THE ultimate friendship goal is to pass the board exam together, and that is what two graduates from the University of Cebu (UC) did during the May 2019 Civil Engineer Licensure examination.
Ronie Tarriga II and Jobert de la Cruz who got 95.20 percent and 92.15 percent, respectively, grabbed the first and 10th place of the licensure exam for civil engineering.
De la Cruz was a transferee to UC when he met Tarriga. Since then, they’ve had each other’s back.
Both of them were working students.
Tarriga, a scholar, used to be an officer of the Philippine Institute for Civil Engineers UC chapter.
Tarriga said he had dreamt of becoming a civil engineer since he was in fourth grade. He even initially thought it was the only engineering program.
“Nashock ko kay daghan diay ni, pero ga-civil ko kay mao namay gidala sa akong kasing-kasing (I was shocked when I learned there were other disciplines, but I chose civil engineering because it was in my heart),” he said.
He said he had always been interested in how structures were built.
Every time he saw a structure that was new to him, he would tell himself he would build something similar someday.
“I held on to that dream until I finally fulfilled it,” Tarriga said in Cebuano.
De la Cruz grew up dreaming of becoming a fireman. Then in high school, he started helping his father with the latter’s part-time carpentry job.
While in college, de la Cruz needed to juggle his studies and work as a service crew member of a fastfood chain to turn his and his father’s dreams to reality.
Driven by their financial challenges, de la Cruz pushed himself to never give up although there were times when he felt like surrendering, like the time fire destroyed their house in Barangay Alang-alang in Mandaue City in November 2011 or when he needed an operation for appendicitis months later.
De la Cruz stopped going to school for two years so he could work full time and help his family. During this period, he managed to save money for his studies.
What made him continue despite the hardships was his father’s dream, he said.
“It was his dream to be a civil engineer, and he was never able to fulfill it. That’s why I will fulfill it for him,” he said in Cebuano.
As a working student, de la Cruz admitted that he spent many times sleeping in class. He felt he was so left behind in his studies that he even forgot how to do basic math.
De la Cruz said he is grateful to Tarriga for encouraging him to think positive and not to give up.
He said Tarriga was always there to lend him books and notes that he missed in classes.
During their review, Tarriga said the two of them and their friends rented a boarding house so they could study together and help each other.
“Tudluan kung kinsay galisod kay tuo mi nga (We would help those who were having a hard time with the review because) the more you teach, the more you can acquire knowledge,” Tarriga said.
When the results came out last Friday, May 10, Tarriga and de la Cruz could not believe they passed, let alone made it to the top 10.
Tarriga said he was very happy with the results because all of their friends passed the exam.
“We helped each other because we didn’t want anyone in the gang to get left behind. So if we passed, we all had to pass because what was the use if we passed but our friends didn’t,” he said in Cebuano.
UC’s passing rate for the May 2019 Civil Engineering board exam was 38.39 percent, or higher than the national passing rate.
Greg Belongilot, UC college of engineering dean, said it was a great achievement that of the 112 takers from the university, 43 passed the difficult exam.
Tarriga and de la Cruz’s advice to aspiring civil engineers is to never give up.
“The hardships and challenges will always be there, but don’t let these beat you,” Tarriga said in Cebuano.