‘Joseph Stalin’ among top PH military school grads


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‘Joseph Stalin’ among top PH military school grads
He lost his parents before he became a Philippine Military Academy cadet. Joseph Stalin Abara Fagsao now says, 'I survived because of the dreams of my parents. I hope I made them proud.'

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Six years ago, a 16-year-old boy joined Twitter. 

“I’m the coolest person you’ll ever know,” he said in his description. 

What can be cooler than to carry the name “Joseph Stalin”? However, Joseph Stalin Abara Fagsao wanted to just be called Xeph.

He stopped tweeting in 2012, around the time he was set to attend the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Asia’s oldest military school.

On Sunday, March 13, Cadet 1st Class Fagsao will graduate as the 4th in his class. Being the top cadet to join the Army, he will be attending the United States Military Academy or West Point.

“I asked my father why I was named after a communist leader, and he said he was his idol,” Fagsao said. 

Ironically, his father, who is from Bontoc, Mountain Province, was a member of the Philippine Constabulary. He died of a lingering disease when Joseph was in Grade III. 

“I wanted to join the military and my dreams were shattered when my father died,” Fagsao said. 

He is the only son, although he has 3 half siblings from each parent. He was born in Maddela, Quirino, but he grew up in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.

When he was 18, he took the PMA examinations. On the day Fagsao learned that he passed the exams, his mother Delia, who was into the furniture business, died of a lingering disease.

“I wanted to take up computer engineering, but my mother said it was her dream that I joined the PMA,” Fagsao recalled. 

He said that life in the academy was hard. “I survived because of the dreams of my parents. I hope I made them proud.” – Rappler.com 

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