‘Tuba’ gatherer is proud papa of PMA top gun

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AIMING HIGH Things are looking up for “tuba” (coconut wine) gatherer Antonio Lanaja, whose son, Jestony, topped the PMA Class of 2013. ORLANDO DINOY/INQUIRER MINDANAO

HAGONOY, Davao del Sur—Antonio Lanaja has a lot to thank God for his answered prayers.

The 46-year-old tuba (coconut wine) gatherer in this farming town outside the provincial capital of Digos remembers that he had to sell some of his farm animals so he could send his son Jestony to Quezon City to take his entrance examination to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

On Monday, Lanaja was beaming with pride as he talked to the Inquirer about how he had struggled to send the eldest of his three children to school, who will graduate at the top of his class at the military academy in Baguio City on Sunday.

Jestony Lanaja graduated valedictorian at Sacub Elementary School in 2003. He was a consistent honor student at Digos City National High School, where he graduated in 2007.

But because of poverty, the family was unable to send Jestony to college. Instead, after high school, the boy took a short electrical course at Carmelo de los Cientos Vocational School in Padada town, where he finished at the top of his class a year later.

Lanaja said his daughter Angeline, 19, had to stop studying after high school. The youngest, John Patrick, 18, is a special child who helps him gather tuba.

Living in a small, two-bedroom house of bamboo and coco lumber in the village of Sacub, the Lanajas survived on Antonio’s earnings as a tuba gatherer and revenue from the small sari-sari store that his wife, Erlinda, operates. He also raised a cow, some pigs and goats.

Lanaja gathers tuba from 17 coconut trees on land owned by a relative of his wife, who gets P45 as monthly rental for each tree. He gathers at least 10 gallons of coconut wine every day. Each gallon is sold at P30.

In 2010 and 2011, Lanaja suffered mild strokes, making life more difficult for the family. Still, he was thankful that he is able to see his son fulfill his dreams.

“I cannot describe how I am feeling right now. My heart is full of happiness. I am so thankful to the Lord for hearing our prayers,” he said.

He said the family will travel to Baguio on March 14 to witness Jestony’s graduation from the PMA.

‘God will do the rest’

Leode John Tulang, the sixth placer in this year’s batch of PMA graduates, who comes from Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur, has this to say to those reaching for the pie in the sky: “You have to find a way to pursue your dreams and God will do the rest.”

“I cannot vividly recall it but my parents told me I used to crawl under our house when I was just 2 years old, like I was on military training,” Tulang, a son of a retired Army soldier, told the Inquirer by phone.

Tulang was class valedictorian in elementary and high school in his hometown. Before joining the PMA, he took up math at Philippine Normal University-Agusan, where he became active in his basic Reserve Officers’ Training Course.

“My studies in PNU, where I focused on math, served as my foundation and helped me a lot to excel well in the PMA, where mathematics and sciences were major academic subjects,” Tulang said.—With a report from Chris V. Panganiban, Inquirer Mindanao

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Kaka

    Congratulations!

  • John_Galt_II

    Gayahin sana niya si Garcia,Ligot, Reyes at yun mga Euro Generals para sulit ang paaral sa kanya ng taong bayan sa Philippine Magnanakaw Academy.

  • Anqui

    JOB WELL DONE…now what does the Philippines expect from you,sir.   Will you go and enriched yourself like most PMA’ers or will you be a model soldier for the rest of your classmates.  I mark you, that you have nothing to inherit from your parents.

    • Loggnat

      Condescending post from somebody who probably will never make it if he/she is in Jestony Lanaha’s shoes. This poster is more than likely born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth. That last sentence is disgustingly uncalled for. Congrats to Jestony Lahana and his Tatay…. a Filipino father that is for everybody to emulate.

  • geminimind

    This are the type of people the president should appoint not a former criminal.

  • dickenhead

    we will see what stuff you are made of

  • WoBushi

    Great! Now give this cadet the proper equipment otherwise he’ll just be wasted by this government.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7SFPQFWHHEAJ4IZKPD7OYJXVM Jabba

    ANOTHER FUTURE CORRUPT GENERAL FROM PHILIPPINE MANDARAMBONG ACADEMY.

