4 Cebu grads in LET top 10
2 NORMALITES, A VISAYANIAN, A JOSENIAN Rhea Mae Ongkit was doing laundry at home in Barangay Ilaya, Dalaguete town, southern Cebu yesterday afternoon when her younger sibling heralded the news that she had topped the board exam for teachers.
At first, she thought it could be fake news, but when she herself saw the greetings that had flooded her social media account, that's when she realized it was all for real.
“Mura gyud kog gibayaw sa langit. Nagkurog akong kamot while gabasa sa mga greetings sa Facebook (I was like lifted to the heavens. I was shaking while reading the greetings),” Ongkit, 21, told The FREEMAN in a text message.
Ongkit, a graduate of the University of the Visayas-Dalaguete Campus, placed seventh in the elementary category of the September 2018 Licensure Exams for Teachers (LET) with a rating of 88.20 percent.
Two other graduates from Cebu joined her in the top 10: Immanuelle Anne Ocaya of Cebu Normal University and Dianne Claire Campos of University of San Jose-Recoletos, who both landed ninth with 87.80 percent.
In the secondary category, Anne Mica Lim, also of CNU, finished eighth with 91.40 percent.
The school where Ongkit finished her degree in elementary education is located about 90 kilometers, a good three-hour drive, from Cebu City.
UV-Dalaguete is a fledgling institution that has produced eight batches of graduates so far. But unlike most schools in the city, it does not have an entrance exam for its education programs.
Anthony Teo, the school's officer-in-charge, therefore considers Ongkit's achievement as both inspiring and humbling for the school.
“We are only a small campus from the south but knowing this achievement of Rhea really feels like an acknowledgment of the school's desire to be recognized. That small campuses like UV-Dalaguete can produce a topnotcher diay. Maka-proud gyud sa among end. We are beyond thankful for Rhea and her achievement. It's history for us,” said Teo.
Teo, who served as one of Ongkit's instructors, was among those who have seen the young lady's potentials.
“She has been consistently diligent and really a hard working one. She is always one of the excelling students in her batch. I think she was valedictorian man in high school and got the highest average among all graduates from UV-Dalaguete last April,” he said.
Ongkit, a daughter of a forklift operator and a housewife, got a ticket to college through a scholarship program of the municipal government of Dalaguete.
She is the eldest in a brood of four, and all her younger siblings are also studying.
She knew she came from a small school but this was not ingrained in her mind and did not stop her from pursuing the top.
“Kay kabalo ko nga inig take og LET, patas tanan -- way datu, way pobre. Ug dili mag-matter if asa ka nga school gagikan. What matters is ang imong will ug perseverance,” she said.
STUDY HARD, PRAY HARDER
So determined was Ongkit that she had to deactivate her social media accounts to focus on her review, which she paid with borrowed money.
“Kay actually inutang pa gyud to ni papa ang gibayad nako para enroll sa review center. Tapos kanang allowance pa nako if moadto ko sa city kada semana para review kay para konsumo unta namo weekly. Maminusan among budget pero, okay ra. Laban gihapon,” she shared.
In the end, Ongkit left a message to all future takers: “Kung nag-struggle financially, dapat pangitaan gyud og paagi kay ang kwarta makit-an ra man. Ang opportunity kausa ra.
“Unya usa ra gyud akong advice sa tanang mo-take: study hard, pray harder. Kay wa tay mabuhat og walay Ginoo sa atong kinabuhi. Bisan unsaon pag study og walay pag-ampo, wa gyuy mahimo. Blessing gihapon ni God ang pinakaimportante sa tanan.”
According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 18,409 out of 90,750 examinees (20.29 percent) passed the exam for elementary teachers while 60,803 of 126,582 examinees (48.03 percent) passed the secondary level.
Both garnering a score of 89.80 percent, Rhea Joy Genson of University of Southern Philippines- Davao City and Mariel Saladaga of University of Southeastern Philippines shared the top spot in the elementary category.
On the other hand, Francis Dave Cabanting, also of University of Southeastern Philippines- Davao City, and Samuel John Parreño of University of Mindanao- Digos College topped the secondary division with 92.80 percent.