LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Ibaloy pride 2LT Jerson Balagot, from Shilan La Trinidad, Benguet brought home honor to all the Cordilleran Igorots as he topped among 219 trainees and gained the highest average of 90.36 percent during the Scout Ranger Course (SRC) Class 214-2021.
Balagot’s parents, Nancy and Arthur, said they were surprised when their son was announced as Top 1 in the class. There were no exact words to express how proud they are for the achievement of their son.
“Tadta nga naabot na dayta achievement na nga nag Top 1, talaga nga dakami nga parents ken diay kakabsat na, proud na proud (now that he achieved being the top 1 of his class, we as his parents, are so much more than proud of his achievement,” claimed Arthur Balagot.
Before entering the military, Balagot was raised by his parents serving as an altar boy, which molded him to have a strong foundation of faith and love towards his family.
He has a passion for music and writing, as he was a member of a band formed by his siblings. He also writes plays as he expresses himself better through writing.
Growing up, he never planned and imagined entering the f military. In college, he took up Bachelor in Secondary Education major in Technical-Livelihood Education at the Benguet State University, enjoying teaching and pursuing his passion as musician, writer, and teacher.
One thing that directed him to find his military calling was an article published in the Philippine Military Academy’s (PMA) magazine, The Corps, titled, “Outgrowing the Challenges”. From that moment, he decided to take the exam and got admitted to the prime military academy of the country and graduated as part of the “Mabalasik” Class of 2019.
Recently, Balagot decided to advance his learnings and to further improve his military skills by joining the Scout Ranger Course.
He and his troops were deployed in the training camps and tried to survive for more than six months.
From there, his hardships and sacrifices were paid off as he bagged home the honor and pride as Top 1 in his class.
He only did not bring honor for himself and his family, but also the whole Shilan and the Ibaloy peoples.
According to him, he just did his best and did not expect to top his class.
“Saan ko talaga nga ekspektaren nga ag Top 1 ak. Basta inaramid ko lang tii best ko. So tatta, ituloy ko latta nga ited ti best ko tapno ma-serve ko nga usto ti country ken mai-lead ko diay tropak nga usto (I didn’t really expect to be the Top 1. I just did my best. So now, I will just continue to do my best to serve my country and to properly lead my troop),” said Balagot.
Balagot’s journey is proof that hard work and sacrifice will always pay off. During his journey, he trusted the process instead of being impatient. He was redirected from being a church server to being a teacher before he finally found his calling.
His story proves that success does not happen overnight, it is a process that we must live through, besides, success is not given, it is being earned with great hard work.
With all the success that he brought to his family, he remains ground and never forgets to humble himself which his parents always reminded him. Fame, pride, and achievement may be temporary but the character of being humble, kind, and having a good heart will always be a part of who we are.
By Macario Toyan, Jr.