ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/11 March) – Five Mindanawon cadets made it to the Top 10 of the Philippine Military Academy’s (PMA) 2015 batch with two Zamboangueños placing second and eighth and a female cadet from Sarangani as the lone woman topnotcher, placing fifth.
Cadet First Class Genesis Salvador Dizon of Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City placed second and will receive the Vice Presidential Saber from Vice President Jejomar C. Binay Sr. Dizon is joining the Army.
Dizon’s townmate Steven Gabica Tali of Barangay Lower Calarian placed eighth. He will join the Navy.
“Zamboanga City is very proud to have two of its sons included in the Top 10 of the Sinag-Lahi PMA Class,” said Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar. She expressed hope that their accomplishments will serve as inspiration to other young Zamboangueños to always aim for the best in everything they do.
Cadet First Class Caroline Jhoy Ramirez Nacional of Maitum, Sarangani placed fifth and will be joining the Army.
Other top Mindanawon cadets are Brian Salise Villanueva of Lagao, General Santos City (9th) and Regeric Rex Rivas Fuentes of Mlang, North Cotabato (10th). Both are joining the Army.
Salazar noted that the life stories of the two Zamboangueño PMA cadets are very inspiring.
Dizon, class salutatorian, was motivated to join the military by his father who served the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for many years.
Dizon was on his second year taking up nursing at the University of the Philippines (UP) when he passed the PMA entrance examination. He finished elementary at the Zion Evangelical School and high school at the Regional Science High School (RSHS) in this city.
Tali is the proud son of a humble fish vendor, who single-handedly sent his four children to school after his wife left him several years ago.
Tali was on his second year at the Western Mindanao State University taking up criminology when he passed the PMA entrance test. He went to the John Spirig School for his elementary and later at the Zamboanga National High School (ZNHS)-West.
Lt. Gen. Oscar Lopez, PMA Superintendent, said this year’s graduating class is composed of 155 males and 16 females with 82 males and 7 females joining the Philippine Army, 39 males and 6 females joining the Philippine Navy and 31 males and 3 females joining the Philippine Air Force.
“The distinction of this class from the other classes before are most of these cadets were scholars and top students in their primary and secondary education prior to becoming cadets in the Academy,” Lopez stressed.
The class valedictorian of the 171-member Sinag-Lahi (Sundalong Isinilang na may Angking Galing at Lakas na Handang Ipaglaban ang Bayan) Class 2015 is Cadet First Class Arwi Chiday Martinez, 21, of Baguio City. Martinez is also joining the Army.
Martinez, will receive the Presidential Saber from President Aquino during the graduation rites on Sunday, March 15, at the PMA’s Borromeo grounds.
The rest of the cadets in the Top 10 are John Paul Atanacio Bacsain of Pili, Camarines Sur (3rd); Paolo Dominic Mantaring Regis of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro (4th); John Denver Salinto Bambico of Naguilian, La Union (6th); Jan Klyde Blair Tendero Danganan of Irisan, Baguio City (7th).