Monday, June 21

Saving Private Darc

Alright, I admit. I'm a little OC. Take note: just a little tiny wee bit OC. I guess that's why I survived working for the military. I love the order, the clear line of command, the authority and expectations.

However, while the OC in me finds comfort in the structured environment, to say that my work life then was monotonous isn't exactly true.

Tried traversing EDSA from Santolan to the Intercon in 15 minutes during rush hour?

I did... and it wasn't exactly fun.

The boss had a speaking engagement and I was finalizing his presentation when all of a sudden, my supervisor told me that I'd be riding with the boss in his van. Cool, I thought! But that was until they opened the van's door.

Security escorts, some of them in full battle gear with armalites and what have you inside. And I was supposed to sandwich myself between them?!

Good God! I told myself, what if we got ambushed? I didn't want to be headline news for a sniper job gone wrong!

And that whole security shuffle didn't end there.

Ever had company outings? Of course you probably had. But then, ever had company outings with a small group of rangers with M16s and the works patrolling the beach just in case a band of rebels decide to drop by?! Sounds like a fun party right?

And the most intense ride I probably had was when we did some consultations in Quezon. Yep, NPA country here I come! Beautifully packed in a van of armalites... again, just in case the heaven's decided that I'd look awesome in an ambush scene.


If you happen to see soldiers around, you can determine their rank by looking at their uniform...

2 triangles = Second Lieutenant
3 triangles = Captain
1 sun = Major
2 suns = Lieutenant Colonel
3 suns = Colonel
1 star = Brigadier General
2 stars = Major General
3 stars = Lieutenant General
4 stars = General

From what I know, the 4-star General rank is reserved for the Chief of Staff.

And then, if you find yourself going around the country, here's the area commands:

NOLCOM (Norther Luzon)
SOLCOM (Souther Luzon)
WESCOM (Palawan)
CENTCOM (Visayas)
EASTMINCOM (Eastern Mindanao)
WESMINCOM (Western Mindanao)

Previously EASTMINCOM and WESMINCOM were joined together as the SOUTHCOM. But then for "strategic" reasons, they divided it up since the security situation in Mindanao wasn't uniform across the region. It's for greater focus, I guess.

And for what are these useless trivia?

In case you get stuck at a checkpoint, you might find it useful to do some impromptu skit and act as if you knew someone from the military. I think approaching security forces with a tad bit of familiarity creates some kind of rapport especially during heightened alerts.

Or if not, do as I do. When I board cabs and feel as if manong driver's unnecessarily snaking around the metro or if he's giving me an attitude, I'd pick up my phone and pretend to have received a call from some military officer and talk about military office stuff, drop a name or two and act is if I should've been where I was supposed to be hours ago.

Kinda works for me. From a scowl upon boarding to a "thank you sir" upon reaching your drop off point, the pseudo-phone conversation often drives home the point.

And the point is?

I'm schizo. Sue me!



  1. Having been surrounded by and spending a great amount of time with armed men from the military and the police at a certain point in my life, I can relate to some of what you say, Darc.

    The power to careen down EDSA during rush hour while traffic parts like the Red Sea before Moses can be a heady brew, indeed, although one laced with a palpable possibility of danger.

    Which just makes the brew even more intoxicating.

    I assume you're a civilian and not part of the enlisted personnel. Hence, I'm curious to know in what capacity you serve.

  2. i did research for the planning office :)