I edited this book so I'm biased, but take my word for it, it offers a fascinating and comprehensive coverage of what it means to spend four years in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). The Class of '71 is notorious or famous, depending on which side of history you're on. Some of its well-known members initiated the military rebellion that led to the EDSA People Power Revolt of 1986; many of them staged failed coups against the Cory Aquino administration. This checkered history doesn' t take away from the outstanding service many of the class' quieter members have rendered to the country.
President National Defense College of the Philippines (2001-2010)
Philippine contemporary history, told and untold, narrated in detail, through the eyes of one who lived through the anxiety, the hardships, the glamor, the glories and the tragedies of military life in the Philippines amid the chaos of insurgency, martial rule, clamor for reform and rebellion. A story of a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class, masterfully written, in itself relating the individual and collective paths of the members of the controversial class. This is a book that students and researchers of history, current affairs and socio-political issues in developing countries will find extremely enlightening and useful.
Class of '71 came with a few familiar names in the aftermath of the EDSA revolt. A handful of their classmates revealed the making of an officer in the most turbulent times when the people, having lost trust in the military, set their sights on these men as heroes. They were the rebels, the reformists; but in time they also epitomized the character of the anti-hero. How were we to make of that?
Through this class we learned to dissect what was once a closed world of the military. We discovered a camaraderie, a strong brotherhood etched from their cadet years in the academy. When I thought that was all there was to it, I came upon other officers of Class '71 that were out of the limelight but were nonetheless true of their idealism, of what being a soldier was meant to be. Then I understood it was not the military organization that made men, it was the men themselves who made choices that would make the military important in the nation's political life.
This book tells us stories of beginnings, of the innocence that was among the cadets, given their chance to mark their future. It is in these stories that make us understand the Philippine military, to fathom crucial decisions they make, to laugh with the jokes and anecdotes shared among men moulded to become leaders.
Class of '71 has had its reputation of fame and notoriety. This book has less of that; it tells us more about dreams and the kind of survival that changed their lives and the honor with which they want to serve the nation. Many classes have gone through similar paths, but the Class of '71, for what it's worth, has forged its place in our country's recent military history.
Author, "Laughter in the South/Footnotes to the Southern Philippines Conflict"
By the sub-title of this book, author Rolly Malinis himself makes it clear at the outset that he makes neither pretension nor grandiose claim other than Brothers being the "untold story of Philippine Military Academy 'Matatag' Class of 1971." But he couldn't have been more mistaken. For the story of this class, individually and collectively, from the day they took their oath as members of the Cadet Corps Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1967 to this very day is, on several planes, the story of PMA, the AFP and the country.
As one reads through the chapters of the book arranged--quite understandably so--in some time sequence of events that transpired in the last four decades, the conclusion becomes inescapable that Malinis, through this interesting and captivating book about his PMA class, has contributed more than a page or two to Philippine history.
This book is the story of the 'MATATAGS.' It is the most detailed and factual account to date of PMA Class 1971. It was written and lived in sweat, tears and sacrifice by Rolly Malinis, a MATATAG, with all members of the class - as brothers.
Former senator and secretary office of presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery
An array of human travails and fate - starting with their cadet days from 1967 to 1971, all the way to their retirement more than three decades later, the Philippine Military Academy "Matatag" Class of 1971 exemplifies a multi-faceted experience of an interesting mix of men worthy of a book in contemporary history.
This book aptly describes in almost graphic detail how we slowly but surely increased our threshold level for physical and psychological pains through one full year of daily ritual known as plebehood.
Without doubt, the difficulties and challenges did not end there. One is serving time in the New Bilibid Prisons. Many of us had near death experiences while serving country and people. A good number were hailed as heroes of the world acclaimed EDSA revolution in February 1986; a year later in August 1987, they were being haled to court for rebellion. My life story is in itself a potential blockbuster, but that is another matter altogether.
Sadly, eighteen among an original batch of one hundred and nine will never be able to turn a page of this book.
What really amazed me is how the author, a revered "mistah", Rolly Malinis managed to inject so many details of our journey that started in the summer of 1967 through the hallowed ground of Fort del Pilar on to our military and police services up to retirement that spanned 46 years. A few among us are still in government either by choice or sheer calling.
It takes a Herculean effort to put all our stories together. I could imagine the intense pressure on Rolly's mind while trying to balance the significant events in the lives of his classmates on the pages of this literary masterpiece.
PMA Class '71 has a great impact on Philippine history. Its class members are visible in government, business, and community services even to this very day. At first, many were skeptical that Rolly could ferret out the massive volume of information enough to complete the big puzzle to clearly portray our journey. Yet, he was able to input in the book names, places, events, and stories together. The publication of this book will end those doubts or skepticism. For this effort, the class is indebted for his labor of love done in the most selfless way.
This book is a "must read" for people wanting to understand the psyche of PMA graduates, particularly Class '71.
Former Philippine Ambassador to the State of Israel.
This book is written by the most unlikely member of the class of 71 because he was not known to us as a writer but as an "economist" having obtained a Master's degree and a PhD candidacy in Economics. His narrative shows his keen sense of observation and his even better ability to retain details of things that happened close to half a century ago. A very good read for the members of the class, but an even better book for those who think they know of its members. This is an unadulterated narrative of what was, and is about the famous or infamous PMA Matatag Class of 1971.