FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – The son of a government employee and a housewife from San Pablo, Isabela is this year’s top-notches of the 63-member 2016 Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Gintong Anak ng Bayan, Alay ay Buhay para sa Kalayaan (Gabay Laya) Class who will be graduating from the premier military school in Asia this coming Sunday, March 13, 2016.
23-year old cadet first-class Kristian Daeve Gelacio Abiqui, who has been the class president for over several years prior to their graduation, bested 62 other male and female cadets comprising one of the smallest class to graduate from the institution over the past 46 years.
Abiqui, who will be joining the Philippine Navy, will be receiving the Presidential Saber from President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III; Philippine Navy Saber; Academic Group Award; Australian Defence Best Overall Performance Award; Humanities Plaque; Mathematics Plaque; Natural Sciences Plaque; Navy Professional Courses Plaque and Gen. Antonio Luna Award.
Cadet first class Christine Mae Naungayan Calima, 22, of Bolinao, Pangasinan is the class salutatorian will be receiving the Vice President Saber; Philippine Air Force Sabver; Tactics Group Award; Austria Defence Benst Overall Performance Award; Management Plaque; Social Sciences Plaque; Department of Tactics Officers Plaque; Department of Leadership Plaque; Air Force Professional Courses Plaque; Aguinaldo Saber, Spanish Armed Forces Award and Association of Generals and Flag Officers Award.
Placing third on the class is cadet first class Arby Jurist Azman Cabrera, 21 of Cauayan City, Isabela who will be receiving the Secretary of National Defence Saboer while placing fourth is cadet first class Joseph Stalin Abara Fagsao of Maddela, Quirino who will be receiving the Philippine Army Saber; Australian Defence Best Overall Performance Award; Computting and Information Sciences Plaque and Army Professional cour4se Plauqe.
Rounding up the fifth to tenth slots are cadet first class Jayson Jess Ananayo Tumititm, 23, of Pacdal, Baguio City, cadet first class Joseph Cabinit Daria, 23 of Bangar, La Union, cadet first class Ace Uy Clarianes, 21, of Camarines Sur; cadet fist class Prince Regodon Aday, 23, of Davao del Sur, cadet first class George Bernard de Guzman Garcia, 21 of Labrador, Pangasinan and cadet first class Gerald Manio Gasacao, 22 of Pandayan, Meycauayan City, Bulacan.
Cadet first class Denzel Olarte Corpuz, 21 of Pasay City is this year’s class baron.
The graduating class is composed of 56 males and 7 females. From the original 123 members who reported on April 1, 2012, there were 50 of them who made it til graduation and the remaining 13 cadets were turn backs from previous classes.
Maj. Gen. Donato San Juan II, PMA Superintendent, said 333 cadets, including 4 females, will be joining the Philippine Army, 13 cadets, including 2 females, will be joining the Philippine Air Force while 17 cadets, including 1 female, will be joining the Philippine Navy.
San Juan revealed there are 6 members of the class who are currently training abroad, particularly the United States (US) Military Academy, USAFA and USNA, 1 in South Korea foreign service academy, 1 in the Australian Defence Force Academy, 1 in the Japan National Defence Academy among others.
Before joining the PMA, Abiqui was a third-year civil engineering student at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
“I was turned back because of a serious illness that forced me to go on leave for a year until my ailment was cured. I used my being turned back as an inspiration in order to achieve my goal of being at the top of my class,”Abiqui stressed.
The class top-notches claimed that he wanted to join the premier military school in Asia when he was still 16 years old while enrolled at the UPLB until he was able to hurdle the PMA entrance exams that led him to what he had achieved.
In terms of educational attainment, San Juan revealed there were 17 graduates who reached freshman year, 24 sophomores, 12 juniors, 6 finished with a degree and 4 were fresh from high school.
President Aquino will be commissioning the PMA graduates as 2nd Lieutenants and Ensigns of the Armed Forces of the Philippines after they will be declared graduates of the institution.
By Dexter A. See