>> To many low landers, Baguio City beckons this coming holiday season. If you cannot afford the four season countries like Korea and Japan, Baguio is one good option for people who love cool climate. You can go to Burnham park where families with their kids in tow enjoying the boat rides. Buy corn-on-stick at Mines View park or maybe buy longganisa and strawberries at the public market. Make a side trip to Trinidad town and pick some fresh strawberries. This you have to discover. Inquire what day the cadets in the Philippine Military Academy do their drills. You will surely enjoy seeing our future soldiers marching on Borromeo field.
>> The PMA is a place of rituals. As told by my best friend, former Flag-Officer-in-Command retired Vice Admiral Ferdinand 'Toto' Golez of class 76, what is most faithfully observed are the drills. And more than the drills, it is the camaraderie and brotherhood that covering when one is in crisis and not indifference will prompt who can. One visit I made sometime in early eighties at the PMA, I saw how the cadets marched at the Borromeo Field, and enjoyed the atypical performance. They marched on the barking of their commander and were in cadence.We speculated at that time some of these cadets maybe be assigned in Pampanga after graduation, and it became true because some held rank positions here. I was able to made discussions with some who in the latter years climbed the star ranks and were assigned in Camp Olivas in the City of San Fernando.
>> One of the well loved constabulary officers was the late J.P. Santos '56. Originally from Sta. Maria,Bulacan, he married a Tadeo girl from Porac. In most weekends he hanged around with drinking buddies at a corner store in Nepo Mart in Angeles City. He went ahead to meet his maker and possibly now reaping his rewards, some stars in his shoulders,in heaven ahead of his mistahs Farolan and Romy David who served as Clark Development Corporation President and Tony Fernando who served as Executive Officer of the Mount Pinatubo Commission.
>> RETRO: In my early years as a reporter covering Camp Olivas for Daily Star, Silvestre Songco of Manila Times, Tony Torres of Manila Bulletin,Hector Soto of Evening News, Ben Gamos of Manila Chronicle and Fred Roxas of Philippine News Service were main fixtures at the camp. With these veteran reporters, I met, talked and in some instances had drinking sessions with these military and police officials. Some were mere acquaintances.
>> One of the most colorful was Amado 'Spines' Espino of class '72. He was credited for the capture of the most wanted NPA leaders in the seventies, Bernabe Buscayno alias Commander Dante. He never reached a general rank but became congressman and governor of Pangasinan. The list of of PMAyers assigned in Camp Olivas is quite long, and this tight column space of this paper cannot accomodate them all. Maybe in later time, with further research we can write a book about them. Some names you and I remember were Dodong Resos, Sammy Tomas, Ador De Guzman, Vic Garcia, Tom Diaz, Emilio Zerrudo, Felizardo Tanabe, Tom Manlongat, Oscar Florendo, Valerio Perez, Eduardo Batalla, Vicente Tongson, Ed Manaay, Hermogenes Ebdane and many more. I met almost all. All these men in uniform passed the portals of Camp Olivas.
November 22, 2022
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