A FEMALE cadet from Isabela topped the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Masidlawin (Mandirigmang Isinilang na may Dangal at Lakas Upang Maging Tanglaw ng Inang Bayan) Class of 2020.
Cadet First Class Gemalyn Sugui, 25, bested 195 other graduates, becoming the sixth female cadet to have led the PMA graduating class since women were admitted to the academy in 1993.
As class valedictorian, she will receive the Presidential Saber, the Achievement Award for Academic Excellence, the Jusmag Award, the Philippine Army Saber, the Spanish Armed Forces Award, the Social Sciences Plaque, the Management Plaque, and the Rule of Law Award.
Other graduates in the top 10 are:
* Cadet First Class Jade Villanueva from Tacloban City
* Cadet First Class Jefferson Salazar from Zamboanga City
* Cadet First Class Rotes Gaile Jamandre from Lamut, Ifugao
* Cadet First Class Jeb Bay-an from La Trinindad, Benguet
* Cadet First Class Catabay Ladyong from Tabuk, Kalinga
* Cadet First Class Vanelyn Angel Tabao from Tuguegarao City
* Cadet First Class June Giel Anne Factor from Piddig, Ilocos Norte
* Cadet First Class Rubenson Abgao Maliwanag from Baroy Lanao Del Norte
* Cadet First Class Rubenson Abgao from Baroy, Lanao Del Norte
* Cadet First Class Dencel Aina Bayaca of Floridablanca, Pampanga
Sugui, who is set to join the Philippine Army, hails from Echague in Isabela. Her mother is a public school teacher while her father is a farmer.
She obtained a BS Management Economics degree at the University of Baguio before entering the PMA.
Sugui said that although the training at PMA was difficult, she never thought of quitting because this was among her dreams.
"Mahirap 'yung experience sa PMA pero never sumagi sa isip ko na mag-quit kasi gusto ko talaga 'yung pagpasok sa PMA so naisip ko na 'yung pagco-college ko nga na nahirapan ako, tinapos ko. Paano pa 'yung gusto ko talagang pagiging kadete," she said in a video shared to the media by the PMA.
"Kahit na nanibago ako sa mga kalakaran dito sa military, tinapos ko at hindi ko man lang naisip na mag-quit...," she added.
She said the academy taught her the value of family and time.
This year’s PMA graduation, which is set for Friday afternoon, May 22, is not open to the public, not even to the families of the graduating cadets due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“I believe this is a necessary decision in order to safeguard the health and general well-being of the CCAFP and the whole PMA community. As a parent, I know how heartbreaking and disappointing that decision is, but we have to do what is best for all. Safety and health are paramount at all times,” said PMA Superintendent Allan Cusi.
The 196 graduates include 172 male and 23 female cadets.
Of the 196 graduates, 100 will join the Philippine Army, while 45 and 51 will join the Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy, respectively.
Cusi said the graduates will be reporting straight to their services to augment forces at the front lines of the country’s Covid-19 response efforts. (SunStar Philippines)