Issue of March 12, 2017
Mt. Province

66th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Benguet lass raises Igorot pride at PMA
by Harley F. Palangchao

Cadet 1CL Eda Glis B. Marapao

A female cadet from Benguet raised the banner for the Cordillera at the country’s premier military institution for ranking 3rd in the top 10 of the graduating 167-strong members of the Philippine Military Academy Salaknib Class of 2017.

Navy Cadet First Class Eda Glis Buansi Marapao of Buguias, Benguet will also be commissioned officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during graduation rites this morning, March 12, with President Rodrigo Duterte as guest of honor and speaker.

Born on March 5, 1996, Marapao is the youngest member of the class at age 21. She would be the most senior female officer when she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 55 on March 5, 2051.

“To graduate from PMA alone is an honor to most of us, but to be in a top 10 is something that we cherish. We are humbled (by the award) and it motivates us to excel in military service,” said the 21-year-old lass who is a recipient of the Secretary of National Defense Saber and with an academic distinction of cum laude.

Marapao is the daughter of Helen Buansi, a Kankanaey from Buguias and retired M/Sgt. Edgar Marapao from Misamis Occidental.

The soon to be Navy ensign was born in Buguias where she finished her elementary education at Lengaoan Elementary School before pursuing her secondary education at Benguet State University-Secondary Laboratory School as class salutatorian.

She was a first year Civil Engineering student at Saint Louis University when her father finally convinced her to take the PMA entrance examination leading her to join the original 260 members of PMA Class 2017.

Growing up from a farming community in Buguias, Marapao, the eldest of four siblings, urged Cordilleran youth to pursue their dream of a better life through education.

The last time a female Cordilleran joined the elite ranks of PMA topnotchers was in 2013 when then Cadet First Class Mayram D. Balais of La Trinidad, Benguet ranked 6th in her class.

Since the Academy opened its doors to women in 1994, female Cordilleran cadets have excelled in most aspects of training and academics at PMA.

Major Jessie Rose Bucalen of Kalinga is the first female cadet to receive the prestigious Athletic Saber in 2002, breaking the record of the more than 100-year-old institution.

The second female cadet to receive the same award was also an Igorota, now 1st Lt. May Wangdali of Ambasing, Sagada, Mountain Province, a member of PMA Class 2006.

Another Igorota, Janice Baniaga Matbagan, also of Sagada, was the recipient of the Athletic Saber aside from ranking 6th in the overall merit roll of PMA Class 2011.

In 2012, Zeporah G. Dalang, who belongs to the Kalanguya ethnic group, was the Athletic Saber awardee of her class.

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