Gear-Up!  Airsoft is in!

By Kathleen G. Sabado

Last April 18, 2023, shots were fired, and “dead men were walking”!  After several months of brainstorming, exploring different websites and shops, making enquiries, and doing a lot of follow-ups, the radical idea has turned into a reality!  TL Noli Barata led his teammates who were clad in different colors and designs of battle dress uniforms into the Dolores Interchange Open Field for some hard-core action.

Dead man walking

With the blessing of JLLB, approval of WDD and other traffic operations officials, coordination with Mabalacat City COP, P/LTC Abraham Abayari, and supervision of ESH and security personnel, the debut of the airsoft wargames finally materialized.

The activity officially started at around 7:00 AM through a quick orientation.  The difference between the use of automatic electric gun (AEG) and gas blowback (GBB) was discussed.  Safety reminders were tackled as it was noted that majority of the players were still newbies.  The experienced players shared their knowledge and reminisced how they fared and strategized in their previous games. Then, inspection of gears and tuning of rifles and pistols were done to ensure the appropriate fire power (400-450 fps) would be used. 

Game on

Armed with “toys for the big boys (and girls)”, players geared up with their face mask with faceguards and vests.  They loaded their mags with pellets also called as BBs before heading out to the start-up area.  Teams alternately played tactical defense-offense.  Once hit, the player must raise his hand and move on to the safe zone and wait until the time was up.  To avoid getting caught in the crossfire, the marshal or the player shouts ‘dead man walking’.  The goal was to have less “casualties” than the other team. Overall, a total of 7 skirmish games were played.  Towards high noon, the players were heavily drenched in sweat and though fatigue took its toll on them, and it was concluded that the event was a beaming success. The event was capped off with the awarding of Certificate of Appreciation and giving token by Sir Roy Miraflor to Sir Eugene followed by a sumptuous boodle fight.

The wargames were officiated by Sir Eugene Judal, the invited supplier and third-party observer to guide and educate the gamers. He belongs to S-Tierra Team Alpha, a sports team based in San Rafael, Mexico, Pampanga, and owns “El Pistola Collection” and “Airsoft & Gunsmith Pampanga” ( He sold and rented-out some of his own units to interested players with no or incomplete gears for a minimal fee.

On the side, Sir Ernell Yco, Assistant Manager for Special Operations recalled that many years ago, NLEX-HEAT (Hi-way Elite Airsoft Team) existed.  However, as time passed, it became dormant and it’s a good thing that employees at SCTEX had proposed the Dolores Open Field as the new gaming area.

UPDATE: Ongoing efforts are now made to process the NLEX-SCTEX Airsoft Team to become an official wellness club participated not only by traffic operations personnel but also by other interested employees coming from different departments and business units.  Also, on May 03, 2023, another airsoft wargames event is brewing.  The activity is open to all NLEX-SCTEX employees. 

Kathleen G. Sabado, Traffic Operations. Khate has been with the company since 2015. She started out as a lady Patrol Crew and has been awarded for her meritorious performance by TMC/NLEX Corp. and LTO. In 2018, she joined the Traffic Investigation Section and has been recognized as the only female traffic investigator in the tollways industry by TRB.

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