by 2Lt Edralee Abrio (INF) PA
The night of January 29, 2010, CAFGU Active Auxiliary Noel F Dela Cerna of Alpha CAFGU company 22nd Infantry Battalion and another CAA accompanied their detachment commander, Ssg Montano V Escano, on a mission to verify alleged extortion activities of the NPA in Banuang Gurang. Little did he know that before the night ends, he will be forced to fight for his life and that the mission will bring with it shock, fear, panic, valor, death and heroism he had never experienced before. An ambush will leave one CAA dead, and both Ssg Escano and CAA Dela Cerna wounded but who would have guessed that the dark pain-filled night would open a new hope for love? Let’s find out.
That night, when they received the reports of the NPA threatening people with rifles and extorting money, they immediately responded but found out that the rebels have already left the area. Little did they know that the rebels are setting up an ambush and on their way back to camp, they fell right into it. When the enemy opened fire, CAA Dela Cerna and Ssg Escano were wounded while the second CAA died on the spot. Dela Cerna was unarmed since the gun ban was already in effect while Escano fought off more or less 10 heavily armed Communist Terrorists with only a pistol. Ssg Escano, a champion sharp shooter, squeezed off two rounds to the body and one to the forehead of a rebel and when he dropped, they scrambled to retrieve the rebel’s M16. Both fought hard with the fierceness and desperation of cornered wolves and the rebels withdrew.
For their actions that night, Ssg Escano was recommended for promotion to higher rank and awarded the Gold Cross Medal and the Military Wounded Personnel Medal while CAA Dela Cerna’s paper was processed for Special Enlistment into the regular force.
After the ambush, the two wounded soldiers were brought to BRTTH hospital, and there, CAA Dela Cerna first saw Dr Marissa Reyes. She graduated from Ago Medical School in 2003 and is a Surgeon Doctor in the said hospital. Dr Reyes is also the eldest daughter of Retired Colonel Reyes of the Philippine National Police. She also has a brother who is an officer in the Philippine Navy Officer.
Everyday the pretty doctor would check upon the soldiers’ status and require the patients to sit but CAA Dela Cerna could not make it since he was shot in the buttocks. While the nurses cleaned the wounds of Dela Cerna, Doctor Reyes could not help but grin because she found out that the soldier had a cute butt. “Makinis ang pwet nya, maputi at matambok” Dr. Reyes giggled. A mild crush blossomed.
The following day, Dr Reyes contrived to do the cleaning and when CAA Dela Cerna asked for her cell number, she gave it without hesitation. CAA Dela Cerna used his charms on the doctor and Doctor Reyes found herself responding in kind. The time came when Ssg Escano and CAA Dela Cerna need to be transferred to V.LUNA Hospital and it seemed that the young love story will be crushed to a sad end.
After two weeks, however, CAA Dela Cerna called Dr Reyes and tried to pursue her and luckily the doctor somewhat give him a chance. CAA Dela Cerna slowly won the heart of Dr Reyes until he was finally released from VLUNA and temporarily stayed in Tula Tula, Ligao City , Albay where his brother, Cpl Zaldy Dela Cerna, was assigned with the 2nd Infantry Battalion.
CAA Dela Cerna was not allowed to go back to Banuang Gurang for security reasons and was assigned to Bravo CAFGU Company Headquarters. There, he had the chance to ask Dr Reyes dates. Love was in the air and something inevitably happened between them. Dr. Reyes became pregnant. At that moment, the CAA was hesitant and confused. He thought of his situation as CAFGU Active Auxiliary receiving a lowly allowance of P2,700 per month and now he impregnated a doctor who is not just any doctor but a daughter of a retired PNP colonel!
Colonel Reyes opposed their relationship but love is thicker than blood and it was proven by this love story when Dr Reyes did not follow the wishes of his father and they decided to get married before Judge ALBEN C RABE in Ligao City on 24 August 2010. The mothers of the couple were present to witness the important event in their children’s lives but the father of the bride didn’t arrive.
Dr Reyes believed that no amount of money is commensurate to the kind, loving and responsible person she have seen in CAA Noel Dela Cerna. When they were interviewed for this story, Dr Reyes divulged she really fell in love with Noel because of his butt and we both laughed while CAA Dela Cerna blushed in embarassment. Dr Marissa Reyes, six months pregnant, said that she is very proud that his husband is a man of honor, strength, valor and full of ambitions in life. CAA Noel F Dela Cerna was speechless and flattered on how proud his wife was of him and could only utter the magic words “I LOVE YOU BABY”. And the story telling was then sealed with kiss.