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PNPA HISTORY

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KAAGAPAY CLASS 1996

      Every nation, community or league of man has its humble beginning. Just like the case of any class, the KAAGAPAY CLASS of 1996 has it's own birth and start.

      The Class was born three years after PNP's creation, and it was during that time wherein there is a need for a new breed of cops and public safety men and women. There was a revamp and reorganization in the service, doubt and distrust among the populace was inevitable. November 7, 1993, more than 16,000 willing men and women heard the call and tried to make the PNPACAT, hoping to be appointed for cadetship training which resulted to 800 successful examinees passing But as they further went through the rigid physical, medical and psychological tests, many were eliminated and thus their number boiled down to 250 - the ablest and fittest among the rest.

THE KATIPUNANS

      On the 16th day of April 1994, 125 members of Class 1996 were received and took oath as new PNPA Cadets. They were supposed to be the last batch to undergo a two-year cadetship training. Two weeks later, on 02 May 1994, another batch was received and took oath as new cadets. They were to compose the Class 1997, the first class to undergo a three-year cadetship training as the academy originally planned to shift from two years to for years cadetship training program. In the early days of training, the new plebes lived in the nightmares of the beast barracks and breaking period. For them, their upperclassmen made every second of their existence a living hell.

      There were rules for every action, and with the newly acquired appetite brought by the strain and pressure of physical activities, the share of food and water were always not enough. They were always left yearning for more, yet a slight error and a mere violation will mean a humiliating growl or a sweatful session with an upperclassman. For a newly-baptized plebe, fresh from the comfort of civilian life, the training was brutal and all the upperclassmen were monsters.

      Not so soon when they became recognized that they would understand that these were mere roles that the upperclassmen must play, as humiliation stretched their tolerance to the maximum and exercise made them physically strong. Such was our Breaking Period- the period of transition from easy-go-lucky civilian style to a regimented cadet way-of-life.

      On the fourth day of June 1994, the Class 1996 was incorporated into the Cadet Corps. Incorporation Day marked the turn of another chapter in the ever-changing and ever-advancing life of the KAAGAPAYS. For them, it was a day to celebrate, for the triumph of having stood strong, relentless and unyielding amidst the difficulties and hardships of the training. For them it was also a day to declare and renew their determination and their firmness to go on… to a dreamed profession they decided to pursue. Incorporation Day was a ladder they must climb, its challenges, struggles and new dimensions of trials as incorporated plebes. After months of being away from home and loved ones, incorporation was also a chance to cure the nostalgia and homesickness of being far.

      The PNPA Class 1996, under the supervision of the PNPA Class 1995, participated in the celebration of the 96th year Anniversary of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1994. For their exceptional display of discipline and for being adjudged as the best Marching Unit, they were awarded with "Medalya ng Papuri", the same award was given when they participated in the "Alay Lakad Para sa Kabataan" at the Luneta Grandstand the following month.

      The class had their first taste of being "King and Queen of the Barracks" on the 3rd week of October when their upperclassmen the PATNUBAY CLASS of 1995 participated in the 50th Anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landing. Semestral break followed which was extended when on the later part of October, a typhoon brought destruction to some facilities and buildings to the Academy, thereby giving Class 1996 a longer chance to be "King and Queen of the Barracks." On the 18th day of November 1994, the Class 1996 were recognized and on the following day, the plebes that composed the former Class 1997 were incorporated with the same Corps of Cadets, making their breaking period the longest in the annals of the academy's history. The spirit of Yuletide season was already felt in the heart of the Cadet Corps.

      The traditional Giant Star had been pompously erected and Christmas lights found their glorious reigns during night time. The November passed and December crapped. The cool night, foggy morning, and misty December breeze signaled the majestic reign of the Christian Season. Then December 2 came and the customary "Pamaskong Handog Para sa mga Bata" was launched, a day after, the traditional Scaggers Night and Beer Busting overwhelmed the Corps with laughter and drowned themselves with beers. On 22 December 1994, the Class 1995 went on a full Christmas break. The Class 1996 and the plebes that originally composed the Class 1997 were divided into two breaks. Having been away from home for eight hard months, a week of vacation was such a great relief. For the members of the Class, going back to Academy was such a sad return. But they had to go back as there were promises they must fulfill.

