Saturday, 4 April 2009

He prayed ‘Hail Marys’ in engineering test

By Jhunnex Napallacan
Inquirer Visayas

CEBU CITY – An altar boy who recited the “Hail Mary” every time he shaded his answer in the box became the only topnotcher from a Cebu university in the recent Electronics and Communication Engineer (ECE) licensure examinations.

Kevin Joseph Torres, 23, a resident of Punta Princesa, Cebu City, is the 9th placer in results of the ECE board exams released on Thursday.

“I’m overwhelmed especially that I’m the only one who came from Cebu in the top 10, the rest came from La Salle in Manila,” Torres said Friday.

Torres, an honor student since his elementary years, graduated cum laude at the University of San Jose Recoletos in March 2008.

Torres is the only boy and fourth of seven siblings who were raised by a single parent, Floredeliza.

Poverty became his motivation to strive hard and finish his studies.

While in Grade 3 at the age of 10 in 1995, he started serving as one of the altar boys in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in the southern Cebu town of Minglanilla, his mother’s hometown where he and his siblings grew up.

He thought of entering the seminary after high school but he opted for an engineering course in electronics.

Torres said the former parish priest of Minglanilla, Msgr. Esteban Binghay, one of the respected Church leaders in the Archdiocese of Cebu, helped him finish his college studies.

Torres later relocated to Cebu City, 15.4 km south of Minglanilla but he would return to the town on Sundays, to continue serving as altar boy of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.

Torres did that even after he graduated from college.

He studied hard not only because he wanted to ensure a better future for him and his family but also because he did not want to disappoint Monsignor Binghay who paid for his studies.

Torres recalled clutching a rosary on the day of the ECE licensure examinations.

Torres said he took time making computations in every item of the exams, but every time he shaded his answer into the box, he recited the Hail Mary.

To Torres, it was the “grace of Mama Mary” that made him land in the top 10.

He said faith has made him strong.

Torres learned about his passing the ECE board through the Internet.

Torres said he initially thought he did not make it when he did not see his name in the list and when he noted the low passing percentage.

Two hours later, Torres said he checked again in the Internet and jumped for joy when he saw his name in the top 10 list.

Torres said he would always be grateful to Monsignor Binghay and his mother and siblings for always believing in him.

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