June 20, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

This year’s male Athletic Saber awardee of the Philippine Military Academy Bagong Sinag Class of 2024 is a footballer from Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Newly commissioned Army 2nd Lt. Jake Matiw received the Athletic Saber together with his counterpart, Air Force 2nd Lt. Camille Joy Poblete of Solana, Cagayan, the female Athletic Saber awardee, during PMA graduation rites on May 18 at Fort del Pilar, Baguio City.

ATHLETIC SABER AWARDEES — Multi-sports athlete and former football player, newly commissioned Army 2nd Lt. Jake Matiw of Bontoc, Mountain Province and former Cagayan State University volleyball varsity player, Air Force 2nd Lt. Camille Joy Poblete of Solana, Cagayan received the Athletic Saber awards for their excellence in physical education and sports while training at the Philippine Military Academy during the graduation rites on May 18 at Fort del Pilar, Baguio City. — Ofelia Empian

The Athletic Saber recognizes male and female cadets who have shown prowess in their physical education grades and athleticism throughout their stay in the academy. 

Matiw said in his elementary and high school years, he played football as a forward striker representing Mountain Province at the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (Caraa) Meet.

When he entered the PMA, he began delving into various sports such as combat, baseball, and marathon until he found his niche in multi-sports events and obstacle course racing.

He has joined various 10-kilometer and 21-km marathons, Spartan races, and competed in different aquathlon and duathlon events in Pampanga where he hit the podium in the elite categories.

Poblete, meanwhile, was a former volleyball varsity player of Cagayan State University prior to entering PMA.

As part of the PMA, she was looking forward to representing the academy in the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League (BBEAL) for volleyball but the pandemic halted the games.

“But this year, since naging medyo open na, nakapaglaro kami sa BBEAL but we still lacked the training,” Poblete said.

She also joined the arnis club and was the cadet-in-charge for the arnis course squad due to her prowess.

Matiw and Poblete said sports was more of a respite for both of them from the ri- gorous educational and physical training they receive from the premiere military institution.

But due to their excellence in various sports and in showing their individual and leadership skills through the various sports activities inside and outside the academy, they were lauded for it.