‘Alab Tala’ Class of 2018 Valedictorian Cadet First Class Jaywardene Hontoria, 25, from Iloilo shared how a ‘farm boy’ like him turned to a top product of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) this year.
In his speech, he said that his family urged him to study because they believe in a saying that ‘It’s much lighter to carry a pen than to hold a plow,”
Hontoria recounted that when he acquired his professional license as a nurse, he felt that he’s still not content with his life, so he tried to pursue his true passion and took the PMA entrance exam which he passed.
However, he felt nervous because his family is afraid for the path that he took and he’s the only person in their family who wanted to enter the military.
When he successfully sought the blessing of his family, Hontoria left his hometown to study at the academy located in Baguio.
Despite of the hardship and life full of discipline that he experienced during his life as a cadet, Hontoria survived all of these and became the top of his class.
Before he ended his speech, Hontoria thanked the people who became part of their life as a cadet.
He also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and told the commander-in-chief that the AFP was blessed to have him as their leader.
“For President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, sir thank you. Truly, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is fortunate to have you as our very supportive and loving commander-in-chief.” Hontoria said which followed by an applause by the audience.
He also vowed to serve the people to the best of his ability.
Aside from the Presidential Saber from the President, as well as 10 other rewards, Hontoria also received a house and lot from former Senate President Manny Villar.
This is the first time that a PMA graduate received such a gift from a public official, PMA information officer Lt. Col. Reynaldo Balido said.
He’s also set to marry his girlfriend inside the PMA right after the graduation rights.