July 14, 2024

Second Lieutenant Mary Rose M. Alda of Irisan, Baguio City has joined the elite group of female cavaliers who were conferred the Athletic Saber award in the male-dominated Philippine Military Academy.

The 21-year-old Alda, who traces her roots to Agawa, Besao, Mountain Province, received the Athletic Saber during the graduation rites of the PMA “Masidlawin” Class of 2020 at Fort del Pilar, Baguio City on May 22.

Alda, a junior officer in the Air Force, told the Courier that she is into combat sports such as judo, wushu, Muay Thai, arnis, and jiu jitsu.

The Igorot lass saw action several times in the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League during her cadetship.

The awardee, a daughter of a laborer and an overseas worker, graduated with honors in her secondary education and was a Dean’s Lister when she took up electrical engineering at the University of Baguio before she entered the Academy.

Last year, 2nd Lt. Kimberly Joy Saliw-an of Baculi, Taloctoc in Tanudan, Kalinga was the female Athletic Saber awardee.

The first female recipient of the Athletic Saber is now Maj. Jessie Rose Bucalen, also of Kalinga, who belonged to Banyuhay Class 2002. 

The second female cadet to receive the same award is also an Igorota, now Capt. May Wangdali of Ambasing, Sagada, Mountain Province, and a member of PMA Class 2006.

Another Igorota, Janice Baniaga Matbagan, also of Sagada, was the recipient of the Athletic Saber, aside from ranking sixth in the overall merit roll of PMA Class 2011.

Major Zeporah G. Dalang, who belongs to the Kalanguya group, was the Athletic Saber awardee of PMA Bagwis Class 2012. 

This year’s male recipient of the Athletic Saber is 2nd Lt. Ramon Rico O. Fantonalgo of North Cotabato, who joined the Philippine Army. – Harley F. Palangchao