June 21, 2024

Baguio boy Kevin John Pastrana of Irisan barangay emerged as the salutatorian of the 214-strong members of the Philippine Military Academy “Bagsik-Diwa” Class of 2022 who will graduate at the Borromeo Field, Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City on May 15.

The 22-year-old Pastrana will receive the Vice Presidential Saber, Air Force Saber being the top Air Force cadet, Australian Defense Best Overall Performance plaque, the Information Technology plaque, and the Air Force Professional Courses plaque.

PMA officials announced last week that in-person graduation will take place two years after the ceremonies were done virtually in adherence to health protocols that previously barred gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus that causes the Covid-19.

This year’s graduation ceremonies is also the last time President Rodrigo Duterte, the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, will address the new graduates. 

Apart from usual security measures already implemented prior to the pandemic, guests who enter the PMA to witness the graduation of Bagsik-Diwa (Bagong sibol kinabukasan didigma hanggang sa wakas) Class of 2022 will have to present a vaccination card, a negative RT-PCR test, and negative antigen test which is done on site.

PMA will also livestream via its official Facebook account the graduation ceremonies.

Last May 10, PMA introduced to the media the other top performing cadets and the recipients of special awards.

The graduates will be led by class valedictorian Cadet First Class (1CL) Krystlenn Quemado from Koronadal City, South Cotabato. She will be conferred the Presidential Saber, Philippine Navy Saber, Australian Defense Best Overall Performance Award, Spanish Armed Forces Award, AGFO Award, Jusmag Saber, and Navy Professional Courses Plaque.

The other top 10 cadets are  1CL Ian Joseph Branagancia from Pototan, Iloilo; 1CL Faith Turiano (cum laude), from Nabua, Camarines Sur;  1CL Yyoni Xandria Marie Tiu from Bago Aplaya, Davao City; 1CL Jake Anthony Mosquera (magna cum laude) from Pigcawayan, North Cotabato; 1CL Jesie Mar Frias from Antipolo City, Rizal; 1CL Elvin John Oyo-a from Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte; and 1CL Nerfa Minong and 1CL Crissele Jane Rico, both from Zamboanga City.

To receive the Aguinaldo Saber award and Department of Tactical Officers plaque is 1CL Maryknoll Rhea Cuis from Tanudan, Kalinga.

The Chief of Staff Saber will be conferred to 1CL Dirk Kirl Davalan of Baguio City.

The Journalism Award goes to 1CL Ian Van Gammad of Iguig, Cagayan; the Superintendent’s Saber to 1CL Precious Anne Vergara of Malanday, Valenzuela City; and the Distinguished Cadet Award 1CLs Elaine Marey Paasa of Bonbon, Cagayan De Oro City and Janella Rose Espejo of Tarlac City.

Bagsik-Diwa is composed of 165 males and 49 females.

Among them were 104 Army cadets, 57 Navy midshipmen, and 53 Air Force cadets. The cadets will join their respective branches of service as lieutenants or ensigns. – Rimaliza A. Opiña