MANILA, Philippines – First Lieutenant Bala Tamayo of the Special Forces has released a video that includes actual footage from the Battle of Marawi. The soldier wrote, edited, and directed the video himself, and shot scenes using a GoPro camera given to him by Anne Curtis.
Anne shared a link to the video in a Facebook post, and told the story of how she and Bala became friends. She shared that she met the soldier while they were training and shooting with the Special Forces for the Erik Matti film Buy Bust. (WATCH: Anne Curtis plays a drug enforcement agent in ‘Buy Bust’)
“He happened to offer oral rehydration salts during a very hot day in full battle gear and the rest is history,” she shared.
She then said that they sent care packages to the troops when they learned that they were in Marawi. When she sent her care package, she included her GoPro for Bala, knowing he was also a filmmaker.
“His request to tell the story and experience the Marawi Siege from the boots of a soldier could not be left ungranted,” she said.
Anne then shared what Bala told her: “His words were – ‘I’ll return it if I survive this war. If I fall, my buddy will return it. That I promise.’”
“He returned it without a scratch,” she said.
She then shared Bala’s video, and saluted the troops who fought in Marawi. “Thank you for your service and sacrifice,” she said, adding “Snappy Salute to you Bala!”
The video was released at the end of November 2017, over a month after the liberation of Marawi from local terrorists. The Marawi battle lasted 5 months, and cost the lives of 165 soldiers and policemen. Bala’s video has since had over a million views. – Rappler.com
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