Nolito Ebal, Jr. of Opol, Misamis Oriental will graduate 3rd place in this year’s graduating class of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Ebal holds a BS Mathematics degree from Mindanao State University. He will receive the Secretary of National Defense Saber for finishing third in the class.

Eraño Belen, 23, of Calindagan, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, will lead the 226-strong “Masidlak” (Mandirigmang Sibol ng Dakilang Lahing Kayumanggi) class of 2010 during the commencement exercises on March 1.

PMA superintendent Vice Admiral Leonardo Calderon described the Masidlak Class of 2010 as “the brightest class” he has known since the 1990s.

He said this class has three “Starmen,” which is equivalent to cum laude, namely: Pinay-an, Gonzales, and Ramon Mallare. There was no Starman last year.

Calderon said that the graduating class includes 31 female cadets, one of the biggest batches of female graduates since women were accepted at the PMA in 1997.

“They are also the most cooperative class I’ve seen” in terms of providing discipline to the cadet corps, Calderon mused.

The Masidlak class is a living example of humility, excellence, respect, honor, duty and love of God and country, Calderon said.

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