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I was born on March 8,
1955, in a peasant village in Dolores, San Fernando Pampanga, about 40 miles north of Manila. I am
the eldest sibling of Natividad Kabigting Aguirre from Victoria,Tarlac and
Ricardo Carreon David Sr from San Fernando, Pampanga. My mother was a
dressmaker, while my father is a construction painter and agricultural laborer. My parents were
industrious and honest and thought me virtue of hard work, honesty and above all
fear and love to the Creator. We are Roman Catholic and I was baptized at the San
It should have been a completely happy family, but sad event
struck us when I was 11 years old. My father passed away at young age while at
work. He was
big lost and left my mother to strive more in order to provide us a decent living.
Together with my brother, Renato, two years younger than me, we performed most of
the household chores at those young ages, to assist our mother who turned to be
the breadwinner. We fetched water, cooked our food, gathered firewood, and
washed our clothes at those young age. There was little time to play with the
children in the neighborhood.
Despite the lost of my father, my mother provided us ample support
our education.. With her close guidance and encouragement, I graduated
valedictorian in the elementary at the Dolores Elementary School. I remember in
those days there was no electricity in our dwelling and I did my homework using
crude kerosene lamp. Transportation to and from the barrio is rare and I walked my way to school. Today, that
place is entirely different for it is one of the highly urbanized areas in the
province. This agricultural and traditional community has turned into a
sprawling commercial district.
After elementary, we transferred to my motherís hometown in
Victoria, Tarlac about 100 miles north of Manila. With the help of my
grandfather, I completed High School. That old man was strict and a
disciplinarian but I never regretted to be under his authority. His regimented
handling bore positive result for I and my brother graduated the high school as
salutatorians. He was a man of honor and with high sense of delicadeza. Many barrio
folks talked many good things about him because of his kindness and goodness.
With that high school scholastic achievement, I entered
college as scholar and pursued engineering course, but, my ambition then was to
be a lawyer. By twist of event in 1972, I suddenly found myself competing to be
one of the cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), a prestigious
government military institution in the country. I saw the outstanding
transformation of the Philippine society at the early stage of the Martial law,
which motivated me to join me the military organization. I passed the
examination and after those extensive medical and physical tests, I finally
joined the ranks of other Filipino youth in the fields of Fort Gregorio del
Pilar. The PMA ground had transformed me into a new man and a professional
soldier. For four long
years the institution prepared me to become a leader of men imbued with the value of honor, loyalty and courage. In March 1, 1977 I graduated and became a
second lieutenant in the Philippine Army.
I was assigned as platoon leader, then as a company commander
of the 36th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division in the Southern
Philippines. The battalion operated against the Moro National Liberation Front
in the area of Zamboanga and Basilan. My relatives related to me that seventy years
ago my grandfather (father side) fought similar war as member of the Philippine
Scout under then the United State Army.
In the later part of my career, I served as a Battalion
Commander in Northern part of the country leading the 50th Infantry Battalion
against the New Peopleís Army, a communist armed organization. The communist
insurgency movement has been a threat to the Philippine security for about three
and half decades. Prior to my schooling at the Naval Post Graduate School,
Monterey, California I served as the Operations Officer of the Office of the
Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, J3.
I am married to Merilou Malacay who hails from Cagayan de
Oro, Mindanao. We are blessed with two sons. Russel, 20 years old is a cadet at
the Philippine Military Academy while Rommel is a 3rd year Electronics
Communication Engineering student of
De La Salle University.