The heavy rains that caused flooding all over the metro last 06-09 August 2012 for me was chilling reminder of what happened to us just about a couple of years ago. I just said to myself, “The hell….here we go again!”. I wore the uniform once more, which i haven’t worn for quite a while, and reported to my Battalion CO. He returned the salute when I greeted him, saying “Nice to see you again LT, sabak na naman tayo sa labanan.”
I waited for the adjutant to hand me my orders, so I went to do my duties. With my men at my side, we witness a near mirror image of the chaos that once TSOndoy brought upon us. And as training and soldier instincts kick away – so we did what no man wants or was asked to do.
One operation after the other, we saved countless of lives. Too many that I already lost track off when I was doing my company report. I saw my first sergeant entered the company office and saluted when he saw me. When I looked at him, I saw weary and tired old non-commissioned officer who just came out of a battlefield. Despite the strain on his old body, he still surprises me with his active participation on all of our operations. He approached my desk, seeing what i was doing, he offered his hand to do the report. I first resisted, but my ever reliable first sergeant was very insistent. I gave way to his request and stayed at the company couch to rest.
I saw my classmates during the early days of the rescue operations. They were also commissioned officers, but in the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, exhausted, tired and worn out. Like us, they never complaint of the difficulty or complexity of the tasks. They just did their jobs as what was taught to them. Despite the mockery, ridicule, and verbal insults thrown by some people at them – they just continued to do what they did best, and that is saving lives, protecting properties, and promoting a safer lifestyle.
It kept me wondering what makes a volunteer tick. One thing I’m really sure off thought – that profound will to help despite all adversities. All volunteers manifest one thing in common, is that they did their work out of their love to help others. The more people question this unending desire to help, the more the volunteer tries to excel in what he did best.
Secondly, every volunteer aspires for adventure, a mountain worth climbing, a battle that one must win in his or her lifetime. This what drives the motivation out of volunteers like us. We never say no to an adventure, and we never see the impossibility in a difficult task.
At the end of every operation, large or small, simple or complex, the volunteer finds satisfaction with the work that she/he’s done. Thanking their creator during the end of the day for making them part of this adventure, and then recharging one’s self both emotionally and physically for the next operation.
We never got paid for what we were doing, but we kept on going. We promised ourselves that as long as our body permits us to serve. We will remain volunteers until a new generation will take over from us.