Thursday, March 02, 2006

PMA amidst a chaotic political scenario

Last Friday, the President announced a National State of Emergency. The news did not reach the cadets until about lunch time when some of the instructors were able to share some of the news. By noon time, the Superintendent dined with the whole Corps, somehow we knew what was coming. Even when he was Commandant of Cadets, he always went to the mess hall and talked personally to the cadets whenever issues of importance come out. When the issue that the cadets walked out en masse allegedly in support of BGen Gudani, he allowed the press people to enter the mess hall during noon mess, talked to the Corps and asked the state of the morale of the cadets... the answer was of course a resounding "High Morale, sir." He even bragged to our Australian visitors at that time how good we, cadets, go on parade emphasizing that we are BETTER than them and that they can not complain because they are in his turf and that he is a general... hehehe. And so in Friday, he was there in the mess hall, he asked all of us to go near the OC's porch (it's actually a stage in front of the mess hall) and talked to us lake any commander would do to appraise the state of his men. He placed emphasis in the chain of command with the words "Follow the chain of command, study, study and study; Leave politics to the politicians." He gave specific instruction for us not to wear the usual BDA (Battle Dress Attire, fatigues to the civilians) as customary when the alert level is on red to normalize the situation in PMA. That night, as Manila was in chaos, the Cadet Corps was watching dancing scholars from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) giggling as the beautiful dancers were strutting their tinikling, pandanggo sa ilaw and other clutural dances. To top it all, the Superintendent himself wowed the crowd when he danced the tinikling. During his speech, he was still panting after the dance number but was able to regain his composure, even joking that the chaperone of the ladies should watch out for their dancers, they do not know what cadets can do causing the whole crowd to laugh out loud. The next day was the usual saturday inspection, our visitors? The dancers who entertained us the night before. By noon mess, the dancers dined with the Corps and again in the speech of the Superintendent he gave specific instruction to the cadets sitting beside the dancers to do the vaultfiles. The next day was the Close Order Drill Competition where Charlie Company became the surprise victor, sadly my company was again the goat... for the nth time. And then back to classes.

The point of narrating all these it so assure the public that the Philippine Military Academy, especially the cadets are not affected by the chaos that is happening in our capital. Not that we are not concerned because we are... very much concerned. We talk about it, watch the news, even wait for our turn to read the newspaper. But as the Superintendent always said, our mandate as cadets is to study and that is what we will do. Our commander tells us to maximize the last two weeks of Academics and as professional soldiers we are doing just that. PMA is still the country's bastion of Courage, Integrity and Loyalty and rest assured when the cloud is clear, we will be proud to graduate from this halls fully equipped to tread the right path towards a lifetime of selfless service to God, country and people. I hope that those who read this will spread the word. Let us do our individual roles, let us not involve ourselves with issues beyond us. Let us all work for this country not against it.

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