An Ilonggo registered nurse is the valedictorian of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Alab-Tala” (Alagad ng Lahing Binigkis ng Tapang) Class of 2018 and will receive various honors in graduation rites on Sunday.
Jaywardene Hontoria, 25, is set to join the Philippine Marine Corps under the Philippine Navy, according to a profile provided by Lt. Col. Reynaldo Balido, PMA spokesman.
Balido said it was the third year that an incoming Navy lieutenant topped the graduating class.
Before entering the country’s premier military academy, Hontoria, a son of a farmer in Iloilo, took up nursing at the West Visayas State University in La Paz, Iloilo City.
He held three positions in the PMA cadet corps–brigade company commander, cadet-in-charge of the Archery Corps Squad and the Honors Committee.
Various awards will be conferred on Hontoria on the day of the commencement exercises such as the Presidential Saber, Chief of Staff Saber and Philippine Navy Saber.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, he said he will get married on graduation day.
“Right after my graduation this Sunday, it is also my wedding with my special someone,” Hontoria added.
He did not identify his future wife.
Three others in the Top 10 are also sons of farmers–First Class Cadets Ricardo Liwaden, Jun-Jay Castro and Jessie Laranang.
Rounding up the group are Leonore Andrea Japitan, Mark Jantzen Dacillo, Jezaira Buenaventura, Paolo Briones, Jayson Cimatu and Micah Reynaldo.
Based also on profiles sent out by Balido, Liwaden will be receiving the Vice Presidential and Philippine Army Sabers, which traditionally are turned over by the sitting Vice President and Army commanding general.
Castro will be given the saber of the Secretary of National Defense while the Philippine Air Force Saber will be handed to Laranang and the Aguinaldo Saber, to Buenaventura.
A total of 282 PMA cadets will be graduating this year, based on a statistical profile from the PMA’s Office of the Registrar that Balido also sent to reporters.
Of the 282, 207 are male while 75 are female, with most set to join the Philippine Army (143).
The Philippine Air Force will be getting 71 and the Philippine Navy, 68.