Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ladies of the Corps

By Daniel Joseph R. Chua

No. This article is not about the UP Manila Corps of Sponsors. This is about two individuals iin UP Manila who have gone through the path not taken by most female students and in fact lead the way by becoming the first females to become cadet officers of UP Manila ROTC.

Breaking existing conventions and rules, two female students of UP Manila had joined the Cadet Officers' Candidate Course (COCC) and passed through with flying colors. They are now both graduates of Basic ROTC and are now incoming second classmen (i.e., Juniors). They are Cadet Captain Anna Karenina N Golez and Cadet Captain Elena P Mercado.

Anna Golez is a 3rd year BA Development Studies student and is currently the Corps Liaison Officer (Corps G5). Elena Mercado is a 3rd year BA Social Sciences student and is the head of the Civil Welfare Service Battalion.

Hardly roses among the thorns, they have proven that they can match with their male counterparts. They have passed through the rigorous and challenging training required for COCs and endured the tough plebe year as fourth class cadets. They have risen up the ranks through hard work and determination to achieve the three golden circles of a captain. Both have been awarded with the Duty Medal for exemplary performance of Corps duties. Not only that, they, too, have been worthy enough to become members of the UP Vanguard Fraternity.

Why they insist in being called "Sir" instead of "Ma'am" is not clear cut. These two ladies just say it is just a way of distinguishing them from sponsors. So, when you hear your classmates address two female students in UP Manila as "Sir," don't be misled. It just shows that they are the two lady cadet officers in UP Manila ROTC. And to be a female and an officer is no joke. One needs a lot of guts and determination to show one's cadets who's giving orders and who is in charge. It is not easy to handle men, especially UP students but they are able to do it well.

The achievements of these two show that gender should not be a hindrance to excel in a certain field. They have shown that they are capable of balancing their academic and Corps duties. They are surely assets to the Corps and their entry to it is a milestone for the UP Manila Corps history.

Originally published in The Corps of '97 Corps Yearbook.


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