It is not a rare case where we see foreigners coming to learn in the Philippines, but what if they enroll and graduate in the prestigious and cut-throat Philippine Military Academy? Meet 23-year-old Pongpeera Disapirom from Bangkok, Thailand who just did that.
Disapirom received his diploma from President Rodrigo Duterte, together with the 281 other graduates of PMA “Alab Tala” class of 2018. While ranked 254th in the class, Disapirom is the sixth Thai to pass the academy’s rigorous military and academic training. He joined the academy in 2014 and has become fluent enough in Filipino.
In an Inquirer.net article, Disapirom told reporters that he would use what he has learned in the academy to “help resolve problems in my country.” He also expressed his gratitude in being part of the military exchange program. The program has allowed foreign nationals to study in the PMA and Filipino cadets as well can enroll in military school abroad.
Disapirom will be serving as a junior officer in the Royal Thai Army.
According to Lt. Col. Reynaldo Balido, chief of the PMA public affairs office, Disapirom was popular among his “mistah” (classmates) due to his communication skills in Filipino.