Attendance at next PMA reunion to be limited to 300 alumni
MANILA, Philippines—Only 300 alumni of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) were allowed to be physically present at the academy’s annual homecoming in Baguio City early next year to prevent transmission of SARS Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
PMA Superintendent Vice Admiral Alan Ferdinand Cusi said it was the request of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who is a PMA alumnus himself.
“He is amenable,” Cusi said when asked by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, during a budget hearing on Monday (Oct. 12). Magalong, appointed contact-tracing czar of the national government’s COVID-19 fight, was “amenable for 300 alumni to visit the city.” The alumni homecoming weekend is tentatively set on Feb. 12 to 14, 2021.
“That is his limit, sir,” Cusi told Lacson, himself a PMA alumnus and graduate of PMA Class of 1971.
“How would that be now? We are the host as Class ’71. So all of us would be present. You just fight over the balance,” Lacson said in jest, speaking in Filipino.
Cusi, who is retiring in November, said he will leave it to his successor and the leadership of the PMA Alumni Association to decide on the distribution of the 300 guests among all PMA classes.
Thousands of PMA alumni, mostly retired and active military officers, come together around February for the annual reunion at Fort del Pilar, the PMA campus. They are usually joined by their friends and families.
This year’s alumni homecoming had seen a limited crowd compared to previous years due to the pandemic.
Baguio City has opened its doors to tourists since early October but strict protocols remain in place. Those who will attend next year’s alumni gathering would have to “show proof they have undergone COVID-19 test,” Cusi said.
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