Thursday, February 21, 2019

7 women among PMA top 10 grads

FORT DEL PILAR – Seven women were among the top 10 graduates of this year’s Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class, the institution’s superintendent said.

PMA Superintendent Lieutenant General Ireneo Espino presented the top 10 graduates of this year’s batch, with seven women topping the class, the biggest ever in the history.

7 women among PMA top 10 graduates
WOMEN POWER. Cadet 1st Class Maryam Dinamling Balais (left), who ranked second in this year’s Philippine Military Academy class, stands together with other female topnotchers: cadets Joselyn Dimapilis Advincula, Vanessa Pascual Factor and Maila Agrabio Maniscan. Seven women were among this year's top 10 graduates, the first in PMA's history. (Photo by Zaldy Comanda of Sun.Star Baguio)

Cadet First Class Jestoni Lanaja, son of a sugarcane gatherer, topped the class of 124 cadets this year.

Lanaja will receive the Presidential Saber from President Benigno Aquino III during the graduation ceremonies of Pudang-Kalis (Puso’t dangal ng mga Kawal ng Lahing Nagkakaisa) Class of 2013 on March 17.

Pudang-Kalis is from Muslim origins meaning sacred sword. The sword is passed by a Muslim clan from generation to generation; thus the class used the name in the belief they are like a sword whose blade will never perish from generation to generation.

Lanaja, as well as the next topnotcher, Cadet First Class Maryam Balais of Benguet, are Muslims.

The other top graduates of the PMA this year are Prolen Bonacua of Valenzuela City; Jesse Saludo of Valenzuela City; Joselyn Advincula of Tagaytay City; Leode John Tulang of Agusan del Sur; Mark Ferdinand Villamin of Batangas; Vanessa Pascual of Antipolo City; Jhed Dumocloy of Cagayan; and Maila Maniscan of South Cotabato.

Fifth placer Advincula joins the Army and is set to receive the Association of Generals and flag officers’ award, Humanities Plaque and the Australian Defence Best overall Performance Award.

Pascual placed eighth while Gonzales, who also opted to join the Army, ranked tenth in PMA’s top 10 cadets.

Female special awardees are cadet Ibrade (Tactics Group award); cadet Bagsang (Number 1 in Physical Education courses); and cadet Gonzales (Journalism award).

PMA Superintendent Lieutenant General Ireneo Espino said the women topping the class is the biggest group to haul top citations in the academy since the graduation of the famed magnificent 7 in 1996, the first time the academy accepted women into the fold.

Out of the 124 graduating cadets, 19 are females.

Sixty-seven graduates will join the Army, 24 the Air force and 33 will join the Navy. (Maria Elena Catajan)
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