Skip to main content »
Igorotage

What happens when a former NPA Rebel and an Army Officer meet at the airport?

Former Miss Kalinga LT Col. Jessie Rose Bucalen-Austria shares her memorable story when she met a former NPA rebel at an airport.

LT Col. Jessie Rose Bucalen-Austria and Naomi and her kids at the Puerto Princesa City International Airport

A former NPA rebel mother, along with her 2-month-old baby and another 1-year-old and 6-month-old child, was in a desperate situation at the airport, a female army officer from Kalinga province was there to help her.

Former Miss Kalinga LT Col. Jessie Rose Bucalen-Austria shares her memorable story when she met a former NPA rebel at an airport and it was heart-warming.

It was 2pm when I entered the Puerto Princesa City International Airport to catch my flight but I went there early because of the new normal guideliness and health protocols. I was about to enter the line going to the check in counter when I noticed at my peripherial vision a young girl running towards the x-ray machine without any one going after her. What I did was to drop my luggage and went after the kid.

Suddenly, a very grateful mother carrying a 2 month old baby approached me with the young girl. She is the mother of the young girl and she humbly said with a teary-eyed, "Mam, maraming salamat po. Papunta po ba kayo Manila?"

I answered: Yes po. Wala po ba kayong kasama?

And she replied: "Ako lng po mam at ayaw kaming pacheck-inin kasi mag-isa lng ako. Kaninang 7:00am pa po kami dito pero di kmi pinapasok kasi di pa pwede Sa check in counter naman Dapat daw may mag assist sa akin."

I smiled at her then volunteered and asked her to come with me at the counter. I requested her to take care of the young girl and I will be incharge of the 2-month baby. She was crying when she handed me her baby with so much gratefulness. She never lose hope that somebody will offer her a hand in that very desperate situation. She tried to ask other passengers but they ignored her.

While waiting for our turn to check in , I gave her an assurance "Wag po kayong mag-alala, Army po ako. I am LTC Austria safe po kayo sa akin".

LT Col. Jessie Rose Bucalen-Austria carrying the baby

At the check in counter, I gave the lady incharge my documents and told her that I will be assisting the mother and her two children. Everything went smoothly at the next screening until we reached the waiting area of the boarding gate.

While waiting , she called her mother over the phone informing her that somebody assisted them. I can hear her saying my name. At that time, the baby was in her deep sleep in my arms. She is an angel. She is a sleeping beauty.

Then I asked the mother, what is your name and why are you not travelling with anyone? Napakahirap po ang naging sitwasyon nyo kanina. Then I noticed her tears rolling down her cheeks.

She answered me that her name is Naomi. Naabutan po kasi kami ng lockdown nung umuwi kami sa amin after ng maraming taon. Dito ko na rin ipinanganak si baby.

In a few moments, she opened up, "Alam nyo mam, dati po akong kasama sa kilusan ang tawag nila sa akin ay KA MAYA ".

I was really shocked, at the back of my mind "Hala!!! dati ko palang kalaban ito" then I glanced at the angelic face of the baby that I was holding... but my willingness to help them prevailed with no mental reservation.

She told me everything how hard her life while going against the government. They have to collect revolutionary taxes from businessmen. Nagsunog na kmi ng mga buses at cell sites. Ako mismo nagrerecruit sa mga kabataan na sumapi sa kilusan.

She was even wounded in one of the encounters. And that was her miserable seven years inside the New Peoples Army.

Then I asked her "Bakit mo naisipang bumalik sa gobyerno?"

She answered that "Wala naman kasing ibang gobyerno ang tutulong sa iyo kundi ang gobyerno natin".

With that coming directly from one of them. To the young generations "Wag kayong magpalinlang, NPA Salot yan ng lipunan".

LT Col. Jessie Rose Bucalen-Austria and Naomi and her kids

I took care of the baby in the entire duration of the flight because Ka Maya took care of her other daughter. I usually sleep in most of my flights but not this time. Hindi naman umiyak si baby, siguro dahil feeling niya kutson ang tyan ko.

