I was there, seen it and got my share of it. The rotting days was over- doing compliances and most of all being reduced to a lowest mammal that our only right is to obey before you complain or never complain at all. The pain, shame and endorsement are all taken because we are taught to eat our pride and uphold our balls.
01 April 1999 when we got our first taste of cadet’s life on the grounds of Borromeo Field, Philippine Military Academy, Fort del Pilar, Baguio City. At first I thought it would be a cool and heart-warming welcome for us by our upperclassmen. They entered the ground positioning in front of our platoon formation. Through their uniformity in clothing and movements they are epitome of remarkable gentlemen. Then after some speeches of military officers in the academy, upperclassmen broke their formation from a single command. They are coming to us roaring like lions and shouting our last names. Commanding and insulting us to our face, why we opted to enter the academy? It is only then that I feel my sweat had already soaked me. Feeling tired, but I got no courage to ask for rest or water to ease my thirst. What I know was to follow a regulated and regimented life and for the coming days. Commands from our uppies are complied it is very powerful that makes us move whether we like it or not. We had our second classmen as squad leaders- teaching us to do the basics of cadet’s life, yearling buddies- guiding us complying with our daily task and first classmen are our good neighbors- inspiring us to achieve their dominions and acting us problem advisers.
Our class MANDARANGAN (noble warriors) was formed from different cultural ethnicity, family background, religion and schools. We are young minds of diverse ideals clustered only at the academy. Oftentimes we used to discussed so much on our opinions that each of insist he has the best option. Rich kids must forget their comfort lives at home. While like us used of simple and poor living got a taste of food we don’t usually served at home. Days passed by with our classmates or mistahs, we learned to decide in our class as one, forgetting our personal reasons for the good of majority, making sacrifices for our classmates and offering our families to as their extended one.
Plebehood days are gone but the memories of it are worth to treasure. Even the Generals talked about it with their classmates and subordinates from the academy. Although most of cadets are not fortunate to graduate in the academy they always cherished of their plebe days because becoming a plebe is not that easy. You must have to pass the academy standards- physical and mental as well. Surrender some of your rights, always waiting for commands, expecting the worst and coping to be the best. In short plebehood is an ingredient of making effective future military officers to lead. Enhanced their resourcefulness and learning to lead by example and character with principles behind. For us cadets who are not fortunate to graduate in the academy our plebehood taught us- always excel to the utmost of our capabilities in our next chosen field.