A grayscale photograph of a line of military personnel standing next to armored vehicles. The soldier in the foreground, wearing a camouflaged uniform and helmet, holds a communication device. Behind him, rows of soldiers stand at attention, and multiple military vehicles are parked, all under a partly cloudy sky.
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 12:00 AM

Story of an Elder Social Worker heeding the call as a Marine Reservist

Erlinda Villareal Quisto in her Marine Corps uniform

"It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams." A quote by Gabriel García Márquez, a Colombian writer, serves as a good reminder that time is not of the essence when it comes to following one's passion.

Even though we reach a particular elderly stage, this courageous soldier proves that it is never too late to follow your true calling. Her life before joining the Marine Corps seems relative to what she has pursued today.

At age 63, First Lieutenant Ma. Erlinda Villareal Quisto PN (M)(Res) used to be a social worker back in the day, but life has its way of conspiring for her to finally enlist as a Philippine Marine Corps reservist.

She recently participated in the Armed Forces of the Philippines' joint exercise called AJEX DAGITPA 2022, held at BLS Samariñana, BrookesPoint in Palawan, last November 2022.

In order to fulfill what she calls her "greater purpose," First Lieutenant Quisto has switched from handing out financial aid to wielding an assault rifle while participating in the AFP's exercise.

The joint physical activity DAGITPA is an acronym for "Dagat-Langit-Lupa." The purpose of this program is to improve the readiness of the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, and Philippine Navy to participate in combined operations that simulate real-world events.

The Philippine Marine Corps Recruitment Office is actively accepting new applicants—whether you feel young or old but capable enough—to be a part of the growing force. Age requirements should start between 21 years old to 64 years of age at the time of appointment.


Maritime Soul, Occupational Health and Safety, Specialized Forces, Training as a routine grind. Relevant and Reliable, Ethos and Enthusiasm, Adaptive, Duty to God Country and People, Yield to the interest of the Corps.

Join the force
Official Gazette
Department of National Defense
Armed Forces of the Philippines
Philippine Navy
Transparency Seal