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2018 PMA topnotcher is a nurse and farmer’s son

Updated

By Zaldy Comanda

Baguio City – A registered nurse and farmer’s son from Pavia, Iloilo topped the Philippine Military Academy Alagad ng Lahing Bigkisng Tapang at Lakas (PMA-AlabTala) Class of 2018 and will receive the Presidential Sabre, among other honors, from President Duterte during graduation rites at Fort del Pilar on Sunday.

CREAM OF THE CROP – Cadet First Class Jaywardene Gelilea Hontoria (left), the valedictorian of PMA Class of 2018, is joined by other topnotchers: Cadets First Class Ricardo Liwaden, Jun-Jay Castro, Leonore Japitan, Mark Dacillo, Jezaira Buenaventura, Jessie Laranang, Paolo Briones, Jayson Cimatu and Micah Reynaldo, and special awardees Jasm Marie Alcoriza and Christian Olarte. (Zaldy Comanda)

CREAM OF THE CROP – Cadet First Class Jaywardene Gelilea Hontoria (left), the valedictorian of PMA Class of 2018, is joined by other topnotchers: Cadets First Class Ricardo Liwaden, Jun-Jay Castro, Leonore Japitan, Mark Dacillo, Jezaira Buenaventura, Jessie Laranang, Paolo Briones, Jayson Cimatu and Micah Reynaldo, and special awardees Jasm Marie Alcoriza and Christian Olarte. (Zaldy Comanda)

AlabTala Class has 282 members – 207 male and 75 female. Of these, 143 will join in Philippine Army, 71 will join the Philippine Air Force while 58 will join the Philippine Navy.

As Class valedictorian, Cadet First Class Jaywardene Balilea Hontoria will also receive 11 awards during the graduation rites.

Aside from the Presidential Saber, Hontoria will also receive the Chief of Staff Saber, Philippine Navy Saber, Academic group award, Australian Defense best overall performance award, Spanish Armed Forces award, Humanities plaque, Natural Sciences plaque, Social Sciences plaque, JUSMAG award and the Department of leadership award.

Hontoria’s father, Oscar is a farmer in Iloilo while his mother, Nancy is a housewife.

Before entering the academy, Hontoria earned a nursing degree at West Visayas State University   and joined the Philippine Coast Guard for three months.

Hontoria is joining the Navy.

In his last year at the PMA, he was Brigade Commander.

“As a Brigade Commander they look up to you, so you have to claim that you are their leader. If you are given a job just do your job,” he said.

Top ranks

Ranking second is Cadet First Class Ricardo Witawit Liwaden, 24 of Barlig, Mountain Province, who will be receiving the Vice Presidential saber, Philippine Army saber, sports and physical development plaque, tactics group award, and athletic saber.

The son of a farmer and a retired teacher, Liwaden took up Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Baguio before entering the academy.

Ranked No. 3 is Cadet First Class Jun-Jay Malazzab Castro, 23 of Amulung, Cagayan, who will receive the Secretary of National Defense saber.

Cadet First Class Leonore Andrea Carino Japitan, 21 of Butuan City (Rank 4) will receive a management plaque.

On Rank 5 is Zamboanga City’s Cadet First Class Mark Dacillo, followed by Cadet First Class Jezaira Laquinon Buenventura (Rank 6), 22 of  Bais City, Negros Oriental who will receive the Department of Tactical Officers plaque, Aguinaldo saber and the Distinguished Cadet award.The top seven cadet is Cadet First Class Jessie Antonio Laranang, 22 of San Clemente, Tarlac.  He will  receive the Philippine Air Force saber.

Other graduating top ten cadets are Cadet First Class Paolo Balla Briones, 20 (Rank 8) of Baguio City, Cadet First Class Jayson Raymundo Cimatu, 24 (Rank 9) of Casiguran, Aurora and Cadet First Class Micah Quiambao Reynaldo, 22 (Rank 10) of Bamban, Tarlac, who will also receive the Australian Defense Best Overall Performance award.

Those who will receive special awards are Cadet First Class Christian Michael Olarte Peña, 26 of Legazpi City, Albay (Journalism Award) and Cadet First Class Jasm Marie M. Alcoriza, 24 of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental (athletic saber).

PMA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Donato San Juan said the training regimen in the academy prepared the cadets academically, physically and psychologically.

“We expect no less from them when they are assigned in the field,” San Juan said.

The Alab Tala class originally had 346 members who reported in April 2014 out of the 21,571 applicants as PMA cadets during that year. (With a report from Francis T. Wakefield)

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