Before the year 2017 ended, ABS-CBN had the privilege to once again entertain and pay tribute to hundreds of soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a pre-Christmas celebration filled with “Just Love” vibes held in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija last December.
Kapamilya stars led by Karla Estrada and Melai Cantiveros of “Magandang Buhay” and Jason Gainza, Shine Kuk, and Ritz Azul of “Banana Sundae” had the opportunity to bring joy and love to the country’s heroes in the event, which was the third “Saludo sa Sundalong Pilipino” program organized by the Kapamilya network and the AFP last year.
Hosted by MOR 101.9 DJs Eva Ronda and Rico Romantico, the program featured performances by ABS-CBN artists like Noven Belleza, Maricel Callo, and Hazelyn Cascano of “Tawag ng Tanghalan” fame. Soldiers also got to experience some of the games from the popular “Minute To Win It” game show.
As in most of the Christmas parties in the country last year, the brave men and women in uniform also gamely danced the “Baby Shark” craze with the “Banana Sundae” cast, while multi-talented soldiers turned in song and band performances for their comrades.
To make sure the soldiers in the camp will continue to be entertained and inspired through ABS-CBN shows, ABS-CBN Corporate Services Group 1 head Mark Nepomuceno presented as gifts a brand new television set and an ABS-CBN TVplus mahiwagang black box to Fort Magsaysay, represented by the commander of its Army Station Hospital, AFP Col. Mamerto Losa.
On behalf of the entire ABS-CBN, Mark thanked the soldiers not only for fighting for the country, but for also showing how it is to be a Filipino. “If we will just learn your discipline, your courage, and how you love the nation, then maybe there would no longer be wars to be fought in this country,” he said.
All wearing “Just Love” shirts from ABS-CBN, the soldiers then rose and sang the popular ABS-CBN Christmas theme “Just Love Ngayong Pasko,” with Kapamilya stars and executives to end the program. Capping the day of fun was a boodle fight enjoyed by the soldiers and the ABS-CBN family in what served as an early Noche Buena for everyone.
Before the war in Marawi ended, ABS-CBN also flew Kapamilya stars like Judy Ann Santos, Jessy Mendiola, and Beauty Gonzales from Manila for another “Saludo” event to cheer up and pay tribute to over 700 soldiers, medical staff, and family members at Camp Evangelista in Cagayan De Oro, and even more via live feed in another military camp in Iligan.
Earlier, the cast of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” also shared their time and talents in the first “Saludo sa Sundalong Pilipino” program held at the Victoriano Luna Medical Center last August. Later that month, it was the cast of “Wildflower” and other Kapamilya stars that brought cheer to the wounded soldiers and hospital staff when ABS-CBN was invited to the hospital’s founding anniversary celebration.
Our soldiers became used to hearing gunshots and explosions at a daily basis while fighting terrorists in Marawi. However, memories of their struggles in the middle of war were set aside and replaced by happier ones through the shows organized by ABS-CBN for the country’s heroes.