DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 March) –Cadet First Class Prince Marenz Regodon Aday of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, number 8 in the 63-member Class “Gabay-Laya” of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), initially wanted to be a civil engineer, and had in fact spent two years at the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City to pursue the course.
But financial constraints forced him to quit school, the 23-year old Aday told MindaNews in a brief interview at the PMA in Baguio City last Wednesday, after attending a forum on the Bangsamoro peace process with government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal.
While out of school, Aday worked in the production section of San Miguel Corporation in his hometown but left after six months when he passed the PMA exam.
MINDANAWON CADETS. Cadet First Class Prince Regodon Aday (center) of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, is the lone Mindanawon among the Top 10 graduates of the Philippine Military Academy Class 2016. Aday is joined by (L to R) Cleah Laride and Leanne Chiongson of Davao City, who are on their 3rd and 2nd year, respectively; and fellow graduates John Gerard Racho of Lanang, Davao City and Christian Allan Paul Bauya, who is also from Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
A graduate of the Sta. Cruz National High School, Aday said he learned about the PMA through his stepfather, an enlisted personnel in the Army. His father died when he was in Grade 6 while his stepfather passed away when he was a plebe at the PMA in 2012.
Aday, who will join the Philippine Navy, said his family — his mother Maritchelle, his sister Martichelle II, 20, and his stepsister Mikeechelle – inspired him to strive harder.
He was looking forward to the arrival of his mother, sisters, an aunt, a cousin and his girlfriend for Sunday’s graduation.
Two other members of the PMA Class 2016 are from Davao: Christian Allan Paul Bauya also of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur and John Gerard Racho of Lanang, Davao City.
Bauya, who will be joining the Army, spent two years at the Cor Jesu College in Digos City as a Criminology student but quit when he passed the PMA exam. Racho, a nurse, is joining the Air Force.
The Philippine Military Academy PMA Class 2016 or Class “Gabay-Laya” started in 2012 with 121 cadets out of 1,120 applicants who passed the 2011 PMA entrance examination. Only 50 of the original class made it to graduation while the 13 others are turned back from previous classes, the Philippine Information Agency reported.
The top ten graduates are Kristian Daeve Abiqui of San Pablo, Isabela (1st); Christine Mae Calima of Bolinao, Pangasinan (2nd); Arby Jurist Cabrera of Cauayan, Isabela (3rd), Joseph Stalin Fagsao of Maddela, Quirino (4th); Jayson Jess Tumitit of Baguio City (5th); Mark Joseph Daria of Bangar, La Union (6th); Cadet Ace Clarianes of Libmanan, Camarines Sur (7th); Prince Regodon Aday of Sta. cruz, Davao del Sur (8th); Bernard Garcia of Labrador, Pangasinan (9th); and Cadet Gerald Gasacao of Meycauayan, Bulacan (10th). (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)