Albayano is 2014 PMA top grad

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

LEGAZPI CITY -– An Albayano will be named valedictorian at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduation ceremonies on March 16, 2014 at the PMA compound in Baguio City, a top provincial official said Tuesday.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda identified the top PMA graduate as Cadet First Class Jheorge Llona, 21, a native of Barangay Anislag, Daraga town.

Llona, a member of PMA Class “Siklab-Diwa,” is the sixth in a brood of seven of Nelson and Gloria Llona, both farmers in Barangay Anislag, a farming village 20 kilometers (km) away from Legazpi City.

Llona will be joining the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Salceda said Llona will march during the graduation rites on Sunday with the highest academic honors in the premiere military school in the country.

Salceda was invited by the Llona family to attend the occasion. “I am going to attend this event upon the request of the family,” he said in a phone interview.

Salceda said four other Albayano classmates of Llona will join him at the graduation rites.

He said two of them are from the town of Guinobatan, one from Camalig town and another one, from Ligao City.

The Albay governor said he had directed his office to plan out welcome honors for Llona and the four other PMA graduates from Albay.

He also expressed his pride over this new feat for his province as he also directed the Provincial Board to pass a resolution commending Llona for his academic achievement as well as the four other PMA graduates.

He said he will also invite Llona to be the guest of honor during the Albay Day on April 3, 2014.

Nelson Leona, father of Jheorge, in a telephone interview, said that he is proud of the academic achievements of his son.

“Yang anak ko, noon pa man ay masipag mag-aral, mabait at masunurin (My son, ever since, has been studious, kind and obedient),” the Llona patriarch said.

He recalled that during Jheorge’s high school days he was being teased by his classmate as “malamya” (gentle-mannered).

Nelson said Jheorge graduated at the Anislag Elementary School and pursued secondary education at the Anislag National High School.

After graduating from high school, he took up Accountancy course at the Bicol University and after two years, transferred to the PMA, he said.

“My son was convinced by his uncle, who was a policeman, to join the PMA. He brought him a PMA application for him to accomplish. He then took and passed the examination given by the academy,” Nelson said.

He said the whole Llona family will be leaving for Baguio City on Friday to witness his son receiving his academic honor.

Asked why Jheorge chose the Air Force instead of the Navy and Army, Nelson quoted his son's reason as, “I am not a good swimmer so I chose the Air Force.” (PNA)

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