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Cebuano PT topnotcher: ‘I failed my senior year subjects’

By: - June 11, 2024

He failed in some of his major subjects in his last semester in college. But it was not the end of the world for this newly licensed physical therapist from Cebu City.

Bryan Jacob Bongcayao, 23, said that his mischiefs did not stop him from achieving a rare feat for himself and his family.

Bryan of the Southwestern University-PHINMA is Cebu’s newest topnotcher. He placed 4th in the June 2024 Physical Therapist Licensure Examination.

READ: Beauty and brains: From Ms. Cebu bet to nursing exam topnotcher

He was one of the four topnotchers from the same university who topped the PT licensure exam.

Bryan said he was overjoyed when he found out through his classmates that he placed 4th in the board exam.  He disclosed that he was running around their house after he heard the news.

READ: Cebu topnotcher: How he beat self-doubt to become No. 8 in civil engineer board exams

Looking back, Bryan told CDN Digital it was not always a paved road for him.  

Who was Bryan before becoming a topnotcher?

This newly licensed physical therapist admitted that he did not come from a well-off family, but this did not stop his parents from supporting him throughout his academic journey.

READ: Cebu topnotcher: Study-life balance secret to 9th placer’s success

His father, Vincent, is a driver for an insurance company while his mother, Elena, is a housewife.  

Vincent provided for their needs while Elena took care of him and his two siblings, Bon Jason and Bea Jianna.

Bryan Jacob Bongcayao with his family | Contributed Photos

Bryan Jacob Bongcayao with his family | Contributed Photos

As a child, Bryan was already focused on his goal to help support his family. In addition, he had an interesting thought process when choosing his career track.

READ: Cebuana CPALE topnotcher: Finding the ‘whys’ of success

Honestly, ever since I was a child, I only wanted to wear a white uniform. I only knew about [physical therapy] from my SHS classmate. Throughout my journey, I learned to appreciate my profession by treating my patients.

Fortunately, he was able to get a scholarship that helped him finish his studies in the private university.

Cebu topnotcher deals with failing major subjects

While on a scholarship program, Bryan admitted that he was not focused on his academics.  He always made sure to incorporate an inch of fun in his college journey.

READ: Cebuana LET topnotcher dedicates feat to her late father

This was also the reason why he failed some of his subjects during his last semester in college.

He explained that their college had a “complex educational curriculum” that followed a non-traditional learning method. Subjects were integrated into major areas related to their degree program.

Bryan shared that he “failed everything,” which awas critical considering that he was already in his last semester.

Bryan Jacob Bongcayao | Contributed Photos

Bryan Jacob Bongcayao, Top 4 of the June 2024 PTLE | Contributed Photos

He managed to recover from the academic hiccup by taking special classes so he could graduate and start preparing for the board exam.

Preparing for the boards while working

While preparing for the exams, Bryan knew that he had to find a job to help support his family.

He worked as a BPO employee to pay for his university fees and family expenses.

Working from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily, he only had around two to three hours each day to study for his exam for most of his review timeframe.

Time management became very challenge for him in preparing for the licensure examination.

After five months of working, Bryan decided to resign from his job and dedicate his time to intensively review his subjects which fortunately paid off.

Becoming a PT topnotcher

During his interview with CDN Digital, he candidly shared that he did not expect to top the board exam, and the power of manifesting helped him achieve this feat.

What’s funny about it is that I jokingly said to my peers that I’ll just grab the Top 4 position because grabbing the Top 1 position is too much. But alas, I was able to manifest the exact top position that I joked about. The power of manifesting is really true.

Upon learning that he did, in fact, place 4th, he shared the joy with his family to whom he dedicated his achievements. He shared that they were always there to support him despite their financial challenges.

When asked what tip he could give to future exam takers, he said to always persevere and never lose sight of the goal you have set for yourself since day one.

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