September 28, 2023

It has always been a dream for Alexander Salvador Centino Bandiola Jr., to become a topnotcher in the certified public accountant (CPA) board, of the country’s most grueling licensure examinations.

Bandiola, an alumnus of the University of the Cordilleras, said in an interview with Bombo Radyo Baguio, he did not expect his dream to come true when he ranked first in the May 2023 CPA licensure exam.

“When I was in first year college, I wanted to be a top-notcher but I didn’t expect that I would achieve that,” Bandiola said.

He and his family were waiting for the announcement of the result of the exam from 9 p.m. until midnight of May 30 when an employee from his review center messaged him that he not only passed but also aced the exam.

He immediately woke his mother, a retired employee of Texas Instruments and his father, a taxi operator, who joined him in shedding tears of joy for his feat. 

Bandiola garnered a rating of 89.50, leading 2,239 passers out of the 7,376 who took the exam, according to the Professional Regulation Commission.

A resident of City Camp, Bandiola has always been a consistent honor student in his younger years, eventually graduating magna cum laude in 2022. It was the value of consistency in his academic life that allowed him to reach his goal.

“Iyong pagha-handa para sa exam hindi lang nagsisi-mula sa review. First year pa lang ako I really wanted this. First year pa lang I tried the mock boards of our school. I also joined academic competitions,” he said.

He said he would take a break first and then aims to work at an audit firm. He shared he received job offers from various firms but he is yet to make a decision.

Also, in the top 10 from the Cordillera, is Neftali Blase Guevarra Suarez of Saint Louis University, who garnered a rating of 88.17 percent on top seven. The passing rate of UC is at 74.07 percent with 80.95 percent first time takers while SLU has a 41.48 percent passing rate, in the national passing rate of 30.36 percent. – Ofelia C. Empian