Marawi soldiers feeding comrades through mobile kitchen


Marawi City (CNN Philippines, August 14) — While their comrades battle it out inside the war zone, these soldiers are engaging in a different battle inside a mobile kitchen at Camp Ranao in Marawi City.

Every day they serve hot meals for thousands of troops out on the frontline.

Jovito Dacquel, the operator of the kitchen says, "Ang napapakain po namin sa tropa is 2,000-3,000 personnel. Bale 3 kabans of rice ang naluluto namin sa bawat meal."

[Translation: We feed about 2,000-3,000 personnel. We cook around 3 cavans of rice for each meal.]

Chief cook Master Sargeant Aladino Morata says if it were up to him, he would fight in the war zone.

But with the task given to him here, he gives his best to serve the troops risking their lives on the battleground.

Morata said, "Yung mga kasama ko nandun sila sa loob kami dito. Although mainit ang labanan din namin dito ma'am, eh kasi mainit talaga yung niluluto namin araw araw. Yung mga kasama ko sabi ko nga gawin natin ito nang masaya tayo na para makatulong tayo sa lahat ng nandoon nasa loob ng war zone."

[Translation: Our colleagues are there while we're here. Although it's intense here as well ma'am, because we cook hot meals every day. I tell the people I work with that we should be happy while we work so we can help everyone inside the war zone.]

The meal for the day is chicken afritada. The mobile kitchen team is preparing, putting the food in containers. As soon as they finish, these will be delivered to the nearest pick up point inside the war zone.

Aside from the gas stove and cookware, the mobile kitchen is also equipped with water and coffee dispensers, a freezer and chiller, before it was turned over to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The mobile kitchen was donated by the Korean government after Typhoon Yolanda.

It was sent to Marawi when the conflict broke out.

From feeding thousands of evacuees in the typhoon-stricken province of Leyte, it now serves to feed the defenders of war-torn Marawi.

Morata said, "Meron silang dadatnan na pagkain na masarap at mainit na luto rin ng kapwa nila sundalo. Yun lang din ang aming maiambag."

[Translation: They will have a tasty and hot meal cooked by their fellow soldiers. That is what we can contribute.]