In her latest social media post, actress Anne Curtis wears battle gear as she poses beside a soldier she identified as First Lieutenant Bala Tamayo of the Special Forces 134 Vishnu company.
The actress said that she met Tamayo while training and shooting with the Special Forces in Fort Magsaysay for her latest film project, Erik Matti’s crime thriller “BuyBust.”
“He happened to offer oral rehydration salts during a very hot day in full battle gear and the rest is history. He became friends not only with myself but with everyone [who was] part of the ‘BuyBust’ squad,” she added.
Anne later learned that the same troops that trained her and her co-stars (including mixed martial arts fighter Brandon Vera) joined the government forces in the five-month battle to reclaim Marawi City from Muslim extremists, which started in May last year.
“We somewhat kept in touch—which was great because we knew exactly what the soldiers needed during such a harsh time and sent over care packages to somehow boost their morale,” she further shared.
Along with what she described as a “care package,” Anne also sent Tamayo her GoPro camera, a digital device designed for filming action while being immersed in it.
“[Y]ou see, he is actually a very good film maker and has done shorts for the Special Forces. His request to tell the story and experience the Marawi Siege from the boots of a soldier could not be left ungranted,” she explained.
Recalling Tamayo’s response when he received the camera, Anne quoted the soldier as saying, “[I]’ll return it if I survive this war. If I fall, my buddy will return it. That I promise.”
“I told him that I knew he would NOT fall and HE would personally return the GoPro once the war is over…and IT IS OVER…He returned it without even [a] scratch,” she wrote.
Anne then proceeded to invite her followers “to take time to watch the video of the actual war footage” using her GoPro camera.
“Watch how all the soldiers bravely fought for freedom and peace…A salute to all the troops that fought hard, fell and survived fighting for peace in Marawi…Thank you for your service and sacrifice…Snappy Salute to you Bala!”
Credited as a presentation of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM)–Philippine Army, the video dubbed as “Battle of Marawi” is a Vishnu Production written, edited, and directed by 1Lt. Bala Tamayo. With narration by Atty. Jai Tamayo and music by Chaitanya Tamayo, Capt. Antonio Tamayo (MC), and acclaimed musical scorer Pepe Manikan.
Described as “a short documentary on the deadliest war the Philippines faced in the history of modern warfare since World War II,” the video was originally uploaded to YouTube last November 28 and has since generated over 1.4 million views.
This video — quite possibly the most compelling coverage of the war, thanks in no small part to Anne’s camera — is age-restricted in accordance with YouTube’s community guidelines so interested viewers need to sign in to their YouTube accounts before watching.
Watch it here: