The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be commemorating its 65th founding anniversary on July 1, 2012, and what better way to celebrate this milestone than holding benevolent events? PAF has prepared various build-up activities leading to the founding anniversary that will be held at the different air bases in the Philippines.
To foster a good relationship between air force dependents and invited community children, PAF has arranged carnival-themed children’s day celebrations. With the theme “Handog Saya sa Kabataan, Dulot ay Pag-Asa ng Bayan,” the children’s day carnivals consist of giant inflatable slides and amusement booths. This is part of the project of Major General Lauro Catalino dela Cruz that started on April 26, 2012, at the Basa Air Base in Pampanga.
The children’s day event here in Cebu was held last May 10, 2012, at the Brigadier General Benito N. Ebuen Air Base in Mactan. The beneficiaries of the said activity were deaf children from Naga Special Education Center (NSEC), orphans from Christ Faith Childrens Home and military dependents. The kids enjoyed free food and refreshments comprising of puso (hanging rice), fried chicken, hotdog, kwek-kwek (quail eggs with orange batter), cotton candy, ice cream, fresh buko juice, and a lot more. A cheerful clown entertained the kids with a dance number and games. Those who participated were given exciting prizes. At the end of the activity, the kids received school bags, educational supplies and toys.
According to John Paul Maunes, the program manager of Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme Inc., events like these are helpful to deaf children. They get to have fun and interact with other kids, as well as experience humanity and equal opportunity in life.
The different PAF units gathered to lead the said activity. The units present were the 560 Air Base Wing, Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas, 220 Airlift Wing, 2nd Air Division, and Tactical Helicopter Wing PAF.
Here is the complete list of the dates and venues of the children’s day celebrations of PAF:
• April 26 - Basa Air Base, Pampanga
• May 5 - Fernando Air Base, Lipa City, Batangas
• May 10 - Brigadier General Benito N. Ebuen Air Base, Cebu
• May 19 - Antonio Bautista Air Base, Palawan
• May 25 - Clark Air Base, Pampanga
• May 28 - Edwin Air Base, Zamboanga
• June 2 - Major Danilo Atienza Air Base, Sangley Point Cavite
Another founding anniversary activity of PAF is the bloodletting drive, which also takes place in various locations in the Philippines. Organized in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), the campaign is for the benefit of the cancer patients of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center. With the theme “Dugong Buhay, Dugtong Buhay,” the activity is also in accordance with PAF’s new leadership guidance to have a more "values-driven, joint-oriented and quality-focused” force.
PAF spokesman and public information director Colonel Miguel Ernesto G. Okol told the media that this annual bloodletting drive is “just the start of bigger happenings to come leading to the anniversary celebration.”
Here in Cebu, the Philippine National Police of Lapu-Lapu City and PAF personnel participated in the bloodletting campaign at the Brigadier General Benito N. Ebuen Air Base theater last May 15, 2012. Members of PRC Region VII educated the donors about the benefits of donating blood. Apart from the satisfaction of knowing that they will be helping others, donors also get a Red Cross Blood Donor Card. Each time a person donates blood, a sticker is attached to signify the bags of blood he may receive in the event that he or his loved ones need them.
The donor has to undergo these six steps in donating blood:
1. Step into the weighing scale. The donor should weigh at least 110 pounds.
2. Fill up the donor registration form.
3. Submit yourself for blood type and hemoglobin testing.
4. Submit yourself for a blood donor examination.
5. Lie down on one of the beds for the actual donation that takes approximately 10 minutes.
6. After the donation process, rest for about 10 minutes and drink plenty of fluids.
The charitable activities of PAF just show that the air defense wing of the country fulfills its social responsibilities. They also want the people know that “PAF shall leverage its human, information and organizational capitals to strengthen and improve key internal processes in order to deliver its programs in the mission areas which brings to fore a POWER UP, PAF – PAF’s three-front priority strategy that will run through the whole extend of internal peace and security operations, capability build up for territorial defense and disaster response.”
Everything Cebu salutes all courageous men and women of the Philippine Air Force!