Much elated with the result of the May 2018 Civil Engineering Licensure Examination, Engr. Renz Rodney Sarile Fernandez inspires graduating Civil Engineering studes of this University as he shares the tales of his journey in a Testimonial Dinner organized by the college of Engineering (CE), headed by Dr. Roberto M. Sala, in coordination with the CE College Student Board (CSB) and Civil Engineering Department to recognize Engr. Fernandez’s remarkable achievement held at the University Social Hall.
College Associate Dean Engr. Raul Alburo shared during that rare event that it has been about 26 years since the college produced a topnotcher in the Engineering Board Examination administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). “It was when my batch mate, the late Engr. Allen Bernardo topped the licensure examination for Mechanical Engineers,” he recalls. “This time, is the first for WMSU Civil Engineers,” he added.
Engr. Alburo also encouraged his colleagues to continue persevering, praying and doing their utmost best to share their knowledge to their students. “Train them, mold them, and support them so that we will continue to produce more outstanding students and WMSU will continue to soar much higher,” he further encouraged as he welcomed the audience during the Testimonial Dinner.
University President, Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho graced the event and shared the good news to the man of the hour. “The University approved an additional incentive for our topnotcher,” Dr. Ho revealed. According to her, the incentive will have to be studied very well by the committee because it will not only intend to give credit to the examinee himself, but the University would also like to boost and inspire the members of the faculty as the academic community develop and enhance teaching strategies.
“It is not every day that the University produces top one,” says the WMSU Prexy. But she sincerely prays that all of those who take the examination shall also be topnotchers. Dr. Ho also emphasized that it is not important at all to just have a topnotcher, “what matters most is a 100% passing mark of our examinees,” she added.
Quoting the great Greek writer, Nikos Kazantzakis, the Prexy inspired the graduating Civil Engineering students to believe in themselves so they will be able to hurdle the first step to success saying “in order to succeed, we must first believe that we can”.
Dr. Ho also reminded Engr. Fernandez to not let success devour him and to keep his feet on the ground. Surely, according to her, many companies will take the opportunity to have him in their companies and agencies “you will be a good advertisement and a good marketing material for them,” said she. “But what you have to remember is no matter how high you have climbed any mountain for that matter, always remember that it can only be God who will hitch our way to the stars,” she continued.
Rodney, according to his classmates and professors, was just an ordinary college boy, an average student who did not aim for high marks as he is happy and contented with tres (3.0). He enjoys playing computer games during his free time.
Despite knowing how tough the selection process is in the Civil Engineering Department, he pursued anyway. His college journey was not easy, as what others expected since he topped the licensure exam. He should have graduated and taken the March 2017 Board Examination, but because of a failing mark in Engineering Research, he did not graduate on time. “Sobrang lungkot ko sa mga panahon na iyon lalo na nung March 2017 graduation ay nasa bleacher lang ako, pinapanood ang aking mga kaibigan at kaklase masayang nagmamarch habang kame ay nagmumukmok sa aming mga problema (I was too down during those times especially during the March 2017 graduation while my friends and classmates are happily marching, me and my other friends were at the bleachers resenting from our problem),” said he.
May 2017 came and Civil Engineering (CE) Department Head, Engr. Mohammad Nur Mohammad together with CE faculty Engr. Czarina Aquino regained their hope as the two faculty requested for a tutorial class on Engineering Research since the said subject is only offered during the second semester. CE professors allowed them to take their review for the November 2017 examination. He performed well during the pre-boards and even belonged to the top performing students during the review. But fate did not allow him to pursue. Rodney, along with his co-Octoberians were supposed to take the November 2017 licensure examination, but they did not make to the deadline of the submission of requirements since their Transcript of Records will be released on December.
With a heavy heart, he went back to Cebu on January 2018 to take the review for the second time. Realizing that he missed out a lot, he again persevered to do perform well with thoughts of having to pass the examination not just because he wanted to, but he and his family already spent a little too much.
When he topped one of their pre-boards last March 2018, he thought to himself “senyales na ito na possible (it might be possible).” While waiting for the results of the examination, Rodney did not expect to ace the examination so he won’t be disappointed just in case he could not find his name on the Topnotchers List. Although, according to him, his former classmates, professors and review lecturers have high expectation on him based on his performance in the review.
“Lumabas ang result at iyon na nga nagbunga na ang lahat ng aking mga tinanim at laking pasasalamat ko sa gabay ng Panginoon (when the result was released, my sacrifices and hardships beared fruit and I thank God for his guidance), said the young Engineer.
To him, his journey was not just about persevering and patience, it was a test of faith. Inspite of all the rejections, failures, and delays, he held closer to his faith. He endlessly thanks his parents for their support. He also thanked the people who in one way or the other contributed to his delays as they were just “instruments of God” for him to excel in the exam. He emphasized and admitted that he do not blame them for he knows he was partly to be blamed. Most importantly, he thanked his professors and family in the Civil Engineering Department for believing in him and supporting him in every step of the way.
To his Civil Engineering family, Renz is considered as the “New Era in WMSU Civil Engineering”, according to CE Department Head Engr. Muhammad Nur Mohammad. They knew Rodney can make it to the top as he champed the Regional Quiz Bee for Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) and represented Region IX in the nationals. “More than anyone, we knew you’re one of the best students we had. We are proud of you,” said Engr. Mohammad in closing his speech.
Also present during the momentous event were the Fernandez family, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ma. Carla A. Ochotorena, Civil Engineering graduating students, College of Engineering Dean Dr. Roberto Sala, Civil Engineering Department faculty members and other University Officials.
The University is not aiming and looking forward to more topnotchers and 100% passing rate in the different PRC Licensure Examinations. (ED Cruz-PAO, WMSU)