A female cadet, who is the daughter of a teacher and farmer from Echague, Isabela, is the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Masidlawin Class of 2020 valedictorian.
The 25-year-old Cadet First Class Gemalyn Sugui ranked number one over 200 other graduates. Sugui is also a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Management Economics degree from the University of the Philippines Baguio.
Among her awards are the Presidential Saber, the Achievement Award for Academic Excellence, the JUSMAG Award, the Philippine Army Saber, the Spanish Armed Forces Award, the Social Sciences Plaque, the Management Plaque, and the Rule of Law Award, the PMA said.
“Siguro may plano ang Diyos bakit nilagay Niya ako sa position na ito kahit na hindi ko man ito pinagdarasal na makuha, binigay Niya sa akin kasi kaya ko,” Sugui said in a taped interview.
(Maybe the Lord has a plan, which is why he gave me this even if I didn’t pray for it. Maybe He gave it to me because he knows I can handle it.)
PMA Superintendent Admiral Allan Ferdinand Cusi said that due to the COVID-19 crisis, PMA’s graduation rites would not be open to the public, even to the family and loved ones of the graduates.
“I believe this is a necessary decision in order to safeguard the health and general well-being of the CCAFP (Cadet Corps, Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the whole PMA community,” he said in a statement.
“As a parent, I know how heartbreaking and disappointing that decision is, but we have to do what is best for all. Safety and health are paramount at all times,” he added.
Of the 23 female cadets and 173 male cadets of Masidlawin Class, 100 will join the Philippine Army, 45 will go to the Philippine Air Force and 51 to the Philippine Navy, said the PMA.
Top 10 PMA class of 2020
The Masidlawin Class’s top 10 includes 5 women and 3 cadets from the Cordilleras. They are:
- Cadet First Class Jade Villanueva from Tacloban City
- Cadet First Class Jefferson Salazar from Zamboanga City
- Cadet First Class Rotes Gaile Jamandre from Lamut, Ifugao
- Cadet First Class Jeb Bay-an from La Trinidad, Benguet
- Cadet First Class Catabay Ladyong from Tabuk, Kalinga
- Cadet First Class Vanelyn Angel Tabao from Tuguegarao City
- Cadet First Class June Giel Anne Factor from Piddig, Ilocos Norte
- Cadet First Class Rubenson Abgao Maliwanag Baroy, Lanao del Norte
- Cadet First Class Dencel Aina Bayaca of Floridablanca, Pampanga