The daughter of a tricycle driver and a housekeeper will graduate as top 19 in this year’ batch of graduates from Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Cadet 1st Class Kathleen Rose Sareno Ea, a 21-year old resident from Barangay San Pablo, Tacurong City, is part of 263-strong cadets to graduate from PMA on May 26.

The second female Tacurongnon to graduate from PMA, Ea also reportedly holds the distinction as the only cadet from her city to land in the Top 20 of any graduating class.

She belongs to the Mabalasik Class, which stands for Mandirigma ng Bayan, Iaalay ang Sarili, Lakas at Tapang, para sa Kapayapaan.

She took up one year of BS Medical Technology Course at the Notre Dame of Marbel University before entering PMA in 2015. She also graduated as valedictorian of her class from Notre Dame of Tacurong College High School Department.

Ea’s father Bert is a tricycle driver while her mother is a housekeeper who also works as a nanny.

Bert had been very focused in helping Kathleen in her studies since her elementary days. Her father recalled that he would borrow books of upper class students so that Kathleen could study them in advance during summer. On school days, Bert would wake up Kathleen very early in the morning to have her study her lessons. Being the only child, full attention of her parents was on her.

When Ea took the PMA entrance examination in Tacurong in 2014, she was one of the very few who passed the test. It was also the first time that Tacurong was made a PMA testing center.

Ea, who will be commissioned as second lieutenant, is set to join the Philippine Navy.

Cadet 1st Class Dionne Mae Apolog Umalla, a native of Alilem, Ilocos Sur, is the top-notcher of this year’s PMA Mabalasik Class. (ASF, LGU Information)