FORT DEL PILAR – The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) welcomed 293 new plebs over the weekend to comprise of the class 2021.

PMA superintendent Brigadier General Donato San Juan during oath taking and reception rites in the morning told plebs not to quit the academy and take each challenge one day at a time.

Traditionally, April 1st is set aside for the reception of the new cadets marking the first day of their military career and the last day of their civilian lives.

After the reception ceremony, an eight week summer camp will ensue training the new cadets in military life.

PMA Information officer Reynaldo Balido said there were 253 males and 40 females who showed up for traditional reception rites on Saturday.

Balido said PMA class 2021 will comprise of 300 with 260 males and 40 females, while the seven males who failed to show up during reception rites will be replaced by a long waiting list of hopefuls who took and passed all examinations.

The selection process started when thousands of youth hopefuls took the highly competitive PMA Entrance Examination nationwide. The passers were required to undergo stringent complete physical examination on the designated venues in Luzon, Visayas and in Mindanao.

Balido said the academy is adhering to the 20 percent of females mandated by law to be included in each PMA class.

When the cadets pass the rigid training, incorporation rites will be administered in June. (Maria Elena Catajan)