Dear Soldier,


The war in that part of our country has been going on for a while now.

I heard they have finally declared the city free, but for most of you, it has been too late.

I owe you an apology.


I am sorry that while you were running for your lives in the climax of the gunfights on the dawn of the city’s liberation, I was also running up hill into a countryside in England, because it was my day off and I was feeling adventurous.

I should be ashamed of myself.


I am sorry that while I was dodging balls for sport in Central London, you were dodging real bullets in the name of the country’s security.

Next to you, I am just a joke.

I am sorry that while I was lifting weights and tackling a punching bag to be fit in a gym, you were lifting heavy ammunition and fighting for our country’s hopes and dreams.


I am sorry that while I was sprinting in between buildings around London Bridge to exercise, you were sprinting in between buildings in Marawi, trying to escape firebombs and rockets.


Most of all, I owe you an apology because as some of you lay bleeding and dying from gunshot wounds and explosives, I was in southwest London helping out in surgery, fixing wounds for other people. Some of them will probably never know or hear about you and your heroism. And for this, I am so sorry.


People make their life choices, and I am sure you have made yours. You chose to serve our country in the middle of a heated urban war. You chose to be heroes. I choose to look for opportunities away from home in an urban jungle, fighting for my place, it looks like I am brave, but yes, I chose to be a coward.


I am a coward because we were taught the same alphabet as children and the same patriotic anthems and I’m sure that I too, as a child once dreamed of liberating my country from hate and greed. Yet, I have become selfish, for nowadays, I only work to liberate myself.


So thank you for being heroes even for Filipinos like me.


I salute you.


You deserve peace.




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