Southville: Could you recall a moment when your father’s military success made an impact in your life?
I remember when I was young, I wouldn’t always see my dad. So whenever I was with him, I would see how great of a leader he was – being a strict father which was a given, there I knew that he was a great military leader. This was also confirmed by his subordinates who would always tell me that my father was a great mentor who had the purest intentions in all that he did.
2Lt. Jan Hernan R. Perez, affectionately known as Hernan, at last, has returned to his home from four years of being in the service academy. The son of a former Lieutenant General of the Philippine Air Force now shares an equal success and recognition, making it to the Philippine Military Academy’s (PMA) Top 5 Honor Roll, Class of 2021. A big part of Hernan’s journey was nothing short of an inspiration that his late father was, LTGEN Hernanie B Perez (RET.). The intergenerational exploration of one’s call to serve the country has marked the lifeblood of the Perez family having two great men at the frontline and support trenches. It runs in the family, started by Hernan’s mentor in life for whom he was admirative. At the age of 17, Hernan officially joined the PMA. Whereas Southville contributed to his childhood and adolescence, he was a boy awaited to meet adulthood at a local city downtown.
Southville: What wise words of your late father did you take with you as you entered the academy back then?
“Before entering the Academy, I never really had any experience in the CAT or ROTC. So I barely had any knowledge of what I would traverse in PMA. However, I remember he would tell me that it’s not what I have (knowledge or skill) before entering the academy, rather it’s my determination and willingness to grow out of my shell that will help me finish. He would always tell me that he was a lot thinner (45kg to 60kg), yet he was able to withstand all the physical struggles alongside all the other challenges posed by the academy.”
Hernan and his father are known to have a great deal of similarities. Where the late lieutenant general would spend his days off, you’d see Hernan. What the late lieutenant general was good at, Hernan would manage to pull it off. His father’s qualities as the head of the family and servant of the country influenced Hernan’s upbringing and disposition at the military. Inside the camp, he would take account of all his father’s advices even with how he should never forget to be humble and always remember God’s part in everything that he does. He was his confidante, role model, and the captain of his life up to the time he led a brigade and made his father proud. The days Hernan trained, 12 to 18 hours a day at a stretch, led him to a deeper admiration for his father who made a good soldier out of the little boy that he was. In his recent social media post, Hernan wrote:
“On my 22nd Birthday, there is nothing else that I could wish for because I know that every single thing that had happened to me has a purpose – from experiencing the hardships of plebe hood, to being the Brigade Commander of the corps, to the passing of my father, and to my graduating from the Academy. To my father in heaven, thank you for watching over me as I become an officer like you. A leader for others, exactly how you were. I love you my guardian Angel! Hoping to be the bearer of your Class Flag soon.”
“Hernan was a committed student of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) who had his leadership foundation at Southville International School and Colleges (SISC). He used to lead activities for the good of his batch and what’s unique about him is his humility coupled with respect for all – classmates, varsity mates, regardless of who they are. His happy countenance sets him uniquely, different from the typical PMArs who are “stiff”, whose smiles are expensive. He is smiling all the time,” shared Dr. Rene Aligonero, Southville faculty and one of Hernan’s mentors.
Southville: In which subject/s in Southville did you excel at?
“I was good at Social Sciences especially if it involved writing and speaking. However, I would usually place at the top of my class in all of my subjects, even in Math (hahaha)!”
Southville: What was your learning style?
“I would always listen in class and I love making my own reviewers. Spaced Repetition would apply to me as a student.”
Southville: Which part of studying at Southville did you like most and why?
‘’The best part about studying in Southville is that there is always a constant challenge. You never really stop learning.”
Hernan’s “survivor” acclaim as he made it to the PMA’s Top 5 Honor Roll derives from his Cultural Intelligence or CQ having gone to an international school. Intercultural mindset being central to performing military operations has been an advantage to his formative years in the service academy. Southville students’ practices of success apparently result in transformational leadership – taking it from Hernan’s student organization affiliation to becoming the command officer of a brigade. Concurrent with intelligence quotient, Hernan also possessed an imperative balance in his mental and physical competence which merits Southville’s equal approach to its students’ academic and athletic development. Hernan started in Southville at the age of five and completed his high school in 2015.
I would just like to say thank you. Thank you for teaching me what Facite Differentiam means. It is because of this principle that wherever I go and whatever I do, I always believe that we should all try to make a difference regardless if big or small. It is because of this that I finally found my own purpose in life.
– 2Lt. Jan Hernan R. Perez
The reason why we chose Southville as the school for our children is because we really appreciated the kids who came from Southville. They exhibited confidence and it was obvious that they were properly educated in terms of both intelligence and emotional quotient.
– Mrs. Janet Rebadulla-Perez