CEBU CITY, Philippines — Philip Lorenz Nacua strived to be a top notcher in the November 2022 Civil Engineering Licensure Examinations (CELE) so he could help rebuild their house that was damaged by super typhoon Odette in 2021.
“Naningkamot jud ko nga ma top ko sa board exam because I know nga kung ma top ka sa board exams, there will be incentive sa school and sa review center and from sa city government nga magamit nako para mapaayo nako among balay.”
And Nacua, 24, from Carcar City, delivered with flying colors, as he landed in the Top 6 of the November 2022 CELE.
“The main reason why I was very eager to top the board exam is that last December 2021 our house was destroyed by Typhoon Odette. Hangtod karon, wala pa g’yod mi balay. Nakipuyo lang mi sa akong auntie kanang gamay nga kubo ba,” he said.
“It’s a very big slap in the face of an engineer that he cannot build his own house, that’s why naningkamot sad ko nga ingon ana. I was very determined to top the board exam,” he added.
While his parents, a housewife and a taxi driver, could not send him to college, Nacua invested in his edge.
Nacua, fourth of 10 siblings, said he would have wanted to take Medicine in college, but due to financial reasons, he ended up taking engineering.
He said he also wanted a career where he could put his knowledge in Science, Math, and Physics to good and practical use.
Nacua, a consistent scholar since high school, made his way to the University of Cebu (UC) through the full scholarship he enjoys because of graduating from a science high school.
The journey, however, was not easy as he was required to maintain at least a general weighted average of 1.7.
But Nacua managed to comply, as he remained a consistent dean’s lister from his first to fifth year in college.
“It was all by God’s grace that I was able to maintain the scholarship. I remember during the first year, 192 mi kabuok (science high scholars in college), and then pag fifth year, pito na lang mi kabuok kay grabe ang mortality sa science high school nga scholarship,” he said.
Nacua graduated magna cum laude from UC last March 2020.
Even though the Covid-19 pandemic delayed his dream of becoming a full-fledged engineer because of the several postponements of the board exams, he continued to help his family by working as a call center agent for almost a year.
For Nacua, prayers, determination, and having the right circle of friends helped him achieve success.
And while he is ready to embark on a new journey, he said, he wanted to take a quick rest this last month of the year before finally getting his first job as a licensed engineer.