This week is Homecoming Week at Loakan.
Sir Dan Jimenez 77 sounded off an appeal to members of the Corps to change their profile photo to one of themselves as cadets.
The response was quick and viral. And very heartwarming. It was as if the Cadet Corps started appearing from all over and I was hearing the “attention call” faintly in the background. It was good to see my classmates, upperclassmen and underclassmen post images of themselves when their hair was shorter, their midsections trim and their uniforms immaculately pressed and shining where applicable.
All over social media, photos of the Corps in formation or otherwise started appearing, along with anecdotes of incidents that would not have been recalled had they not been recounted online.
Yet it was the old photos that rekindled the fires inside, bringing out a nostalgia that we had thought had been buried deep already.
Once again, I felt the need to brace up properly and conduct myself accordingly.
It had that effect on me as well as many of my other friends online who did so.
Where we are now is largely due to choices we made then, circumstances that influenced them and perhaps, destiny. While a great many lived out their careers in uniform, many others as well either left Loakan in civvies or hung up their uniforms much earlier.
Yet we are all the better for it.
This week in Fort Del Pilar, a great many of her sons and daughters will be riding vehicles across the plains of Luzon, hurdling the mountains of Baguio to reach their precious destination, the Philippine Military Academy. There,they will inhale the scent of fresh pine needles, walk through familiar pavement, visit old haunts, lament the destruction of the old barracks and look forward to the parades and seeing the other members of the Corps during their respective “times”.
And come back down to reality, refreshed, infused with another dose of what it felt like to be a cadet once more – when the environment was more ideal and it was possible to harbor idealistic goals.
Happy Homecoming to all the Cavaliers setting foot once again on Borromeo Field.
Academy, O hail to thee!
(Photo courtesy of Dado Enrique 83, the Class First Captain and Regimental Commander)