BAGUIO CITY – His parents wanted him to become a military officer when he was a child but such dreams suffered a setback after his father died when he was in Grade III because of a serious illness.
His mother became the family’s bread winner after the untimely demise of her father and it was then that he was able to experience the difficulty of life.
In 2011, his mother also died because of a serious illness and with the death of his both parents, their dream for him to become a military officer was buried with them.
At the time that his mother died, it was also the time that the results of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) entrance examination was released which showed that he was able to pass the same, thus, he had mixed emotions at that time, sad because he lost their bread winner and happy because his parents dream of becoming a military officer was suddenly resurrected with his passing of the examination which is the first step in entering the premier military school in Asia.
Cadet first class Joseph Stalin Abara Fagsao of Poblacion Sur Maddela, Quirino said being orphaned at a young age was difficult for him to hurdle because he had three step brothers and three stepsisters which he had to raise being the eldest of the family.
“I thought I will no longer be able to pursue a descent education that would help him uplift his family’s living condition. I had to be strong when my mother already passed away but I was also happy because I saw light at the end of the tunnel after I learned that I passed the PMA entrance examination,” Fagsao stressed.
Fagsao, whose father is from Bontoc, Mountain Province and his mother from Maddela, Quirino, persevered to enter the Academy with the help of his relatives from both his mother and father side until he was able to be received in the Academy on April 1, 2011.
While grieving the untimely demise of his mother, he used the aspiration of his parents as an inspiration for him to hurdle the obstacles of being a young cadet in order to slowly but surely elevate his status in the subjects offered for his course.
“I took my studies seriously because I knew that nothing was waiting for me outside the Academy once I will be out for certain reasons, thus, I made sure that I adhered to the honor code and strictly observed the institution’s rules and regulations,” he added.
As the fourth placer of the PMA Gintong Anak alay ay Buhay para sa Kalayaan (Gabay Laya) Class of 2016, Fagsao said that his achievement was a product of his hard work, patience and perseverance for him to succeed and for him to be able to also help his younger brothers and sisters finish their desired descent education for a better life in the future.
“I clearly u8nderstood that being a military officer would mean a lot of responsibility for me once I will be given an assignment. I consider my first assignment as an acid test towards my leadership but I will implore the help of the Almighty Father to look upon me and gide my through my career in the military,” Fagsao added.
The 22-year old graduating cadet, who will be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Philippine Army upon graduation, said those following their footsteps wanting to enter the Academy should not forget seeking the guidance of the Almighty Father because he will lead them to what they will be in the future.
Among Fagsao’s priorities will be to make sure that his younger brothers and sisters will be able to pursue a descent education before thinking of having a family.
“Our younger brothers and sisters should not immediately get disappointed of they are confronted with extreme challenges because that is part of life. God continues to watch over us that is why let us not forget to always seek his guidance once we make major decisions in our lives.,” Fagsao said.
The young military officer also expressed his gratitude to his fellow graduates and the members of the cadet corps for extending their utmost support and assistance to him when he was down upon entering the Academy which contributed in making him strong to hurdle the challenges of being a plebe and eventually a full pledged cadet of the institution.
He claimed the core values of the institution, courage, integrity and loyalty, were also instrumental in molding him to be a responsible and dedicated military officer of the armed forces.
By Dexter A. See