PMA turns to TV soap

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014


FORT DEL PILAR -- The life of Philippine Military cadets will once again fill the primetime slot.

In a bid to boost promotion of the Asia's top military academy, GMA 7 has been allowed to shoot their upcoming primetime telenovela "Hiram ng Alala."

GMA 7 Communications Group confirmed the soap opera shot scenes at the PMA, the TV drama stars Dennis Trillo, Kris Bernal, Lauren Young and Rocco Nacino and will feature in part the academy and the military way of life.

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PMA information chief Major Reynaldo Balido Jr. said the shooting was permitted in a bid to help promote the academy and boost applications next year as part of their promotion plan.

The academy suffered a decline in applicants this year when the annual PMA entrance exams hauled in 12,034 examinees as compared to last year's 12,159.

Balido, however, attributed the decrease to the changes in dates of the nationwide exams, which were moved from the supposed end of the month to August 3 compounded by a lackluster information dissemination campaign.

Balido said the plan was to make the rounds at various television stations with cadets to rake in applicants for the PMA examinations but were marred by academic responsibilities of cadets, which is put at the priority.

There were 37 examination centers all over the country to welcome aspiring young men and women to join the Cadet corps of the Armed Forces.

Balido said efforts are to be made to increase applications in 2015, adopting an intensified information campaign, which partners with other schools and institutions nationwide.

Balido said among the plans are to take cadets into the tri-media to promote and encourage more applicants.

In 2008, PMA started to open its doors to the tri media by doing massive releases especially in the television as seen in the ABS-CBN soap opera "Tayong Dalawa," which piqued awareness in military life as a result of the Lopez Group of partners bond the academy during the time of former PMA Superintendent Major General Leoplodo.

It was during this time, the Lopez Foundation donated the P25 million training center, "The Lopez Hall of Leaders," for academy.

The Lopez Foundation funded the project, and at that time was the biggest private donation the academy has gotten in its history.

In 2010, during the time of PMA Superintendent Vice Admiral Leonardo Calderon, a surge in applicants was experienced attributed to the local soap opera, which made PMA cadets matinee idols and a massive media campaign.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 13, 2014.

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