      The time has come wherein the supposed Class 1997 is ready to be recognized as full-pledged Cadets and they have to undergo a ceremony, the Pre-Recognition Rites. For every recognized cadet, Pre-Recognition Rites was equally sentimental and memorable. For the last time, they were initiated the way they were received. They were ordered to jog, roll like a log, to crawl like a snake and other strenuous exercises. Wearing the fatigue uniform, closed collar and unrolled sleeves, everyone was sweating and some vomited, after undergoing series of exercises, their cheerful upperclassmen opened their collars and unrolled their sleeves On March 10, 1995 the plebes that originally composed the Class 1997 were recognized. They were proud to call their Class as Kapanalig. Their plebehood, which started on May 02, 1994, established a record of being the longest in PNPA history.

      Recognition Day was a common dream of every plebe that passed through the postals of Academy. It was a wish come true, a summit of a mountain conquered, and a lost place in the heart recovered. It was a warm grip. A brotherly thud in the breast and a magical embrace symbolizing that all these were mere roles the upperclassmen had to play.

      For them the ceremony was very dramatic and solemn that some shed tears of joy. For them it means the end of the grim world of plebehood and all the rights and privileges of a cadet will be now granted to them. The ceremony symbolizes the end of their misery, with that simple handshake of their Immaculate, a great sense of pride was achieved, a good fight over one's self.

      As graduation week nears, came the time for graduation songs and countdowns. And the day came, on 08 April 1995, the PATNUBAY CLASS of 1995 finally bid their last goodbye. For them, their time is over and now was the moment to exit.

THE LAKANS

      On the same day, President Ramos decided the dissolution of the batch that formerly composed the Class 1997 and discarded the plan of the Academy to embark into four-year cadetship training program. Though the decision would definitely cause caucus and complication, President Ramos' order was final and mandatory. Thus the programs, policies, regulations and the academic curriculum of the supposed to be Class 1997 had to be overhauled and realigned for them to catch up with two-year cadetship training program. Major setbacks and difficulties were felt not only by the administration, it also reverberated within the Corps of Cadets because for one year, the two batches assumed different classes and identities, for the two batches were to be merged as one and assumed a common identity as the "KAAGAPAYS".

      The two batches which for a year had been existing with different identities, class tradition and spirit, and had been living in the concept of being upperclassmen and underclassmen, found the idea of merging unimaginable. Attempts were made to completely unify the two classes and erase the idea of a junior-senior class relationship.

      At first, it was met with dissatisfaction and antagony, but eventually it succeeded. Then the two distinct classes finally accepted each other as one class with one vision and one spirit. On May 1995 an acceptance ceremony was made. It marked the formal merging of the former Class 1997 to the Class 1996.

      On May 01, 1995, the summer camp of PNPA Class 1996 started. The training introduced them to the life of combat and operation as indispensable part of the life of a future public safety officer. They have to be geared with the basics of Close Quarter Battle, Immediate Action Drills, Marksmanship, Map Reading Ambush and Counter-ambush, Day and Night Navigation and Escape and Evasion. On May 09, 1995, the four-day Field Training Exercises (FTX) began. The four-day FTX gave us the taste of what it is to be in the field. It made us realize that life in the field needs strength of the physique as well as the spirit.

      On June 01, 1995, PNPA Class 1997 arrived and was received as new cadets. Their arrival and reception made a new chapter for the Class 1996. For them, it was a start of a new challenge of molding the new cadets from civilians to become disciplined public safety individuals.

      After one year of being a Junior Class Cadets, of being obedient followers, the Class 1996 have, upon the arrival of a new class, signified their being the new upperclassmen eager to lead, to mold and test, the way they were led, molded and tested.

      They wondered if this batch of young men and women are made of the same spirit, determination and perseverance as they are. They wondered if these new crops could endure the sufferings and go through the rite of passage without faltering. They pondered if these buds of willing souls are worthy to belong to the grand breed of individuals committed to ideals of public safety and social defense. So here was the new batch eager to prove and here were the immaculates eager to test.

      On the early weeks of June another Academic period started. For the Class 1996, this means another struggle with laws, police sciences and tactics, penology, fire and public to run another lap of Academic race where everybody must finish and nobody must be left.

      On June 26, 1995, P/Sr Supt Benito Coloma Jr. left his post as PNPA Director and P/Sr Supt Rogelio S Regalado assumed the post. The Class of 1996 bid goodbye to the exit and welcomed the arrival of the new leadership. And more than a month later, another turn over of command unfolded as P/C Insp Rosauro P Alvarado left his post as commandant of cadets and P/CInsp Randolf R Delfin took over.

      On 08 August 1995, was the celebration of PNP Recognition Day. The Class 1996 participated in the parade and review and served as the Honor Guard in the arrival and departure of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. On 08 September 1995, the Class 1997 was incorporated to the Cadet Corps. For the Class 1997 it marked the turn over of another chapter of their life in the Academy. It signaled the start of a new fight in which they are going to face. For the Class 1996, the Incorporation Day of Class 1997 meant their entrance to the backyards of the upperclassmen. But incorporation is an unavoidable phase in the cycle of cadetship, without it, cadetship would not be complete- either for the upperclass or the underclass.

