By: Marian Dionio Uyguangco
CPA in God’s Perfect Time
(A Story of a Simple Woman Who Dream Big for God’s Greater Glory)
“This is a very long post, but as you read it, it will be going to be worth it.”
“I am a child of God, and He has sent me here, has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear.” – The first song I have learned to sing and still my favorite song up to now.
I was born with a disability (cleft palate and unilateral cleft lip) which is a kind of birth defect that affects the nose, the lip, the teeth, the eyes, the speaking voice, the hearing, the breathing, the eating and my facial appearance. 1 out of 700 born babies have this kind of birth defect which there’s an underdevelopment of tissues during pregnancy. Ever since the first day I came into the world I was already in a state of difficulty. Despite of that, God indeed blessed me with a very loving and caring family. I was the last child of my parents which means I am the youngest among the 3 siblings and also I am the only daughter. When I was 2 years old I undergone a surgery to repair my unilateral cleft lip that helps a lot in terms of my breathing, eating and to close the gap of my lip.
Okay. Fast forward. I grew up a very shy person. I started to go to school at the age of 5 years old in the Day Care Center in our barangay. At 6 years old I enrolled to St. Isidore School (Elementary to Secondary)
I graduated as 5thhonor in secondary that’s why I received a 25% scholarship from the Christ the King College. Even before I received that scholarship, I already made up my mind to study in Christ the King and also I already decided what course or degree to take in college.
During my childhood years, I have found joy in numbers, and I just can’t explain during that time, why. When my grandma asked me about what course I want to take in college, I remembered, I answered this way “La, gusto nakokanangpangbusiness, mag-ihapbitawugkwarta, ingonako classmate “Business Management” daw nanga course.”
But, unexpectedly, during my secondary years, my eldest brother took a “Bachelor of Science in Accountancy” course, when I first heard that course, I asked myself what course is that? Because that’s none of the courses I have known… But because my kuya took that course, it made a way for me to know that course. In 2014, my eldest brother and I graduated, me in highschool and kuya in college. We are both scholars, kuya was sponsored by my tito who is a CPA, while me, a scholar in St. Isidore School.
1st day in college, I was so nervous because I got to meet new people and new challenges. The “introduce yourself” thing made me even more nervous because I need to talk to more than 60 students that time, I’m not sure if they will understand what will I say but I have to stand and say it by heart. After I introduced myself and shared my expectations of this course, my 1st accounting instructor had a follow up question that made me more shy, he asked if am I an honor student, and I answered yes sir, 5th. I don’t know why our instructor asked me about that, I even try to avoid saying about my achievements in school because I just want to be an ordinary student, no expectations from others at all.
Fast forward. During the end of 1stsem in 1st year, the cutting of grades has started. I was nervous when my classmates told me that our final grades are out, and we will get our grades from our dean that time, as I entered into his office, our dean smiled at me that made me wonder why. He congratulated me and I find out that I got a 1.1 (94) grade in Accounting 1. To be honest, I really don’t know how to express my happiness that time, all I know, is that I am so excited to share this blessing to my parents and call my mama. My mama texted me this line “Nak, proud kayo mi saimoha, we love youyan”, that was the first time I receive a message from mama saying that she is so proud of me and I really save it in my phone to serve as my inspiration/motivation to keep me going.
Before the 2ndsem has started, almost half our class was not able to continue in the program, (some were advice to shift, some shift courses on their own free will, and some stop due to financial problems).
At the end of 2ndsem and during summer classes, we received our grades in 2ndsem, I got a 2.1 (84) grade in one of my minor subject, I was afraid that time because in order to maintain my scholarship, I need to maintain my average atleast 90% and no grade lower than 2.0 (85) in any subject. So, I immediately proceed to the office of my instructor on that minor subject to inquire about my grade and hoping she will give supporting details that will correspond to the grade I got. (Cause, I am willing to accept whatever I deserve whether high or low grade as long as it is just.) But, unfortunately, my grade on that minor subject has become final and irrevocable, and I need to accept it. But, as a consequence my 25% scholarship (which was a big help) need to stop up to my 1st year only, and we need to shoulder the whole tuition fees and miscellaneous expenses from 2nd year up to 4th year. But, thankfully, before 2ndsem finish, my PEF loan has been approved.
