Issue of March 18, 2018
Mt. Province

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75 graduating female cadets is highest in PMA since 1993
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Women power continues to make its presence felt in the once male-dominated Philippine Military Academy.

Aside from the rare feat of graduating its class baron as valedictorian, the PMA Alab Tala (Alagad ng Lahing Binigkis ng Tapang at Lakas) Class of 2018 is making history as well in marching 75 female cadets out of 282 graduates – the highest since the premier military school started admitting women in 1993 – at the Borromeo Fields during their commencement exercises today, March 18.

Four of them are also among the batch’s cream of the crop, with three cadettes finishing in the top 10 graduate and one achieving a graduation award.

They are Cadets First Class Leonore Andrea C. Apitan of Ambago, Butuan City who ranked fourth; Jesaira L. Buenaventura of Bais City, Negros Oriental, No. 6; and Micah Q. Reynaldo, who finished 10th.

CFC Jasm Marie M. Alcoriza is one of this year’s Athletic Saber awardees along with CFC Ricardo W. Liwaden, who is the class salutatorian.

Apitan is also receiving the Management Plaque, while Buenaventura is graduating with the Department of Tactical Officers Plaque, the Aguinaldo Saber, and the Distinguished Cadet Award (Starman) for being in the Dean’s List for two terms during the year and Commandant’s List for three terms during the year.

Aside from being in the 10th place, Aguinaldo is having the Australian Defence Best Overall Performance Award-Philippine Air Force.

All three top women were academic achievers either in college or high school for being in the Dean’s List or With Honors.

Last year’s PMA graduation was heralded by two historic events when Cadet Rovi Martinez of Cabanatuan City topped the Salaknib Class of 2017, and for having eight women in the top 10.

Two other cadettes from the class were special awardees.

Sixty-three of the 167 graduates of that year were females, the highest until this year.

PMA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Donato San Juan said the military institution maintains its policy that at least 20 percent of the PMA cadet corps is female.

He said cadets are ranked according to their academic performance, conduct, and physical fitness.

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