Cebu News

An inspiring journey: UV LET topnotcher turns struggles into success

Emmanuel Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Since her childhood days, it has been the longing of her heart to give her family a better life through education.

One step at a time, Rita Jean Bagsican Cabunag inched closer to fulfilling her dreams.

And she did it with flying colors.

A Cum Laude graduate with a degree of Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED) major in Science from the University of the Visayas (UV)-Main Campus just last year, Cabunag ranked 9th Place with a 91.00 percent passing rate in the March 2024 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

Cabunag is among the 50,539 secondary teachers out of 85,980 examinees (58.78%) who successfully hurdled the LET board exams as jointly announced by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Board for Professional Teachers (BPT) recently.

Modesty aside, the 23-year-old Cabunag said she really aimed to top the LET but her hopes has seemingly died down after she took the board exams.

That is why it came as a big surprise for her after learning that she was among the board topnotchers when the official results were released on Friday, May 24.

"When I learned from my friend nga nag-top ko, wala dayon ko mituo kay basin gi-prank lang ko nila," Cabunag said. "Pero when I saw my name from the roll of topnotchers, gibalik nako'g basa kadaghan akong name kay basin dili to akoa. And when it sinked in, grabe gyud akong kalipay ug pasalamat sa Ginoo."

Reflecting on her monumental feat, the pride of Naga City, south of Cebu couldn't help but recall her long and meandering journey towards reaching the summit of success.

Cabunag shared that while her classmates were at the review center on the very first day of their review classes, she was at the operating room of a hospital for a medical procedure to remove her ovary. That sidelined her for a week.

"I was supposed to stay at home for a whole month pero akong gipili na mag-review kay sayangan ko unya dili pud ko ganahan online. Medyo naa pud kalayoan ang akong gi-stayhan sa review center maong extra lisod gyud ko sa pagbyiahe kay sakit man. Grabe akong mga bughat atong panahona," Cabunag continued.

Aside from her health issue, the most difficult challenge that Cabunag had to deal with while equipping herself for the tough test was the death of his beloved father.

"Ang pinaka-challenging kay ang akong pagduha-duha if mopadayon ba ko kay during that time, nag-mourn pa ko sa death sa akong father. Siya man gud akong kuyog sa tanan nakong pangandoy. Excited kaayo to siya na mo-graduate ko pero sadly, wala jud siya kaabot sa akong graduation ug pag-top. Lipay tingali kaayo to ron siya kung asa man siya nahimutang," said Cabunag.

Interestingly, Cabunag said becoming a teacher was never a priority during her younger days. But with the prodding of well-meaning people around her, she eventually pursued the art of teaching with a lot of passion and enthusiasm.

"I never wanted to become a teacher. But my teachers since elementary hangtod nag-high school ko naka-ingon gyud na bagay sa akoa mag-maestra tungod sa akong capability to explain my thoughts well. It’s a gift from God nga thankful gyud kaayo ko. Maong bisa'g dili ko ganahan mag-maestra sa una, with the encouragement of people around me especially sa akoang papa, I took the course."

With all the slings and arrows that smacked her way, Cabunag's steadfast faith in God and strong desire to take her family out of poverty through education have helped her get by all the trials and tribulations in life.

"Una sa tanan, magpasalamat gyud ko'g dako sa Ginoo kay wala niya gihimong kawang akong pagpaningkamot, gidungog gyud niya akong mga pag-ampo," said Cabunag. "Ikaduha, mapasalamaton ko sa mga tag-iya sa Falculan Twins’ Review Center sa paghatag nako'g opportunity nga maka-review nga walay bayad. Sa akong mga higala ug pamilya nga nituo gyud sa akoa. Ug sa tanang mga tawo likod sa Mary Queen of Heaven missionaries ug sa Aktionsgruppe Kinder in Not e.V. sa pagsanong sa akong pag eskwela."

"Na-overcome nako akong mga challenges in life by trusting God's direction lang gyud. Unya isip pud usa ka bata nga nagdako sa kapobrehon, ganahan ko nga hatagan og maayong kinabuhi ang akong pamilya," Cabunag ended. — (FREEMAN)

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