Some of the biggest names in the Philippine entertainment industry were able to pay tribute to our soldiers when ABS-CBN brought its “Saludo sa Sundalong Pilipino” event to the military camps of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Air Force, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters recently.
Veteran actors Tirso Cruz III, Janice De Belen, Raymart Santiago, and Pokwang headlined the program for the sailors and marines, the cast of upcoming teleserye “A Soldier’s Heart” led the tribute for our airmen and airwomen, while “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” superstar Coco Martin and Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez drew the loudest cheers in the last “Saludo” event for 2019.
To honor our country’s heroes and bring cheer to them, ABS-CBN began its “Saludo sa Sundalong Pilipino” event in 2017, where Kapamilya stars, journalists, and officials are able to bring joy to members of the AFP through star-studded programs and tributes.
Apart from the song and dance performances by ABS-CBN artists, the soldiers enjoyed seeing their comrades perform on stage, as each program featured the talents of our soldiers in singing, dancing, and even acting.
Tirso, who portrayed a former military man in “The General’s Daughter” judged a contest where soldiers acted out a scene from his show. According to him, taking part in the event was the least he can do to give back to the people that do so much for civilians like him.
“This is our own small way, kaming mga taga-showbiz, to show them na we are very grateful, na kami ay nagpapasalamat na nandiyan sila,” he said.
Gerald Anderson, the lead star of “A Soldier’s Heart,” meanwhile, became emotional in his message for the soldiers, as he remembered how it was like to be the son of a military man.
“Ilang beses din nag-landing at nag-take off ang tatay ko rito sa Clark City. Hindi biro ang ginagawa ninyo araw-araw para sa amin,” he said.
Joining him in the event were his co-stars Carlo Aquino, Jerome Ponce, Nash Aguas, Yves Flores, and Elmo Magalona, who also hyped the crowd with a song number.
The sacrifices of our soldiers go beyond risking their lives to defend our nation and serve the people. A huge part of their work entails being away from family, and not being able to do activities a common Filipino would enjoy, like watching a live show or attending a concert. Through the “Saludo” event, however, they get to experience the Kapamilya brand of love.
Other artists that spent time with the soldiers for the “Saludo” events include Ogie Alcasid, Sunshine Cruz, Daryl Ong, Klarisse De Guzman, It’s Showtime’s Jackie, Stephen, and Sanrio, Tart Carlos, GT members Sammie, Krissha, and Joanna, Ritz Azul, Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Otso alumni like JC, Hanie, Tori, Camille, Shawntel, Abi, Franki, Diana, and Lie, “Idol Philippines” finalists Lucas Garcia, Lance Busa, and champion Zephanie Dimaraanan, Smugglaz, and comics Eric Nicolas and Alora Sasam.
Journalists Chiara Zambrano and Bernadette Sembrano, and network executives led by ABS-CBN chairman Mark Lopez, president and CEO Carlo Katigbak, and COO for Broadcast Cory Vidanes, were also present to personally thank the brave men and women of the AFP for their service.
“Isipin niyo, una ang bayan bago pa ang pamilya. Ang hirap kayang iwanan ang pamilya. Kaya nais din po naming magpasalamat sa inyong mga pamilya na nakakaunawa po sa inyong serbisyong ginagawa,” Bernadette shared in her tribute to the soldiers.
Since 2017, ABS-CBN has held ten “Saludo sa Sundalong Pilipino” events in different military camps in the country from Nueva Ecija to as far as Cagayan de Oro. It aims to pay tribute to our soldiers, and provide them love and entertainment while they are away from their families to fulfill their duties to the country.