A Christmas picture of a Santa Claus is an obese man with an over-sized red robe, overgrown beard, and a heavy knapsack on his back, but what if the real Santa Claus wears green with heavy boots instead?
These Santa Claus did more than just give gifts but hope. They are soldiers-the valiant 42nd Infantry- Tagapagtanggol Battalion who carried food and water for the typhoon victims on foot in Brgy. Canupong, Gutalac,Zamboanga del Norte. They braved through the treacherous roads of mud and dirt just to get to the victims last December 23.
According to the weather news by Rappler, Vinta (international name Tembin) made its landfall in Davao Oriental last Friday, December 22 by 1:45am. The tropical depression was reported to have maximum winds of 60 km/h and gustiness of up to 90km/h. It placed Southern Palawan, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboang Sibugay in Signal Number 1.
PAGA-ASA reported that it left the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Christmas eve, December 24.
The aftermath of the typhoon left many people to clean up the mess after the flooding. But with the undying Filipino resilience, these soldiers risked through perilous slopes to bring supplies in Brgy. Canupong.
Though Christmas may look different now and the air may seem a little bit colder, these soldiers are bringing home that despite the storm, people could still celebrate Christmas. These soldiers are models of hope and redemption, the silver lining after the rain.
These Santa Claus soldiers risked their safety, set aside their Christmas preparations, and interrupted their holiday to make sure that typhoon victims could still celebrate Christmas with full stomachs even if they are not in their homes.
Heroism like this just goes to show that the stereotypical Santa Claus is not always red because Santa Claus could be a soldier too.
A Story by Mizzy Chinggay
Photo credit to Capt. Macario of 42 Infantry Battalion
42nd Infantry Battalion’s Mother unit is the 9th Infantry “SPEAR” Division based in Bicol Region. With the battalions deployment in Mindanao, 1st Infantry “TAbAK” Division took command of the unit.