Cadet hero awarded bronze medal-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
FORT DEL PILAR -- Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Cadet Bryx Lee Betong’s casket was draped with the Philippine Flag when the prized bronze medal was awarded to him.
Betong was laid to rest Monday at the front yard of his grandfather’s home at Sitio Batbato in Mankayan town, where his clan grieved his loss.
PMA superintendent Lieutenant General Ireneo Espino sent the medal to Betong’s parents in simple rites along with cash support from the cadet corps.
The Bronze Cross Medal is awarded to individuals who have shown acts of heroism, which involve risk of life under conditions other than those of conflict with an enemy.
Betong was recognized for his selfless act of saving his uncle and brother from a swimming mishap in Ilocos Sur, which claimed the life of the 19-year-old cadet.
“Without due regard for his personal safety, Cadet Betong managed to save his brother and uncle, but unfortunately, in the process of doing so, he rendered the ultimate sacrifice of his life. By these heroic acts, Cadet Betong earned honor, not only for himself and the Philippine Military Academy, but also for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as a whole,” the award certificate read.
Espino in his message said “though his life was cut short, he has lived it fully well. He is a hero, to the Cadet Corps and to us. He loved his family and he showed this when he readily and unselfishly put himself at risk to save his sibling and uncle who were in danger. He, like many of our heroic soldiers in the field, gave the ultimate sacrifice, so that others may live.”
The simple prayer service rendered friends and family to share moments with Betong. His school teacher Elsie Cervantes said, “Billy was humble, good-hearted, industrious, intelligent and God-fearing. Though he is a silent-type person, he talked with sense and he always meant what he said. He was an honor student in the elementary and a leader in high school.”
Cervantes said Betong was president of the Supreme Youth Council and even represented his school in a national leadership seminar.
“During his third year in high school, he was chosen as the ‘Darling of the Crowd’ for his good looks and charisma. As a young child, he always wanted to become a part of the military that’s why when he graduated from high school, he took and passed the examination to join the Marines, but his parents did not allow him to go. Because of his obedience to his parents, he did not pursue it so he just enrolled in Education Course in the University of Baguio.”
Because Betong’s strong desire to become a military man, he took the PMA Entrance Exam and pursued his cadetship in the Academy. He inspired so many youth in their place and even touched many lives.
Cervantes said “in his 19 years of existence, he had shown that his life is meaningful. Until the end, he was the, Darling of the Crowd.”
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 09, 2013.