Everyone dreams of getting his or her own house. For most, this is definitely one of their life goals, which is why they persevere and work hard after finishing their studies. However, this Philippine Military Academy graduate does not have to wait long before owning a house.
For the first time, the top graduate of the Philippine Military Academy will receive more than honors at the graduation ceremony. This year, President Rodrigo Duterte also conferred a free house and lot to the class valedictorian.
That honor belonged to Cadet First Class Jaywardene Hontoria, a native of Pavia, Iloilo and a farmer’s son. He graduated at the top of the 281-member Alab Tala class of the PMA.
The house and lot were donated by Sen. Manny Villar’s company, Vista Land Homes and Lifescapes.
He also received numerous awards, specifically, the Philippine Navy Saber Award, Chief of Staff Saber, Academic Group Award, Australian Defense Best Overall Performance Award, Spanish Armed Forces Award, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Department of Leadership Plaques and the Jusmag (Joint US Military Assistance Group) Award.
According to the Philippine Star, he is also the third baron or class brigade commander of the PMA Cadet Corps in history to graduate as valedictorian. The last time a baron was valedictorian was 67 years ago.
A farmer’s son and farmhand, Cadet Hontoria graduated elementary and high school valedictorian. He entered Western Visayas University and graduated with a nursing degree in 2013 at age 21, passing the nursing board exams in the same year. He was at the maximum age when he entered the PMA against his parents’ wishes
Cadet Hontoria plans to join the Philippine Navy-Marines and would like to be assigned in Marawi.
Goodluck Cadet! May your journey as a public servant be an inspiration to others.