More than 2,000 messages of support, love and gratitude from schoolchildren are going to government forces currently fighting terrorists in Marawi City.
At her house in Alabang on Sunday, teacher Rinz Araneta displays hundreds of letters she has collected, mostly from the students of Culiat Elementary School.
"So far I've collected two batches of letters, of around 300-400 letters per batch," she told GMA News Online.
The letters in the first batch mostly came from Veritas Catholic School, Araneta added.
The children's letters are part of an initiative started by a doctor, Tiger Garrido, who visited Marawi and found that the soldiers were short on personal supplies like underwear and socks.
He also learned that the soldiers found joy in receiving letters and thank you notes.
Araneta said that Garrido has also collected hundreds of letters to send to the troops.
Some of the children writing the letters are as young as three years old. They have also received emails from Australia, the UK, and the US.
"The one from the UK was very touching. He didn't have to kasi di naman natin kababayan," Araneta said.
Fighting broke out between government forces and the Maute group in the Lanao del Sur capital on May 23. The conflict has led to the displacement of most of the city's residents and the deaths of at least 310 people, including 59 troops and 26 civilians