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Thursday, January 3, 2013

My PMA Cadet Years (Yearling) - Vacation, Privileges And Mass Leave

October 1996

1 to 5 - Our flight bookings were handled by PMA, and plane tickets were handed to us.  Very convenient, as it would take a day or two doing the same.    And then at last I reached Davao City early of the very first day of the month.  There were just a lot of things running on my mind back then, things I wanted to do which I had to accomplish in a 5-day period, I couldn't even decide if I'd include sleeping in the schedule.

After a long period of not able to go home, I maximized my very limited time catching up with friends and family, dating friends and making courtesy calls to some cavaliers or PMA alumni.   I also took the opportunity of meeting some of my "barkada" or dear friends in college before I entered the academy.  Unexpectedly, the meet made it possible for me to get acquainted with someone whom I'm calling my wife today.  You really wouldn't know what life has in stored for you, a total stranger at a point in time not knowingly would be your lifetime partner in the future.


I chose my scheduled return flight in the evening of my last stay, which was the day before termination of  leave.  For me, it was the most comfortable time to travel to Baguio;  arrived late in the evening in Manila, then rode a bus in Victory Liner station, traveled and slept for 6 hours (no traffic yet considering I started traveling more or less at midnight or early dawn), and still had time to have a breakfast in the city before going back to barracks.  And in the following day, academics started and my usual cadet life continued...

14 - PMA Commissary - Cadets walk quite a distance from their barracks just to reach this place during their free time, and I was no exception.  Why?  Simple first answer: boodles.  Aside from food (snacks), we also bought our personal stuffs here.  The advantage was, if we got short of cash, we could charge it to our account by simply signing in a voucher.

Located beside our station hospital, it was actually composed of small stalls, different businesses but compliment each other.  Aside from snack houses, there was a photograph shop, delivery and long distance call shop, eye wear center, gadgets, RTW's and more.  I remembered one store in particular, Bilsamera, where the "manang" or old lady in-charge became a friend.  I would always buy civilian shirt and jeans there or memorabilia items with Baguio trademarks as gifts for friends given at a good price.  Missed the place.  If I'll return to PMA, something I won't forget to pass by.

19 and 20 - Just a trivia, the term "privilege" is an opportunity given to upperclassmen cadets to go to places outside the academy but usually just within the vicinity of Baguio City.  Provided, however, that the cadet is not deficient in any subject, no existing punishment tours, and generally no duties or incoming duties that require him to be inside PMA.  As to duration, it is shorter than vacation and leave, just a day or two.  And normally given during Saturdays and Sundays.

Since we had a hectic schedule and confined within the premises of the academy, we used these times to roam around Baguio City and if lucky, being invited by our mistah(s) or squadmates when they visit their family.  These days, in particular, we visited a squadmate's aunt and attended a foster-sis' birthday the following day.  Might just be simple events, but it helped me a lot in easing the stiff life of being a cadet.  Pressure released... again human... hahaha.

26 - Being a cadet, it's always been an honor to be visited by special friends.  So when we were then surprised by a visit from our friends in Manila whom I already treat as my family, we really cleared or made the necessary exchanges in our schedules to accompany them and made their stay worthwhile.  But I had no worries, they knew a lot of my "mistah", it was not a problem finding someone to entertain them.  Being friendly really pays.

31- The month ended in a mass leave for the upcoming holidays.  I decided to go with an upperclassman to visit their place in San Fernando, La Union.  I thought it was impractical to go home for such a very limited time.  And, I've never been to the place, I was actually curious to see it, back then.  Yahweh bless.


Recent Related Post:  Punishment Tours And Other Hurdles

25 comments:

  1. wow, how's life being a cadet? good thing, you have flight incentive to meet your family and friends.

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  2. It's good that there's also time to relax in PMA after all, it's a very hectic schedule.

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  3. I was able to visit the PMA in Baguio last summer, but we were not able to go inside sigh because some of the kids were wearing a tsinelas. It has been so much fun for you there obviously. :)

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  4. I'm sure you had a time of your life during those years.. it has molded you to be you and I'm sure you're never the same again!

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  5. i always find it really weird looking at old photographs, it gives me goosebumps and I don't know why lol.
    wow, PMA k pla. I've joined the ROTC club in high school and I consider myself very lucky to be able to survive the training that we had. I can not imagine being in a true camp, with true firearms and true (scary) officers. Though i enjoyed those days.

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  6. You have one of the most colorful episodes of lives, literally and figuratively.

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  7. What a beautiful well spent vacation with family and friends :-) I am glad that you spent precious moments with your loved-ones :-)

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  8. Is being a cadet a requirement for school, or is it a career you've chosen? Please enlighten me. What's a cadet meaning and purpose to the society?

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  9. PMA wow. I used to dream of being a soldier but I guess I have another calling. I salute you for being part of this great institution.

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  10. When I was still taking the bus to and from Baguio, I also use the midnight trip for the same reason that you do, no traffic.

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  11. wow! those memories and things you experience before sure is helping you a lot now to be a good person. xx

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  12. Time is always limited.It is not easy to be in the PMA, time is gold.

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  13. The curious life of a cadet!
    But then it is never wasted, all this discipline is designed to make you the person that you are now.

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  14. Our nation will be proud of you. Keep and apply what your learn from that institution. Be careful though because there are dark motives among the political entities. I am glad you did it!

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  15. I'm sure you have made the most out of your yearly vacations after a hectic school year.

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  16. Never been a PMA but all branches of the AFP enjoy the same vacation privileges. Correct me if I'm wrong. Kasi sa Sea Bees ganyan din ang ibinibigay nila.

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  17. I'm sure you had a good time during those vacation days while in the PMA.. di pa uso ang Facebook nun dba? :)

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  18. It always amuses me to know that we bloggers come in all walks of life. It seems surreal that somehow I know someone who's a soldier! :D Anyway, thanks for sharing with us your precious memories.

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  19. My husband is an Air Force, and during his training, I visited him a lot coz' I am worried all the time.

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  20. I enjoy stories like these that tell of past personal experiences as they give me real insight about the writer.

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  21. Great memories and experiences brother. Nice to know that you really made your PMA years a worthwhile and nice to remember experience.

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  22. What's your career move after this? Was it your choice to enter PMA? Just asking coz I know a friend who was somehow forced by his family to enter PMA, but he ended up entering a different field altogether after graduating

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  23. I must say that those were the best time of your life! Have a great LIFE :)

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  24. Being in PMA is actually a dream for some. I believe it is as difficult as with others. Good luck and Im sure you are very fulfilled with your chosen path.

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