For Love of God, Country & Others



February is annually observed as Philippine Heart Month.

While the observance, as mandated by Presidential Proclamation 1096 issued 51 years ago, is focused on the Filipinos’ cardiovascular health and on raising awareness on issues related to heart diseases,  it is also a season associated with love – with Valentine’s Day marked in the heart, or middle of the month – on Feb. 14.

Thus, love of God, country, family and others becomes the core, too, of the observance.

One Negrense who has demonstrated immense love of God, country and people is Coast Guard Capt. Christine Pauline Bergaño-Diciano, 43, a native of Barangay Sum-ag in Bacolod City.

She is a Coast Guard pilot and director of the Coast Guard Leadership and Doctrine and Development Center of Coast Guard Education, Training and Doctrine Command and is former deputy commander of the Coast Guard Logistics Systems Command.

Coast Guard Capt. Christine Pauline Bergaño-Diciano, a Bacoleña, is the first female pilot of the Philippine Coast Guard

Reflecting on her career as an avenue in pursuing her love of country and others, she told NEGROS WEEKLY: “This life is truly a miracle as it is a precious and fragile gift.  What better way to find its purpose but to be of service to others.”

We are in a worthy time and place including opportunities that redirect us, she said, and “truly, the amount of servitude we bear comes from our inherent belief in something profound than ourselves.”

Capt. Bergaño-Diciano underscored that “the PCG will stand strong in protecting the Constitution and in taking its critical roles in nation-building, regional maritime presence and international prominence,” adding: “With God’s grace and protection, this is the lifework I honor daily…it will continue to be.”

At the same time, she depicted her love of family and others in this thought: “With faith and gratitude, live a good and humble life.  As we persevere in salting this earth, let us continue to be an instrument of peace and kindness.”

Remember all those who joyfully receive every part of you, she said,   “for in all that we do, newness and resilience will be our dance and hope be our beacon.”

Above all, she honors God by saying: “In this journey of blessings and lessons, You are most powerful and gracious.”

For what is to come, I am thanking and glorifying You with a life of love and service, she reiterated.


The PCG official is the eldest of the two children of Dominador Guzon Bergaño Jr., a retired Navy and CG enlisted man, and his late wife, Lilia, a nurse. She has a younger brother, Joseph Kenneth.

With brother Joseph Kenneth, his wife Rose, and their father ENS Dominador Bergaño (Ret); right photo, wedding day of her parents, Dominador Bergaño and wife Luz Lilia
Christine Pauline with her children

She has four children – stepdaughter Angel Alexandria, 17; Alliah Aisha, 16; Ariannah Ameera, 15; and Alexander Attila, 7. 

Christine Pauline was a working and consistent honor student. She earned her Computer Science degree from the University of St. La Salle.

A member of the Coast Guard Officers Course “A” MATATAG Class 02-2001, she graduated in the upper percentile and was a recipient of the Leadership Award.

Her 22 years in the PCG afforded her various positions at the Coast Guard Education and Training Command, Human Resource Management (CG-1), Flag Secretary to five PCG Commandants and one OIC, Commander of Coast Guard Internal Audit, Gender and Development, Procurement Service three times. She was Deputy of CG Logistics Systems Command before assuming the post as the first, youngest and only female Commander of an Aviation Force in all of military and Law Enforcement Agencies in the country.

On Nov. 1 last year, she assumed back as Deputy of the CG Logistics Command.

Capt. Bergaño-Diciano holds the distinction of the first female pilot of the Philippine Coast Guard.

Among the highlights of her career is her authorship of the inclusion of hijab in the PCG Uniform Manual in 2019, which has been recognized by the UN Human Rights Commission. Hijab is the head covering worn in public by Muslim women.

She also authored the CG Internal Audit and CG Procurement Charters and Logos as well as the measure to remove restrictive recruitment qualifications.

She, likewise, recommended the inclusion of the first female rescue swimmer and female drivers in the PCG.

She was also recently designated as acting superintendent of the CG School for Special Maritime Affairs. “I took this helm as an additional duty and I blessed that the men and women I have worked with are simply dedicated and inspirational,” she said.