    • ramelatilano

      ha ha ha man wag kang maging integetiro…pinagsusumikapan yan….try mong baguhin ang thinking mo…para ka namang taga bayan muna eh…

      • Karabkatab

        Siguro Jabba is just talking about the obvious realities he observes right now.  E review mo nga naman kung ilang PMAers ang kilala natin na ngayon ay super millionaryo na.  Ako may kakilala, konte lang, nasa five (5), pero sadly kaibigan super yaman na rin sila.  To think, ala naman ibang pinag kakakitaan aside from their salaries.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7SFPQFWHHEAJ4IZKPD7OYJXVM Jabba

        NOPE I’M A BUSINESSMAN EARNING MILLIONS FAIR AND SQUARE AND PAYING TAX IMPOSED BY THE GOV’T. TAX THAT CORRUPT GENERALS MOSTLY FROM THE PMA USE TO ENRICH THEMSELVES. U? A JOBLESS RETIRED GENERAL?

      • akongednamzug

        Tang na mo ! ! !

    • KonsensyaNgBayan

      IN every full basket there is one bad piece in it, kaya huwag mong lahatin. Tulad sa inyong pamilya patunay lang sa asal mo ngayon ay nagpapakitang ikaw yon. Nabasa naman natin na iginapang at pinagsikapan siya ng kanyang pamilya sa natamo at natapos niya. Hindi nakaw ang at pandarambong ang ibinigay at itinuro ng kanyang mga magulang. Huwag mo naman siyang itulad sa mga anak ng tradisyonal na politisyan na malaki ang tsansang gumaya sa puno ng pinanggalingan. Atsaka sa PMA…”A Cadet doesn’t CHEAT, doesn’t STEAL, doesn’t LIE, nor tolerate one!…Hindi ako PMA’ers pero I still Believe and Trust na mas nakararami pa rin ang naka-apak pa ang mga paa sa lupa at naniniwala sa kanilang sinumpaan.One day The Republic of the Philippines will develop, progress, and become the envy of every NATIONS!!…

    • http://twitter.com/retoot aris alfaro

      …you may have a point, but it’s a stupid point. i dare you say that to the parents of this PMA graduate, whose only job is to gather tuba and tend to a small store. i bet you cant do it. you are a businessman earning millions fair and square? well then i’m sure it would’nt hurt your wallet if you’d pay those parents a visit and tell them that their son is ‘ANOTHER FUTURE CORRUPT GENERAL FROM PHILIPPINE MANDARAMBONG ACADEMY’. you’ll soon know what the phrase ‘nagtampo sa bigas’ means…geez, you post is the dumbest comment to a new graduate that i have ever read .

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7SFPQFWHHEAJ4IZKPD7OYJXVM Jabba

        OK GIVE ME THE ADDRESS AND I WILL FLY MY LEAR JET TO DAVAO. BUT IT WL TAKE A WEEK. I AM ON BIZ TRIP HERE AT SILICON VALLEY, DO YOU KNW WHERE SV IS? BTW DON’T LECTURE ME ABOUT “NAGTAMPO SA BIGAS…” PURONG TAGALOG AKO WHO WORKED HARD TO GET MY MASTER’S DEGREE FROM MIT. MY LAST POST DUDE BECAUSE IT’S USELESS TO ARGUE WITH U. YOU’RE WAY OUT OF MY CLASS…

      • Ari Putan

        Hoy yabang ! Your education has never descended to your heart.
        May your tribe diminished..

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BL2GYU35SO6HTJUEAUTXS3QFYM George Lapulapu

        what a humble guy you are. and i thought education makes one care for others… the thing is, you can’t accept the fact that a tuba gatherer have more talent and character than your wealth.. sorry.. money indeed can’t buy character…

      • akongednamzug

        Napakayabang mo hayop ka ! ! !Tang _na kang hinayupak ka. Hindoropot kang hayop ka.

      • Adam_d_langgam

        you went to good schools for sure.  unfortunately, you were not educated.  who cares the crap of where you finished  — mit.  the same school were ninoy spent a few years teaching.  sv  … you rubbbed elbows with jobs, allen and that funny looking fellow who founded microsoft?  he he he…. ows, flying lear jet .. he he. he…. wala kang sinabi sa amin….. walis tingting lang and off we go … good for the environment pa … sama mo naman kami sa sv … maybe you can lend us your stretch limo and ask your driver to take us to vega   … samahan mo na nang puhunan …

      • GustoKoHappyKa

        nah your stupid,…may pinag aralan ka nga pero wala kang natutunan..bobo

      • GustoKoHappyKa

        nasa US ka nga pero CRAB MENTALITY ka pa din… di ka siguro nakapasa sa PMA dati..

      • jesslink

        yes you are out of class…you’re just a TALANGKA over there…compare to the KING CRAB of Alaska….

