When 1st Cadet Janrey Artus graduates from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), he will be summa cum laude and class valedictorian and will receive 15 other special awards.
Among these recognitions are the Presidential Saber award, for being number one in the list of graduating cadets, and the Philippine Navy Saber for being the top cadet who will join the navy.
It was quite a transformation for a young man who entered the military academy unsure if he really wanted to be a soldier.
Prior to entering the PMA, Artus was a chemical engineering student at the University of the Philippines-Visayas.
His parents are both government employees, while his brother is a military officer. The latter was one of the reasons he considered entering PMA, even though he was not familiar with its existence before.
“When my older brother entered [the academy] in 2017, that’s the only time I learned that the PMA existed. When I entered, I also got to know the school better,” Artus said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Once he was in, Artus the cadet became a consistent dean and commandant’s lister. He was also the vice chairperson for investigation of the honor committee.
The 25-year-old, who is from San Enrique, Negros Occidental, is a member of the Echo Company. He will be joining the Philippine Navy.
Although he was initially unsure about entering military school, he did his best anyway. But he did not expect to be in the list of top graduating cadets.
“I really did not expect that when I learned that I’d be part of our class top 10. All I did was to comply with our academic requirements. I just follow the rules and regulations. I wasn't a delinquent. And I always did my best,” Artus said.
Artus said he was never part of the honor roll in elementary and high school, that was why he surprised even himself when he finished in PMA as valedictorian.
“From elementary to high school, I was never on top of my class. I was never a salutatorian, a valedictorian. But I received some awards,” Artus added.
For those who, like he was years ago, are torn between going to the PMA and another career path, Artus’ advice is to seek God’s counsel.
“Magdasal lang kayo kay Lord na tama ba ’yung vision mo,” Artus said. (Just pray to the Lord, ask if your vision is right.)
“Hindi naman masama na mag-attempt, hindi naman masama na pumasok dito. Tapos i-assess mo ’yung sarili mo kung tama ba na pumasok ka rito.” (There’s nothing wrong with attempting, there’s nothing wrong with entering the academy. Then, afterwards, assess yourself if you did the right thing entering the PMA.) – Rappler.com