Barlig lad is PMA salutatorian
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BAGUIO. Members of the top 10 of the PMA Alab Tala Class of 2018 were presented to the media on March 14. The top 10 are (first row from left) Cadets First Class Jaywardene Galilea Hontoria (1st), Ricardo Liwaden (2nd), Jun-Jay Castro (3rd), Leonore Andrea Japitan (4th), Mark Jantzen Dacillo (5th), (second row from left) Jezaira Buenaventura (6th), Jessie Larangan (7th), Paolo Briones (8th), Jayson Cimatu (9th), and Micah Reynaldo (10th). Special awards (third row from left) will be given to Cadets First Class Christian Michael Peralta for Journalism, and Jasm Marie Alcoriza together with Liwada for the Athletic Saber. (Milo Brioso)
TWO Cordillerans will be part of this yearâs top 10 graduating cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alab Tala Class of 2018.
Topping this yearâs Alagad ng Lahing Binigkis ng Tapang at Lakas of 2018 is Cadet 1st Class Jaywardene Galilea Hontoria from Iloilo.
The 25-year-old Navy insigne is the son of a farme r and a housewife from Balabag, Pavia, in Iloilo and is a registered nurse from the West Visayas State University and a former reservist for the coast guard.
For graduating number one, Hontoria will receive the Presidential Saber, Chief of Staff Saber, Philippine Navy Saber, Academic Group San, Australian Defense Best Overall Performance Award, Spanish Armed Forces Award, Humanities Plaque, Natural Sciences Plaque, Social Sciences Plaque, Jusmag Award and the Department of Leadership Plaque.
Placing number two is 24â"year-old Cadet 1st Class Ricardo Witawit Liwaden, who hails from Gawana, Barlig, Mountain Province.
Liwaden, whose father is a farmer and whose mother is a retired teacher, decided to take up civil engineering at the University of Baguio as a preparatory course before entering the academy.
"My inspiration in entering the academy is my father because he was the one who taught me how to love my work since I was a child. He is my role mod el. My father was the one who convinced me on what course I would take up in college and what branch of service I would want to go to in the military to which, since my plebe year, I decided to volunteer for the army and it is where I will be serving," said Liwaden.
For graduating number two, Liwaden will receive the Vice Presidential Saber, Philippine Army Saber, Sports and Physical Development Plaque, Tactics Group Award and the Athletic Saber.
Liwaden was a squad-leader, cadet in charge of the marathon corps squad, and brigade athletic officer in the academy.
The second Cordilleran to make it to the top 10 position is Baguio Boy Cadet 1st Class Paolo Balla Briones from Camp Allen who finished number eight.
Just like Liwaden, Briones initially took civil engineering course at the Saint Louis University prior to his entry in the academy.
Brionesâ father is an enlisted officer in the Philippine Army, while her mother is a housewife.
D espite finishing number eight, Briones, who will enter the air force, explained the difference of being a Cordilleran among the other graduating cadets.
"We are Cordilleran who are strong enough and intellectually capable. We are trained in different aspects and we will give whatever we can depending on how we perform as soldiers in the military," Briones said.
Other members of the top 10 are Cadet 1st Class Jun-Jay Malazzab Castro at number three, Cadet 1st Class Leonore Andrea Carino Japitan at number four, Cadet 1st Class Mark Jantzen Nino Dacillo at number five, Cadet 1st Class Jezaira Laquinon Buenaventura at number six, Cadet 1st Class Jessie Antonio Laranang at number seven, Cadet 1st Class Jayson Raymundo Cimatu at number nine, and Cadet 1st Class Micah Quiambao Reynaldo at number 10.
From the 282 strong graduating class, 105 males and 38 females will join the Philippine Army, 52 males and 19 females will go to the Philippine Air Force, while 5 0 males and 18 females will join the Philippine Navy.
PMA Superintendent Lieutenant General Donato San Juan said it has been 67 years after the academy had its Class Baron as top graduate.
PMA officials may have loosened their grip on sanctions over the leakage of this yearâs top graduating class, when relatives of Hontoria in Iloilo broadcast via radio his achievement.
San Juan owed the leak due to the changing times and the advent of technology, saying the academy cannot do anything about it anymore, explaining Hontario texted the news to his family who in turn broadcast it through social media.
Special awards are given to Cadet 1st Class Christian Michael Olarte PeÃ±a on Journalism.
Graduation ceremonies are set on March 18 with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on March 15, 2018.
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