Local boy, Bryan Paul Capinding Balancia, ranked 2nd in the latest Mechanical Engineering Licensure Exam (MELE) with an impressive 92.20% rating. Balancia was still on cloud nine weeks after the results came out, “I actually aimed to be a top-notcher, but not this high.” The fateful moment of validation arrived unexpectedly, as Balancia was sharing a simple dinner with his family. Unaware of the results, he received a life-changing call from his girlfriend, bearing the news of his success.

“They were shocked as I am but I saw in their eyes how proud they are as they hug and congratulate me,” said
Balancia, the eldest , who transitioned from aspiring engineer to accomplished topnotcher. He comes from a middleclass background, with a mother who is self-employed and a father who serves as a firefighter, After the results, numerous offers and opportunities flooded in his direction, leaving him even more overwhelmed than before.

Regarding his future plans, he expressed, “I’ll be taking a month off, returning to my hobbies that I set aside within six months of reviewing. After that, I will be working immediately.” He also mentioned his openness to the prospect of working abroad someday, though his immediate focus is on starting and nurturing his career within the country.
Raised in a household where hard work and perseverance were instilled values, he drew inspiration from his parents’ relentless dedication to overcome this hurdle.

“I grew up seeing my parents doing hard work every day. It was like the word ‘vacation’ was not in their vocabulary. That is one of the reasons that I admire hard work, dedication, and competence.” Balancia remained steadfast in his pursuit, driven by the desire to excel and make his family proud. Balancia’s climb to success traces back to his days as a diligent student at Saint Louis University (SLU), where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in Mechanical Engineering in the batch of 2023. As a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Junior Level Science Scholarship (JLSS) Program, Balancia was no stranger to hard work and discipline.

His preparation for the MELE wasn’t easy, spending six months in Manila, immersed in intensive studies. Days and nights blurred together as he delved deep into problem-solving and mastering formulas. Despite the immense pressure, Balancia’s resolve remained unyielding. “There is no room to slack,” is what he keeps echoing in his head even when he is resting. However, even the most dedicated souls face moments of doubt and fatigue. Reflecting on his preparation phase, Balancia acknowledges the challenges he faced, particularly experiencing burnout before the Christmas break last year.

Princess Stephanie N. Buraga / UB Intern

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