December 5, 2023

Three Cordilleran cadets are among the top 10 graduates of the Philippine Military Academy “Masidlawin” Class of 2020 composed of 196 cadets who graduated at Fort del Pilar, Baguio City on May 22.

This year’s PMA class valedictorian is 25-year-old Cadet First Class (1CL) Gemalyn Deocares Sugui of Echague, Isabela, who will join the Philippine Army.

She is also the recipient of the Presidential Saber, Philippine Army Saber, Management Plaque, Spanish Armed Forces Award-PA, JUSMAG Award, and Social Sciences Plaque.

Twenty-two-year-old Cadet First Class Rotes Gaile Jamandre of Lamut, Ifugao led the three Cordilleran top graduates being fourth in the overall merit roll.

Jamandre, who will join the Army, has been a consistent honor student and a daughter of a farmer and a plain housewife.

Ranked fifth is 22-year-old Cadet 1CL Jeb Belting Bay-an of Sagto, Poblacion, Kabayan, Benguet.

A son of a farmer and a plain housewife, Bay-an is also the recipient of the Australian Defense Best Overall Performance award and the Philippine Air Force Saber for graduating as the best Air Force cadet of the class.

Ranked sixth is 24-year-old Cadet 1CL Catabay Gunnawa Ladyong of Bulanao, Tabuk City Kalinga, who will join the Army. He is also a consistent honor student, and the COY commander of the class.

The other top 10 graduates are Jade Villanueva of Tac-loban City, class salutatorian; Jefferson Salazar of Zamboanga City, third;  Vanelyn Angel Tabao of Tuguegarao City, seventh; June Giel Anne Factor of Ilocos Norte, eighth; Rubenson Abgao of Baroy, Lanao del Norte, ninth; and Dencel Aina Bayaca of Pampanga, 10th.

Four other Cordilleran graduates were also recipients of special awards.

Twenty-one-year-old Cadet 1CL Mary Rose Manganip Alda of Irisan, Baguio City is this year’s female “Tarzan” being the Athletic Saber awardee.

Another 21-year-old female cadet, 1CL Valerie Malidon Salbino of Poblacion, Tuba, Benguet is a recipient of the Department of Tactical Officers’ Plaque.

Cadet 1CL Janri Merch Balingao Santos of Bontoc, Mountain Province, 22, received the Sports and Physical Deve-lopment Plaque.

Cadet 1CL Dexter Buyogan Mamma of Lower Pinget, Baguio City, 24, received the Graduation Awards. 

The PMA Public Affairs Office reported that this year’s class is composed of 173 males and 23 females.

One hundred of them will join the Army, 45 will join the Air Force, and 51 will join the Navy.

Ten members of the class are currently training abroad with three each in the Republic of Korea Military Academy and Australian Defense Force Academy and two each in the Royal Military Academy of Canada and Japan National Defense Academy. – Harley F. Palangchao