Davao Light scholars now licensed engineers

The results of the Civil Engineering board exams conducted last May 1 and 2, 2022 are finally out and two of the 5, 836 passers are Davao Light and Power Co. Inc. (Davao Light) and Aboitiz Foundation Inc. scholars: Kier Ian Sumalinog and Marianne Encabo.


Both graduated from the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) last July 2020. Since the engineering board exams were halted in 2020 due to the pandemic, Kier and Marianne decided to enter the workforce and were hired by different construction firms after graduation.


I was a scholar under Davao Light and Aboitiz Foundation for five years. My mother’s friend told us about the scholarship so I took the exam and got in,” Marianne recounted.


Marianne and I were college classmates and she told me that [Davao Light and Aboitiz Foundation] were looking for additional scholars. I was already in third year when I applied for the scholarship and I got in after the interview,” Kier retold.


Both of them are also enjoying free tuition at their university, so Kier and Marianne allocated the financial support they received from the foundation to pay for their books, transportation, food, and other basic necessities.


I depended on my strengths and I evaluated whether I can cope with the requirements of the course, so I pursued civil engineering,” Kier explained. Meanwhile, Marianne said she dreamed of becoming a civil engineer since she was young.


Kier and Marianne encountered different challenges when they prepared for the board exams. 


Last November 2021, I got into a work accident which injured both my arms. They felt heavy after surgery so I had a hard time writing when I studied,” Kier also recalled that he experienced two floods at the place he was staying at during the duration of his review from January to April.


Marianne, on the other hand, self-reviewed and mostly struggled with time management. “There are so many distractions such as social media. I reviewed for five months but I only managed to finally focus in the last two months because I don’t want to take the exam unprepared,” Marianne said. Both Kier and Marianne also received financial support from Davao Light and Aboitiz Foundation while studying for the board exams.


When asked how they managed to maintain their grades in school and pass the board exams, Kier and Marianne have different motivations. On one hand, Kier shared, “It depends on how disciplined you are and how frequent you study. It’s also important to have faith that God will help you in the exams.” On the other hand, Marianne keeps in mind how blessed she is to be a recipient of the scholarship, so she strives hard to meet the grade requirement. “There are people who expect something from me, the scholarship committee and my family, and it’s the least I could do to repay the financial support I received,” Marianne said.


When asked about their future plans, Kier said he plans to take a Master’s degree to further his studies while Marianne said she wants to be a contractor.


My advice is to always work hard and to never lose hope. I graduated and passed the board exam with the belief that God sees how hard I work and that he will reward my sacrifices because he knows that I did not neglect my studies,” Marianne advised.


Always have discipline when you study. Also, remember to always pray and have faith in the Lord Almighty. He'll help you when you take the exams and when you pursue what you want in life,” Kier answered when asked for his advice towards other scholars.


Davao Light, an AboitizPower subsidiary, and Aboitiz Foundation have supported 127 scholars since 2011.