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FTF / Top gun

12:00:00 AM

When we went to Baguio last November, Hannah and I made a stopover in Clark to pick up our friends Luckie, Ana, and Neo, who were staying in Mimosa Estates for a work-related event. And since all five of us would comfortably fit in one car, Hannah made arrangements to leave her car in Air Force City.

Hannah's uncle is the head of the Search and Rescue Squadron of the Air Force of the Philippines, so we left the car under their care. The security at the gates of Air Force City was rather tight, but we got through without a hitch because Kuya Dante, one of her uncle's staff, was with us. He and his comrade-in-arms picked us up from Mimosa and brought us to the military base.
Leaving on a jetplane. I wish!
It was not my first time in a military base, as I also have an uncle in the service who was once assigned in Villamor Airbase in Pasay. But Villamor Airbase had structures like barracks, administration buildings, airplane relics, and even a museum, so I was overwhelmed (in a good way) at the expanse of the space in Air Force City.
Endangered species
Hannah and I met the other officers in the squadron. Being in the presence of these brave men who constantly risk their lives to save others was quite humbling for me. These were men who would brave flood waters in order to deliver relief goods and/or evacuate those who were stranded. They were everyday heroes whose names will never land in history books even if their bravery merited the honor.
Hannah looking for her uncle
I appreciated that the rescue vehicle was the Philippine Jeepney. It may be said that they use the jeepney because of budget cuts (which is probably true). But on the other hand, the vehicle can handle a considerable number of people and/or supplies so it's not such a bad choice. Given that Philippine roads are generally small, a jeepney will be able to go places a military truck could not.
The city
Arayat
It was my first time to walk around a hangar, and this one had an unobstructed view of Mt. Arayat, the highest peak in Pampanga. A small jet owned by the US Government was parked (sorry if that's not the right term for airplanes) there when we visited, and for a minute I let myself pretend that I was boarding a private jet that will take me anywhere in the world I'd like to go. At that moment, I was thinking of Brazil.
Angels
There was also a C130, and the Toyota Innova parked beside it further established its size. My uncle used to tell me stories about how that plane would fly twice a week to and from Villamor Airbase to Edward Andrews Airbase in Zamboanga City, and he often joined the trips so he could visit us in our old home in Makati.
Utility vehicle
We left Air Force City by sundown, and then headed off to Baguio for a crazy weekend.

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