"When one fails, never entertain a thought that it is the end of the world; continue to pursue your dream." This is the motto and a guiding principle of Engr. Santiago B. Agripa, Jr., a Bicolano DOST scholar and the Topnotcher of the 2018 Mining Engineer Licensure Examination with a rating of 92.9%. The licensure examination given by the Board of Mining Engineering was held on 07-09 August 2018 in Manila (St. Jude College was the venue where Engr. Agripa took the exam), Baguio and Davao.

As a fourth year high school student in 2013, Engr. Agripa first tried and aspired to become a DOST scholar. Unfortunately, he failed for not passing the exam for the Undergraduate Science Scholarship of the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI). Since then, instead of frustration besetting him, he turned to ways how to overcome life's failure, one of which was by studying hard. In high school, he graduated as 1st Special Mention in Legazpi City Science High School, Legazpi City.

While in third year college in 2015, Engr. Agripa learned about the DOST-SEI Junior Level Science Scholarship (JLSS) from a classmate. Together, they applied for this scholarship at DOST V. On his second try, he passed the scholarship examination and enjoyed the privileges as an S&T scholar for SY 2015-2018.

For college, Engr. Agripa finished the five year course for BS Mining Engineering at Bicol University College of Engineering (BUCENG), Legazpi City as Cum Laude on 07 April 2018. Two (2) other BUCENG graduates and classmates, SY 2013-2018, Engrs. Alyssa Joyce Francia and Homer De Guzman got a rating of 89.05% and both landed as 10th Placer in the same licensure examination.

Another significant achievement for Engr. Agripa that proved his mettle was having self review in preparation for the licensure examination starting April – August 2018.

Upon knowing he was the Topnotcher, it was mixed emotions for him and his parents and could not believe at first. According to Engr. Agripa, it was happiness that was felt and shared with every member of the family and close friends.

From a family of five (5) children, Engr. Agripa is the fourth child of Mr. Santiago A. Agripa, a tricycle driver and Ms. Bernadette B. Agripa, a housewife of Brgy. 15, Ilawod East, Legazpi City. His great inspiration for all the achievements is his family. He wants to help them, doubly inspired by his youngest sister, Kayzee Jane B. Agripa, a Grade VI student who is ten (10) years younger than him.

Engr. Agripa's plan for his career is to render a Return Service to government for the S&T scholarship awarded to him from third-fifth year in college. At twenty-one (21), he is applying for a teaching job for a Senior High School in the Province of Albay. After a teaching experience, he wants to work in a government office like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-EMB) or in a mining company anywhere in the country.

To Engr. Santiago B. Agripa, Jr. and all the passers in the 2018 Mining Engineering Licensure Examination, a warm and heartfelt Congratulations and Godspeed from Secretary Fortunato T. De La PeñaDir. Tomas B. Briñas, Regional Director and DOST Family. (Dr. P.O. Lucena/Ms. R.A. Asuncion, DOST V)


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