On May 20 this year, the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) held convocation ceremonies online for its new graduates.
Two of its graduates are originally cadets with the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). They were part of a batch sent for schooling abroad.
They two Filipino graduates are Carrie Faith Banglag Magannon and Aldrin Felipe.
Magannon has received a lot of attention as she becomes the first PMA woman cadet to finish at RMC, which is based in Ontario.
A number of online accounts followed from an interview with Magannon by Eisenhower Bucalen, a journalist with the Kalinga Journal, a paper in the northern region of the Philippines.
Accounts describe Magannon also as the first woman from the Cordilleras to graduate from the RMC.
The Cordilleras is an upland region in the Philippines, and home to Indigenous peoples.
Magannon hails from the province of Kalinga. She is identified with the Igorot native people.
“I doubted myself several times if I am good enough to be sent to study abroad, but the thought that PMA will not send me if they don’t have confidence in me strengthen[ed] my spirit,” Magannon said in the reports.
“To motivate myself more, I always tell myself, ‘If others can, why can’t I and with God’s grace, I graduated,” Magannon added.
Magannon will join the Philippine Navy with the rank of ensign.
On June 5, 2021, the PMA presented its cadets who graduated from foreign military schools.
These included Magannon and Felipe, who finished their schooling in Canada.
The others are: National Defense Academy of Japan, Alexis Paul Maglangi and Jewel Orense; Republic of Korea Military Academy, Mark Gaitera; Republic of Korea Naval Academy, Cecil Kim Pestano; and Republic of Korea Air Force Academy, Glenn Michael Enriquez.
The RMC was founded in 1874 by the Canadian government led by then Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie.
The Mackenzie government passed legislation to establish a military college "for the purpose of providing a complete education in all branches of military tactics, fortification, engineering, and general scientific knowledge in subjects connected with and necessary to thorough knowledge of the military profession".
On June 1, 1876, the institution then known as the Military College of Canada opened its doors to the first class of 18 officer cadets.
At present, the RMC is part of the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA).
The CDA is a group composed of RMC, the Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean) in Quebec, and the Canadian Forces College (CFC).