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  • I never saw my father wearing this full army gear, mainly because I wasn't born yet. Only the sepia photographs were there to tell me how his young life was spent to counter the communist insurgency in Tawi-Tawi province.

    Posing with the standard military green camouflage and M16 rifle, you can see how my father enjoyed this moment. He told me stories when I was young enough to understand that this war took the lives of some of his friends. I was told one of his encounters when they were ambushed and his rifle jammed as he was about to shoot a rebel escaping the scene. I remember he was teary-eyed telling that particular story, I believe he was torn between being killed and killing a human being. War after all is ugly amidst all its glorified heroism, recollecting memories can be taxing.

    My mother, I could imagine, must have those sleepless nights knowing that my father was away fighting a war that the government has mandated. I write this now in nostalgia, because not all of them are forgotten.
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