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Engineer Nearly Backs Out of Board Exams Due to Pressure, Ends Up in Top 5

An engineer nearly backs out of the board exams due to pressure but ends up ranking in the top 5 after finally summoning the courage to actually take it on the scheduled date.

Topnotcher Engineer Nearly Backs Out of Board Exams

Joshua Shem Barachina ranked fifth in the January 2022 SELE (Sanitary Engineering Licensure Exam) with a rating of 80.10%.

His story is different from other board exam topnotchers because he tried to back out from the test due to pressure.

At the time, he doesn’t really need to take the SELE because he’s already a civil engineer. The pressure to pass and possibly top was so great that the young engineer felt that he couldn’t take it anymore.

engineer nearly backs out
Photo credit: Joshua Shem Barachina

He also reflected on the times when he failed in his subjects while in college.

As a licensed civil engineer, he was already working as a college instructor at the University of the Cordilleras, his alma mater.

Imagine the pressure he felt being a college instructor taking the board exam. Although it’s a different field of engineering, that still puts a lot of pressure on anyone.

Days before the exam, he seriously thought about backing out. And if he actually did, it might not really matter since he’s already a civil engineer.

But he later realized that failure is also a big part of success – and he wants to finish what he started.

engineer nearly backs out
Photo credit: Joshua Shem Barachina

So, he gathered himself together and decided to take the test.

Since he already expected the test to be difficult, he wasn’t surprised at all when he saw the exam questions.

Having made peace with himself, he was no longer scared or pressured during the board exams. He even felt calm and excited.

And though there were questions that he hadn’t encountered in their lessons, he managed to pass the board exams with flying colors.

It was a good thing that he didn’t quit.

Where Can a Sanitary Engineer Work?

A sanitary engineer can work in different fields and companies, including at sewage treatment plants, factories, and construction firms.

Inspiring

Blind Man Reaches Top of Mt. Apo, the Country’s Highest Peak

A blind man reaches the top of Mt. Apo, known as the country’s highest peak. His achievement amazed netizens who were surprised that this man, who couldn’t even see, was able to overcome the difficult trails to reach the mountain’s peak.

Blind Man Conquers Mt. Apo

Climbing a mountain is no easy feat, especially those that are known for their height and treacherous trails.

Mt. Apo is one of these mountains.

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

The mountain’s actual height differs, depending on the sources. But the marker on the top of the mountain puts it at 3,142.79 m (10,311.0 ft). Other sources put it at a height of 2,954 meters above sea level (9692 ft).

What the exact height might be, the mountain stands stately and remains the Philippines’ highest peak. Many avid climbers who have gone to several mountains in the country said that this is really one of the most difficult to climb.

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy
blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

Yet Bennie Cambang, a 39-year-old blind man, was able to reach its peak!

His story went viral after it was shared by his guide, Angel Pandoy, who was also quite impressed with what he was able to achieve.

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy
blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

As his guide, masasabi ko pong napakatapang niya and impressive,” Angel shared.

Napakaraming beses ko po siyang tinanong kong kaya niya, pero ang sagot niya depende kung saan sya mauubosan ng lakas at saka siya bababa, pero suprisingly naabot po niya ang tuktok ng Apo.

Tied to each for safety, the duo reached the peak through the Sta. Cruz Back Trail (Boulder Face).

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy
blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

Everyone also expressed amazement that this blind man was even barefoot when he climbed up the mountain, although this is probably something to his advantage. Since he’s blind, he has to rely on other body parts to “see” the world.

What are the Trails to Mt. Apo’s Peak?

blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy
blind man
Photo credit: Kol Angel Pandoy

According to Mt. Apo Adventures, there are four well-established trails to the top of the mountain:

  • The Sta. Cruz Back Trail (Boulder Face) or Sibulan-Mt. Apo Peak Trail is the shortest trail at 13.7 km, but it’s also a technical trail that passes through a jungle
  • The Ko-ong Kidapawan Trail covers around 19 km and passes through a jungle, river, and grassland before reaching the peak
  • The Kapatagan Trail in Digos, Davao del Sur, is adjacent to the Sibulan trail but is slightly longer by around 2 km and features some obstacles along the way
  • The Tamayong Trail is the longest and toughest, especially because it passes through Mt. Talomo Peak before heading to Mt. Apo
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Inspiring

Former OFW Finds Success as VA in the Philippines after Difficulties in the UAE

A former OFW finds success as VA (virtual assistant) in the Philippines, years after experiencing struggles and difficulties while working in the UAE (United Arab Emirates).

Former OFW Finds Success as VA

So many Filipinos believe that success in life and getting rich or financially stable can only happen if you find a job abroad.

In fact, it is the primary goal of many Filipinos to work abroad so they can provide a better life for their families.

That’s exactly what Paolo Solomon thought when he was younger.