The PCG official finished her Masters Program in Maritime Affairs for Education and Training at the World Maritime University in Malmo Sweden and studied Maritime Safety and Aerial Surveillance at the Defense International Training Center in Melbourne and Financial Governance in Canberra Australia.

She also studied at the US Coast Guard Training Center in Virginia and for her international MDA, CBM at Wilhem Barentz in Tershelling Netherland as well as on Defense Acquisition, Procurement and Negotiation at the US Department of Defense in California. 

She completed executive courses at the International Transport Association based in Hong Kong, Ateneo Center for Continuing Education and University of St. La Salle Yu An Log College of Business and Accountancy. 

Just recently, she completed her training on International Relations and Diplomacy. She is currently doing her doctoral degree in Management.

The Coast Guard Captain has undertaken various flight missions on Search and Rescue, Maritime Security and Law Enforcement and Maritime Safety at the West Philippine Sea and Scarborough Shoal, Philippine Rise, Balintang Channel and the ZAMBASULTA – Zamboanga City, Basilan City, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi – area. 

As Commander of PCG Aviation, she activated the Unmanned Aerial Systems Division in the PCG and various air stations in the country, including Negros Occidental, Cebu, Bataan and Dipaculao in Aurora and ongoing in Tuguegarao, Davao, and Daet.

The Negros Occidental air station is based in Bacolod City – housed through 618th PCG Auxiliary Squadron manning PCG aircrafts arriving and transiting Silay and Negros.

She is serving for two years as member of the board of directors of the Swedish Alumni Network Philippines and as Vice-Chair of CGOSAI in Alumni Associations and Service Academies in the Philippines.

Her colorful career of 22 years afforded her numerous Coast Guard and civilian awards, recognitions and features including as country representative to 26 countries. She was recently a PCG candidate in the search for Outstanding Women in Law Enforcement and National Security by the Philippine Defensers.

Capt. Bergaño-Diciano was recently recognized as one of the Six Outstanding Women of the PCG in 2023 and subsequently given the Outstanding Women in Maritime Award by the IMO Shareholders’ Forum 2023.


Earlier this month, NEGROS WEEKLY had a Q&A interview with the PCG official on her foresight for 2024 as well as the highlights of her career last year.

Overall, how do you assess your 2023?  Also, did you attain goals you set for the year?

2023 was a year of vision and breakthrough, of self-discovery and wellness, of strength and faith. 

The Philippine Coast Guard is a unique law enforcement agency of the country.  As it is in existence for more than 120 years, it has evolved from a lighthouse agency to now a multi-mission and humanitarian organization.  Because the international law and the universal concept of white-to-white enforcement is magnified in recent years, especially in addressing non-traditional maritime threats, the PCG is also becoming an imperative diplomatic instrument in relation to the extensive discharge of all its powers and functions as enshrined in our law (Republic Act 9993, or the New Coast Guard Law of 2009). 

When I was afforded the opportunity to be the Commander of Coast Guard Aviation Force from April 2022 to October 2023 and in keeping with our charter while being abreast with the best practices in the field of aerial operations and enforcement, I envisioned the creation of UAS, or the Unmanned Aerial Systems, Unit with intensified intelligence and surveillance capability. 

The PCG official, second from left, in their BDU (battle dress uniform)

After its activation, governments showed interest and provided the first UAS with subsequent donations from the UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – and various squadrons from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Today, the Aviation Force manages five types of drones. 

Relatedly, to maintain our strategic presence in critical areas, activation and ongoing discussions or improvements of various air stations for Aurora, Bataan, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Carnaza Island, Daet and Tuguegarao were mainstreamed in 2023.

In personnel development, the PCG participated in the historic Tactical Drone Operations Training. The pioneering classes of the CG Swimmers’ Course and the CG Aviation Force Training Staff Course were also instituted simultaneously with the local and foreign pilot trainings and the promotion of our personnel.

Most recent operations included the MDA – or Maritime Domain Awareness – flights, which is an ongoing program, the  sustained oil spill response and recovery operations of MV Princess Empress in Mindoro, and of the collision of MV Hong Hai 189 and MV Petite Souer at Corregidor Island. 

