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The Big Surprise

Chemist Board Exam Blog Series Part Ten

The Big Surprise

All of us were very happy when September 11, 2008 came. A whole load of pain was taken from our hearts. We were all relieved of the pressures of the Board Exam. Even if we didn’t know when the results will come out, it didn’t stop us from enjoying our time in Manila. As Ian told me, “What you will do now will not affect the results.”

A lot of us, including me, decided to go to the popular place called Divisoria. I was with the group of Jeb, Marvin, Gleenece, Bely, Jurgen, James, and Ate Ercel. We rode a jeepney going there. After a few minutes, Ate Ercel said that we reached the place. A lot of stores were completely covering the road that no jeepney could directly pass through.

On entering the place, we were greeted by a horde of stuffed toys! There were pigs, Looney tunes characters, Naruto and other anime stuffs. I was so amazed at the place that was Divisoria. It was truly a shopaholic’s heaven! I heard that they sell items there at a really cheap price. So, being a girl, I was overwhelmed by the familiar feeling of saying “Hey! That’s cute! How much is it?”. We purchased a lot of stuff at 168 Mall. Of course, I bought things for my sisters, for Bor. Apolonio, and for Ma’am Castañares. My most gorgeous find was a store full of chocolates at a lower price than those in the groceries! I just love chocolates! Each of us was bringing a huge striped bag afterwards.

After Divisoria, we headed off to SM Mall of Asia (MOA) by riding another jeep. We went down at Heritage Hotel, crossed the street, and found a shuttle going to MOA. After a few minutes, we got there and looked for a package counter to hide our big striped bags. In MOA, we found our other classmates and friends, Ella and others, who were sitting by the bench. Our concern was to enjoy life there. We looked for any “dimsum” but to no avail! Sigh! And then, we met Marvin’s sister, Alaine, in Starbucks. Together, we went to the hypermarket to buy beer and food for a night’s drinking session.

It was raining outside when we finally decided to go home. A lot of jeepney’s were falling in line and conductors were shouting. So, we got on a jeep that was second in line to a jeep going to Taft Avenue. But we were very unfamiliar with Manila and after a short jeep’s ride, we confirmed our worst fears: WE WERE LOST. It looked like we took the wrong jeep! The first jeep was headed for Taft but the second jeep was off to Laguna! Oh no! So, we just got off the jeep, not minding where we were.

Gleenece, Marvin, James, Jeb, and I decided to hire a taxi. No matter how expensive it would be. We were wet, cold, and lost in the rain. We didn’t know how to get home. So finally, a taxi driver agreed to let us ride going to Pius XII.

We were so relieved when we got home. And we laughed at our crazy adventure! Our friends who were waiting for us laughed, too. But oh! We were hungry when we got home. There was no way of going outside to eat as the rain was heavily pouring. So, we decided to make a phone call to Greenwich Pizza and order our meal. After about an hour, a very handsome man delivered our pizzas and all of us were very happy.

After that, Gleenece, Jeb, Marvin, and I started our drinking session. San Mig Light was my drink. It was bitter yet not full bodied. It was much diluted and I didn’t enjoy it. Gleenece, on the other hand, had just a few sips from her Pale Pilsen and she suddenly fell asleep. But the boys were tough: Pale Pilsen all the way down! Wow!

It was around 12 midnight when we were about to fall asleep. Gleenece was already in dreamland while I turned off our lampshade. I said a short prayer which ended this way, “Mama Mary, I believe in you and in God’s will for me. So, my faith is strong that I have passed the Board Exam. This moment is victorious for me: I have gone closer to you.” Then, I wrapped myself in my thick white blanket to sleep. But…


Oh! It was my cellphone’s Robo N1X message alert tone. An SMS has just arrived. “Who could’ve texted at a time like this?”, I asked and then added, “Oh! It’s probably Ian. I’ll just read it tomorrow. I’m sure He’ll understand.” I was just too tired to care!

But the call of love is so strong that I couldn’t resist. I immediately came out from my blanket and grabbed the phone to read the message.

The results of the Board Exam are in!

My phone showed an anonymous number. At that moment, I didn’t know what to think or what to do next. It might have been just a practical joke from a friend who used a new number. This isn’t funny!

I gathered all of my energy and sanity as I replied an SMS, “Who’s this?”

After a few seconds, my cellphone rang again. The message was…


Oh! It was Anne, Jeb’s girlfriend! At that time, I got really scared. Anne is not the type to play practical jokes on people. My heart was beating fast and my I couldn’t even control my fingers as I replied to her messages. She was asking what our surnames were. At that time, I knew that she was serious.

The ones who passed are Jeb, Marvin, Kandace, Gleenece, Warner, Jason, Jerome, and Josephus. Congrats!

“God, what will I do?”, I just didn’t know what to do. And the first impulse that came through me was to phone Jeb in their room and tell them the news. I grabbed the phone and dialed 314. After a few rings, Jeb answered, “Hello?”. He sounded tired.

“Jeb, Anne texted me. She said that the results of the Board Exam are in!”, I replied.

“So? What did she say?”, Jeb was scared. His voice was cracking.

I told him all about my conversation with Anne. And later, Jeb and Marvin came running to our room! I woke Gleenece from her peaceful slumber and I told her the good news with all my might! Minutes later, all four of us were jumping and screaming the room as we celebrated and called our parents about it. The adrenalin rush was coursing through our veins. We didn’t feel tired and it was 1 AM.

But still, we weren’t all that convinced.

“Let’s ask permission to the Pius XII staff to let us go to a 24 hour internet café. I will not the totally convinced until I see the post myself.”, the boys suggested. Gleenece and I were scared. Manila is a dangerous place to go out during nightfall. But they persuaded us to go and they assured us that they will take care of everything.

So, we girls agreed. Pius XII gave us permission to go out provided we come back immediately.

We hired a taxi to the nearest 24 hour internet café and viewed the post. Our hands were cold and clammy at first. But when the computer got a result after every CTRL+F, we heaved a sigh of relief. We also looked for the names of our review center friends and told them the good news. We were extremely happy that we phoned our advisers about it. First, we phone Ma’am Gaya to ask for Sir Pat’s phone number. Hahaha! We didn’t care if it’s 2 AM! We were so proud of ourselves and at how our prayers worked!

It only took us a short time in the internet café. After that, we suddenly felt hungry. Looks like the effects of the adrenalin rush was kicking in. Jeb hired another taxi and he treated us to a 24 hour McDonald’s store. There, we bought spaghetti, chicken, ice cream, and drinks.

Home was next after that.

But Jeb said, “Let’s wake the others up! Let’s act sad and then break the good news to them! Let’s start with Warner and Jerome!”. And four persons with naughty laughs were walking down the corridors of Pius XII.

In Warner’s room, we acted out the scene and then burst out in laughter. “You’re a chemist now, dude!”, Marvin said. They were very shocked at the news. Jerome had teary eyes and all of us were jumping and screaming again. So the four persons became six.

“Josephus and Jason are next”, Jeb said.

Well, the whole scene of getting shocked, then jumping and screaming were evident in all eight of us. We were very happy. And after that, we went to Jeb’s room to eat our McDonald’s meal. Of course, we said our prayers to thank God, St. Jude Thaddeus, Mama Mary and all the others who’ve helped us.

God is truly good all the time!

Mama Mary is a wonderful woman. She brought me closer to God. She helped me in all of this. She helped me turn my loss of passion into a victory. All I had was faith. Now, all I know is that faith in your prayers are enough to make your dreams come true.

As Don Bosco once quoted, “Trust in Mary and you will see what miracles are.”


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