An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

My Photo
Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

13 February 2007

One more time for the boys

Finally, after much difficulty, the second issue of Force & Valor Magazine is now out. This is a publication of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force, and is designed by Dominique James and written by moi. The issue features the trainings and traditions that make a SAF Trooper.

On the cover is Police Chief Superintendent Felizardo M. Serapio Jr., the SAF's fifteenth commander, and founder of the SAF Special Operations Battalion in the early eighties. Now Boss Apiong has left the SAF, upon orders, and is now the Regional Director of Police Regional Office 12, which is more popularly known as the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao, where SAF Troopers operate regularly against the Abu Sayyaf Group and The Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Boss Apiong's exit was quite dramatic, though, because right after the turnover ceremonies and his final farewell to the troops, the magazine was released bearing him on the cover. As befits a true warrior, he is sent where he is most needed. But he left the SAF a stronger unit, with a kick-ass magazine, and this centerfold:

For beyond carrying the SAF through the difficult time when it was tainted with the February 24 incident, it is also during Boss Apiong's time when the very first SAF Trooper has received the Medal of Valor, the highest decoration for bravery in battle.

The cover story talks about the four major training courses that the SAF recruit is required to go through, namely, the Commando, the Sureshock, the Scuba, and the Airborne, all symbolically present in the SAF patch. Here is an excerpt from the cover story, aptly entitled "Through Fire and Ice:"

"Warriors and made, not born. In the SAF, recuits come from all over the country, from all walks of life, from various faiths and traditions. Before they are given the four esteemed training patches that make them worthy to fight for their country alongside equally qualified warriors, these recruits go through fire and ice, and must willfully and knowingly allow their former non-SAF selves to retire so that the new SAF warrior can emerge from the sweat, dust, pain, and tears of training. The SAF Trooper must consciously submit himself to incredible forces that will shake him to his very core. Only then can he be truly proud to bear the honor of his arms. This is how the SAF Trooper rises. In this, he is not -- and can never be -- as other men."

More than stress the element of difficulty that went with this magazine, I prefer to stress the element of triumph that goes with the release of every issue of the magazine. The magazine was able to raise over two hundred thousand pesos from advertisements alone, and from the fund we were able to print four thousand copies of the forty-page isssue, which of course looks fantastic on satin matte paper because it's been printed by LexMedia Digital of Print Town. Also, this is perhaps the only magazine in the country that is being created by just two people, DJ and me. I take comfort in the fact, however, that it is in keeping with the SAF tradition of sacrifice that Force & Valor cannot be Force & Valor without some amount of battle.

At any rate, it is worth it. And from the trenches we emerge, victorious.

The magazine will be distributed to SAF Troopers and the different police offices in the regions, but it is available for free in pdf format, both from the sidebar of this blog and from DJ's website at And of course there will be another podcast, which shall be uploaded soon.


Blogger Lizza said...

It's just the two of you doing the magazine? Amazing. It looks like a lot of hard work--but eminently rewarding.


5:59 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

hi, lizza! yes, it's just me and dj. very hard work, and not without its, ah, psychological torment, but it's all worth it.

thanks for visiting! :)

6:35 PM  
Anonymous leelou said...

thanks for uploading the pdf version of force & valor. thank you too for posting stories about the pnp-saf :)

2:31 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

You're welcome! It is an honor to be working with them.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Maryanne!

Firstly, thank you for visiting my blog, and even more thanks for the accolade. I am honored, actually.

I met Dominique at PhotoWorld and intend to take his portraiture class after his trip to Singapore.

My mom is from Albay, but I haven't been to Bicol. In the near future, I hope.

Anyway, expect me to become a regular visitor from now on :)



9:44 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Thanks, Eric. :) Thanks for letting me post twice in your blog. The first one had a, er, grammatical slip. :)

You're always welcome here. :)

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I work for a Television documentary making company in the UK and I want to know more about the SAF... I wondered if you could help me find some info...

I have found several websites about the SAF in the Philippines that describe roles they perform, but none of them discuss the tough training regimes and standards they are known for.

Any ideas on getting me details about the process of training officers must go through in order to become part of the SAF? Can supply me with internet links where I can find this information?

I’m interested in finding out about the counter terrorism methods they learn, martial arts skills, weapons training, combat training, physical training etc that all go into the process. Everything about it...

Your assistance is highly appreciated.

All the best,


7:25 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hi, Dan. Happy to help!

If you just post another comment with your contact details in it (which I won't publish), I'll lead you to some people who have trained the SAF for may years.

Thanks for visiting.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous James Moralde said...

I came here through a google search for retired General Serapio because I saw him visit our city of Cagayan de Oro with some of his men. Looks like he was quite a soldier in his prime. I heard he visited our city to help improve the post mortem system and identification of the victims of the recent flood brought by typhoon Sendong.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, my collegue happen to be the original member of the defunct PC Metrocom LRU, the core were the SAF leaders originated from; i was trained by the SAF on CQB and UCRW (Sureshock), Airborne thru the PAF Pararescue and have cross trained with the IDF, French RAID and the German GSG-9; in view of these we need some guidance from you in writing the book about us, please respond thru this e-mail:, WE wanted you to write a book about us in lieu of a motion picture or text back at 1-714-234-5378;

7:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home