Manila, Philippines – Ayala Corporation (Ayala) recently hosted the McMicking Wings Awards, a prestigious recognition given yearly to Philippine Air Force (PAF) Flying School graduates with the highest proficiency in pilot training and overall performance rating. Twenty-one of 96 total recipients attended the awarding ceremony held at Ayala Tower One & Exchange Plaza, Makati City.
The McMicking Wings Awards was created by Col. Joseph R. McMicking, the visionary who transformed post-war Makati into the country’s premier Central Business District. He was also a decorated World War II pilot, who in 1939 created this distinction to celebrate excellence amongst the best military pilots in the PAF.
“The much-coveted McMicking Wings worn on an awardees’ right breast remains an honor and a privilege to this day. We are treated with great respect because it is a symbol of excellence. . . The McMicking Wings motivate students in the military pilot training to excel and give their best in carrying out higher responsibility—always in good moral standing to achieve the mission we seek to accomplish,” said BGen. Adelberto F. Yap (Ret.), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), who was the last recipient to be personally awarded by Col. McMicking in 1968.
This year’s only awardee, 2Lt. Realyn G. Janoras, PAF, is the first ever female recipient of the McMicking Wings. Former awardees in attendance included 1949 awardee BGen. Mariano F. Castañeda Jr. (Ret.), AFP, the first McMicking Wings recipient after the war, class 1951 awardee Col. Vicente C. Rivera Jr. (Ret.), PAF, former Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications, and class 1985 awardee Lt. Gen. Salvador Melchor B.
Mison Jr., former Vice Chief of Staff of the AFP. 1988 McMicking Wings awardee Lt. Gen. Rozzano D. Briguez, Commanding General of the PAF, was represented by MGen. Ferdinand Cartujano, AFP, Commander of Air Education, Training and Doctrine Command.
“The Ayala group has been a strong advocate of initiatives in support of the Armed Forces… We understand the enormous responsibility you carry in helping secure our peace and security, and we truly appreciate all that you have done for our country,” said Ayala Corporation Chairman & CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala in his welcome address. Zobel is the grandnephew of Col. McMicking, who, he revealed, taught US President Dwight D. Eisenhower how to fly.
Col. McMicking was inducted into the US Air Force from the Philippine Air Force Reserve Corps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He accompanied Gen. Douglas MacArthur to Corregidor and Australia, and later on, to Leyte, with President Sergio Osmeña. He was given the Distinguished Service Star by the Philippine government, while the US government awarded him the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, the Bronze Star, Distinguished Unit Badge, Pacific
Theater Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and the Philippine Defense Ribbon. He passed away on October 5, 1990 in Sotogrande, Spain.
By continuing the McMicking Wings Awards, Ayala upholds the tradition started by Col. McMicking to pay tribute to the brave men and women of the PAF. It is also a commemorative celebration of Col. McMicking’s legacy and patriotism.
Photo (from left to right) Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation Head of Business Development; MGen. Ferdinand M. Cartujano, AFP, Commander of Air Education, Training and Doctrine
Command; Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation Chairman & CEO; BGen. Mariano F. Castañeda (Ret.), AFP, McMicking Wings awardee of class 1949, and the first recipient of the award after WWIIFernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation President & COO Amb. Marciano A. Paynor, Jr., Ayala Corporation Head of Corporate Support Services