      • http://twitter.com/retoot aris alfaro

        OK GIVE ME THE ADDRESS AND I WILL FLY MY LEAR JET TO DAVAO. BUT IT WL TAKE A WEEK. I AM ON BIZ TRIP HERE AT SILICON VALLEY, DO YOU KNW WHERE SV IS?
            – that’s it? that’s your comeback? lamely stupid. you claim to earn millions and all you could come up with is ‘give me the address’? what, you dont have people to do that for you? or even just make up some imaginary minions for you to boss around. you cant, can you? kase payabangan lang tayo sa internet. gayunpaman, naiiintindihan ko kung bakit ganyan ang unang reaksyon mo sa pag gamit ng computer. though yours is an amazingly dumb reaction to having technology. 

        PURONG TAGALOG AKO WHO WORKED HARD TO GET MY MASTER’S DEGREE FROM MIT.     -ok, obviously i’m dealing with a kid here. nevertheless, here’s for you: it does’nt matter if you’re purong tagalog or whatever educational attainment you’ve got. what matters is the attitude and good morals, and it’s clear you dont have both. therefore, your attitude suck balls.
         
        YOU’RE WAY OUT OF MY CLASS…
             -geez, even if you really are a big shot, it would be a shame to be in the same level with you. kasi you are so dumb, you make other dumb people(those with ‘suck balls’ attitude like you) smarter by comparison.

    • http://twitter.com/wadjitzain coty

       i don’t think so!

    • $39764945

      Being judgmental is not good.

    • GustoKoHappyKa

      Siraulo…judgemental ka na hinayupak ka..di mo naman kilala yung tao…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/PXS7DDUUV5OJIXZASTB7ASNCME Graciano

      MALAMANG BAGSAK SA ENTRANCE EXAM NG PMA TO. YOUR NAME AND THE WAY YOU TALK I THINK OBESE KA. DAMI GUSTO MAPROVE AT INSECURITIES SA KATAWAN. 

  • Karabkatab

    Sana naturuan itong ating top gun ng magandang asal ng kanyang mga magulang at balang araw hindi masilaw sa ningning ng salapi.  Ating tandaan 10 to 15 years from now kung ang matalinong PMA graduate na ito ay hindi maguguyo sa katiwalian ng kanyang mga garapal at gahaman na superiors sa military at mag silbing tapat at marangal sa bayang kanyang pinag kakautangan.

  • Barak_O

    tagay ta nong tonyo

    • http://twitter.com/wadjitzain coty

      yes, the way this govt. raises tax on beer that will eventually reach the stratosphere, “tuba'” will be the practical drink preferred by the natives! it does not contain harmful ingredients but has good enzymes instead! and of course it has no stupid “EVat’!

  • kangsongdaeguk

    Hope you’ll die of old age due to natural reasons. Or better yet, mag-ala Park Chung Hee ka ng South Korea – so as to once and for all bring discipline to the Philippines!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W7TPARCYJFCSA3PBQAM3MVZO3E kurakut

    CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LANAJAS. LIKEWISE TO YOUR MAYOR FRANCO CALIDA.

  • JuanTamadachi

    Jestony I hope you are cast from a different mold – totally different from that of corrupt PMA graduates, chief among them, being the notorious Gen. Carlos Garcia.  

  • geminimind

    Leode has this to say,to those reaching for the pie in the sky:you have to find a way to pursue your dreams and God will do the rest.

    God has this to say,Draw nigh to me and I draw nigh to you.

  • cia69

    congrats and well deserved!

  • Dominic Carpio

    Bravo Zulu

  • Islaslolo

    Jestony:

    I can feel the joy and pride of your father in seeing his son graduate at the top of his class at PMA – against all odds. Being at the top of your class carries with it the big responsibility, or burden depending on how you see it, of leading in the defense of our nation against its enemies.

    You are well aware that our principal enemies are not external but within our borders.  And I don’t mean the various insurgencies occurring now, although they are indeed threats to our nation’s stability. I mean the pervasive corruption and the lack of justice that is getting worse in our country. This moral breakdown that affects our national and local institutions is our Public Enemy No. 1.

    I hope you and your fellow PMA graduates will start slaying our Public Enemy No. 1. And then you can proceed to the other problems and challenges that our nation will face which should come easier to tackle once Public Enemy No. 1 is contained.

    Congratulations and best wishes.

