Manila, February 28, 2020 — Soldiers from the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Team and Philippine service members from the Coast Guard District Palawan Civil Relations Service conducted joint education outreach at the West Coast Day Care Center in Palawan on 26 February 2020.
Service members spent the day distributing school supplies and spending time with the more than 70 three and four-year-old children at the day care. These children had the opportunity to ask Civil Affairs Team members Alvin Bautista and Mark Abraham, both Filipino Americans, about their experiences growing up in the Philippines, immigrating to the United States, and joining the military.
“This type of community outreach is one of the most rewarding aspects of our jobs. We’ve been blessed in our lives and careers with the U.S. Army. To be able to come back to the Philippines and continue paying it forward is an especially meaningful experience for us,” said Sergeant First Class Alvin Bautista.
Philippine and American service members have a long tradition of conducting joint outreach events, and these events reaffirm both military’s commitment to supporting local communities and the Philippines as a whole.
“Our enduring partnership with the U.S. offers many benefits. By working together we are able to help many people who live in remote areas,” said Lieutenant, Junior Grade Mona Villacillo, with the Philippine Coast Guard.
Last year, more than a dozen Philippine orphanages received volunteer support from joint U.S.-Philippine military missions.