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Friday, May 24, 2013

My PMA Cadet Years (Yearling) - Combative Subjects

March 1997

Although, there were cadets lucky enough to encounter advance math subject like Calculus in their college years, I was one of those who considered it as a "combative subject"... to describe it, let's just say that my brains seems like having a wrestling match with it.

Back then, I just finished battling and eventually won my fight against Differential Calculus, and immediately I faced a new opponent named Integral Calculus.  And in order to continue my cadetship, I needed to survive the subject.  Since the subject was just somewhat the opposite or reversal in computation of the previous one, it became a little easy for me (still hard but at least I already had a background).  Been passing the lesson and unit examinations.

The Sunday privileges really helped in coping up with the pressure.  I would usually go to my foster parents to enjoy the company of my siblings.  Watching movies or just roaming around their place... eased up the pressure of academics and gave me the opportunity to breath some fresh air... ha ha ha.  Though sometimes we also had free times from academics during the weekdays, but as cadets, we also had other duties to perform (i.e. guard details, drills and exercises, household chores, looking after our underclass, etc.).  So there's no other perfect place to relax but home.

11- Clash of the Classes.  It was a yearly event where classes compete with each other in games.  That year, the classes of 1997 (1st class), 1998 (2nd class), 1999 (our class), and 2000 (4th class) had a friendly competition.  Sort of a remembrance to the graduating class, for the last time playing with them as cadets, for the following days, they would already be busy with the drills for the graduation ceremony and back to back orientations as soon to be young officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  By the way, our class finished 3rd... some say, "vault files"... I say, everything's fair and square, it's just a coincidence.

Spectating the games...
12 to15-  Overall, it was a good week for me.  I had my 2 major A patched at De Leon's (our local tailoring shop inside PMA); I received genuine handmade paper mails from friends (internet based mails were not yet that rampant during my stay); I was visited by friends from Manila (cadets seldom have one); and excused from Saturday inspection and parade (for academic purposes).  It was indeed then a good week for me.

16-  Graduation of Kalasag-Lahi Class of '97- As a trivia: It was their class where female cadets were first accepted in PMA.  They served as our squad leaders when we entered the academy.  And their time as cadets came to an end as they pave way to their military career.  As a cadet tradition called "dunking", all underclassmen met them after their graduation and we carried them towards the fountain near the sundial of the PMA headquarters.  Tossing them in the pool was our way of greeting them our congratulations and bidding our good luck as new officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

A typical 2nd class cadet dress coat...
18 to 26-  Wrestling with Integral Calculus.  We had a series of match up, lesson and unit examinations... and eventually the finals.  Good thing I successfully defended my title as cadet  (ha ha ha).  I won.  I had my chevrons moved from my elbow to my shoulders... additional stripes in my uniform... and insignia from yellow to red.  Finally done with my yearling years and into my cow years (3rd year or 2nd class).

Also, within the days, we had our 2nd classmen re-barracks in the barrio for the preparation of the incoming "plebe detail".  The Navy-Airforce group were the first ones handling the plebes (newcomers), as the Army group (which consist, more or less, half of our class) were on their orientation/training course.

27 to 30-  But before anything else, I had my well-deserved vacation.  Here's how it was spend:  Scrammed from Baguio in the 27th at 1900H; reached Manila the following day at 0100H and slept at a mistah's (classmate) house, then, went to our province and stayed overnight at my grandparent's house; after meeting my "mga kababata" (childhood friends), on the 29th I returned to Manila to travel back to Baguio and stayed with my foster parents until the following day... which was Easter Sunday, by the way.

31-  Back to barracks.  As I arrived, we had another re-rooming, as needed.  It was easier though than transferring our stuffs from barracks to barracks.  All the hassle for that moment, in our final preparation for the coming of Class 2001.

Recent Related Post: Surviving Academics


  1. It's a very nostalgic post. Amazing how you can still remember everything in detail. :) I probably have the magazines to remember these stories. ;)

  2. PMA harness both physical and mental - luv reading your cadet years bro

  3. Wow! What an inspiring recall for a PMA graduate. It serves as an inspiration for PMA cadets

  4. This story gives good insight on what it is like to be a cadet. Great story!

  5. What a hectic week phew! glad you made them all :-) This reminds me of my C A T back in high school but I know it is not close of what you are dealing with :-)

  6. PMA training is both physical and mental training and toughness but I'm sure every struggle was worth the learning.

  7. whew! are you having a throwback thursday? hihihi. calculus is just really mean.

  8. Looks like you had a very fruitful PMA Cadet years. Cheers to you!

  9. Nostalgia at its best. :) And I miss Baguio suddenly, reading all these accounts of yours. :/