Art and humor are saving soldiers in Marawi | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Filipino ingenuity and art has always come hand in hand. Since the beginning of time, it has been one of our greatest means to survive, adapt, and thrive. We find this true in our jeepnies, our tricycles, our homes, and sometimes even at work. Who would have thought we’d find this odd combination in war too?

In the midst of war-torn Marawi, the tanks that shelter soldiers have become a sight for sore eyes in more ways than one. The soldiers were having trouble getting to and fro the battlezone because the Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), which were supposed to deliver them safely, were being accosted with rocket-propelled grenades by the terrorists.

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What did the soldiers do? They improvised more armor for their APCs. Soldiers made an added padding of wooden planks for the war tanks to cushion the blow of the grenades. But it didn’t stop there. Not only did these brave men make armor out of thin air, they had to pimp it out too.

The wooden planks were seen designed with graffiti by the soldiers. Some were scribbled with their own names, some wrote Hollywood references, others still were simply comedic. All of them were uplifting in spirit. The best one is a plank that read ‘Free WiFi.’

These planks were proven to work, according to Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera, spokesman of the Joint Task Force Marawi. They’ve also been a source of reprieve for all those present in the battlefield, soldiers and journalists alike.

Efficient, creative, and comedic, that’s the Filipino soldier for you. Now we see, public art is the only art that saves in this time of war and turmoil.

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