NEW YORK - A Filipino graduated with honors at the US Military Academy's Class of 2017.
Philippine Military Academy's Don Stanley Dalisay graduated in the top 5 percent of the USMA and was also a recipient of the Distinguished Cadet Award.
The 25-year old Tingloy, Batangas native graduated with a 3.75 GPA, a bachelor of Science degree in economics, operations research, and with a minor in grand strategy.
"Kinakabahan po ako bago ko itapon yung sombrero. Naramdaman ko na that's it, once I tossed it, I felt like finally, after four years," he said.
The ceremony came just days after close to a hundred deaths in the Philippines in a military encounter with Maute group in Marawi City in Mindanao.
"What's happening in Marawi right now, we're being challenged but I can't be more proud of the professionalism that the Philippine Army is showing in clearing the streets of Marawi, and so that's something that I look forward to that one day I'll be able to lead those soldiers," he said.
In a separate commissioning ceremony, Dalisay also took his oath of office as 2nd Lieutenant officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He was only five years old when Dalisay realized he wanted to follow the footsteps of 1950 West Point Alum and 12th President of the Philippines, Fidel V. Ramos.
"Ang pangarap ko po ay kapag nakakita ng isang sundalo ay magiging proud talaga sila, kasi nakita ko po dito sa US. Nangarap po ako na gusto ko pagbalik ko ng Pilipinas ganun din tayo," he said.
After a break, Dalisay will pursue a master's degree program at the Tsinghua University in Beijing as one of the 2017 Schwarzman Scholarship recipients thru West Point Military Academy, another step closer to his dream of becoming the future Philippine commander-in-chief.
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