The dawn of the 13th of March 2010 marked the beginning of the day every cadet has been waiting for. On the 13th of March 2010 at 0900H at the Vanguard Building, UP DMST, emcees Ryan Kristofer Arana and Xenia Lagtapon opened the ceremonies, followed by the invocation by CPvt Hoshea Felix, 4Cl. The color commander, CLtC Iro Niel Roxas, led the entrance of colors followed by the singing of the national anthem.
The excitement was palpable as the 34 basic cadets and 7 advance cadets were presented as candidates for graduation by Vgd Glenn Llamador to the Commandant, LtC Rolando R Rodil INF (GSC) PA. The cadets held their breaths in anticpation as they waited for their names to be called, climb on stage with their parents, and be handed their certificates by the Commandant and the Guest of Honor, Col Marcelo B Javier GSC (RES) PA.
And of course, the extraordinary does not go unrecognized as the Leadership award, the Valedictorian awards, the Loyalty awards and the Duty awards were given to those cadets who stood out from the rest. The Leadership award was given to CCol Patricio Dumlao III, 1Cl. The Valedictorian awards were given to CP2Lt Paolo Perez, 4Cl (COCC) and CPvt Laraine Abad, 4Cl (basic cadet). The Loyalty awards were given to CP2Lt Leander Viloria, 4Cl (COCC) and CPvt Ariella Digal, 4Cl (basic cadet). The Duty awards were given to CLtC Meagan Alegado, 1Cl, CMaj Iro Niel Roxas, 1Cl, CP2Lt Gelline Vargas, 4Cl (COCC), and CPvt Ariella Digal, 4Cl (basic cadet).
After the awards have been given out, the Commandant then took centre stage to introduce the Guest of Honor and Speaker, Col Marcelo B Javier GSC (RES) PA. After the speaker gave his speech, everyone literally sat at the edge of their seats as they watched the turn over ceremony play out. CCol Patricio E Dumlao III, 1Cl passed on the Diliman Sword to CCpt Kim Ronaline B Salvador, 2Cl. All eyes trained on the new Corps Commander as all hearts prayed to the heavens that this would be the end of something great and the beginning of something greater.
After the turn over ceremony, a lone figure walked to the front-centre of the stage and shouted “Invictus!” – Latin for unconquerable, a poem by William Ernest Henley. The voices of Bagwis COCC 60-A rang out loud and strong throughout the room as they recited by heart their declaration of unconquerability.
As the event drew to a close, a photo op with the Commandant and the Guest of Honor closely followed the recitation of Invictus. Cadets and family filed out of their seats and went to have their photos taken, smiling as they went along. The recessional followed the photo op and everyone then proceeded to the Hall of Fame for a spot of lunch.
Smiles, laughter, and the occasional tears of joy could be seen everywhere. Everyone worked hard to graduate. Then was the time to celebrate.