Cele topnotcher proves sleep's role in success

TOPNOTCHER. Jonash Aldrin C. Juntong, a graduate of Cebu Technological University main campus, ranks fifth in the 2024 Civil Engineering Licensure Examinations.  /
TOPNOTCHER. Jonash Aldrin C. Juntong, a graduate of Cebu Technological University main campus, ranks fifth in the 2024 Civil Engineering Licensure Examinations. / CONTRIBUTED

SOME students sacrifice rest for studies.

But this is not the case for a 23-year-old topnotcher and graduate from Cebu Technological University (CTU) main campus—he prioritized balancing study and rest over sleepless nights.

Jonash Aldrin Juntong, who placed fifth in the Civil Engineering Licensure Exams (Cele) 2024, admitted that this formula did not work for him previously. It wasn’t until he prepared for the licensure exams that he realized the importance of factoring in enough rest.

“I used to compromise my rest for maximum productivity in college. However, when I got to my board examination review...I noticed that my brain got strained more frequently,” said Juntong, who hails from Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

“I realized then that when I get ample rest, my brain can function more efficiently. Since then, I have prioritized my rest more than anything else,” he added.

Juntong earned the highest spot among examinees from Cebu-based universities.


Juntong, in an interview with SunStar Cebu on April 27, 2024, shared his strategy for managing his review within a tight timeframe before the examination.

His technique involves indulging in his favorite activities such as listening to music, writing poems, or taking a leisurely walk. These, he said, helped him balance stress levels, allowing his body and mind to recover from the heavy workload.

“Without expecting to make it to the top, I initially refused to believe the news. It still feels surreal, like a dream,” he said.

Path realigned

Topping the engineering examination was not just a culmination of years of hard work but also a result of a decision he made four years ago.

He said being in the engineering field was never his dream career as he wanted to become an oncologist, a physician who treats cancer.

However, due to financial constraints and limited resources, he was forced to choose the more practical choice available to him, which was civil engineering. He said his family already had the resources, as his older brother is a registered civil engineer.

“My freshman self would never expect that I’d go the distance on this path. My achievements eradicated all my regrets about choosing this degree,” Juntong said.

Advice to future examinees

Despite not coming from a privileged background, Juntong said he is constantly reminded that achieving great things requires hard work.

“It’s okay to fail sometimes, but make sure you’ll get yourself back on track and not be deflected permanently,” he said.

He wants to remind students and Cele takers to acknowledge their body’s limitations and give it the rest it needs. He also emphasized the importance of reinforcing strong faith in God.

Juntong thanked his loved ones, his parents, family, friends and professors, for their ceaseless support in his journey.

“Even during our licensure examination review, our professors still tried to ascertain that we were doing fine and well in our review program,” he said.

Before pursuing his career as an engineer, Juntong said he wants to allow himself some rest. / CDF


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