  • mitsuwi

    well,.i would expect him to be corrupt in the future like his seniors from the Philippine MAGNANAKAW academy,.mga walang silbi,.HONASAN,LACSON,GARCIA,LIGOT,REYES(R.I.P),.ang gagaling kuno wala namang naitulong para mapabuti ang pinakamamahal nilang institusyon na AFP(ALANG FORCES ANG PHILIPPINES),.modernization wala,.flying coffins,60 year old ships,no jets,no battle tanks,.hahaha,.laughing stock of asia ang AFP natin,.minamaliit ng malaysia,china,taiwan pati na ng US ang bansa natin,.hahaha.oopps,.may nakalimutan ako si TRILLANES pa pala at ang mga asungot na magdalo na hindi tumupad sa sinumpaang tungkulin,.ANG MAGING TAPAT SA BAYAN,.!!,.KUDETA,.!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U62PHGMKO4RK7BLMC4ACA4EG5A EREC

      ang mga sinasabi mo ay isang mukha ng PMA sa panahon ng mga taong nagtapos sa paaralan naiyan, hindi po kita kokontrahin dahil iyan po ang TOTOO sa panahon nila, subalit habang nagbabago ang panahon at may mga bata at bagong nagtatapos sa PMA hindi po ako nawawalan ng pag-asa at umaasa na dumami ang mabubuti at iniisip ang ikabubuti gaya ng 2 kong pinsan na nagtapos din sa PMA para sa pangkalahatan at kung ano ang maging sundalo at natapos sa PMA. Sa TOTOO lagmak ang military natin at ngayon lang nag rerecover. Minsan po napag uusapan din namin iyan….. subalit ang bottom line we are living in a democratic country…..people must vote wisely for the sake of the nation!!! means the problem is really start from the people.

  • mitsuwi

    I expect him to join the public enemy No. 1,.hirap ba naman ng buhay pag aralin ka tapos di ka babawi?.nahirapan kaya erpats niya pag akyat ng niyog,.pagkakataon na to,.milyon milyon makukulimbat netong batang to,.sa fuel subsidies palang tiba tiba na,.hahaha

  • talisaycebu

    The kid did  a job that most of will not be able to accomplish!!! (I know I can’t) Maybe it is jealousy and some posters are already putting him down,What a judgemental  people you are. I would be a proud parent if I was on thier shoes!!!

  • mitsuwi

     I expect him to join the public enemy No. 1,.hirap ba naman ng buhay pag
    aralin ka tapos di ka babawi?.nahirapan kaya erpats niya pag akyat ng
    niyog,.pagkakataon na to,.milyon milyon makukulimbat netong batang
    to,.sa fuel subsidies palang tiba tiba na,.hahaha,.

    • GuRamoy

      bitter? tao nga naman.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U62PHGMKO4RK7BLMC4ACA4EG5A EREC

      totoo may mga ganun….lalo na po yong mga nagtapos sa PMA na talagang mayaman na at hindi naghirap sa buhay at ang kinamulatan nila ay kasaganaan at hindi natikman ang hirap ng buhay at ginawang sangkalan ang pagtatapos sa PMA para maituloy ang kasaganaan ng buhay galing sa kaban ng bayan…. but those who finished in PMA from the poor and hardship they will stand on what they believe – in before they join PMA and live with principle. To tell you frankly I had 2 graduates cousin in PMA they came from ordinary family, but until today their lives still living in principle that a member of good community must practice.

      • tarikan

        EREC, maybe your 2 cousin PMAers are just the aberration. Maybe they are still junior officers, still idealistic. Wait till they reach star rank officers. Haven’t you heard of those generals…Euro generals, pabaon generals, jueteng generals, KFR generals, carnapping generals, then going into politics generals. Dating (karamihan) mga isang kahig isang tuka laang. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JGOS6OO2YQFL55A3K2GKSG2U3I Zyril

    To reach the top, you need to become one of them but once you become one of them, eliminate most of them. Uphold honor, dignity and patriotism by not totally becoming most of them and serve for the welfare of your country not for your personal gain. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U62PHGMKO4RK7BLMC4ACA4EG5A EREC

    Congrats…. I hope this new batch of PMA graduates will stand and uphold for what they believe-in and protect and defend the land and constitution of the republic as their school uphold to them.

  • speedstream2

    Hard work and determination to succeed always pay off. Congratulations to the Lanaja family and, of course, to PMA Class 2013 topnotcher Jestony Lanaja.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_U62PHGMKO4RK7BLMC4ACA4EG5A EREC

    ipinanganak man na mayaman o mahirap, ang mga schoolar ng bayan ay talagang nagsusunog ng kilay para mag aral…..its their hobby….to read and read, study and study. Kaya saludo ako sa  kanila! At saludo rin po ako sa mga magulang matiyagang intindihan ang kanilang mga anak kahit nabubuhay sa kahirapan na priority sa kanilang mga anak ang mag-aral. Ang pag-aaral ay susi para makawala/makaalpas sa kamangmangan.

