Top female PMA graduates eager to defend PH waters
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The top female graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Salaknib Class of 2017 said they are raring to join the Navy and defend the country's territorial waters.
PMA valedictorian Rovi Mairel Martinez and 3rd placer Eda Glis Marapao will both join the Philippine Navy.
But right after graduation, Martinez will first pursue further studies at the US Naval War College in Rhode Island, where she got a scholarship.
"Huwag tayong matakot humarap (Let us not be scared to fight)," she said, expressing no qualms in defending the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Martinez earlier told Rappler that she dreams of commanding a Navy vessel or being chief of the whole military unit someday. (READ: PMA's woman topnotcher ran slowly, but took big strides)
Meanwhile, Marapao – another exemplary woman in the roster of PMA graduates this year – said she is excited to complete tactical training and defend Philippine waters.
The two are among the 8 female graduates who dominated the top 10 of the Salaknib Class.
In her valedictory speech, Martinez urged her mistahs to rise above challenges and mistakes.
"Life is a choice. My life changed when I decided to take the challenge to serve my country and people," said Martinez, who took up accountancy at Araullo University before entering the PMA.
Her mother, Ruby Martinez, said Rovi initially did not aspire to join the prestigious military institution.
"She was already in her 3rd year [studying accountancy] in the school near us. She said she'd try. When she took the exam, she passed," said Ruby, whose husband also dreamed of joining the military but failed to enter the PMA.
It was a rough road to the top for Martinez, who earlier shared she had a hard time adjusting to the rigorous physical training that cadets undergo.
"I'm just an ordinary cadet who commits mistakes and has flaws in my own ways. We commit mistakes, we slept in class, we are imperfect but it does not mean that you should not aim for excellence," Martinez said.
The Nueva Ecija native thanked her classmates, mentors, and family for making her tough journey bearable.
"Sa aming mga buddy at classmates, salamat dahil kayo ang nagbigay ng kulay sa pamamalagi namin dito sa Academy. You brought out in us the best leader we can be... Sa aming pamilya, salamat sa inyong walang sawang suporta sa bawat isa sa amin," she said.
(To our buddies and classmates, thank you because you brought color to our stay here in the Academy. You brought out in us the best leader we can be... To our families, thank you for your unending support for each of us.) – Rappler.com