Wednesday, November 25

God keep you safe, Nonoy.

I've been following the media reports on the Maguindanao massacre online when I clicked on another story and a familiar name jumped at me Lt. Jimrhic Obias. He is my cousin's son, who is a nephew to me really. At first I thought there must be some mistake. He'd been hurt 11 months ago in an ambush, shot in the left arm and chest and almost didn't make it. He'd had a difficult recovery because his median nerve was injured so he couldnt oppose or flex his thumbs even after months of physical therapy. He went back to his unit 4 months ago - his family expecting he'd just sit on a desk doing office work. This doesn't read like a desk job to me.

Dumaguete City - A Philippine Army soldier was wounded when a small band of suspected New People's Army rebels opened fire on a military truck at about 8 a.m. yesterday along the national highway in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.

A seven-member team from the Guihulngan-based 11th Infantry Battalion of the Army, led by Lt. Jimrhic Obias, was on board a KIA KM-450 military truck en route to Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, when some 10 perceived NPA rebels fired at them along the national highway at the boundary of Guihulngan and Vallehermoso towns.

Lt. Col. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commanding officer of the 11 th IB, identified the wounded as Private First Class Ariel Pangantihon, who was hit on his right arm.

Initial police investigation showed that during the ambush, the soldiers were able to fire back at the rebels as the truck they were riding continued traversing the national highway, Guihulngan police chief, Sr. Insp. Petronelli Gracia, said.

Gracia said the soldiers were fired upon twice, first in Barangay Hibaiyo in Guihulngan and a few minutes later at the boundary of Vallehermoso, about five to six hours ride north of Dumaguete City .

I could not for the life of me understand why he's being shot at again but if the army thinks he is fit now to lead his team, he must be physically up to it right? I tried to call him and when he did not pick up, I texted him about his safe 'office work'. He answered right back asking me not to tell his Mama and the rest of the family because he told them nothing, obviously. That is typical of him, when he got hurt before Christmas last year he did not tell his parents until he was out of the woods weeks later. He did not want us to worry about this latest skirmish, he is fine, he'll be careful... So I didn't nag too much though I couldn't help but try to plead with him to find another job. He could easily get one in the private sector, this is a very smart kid after all.

couldn't do the 'v' sign with big sis and auntie

But I remember too that when he was in his junior year taking up engineering at the University of the Philippines, he decided to enroll at the Philippine Military Academy much to his parents' dismay. He told me it had always been his dream to serve his country this way, he tried to make it work at the UP but the call of military service is stronger. He did very well at the PMA graduating with honors and given various awards for leadership. We might not be too excited about his chosen path (cannon fodder?!) but we are surely proud of him.

with his sisters and brother at the army hospital

He is a hero, living in a country that much too often ignores its heroes. When he was in the army hospital, we were shocked at the conditions there ( the bathroom's clogged, water supply unreliable). He had to buy his own medicines because the pharmacy did not have it in stock. That is why I marvel at his dedication. No matter the difficulties he faced the past year--with a slightly atrophied left hand and nerve injury pain that must still keep him up at night. He's still shooting back at rebel terrorists, still fighting. He and soldiers like him might save this country yet. We are blessed.

Update 2012: Jim is doing great. He got married and now has the most adorable baby girl. :)


Anonymous,  02:55  

wow! we have a new another hero!congrat's im proud of you from home town bicol....god bless 2 all your family... i hope i see you in persons...

Lynn 01:53  

Thanks for the kind words. Let's hope for the best.

Anonymous,  03:35  

I never thought 1Lt Obias had that experience already in his few years in the Army. I met him in Cebu at the Media Relations Seminar our office conducted for the Visayas-based spokesperson of the Philippine Army. The sincerity and dedication he showed in his service to the country and to the people signifies a true hero... I admire his courage and selflessness. A true hero the Phil Army and the whole country should be proud of...Congratulations!!!!

Lynn 15:27  

Oh you've met him... I hope more people appreciate what our soldiers are doing. It's them that's bearing the brunt of the fighting after all. Thanks so much for the support.

PARREÑAS,  00:14  


Lynn 11:36  

Glad to hear that from someone he served with. Thanks for your service too ParreÑas.

Anonymous,  16:35  

I agree with all that has been said about this great guy. I met him 4 yrs back when he was still a cadet. and til now, i really admire his dedication and commitment to serve our country. I'm proud of him. I just wish that God will grant him more blessings and long life...may he be able to serve and help more Filipinos in the future. I will continue to pray for him and his family. I'm proud of you Jim!

Anonymous,  20:06  

a good mentor, a brother, a friend and the type of a senior worthy of emulation

Anonymous,  15:56  

Interesting article you got here. It would be great to read something more about this theme. Thanx for sharing this material.

Khyla 07:25  

Miss Lynn, how can I contact you? I have something to ask you. Is he the Jimrhic Obias from Yakal dorm in UP Diliman way back in his college days?

Lynn 15:53  

@Khyla Just use the "email me" option... Yeah, that's him! :)

Khyla,  06:33  

I sent you an email Miss Lynn. Did you get it? Hope he is doing fine now. I was so shocked yesterday when I read this article. But I'm way too far behind the news already. Anyway, I'll keep praying for his safety. And I hope he wont get hurt that bad anymore. :)

Anonymous,  15:17  

It was extremely interesting for me to read the blog. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

Anete Smith

Anonymous,  08:02  

I nearly cried when I read the article.

Jim has always been the same person I knew since we first met. His undying love for our country is unmatched...

Jim, I hope you'll never tire in giving back to the people who educated us. Our paths may never cross again; just remember this: I'll always pray for your safety and will forever be proud of you! Remember what I used to tell you when you were yet in the academy - you'll become a respectable general in the future :)

Anonymous,  23:27  

Thank you sharing Ms. Lynn. Jim is a good friend of mine. Send him my regards, Prayers and good vibes his way. Ava

Anonymous,  23:04  

give my best regards to JIM.. he's a good friend of mine since high school days! take care JIM.. hope i could see you in goa soon..

Anonymous,  08:40  

Thank you for being such a loving auntie. hehehe. I am proud of my Kuya. May God keep him safe always indeed.

jv 21:52  

Ms. Lynn how's jimrhic now? I used to be one of his classmate in elementary and a friend in highschool in Goa and a schoolmate during our engineering days in UP. The latest I think that we met was last December 2010 when we both were going to bicol. Hope he's always fine. Just give my best regards to him.

Rey Orduna,  05:44  

Jim was my former classmate in High School, he was a good friend of mine..Rest assured of my prayers brother,keep up the goods deeds for our country and for the Filipinos...

Rey Rimando Orduna

Lynn 20:17  

Thanks for the warm messages anonymous guys, jv & rey... do search for him on FB, I think you can message Jim directly there. ;)

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