A 23-YEAR-old female Tausug graduated on top of the Candidate Soldier Course “Makagilas” (Muslim At Kristiyano Alakdan Galing Isip Liksi Aming Sandata) Class 656-2021 at 11th Division “Mastal” Training School in Camp Bud Datu in Tagbak village, Indanan, Sulu.
She is Private Nerna T. Arip, from Kaha vilalge, Parang, Sulu. She graduated number one of their class with a general average of 95.50 percent.
“Unang una po sa lahat, nagpapasalamat po ako sa 11th ID (Infantry Division) at binigyan kami ng ganitong oportunidad. Hindi ko po hinangad na manguna ngunit dahil sa dedikasyon at sa kagustuhan ko pong ipagpatuloy sa kung ano ang naiwan ng aking ama, gusto ko pong ipagpatuloy kung ano ang kanyang nasimulan. Gusto ko rin pong malingkod lalong-lalo na po dito sa Sulu na panatilihin ang kapayapaan at ngayon na unti-unting umuunlad. Sa mga nangangarap na katulad kong Muslim, ang magpatuloy at huwag sumuko sa buhay ay siyang totong sandata natin sa anumang laban,” Arip said.
(First of all, I am grateful to the 11th ID for giving us this opportunity. I did not seek to lead but because of my dedication and desire to continue what my father left behind, I want to continue what he started. I also want to serve, especially here in Sulu, to keep the peace and now, that it is gradually improving. For dreamers like me, to go on and not give up on life is our real weapon in any battle.)
Private Salid Nadir C. Sawadjaan graduated second with 95.38 percent general average while Private Nuriza S. Mohammad landed third with a general average of 94.88 percent. Both are Tausugs.
Private Awie J. Mohammad, who is also a Tausug, got the highest rating in the Physical Fitness Test (Tarzan) with a general average of 97.78 percent.
Major General William Gonzales, 11th Infantry Division commander, lauded the members of Makagilas Class for successfully hurdling the four-month rigorous and tremendous military training.
Gonzales extended his gratitude to the staff, training directorate, family and the new members of the 11th Infantry "Alakdan" Division.
“Ang inyong pagtatapos ay hindi nangangahulugang tapos na rin ang inyong paghihirap. Kalakip ng kapangyarihan ay ang malaking responsibilidad. Para sa atin, ang responsibilidad na ito ay ang ating tungkulin para sa ating bayan na protektahan ang mga tao at ang lugar na nasasakupan patikular dito sa probinsya ng Sulu,” Gonzales said.
(Your graduation does not mean that your suffering is over. Attached to power is great responsibility. For us, this responsibility is our duty for our town to protect the people and the area under its jurisdiction, particularly here in the province of Sulu.)
Colonel Leomar Jose Doctolero, 11th Division Training School commander, said that the members of the Magkagilas class were individuals who came from different backgrounds.
Doctolero said they comprised 234 males and 11 females. Nine are from Luzon, four are from Visayas, 66 are from mainland Mindanao, and 166 are from Sulu.
Meanwhile, the new graduates have started their 60-day Infantry Orientation Course at the 11th Division Training School.
The orientation course is a requirement they should comply with before they will be deployed to line units of the 11th Infantry Division. (SunStar Zamboanga)