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‘Beautiful day’ in Baguio marred by booboos

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 17:52:00 03/18/2008

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City — The graduation rites of the Philippine Military Academy’s “Baghawi” Class of 2008 took place on a “beautiful day” steeped in tradition, but was not without its share of booboos.

In his valedictory address, newly-commissioned Navy Ensign Ariel Rallos abridged the President’s middle name Macapagal to “Macapag.” He quickly recovered and properly acknowledged the President

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her speech, pronounced Rallos’ name as “Arel,” and referred to the graduates as “PMA class 28” instead of 2008.

The President recovered, and even congratulated Rallos, who hails from Zamboanga City, in the Chavacano dialect. “En hora buena,” she said

“What a beautiful day today is, beautiful for Baguio, beautiful for our graduating cadets, beautiful for their family and friends,” Arroyo said at the start of her speech.

“Beautiful for Baguio because we have a beautiful day, with a beautiful blue sky in the first day of summer,” she said.

A 21-gun salute greeted the President upon her arrival at the PMA parade grounds in Borromeo Field. She also handed the Presidential Saber to Rallos, being the topnotcher.

The chiefs of the major military services, Army Chief Lieutenant General Alexander Yano, Air Force Chief Lieutenant General Pedrito Cadungog, and Navy Chief Vice Admiral Rogelio Calunsag also handed sabers to the highest-ranked graduate who will join their respective units.

Rallos, who is joining the Navy, received the Navy Saber from Calunsag.

The PMA superintendent, Major General Leopoldo Maligalig presented the graduates to the commander-in-chief.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. formally commissioned the 220-member “Baghawi” class as second lieutenants in the Army an Air Force and as ensigns in the Philippine Navy.

At the end of her speech, the President also pardoned all outstanding punishments in the PMA cadet corps.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-03-18T10:06:16+00:00UTC03bUTCTue, 18 Mar 2008 10:06:16 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am03

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