Bohol native Kristiane Betinol, a 20-year-old student of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, wanted to be a lawyer. Her roots, however, may be leading her to a different life of service—through the military.
Betinol grew up with two military men in her life—her father, Talibon native Philippine Army Major Eliseo Betinol Jr., and her great grandfather, Ret. Col. Vicente Nunag Jr., who was known for his exploits as a soldier during the Japanese occupation.
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“I was influenced growing up. I grew up with my great grandparents, and my father was also an officer,” Kristiane said in Cebuano and English. “We always visited where my father was assigned and I got used to life in the camp.”
At the onset of her pursuit of joining the military, Kristiane who is a major in the country’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) has already reaped several awards.
She was recently honored in Guam as one of the best performers in the Cultural Understanding and Leadership Proficiency (CULP) program under the Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty.
She was selected among 30 cadets from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who engaged in rigid strategic planning sessions, survival training and field training exercises with their Guam counterparts from November 13 to 19.
Kristiane was also chosen to be part of the Junior Women Leaders in Defense and Security board which will convene early next year in Malacañang.
Over two years into her college education as a BS Chemistry student at UP, Kristiane is now bent on enrolling at the Philippine Military Academy, and join the AFP like her father and great grandfather before her.
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“Originally, I really wanted to be a lawyer. I tried the ROTC in UPD, and I loved it,” she said. “There are advantages if you graduate from the academy if you want a military career.”