Mindanaoan exam topnotchers: 'Let's aim for unity through education'
MANILA. Philippines – "The result, or any result from a board exam or even contests, should not lead to arguments on which region or area in the country is intellectually superior. There is no need to compare, we're basically the same race: Filipinos."
Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology student Lovelle Rhoy Cariño Manpatilan, the topnotcher in the recently held Mettalurgical Engineer (ME) Licensure Examination, gave this message when asked to comment on the tendency of people to compare Manila and provincial schools.
Addressing those who look down on Mindanaoans, Manpatilan expressed hope that "the stigma ends soon so as to achieve unity in a deeper sense, which can also be addresed through education."
Manpatilan and his classmate, Wilbert Wales Tidalgo, both topped the exam with a score of 88.95%. Another schoolmate, Kristine Mae Medrano Pazo, placed 8th with 85.15%.
The rest of the top 10 exam-takers are from the University of the Philippines Diliman. John Rossmon Magalong Resuello placed second with 87.80%, while Bianca Patricia Macapagal Reyes placed third with 86.95%.
Manpatilan said the exam results only show how schools prepared their students for examinations. "Maybe the results reflect how academic institutions all over the country are gearing themselves to produce competent professionals through quality education, which can be assessed through the PRC board exams, thus for the improvement of the Philippines."
Manpatilan and Tidalgo are not the first Midnanaons to top board exams.
Jay Nelson Corbita, who graduated summa cum laude in Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, topped the 2017 Mechanical Engineering board examination. He said that his parents' hard work inspired him to pursue his dreams. (READ: Ateneo de Cagayan summa cum laude tops mechanical engineering board exam)
Marianne Ross Bacia Soldevilla from the Notre Dame of Marbel University in South Cotabato topped the Medical Technology Licensure Examination with 90.90%, whil and Glenn Charls Lagumbay Buelis from the University of the Immaculate Conception-Davao came in second with 90.80%.
Marian Kaye Gallego of the University of Mindanao-Davao City ranked 1st place in the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET-secondary level) with a rating of 92.8% in August. Five of her school mates from the University of Mindanao-Davao City were also in the top 10.
Calam said that she wants to be an inspiration to other people in small towns and “simple families” like hers because it's not impossible to make big dreams come true. (READ: Bar topnotcher Karen Calam hopes to inspire others to dream big)
Manpatilan and Tidalgo share a lot in common – both are scholars and aimed for nothing more than passing the board exams. Graduating from college did not come easy for both of them as well.
Tidalgo, 22, is a son of a cook in a small carinderia in Manila, and an on-call technician in Surigao City.
He said he really wanted to take up Physics or Chemical Engineering, but his parents could not support him financially, so he won a DOST scholarship and enrolled in an ME course.
“I really wanted to graduate in college, that's why I did everything to survive. Even though my parents are separated, I still pursued my dream and applied for the DOST scholarship. Luckily, I got it.” Tidalgo said.
He shared that to get by and support his education, his father often borrowed money from relatives. This encouraged him to strive harder to graduate with flying colors.
"I told him that I'll return everything he asked from me. I'll also take responsibilty for my sister's education. It's payback time. They deserve it," Tidalgo said.
Manpatilan is the first college graduate in his family. His two older siblings are already working while his two younger siblings are in high school and elementary. He said his parents' dream is for all of them to be college graduates.
Manpatilan took accountancy before shifting to engineering. His mother, a telecommunications agent for almost 8 years, and his father, a personal body guard since he was a kid in Butuan, initially did not allow him to shift course. Eventually, they changed their minds.
“I thought an accountancy course is more on number solving, because I really love mathematics. But when I took the course, it's more on analyzing problem than purely number solving, that's why I shifted to engineering," Manpatilan added.
Asked for tips for others who want to follow their path, both agreed on one important advice: Have time to relax.
Tidalgo shared that after 3 hours of review, he takes a break playing DOTA. Manpatilan said he spends enough time sleeping to relax his brain. Another key advice: Don't feel pressured. (READ: Exams? 10 key test-taking tips from top students)
"I think that's what's important, to relax your brain after analyzing and memorizing every lessons. Don't stress yourself too much because it will not do you any good," Manpatilan said in a mix of Filipino and English.
Manpatilan and Tidalgo will take their professional oath in November. – Rappler.com