PEF (Perpetual Education Fund) is a church program to help members pursue their dreams in education through self-reliance. It is a non-interesting bearing loan (an exception to substance over form principle), that will shoulder the whole tuition fees, school expenses, books and etc. for 4 years. And all we have to do, as a PEF applicant, is to pay 250.00 every month as an installment payment to our outstanding loan balance, and when we are prompt in paying, our payment is subject to additional 25% discount of our monthly payment, and if we have good grades, our loan is subject to 5% discount of our total outstanding balance, and if we graduate in our course and got employed subject up to 30% discount.
Heavenly Father is indeed very good all the time, when a door closes, windows will open. He gave more than what was lost from me (from 25% to 100%). My college life is “BAHAY-SKWELAHAN-SIMBAHAN” routine and I don’t consider it without having freedom, instead it is the other way around. I have learned that true freedom is not doing all the things we want, but it is doing the right things because true freedom comes from the consequences of our decisions.
Aside from attending classes and studying lessons in college, I am attending classes and studying lessons in Sunday School classes and Institute of Religion wherein we are studying the scriptures, doctrines and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I was exposed of so much challenges in terms of studies, finances, time, and etc. in my life, but God strengthen me in my weaknesses as I draw closer to Him each time. No matter how hard I am experiencing, I always have the passion to help and assist someone in need, not because I am knowledgeable, but because I just want to help as much as I can with God’s grace. To see someone’s burden has been lighten, is already my great reward.
I also experienced being “OP(Out of Place) a couple of times already, in school and church but not in our family, because in our family I always feel the acceptance, the love, the care and support from them and that’s why, everything that I have and will have will always be dedicated to them and to God.
I am just an ordinary woman, that’s what I think of myself. But I dream big (heavenly treasures) for God’s greater glory.
Finally, in the year 2018, all the hardwork and dedication have all paid off. I graduated in Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and in Institute of Religion, I’ve started it both in the same year, and I finish it both with the same year. Heavenly Father is so amazing, and I love it. <3
After graduation in college, I continued my advance review by reading again the textbooks in 6 board exam subjects. Actually, I started to re-read and make summary notes since I was still on 3rd year level, I started from FAR (Financial Accounting and Reporting).
During last sem of our 4 years in this course, I reviewed AFAR (Advanced Financial Accounting and Reporting). I remember, the last sem was the busiest sem for us due to overloaded projects, researches, assignments, requirements and activities but I never neglect in my priorities to study this particular coverage of board exam subject.
March 22, 2018, the day after our graduation ceremony. I starqbted to open my textbook in Auditing Theory by Cabrera (the thickest book I’ve read) During my vacation days on March to April, I am studying this book and making summary on my own. Though it’s hard because at the same time, I am helping in taking care of my nephew and doing household chores but because I set and act on my priorities, it was made possible. After Auditing Theory, it was followed by Applied Audting by Cabrera also. It took me a month to finish studying and making summary notes of it.
By the last week of April, I started the MAS (Management Advisory Services). Before the formal review classes has started, I have finish to study MAS, thank Thee to God.
Ever since, I was in college I save up money from my 1,000 monthly allowance for my review expenses. Actually, the money we fully paid to the review center I enrolled was from my savings.
On May 22, 2018 – I decided not to use any social media account (Facebook and Messenger) until the release of the board exam result.
I enrolled to PRTC in Cagayan De Oro. Our review classes started on May 23, 2018, in which our first subject is Auditing Theory which was handled by our great reviewer late sir Rommel Valdez. Before we finally start on our 1st day review, sir Rommel Valdez prepared a music video prayer as our opening prayer, and we are so touched. We don’t expect it, but we are so thankful for it that gave us more burning desire to pursue our dreams with God on our side.
During review days (5 months) I’ve stayed to my titaDely’s boarding house (wife of my father’s eldest brother). My stay there was free. I can say that I was so comfortable to where did I stay, I have my own room, and other necessaries were accommodated. But one thing is a disadvantage, it is quite far from my review center. And I need to take 2 rides to go to my review center. But that disadvantage became a advantage to me, how? because ofit’s location, I was more motivated to wake up and prepare more early to avoid being late in any of my review classes.
I need to walk every morning about 1 km in a very busy street to take a ride in a tricycle going to review center, I choose to walk every morningto save 7 pesos a day. Even if on my review days, I still practice saving money.
I sleep 8pm and wake up 2am (6 hours) of sleep. The first thing I do when I wake up is to pray, read the scriptures and drink hot dark choco to ease my sleepiness. I never drink any coffee in my entire review even when I’m still in college because I am keeping the law on word of wisdom (God’s law on health).
