FORT BONIFACIO, Metro Manila – An Army officer who lost his sight from an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Maguindanao will participate in the 5th Heroes Run here on Oct. 30.
2nd Lt. Jerome Jacuba, who is still confined at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC) in Quezon City, confirmed through an interview that he will run in the 5-kilometer category despite his condition.
Jacuba cannot see anything except for glimpses of light. He is determined to run and be an inspiration, not just to his fellow soldiers, but to the people.
“Joining the Heroes Run is a self-reaffirmation that I can still do something for the Philippine Army and for the families of my fellow soldiers in spite of my present circumstances,” said Jacuba. “I also would want to set a good example to my daughters.”
Jacuba is a loving father to two young daughters. His youngest child, turning 2 years old this year, was ony 22 days old when he last saw her.
“I will be running because I want to inspire the people and tell them that anyone can be a hero,” he added.
Jacuba will be assisted by his brother, PFC Joevanny Jacuba, who is also an Army enlisted personnel.
It has been six months since Jacuba lost his eyesight. He still have scars from the IED shrapnels, and grains of sand are still embedded on his skin. But, with the fortitude he has shown, his heart and soul is healing fast.
There was a brief but powerful encounter between President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Jacuba when the President visited the AFP Medical Center last July. It was a moving sight when the President embraced Jacuba as he thanked him for the sacrifices he has done for the country.
At present, Jacuba finished a 6-week short course on Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA). He can now use basic computer features, such as word, excel and power point. He is using a laptop, installed with NVDA features, given to him by the President.
The Heroes Run is an annual fund raising event spearheaded by the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Inc. (PMAAAI) benefitting families of fallen soldiers and those who were wounded in action.
The 5th Heroes Run 2016 will be held simultaneously in Manila, Iloilo and Davao on Oct. 30; and in Baguio City on Nov. 13.
Interested participants may contact mobile number 0995-012-9988, or visit www.army.mil.ph/heroesrun2016/info.htm.