PMA's best reveals his 'top-secret' in his studies

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FORT DEL PILAR, BAGUIO CITY: Who could have guessed that this son of a tricycle driver from Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental would graduate as the class valedictorian of the Philippine Military Academy this year?

Eraño B. Belen leads at their graduation ceremony on March 1, 2010 the 226-member PMA Class named Masidlak, which stands for Mandirigmang Sibol ng Dakilang Lahing Kayumanggi or “Warrior Seed of the Great Brown Race.” Literally graduating with ‘flying colors’, Belen received the ‘Presidential Saber’ from Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, among the nine prestigious awards the most prominent military academy in the Philippines conferred on him.

“At the PMA,” the celebrated 2nd Lieutenant related, “I have learned to discipline myself even more, to be at my best at all times even with lack of sleep and rest, and maintain a positive outlook no matter what.” Being not born to a wealthy family is a blessing in disguise for him as he correspondingly learned dedication and hard work from his parents who exhibited industry and diligence to make ends meet for their family. Having to study at night with only the shimmering flame of an oil lamp as his light, Belen was a steady honor student in elementary and high school. In his college days prior to entering the PMA, he even managed to be a city scholar while working as an errand boy for a law firm.

His family has been his inspiration. Referring to the honors he has received, he considers them to be “nothing without those who helped [him] attain them.” Being a family-centered, Eraño, according to his father, lived so frugally even inside the PMA “to be able to send to us almost the whole amount of the allowance he receives from the PMA to cover the schooling of his brother, Jeffrey,” a graduating student at a university in their province.

Above everything nonetheless, his so-called ‘top-secret’ is his unwavering faith in God. “In all that I do,” he confessed, “I ask help from God.” In fact, when the news came to him that he had been ranked at the top of his class, “the first thing that came into his mind was to thank God,” he professed. As if to concur to her son’s revelation as regards his ‘secret,’ Eraño’s mother described her son as “a good son. He has strong faith. He is obedient to us especially to God.”

Being a full-fledged military man after graduation, he believes that all the more he needs God in his life.  He said, “I pray that I be the best soldier that I can be for my people, with a vow of honor and excellence, loving God above all…” (Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.)


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