TOPNOTCHERS. Pangasinense siblings from Barangay Tonton in Lingayen, Pangasinan top their respective board examinations. Fern Adriel Velasco (left) ranked 8th in the 2015 Certified Public Accountant licensure examination, while Ferren (center) also landed 8th in the 2018 Electronics Communications Engineering board examination. The youngest among the siblings, Franz Fernand (right), grabbed the 4th and 2nd spot during the April 2022 electronics technician and electronics engineer licensure examinations, respectively. (Photo courtesy of Ferren Velasco)

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The Velasco siblings in this capital town of Pangasinan proved that being raised by a single parent is not a hindrance to pursuing academic success and even topping their respective board examinations.
Twenty-two year-old Franz Fernand Velasco, the youngest among the three siblings, ranked second and fourth for the electronics technician (ET) and electronics engineer (EE) licensure examinations, respectively, last April.
He garnered a 93.00 percent average for the ET while an 89.20 percent rating for the EE.
Nung unang nag-top ang kuya ko at sumunod ang ate ko. Medyo may pressure na kasi parang inaasahan na ng lahat na dapat mag-top din ako (My brother first topped the board examination and then my sister. I felt pressured as everyone was expecting me to also top the examination),” he said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency over the weekend.
In 2015, Franz’ eldest brother, Fern Adriel, landed eighth in the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) board examination earning a 91.14-percent rating.
The second among the siblings, Ferren, garnered an 89.3-percent average, paving the way for her to notch the eighth place in the 2018 Electronics Communications Engineering licensure examination.
Dahil sa pandemic, purely online review lang ang ginawa ko at malaking tulong iyon dahil hindi ko na ako namroblema sa pagkain at iba pang gastusin (Due to the pandemic, what I did was purely online review and it really helped as I did not need to spend for food and other expenses),” Franz added.
The siblings were granted various scholarships from the institution where they have attended, as well as other government agencies, and have all graduated with high honors.
Thankful kami sa lahat ng mga nag-grant sa amin ng scholarships kaya nakaraos at nakapagtapos kaming lahat (We were thankful to all those who granted us scholarships that we were able to finish our studies),” he said. 
They all graduated from the same academic institution in Dagupan City.
Franz is now recognized as the first topnotcher of Universidad de Dagupan, following its transition to being a university in March this year from then Colegio de Dagupan.
Maganda yung naging foundation ko sa math kaya medyo naging komportable sa review at sa mismong exam pero may ilang questions sa ibang subject areas na nahirapan (I had a good foundation in math hence, I was comfortable with the review and even the examination but I also encountered difficult questions in some of the subject areas),” he said. 
Franz added he is scouting for jobs although various companies are giving him an offer. 
Fern is now working in a finance company in Taguig City, while Ferren is now teaching at the Pangasinan National High School here. 
Para sa lahat ng mga may suliranin sa buhay lalo na sa pag-aaral, magtiwala at magdasal lang. Huwag panghinaan ng loob dahil may pag-asa at makakamit din ang mga pangarap (With all the problems we are encountering in life especially in our studies, we just have to trust and pray. Let us not be faint hearted because there is hope that we would be able to achieve our dreams),” Franz added. (PNA)