J and I were talking last night about his new life when he reports to his division. I can sense that he's a bit sad about it although he doesn't want to show it. I feel for him. I know that it will be a different story as compared to their life in PMA. Gone are the days of just worrying about duties, demerits, touring hours and what nots. J have always been telling me that life is indeed easier as a cadet. Although there's no freedom when you're inside the academy, everything is taken cared of when you're there. After their graduation, they were finally freed from the rules inside PMA but it also meant being responsible for everything that you do with that freedom. It also meant looking after yourself as there will be no tac-o's, commandants, instructors to look after your every move from then on.
Getting deployed also meant separation from his mistah (term they use for their batchmates). After 4 years of being together 24/7 inside the academy, they will now be distributed across the country. Just the thought of it saddens me. I even joke him na ako yung nalulungkot para sa kanya. Goodbyes are always difficult. Though I know J had already set his mind that this will happen eventually, I can feel his sadness when he talks about his mistahs leaving the barracks to go to their assignments. Ako pa nga yung naiiyak. I've somehow got to bond with some of his mistahs over the past couple of months. I've been with them in out of town trips and occassional dinners and gimiks. I had a glimpse of what they were like and how bonded they are with each other. For that short time I was with them, I can say that I'm going to miss them... how much more for J. But he (and all of his batchmates) don't have a choice but to move on. This bittersweet phase will soon be replaced by the reality that lies ahead. The reality that I'm having difficulty getting to terms with.
As the cliche goes, for every ending there's always a beginning. They will now be beginning their life as junior officers of the Philippine Army. Challenging is an understatement to describe their line of work. Nevertheless, I have faith in them that they would be responsible officers of our country. To the Maragtas Class, good luck! Make us proud! =)