The Marawi Siege is what triggered singer Ronnie Liang to train as an army reservist. In his journey, he discovered the many challenges in the life of a soldier, enough for him to honor them through an album, “Para sa Kapayapaan,” where he shed tears while recording.
Liang produced the 12-track album, with songs composed by soldiers and now available on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Apple Music, YouTube Music and other online music portals. The Philippine Army had a songwriting contest where out of 87 entries, 12 were chosen.
The carrier single, “Para Sa Kapayapaan” is what made Liang weep during the recording.
“When I was recording it, nagpa-flashback ‘yung mga bagay kapag nagdu-duty ako, bilad sa araw, takot sa COVID, pero still you have to answer the call of duty, nagugutom din. Bibigyan ka ng pagkain pero ibibigay mo ‘yung pagkain sa kapwa mo sundalo kasi ako naman naka-diet,” he revealed in a one-on-one interview last Thursday, June 9.
(When I was recording it, the things that I did while on duty flashed back, like being exposed to the sun, afraid of COVID, but you still have to answer the call of duty, going hungry. You will be given food but you will give it to your fellow soldier, because [like in my case,] I am on a diet.)
All that Liang wants to do is to give tribute to the soldiers, and at the same time offer a way to bring them closer to civilians.
“Ang ating mga soldiers, hindi lang sila about war (Our soldiers, they are not just about war). They can play instruments and they can compose. They are very professional. Tao din sila (They are also human), they also cry,” he added. “They miss their families. Nagugutom din (They also go hungry) but still they have to carry on to fulfill the mission that was given to them.”
That was an eye-opener for him, and it was a humbling experience for him on being a reservist.
“They are willing to risk their lives in the name of service. They’re willing to take the bullet para sa mga (for the) civilians,” he stressed.
Liang also looked further back on his desire to just volunteer at first, and finally become a reservist. He wanted to go to evacuation centers and bring food. As a reservist, the standard training he had was for 45 days, and the next was the CMO training for three months.
“The first training was about mechanized operation training, pagpapatakbo at pagpapasabog ng tangke (running and blasting tanks). Merong (There is) war reenactment, gapang ka sa putik (you crawl in the mud), etc.,” he recounted.
Liang is currently completing his pilot course at the Pilipinas Space and Aviation Academy, Inc. He is also one of the Jukebosses in “Sing Galing” which airs every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday on TV5, 6:30 p.m. JB