Rama: An Alumnus’s Unsung Sacrifice

by Yuichi Aota, V-Matiyaga
photo from http://diversityhuman.com

We live in a very pernicious world today. Millions of people live in poverty, and war is a reality for everyone. And that is more evident here in our country, the Philippines.

I was browsing the internet a few days back when this certain article struck me. It’s about one (of the many men) who was killed during the vigorous conflict between the MNLF and the Philippine Army in Zamboanga City.

To my surprise, I found out that this courageous man, who was actually a respected soldier named 1Lt. John Kristopher Rama, was part of the first batch of high school students who graduated from ERDA Technical and Vocational Secondary School, the school where I am currently studying.

1Lt. Rama lived in unfazed poverty during his years in ERDA TECH but that did not stop him from pushing himself up to have a better future.  After finishing high school in 1999 where he specialized in Refrigeration and Air-condition Servicing, he pursued college and took a B.S. degree in Mathematics in the University of the East.

In order to achieve his lifelong dream to serve his country and his fellowmen, John entered the Philippine Military Academy and started as a cadet in April 2003. He was an intelligent and hardworking student according to some of his professors and fellow students.  He even got a spot in the top 10 students in his class during his graduation. In addition, he also took part and made a mark on most of the army training courses provided by the institution. And with that consistent academic excellence, he was chosen to attend a huge army training course in Malaysia.

He was then assigned and stationed in Mindanao as a Platoon Leader of the 36th Infantry Battalion where he had witnessed a lot of uprisings. Just recently, his unit partook in a successful rescue operation of 64 hostages in Sta. Catalina village in Zamboanga City due to an MNLF siege. He led his men in the clearing operations in the community where they had to enter buildings housed by enemies.

Unfortunately, last September 19, the exact day of his wife’s birthday, instead of celebrating the life of another year, a life was lost. Ironic isn’t it?

A bullet suddenly claimed 1Lt. Rama’s life during the clearing operations in one of the establishments in the city. He was shot in the face.

Rama died with pride and honor as he was able to unwaveringly do what he thought was right — to live up to his personal mission and goal to save the fellow Filipinos. He was no doubt, unquestionably a hero, an unselfish person willing to sacrifice his life for the betterment of others.

Indeed, former ERDAnian, 1Lt. John Kristopher Rama is a modern leader and a pride of the nation. His life serves as a beacon to others, who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the honor of our motherland. He is the finest specimen of humanity and the best symbol of secular character of our country.

The ERDA Tech community takes pride in the courage and love of country and fellowmen he had shown not only to his fellow ERDAnians but to the whole world.

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