Soldiers and health workers celebrate hospital anniversary with ABS-CBN

Wounded soldiers and the hardworking health workers of Victoriano Luna Medical Center (VLMC) had a welcome break from the usual hospital stress when ABS-CBN brought its artists led by the cast of “Wildflower” and “It’s Showtime” and mounted a program in celebration of the hospital’s 80th anniversary.

“In my 29 years in service, this is the first time I’ve seen VLMC like this. Thank you to ABS-CBN. There were a lot of people of wanted to watch this show,” said Col Patrick S. De Leon, deputy commander of the AFP Health Service Command.

This is actually the second time this year for the Kapamilya network to hold a live show especially for the soldiers to show its support to the country’s heroes and to pay tribute to their bravery and nationalism. Formerly known as the AFP Medical Center, the VLMC serves as a temporary home for many Filipino heroes as they heal from sickness or injuries incurred from protecting our nation. For the first time, they had no less than Kapamilya stars like Maja Salvador, Gerald Anderson, Aiko Melendez, and Tirso Cruz III to join their celebration.

Previously, it was the cast of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” that brought joy and entertainment to them. This time, the lead stars of “Wildflower, ”Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin,” and “It’s Showtime,” joined forces to make the patients, their caregivers, and the hospital staff smile, sing, dance, and laugh together, even for just a couple of hours.

GirlTrends opened the show, followed by host Eric Nicolas, former champion of the show “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” who never failed to make the audience giggle in unison. Afterwards, together with Ryan Bang and Roxanne Barcelo, he had the soldiers try the “Cash-Ya” game from “It’s Showtime,” followed by “Sundahula” with Aiko. Tawag ng Tanghalan finalists Noven, Marielle, and Froilan also performed to the crowd’s delight.

The “Wildflower” villainess was actually under the weather that day, but was determined to go when she found out what the show is for.

“When they told me that this is a show for the people who have been serving our country, I immediately got up so that I can see you all and greet you,” she told the soldiers and health workers.

Similarly, the other stars like Gerald, Miko Raval, RK Bagatsing, and Joseph Marco gave their tributes to the nation’s heroes, right after performing for them.

It was an especially meaningful moment for Vin Abrenica, whose father and grandfather both served the flag as soldiers.

“People call us “idol” when we’re in the public and it warms my heart but for me, you are my idols and I appreciate everything you are doing for us. The whole country looks up to all of you,” the “Wildflower” hunk said.

Tirso, added, “we’re so glad so happy that ordinary citizens like us can sleep sound and in peace knowing that you are there to protect us. We owe you a lot.”

The audience erupted when “Ivy Aguas,” herself took the stage for a couple of song and dance numbers. But once again, Maja turned the spotlight to the audience,

“Thank you for serving as our inspiration and for giving your strength to the nation. You are the country’s new heroes,” she told them.

While the soldiers enjoyed the entertainment from the Kapamilya stars, they also got to see the talent of their fellow men in service. One sang a ballad, one played the violin, while a group of soldiers brought the house down with a performance of the rock classic “Sweet Child of Mine,” led no less by the chief of the hospital’s Department of Medicine Lt. Col. Nerio C. Zabala.

“ I feel proud to perform for our Marawi heroes and bring them joy after the misery brought by the fighting. It is an honor to share the stage with professional artists. I never aspired to be one but it is an honor to perform with them,” he shared.

The program ended with another powerful performance from them, right after the head of AFP Health Service Command, Brig. Gen. Edwin Leo Torrelavega presented a token of appreciation to ABS-CBN.

“We are more than grateful that a dependable partner in ABS-CBN responded to our request to bring out the talents of our soldiers…Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to bring joy to our soldiers, especially our patients and we hope we can do this again,” said Torrelavega as he handed the AFP’s gift to ABS-CBN Integrated Public Service head Jun Dungo.

With the hope of alleviating the pains and stresses of the nation’s heroes through entertainment and public service, ABS-CBN once again stayed true to its slogan of “In the Service of the Filipino.”