      By the third week of October, the first semester ended for the section 1 & 2 of the Class 1996. Their two-week semestral break gave them the opportunity to go home and relax away from the routines and pressures of cadet life. The experience was invigorating and gave them energy to start another semester again. For the 1996 sections 3 and 4, there's only one-week academic break and it was mostly spent on Silent Drill practice and in supervising the plebes. With their trimester curriculum and hectic academic schedule, there was no way home.

      On the night of 01 November 1995, ghosts abound in PNPA as the remaining cadets celebrated the traditional Halloween party in various ghostly costumes. Two days after, the furious "Rosing," invaded the entire Luzon, PNPA had no exemption from her fury. The typhoon left the academy damaged and ruined. For a number of days, the academy took burden of cleaning and repainting the damage. The super typhoon had come and gone. However another equally powerful typhoon came - the PNPA Mini-Olympics. Storm of cheers and roars overwhelmed the academy for four days- from 30 November to 03 December 1995.

      On 05 November 1995, the cadet applicants to compose Class 1998 came from all walks of life and all over the Philippines took the PNPACAT. They tried their luck in the world of cadetship training. The PNPA Class 1996 helped as proctors in some examination centers. Two days before the commencement of Christmas break, the KAAGAPAY CLASS of 1996 initiated the traditional "Pamaskong Handog para sa mga Bata", attended by various children from nearby vicinities. On 18 December 1995, every member of the KAAGAPAY Class concluded faces of joy as they prepared to embark into a journey going home. Everybody seemed to yearning spending the season with family and friends. Indeed, there's no sweetest place like home. The Christmas Break seemed too short. The day seemed to roll so fast. Not so long, everybody realized that the time is up and the time to go back had come. On January 5, 1996, like battle-wearied warriors, the members of the class arrived-full of stories to tell and full of experience to share.

      For the KAAGAPAYS, New Year was the subject of celebration as they anticipated in earnest coming of their graduation. As they pondered upon the remaining months, countdown began. Their days are numbered and their happy exit was soon to come. On January 08, 1995, cadet applicants started to come for medical and dental exams, physical fitness tests, neuro-psychiatric tests and interview. All seemed eager to know the mystery of cadetship. The sight reminded the class that two years ago, they were as eager as these young people.

      On January 27, 1996 the KAAGAPAY Class 1996 recognized the KAPANALIG Class 1997. The traditional rite was simple, but for every member of the Corps, it was nostalgic and meaningful. On that day, tears flowed freely and emotions ran high. The simplicity of the handshake contrasted to the complexity of its meaning. Such handshake broke the chain of plebehood and redeemed the underclassmen from the spartan life of endless problems, the do's and don'ts… This did not mean the end, but it was just a start of a new beginning, a new experience and a new challenge.

      The Class1997 had their first taste of outside engagement- the scorching heat of the sun, the long hours of waiting and attention as well as the long delayed mess when the PNPA sent contingents to participate in the 5th PNP Anniversary parade and review as well as to render arrival and departure honor to the President of the Republic.

      Then the last semester ended… On 04 March 1996, the first Cadet Attachment Program (CAP) in the history of the Academy started. The program gave the Class 1996 the opportunity to have some touch and glimpse of how it is to work in the field. Grouped according to their bureaus, cadets where attached to specific police, fire or jail units and acted as passive observer during actual operations. The experience improved cadets' understanding of the actual operation and administration of their respective bureaus. It also widened their horizons in terms of their bureaus' role in public safety and community service.

      During the graduation week, the sun was fiery and the wind, arid. The sky had no trace of dark clouds and the scent of dry leaves filled the air as they fell to the ground. It signaled the coming of summer and graduation atmosphere was felt. Nothing seemed different from what occurred last year. Indeed, the cycle of event and season is inevitable. Faces may come and vanish but season and event repeats. They knew it well now, triumph only elopes with those who know how to court and wait.

     

      On 18 April 1995, the KAAGAPAY CLASS of 1996 finally graduated. Though leaving and farewell left tints of gloom, one cannot reject the need to soar to greater heights. In retrospect, Class 1996 thought times swiftly flapped it wings, realized that success only belongs to those who persevere and persist even during worst times where others faltered.

      The unknown horizons of life and challenges still lies ahead, but with the ideals of SERVICE, HONOR and JUSTICE, the KAAGAPAY CLASS of 1996 is ready to explore unafraid.