In the Philippines, it is now considered a tired old cliché for a showbiz celebrity to offer service to the country by entering the field of politics. Nowadays most entertainment personalities, particularly the young and fit ones, tend to render voluntary service by joining the nation’s military, as a reservist or auxiliary. At one point the major networks sort of waged an undeclared competition on which side had the most talents in the military reserve: recent examples include GMA7’s Rocco Nacino and Dingdong Dantes (Navy), now-TV5’s Matteo Guidicelli (Army), and ABS-CBN’s Gerald Anderson (Coast Guard). Speaking of whom, Gerald’s now-girlfriend has also joined him there.
As The Manila Bulletin tells it, Kapamilya actress Julia Barretto became the newest young-celebrity Armed Forces reservist when she was sworn into the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Auxiliary. She earned her Coast Guard bars this past Wednesday, September 1, in a simple swearing-in ceremony at PCG Headquarters in Port Area, Manila. Barretto was one of four newly-minted auxiliarists sworn in that day, and the most senior of them to boot. The ceremony was presided over by Coast Guard Adm. George Ursabia, and one of the witnesses to the occasion was Julia’s boyfriend – and PCG Auxiliary Lieutenant Commander himself – Gerald Anderson.
Both Kapamilya stars shared photos of the event on social media. It is interesting to note also that both Anderson and Barretto are in the same PCG Auxiliary unit, the K9 Squadron. This unit employs auxiliarists accompanied by trained police dogs for search and rescue and added security against smuggling. In addition, the PCGA K9 Squadron aids in promoting animal welfare and enforcing related laws, as well as foster closer relations between the Coast Guard and the communities they serve.
After being sworn in, PCG Auxiliarist Julia Barretto gave a statement on behalf of her batch, promising to “actively support the initiatives of the unit towards the delivery of humble and compassionate service to the Filipino people.” Adm. Ursabia had commented during the ceremony the need for more K9 personnel not just in the Coast Guard but all services, in the interest of national security. He thus lauded Julia and her fellow new auxiliarists for their commitment, as the PCG continues its operations ranging from humanitarian missions to disaster responses.
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News