October 31 and it was November, we were again "Kings of Barracks". The term is used when a class dominates and left in-charge of the academy since almost all upperclassmen are all on leave... which normally happens during long holidays or semestral breaks. It was a short break but cadets usually go home to their provinces just to spend time with their families, privilege which we rarely had. Some upperclassmen already returned on November 2, to avoid being "slugged" (punished) for returning late from leave. Being late is sluggable (grave) offense in PMA, which means demerits and "touring hours". Touring by the way is a punishment given to cadets having grave offenses where they were obliged and bound to serve certain number of hours (depending on the offense committed) of walking with their rifle simultaneously, along the quadrangle or a designated location during their vacant periods. More, they were not allowed to go on vacation or enjoy certain privileges other cadets have.
On the contrary, PMA wasn't always serious stuff, we also had lots of fun activities and acquaintances. Nearing mid November, it was my first time to see a musical play. Saint Louis University invited us to watch their rendition of "The Sound of Music", which after we had the opportunity to meet the stars of the show. Also, as part of our sociology class, we had a couple of film showing from foreign to local movies. It was big deal to us, since we were deprived of having such privileges as plebes. Then came a "hop" on the later part of the month. It was our first cadet hop.
A cadet's hop is sort of an invitational dance usually held inside the PMA. It may be casual as a dance party or may also be formal as a ball, really depends on the occasion. Cadets are usually given time to invite their friends or on-the-spot acquaintances (LOL) from Baguio City a day before the hop. On the day of the hop, cadets are then given the opportunity to escort their drag (date) from their house to the academy. And at the end of the hop (usually after midnight), cadets are given privilege to escort their drags back to their houses... just like a perfect gentlemen (haha). Haven't thought in the case of women cadets though, maybe its just the same.Oh well, after that night, I posted as a sentinel 3a.m. the following day. Roughly, I had an hour of sleep... I guess that's hows life back then. The month ended well, with another holiday and we were all busy preparing for the "Barrio Fiesta", another colorful PMA tradition... And I'll tackle it among others in my next PMA memoirs' post. Yahweh bless.
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