During the August 2023 flooding in Sum-ag, I managed to apply the best practices of my organization together with cognizant agencies and our LGU in establishing the Command Center to manage more than 2,000 displaced persons and conduct sustained Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.

With faith and the strength of the “Bayanihan Spirit” almost everywhere, we were able to showcase various musical and dance performances and facilitated valuable community services throughout the year.

What’s ahead for you in 2024? Also, your activities in the first quarter of the year?

With the strong and conscientious leadership of our Commandant, Adm. Ronnie Gil L. Gavan, the PCG is becoming a strategically evolving and critically relevant organization toward nation-building, regional maritime cooperation and in sustainable international maritime prominence. 

Assuming the post as director of the Coast Guard Leadership and Doctrine and Development Center at Coast Guard Education, Training and Doctrine Command on a national level last Jan. 8, my role is to advise the Commander of CGEDTC in formulating, developing, testing, evaluating and pre-validating concepts and doctrine in the conduct of Coast Guard operations.

Another vital part of my role is to give advise in identifying doctrine requirements of the Coast Guard approved strategic/operational concept as well as provide editorial services and perform tasks as the CGETDC commander may direct.

Likewise, focusing on responsive curriculum development and evaluation, forging collaboration with established Leadership and Doctrine Development Centers, academic institutions and relevant agencies, personnel development, facility improvement and effective execution of our programmed activities are my priorities for CY 2024.

In 2019, you initiated the move for the inclusion of hijab in the PCG. What motivated you to do it?

Capt. Bergaño-Diciano wears a hijab, which she introduced and institutionalized in the PCG Uniform Manual in 2019

My earlier exposure to international studies like Cooperative Maritime Air Surveillance Course 2013 and Governance and Financial Management in Australia exposed me to various cultures and traditions.  In 2014-2015, I had the honor of serving as Secretary to the World Maritime University Student Council and as the first Filipina/Asian Vice-President of the WMU Women’s Association in Malmö, Sweden. 

When I was selected as the PCG representative with only 200 participating women from ten 10 Asean countries in police and law enforcement during the Inaugural Asia Women Leading Law Enforcement Conference (Manila) and Women in Maritime Law Enforcement Meeting Maritime Law Enforcement Dialogue 7 by the UNODC in Vietnam in 2019, it reinforced the idea of proposing the unprecedented inclusion of hijab, parade shoes and another variant of GOA, or the General Office Attire, for PCG female personnel.

As Commander of Coast Guard Gender and Development during this time, I was also heavily involved in the reconstitution of the PCG GAD Focal Point System, the activation of GAD, VAWC and PWD Desks of PCG units throughout the country and the historical inclusion of the PCG to the Inter-Agency discussions of gender-based violence-related issues in law enforcement to the Department of National Defense.

Today, there is a remarkable 15 percent membership of women officers, non-officers and civilian employees in its 33,000 personnel strength taking on non-traditional roles in PCG operations. 

Can you please tell us about your international trainings related to diplomacy?

My exposure to various trainings developing diplomacy skills include the International Maritime Domain Awareness Course (in Virginia, Washington and New York) which was conducted by the United States Coast Guard in 2019. I also attended The Principles of International Negotiation, Defense Procurement & Contracting, and Defense Acquisition Management Training (Monterey, California in 2022) conducted by the US Department of Defense International Security Group at the Naval Postgraduate School. 

The PCG official from Bacolod City in international training

I was also a Nippon Foundation scholar and student attaché to the 14-month Masters Programme at the World Maritime University in Sweden. The training influenced my perspectives on the contemporary issues of the international maritime community.

Recently, I pursued another continuing education on International Relations, Diplomacy, and Protocol at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Diplomacy and Governance through the CG Strategic Studies and International Affairs.

I am currently undertaking my Doctorate in Philosophy (Management) at the Northwest Samar State University.

Any new year’s resolution?

I will cherish quality time with my children and loved ones as I hope to provide value-added services while undertaking the duties and responsibilities entrusted to me.  I will focus on health and wellness and as I pursue valued hobbies and new-found skills.

I pray for more opportunities on community services and explore platforms where gender and development and empowerment are mainstreamed and maritime governance will be received. | NWI