One popular venue for Filipino celebrities to pursue in addition to their current careers is the military, in the form of them signing up for the Reserves. The image of a Filipino celebrity Army reservist is quite well known in the country. There is Senator Manny Pacquiao (a Reserve Colonel due to his government post) and more recently Matteo Guidicelli, who went beyond his Reservist qualifications by signing for Scout Ranger training. Interestingly, veteran action star and occasional government/military spokesman Robin Padilla has not joined the Reserve in his whole career; but as the saying goes, better late than never.
The Manila Bulletin tells us that Robin Padilla has announced his intent to join the Philippine Army Reserve. This was shared by an Army official to the press just this Sunday, July 7. As part of his promotional statement encouraging more Filipinos to become Reservists, Philippine Army Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala made mention of Padilla’s entry to the Reserve Component. Padilla had earlier said to him that it would be an honor to serve the country in this capacity, and Zagala remarks that the assistance of Reservists are an important contributor to the Army’s other primary of objective of nation-building.
Before the Army announcement of Padilla’s intention to join the Reserve Component, the 49-year-old actor and one-time “Bad Boy of Philippine Cinema” gave a speech this past weekend at the Sulu Youth Empowerment for Preventing-Countering Violent Extremism. He was a key speaker for the event due to both being a politically active celebrity and a Muslim convert. He notes that true Islam is a religion of peace, having helped him turn his life around while in prison; and that it is incompatible with the interpretation of faith used by extremists and terrorists. He also extended his condolences to the June 28 bomb attack in Sulu.
Robin Padilla’s statements to the Sulu youth, which numbered around 800 in the audience that weekend, were supported by Philippine Army Imam Capt. Abdulhaq Mohammad, who reiterated that extremists ignore the Islamic precepts of mercy for all. His efforts at the event were also praised by Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, especially Padilla’s advocacy of peace and unity in the face of violent extremism. Zagala then invited more Filipino citizens to consider taking the time to join the Army Reserve saying, All citizens, whether celebrity or ordinary, are highly encouraged to join us in serving the people and securing the land.”
Image from The Filipino Times