Story of female 'cannoneers' on the move

As the Philippine Army joins the celebration of National Women’s Month, two female soldiers from the 2nd Field Artillery Battalion, Army Artillery Regiment (2FAB, AAR) of the 10th Infantry Division responded to a motorcycle accident in Tagum, Davao del Norte on March 12, 2022. Even under the heavy rain, the soldiers personally assisted the involved passengers and administered first aid.

Their names are PFC Donna Mae N. Barrientos, a combat medic, and PFC Arlene B. Calivoso, an assistant administrative non-commissioned officer. They were deployed to assist in the static and capability demonstration during the Mindanao-leg of the Philippine Army Peace Concert when they witnessed the incident. The soldiers did not hesitate to lend a hand despite the harsh weather and made sure that the injured passengers were all tended to.

One of the passengers, Zenia Eden Ponce, took to her Facebook account to thank PFC Barrientos and PFC Calivoso. “I can’t help seeing these photos and honoring these two women from 2FAB, Army Artillery Regiment, 10th Infantry Agila Division. I calmed down a bit when they responded to the incident and I saw them run towards us despite the rain,” she said in a local dialect.

The Philippine Army honors the female soldiers who refused to let the gender stereotype rule their way of serving the people. The female cannoneers’ actions show how our soldiers will stop at nothing to render service and protect the people against any threat.

“As we continue to bear responsibility for protecting our beloved country and people, let us encourage and assist one another in achieving pleasure and tranquility regardless of the situations we encounter. Don’t be scared, aspiring young ladies; instead, be brave!” These are the words PFC Barrientos shared to the women in service as she takes part in their unit's celebration of Women's Month.

“There are different ways to empower ourselves as a woman: stand up for yourself, stay positive, and empower your thoughts,” PFC Calivoso added.

Photo credits:
PFC Donna Mae Barrientos, PFC Arlene Calivoso, and Zenia Eden Ponce
FB page 2nd Field Artillery "First Round Accuracy" Battalion, AAR, PA