anyway, I’m really clueless how this word originated and used in PMA. Find out sir!

To Skag or not to Skag

When I was a cadet, I learned skagging when I was still a plebe or fouthclassman.  I was so curious how it feels like to skag dahil madalas nakikita ko mga upperclassman na mahilig mag skag. Most of the time, I was ordered to produce skags for them. Shabby ba? No sir! When I was tempted to skag, I always remembered what Papang told me about my Lolo Enteng who died young because of lung cancer. To cut the story short, no amount ang sinabi ng tatay ko at natuto ako mag skag. When I finally joined the Philippine Army, it became my addiction. I feel like skag is my way of getting out of stressful situations. I can’t get rid of skagging 24/7. I could consume almost two packs a day especially when I’m in combat operations. However, I also planned to quit but I failed countless times. As usual, I went back to my old bad habit. Then one day, while I was lying in my hammock, I felt a sudden excruciating pain at my upper back. Naisip ko kagad ang sinabi ng erpat ko and I finally decided to quit.

Reasons to Quit

If you still don’t have a child, then you must quit earlier. Smoking can cause impotence. Now, that’s really scary! Masarap mag skag but remember, it will kill you slowly and painfully. If you plan to quit, the earlier, the better! If you want to be around with your grandchildren, then stop it. You’ll have fewer wrinkles and your fingers won’t be stained by nicotine anymore. Look at those brown fingers and imagine how your lungs look like. It’s really terrible. Also, during physical fitness test, you’ll surely improve. Alam kong mahirap huminto mag skag, just think of the positive outcome if you’ll quit. We can’t avoid stress but we can shift to other activities rather than skagging.

Effective Ways to Quit Skagging

First, you should have motivation. In my case, my motivation is my father’s advice. I don’t want to end up like my grandfather. When I felt this pain at my back, I was totally motivated to quit. It’s now or never. Secondly, avoid fellow soldier who skags a lot and always offer you a stick. He can be very generous but the temptation to smoke is high so you must avoid him. Mahirap lang kung buddy mo yung addict sa skag. Good luck sa’yo. Thirdly, spend more time with your fellow soldiers who don’t smoke. Ask them why they are not smoking and hear their stories. It can be inspiring. Fourthly, if there are socials (party) in the unit, avoid drinking too much alcohol. Actually, this is my weakest link. If you’re drunk, then there’s a big probability that you’re going to smoke again. Lastly, take one day at a time and reward yourself for surviving each day.

To sum up everything, we can attain our freedom from skag if we really want to. There’s no such thing as hindi kaya. It’s up to you. Live longer or die young. It’s your choice.

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The Ups and Downs of Military Career

Philippine Army Military CourseEntering a military profession is a lifetime commitment to serve God, country and people. It’s hard to be part of the Armed Forces since you have to undergo a battery of written test and rigid physical fitness exams. Now, when we are already in the service, we’ve heard about the challenge of getting a bright future. Military career in the Armed Forces of the Philippines specifically in the Philippine Army is like a roller coaster. Most of the time, you will never know where you are heading.

Expect for the Unexpected

We are doing a lot of security patrols in our concern areas of responsibilities (AOR). Most of the time, we are tired of doing this job and probably do it more than a hundred times already at the same Golf Charlie. Normally, if there are no intelligence reports about positive enemy presence in the area, we tend to drop our guard and relax. Sadly, that’s the main reason why we fail. As a result, it’s a disaster. If we are caught off guard, we will surely fail to react and give good command. Consequently, we will fail to synchronize our actions. Just like in our individual career, we must expect for the unexpected. We should not think that the good career we have will be forever. Expect for the unexpected. If things don’t seem to fall in place as what you’ve planned, embrace it and get up. If you think you worked so hard but it ended a failure, accept it and stand up. If you have mistaken, admit it and get up on your feet. Expect for the unexpected.

Experience is the Best Teacher

Not everything can be learned from school. We were taught numerous theories about tactics and other military stuff but it can’t be totally tested until you’re actually doing it. Just like in our career, we were taught about so many useful tips on how we can manage it. However, there are times that it doesn’t work at all. We have different experiences and we usually adjust to these factors. Also, it’s great to learn from the experiences of our seniors. Their wisdom is far more superior to our intuition. In order to get the best decision, you must combine these factors: your experience, experience of seniors and your instinct.

