For top civil engineer, math is waterloo

/ 12:22 AM November 19, 2016
Sirven Garibay

Sirven Garibay

SAN PEDRO CITY—It is not unusual to hear someone say how much he despises math, but quite ironic if coming from a professional engineer.

More so, the topnotcher of this year’s civil engineer board examination, who graduated magna cum laude at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), considers mathematics his waterloo.


“I feel that I’m [bad] at Math,” said Sirven Garibay, 22.

Whether this is true, Garibay proved himself excelling, especially in engineering courses, as he led the latest board passers with a rating of 93.2 percent. The Professional Regulation Commission recently released the results of the November board exams announcing that 5,036 of 10,972 examinees passed.


Work-life balance

Garibay is a son of market vendors Gerardo and Teresita Garibay from Sta. Cruz town in Laguna province. His only brother, Tyron, is a graduating computer science student also at UPLB.

As a student, Garibay considered himself “average.”

“I’m not the type who studies days ahead of the exam,” he said.

Instead, Garibay would sleep on the eve of an examination and would only browse through his notes early morning on the day he would take the test.

“My mind feels fresh that way,” he said.

Garibay said it was just a matter of balancing his studies, playing computer games, music and relationship.


He was a member of a Catholic youth ministry and the University of the Philippines Civil Engineering Society, a student organization, where he met his girlfriend, Eden Mae de Guzman, 21.

De Guzman also passed the board this year.

House for parents

“I was not really expecting [the results], as I found the Math [part of the examination] difficult. During the exam, I only kept praying that may [God’s] will be done,” Garibay said.

He said he learned he topped the examination through social media, when friends started congratulating him.

Despite his feat, Garibay said he is willing to start small in the construction industry, where he is looking at specializing on structural designs.

Garibay said he and De Guzman have yet to plan out their careers. But what is certain is he is building his family a house, bigger than their bungalow.

“My parents work hard for us. They would wake up early morning every day and that was not easy. I am saving up so I can build them a second floor,” he said.

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