TWO graduates of the University of San Carlos (USC) made it to the top 10 in the May 2019 Chemical Engineering licensure examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) on May 22, 23 and 24, 2019.
Armel Jay Polintan Mercado ranked eighth with a rating of 80.50 percent, while Ariel Danielle Anjelu del Mar Suico ranked ninth with a rating of 80.30 percent.
Light at end of tunnel
Mercado was in his hometown in Isabel, Leyte, when he found out that he passed the board exam. He admits that he was just hoping to pass the exam, seeing how difficult it was.
“I expected that any result could come out. I could either fail or pass the exam,” Mercado said.
Mercado is the fourth engineer in the family. Mercado explained that Chemical Engineering was his first choice since both of his parents were engineers.
“Among the different branches of engineering, I found Chemical Engineering to be the one that suits my thirst for knowledge and learning,” he said.
Mercado describes himself as a person dedicated to constant improvement and is always curious. But life wasn’t always easy for him.
“I had my share of depression which lasted months,” Mercado revealed. “It showed me how dark and meaningless life can be when you are not grounded properly.”
Building up his confidence, handling the pressure of his course, financial constraints and facing life’s uncertainties were some of the hardest things Mercado had to go through in college.
Until one day Mercado realized that life is about perspective.
“Everything became bearable when I changed my mindset. I complained less and focused instead on what I could do given the circumstances,” he added.
He advises other Chemical Engineering students to focus on the necessary and that when external things are out of control, change internally.
“Fears and doubts will only limit your potential.”
For Suico, her journey was literally like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Suico had nothing to hold on to but her faith when fire razed their family’s house in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City last March 2018.
“We lost our house and a lot of our stuff because of it. Coping with it was difficult but we still managed to stick together up until the end.”
Although she lost almost everything in the fire, the experience did not burn her dreams.
Instead, it fueled a flame in her to persevere more.
Suico is a Vicsal Foundation scholar and an overachiever, finishing Chemical Engineering as a cum laude graduate. She describes herself as a shy person who spends most of her time with her thoughts and creating art.
She said she constantly reads the Holy Sciptures in her free time and considers passing the boards an answered prayer.
“I immediately cried... I wasn’t expecting anything at all, especially after taking the exam and seeing how difficult it truly was,” she said.
Suico advises other Chemical Engineering students to keep their head above the water.
“You should know the road up ahead is not easy. But that doesn’t mean the end is unreachable. So long as you put your mind to it, you’ll get there eventually,” she said.
Suico thanks her family, Vicsal Foundation, friends and most especially God for joining her journey towards excellence.
“I truly believe it has been God who orchestrated my whole life story by putting pieces together,” she said.