By Villamor Visaya, Jr.
ECHAGUE, Isabela – The family of Cadet First Class Gemalyn Sugui, who topped the Philippine Military Academy’s “Masidlawin” Class of 2020, is ecstatic over her feat, but at the same time downhearted that no one among them could attend her graduation rites due to travel restrictions under the general community quarantine (GCQ).
On Friday, the “Masidlawin” Class assembled at the Fort General Gregorio del Pilar in Baguio City, for their virtual commencement exercises.
President Rodrigo Duterte led the graduation rites through a video communications application.
“We are both happy and sad. Happy because she topped the class but sad because we cannot personally watch the graduation rites due to the restrictions,” George Sugui, Gemalyn’s father, said.
The PMA topnotcher’s family lives in Barangay San Antonio Minit in this town. Isabela province and the rest of Cagayan Valley Region is currently under GCQ due to the coronavirus disease 2019 health crisis.
Her mother, Selma, was tearful that they could not be with her daughter for the graduation rites.
George said they could not find the PMA website where the graduation rites were streamed live and that they were also having a hard time connecting to the internet.
Gemalyn also topped her batch in high school as valedictorian. She finished her Bachelor of Science in Management Economics at the University of the Philippines in Baguio City.
As this year’s PMA topnotcher, she received the Presidential Saber, Achievement Award for Academic Excellence, JUSMAG Award, Philippine Army Saber, Spanish Armed Forces Award, Social Sciences Plaque, Management Plaque, and Rule of Law Award. (ia/PNA)