Duty, Honor, Country For A Changed Man: ARIEL QUERUBIN

Thursday, May 23, 2024

To tell you honestly, the moment I heard the name Ariel Querubin, I was bit afraid... really afraid. My memories of him constituted an event during then President Corazon Aquino's time where TV cameras zoomed in on him amongst RAM SFP YOU soldiers at a hotel in Makati. When asked, he bid this as a time when he was so angry. This was so different from the man I saw a few days ago, an opportune time to talk to him as a changed man, definitely.

A native of Dagupan, Pangasinan, he's now the most decorated soldier in the country. If you try and see his accomplishments as an officer of the Philippine Marine Corps (also from PMA), it will include the biggest kidnapping and armed groups, rebels, organizations, terrorist groups (CPP NPA, MNLF, MILF, Abu Sayyaf, name it), whom all feared HIM on the battle grounds. He has received the coveted MEDAL of VALOR, the highest military award for courage, which shows how much dedication he's given to this country of ours. He even had the battle scars from ammunition and shrapnel to prove it.

He says "I'm thankful I got to meet you all, I'm Colonel Ariel Querubin. I am so fortunate to have been awarded 49 combat medals and other awards. I'm a soldier who have been able to battle with almost all the armed groups. They say this Ariel Querubin is a tough one. A person who stood up for peace, order, and a clean government. I have served without being involved in corruption. We stand on our principles, also for those who are less fortunate. We do not condone fraud, criminals, or those who abuse power."

This man is disciplined, can still workout, tougher than your muscled athlete at the gym. He's also experienced bouts with danger, but he knows he still has a mission. If God and the people permit, he wants to serve and is ready for it. He adds "I can leave my comfort zone for a higher calling."

He's been through a lot, but treats this opportunity to be a good one. He has been incarcerated in the past, and this has made him realize that his career as a military man isn't everything in life. He treats his time there as a quick jolt so he could come to his senses and become closer to his family. He knew then that all his awards would fail in comparison to his accomplishments as a father to his 7 children. One precious award he received was for an "Ulirang Ama", it has meant a lot for him.

His family stood by him. (photo courtesy of Ariel Querubin FB page)

In the past, he always had his thoughts with his soldiers, but now see the value of the same family waiting at home, worried about his life every time he goes out for a mission. He also feared he would have to answer to the countless families of these soldiers, but didn't know it was the same for him during those years. He found his wife standing up for their family, standing up for him. She took the punches, and he saw how the media also kept the fire burning for him at a time when politicians and other individuals were attacking him.

After being transferred to 5 difference facilities, they always saw how he smiled and fight for his family. He had the heart, and would want to do the same as a changed man today.

Out there in the field, he believed things couldn't be settled with words. But now, it's a way to talk, for the economy to progress, and see the importance of his experience as an actual warrior, more reasons to listen to him. He is a peace advocate, and deem life important. War is expensive, and is not a solution if the root cause is not addressed. Insurgency for him will only persist if there is no good governance. The Armed Forces has done remarkably well, and hope other agencies follow suit.

When you see him, he's now a force for positive change, even in the communities in the BaSulTa area. Introducing livelihood programs, a parcel of land where they could grow crops and earn a living, this sparked change for them and he hopes you see how he could do the same for you too. Here's our interview with him a few days ago:

His duty to his family, his indelible honor, and hope for the country is etched in his heart. His name is Ariel Querubin. Thank you for the opportunity to get to know you Sir! *Salute*


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