Bloom where you are Planted

SeminarNow, this is the best part. When everything is decided, everything is going well, improve yourself. If you are in the infantry, take courses that will help you. You can take combat elite courses like Scout Ranger or Special Forces. If you like to have more adventure, then you can take Intelligence Courses. Actually, there are so many choices for us to improve and boost our career. Also, we have options to develop ourselves to those things we are not familiar with. Most soldiers in the field that were fighting since I was still a student seemed to have limited knowledge about admin works. When I was a Company commander, I gave these soldiers lessons about computer literacy. Some of them were even chosen to undergo IT and other admin related seminars. If there were opportunities for them to improve their skills, I always made sure that they were included. As an officer, it’s also vital to take care of our men’s career. As they undergo a lot of improvement, the unit’s competitiveness is also improving. We will put them where they can excel and further improve their skills. Now, that’s what I call good management.

Finally, we should love our job. If we love what we are doing, we will feel satisfied and happy. Whatever blessings we have or challenges we are facing right now, we should always pray and be guided. The best decision in life is giving ourselves to God and make him part of our life.

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A Filipino Soldier’s Guide to Fight and Win Financial Battles

Filipino SoldierFilipino soldiers are well-known for being fearsome warriors in the whole world. With all the battles they’ve encountered due to numerous internal conflicts in the country, Philippine Army is considered as one of the most experienced Army in the whole Asia. Also, the Armed Forces of the Philippines or AFP continue to send UN contingents to war torn areas all over the world. Filipino soldiers do not fear any battles but they keep on struggling to get on top of their finances and give their families a decent living. This is a different arena that every soldier must face in order to survive.

The Need to Save Money

When I go to military financial institutions like AFPSLAI, AMWSLAI, AFPMBAI and PAFCPIC, I observed that most soldiers who go there are availing for loans. It seems that borrowing money is the fastest means to alleviate their financial problems. On the other hand, there are also soldiers who save money by putting extra cash to Capital Contributions or CAPCON and earn passive income through dividends. It seems that Filipino soldiers are becoming wiser in terms of money matters. Dati hindi aware ang tropa about these investments. In the field, there are soldiers who don’t care about their future and keep on wasting their money. Kapag kuripot ka, hindi ka “IN” sa kasamahan mo. In my opinion, that’s the problem why most of the soldiers can’t save money due to bad pressure from their fellow soldiers. Who can blame them? They are assigned in hostile and isolated areas away from their families. Walang ibang outlet kundi money spending through inom, sugal and other vices not mentioned. Ano yun?

Reasons for Saving Money

Saving should be a personal commitment. I always keep on telling my men to save money because their future is at stake here. Tiis lang at kahit nandyan na ang urge para gumastos, think again then ask yourself twice, thrice or even a hundred times if you really need to buy that item. Pero kung toothbrush lang pala ang bibilhin mo eh wag ka ng mag isip pa, bilhin mo na pleaassee!! Anyway, there are several reasons why we save our money. Others save their money for their child’s future, house and lot, cars, popular gadgets, travel and vacation and many more. Other soldiers save money for emergency and sinking funds. Sinking funds are allotted budget for home and car repairs or any improvements of the things you already have. If you earn P 25,000.00 a month and your monthly expenses are 20K, I would suggest that you must set aside 5k as your savings. In one year, you will have P60, 000.00 excluding the dividend. In ten years, you will have more or less P800, 000.00 with dividend piled up. You can now buy a brand new car or a vacant lot somewhere in your province. Ayos di ba? Tyagaan lang talaga. It’s like doing a combat mission. If you see the enemy, hindi mo naman kaagad aatakehin yan, observe muna then make your courses of action (COA’s). After deciding the best COA, tyagaan yan. Kahit madilim gapang dahan dahan until you close in with your enemy. Kapag mas ma tyaga ka, mas malaking probability na magiging successful ang plano mo. Fire then Assault!

Military Financial Institutions are the Best

afpslai

pafcpicIf you would like to save your money, you should plan and identify your long-term goal designed for at least ten years. If you save money and put it in AFPSLAI, PAFCPIC, AFPMBAI, think how much you are willing to set aside for your savings excluding everyday expenses. These financial institutions exclusively for the military are the best institutions for investment compared to commercial banks. AFPSLAI has bigger dividend rates and it will always depend on the quarterly performance of the association. When I was still a cadet, umabot ng 21% ang dividend rate ng AFPSLAI per annum. Sobrang laki talaga kaya dati, halos mag doble ang pera mo in a few years’ time. Right now, I will suggest that you must save your money and put it in these financial institutions rather than putting it in those commercial banks. Passive income is a lot safer than engaging in an active business wherein you don’t have enough time to manage. That’s the problem of being a soldier especially coming from the Philippine Army and Philippine Marines. Mahirap mag negosyo dahil nasa bundok ka palagi unless mahilig mga misis mag negosyo at wais! It will be great if that will be the case.

In conclusion, surviving the financial battle is really easy if you’re willing to save money for the future. It means a lot of sacrifices must be undertaken. Save money and spend wisely. Most importantly, take care of yourself because your health is still your best asset.

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