MANILA — An Army officer's daughter from South Cotabato has been named the valedictorian of this year's graduating cadets from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
Cadet First Class Krystlenn Quemado, who hails from Koronadal City, topped the PMA "Bagsik Diwa" or Bagong Sibol Kinabukasan Didigma Hanggang sa Wakas Class of 2022.
She and 213 other cadets will formally graduate on May 15 in Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City.
Quemado, 21, will also receive the Presidential Saber for graduating at the top of her class, whose members will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army and Air Force and ensigns in the Navy.
"My father is a soldier and my mother is a teacher... I want to make them proud and I want to give them the recognition that they deserve for all their efforts and sacrifices," Quemado told reporters in a press briefing Tuesday.
Her father, Col. Nicolas Quemado Jr., is the current Inspector General of the Philippine Army and a member of PMA Class 1993. Her mother, Loveleih Quemado, is a teacher at the Notre Dame of Marbel University.
The valedictorian said her parents had inspired to enter the PMA. She said she also wanted to live a life "of service and duty to the country."
Other members of this year's top PMA graduates include:
- Kevin John Pastrana, 22, of Baguio City
- Ian Joseph Bragancia, 23, of Pototan, Iloilo
- Faithe Turiano, 22, of Nabua, Camarines Sur
- Yyoni Xandria Marie Tiu, 22, of Davao City
- Jake Anthony Mosquera, 23, of Pigcawayan, North Cotabato
- Jesie Mar Frias, 22, of Antipolo City, Rizal
- Elvin John Oyo-a, 22, of Butuan City, Agusan del Norte
- Nerfa Minong, 21, of Zamboanga City
- Crissielle Jane Rico, 22, of Zamboanga City
The 214-strong graduating class is composed of 165 men and 49 women.
Of the number, 104 will join the Philippine Army, 57 will go to the Philippine Navy, and another 53 will enter the Philippine Air Force.
Other cadets who will be getting honors include Vince John Philippe Cabagnot and Catherine Talosig (Athletic Saber); Maryknoll Reah Cuis (Aguinaldo Saber); Nilo Ali Caceres (Sports and Physical Development Plaque); Ian Van Gammad (Journalism Award); Janella Rose Espejo and Elaine Marey Paasa (Distinguished Cadet Award); Dirk Kiryl Davalan (Chief of Staff Saber awardee); and Precious Anne Vergara (Superintendent's Saber awardee).
PMA superintendent Lt. Gen. Ferdinand Cartujano congratulated the top performing cadets, noting they would face “bigger challenge in life” after graduation.
“Their overall upbringing as individuals and as leaders will be tested in the profession of arms, even beyond their natural limits,” he said.