Col. Ariel Querubin

February 27, 2006 at 3:04 pm | Posted in Politics | 3 Comments


In the Line of Fire: Col. Ariel Querubin

Selflessness is a virtue hard to come by. Perhaps more so in situations of unimaginable duress, like in combat, for example. Yet there are those, like Col. Ariel Querubin who stood out because they stood up.

During an assault on an MILF camp in Lanao del Norte, Querubin�s batallion found themselves outnumbered and facing heavy artillery fire from enemy lines. Without thought for his own safety, he moved positions, drawing fire towards himself with the end view of revealing where the firing came from.

As Col. Querubin himself admits it didn�t occur to him for a while that he actually had a pregnant wife at the time who was about to give birth in a few weeks� time. �All I thought about was that my men depended on me,� he said.

The battle raged well into the next day, and under his able leadership they repelled wave upon wave of enemy reinforcements and continued attempts to encircle his unit.

Inspiring his men to the hilt, Querubin�s unit broke down the last line of defense of the rebel stronghold. As a result they captured the MILF�s Camp John Mack, the group�s most strategic staging area for operations.

Col. Querubin cheated death, and several weeks later his wife would give birth to a healthy son.

For his efforts, Col. Querubin was awarded the prestigious Medal of Valor award in 2002, a privilege and an honor reserved for the most exemplary heroism and sacrifice displayed by a soldier. It is also the military�s highest honor.

“You should be proud of his courage and bravery,” the President herself stressed during a speech she gave in Col. Querubin�s homtown of La Union. Quickly she then added that Querubin and his brigade would be awarded medals of honor.

Col. Querubin, a 49-year-old husband and proud father of seven is very thankful for the recognition that was given him for his performance. �It was overwhelming,� he said. �to finally get this recognition after all these years was a culminating achievement.�

In recognition of the hardships that a soldier faces, the Medal of Valor award goes with some humble benefits including priority in promotion to the next rank, medical benefits, scholarships and tuition privileges for the awardee and their dependents.

And yet the work continues for Col. Querubin. Until now he works most of the time in the field, usually coming home just once a month for no more than a week at any given time. How does he balance his life then, as a soldier and as a father? �I make sure I spend quality time with the kids, since I am gone most of the time,� he explained. �My wife will tell me, pagalitan mo si ganito, si ganun, and I would say, hindi ako, gusto ko pag uumuwi ako masaya sila at nami-miss nila ako.� He believes his distance should not give his children a reason to be even more distant.

He is fierce in maintaining that the Marines play an indispensable part in society. �We have to contribute to nation-building. Kung saan kami mag-operate, pag-alis namin we want to see that there has been progress in the community.�

Col. Querubin has been in active duty for almost 33 years, and says that he is most proud of the support given by his family and his peers. The warmth that reciprocates all he has done for the job makes it worthy. �Love of country talaga ang nagtulak sa akin,� Col. Querubin explains on the reason why he wanted to be a Marine. �Naramdaman ko na dito ang calling ko.�

And what is it about the Marines that has made him stay in for 33 years? The cutting edge, he says, is in the kind of discipline tahtthe institution practices. �We make sure na ang mga tauhan, marunong rumespeto ng ibang tao,� he says. �Mataas ang credibility rate ng Marines, at pag may lapses, seryoso kaming wag marumihan ang reputasyon (ng Marines).�

The story of the likes of Col. Querubin stresses the obvious, which a lot may forget. A Marine is also a human being, with aspirations and dreams. The service that they extend to the country oftentimes demands the loss of lives, and yet at the end of the day, they too, have families whose future depends on waging the battles that hope to secure for us a better future. All it takes to do his job, as Col. Querubin has shown, is to think less of one�s self and more of others.

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3 Comments »

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  1. please read my blog http://monmon.wordpress.com/

  2. We should all continue the resistance against GMA who is infecting the whole nation of corruption.

  3. saludo ako sayo sir!ang isang tulad mo ang dapat maupo sa senado.kailangan ka ng bayan..more power and success this coming election.


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