The review was really a test of patience, perseverance and commitment on your goal. I was always eager to attend review classes (rain/shine) because I want to learn from our reviewers and do not just depend on my own understanding. I answered all the MSQ and check my percentage on that particular topic and keep a track on it. I studied my mistakes and at the same time not being complacent on those topics I already know. I keep on practicing each day except Sunday. Sunday is my personal devotion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Fast forward. On my first and final preboard my lowest is Taxation consistently, that’s why on the last two weeks before the actual board exam, I focus on my weakest part which is taxation.
Oct. 6, 2018 – the first day of board exam, the subject is FAR and AFAR, I find AFAR so hard, which later on it was reported that is was composed of some defect questions.
Oct 7, 2018 – second day, MAS and AUDITING. I find MAS hard particularly in capital budgeting wherein workback is required to get the answer.
Oct 13, 2018 – the third and last day of board exam, TAXATION and REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS (RFBT). To my surprise, the taxation was not difficult for me, I find it easy even though I’m not sure to some of my answers but I’m confident enough to this subject (God indeed heard my prayer and have seen my effort to cope up this subject). But, this last subject RFBT, supposed to be the easiest subject among the 6 subjects because it is usually all composed of theory questions, if there’s a computation, it just very minimal. This RFBT subject was the most difficult subject I took during the licensure examination, I felt something different as I was taking this subject. Many of the topics I have not yet read nor familiar to me.
10 days after the exam, the result is expected to be released. There was a delay of the result maybe because of a lot of number of examines which total to 14, 355, as I am waiting to the result in PRC website, I feel sleepy so I sleep at 11pm, while I’m sleeping, I dream something that “I thought I pass, but later I find out that I did not”. I suddenly woke up at 4am, and I notice messages in my phone, I read it. The first message I read is this “Mar, si Mark ranakapasasaatoa” and the second one is “Peronaa daw duhakacondi mar”. Do you know what I did? I immediately go in the living room, checking the result and still hoping I can see my name on the list of successful examinees, but I did not see my name… I did not cry but all the difficulties I’ve been through and all the sacrifices of all the people who supported me was all in my mind and heart and it really breaks my heart. My family never showed to me that they get disappointed instead they encourage me to try again. When I did not saw my name in the list of passers, I really assume that I will have to take again all 6 subjects (conservatism principle) but in the morning, as I verify my rating, I saw the remarks not color red instead it’s color green and it’s “COND” which means I just need to retake atleast 2 of the subjects given, and that is RFBT which I got 61%, just a 4% away from the title. Because my average already passed, I just need to get atleast 65% in RFBT in my retake, all thanks and glory to God.
November 13, 2018 I start to review again in RFBT subject, this time I will read all the textbooks, answer all the review questions, study all the articles of the special laws passed, enrolled again in PRTC-CDO for that particular subject only, and execute my plan efficiently and effectively. I put into my mind this “I need to master all the concepts and not just only those in the syllabus, so that whatever happens, I am ready.”
My mama and I travel to CDO once a month. My review classes have 2 days every month usually (Sunday & Monday). My mama is my constant partner, going to CDO every month became our bonding time. She even has to absent in her job on Monday just to be with me, to make sure of my safety.
By the way, before I started my second review, I received a church calling in Young Women District President as a 2ndcounselor, I did not hesitate about it and I know this is what the Lord wanted me to do, to serve His children. Though I am so busy in my board exam preparation, I always make time to magnify my calling. For me, leadership is not a position, it is a decision to take an action. Like Accounting, I balance both spiritual and temporal.
After 6 months of review. The May 2019 CPALE is very much approaching. Before I took the exam, I share my testimony in our church’s sacrament meeting and also I fast for 24 hours (no eating and drinking). I feel that it is no longer I, but it is God who is with me, because if I fast, me alone, I can never make it because I have ulcer condition, but with God, nothing is impossible.
May 12, 2019 – a day before the National Election is my day of exam in RFBT with a firm hope that it will be my last exam in CPALE. The exams on that day is TAXATION and RFBT. With my mama, we went in the testing center at 6:30am, though my exam is scheduled in the afternoon (1:00pm-4:00pm), I still need to be early and attend the general instructions to fill up necessary documents before the actual board exam starts.
