FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – She was still a young child when her father kept harping about his failure to become a member of the military which molded her thinking that once she will have a chance to become a full-pledged military personnel, she will grab the opportunity without reservations.
She was a student assistant while pursuing her accountancy course at the Cabanatuan-based Araulio University when she had a chance to glimpse at the poster of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) announcing the schedule of the entrance examination of those interested to enter the Academy, thus, without any hesitation, she applied to take the examination until she was able to hurdle it and was accepted in the premier military school in Asia in 2013.
Women got a timely reward for the celebration of women’s month this March after 8 of the top 10 graduating cadets of the PMA this year are females, giving inspiration to females wanting to enter the Academy that they have a chance to shine even in a male-dominated profession.
Cadet first-class Rovi Mairel Valino Martinez, 23, who trace her roots from Flordeliza, Bangad, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija is this year’s top graduating cadet of the female-dominated 167-member Sanggalang ay Lakas at Buhay na Alay para sa Kalayaan ng Inang Bayan (Salaknib) Class of 2017 who will receive the coveted Presidential Saber from President Rodrigo R. Duterte during their graduation RITES ON Sunday, March 12, 2017, at the Borromeo grounds.
Her father, Mariel P. Martinez, is a barangay councilman in their place while her mother, Ruby V. Martinez, is a businesswoman having to raise their two siblings.
“I was about to quit when I was a sophomore cadet because I was not used to do strenuous exercises which we were required to do daily but I was made to realize that I am still lucky because of the thousands of youngsters wanting to enter the Academy, I was one of the few who was able to enter the premier military school,” Martinez stressed.
Martinez, who will be graduating as cum laude, will be receiving the Presidential Saber aside from the Philippine Navy Saber, , Academic Group Award, Social Sciences Plaque, Navy Professional Courses Plaque, JUSMAG, Award, Association of Generals and Flag officers (AGFO) Award, Spanish and Australian Defense Force Awards.
Of the 167 graduating cadets, 104 are males while 63 are females. 58 males and 32 females will be joining the Philippine Army, 20 males and 13 females will be joining the Philippine Air Force while 26 males and 18 females will be joining the Philippine Navy.
Martinez, who will be joining the Philippine Navy advised the youth wanting to join the premier military school to have the courage to adjust to the rigid trainings of being a military personnel and sacrifice for them to be able to achieve their desired success as future military officers.
“I believe my father will be happy about my achievement because I was able to fulfill his dreams. I will treasure this success with him because if not for his prodding, then I will not be a graduate of the Academy,” Martinez stressed.
Cadet first-class Philip Modesto Vizcaya, 22, who will be joining the Philippine Army, will graduate as No. 2 in the merit roll and will be receiving the Vice Presidential Saber from Vice President Lenny Robre and the Philippine Army Saber while cadet first-class Eda Glis Buansi Marapao, 21 of Baguio City, will also be graduating as cum laude and placed third in the merit roll and she will be receiving the Secretary of National Defense Saber.
Placing fourth in the merit roll is Cathleen Jovi Santiano Baybayan, 22, of San Fernando city, Pampanga, who will be receiving the Austrian Defense Bet Overall Performance Award and Natural Sciences Plaque while fifth in the merit role is cadet first-class Carlo Emmanuel Canlas, 23, of Lubao, Pampanga and he will be receiving the Philippine Air Force Saber.
Placing sixth in the merit roll is cadet first-class Shiela Joy Ramiro Jallorina, 22, of Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya who will be receiving the Tactics Group Award, Department of Leadership Plaque, Air Force Professional Courses Plauqe and Aguinaldo Saber while cadet first-class Sheila Marie Calonge de Guzman, 25, of Manaoag, Pangasinan landed in seventh place and will be receiving the Army Professional CoursesPPlaque.
Eighth in the merit roll is cadet first-class Joyzy Mencias Funchica, 23, of Butuan City while ninth place went to cadet first-class Resie Jezreel Arrocena Hucalla, 24, of Compostela Valley, who will be receiving the Management Plaque.
Rounding up the top 10 graduating cadet is cadet first-class Catherine Mae Emeterio Gonzales, 23, of Zamboanga City while cadet first-class Johnny III Derogongan Maruhombsar, 22, of Iligan city, will be receiving the Chief of Staff Saber being the baron of the class.
He Athletic Saber will be awarded by Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan to cadet first-class Franklin Esperanzate Dellomos, 23, of Paranaque City while the Journalism Award will be given to cadet first-class Michelle Sardiño Calusor, 26, of Naga City.
Further, the Computering and Information Sciences Plaque will be awarded to cadet first-class Karen Joy Benitez Gamboa, 23, of Cabanatuan city, Nueva Ecija while the Mathematics Plaque will be given to cadet first-class Ma. Isaia Pearl P. Paracale, 25, of Pototan, Iloilo.
President Duterte will be commissioning the 167 graduating cadets as 2nd Lieutenants and Ensigns of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during their scheduled graduation rites this coming Sunday.
By Dexter A. See