1- Given a normal condition, the new class entering PMA is always scheduled to begin on the first day of April. The acceptance of new recruits in the academy is called the "reception". As to the arrival of the class of 2001, our class was officially elevated to the 2nd class rank. And we took the role of handling the plebes' (new recruits) "summer camp". I was designated as squad leader of 6 plebes (namely: Cdts. Angeles, Enriquez, Estrada, Panerio, Rodriguez, and Rosete) and 3 yearlings (Cdts. Melo, Suarez and Arojo) back then. I've given it in detail to make it obvious that I have kept a journal and was not relying in my memory alone.
2- Usually, if you got carried away with the shouting in the reception, you lose your voice. That's what happened to me, got no voice the whole day. Good thing no one messed up in my squad that day. Also, my squad showed good potential in their stamina in running... everyone conquered the preliminary 3 rounds Borromeo field run without breaking a sweat (idiomatically speaking).
5- In the Saturday Inspection, cadets should be at their best: properly shined metal parts and shoes, clean and well-ironed uniform, well shaved, in good posture and condition... in short and simple language: snappy overall. And the upperclassmen (the squad leaders and their assistants) should be the role model... for in leading, how can you tell your men to do something properly if you can't do it yourself? Well, most of the time, the plebes got the corrections from the officers inspecting the ranks. We took notes of their violations and taught them the proper ways, so they would do better next time. One's squad performance reflects what kind of leadership they have.
9 to 26- Plebes' Training. We used exaggeration in molding our plebes back then. Head up, chin in, brace up, stomach in, march higher and faster than the usual pace, use peripheral vision, fixing things like an OC (Obsessive-Compulsive) person in the fastest way, memorizing lots of things (names, menus, and other plebe knowleges), and the never ending "masi-masi" (physical exercises conducted by an upperclassman)... apart from their basic military training course, were just part of plebes usual day. These were not made just for inconvenience purposes. It helped develop cadet's good posture even in a relaxed stage, sharper mind, stronger body and keener senses.
|A pose before "commence exercise...".|
Foot March. Through my years in the academy, the series of foot marches might still be of the same destinations but each time was a unique experience. For at that moment, we were the ones leading the troops and directly responsible for their welfare.
|Tired but all smiles for the shot...|
|The ones smiling were upper class cadets.|
|Having lunch with my squad.|
Birthday. I celebrated my birthday in the academy the third time. We had this tradition of plebes (or the lowest ranking in the corps) carrying upperclassmen during victories and celebrations (such as birthdays, graduations, etc.) to the rooms of his mistah(s) or classmates, where the latter could do anything (from tickling to putting shaving cream in your face, etc.) as greeting for such event. Then the plebes proceed in dunking the celebrator to a drum filled with water or fountain (for 1st class cadets). It was a very uncomfortable experience... but tradition is tradition... hehehe.
27- Turnover Ceremony. I belonged to the first plebe detail (Navy-Air Force group). It was our turn then to have our hands on training for our chosen branch of service. And it's the Army's group turn to handle the plebes.
28- It was the start of our Southern Cruise. It was sort of an on-the-job training for second class cadets. We met the FOIC (Flag Officer in Command) in the Headquarters of the Philippine Navy (PN) at Roxas Boulevard. Then went to Cavite, aboard PF11 Raja Humabon (PN ship), where our lectures were held.
29- First time that we wore our working khaki in a field duty. It was something we don't usually wear as cadets. The uniforms were specifically designed for cadets who's joining the Philippine Navy. We were always been mistaken as commissioned officers by enlisted personnel since the only difference we had with them were our PMA insignias.
30- We were given our first "liberty" and spent it with the company of some mistah(s). It was really an advantage that where ever we go, there was always a mistah (classmate) living nearby, serving as our guide in the place and if lucky enough, a home to stay for the night. Yahweh bless.
Recent Related Post: Combative Subjects