FVR inspires West Point’s young Pinoy cadets

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Former Philippine President Fidel. V. Ramos, 87, challenged young cadets at the US Military Academy at West Point to push ups and crunches.

But the biggest challenge these Filipino and Filipino American cadets face is nothing physical – it’s to live up to the expectations as future leaders in the military.

“The outstanding, call it identity, that we are all proud of is our respect for and love of duty, honor and country,” said the former Philippine commander-in-chief.

There are at least 30 cadets of Filipino descent at the academy at this time, two of them are from the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio.

Batangas native Cadet Don Stanley Dalisay said, “If you do well in PMA, if you top the class, they nominate you for West Point. You take the exam, the physical requirements, if West Point chooses you, you’re in.”

The 23-year-old Dalisay says his goal is to improve the public’s perception of the Philippine military.

“If you look at how we view the military back home, whenever we see soldiers, we actually fear for ourselves, we’re afraid,” Dalisay said. “But what I want to do is whenever you see a soldier, you should feel safe.”

The Filipino American cadets want to become officers in different branches of the U.S. military.

Orlando, Florida born Cadet Dustin Arnold Espino Santos said, “It’s our job to use our inspiration and our place to make it better for everyone. I’m sure President Ramos would says the same.”

But not all West Point graduates went on to become military officers.

A 1976 West Point graduate, Fil-Am Sunny Busa is a retired foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State.

He was a professional diplomat for 23 years before teaching international relations at West Point.

“What they could learn from President Ramos is that if you work hard, and you keep to a strong work ethic,” Busa said. “And that you’re doing it for a greater good. It’s not just about you, it’s about other people, its about the nation.”

“President Ramos shows that my race doesn’t determine who I can be,” Santos said. “It tells me that with dedication, with will, and with the ability to strive for whatever you want to be, that my race and my skin are not a hindrance, they’re an advantage, and I should take advantage of that.”

Military or not, Busa hopes these cadets turn into future leaders who will make a positive impact in the Philippines or in the U.S.

You can contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • Santiago Del Mundo
    12 October 2016 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Yeah, Ramos was out there talking about respect for and love of duty, honor and country…but he didn’t tell them about betraying or backstabbing President Marcos, after affording Ramos his training at Westpoint military academy…Ramos became the president later, did not accomplished anything except to inspire soldiers in betraying their own military oath…which continue plaguing the Philippine military these days…

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