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INAUGURATION OF CAMP ATIENZA GATE By: MSg Timoteo C Coronel (CE) PA
“A gate is an opening in a wall or fence; it is a city or castle entrance often with defensive structures such as towers”- (Miriam Webster Dictionary). In any military establishment, gate should be the most secured and fortified place for it prevents and control entry or exit within the establishment. A fortified gate with watchful sentinel on it contributes for a physically secured camp.
Recently, the 51st Engineer Brigade, PA inaugurated the newly renovated gate of Camp Gen Rigoberto J Atienza, home of the pioneer Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army on 19 March 2009. Invited top brass from the Armed Forces of the Philippines who witnessed the occasion were LTGEN JAIME B BUENAFLOR AFP, Commander, AFPNDSC who led the unveiling of the gate marker along with the promotees and retirees of PMA MASIKAP Class 1977 and other guests. The renovation started on 6 February 2009 with the target of completing it before the end of February, the birthday of the Brigade Commander, BGEN FELIZARDO A SIMOY who conceptualized the new image of the gate. The gate had undergone three constructions since the creation of the Brigade way back 1966. The second was on 2000 when the area of Camp Atienza was divided by the construction of C-5 by-pass road going to Marikina; the DPWH National Capital Region replicated all affected camp structures including the former gate.
It may be recalled that it was the Commanding General, PA himself who gave his approval on the renovation of Camp Atienza gate during his visit at the Brigade’s Foundation Anniversary last July 2008. The in-house project was the latest addition to the camp improvement initiated by BGEN SIMOY since his assumption of command. Among other completed in-house projects were the repair of Brigade conference room, renovation of command building, construction of grotto, construction of General Atienza monument, “Sarge” coffee shop and the “Pagkalinga” Educational Foundation Inc office.
The panoramic view of Camp Atienza gate is in the shape of a castle just like the image of the renovated command building of the Brigade. The castle represents the emblem of the Corps of Engineers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. As many observers jokingly commented, the new gate is a look alike of the Enchanted Kingdom gate. Today, as commuters and passers-by pass along the C-5 by-pass road in Libis, QC, captivating in sight is the new outlook at the home of the proud 51st Army Engineers “their partner in peace and development” where its officers and men are true to its vision of “A professional organization, skilled and equipped, highly esteemed for engineer support for Army operations and for nation building”.