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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

May 30, 2017

ONE RUN OCS: Running With A Company

"A is for Airborne.
I is In the sky.
R is for Rambo.
B is for Born to fly. 
O is for On the go.
R is for Ranger.
N is for Never quit.
E is for Everyday
Ho ha.   He ha."

The sound of the rhythmic cadence reverberated  inside Camp Aguinaldo  in the early morning hours of May 20.  The fun run organized by the Officer Candidate School Alumni Association, Inc. (AFPOCSAAI) has just started and already the esprit de corps of the running soldiers was in full display for everyone to see and hear. Of special interest to the Bicolano Penguin were 2 companies of officer candidates running in formation, each  as a single unit; the Alpha Company and Bravo Company. To keep all the  members of the company running in step at the same pace, the  military cadence is sung. The sound of this military cadence   was like a siren song  that had me seduced to join them running in formation. 

Why not? Let me see how long the Bicolano Penguin, a non-military golden boy at that,  can last running with a company. I said to myself as I gleefully run in step with the Alpha Company.  The pace was moderate and I was feeling good.   500 meters went by and I was still with Alpha Company. I felt young again, exuberant with the feeling that I could match  stride per stride very fit military personnel who were almost  3 decades younger than me.     Then another 500 meters happened soon enough. But after a kilometer of running, my Galloway run walk instincts kicked in and I had to transition from run to walk. Too bad I was not a high ranking officer who could have ordered a change in pace from moderate to  slow.  So as I started my walk, the rest of the Alpa Company passed me by.
Stretching before the start. Even in warm up exercise, the officer cadets were in formation.

The Bicolano Penguin talking to a fellow ultra marathoner, Cindy of Ayala Triads, before the start. 

Start of the 10km fun run.   

The Alpha Company starting...

...with Bravo Company coming in next. 
Pretty soon, I heard the next company approaching. This was the Bravo Company. They too were singing a military cadence and I again was reinvigorated to run. I positioned myself at the back of the company. I was able to keep up with the Bravo Company for another kilometer. But again, I was reminded of my Galloway DNA. By the time we neared the Km 3 mark,  I had to walk again and I was left walking and gazing at the rear end  of the Bravo Company.
Soon, I was looking at the backs of Bravo Company.  
With 3kms done and 7kms more to go to finish the 10km fun run, I was left behind  to be amazed at the esprit de corps of the  officer candidates of the Alpha and Bravo companies.  No doubt the Bicolano Penguin will be able to finish the fun run. And I sure did - crossing the 10km finish line at 1 hour and 15 mins. Possibly the last finisher of the 10km run run.
While others made a mad dash for the finish line...
...the Alpha Company was still magnificently in formation as it neared the finish line.
The Bravo Company was also still in formation in crossing the finish line, albeit in a more gung-ho manner.
A family of 3 nearing the finish line. 

A dog and its friend about to cross the finish line
Zumba after the fun run.
BP with some members of the Alpha Company at the finish line.
Podium finishers with officers of the AFPOCSAAI.
Camaraderie very much alive in the awarding ceremonies.
But an idea percolated in my running mind.  With enough training, would the Bicolano Penguin be able to run from start to finish of a 10km run  with the Alpha and Bravo companies? Perhaps if there is another fun run organized by the AFPOCSAAI in a year's time or even in 6 month's time, I could give it another try.

Speaking of the One Run OCS, it is a very worthwhile activity. The AFPOCSAAI in partnership with Team Understanding, Inc. organized the OCS Alumni fun run with the theme: "ONE RUN, ONE OCS."  It is a fund raising activity and the proceeds will benefit the members of AFPOCSAAI who are wounded-in-action (WIA) in the performance of their duties in the field and the major service Officer Candidate Schools for the improvement of their training materials/equipment. According to LTC. Edgar Allan Villanueva (Vice President of the Phil. Army Chapter and Secretary of AFPOCSAAI Nationals) there were more than 600 runners who participated in the fun run.  
Some members of the fun run organizing team. Congrats for a good job.
What exactly is the OCS?  The OCS was established in 1937 for training future officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).  The school trains civilians and enlisted personnel who are baccalaureate degree holders. The one-year course prepares an officer candidate (OC) with a rank of Probationary Second Lieutenant and Probationary Ensign to be mentally, physically and emotionally fit to earn a commission as an officer in the Philippine Army (PA), the Philippine Air Force (PAF), the Philippine Navy (PN), and the Technical Service (the Medical Administrative Corps and the Women Auxiliary Corps). Graduates of the OCS are commissioned as Second Lieutenants and Ensigns in the AFP Regular and Reserve Forces by the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Since its creation, more than 3,000 officers have graduated from the OCS,  The school's motto is Valor, Integrity and Duty.  

In the words of DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in the OCS joint graduation ceremony last Dec 13, 2016 - "You will be in the forefront; you will be putting your lives on the line, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I wish you good luck to your new career and I hope that all of you will reach the pinnacle of your respective military careers."

As the latest flashpoint in Marawi City is showing, our military soldiers are professional and brave in protecting our country and countrymen. They are very much worthy of  our prayers, our respect and our help.

The ONE RUN OCS fun run is one such opportunity where citizens of the Republic can offer a helping hand to the brave men and women of the AFP. Or literally, a helping pair of running feet.

Hopefully, with God's grace and the hard work of the AFPOCSAAI, there will be another running of the ONE RUN OCS.

BP with RJ Knight Runner of Running Photographers.

Photo Credits:  Running Photographers


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