    • tarikan

      From the beginning…isang kahig isang tuka. Pag naging general na gabundok ang tinutuka. Another pabaon general in the making? Huwag naman sana but that’s the norm folks. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PXS7DDUUV5OJIXZASTB7ASNCME Graciano

    Congrats to the Lanaja family and to Lt. Jestony Lanaja.

  • kilabot

    with luck and in due time, 
    his smart son will no longer drink tuba but imported champagne, 
    caviar for appetizers, 
    and dollars for the wallet. 

    stop taxpayer support to pma now.

    • marienkind

       And then let’s let uneducated officers lead all armed forces branches so we can proudly call anarchy our next form of government. Brilliant.

  • tarikan

    Now you know. Most if not all PMAers have very humble beginnings. That’s the reason they (talented but financially challenged) opt go to  the PMA for the free tuition and after graduation they get some sort of a lump sum as earned salary. These PMAers are very idealistic young soldiers in the beginning but hey wait until they (most of them) are in their 50’s (reaching star rank) they start to stink…being eaten by the corrupt system. How many generals/admirals who retired as multi-millionaires or at least millionaires? Many! These poor first class cadets who will graduate next month will be no exception, at least most of them. Same old, same old…pathetic.

  • Euan Mac

    God will do the rest. 

  • tarikan

    Congratulations 2nd Lt. Jestony Lanaja and to your parents. Being the Baron of the graduating PMAers is no small matter. It’s a big deal. But your alma mater as of late has been accused of producing not officers & gentlemen but rather streetwise wheeler dealer millionaires and rightly so. Upon your shoulders rest the hope of the hoi poloi that you can undo the bad reputation built by your alma mater.  

  • Matashari

    oh for heaven’s sake, why can’t we just be happy for this young man. ikaw na ang maging anak ng mananggete…you can’t even imagine the odds that this guy had to overcome. So let’s leave the put downs for another day, shall we?

    • http://twitter.com/retoot aris alfaro

      …your comment makes the most sense. it’s like they cant believe a son of a tuba harvester made good on his studies. and so, instead of praising the father and son’s perseverance, ay nang aasar na lang at napag-iisipan pa ng masama. classic talangka at its worst. which made me wonder: are they happy with their lives?

  • boybakal

     ‘Tuba’ gatherer is proud papa of PMA top gun….

    Then there is Future in Tuba, not only Suka.

  • at-large

    si manong Tonio, magiging Millionaryo na pag na silaw sa kuarta ang anak niya by the time he will become a General. hehehehehe anyway congrats Manong Tonio

  • BOYPDAF

    Kapag pinadala na sa Gera yan at nakita na butas ang mga boots at me iniiwang truck na puno ng armas sa kagubatan na gaya ng sinasabi ni trillanes noon,mgaiiba ang idealismo niyan!ang tinuro sa kanila sa PMA ay moro moro lang na patayin ang kalaban,hndi nila alam na kapag walng pera walang gera vice versa..iiwanan ang baril at bala sa kagubtan para kunin ng mga kaaway…Trillanes saw it in his eyes wide open!

    • bongarroyo

      correction trillanes is not a PMA graduate…

      wala siya siyang karanasan sa mga totoong giyera na iyan sa opisina lang iyan nagbutas ng bangko..

  • batangsulpok

    Sana naman ay magkaroon ng delikadeza itong class 2013 na hindi sundin ang mga nauna sa kanila na napakaraming corrupt pag tumaas na ang ranggo gaya nina Garcia, Ligot, Reyes, Cimatu, Villanueva, Mendoza, Lacson, Trillanes at marami pang iba.

  • bongarroyo

    tuba gatherer ngayon…..after 10+ years tuba exporter na iyan.

    salamat anak

  • maypakialamtayo

    wala ng kredibilidad ang PMA ngayon, pero wag muna natin syang husgahan, maghintay tayo ng 10 taon pa at malalaman natin ang katayuan nila sa buhay dun tayo umangal.

  • Rovingmoron

    Great guys, carry on the torch and keep it burning! Mabuhay kayo!

  • $5699914

    PMA is being looked down because of some bad eggs who graduated there….if that is the case, will I start looking down at UP or PUP too because many society headaches came from these places?

  • $26791673

    Congratulations sa PMA top gun and to his parents!

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