My room assignment is room #22 (the last room), all examinees of that room are conditional. To become a conditional, you have a rating of atleast 75% in the majority subjects given, like in our case, there are 6 subjects given, soatleast 4 of that subjects are atleast have a rating 75% and those subjects which is below 75% need to be retaken within 2 years. And for a conditional examinee to finally pass, he/she needs to have average of atleast 75% and with no grade lower than 65%.
To be a CONDI it feels like a “do or die situation”, pass this subject, you will finally pass, but if you fail this, you need to take it all again.”
May 12, 2019, 12:00 noon, 1 hour before the exam starts, I’m already in the room I was assigned waiting for the exam will start. By the way, I never bring any review materials/handouts during board exam to avoid cramming and just simply focus on meditating. I already have time to prepare before exams and that’s enough, during actual board exam, is no more time for me to review to avoid also consuming brain cells that should be consumed in answering the exams.
When the RFBT exam starts, I started it with a prayer in my heart (closing my eyes). This is the first thing I do in every exam I will take, to pray, not leaning on my own capability and understanding only. The exam is composed of 100 items, 98 theories and only 2 computational. By the way, I have a basic calculator with me to comply with what kind of calculator allowed in exam. I find the exam, really hard, imagine, at my first attempt in answering the 100 items, I got 54 sure answers, and I am so nervous because I need to get 65 correct answers to pass. I am still lacking 11 items, I prayed to God that He will help to fill in what is lacking. I try to review the 100 items backward (#100-#1). And this time, I was more enlightened, from 54 sure answers to 78 sure answers, wow! God is so great. He even fill more than what I need. I maximize all the given time. I review for the 2nd time all my answers before I transfer it to the answer sheet. I slowly shade the letter of my answer to make sure it’s accuracy (slowly but surely). By the way, we are only 4 conditional examinees in our room in RFBT, and while I’m still transferring slowly my answers in the answer sheet, my co-examinees one by one they pass. I was not disturbed; I simply continue focus, knowing I still have enough time until I am only one remaining. When I was done, I close it with a prayer and at exactly 4pm, I pass.
May 22, 2019 10pm. I read a shared post in my newsfeed stating this way “Sa loobnglimangaraw,maybiyayangparatingsabuhay mo. Magtiwalakalang, in Jesus name. Amen” and fortunately, May 27 is the expected date of the release of result which is 5 days from this day.
May 27, 2019 – finally, the time has come, the most awaited part of every May 2019 CPALE examinees. I decided to turn off my phone, so that if there will a result already, me and my family will be the first to see my name in the passer’s list (really hoping, thatI will make it this time in God’s appointed time).
At 10pm, the PRC release the result, I was shaking as I scrolling down going to letter “U”, my mama and my kuya stood beside that time, and finally! We saw my name in the list. We hug each other of so much happiness. I was teary-eyed that time, we kneel down and pray as a family, giving all thanks to Heavenly Father, to His son, Jesus Christ and to the Holy Ghost.
Finally! The time has come, all the sacrifices have paid off and all worth the wait. It took me 5 years to finally attain this, (4 years in college, 6 months in formal review for 6 subjects and 6 months for 1 subject to retake).
My choices in the past made who I am today, and the choices I will make starting from the present will determine who I will become in the future.
When I was still a child, I am asking God, why He let me born this way, but now, I already know the reason and have seen the purpose. Because of my condition, I can be able to inspire and touch more lives and He uses my life to give light to all people who face difficulties in life whether physically, financially, spiritually, socially, and emotionally.
One of my favourite actor said, “It’s not how much you have, it’s what you do on what you have.” I was born with a disability but it did not disabled me to fulfil my responsibilities but indeed it is not a disability but just differently able J. So, if I made it, you can too make it!
Heavenly Father, has given every one of us agency, and it is our responsibility to use that agency wisely and righteously to obtain true happiness that will not last only in this life but also in the life to come.
I testify, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ lives, and They love us so much. Heavenly Father is indeed faithful to His words, if we love Him, we will keep His commandments, and if we keep His commandments, we shall prosper in the land. Everything has a reason and a season. I am only God’s instrument to His children to serve as a light to mankind. All glory and praise belongs only to Him. This is the story of a simple woman who dream big for God’s greater glory. In this, I humbly share in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Hiling ko sana, sa lahat na nakabasa nito, if you happen to meet someone who has a disability like me, wag kaawaaan at husgahan agad, kilalananin niyo po muna.