“Exhilirating.”

That is one word that the most recent topnotcher in the Optometry Licensure Examinations had to say to encapsulate his success. Giuseppe Roy Campilan, an optometry graduate of the Southwestern University Phinma, copped first place in their test administered by the Professional Regulation Commission in the National Capital Region in October.

With a rating of 89.83, the newly licensed 23-year-old from Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur may not have expected to stand on top among the 179 passers of the exam (out of 285) but he always believed that he would make it through.

“I have always envisioned myself achieving this recognition ever since I was a third year optometry student. We have a six-year curriculum, so during that time I just started taking up all the major subjects and was struggling hard. But even when studying was tough, I never changed my prayers,” he shared.

His board exam journey was even made more challenging especially in the middle of the pandemic last year. Typhoon Odette came and the examinations that time were cancelled casting a dark cloud of uncertainty on everything he had mapped out. But he considered it as just an obstacle that had to be overcome.

“It tested my faith and purpose. But that experience humbled me and made me realize that God’s plan is perfect,” he said.

GR, as he is fondly called, revealed that optometry was not his first and only choice as a program as he entered tertiary education. He said he had always wanted to become a physician so he planned on taking up medical technology, since his family and friends told him that it was the “best pre-med course.” However, he got inspired by his uncle, who also garnered the highest placement in the licensure examinations during his time, and decided to pursue optometry.

Everything was not a cakewalk in college even though he graduated with honors during his elementary and high school days. “Pharmacology and Biology were always the hardest for me, even during the board exam,” GR revealed.

“I am not good at memorization, especially when given in a small span of time. That’s why when it comes to subjects where memorizing is needed, I read it repeatedly until it isn’t a foreign word to me anymore.”

This “repetition” method eventually worked wonders for him in his board exam review.

But this young doctor is not eyeing to just bask in this board exam glory and let opportunities chase him. Professionals, especially those in the medical field like him, have to continue learning and he knows this by heart. “I want to take up a master’s degree in clinical optometry outside the country. Because as I promised during my novena, I will become one of the people who will help improve and amplify the optometry course in the Philippines,” he confided.

As the world slowly enters into the so-called “new normal,” GR is passionate about promoting awareness on proper eye care since he noticed that a lot of people “need comprehensive eye consultations.” This is a testament to his determination to not only elevate himself as a professional through continuous learning but also to make the community see the value of proper eye care and their physical well-being.