Roslyn Vea Damasco, topnotcher of the 2021 Licensure Examination for Teachers. (Photo from Roslyn Damasco's Facebook account)

By Villamor Visaya Jr., Philippine News Agency stringer and Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent

CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela – A resident of this city received good news on her birthday — topping the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) which she took last September.

Roslyn Vea Damasco, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Education-Major in Special Education and Minor in Mathematics, topped the LET, besting 17,863 examinees with a 93.40-percent rate.

Damasco was a consistent honor student during her elementary and high school years and graduated magna cum laude at University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2019.

“I have mixed emotions: happy, blessed, grateful, overjoyed. Sometimes I want to cry out of joy and of gratitude to God. Sometimes, I still can’t believe it,” she said in an online interview on Tuesday.

Damasco said her mindset since she entered UP was “I want to top the LET. I will top the LET,” which she nurtured through the years.

“I found the exam, especially my major which is Mathematics, very difficult. From ‘Lord, please help me top” to ‘Lord, please help me pass’ because I thought that it’ll be a miracle if I passed. There was a thought na baka hindi po ako pumasa (I might not pass), but God is so great. I thank Him for this miracle. I know that He has a reason why He gave this to me and I want to fulfill His plan,” she said.

She admitted she got depressed when the LET was postponed for almost two years due to the pandemic and when her grandmother died, and thanked her family for the all-out support they gave her.

Her fellow Cagayan Valley-based LET-taker, Czendra Faye Compares of Tuguegarao City in Cagayan, got a 93.20-percent rate.

Compares finished her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Major in Biology degree at the Cagayan State University-CSU Andrews. She is teaching high school students at the St. Louis University-Tuguegarao.

“I am surprised. I did not expect to be among the topnotchers,” Compares said in a Facebook post, adding that her father and siblings first learned of her being the second-ranked topnotcher when the results were released on Monday night.

She feared not flunking the examination but of possibly being positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) when they were required to take an antigen test prior to the examination.

Meanwhile, another LET taker from Region 2, Devin David Despe Dumlao of Jones, Isabela, garnered a grade of 92.4. He is a product of the Our Lady of the Pillar College in Cauayan City. (PNA)