SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – An ailing 12-year-old boy here had expressed his strong desire to personally see and meet the hero soldiers who are fighting Muslim terrorists in Marawi City but died before he got what he wanted.
Kliene Neil Boado’s grandmother and guardian, Rosario Flores, had asked the coordination of the city government headed by City Mayor Hermenegildo Gualberto for the granting of her grandnephew’s last wishes. The request was made with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
In a way, the boy who suffered and succumbed to cancer partly got his wishes granted when he and his relatives visited the venue of the Sillag Festival at Poro Point last April, where military hardware was displayed and armed soldiers were around, He got a souvenir photo with the military equipment–bazooka and tanks– and the men in uniform.
The festivity in honor of the moon (sillag is Ilokano for illumination from the moon) is a two-day event of lights and fireworks display.
The boy’s dream of personally handling a real firearm was even granted when personnel of the Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur based Alpha Company 81st Infantry Battalion handed him to his delight and astonishment an M4a1 tactical carbine rifle.
Sgt. Allan Manzano, team leader of the Alpha Company, said that they granted the boy’s wish out of respect and on behalf of the state. “He was very cheerful and ecstatic then and I and my colleagues encouraged
him to fight against his condition and survive,” he said.
Kliene was active in basketball and dancing, but when he was diagnosed last April by his physician as suffering from “ewing sarcoma,” a rare type of bone tumor that affects mostly children and teenagers, he
suddenly was unable to walk.
Manzano and his men–Corporal Nomer Aloquin, Private first Class Jereco Anasan and Private First Class Edward Castillo, Jr along with two others came during the wake of Kliene. Two of their colleagues
could not come because they were combatants in Marawi. “We came to tell the boy we wanted to see him and express our heartfelt condolences,” he said.
Flores was visibly elated when the army soldiers visited her dead grandson, saying that she was sure Kliene was also happy that his last wish was granted.
It was learned that the boy’s mother Gloria Boado, an Overseas Filipino Worker in China, was unable to come for his son’s wake and funeral due to an unfinished contract.
The army soldiers carried Kliene’s coffin to the boy’s final resting place last September 14 at the Sevilla Public Cemetery in the village of Sevilla here.