Then we arrived in Manila, I asked her if somebody will fetch them and she told me that her husband will be there. I accompanied them outside after she retrieved their check in baggages.

At the Bay 3 of Terminal 3 I have witnessed a family reunion. The father got to see his family and first meeting with his 2month old baby. It was a sweet goodbye.

Akalain mo nga naman, ang dating magkalaban ay pinagtagpo sa isang sitwasyon na kelangan nilang magtulungan. She was cleared by the government in 2014.

In an interview with Lt Col Austria, she said that she always believes in the kindness of humanity.

We all have that within us. Let us be a blessing to everyone in our little way. Let us spread love not hate among us. Let us not withhold goodness to others if we have the power or the capability to give. It maybe effortless on our part but means a lot to others.

LT Col. Jessie Rose Bucalen-Austria

More interesting facts about Lt Col Austria:

  • The first Miss Kalinga crown in 1996.
  • First female Kalinga Philippine Military graduate.
  • First PMA Female Athletic Sabre Awardee in PMA's History.

Source: Eisenhower Bucalen

Music is life


Sharing is caring, kailian!

We do hope you find something great in this story. If you find this helpful, please do share it with the people you care about.


Igorotage is a platform for people to share their thoughts and ideas. The views expressed on Igorotage are the opinions of the individual users, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Igorotage.

Comments

Sign in to share your thoughts. No account yet?

What to learn next?

You might also like to read more related articles filed under Personal — or jump to a random article!

Personal Surprise me

YKalinga is Miss Baguio City 2021

Kalinga beauty Ghenesis Dalayday Latugat is Miss Baguio City 2021 queen.

Oct 17, 2021 · 2 min read

Kalinga: Leading Palay Producer in the Cordillera Region

Kalinga province is top palay producer in the Cordillera region, according to data recently released by the PSA for the year 2023.

Feb 27 · 2 min read

Security Guard Shot in Bulanao, Kalinga by Unidentified Assailants

A security guard working at a fast food restaurant in Bulanao, Kalinga was shot by unidentified assailants riding a motorcycle.

Feb 24 · 2 min read

Young Researchers from Kalinga Shine at International Student Research Congress

Young Researchers from Kalinga shine at the International Student Research Congress, earning the Outstanding Research Award.

Jan 27 · 1 min read

Senator Bong Go's Impact on Kalinga Provincial Meet: Championing Sports Development

Discover how Senator Bong Go's support for sports programs elevates Kalinga's Provincial Meet, fostering youth empowerment and athletic excellence.

Jan 26 · 2 min read

Bodong Festival Dance Extravaganza in Kalinga: A Cultural Celebration

Experience the vibrancy of Kalinga's Bodong Festival with street dancing, cultural sensitivity, and star-studded guests in February.

Jan 17 · 4 min read

Kalinga Adopts NCIP Chair Jennifer Pia Sibug-las as "Dinayaw"

Jennifer Pia Sibug-las, Chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, was officially adopted as a daughter of the Kalinga Province.

Oct 24, 2023 · 2 min read

Four Sisters from Remote Kalinga Town Pass LET, Inspire Aspiring Teachers

Four sisters from a remote town in Kalinga, all passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET), inspiring aspiring teachers around the country.

Jan 5, 2023 · 2 min read

47 lawyers from Mountain Province, 68 from Kalinga pass 2020-2021 Bar exams

A total of 115 lawyers from Kalinga and Mountain Province passed the 2020-2021 Philippine Bar Examination.

Apr 12, 2022 · 2 min read

Cordilleran Engineer among NASA Team setting up First Rocket Launch Site outside US

Czar Augustus Estranero Domingo, a Cordilleran from Tabuk City, Kalinga, is the NASA team's Lead Network Engineer/Data Communication Engineer.

Oct 27, 2021 · 3 min read