MANILA - A soldier assigned in Marawi wants to bring a message of hope to the people of the war-torn city through a song he wrote while inside the conflict area.
"Bangon Marawi," composed by Sgt. Ronie Halasan of the Army's 1st Infantry Division, has been shared by over 1,800 Facebook users after it was posted Tuesday night by Team Tabak.
Halasan said he wrote the song during the first week of battle in Marawi, when he was assigned to bring supplies to government forces fighting terrorists inside the city.
"Pumasok kasi sa isipan ko na gumawa ng kanta kasi nafi-feel ko 'yung pangyayari dito," he told ABS-CBN News, recalling the sight of Maranao children fleeing their hometown in fear.
The soldier said he would make it a point to talk to the children he meets in Marawi and at least try to take away their fear even for just a moment.
The 42-year-old Mindanao native said he wants the displaced Marawi residents to stay hopeful as clashes inside the lakeside city continue for almost two months now.
"Parang nauutal sila, nanginginig," he said describing the faces of the kids he talked to when he entered the conflict areas of Marawi. "Sana hindi na maulit ang pangyayaring ito."
Halasan said it took him one whole week, every night, to finish the song. He said he wrote while taking cover as his fellow soldiers fight terrorists.
Asked for the overall message of his song, he said: "Kailangan talaga magtulungan. Magtulungan ang bawat isa upang bumangon ulit ang Marawi."
The number of people who have died in the nearly 2-month long siege in Marawi has already breached the 500 mark, according to official government data.
As of the evening of July 9, Sunday, 507 people have died since the crisis in Marawi started on May 23. Of the 507 people who died, 379 were terrorists, 89 were state troops, and 39 were civilians.