THE life story of the Cordillera’s representative in the search for Ten Outstanding Students in the Philippines from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) will be featured tonight in GMA Network’s weekly drama Magpakailanman.
Second Lieutenant Prolen Bonacua, who placed third in this year’s PMA Pudang Kalis Class of 2013 and one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines-CAR, gets another turn in the limelight this time in television for his struggles while inside the academy and his battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Bonacua, who hails from Valenzuela, will be portrayed by actor TJ Trinidad.
Despite his mother’s early hesitation for him to enter the academy, Bonacua pursued his dream to enter PMA and hurdled the rigorous training and embrace the life he has chosen.
While inside the academy, he was chosen for an exchange cadet program requiring him to undergo a medical exam with results that almost put his military career to halt. The medical test results revealed he has a heart condition that disqualified him in joining the exchange cadet program and almost ended his stint at the PMA.
He went from one hospital to another just to obtain medical certification to prove his heart condition will not adversely affect his performance inside the academy, He also went to various officers to seek help in order to prove he can take the rigors of military service.
After being readmitted into the academy, Prolen poured his heart into his training. However, his trials did not end there. Shortly before his graduation, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
But this also did not hinder him from attaining his dreams of serving his country, after undergoing several treatments and surviving third-stage cancer, he went back to PMA to continue his studies until his graduation this year.
Now a second lieutenant officer of the Philippine Army, he first assumed various leadership positions in the Cadet Corps which aided in his training and development as an officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
His class is among those who initiated the first Stakeholders Engagement in La Trinidad, Benguet, in line with the thrust of the AFP Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan.
Aside from being a third placer and recipient of the Secretary of National Defense Saber, he also received the Emilio Aguinaldo Saber, an award given to a cadet who has the highest over-all rating in Aptitude, Conduct, and Leadership. He was also a consistent Dean’s Lister during his cadetship in the premiere military institution.
“Tiyak kong kapantay, kung hindi man higit pa sa karangalan at tuwa ng nararamdaman niya ngayon ang saya ng kanyang amang machinist at sa kanyang inang trabahador sa pabrika — na pareho ring kumayod upang siguruhing hindi mag-isang haharap sa cancer si Prolen, at may pagkakataong bubukas para sa kanilang anak, dulot ng mabuting edukasyon,” President Benigno Aquino III in his speech said during the graduation rites last March.