Cebuana Architecture topnotcher shares secret to success: ‘Dream big’

By Delta Dyrecka C. Letigio |January 31,2019 - 09:20 PM

Justine Lei Ramos, the board topnotcher of the Architecture Licensure examinations for January 2019. CDN Digital | Photo by Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Try to dream big and don’t be afraid to take risks.

This is the advise of Cebuana Justine Lei Ramos, the 23-year-old Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) graduate who bested 1,120 passers in the Architecture Licensure examinations held last January 25 and 27,  to all aspiring architects.

Ramos said she did not expect to top the board exams as her humble prayer was to simply pass the exams and gain her license so she could design and build her dream home for her family in her hometown in Alegria.

But her dedication to give back to her family pushed her beyond her expectations.

She said her success was an offering to her father, who worked abroad to help give her a good education, to her mother, who gave her time and support, and to her younger brother, who always gave her joy.

“My greatest inspiration was my father who worked as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) in Saudi Arabia and who was recently retrenched from his job. When he lost his job, I knew I had to pass that exam,” said Ramos.

Determined to achieve her goal for her family, Ramos made sure she was focused on the task at hand.

Deactivating her Facebook account helped as it took away distractions. She also benefited from the 24/7 Cebu City Library, spending 14 hours there to study.

Justine’s family actually didn’t have high expectations.

Her mother, Leia Ramos, said that she only hoped for her daughter to at least reach the top ten. She was surprised when she found out her daughter topped everyone else.

“She always exceeded our expectations,” said Leia.

Love for design

Ramos initially took up Medical Technology for a year before realizing that her heart was in the world of design.

She said that when she took up MedTech, she found herself uninterested with the lessons and found no pleasure in conquering the challenges her previous course offered.

“When I started taking up architecture, I realized this is where I was meant to be,” said Ramos.

Ramos said that it was the new challenges in architecture that kindled her passion for the course.

CIT-U, meanwhile, said  it will be giving a cash incentive to Ramos for her achievement. She has also been offered a teaching job.

Ramos said that she was considering to take the position as a faculty in CIT-U because it would be her chance to give back to her alma mater.

However, she still plans to rest in her hometown for the next few months — to rest after six gruelling months of preparing for the exam.

“Ganahan sa ko morelax gyod then next ana, wala pa koy concrete plans, but I’ll try to see unsay giplan sa Ginoo para nako,” said Ramos. /bjo

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