Jaydee Lucero, who topped the November 2018 Civil Engineering licensure examinations, dedicated his well-earned success to his late father.
Lucero, who graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines – Diliman, got the highest passing rate of 97.20 percent among all the 13,887 examinees who took the board exams this year.
The 22-year-old said he did study for six straight months but never expected to come out on top.
“It was a grueling six months for me. My focus was just to review as much as I can. During the exam day itself, I was confronted by topics that really challenged me. Though I expected to pass the board, I never thought that I’d actually top it because I know a lot who are smarter and better than me,” he said.
Jaydee recalled that it was his mother who eagerly waited for the results to be posted on the Professional Regulation Commission’s (PRC) website.
The youngest of two siblings, Jaydee is a product of Eat Bulaga’s scholarship program called “Eat Bulaga Excellent Student Awards” or EBest.
Launched in 2009, EBest Awards were established to provide scholarship grants to outstanding elementary, high school and college students from all over the country whose family does not have the means to support their education.
The longest-running noontime variety show provided Jaydee with high school and college scholarship grants, monthly allowances and annual cash assistance for his other educational needs.
According to Jaydee, if not for Eat Bulaga, he could not have finished his education and earn his degree.
“Until now, I can’t fully explain how happy I am that I was chosen to be an EBest scholar. If I was not chosen to be a recipient of the scholarship nine years ago, my family wouldn’t be able to send me to school, let alone get a degree. I’m grateful to all the men and women of the show.”
He relates being an EBest scholar and topping the licensure exam to winning the lottery. “I feel like I won the lottery because after years of hard work, long hours of studying and all the challenges I’ve been through, I was given such blessing. Because of the kindness of other people, I am able to fulfill my wishes and dreams.”
One of the challenges Jaydee faced while in school was the passing of his father two years ago due to liver cancer. He said it shook their whole family to the core and he almost lost track of his studies.
What pushed him to do better in school was his promise to his father to finish his education, get a degree and help provide a better life for their family.
“When Papa passed away, it was the most difficult and darkest days of my life. But I also realized that I want to finish my education so that I could help my family. All my successes now, I dedicate them to my father. I want to continue all his dreams.”
Jaydee said his path to topping the board was never a walk in the park. He said it took a lot of focus, patience, hard work and determination to achieve his dreams.
“Aside from the assistance they gave me, the show really taught me a new outlook in life.
That one’s economic status should not hinder his ability to make something of himself. Being poor does not automatically spoil your chances of having a good and bright future. You still have an opportunity to reach for your dreams.”
Right now, Jaydee received offers from different design and construction firms in the country. But apart from practicing his profession, he is eager to share the opportunity and assistance Eat Bulaga afforded him.
“My dream is to be able to return the favor to other aspiring engineers. My ultimate goal is to be able to join the academe and to teach college engineering students and pass on my knowledge. I want to continue that ripple of change Eat Bulaga started.”
As for his advice to students who are also working in achieving their dreams, Jaydee reminded them to always obey their parents, study hard and have confidence.
“Just continue to persevere in reaching your dreams. And if there are challenges ahead, keep a positive mind and never lose sight of your goals and inspirations in life. Have courage and confidence, and most importantly, always seek guidance from the Lord,” he ended.