The Armed Forces of the Philippines Civilian-Military Relations Services, the Ateneo De Manila University Department of Political Science, and the Australian Aid Asia Foundation on Wednesday launched “Kwentong Bayani-han,” a book about Filipino soldiers’ acts of heroism.
Highlighting the spirit of Bayanihan, which is “very much alive in the AFP, ”Kwentong Bayani-han” is a collection of “stories from those who actually experienced them – soldiers that warm the heart, stories that can inspire other men and women in the same profession, stories that provide a different take on how the Armed Forces of the Philippines perform its role as the protector of the people,” the book’s foreword stated.
Kathline Anne Tolosa, Working Group on Security Sector Reform Co-Convenor from the Ateneo De Manila University Department of Political Science said in her opening remarks: “This endeavour aims to bring together how different members of the AFP regardless of rank, location and generation, to move as one in promoting peace, development, and unity in localities. ”
The book illustrates how reform and transformation in the AFP is not just about policies, military assets and capabilities.
Gen. Manuel Bautista, AFP Chief of Staff in his keynote speech said, “Kwentong Bayani-han shows how far the AFP has come in its aim to finally achieve ‘winning peace’ in the spirit of bayanihan. By putting the Filipino people first, this book shows how peace can be won by valor and by working together with other stakeholders. Our soldiers will get the recognition they deserve. As I have seen the courage and strength of our men in uniform across the nation.”
“Guided by the AFP roadmap, our soldiers know that they are here to protect the people while they are in the frontline of recent nations events. Our nation has been facing challenges that cannot be resolved by the military alone. But with the true spirit of bayanihan, we can face these challenges on our way to a just and lasting peace,” Gen. Bautista said.
In its foreword, the book stated: This book “gives us a glimpse of how soldiers give life to the concept “winning the peace” that is the bedrock of their Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan.”
It gives emphasis on how “the military is able to transform its engagement with the very people it has sworn to protect, how trust and confidence is earned, how relationships are built and nurtured, how the military and civilians are able to come together for peace and security.”
BGen Rolando Jungco, CRSAFP Commander told DWDD: “In line with our sworn duty of protecting the Filipino, Kwentong Bayani-han encapsulates the inherent heroic character of a Filipino soldier: Serving others first. This book brings into light of how inspiring soldiers perceive sacrifice for peace and unity.”
“This book is the first tangible manifestation of Bayanihan where soldiers and other stakeholders come together to create an inspiring illustration of hope, unity and love for country,” Maj. Jo-ar Herrera, CRSAFP CMO School Commandmant told DWDD. Maj. Herrera is a project proponent of Kwentong Bayani-han.