Ten young Igorot men from Mountain Province made history on July 20, 2023, when they graduated from the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA)'s MADASIKLAN Class of 2023.
The graduates, who come from humble backgrounds, faced many challenges along the way. They had to travel long distances to attend school, deal with financial constraints, and overcome cultural barriers. Yet, they never gave up on their dreams. They worked hard and persevered, and they are now graduates from the PMMA.
The ten young Igorot graduates from Mountain Province are:
- Ron Angelo Awisan, Bauko, Mountain Province
- Jetjet Gumawi, Bauko, Mountain Province
- Jan Burkmar Chengay, Bontoc, Mountain Province
- Wilson Forarao, Bontoc, Mountain Province
- Tristan Paolo Antonio, Sabangan, Mountain Province
- Daren Kurt Farcanao, Sadanga, Mountain Province
- Ben Annoyan, Sagada, Mountain Province
- Yalaid Dailay, Sagada, Mountain Province
- Benito Dumanog, Sagada, Mountain Province
- Khen Kollin, Sagada, Mountain Province
The MADASIKLAN Class of 2023 is an acronym for "MAgiting na may DAngal at SImbolo ng Kawal ng karagatAN," which means "Brave and Honorable Symbol of the Guardians of the Seas." It consists of a total of 224 midshipmen, of which 10 are Igorots from Mountain Province and 97 belong to the Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) program, while 127 are pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE) degree.
The graduates' graduation is a major accomplishment for the Igorots of Mountain Province and for the entire province. It shows that anything is possible if you set your mind to it, no matter where you come from.
The graduates are now ready to start their careers as merchant marines. They are excited to take on the challenges of this demanding profession, and they are confident that they will succeed. They are also proud to represent their families and communities in this field. They want to show the world that the Igorots are a proud and resilient people who are capable of achieving great things.
The commencement ceremony took place at the Grandstand of the PMMA Complex in San Narciso, Zambales. The esteemed guest of honor for the event was President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
In his speech, President Marcos congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to continue to work hard and achieve their goals. He also praised the PMMA for its role in producing world-class maritime professionals.
The 10 Igorots are an inspiration to us all. They have shown us that anything is possible if we set our minds to it and never give up on our dreams. I am confident that they will go on to do great things in their careers and in life.