Ronnie Liang puts his military training to good use in time of COVID-19
Seeing the transportation problem our front-liners face amid the ongoing community quarantine, Ronnie Liang put his military training to good use and volunteered to help stranded health care workers get to the hospitals they work for.
“We were tasked to pick up nurses, doctors and medical personnel around Monumento (Caloocan City), and drive them to their respective workplaces like the Philippine Heart Center and then we bring them back once they’re done with their shifts. We’re out the whole day,” Ronnie, an army reservist, told the Inquirer in an email interview.
To lighten up the mood of their trips, Ronnie decided to serenade our fellowmen who have been putting their own health at risk, as they tirelessly manage the ongoing crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
“That’s the least I could do—a gift for them,” the singer-actor said, adding that being with the front-liners up close gave him an even more profound appreciation for what they do for our country. “I respect and look up to them—the doctors, nurses, police, soldiers. They sacrifice a lot.”
“Things are not perfect out there, but it’s amazing to see that despite everything, camaraderie and courage prevail. I could see the hope in their eyes, as if saying, ‘This, too, shall pass,’” he related.
Ronnie took part in the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps in college, and then joined the Army Reserve in 2018. Last month, he was promoted to second lieutenant after undergoing trainings at the Armor Division at Camp O’Donnell in Tarlac. “I completed the Mechanized Infantry Operations Training, where I was trained to operate and navigate an army tank,” he said.
Seeing the events unfold during the Siege of Marawi in 2017 was one of the driving forces behind his decision to join the military. “I wanted to volunteer, sing for the evacuees and help distribute relief goods to those who were affected. It was then I realized that I needed to help and contribute as a citizen,” he said.
“Ayoko nang nakikinood o nakikibalita lang,” added Ronnie, who’s also a licensed private pilot.
And so, upon learning about the predicament our front-liners are in, Ronnie promptly got in touch with the Army headquarters.
“I asked them how could I help as a reservist. Moments later, I received a message and call, asking me if I can and if I’m willing to join the operations,” Ronnie said. “It was heartening and fulfilling being able to wear the uniform as you help people in need; as you fulfill your oath to heed the call to serve, especially in times like this.”
Ronnie admitted that he felt a bit nervous carrying out his duties, but the sense of fellowship among the workers in the front lines was comforting. “It’s so heartwarming when they say thank you. Some of them couldn’t help but cry because they didn’t know how, or if they would be able to go to work,” he related. “It’s touching.”
Being a reservist is only one way of helping, he pointed out. As celebrities, Ronnie said they could use their platforms to be of service to their countrymen.
“They can use their influence and fame to be of good example and to inspire people, especially the youth,” he said. “If possible, we can do fundraising projects in order to provide food and medicine. We can give supplies to medical workers and uniformed personnel,” Ronnie said. “We have to help each other.”