High five

FRIENDS. Angel Altejar (right) with her officemates during her apprenticeship days.
FRIENDS. Angel Altejar (right) with her officemates during her apprenticeship days.

Life’s obstacles are supposed to act not as deterrents in achieving one’s dreams but a source of added drive. This was a reality for the most recent Cebuano placer in the January 2023 Architects Licensure Examination.

An architecture program graduate of the University of San Carlos back in 2018, newly minted architect Angel Phebles Altejar had to quit her job in 2019 and budget her finances for the board examination review.

The pandemic lockdowns of 2020 did not help as the holding of licensure examinations was postponed numerous times and it looked uncertain whether the tests would push through or not.

“So instead of studying that time, I just worked and earned money to recover the losses from Covid and save up for my review, to be able to pay the bills, rent and other expenses during the course of my review where I am not earning,” the architect shared.

When the results came out just a few days after the last exam day, it was a fitting reward with the proverbial icing on the cake. With a rating of 82.80, Angel placed fifth among over 3,000-plus examinees, carrying her school in the list of Top 10 examinees as the only Visayan architecture school in the upper tiers.

Angel is living proof that silent waters indeed run deep. In class, she is not one who craves attention but always works hard in every task. She continued her diligence after graduation and especially in preparing for the licensure exams.

“I tried to not put myself under too much pressure during the course of my review,” she shares. “I did not expect or aim to be a topnotcher but I surely studied like one and did my best to answer quizzes and mock board exams as if I was already taking the actual board exam.”

She admitted that she was delayed in taking the boards and she only started studying in June 2022. Many of her batchmates in college became licensed architects years prior to her board exam stint last January. But she did not consider this as a failure on her part as she got useful tips from her architect-friends on what to focus on in the review. Her apprenticeship experiences in two architectural firms were also instrumental in making her further “understand the fundamentals of the architectural practice.”

She dabbled in cabinetry and interior fit-out design after her apprenticeship with her partner for extra income.

“(Our business) later grew and we implemented our own designs. I even made a Youtube channel and uploaded videos of our work’s progress until their finish. With the money we saved, we then decided to pause our services for a while so we could focus on our review,” narrated Angel. Now they are both architects and are back to offering their services again.

Topnotchers like her are usually sought after for tips from those who are yet to take board exams, considering the tough nature of these tests. For Angel, focus and knowing one’s priorities are keys.

“I think it is best to study specific topics and funnel out the most important questions that might have the biggest possibility to come out in the exam because architecture is a very broad field of interest wherein you have to take into consideration every aspect in building, arts and theory,” she advises. “Although it is very essential to learn as much as you can on all subjects while you still have a lot of time, funneling topics is advisable when you have a short time for review prior to the exam.”

Being an architect was in her dreams ever since she was 10 years old. Thanks to her parents, who introduced her to the video game “Sims,” which also allowed her to immerse in creating different things and enjoy them. Armed with her professional license, she looks forward to finding more enjoyment as she practices her profession like playing her favorite game for a living.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.