Former OFW
Photo credit: Paolo Solomon

He shared that he grew up in a poor family and had to sell pandesal from a tita’s bakery for his allowance in school. Starting when he was just 14 years old, he would wake up early to start selling at 5AM, allowing him time to earn before his classes start, usually at around 8AM.

His father was in charge of paying for his tuition fee, but his world turned upside down when he lost his dad. He was just 17 years old at the time.

Becoming the family’s breadwinner at such a young age, he had to quit school. He worked at Jollibee, then at a department store where he became a full-time employee. Yet he also wished to work abroad.

Former OFW
Photo credit: Paolo Solomon

After experiencing so many financial struggles and anxiety as breadwinner, he decided to apply abroad – and was luckily accepted. At just 21 years old, he’s the youngest of the batch.

Sadly, he was put down by so many people because he wasn’t able to graduate from college. So many people discouraged him from leaving his job in the Philippines to work abroad.

And when he reached the UAE, though his employers were awesome and he was chosen to serve the CEO, he experienced bullying from his co-workers and roommates.

Former OFW
Photo credit: Paolo Solomon

He thought this would be his ticket to success but he ended up suffering a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with clinical depression and bipolar disorder. He got deported.

But his story didn’t stop there. When he finally recovered, he found a job as VA (virtual assistant). The work-from-home job helped him grow his copywriting career and open his own VA agency.

Today, he’s enjoying the fruits of his success and is finally able to buy a house for his family, something he had always dreamed of when he wanted to work abroad.

I thank God na he blessed me to work as a freelancer. God use my VA work para maabot ko yung mga goals ko,” he shared, while posting photos of their new home on Facebook community, Home Buddies.

Pwede pala na ibless ka ni Lord sa di mo inaasahang way. He make all things work together for our good. Now I’m still pursuing my dreams na kasama ko family ko.

Former OFW
Photo credit: Paolo Solomon
Former OFW
Photo credit: Paolo Solomon

Congratulations po!

What’s the Work of a VA?

A VA (virtual assistant) is a remote worker (usually hired as a part-time freelancer) who offers administrative support for a business. They usually do tasks that are typically done by an executive assistant, including making phone calls, scheduling appointments, organizing emails, or arranging travel.

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Inspiring

Student Graduates Cum Laude, Ranks #7 in Board Exams Even after Shifting 3x

A student graduates cum laude and ranks #7 in the board exams even after shifting courses 3x. Her inspiring story went viral, especially because many students have also experienced shifting courses for various reasons.

Student Graduates Cum Laude Even after Shifting 3x

Graduating cum laude can be difficult for many students, especially if they needed to shift to a different course. It becomes harder when the student shifts to other courses more than once.

After all, the school usually has certain rules imposed on who can qualify to graduate with Latin honors.

It’s a good thing that Christine Seraspe Chicano was still able to graduate cum laude despite shifting three times.

student graduates cum laude
Photo credit: PEP

Aside from that, she also managed to rank #7 in the board exams; although the board exam isn’t for the undergrad course she first graduated from.

Instead, it’s the Environmental Planner Licensure Examination that she took after completing her Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning.

This inspiring young lady completed both her undergrad (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration) and master’s degree in UP (University of the Philippines).

Finding Her Niche

Although she graduated with a BS Business Administration degree, it wasn’t Chicano’s first choice.

She told PEP that she first enrolled in BS Mathematics.

When she failed in a major subject, she decided to shift to BS Business Administration and Accountancy. This course is closer to her parents’ wish for her to become a CPA lawyer.

She didn’t fail, but she also didn’t reach the retention grade.

student graduates cum laude
Photo credit: PEP

Gusto ko mang sundin yung mga pangarap para sa akin ng mga magulang ko, kung mas makakasama naman ito sa health ko o feel ko ay hindi worth it yung stress, hindi ko na pinipilit,” she explained.

Pero siyempre, hindi mawawala yung feeling na nagkulang ako dahil hindi ko natupad yung pangarap nila para sa akin.

So, she shifted to BS Business Administration.

Kahit tatlong beses akong nag-shift nung college, naka-graduate pa rin ako on time at cum laude pa. Nag-overload kasi ako ng mga subjects para makahabol,” she shared.

Pero bumawi pa rin sa huli since nagsikap talaga akong mag-aral. Ayoko kasing bigyan ng sakit ng ulo mga magulang ko lalo na’t sakitin pa ang tatay ko.

Becoming an Urban Planner

After experiencing the difficulties of daily commute, especially as a woman, she thought of turning into a profession that can help improve commuting and commuters’ lives.

student graduates cum laude
Photo credit: PEP

So, she took her Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning. It’s with this course that she ranked #7 in the board exams.

What’s an Urban Planner?

An urban planner is a professional who makes plans and programs to develop land to help create communities and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, and metropolitan areas, while taking population growth into consideration.

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