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Sunday, December 4, 2011

My PMA Cadet Years (Fourth Class) - Rotting Hell Week and Initiation Day

September begun with “Baguio Day”. We had no classes since our battalion was included in the parade and we plebes were left to few upperclassmen.  Good start, as you may say, but that was when we needed to be extra careful with our actions for as “Recognition Day” was nearing... endorsements and other misfortunes (as we termed it “kamalasan”) were usually rampant.

Good thing, the academy  had a lot of various activities scheduled in the week until our “Initiation Day”... we still had our academics, Saturday Inspection, sports fest, Sunday services, and meetings with our academy stationed officers.  And still, we were usually asked by our upperclassmen to report to them in athletic uniform every after our classes for another “masi-masi” (series of physical exercises) session... sometimes, even after taps I was visited by upperclassmen... I just couldn’t figure out if they liked me that much that they couldn’t last a day without seeing me or it might be that they wanted me to quit already (LOL).

I also learned that week that a squad mate was resigning and our tactical officer asked me to send her a letter... it’s a blessing in disguise for me, you see, if she resigned then all her mistah will put the blame on me and my squad mates... and I couldn’t let that happen... well, I guess the letter was effective coz she graduated (hehe).

But, not all were obstacles, as I’ve said we were also in our sports fest month... and we had been practicing for weeks for our platoon run to prepare ourselves for an endurance run... and it actually paid off, 11th of September, we started the race as a platoon at Camp John Hay and reached as a platoon at PMA... from 8 companies, we finished 2nd place that day... my very first “minor A” (an athletic recognition).

Well, after the rotting “load and load” (eat til you drop, literally) in the mess hall... the almost endless “masi-masi”... the sleepless nights of reporting to upperclassmen... the extreme trotting, double time, chinning-in and head-ups... all the humiliations and hardships... 

...we came to the finale... hours before “Initiation Day”.  It was 15th of September, and the upperclassmen saved the best for last... it was the day, I hated food so much (sorry Lord)... it’s just that I had never took such amount of food in my life... “load and load” as they limit, I vomited every after meal... no matter how much I tried not to...  and before we knew, we already were asked to change to athletic uniform for another “masi-masi” session... talking about being pushed to the limit... while our upperclassmen were maximizing...

... then a bugle call sounded indicating the initiation proper had arrived.  The weather cooperated with the activity, it was starting to rain when we marched off to Borromeo field... not knowing what to expect but we were already tougher back then, what could be worse than being a plebe.  We started off by running 2 rounds in the field, maybe just to loosen up and calm down our nerves (hehe)... it was followed by an inspirational talk from our commandant and superintendent... then the alma mater song that really made our spirits high.  As the upperclassmen positioned themselves in their designated places, a horn sounded... there and then the task was revealed, we need to go through the 8 companies performing different exercises given to us... from push-ups to squat thrusts... jumping jacks, sit-ups, mountain climbing and so on... we just stopped and transferred to the next company as the horn sounded.  During the course, some upperclassmen especially former squad mates in the summer camp already gave their recognition... And finally reaching our own company upperclassmen as they formed a long line of human tunnel which we had crawled into... and it was done...

... As far as I could remember, no one bogged down... the rain that day really helped us a lot... for me, it’s a way of the Lord showing me His blessings that day...

We then had an evening boodle fight in the mess hall, followed by a long sleepless night of preparation for the following big day...  though exhausted, I remembered I just took a nap for a couple of minutes in the sink, that’s how busy we all were back then... But I’m no longer thinking of rest or what my body felt... I was just proud that I did not only survive the “hell week”... but my whole plebehood days... and was just looking forward for our recognition day... Yahweh bless.

Previous Related Post:  FTX, Chickenpox and Academics


  1. uy PMAer din erpat ko :)

  2. sir are you already in service the pictures looks old

  3. hirap pala ng pinagdaraanan ng mga PMAers. My high school classmate was a cadet of PMA.

  4. Was that this year? Or several years ago? BTW, have you seen the mural at the reception at PMA? That was the work of my stepfather. :)

  5. I went up to Baguio to visit a friend when "she" was a plebe - didn't recognize her at all...reading your posts makes me remember all those magazines sent to me...haha boodles, femme, familiar words.

  6. I have heard a couple of stories about PMA. Great post and it really brings back a lot of treasured memories. Good thing you still kept your old pictures of those very memorable days. Cheers! :)

  7. Ala your a PMAer pala. Ayus ah. Mukang mahirap talaga ang training buti hindi ako nagtuloy. hehe.

  8. I'm on 4th yr highschool and many of my boy classmates plans to enter PMA. sana makaya nila lahat ng 'to. I guess after PMA they will be more disciplined.

  9. your post reminds me of one of my childhood dream of marrying a PMer, a pilot or a lawyer . But as the saying goes ,we don't always get what we want.Well at least I have pilot and lawyer in my family members.

  10. It's really good to know that Ralph.Thanks for sharing.During my college years I was once dreaming to be in PMA but I when I meet my GF it change

  11. Another Ayer story. I really like it when you tell us stories about your experiences there at the Academy. It inspires me a lot. Wiwo!