Ybanag, Bolinao girl top 2016 PMA class

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City, Philippines – As the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is honoring a female graduate who has emerged among the top 10 in her class this year.

Graduating salutatorian is Christine Mae Naungayan Calima, 21, from Bolinao, Pangasinan. Seven other female cadets are graduating from the nation’s premier military school.

At graduation ceremonies this Sunday, she will receive the Vice Presidential Saber, PAF Saber, Tactics Group Award, Australian Defense Best Overall Performance (Air Force) and other awards.

Kristian Daeve Gelacio Abiqui, an Ybanag from Minanga Sur, San Pablo, Isabela, topped this year’s PMA graduating class of 2016. He bested 62 of his “mistahs” in PMA 2016 class “Gabay-Laya” (Gintong Anak ng Bayan, Alay ay Buhay para sa Kalayaan). Abiqui was a “turn-back,” a term referring to a cadet who had to repeat a semester to complete academic as well as military proficiency courses. The 23-year-old said he had to take a medical leave for a semester in 2014.

Only 63 members of the Gabay-Laya class of 2016 are graduating on Sunday, the smallest number of graduates since 1970.

House to celebrate women’s day

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives will join the country’s leading women organizations in celebrating International Women’s Day today.

Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, chairperson of the House committee on women and gender equality, said this year’s theme “Kapakanan ni Juana, Isama sa Agenda!” is focused on women’s concerns in leadership platforms and in the government’s development agenda.

“Nevertheless, it is encouraging to note that the continuous creation of avenue for women and their advocates aids in closing gender gap in leadership positions,” Villarica said.

Villarica said the committee has lined up activities, in partnership with Gabriela Women’s Party, National Council on Disability Affairs and other concerned government agencies as well as non-government organizations and civil society groups.

Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo said yesterday women empowerment starts with giving them jobs and livelihood.

“Violence and abuse against women continue only when they can’t stand on their own and remain dependent on their partners,” Robredo told reporters in Makati City where she attended a rally on women empowerment. – Paolo Romero, Raymund Catindig


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