“Surprised and happy.”

That was how two Negrenses described their feelings upon learning that they both placed in the top 10 of the Chemical Technologist Licensure Examination administered by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) on October 29, 2021.

John Carlo Baldevieso Coniendo, 25, of Purok Paho at Barangay Pahanocoy in Bacolod City, said he was initially doubtful if he would pass since it’s his first time to take the exam and the current situation is difficult due to the pandemic.

To prepare for the exam, Coniendo said, he studied his notes and watched videos for basic concepts on laboratory, general, analytic and organic chemistry during his free time and weekends after his review classes at the Technological University of the Philippines.

As for Jelmar Catequista Santibañez, 24, of E.B. Magalona town, Negros Occidental, he did not expected to be included in the list of topnotchers.

Santibañez, who said that everything seemed surreal, recalled that he only started studying after the results for Chemical Engineer Board Exam came out, which is a month before their own exam.

Coniendo of the University of St. La Salle - Bacolod placed fifth with 89.5 percent rating while Santibañez, a product of Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod, ranked seventh garnering 88.5 percent rating.

Mary Dorothy Dumancas Dinampo of Cebu Institute of Technology-University topped the examination with a 92 percent rating.

As announced by the PRC, 1,074 out of 1,322 passed the examinations or about 84 percent.

Both topnotchers said they dedicate their achievements to their families.*