MANILA — Hours before Malacañang announced Monday morning his appointment as the Philippines' next top cop, Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas led fellow officials and troops at the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in a 4-minute exercise routine set to the theme song of his favorite Japanese anime "Voltes V."
It turned out to be one of Sinas' final acts in his year-long stint as NCRPO director: instituting a fitness program particularly for station-bound police officers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And to the general, it came with an achievement of his own.
"Para [sa] mga kasama nating lalampa-lampa, 'yong mga kasama nating medyo matataba," Sinas told the troops at Camp Bagong Diwa.
In a speech extolling the virtues of fitness, Sinas offered no other example of the exercises' effectiveness but himself.
"On a personal note, I'd like to announce that when I established this program, I followed my program--diet and exercise and proper sleep. I have reduced 35 pounds - convert that to 17 kilos [and], would you believe, 4 inches in my waist," he said to applause.
Sinas added he would not stop getting fit even after he leaves the NCRPO.
"And I will continue doing it to reduce further. Ibig sabihin, hindi po natin mamadaliin ang pagpapapayat. (That means we would not rush losing weight.) We do it gradually and healthily," he said.
Sinas dubbed the 4-minute regimen—which FitFil coaches Jim and Toni Saret helped create—as "a very simple" exercise that could be done in place.
It was also intended to replace the regular community exercises done by the police at the beginning of the week before the pandemic.
If not to get officers to lose weight, Sinas said, at least it could let them maintain theirs.
"Target natin nito, yung mga tao natin na nasa headquarters. Pero kung patroler ka naman, nasa kalsada ka, ay, hindi mo na kailangan. At least, nakapag-exercise ka, galaw-galaw ka lang," Sinas told reporters afterward.
(Our target with this are our people at the headquarters. If you are a beat patroler on the streets, you won't need this. At least, you get to exercise, move your body.)
The routine begins with seated exercises such as marches, scissors, and squats, and then progresses to calisthenics.
All to an extended cut of the "Voltes V" theme song, of course.
The Saret couple recorded an instructional video with Sinas and other NCRPO officers and units for future participants to follow.
The routine would be performed at all police offices in Metro Manila, from the regional to the precinct level 2 times daily.
Sinas called it the "10 o'clock in the morning" and "3 o'clock in the afternoon" habits.
Because the routines were quick, he said there was no excuse for police officers to avoid doing them.
But he reminded them to also be mindful of their diet.
"Of course, bawas-bawas din sa pagkain. Nag-exercise ka nga ng 4 minutes exercise, ang kapalit naman ay lamon ng 2 bandehado. Wala din," he said.
(Of course, reduce your food intake as well. You did the 4-minute exercise, but in exchange for gorging 2 plateful. No use.)
"Ako, I resisted that, and I lost 35 pounds."
Sinas told reporters he would enforce the activity with regular surprise inspections to stations--a glimpse of how he could roll out the initiative on a national level in light of his new appointment.