“Dapat maging magiting dahil buhay ng tao ang kailangan isalba (We have to be courageous because lives are at stake).” With one simple sentence, Security Guard I Ronald Ocampo described the importance of being “magiting” during challenging times.
Last January 12, 2020, Ocampo together with Security Guard I Arjay Geñorga, saved the lives of more than 30 individuals during the height of the Taal Volcano eruption.
As members of the Provincial Public Order and Safety Department (PPOSD), both Ocampo and Geñorga were assigned to monitor the Taal Lake when the eruption took place. Instead of retreating to safety, they both went further into the Volcano island to help evacuate the residents.
“Tutulong (kami), hangga’t may kaya tayong magawa (We’ll keep helping as much as we can),” Genorga added when asked about future plans.
Their bravery was recognized by the Batangas Provincial Government, led by Governor Hermilando Mandanas, in an a simple awarding ceremony held on January 20 at the DREAM Zone, located within the Provincial Capitol Compound in Batangas City. The awarding followed a flag-raising ceremony in the morning.
Ayala Foundation, led by President Ruel Maranan, was also present at the event to recognize both Genorga and Ocampo as “Batangueñong Magiting,” for going beyond the call of duty to serve their fellow Batangueños during a time of need. They were given tokens in kind and cash, in recognition of their heroic act.
This is done in light of Ayala Foundation’s advocacy program, Maging Magiting Campaign, which seeks to rekindle nationalism and pride in being Filipino. One of its program components is the Magiting Awards, given to those who exhibit “kagitingan” (courage/valor), in and outside his/her call of duty.
“Tunay, tayo ay Bayan ng Magiting,” Gov. Hermilando closed, emphasizing that the province will keep on being resilient in spite of the challenges. The provincial governor also put up a new call to action “Batangas Magiting,” encouraging the residents to press on and continue moving forward.