UC topnotchers surprised by own success-A A +A
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
THEY were strolling inside the SM Mall of Asia when Neil Nardo, Jason Pegarido and Maria Regielou Celis learned about the results of the licensure examination for naval architects and marine engineers.
It was Friday night and the University of Cebu (UC) graduates, who took the grueling exam last Oct. 11, 12 and 13 in Quiapo, Manila, decided to unwind.
“Nalipay ko (I was happy),” recalled Nardo, who topped the exam with a score of 91.40
“Nagbunga gyud ang among mga sakripisyo, pagtuon ug pag-ampo (Our sacrifices, the hours we spent on studying and the prayers paid off).”
Nardo, 27, a native of Asturias, Cebu, was followed by Pegarido, who scored 90.10 percent, and Celis, who scored 87.80 percent.
Only 24 out of the 52 examinees passed, according to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
Celis, 22, burst into tears when she learned she ranked third. “Wala ko magtuo kay murag naa pa may mas kamao nako (I didn’t expect it because there were examinees who could be more knowledgeable than I am),” she told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.
Celis, a native of Tubigon, Bohol, said she was emotional when she received the news because she encountered several problems before she took the exam.
When she arrived in Manila, she had to call one of her teachers to ask for help after she found that her name was not on the PRC’s master list.
Pegarido, 23, said his parents’ sacrifices for him motivated him to study hard.
“Ang ilang gipangayo nga makapasar lang ko. Di sila katuo hapit nga na-second ko (All
they asked was for me to pass. They could hardly believe I ranked second),” he said.
Pegarido is a resident of San Fernando, Cebu. His father works as an electric inspector in a cement company, while her mother works as a vendor.
A difficult childhood motivated Nardo to strive for success. He was four years old when her mother and father separated.
As a child, he was passed from one relative to another, Nardo said. He grew up under
the care of his aunt in Asturias.
Nardo’s mother died last year. He recalled his mother telling him she might not live long enough to see him graduate. “Natinuod gyud (It came true),” he said.
Nardo said his goal was only to pass the exam. “I was confident that I will pass but I never expected to get the first place,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
Their batch, which graduated last March, reviewed at school for the exam. They divided the lessons among themselves and shared what they learned.
Nardo has another degree in industrial engineering, which he received from the Cebu Technological University in Tuburan, Cebu in 2004 with cum laude honors.
For his training, he worked for the JM Marine Services, a company owned by his cousin, a naval architect and marine engineer who also graduated from UC.
Nardo, who is now a regular employee of the company, said it was his cousin who encouraged him to study naval architect and marine engineering in UC.
After working for two years in the company, he enrolled in UC in 2006. But he studied part-time, since he wanted to continue working. He finished the four-year course in five years.
Celis said she studied naval architecture and naval engineering because she wanted to be good at Mathematics.
“Math challenged me because I wasn’t good at it when I was in high school,” she said, adding that she wanted to be able to teach her future children to solve Math problems.
Celis said she was destined to be a naval architect and marine engineer. Her mother is a fish vendor and her father used to work on a ship. They also live near the sea.
“Linya gyud nako ang dagat (I’m meant for sea-related jobs),” she said, and then laughed when someone pointed out that she came from a place called “Tubigon.”
Celis said her dream is to work in Europe. At present, she and Pegarido work in the same company with Nardo.
Celis, who is second in a brood of seven, said she will have to work hard to support the education of her siblings, four of whom will be studying in college next year.
Pegarido, who is fourth in a brood of five, said he studied naval architecture and marine engineering because he loves Math. He recalled receiving a Best in Math award in elementary.
His father and elder brother graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, and he wanted to be different, he added.
He said he has no idea about naval architecture and marine engineering when he enrolled in the course.
“It’s the name of the course that appealed to me,” he said.
But later on, he said he learned to love the course.
The three said the excellent training in UC helped them succeed in the licensure exam.
Celis said the strict manner their mentors taught them was a big factor in their success.
“We were really forced to study because of our strict mentors,” she said.
Nardo said he does not consider himself bright.
“Dili man ko ingon utukan, mutuon lang gyud ko (I can’t say I’m smart. I just study hard),” he said.
Nardo said he will continue working for his cousin’s company.
“Out of gratitude, I will serve the company for some more years,” he said.
But Nardo said he considers working abroad. He said he would go back to Cebu, though, once he saves enough money.
“I’m not in a hurry to go abroad. Anyway, the opportunities will always be there,” Nardo said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2011.