Meriam Libongcogon is part of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Class Salaknib (Sanggalang ay Lakas at Bukay Para sa Kalayaan ng Inang Bayan). They graduate on Sunday, March 12.
The Salaknib batch, which has eight women in the top 10, including the valedictorian, boasts the most number of female cadets (63) since women were accepted into the PMA 24 years ago.
Meriam's story, though, deserves to be highlighted.
"The 25-year-old Meriam is the second child (among six kids) of Mario (a carpenter) and Florida (a housewife) Libongcogon of Bambalan, Cebu," reports Micaella Ilao on ABS-CBN News.
Meriam's father's income was not enough to support their family's needs, so she learned to be industrious. After Meriam graduated from high school at age 15, she started working as a housemaid in order to fund her college studies in computer engineering.
The report notes: "After being a housemaid in Cebu for three years, she transferred to Baguio City, where she met 'Nanay Rose,' the woman whom she considers her 'foster parent.' It was Nanay Rose who encouraged Meriam to join the PMA, and helped her enroll in the academy."
Meriam is set to join the Philippine Navy. She revealed that she plans to build a house for her parents in the future.