Filipino among royal guards of King of Spain

Posted at 07/02/09 7:27 PM

A Filipino is one of the members of Spain’s top military force securing King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia.

Twenty-five years old Benson Reyes has been with the Royal Guard of Spain for seven years now.

Reyes was born and raised in Caloocan.

He is the only Filipino out of the 1,500 elite Royal Guard. The Royal Guard is tagged as the last line of defense of the military in Spain.

Reyes said providing security to the royal couple is no joke especially at this time with the advent of all forms of terrorism.

He added that there are instances when they remain awake at night because of serious attempts by outsiders to penetrate the palace gates.

Reyes finished his military training in Murcia. Because of the big responsibility, Reyes admits the military training and orientation is too rigorous particularly equipment handling.

“Mahirap po. Kapag training, dapat ibibigay mo lahat para makita ka na okay ka. Dito sa Spain mga Royal Guard dapat the best sa lahat ng military,” he said

But Reyes has kind words for the royal couple, saying both have a soft heart for Filipinos and other nationalities.

“Proud siya na na kahit taga ibang bansa may nag-aano sa kanya, kahit hindi po Spanish,” he added.

There are more than 40,000 Filipino workers in Spain, mostly caregivers and in the service sector.

Reyes’s mother, Eva, meanwhile is too proud of what had become of his son.

“Ang kaligayahan hindi kasi nababayaran…kaligayahan na ibinibigay ng anak sa ina,” Reyes mother said.

Reyes has already received numerous citations and recognition from his service as a member of the Royal Guard. Report from Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau, chief