(Screengrab from RTVM)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday recalled the valuable lessons he learned from the Philippine Marine Corps. (PMC) in his teenage years as he graced the naval infantry force’s 72nd anniversary celebration in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Speaking before members of the PMC, Marcos admitted that he was initially “intimidated” to receive special training from the Marines in the late 1970s because they were a “tough bunch.”

However, he said the Marines taught him that he was capable of much more than he thought.

“...The Marines taught me that even if you think you cannot manage it, if you dig deep you will be able to. That’s just one of the many, many lessons that I learned when I spent time with the Philippine Marine Corps and in the military,” he said in his speech.

Marcos said the Marines also taught him camaraderie and brotherhood, which he believed was “more valuable than anything else.”

“The other invaluable lesson is a lesson of camaraderie which I have not found anywhere else outside of the Military. The form of camaraderie and brotherhood that is formed between people who live together, who fight together, who bleed together is a different kind of camaraderie, it is a different form of brotherhood. It’s something that is more valuable, than anything else,” he added.

He lauded the accomplishments of the PMC through the years, especially in securing and fostering peace and order in the country.

“It began with you fighting the Communist Armed Forces in the 1950s. You have also defended the nation from terrorist and separatist groups in the succeeding years. During disasters and emergencies, they can always be counted on to respond to the call of duty,” he said.

Despite challenges, he said the PMC remained courageous and resilient in helping Filipinos in times of emergencies and calamities.

“I thank you all for always being true Marines and going above and beyond. Your bravery has greatly enabled the Filipinos in contributing to nation-building efforts and the nation-building efforts of this administration, we count once again on that support from the Marine Corps.,” he added.

'Exemplary service'

Marcos also praised the PMC's efforts in securing the country’s littoral zones which he said mirrors the administration’s commitment to protecting the country’s territorial integrity.

“Indeed, your determination and your commitment and valor you’ve demonstrated in protecting the nation from various threats to our peace and security is a testament not only to your faithfulness to duty but also your loyalty and patriotism to the Motherland,” he said.

He also enjoined the PMC to continue demonstrating “exemplary service” and “nationalism” and pass on these virtues to the next generation of Marines.

“We will work harmoniously towards our collective goal of serving the Filipino people, asserting our sovereignty as well as defending the country’s territorial integrity,” he said.

Marcos expressed confidence that the PMC will be able to protect the country from all threats and promote national interest.

He, meanwhile, assured that the government remains firm and committed to enhancing the Marine Corps through the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“We use the resources to provide each of you the support that will help you fulfill your responsibilities, realize your full potential and to achieve success in your mission,” he said.

“As the leader of our nation and your commander in chief, I assure you of my full support for the continued success of the AFP and the Marine Corps.,” he added.

During the event, Marcos also led the awarding of several individuals and the ceremonial cake-cutting.

He also received from the PMC a principal bladed weapon of the Filipino martial arts Pekiti-Tirsia Kali called “Ginunting Bolo” as a memento. It is also the official weapon used by the PMC during hand-to-hand combat fighting.

AFP chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, also led the wreath-laying ceremony at the Marine Heroes Monument, Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown.

With the theme, “Team Marines @ 72: Katuwang ng bawat Pilipino tungo sa mas mapayapa, maunlad, at nagkakaisang bansa,” the PMC highlighted the "illustrious past and honor the distinguished legacy that the Marine forefathers have built in the last seven decades."

A series of activities were prepared by the PMC as part of its anniversary, which includes virtual triathlon, Race for Our Heroes motorcycle edition and virtual triathlon, shoot fest, and golf tournament.

These activities aim to generate funds to support the PMC's Wounded Warrior Program, which provides medical, recovery, and reintegration support to Marine personnel who were wounded in action, as well as provide educational assistance to dependents of personnel who died in the line of duty. (with report from Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)