Cebuano graduate says topping Civil Engineering exams was ‘unexpected’

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | November 15,2019 - 04:49 PM

Engineer Lou Mervin Tristan Mahilum of the University of San Carlos, who bested the entire country in the recent Civil Engineering Board Examinations, urged aspiring engineers to study and pray hard to achieve their dreams. | photo grabbed from Engineer Mahilum’s Facebook Profile

CEBU CITY, Philippines–For Lou Mervin Tristan Mahilum, topping the 2019 Civil Engineer Licensure Examination was unexpected.

The 23-year-old Civil Engineering cum laude graduate from the University of San Carlos said he could not believe topped the gruelling two-day exam held last November 9 and 10, 2019.

Read: Three Cebu graduates top civil engineering exam

Mahilum bested the 6,510 passers of the exams with a rating of 93.25 percent.

He said topping the board examinations used to be far-fetched dream. In fact, while taking the exams, he doubted himself, despite his preparations.

“Wa gyod ko nag-expect nga mo-top. Nagdoubt ko sa akong self. Siempre nag-aim ta nga mo-top gyod pero pagtake nako sa exam, nilabo ba, kay naglisod gyod ko. Nagkadugay, gikaon ko sa akoang negativity, mao to wa nako nag-expect nga masulod ko sa top ten,” he said.

(I did not expect to top the exam. I doubted myself. Of course, my initial goal was to top the exam, but when I took the exam, I felt like I did not have a chance. Eventually, I was beaten by my negativity, that’s why I did not expect to land in the top ten.)

Aside from Mahilum, two other Cebuano students, Brandon Calvin Go of the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (92.6 percent) and Brenan Labaya of the Cebu Technological University-Main Campus (91.85 percent),  also made it to fourth and sixth place, respectively.

Mahilum said he found the strength in prayer, trusting that God would bring him to where he deserved to be. And topping the board exam was Mahilum’s sign that he found his place in the world.

What’s his advice to aspiring engineers?

One of the best advices he can give is to enrol in a “good” review center before taking the board examinations.

Mahilum said his review center in Cebu City prepared him extensively for the board.

But what really prepared him to face the two-day exam was his constant prayers to God.

Greatest moment

Mahilum comes from a family of seafarers. His father, Mervin, is currently on board a ship abroad. He told his son, he regrets that we could not be around for one of Mahilum’s greatest moments in life.

Yet for Mahilum, hearing his father say, “I am proud of you,” was the greatest moment of his life.

He said his success is offered primarily to his family, who worked together to give him an education.

Mahilum’s mother, Lorna, the homemaker of the family, was also one of the greatest inspiration of the new engineer. His mother never pushed him to be anyone else other than who he wants to be.

“Iya gyod isulti nako sa una pagbata nako kay gusto siya malipay ko. (My mother always told me since I was young that she wanted me to be happy),” said Mahilum.

He also thanked his three older siblings, who all contributed to provide for his education.

The youngest of the siblings, Mahilum said he has always felt the support from his elder brothers and sister in his education. They helped keep his mental health in check by providing him with guidance.

Monument of safety

As a new engineer, Mahilum said his guiding principle is always “safety first.” To him, this is the goal of civil engineers in the world, to keep it safe.

One of the most challenging subjects he had to face during his college years was his design courses.

He said aspiring civil engineers should take these courses seriously because this is the most crucial part of their profession, which is keeping structures safe for humans to inhabit.

This is the ultimate goal of Mahilum, to build a monument of safety that would stand the test of time.

Topping the board exam was only the beginning of the journey for his dreams. Mahilum said his dreams still need building, constructing day after day, until he finds his place.

To help him build his dreams, he said faith in God and constant prayer would lead him to where he ought to be.

“Never forget to pray,” he said. /bmjo



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TAGS: board, Cebuano, civil engineering, exams, Mahilum, topnotcher, Unexpected, USC

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