THREE graduates of Davao-based universities topped the 2021 Civil Engineering Licensure Exam, with one of them placing first.

Rajiv Nooh Dalagan Amil, a graduate of the Ateneo de Davao University, landed in the top spot of successful examinees of the November 2021 Civil Engineer Licensure Examinations, according to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). He got the highest passing rate with 93.25 percent.

Also included in the top 10 are Art Gil Lumapas Granada of the University of Southeastern Philippines-Davao City, who placed sixth with 91.5 percent passing rate, and Maruel Jade Christian Bering Alidon of the University of Mindanao-Davao City placing ninth with 91 percent passing rate.

Amil said he did not expect that he would top the licensure exam, considering that it had been postponed several times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that the two years he devoted to his review were tiring considering that adjustments had to be made.

"To be honest, daghan gyud challenges tong nag-lockdown. Supposedly for May 2020 board exam ako. Tapos na-postpone again to November 2020, tas na-postpone na pud. Three times na-postponed (I encountered many challenges during the lockdown. Supposedly, I was going to take my exam in May 2020, but it was postponed to November 20, and then it got postponed anew. The exams were postponed three times)," Amil said in a phone interview with SunStar Davao.

"There was a time nga na-down ko tungod dili ko sure kung mapadayon pa. Somehow tiring siya mentally and emotionally. Gusto lang nako na mahuman na ning board exam para maka-proceed ko sa laing things and makarest ko (that I was down and uncertain if this would still push through. It was somehow tiring mentally and emotionally. I just wanted to pass the board exam so that I can proceed in other things and take a rest)," he added.

As his efforts paid off, he said this is a step closer to his dream of putting up his own firm.

"Whenever you want to achieve something or to do something great, start with the ‘why?’ What's your reason for starting? 'Yan ang magiging driving force mo (That will be your driving force)," Amil said.

Alidon also did not expect to place ninth.

He said that while he was confident that he could pass the exam, being part of the top 10 was not in his mind.

For those aiming to excel in the board exam, Alidon advised them to "make a commitment to yourself, to set goals and to be consistent."

"Conquering the board exam is not impossible but it takes a lot of work. Kung maluya ka tan-awa ang mga tao na nagsuporta sa imuha, imung family and friends, didto ka manghugot ug lakas (If you ever feel down, turn to the people who supports you -- your family and friends -- that is where you get your source of strength)," he said.

A total of 2,374 out of 6,474 successfully hurdled the examinations that were administered in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena, Pagadian, Rosales, San Fernando, Tacloban, Tuguegarao, and Zamboanga.