The List: Igorot Board Exam Topnotchers

In our continuing feature of Igorot achievers, let us take our cue from schools who sing praises to their graduates who land in the top ten in board examinations. In this blog entry, we will be singing praises to our Igorot brothers and sisters who topped their board exams. They do make us proud and it’s about time we recognize their achievements.

But first, a clarification: this list is incomplete since it is based on only two sources 1) the website of St. Louis University (SLU) in Baguio City and 2) the website of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) which has board exam results from 2004 to 2006. This means that, except for Rufino Bomasang, topnotchers from other schools before 2004 are not included here. (We do hope to include them in the future.) Bomasang was once profiled in the Inquirer so we know that he topped his exam in 1964. (He also made it to the second installment of The List.)

Please note also that the topnotchers listed here were picked for inclusion mainly because they have Igorot/Igorot-sounding surnames. Since I am not the Pope (who is assumed to be infallible), I may have included some people who are not actually Igorots. If this is the case, I hope that those involved will not take offense; after all they are in good company and I am increasing their Google search results :-).

On the other hand, I may also have excluded Igorots with Spanish or Tagalog surnames or those with Igorot surnames that I am not familiar with. My hope is that those of you who know these people will alert me in the comments section so we will include them in future installments. Of course, any tips regarding Igorot topnotchers from other schools will also be very much welcome.

Finally, since our main source is the SLU website it is a given that most of the names in this list are from SLU. Those who graduated from other schools will have their schools indicated.

So here’s The List of Igorot board exam topnotchers.

Top One
Tirso Masweng Jr, Geodetic Engineering, 1998
Alex Kindipan, Mining Engineering, 1986
Basilio Anis Jr, Mining Engineering, 1985
Rufino Bomasang, Mining Engineering, 1964, UP*-Diliman


Top Two
Jean Falag-ey Paspas, Radiology, 2005
Rogelio Cawis, Criminology, 2005, UC-BCF**
Victor Danglay Tuguinay, Civil Engineering, 2005
John Degay, Medical Technology, 1993
Gregory Widwidan, Mining Engineering, 1988
Gerardo Calpo, Mining Engineering, 1985
Gregorio Alangdeo, Mining Engineering, 1981
Joseph Aquintey, Electrical Engineering, 1971
Marcelino Delson, Senior Teacher, 1961


Top Three
Ronald Beding, Criminology, 2005, CCDC***
Christopher Banglo, Criminology, University of Baguio
Darwin Bongotan Mangusan, Criminology, 2004, school unknown
Isabel Oloan, Library Science, 2003
Rhea Lyn Managdag, Mining Engineering, 2001
Pablo Bolinget, Mining Engineering, 1986
Dante Garin, Mining Engineering, 1985
Efren Buada, Mining Engineering, 1981
Roel Collado, Mining Engineering


Top Four
Wilson Dumaga Kimmayong, Criminology, 2004, school unknown
Easter Wahayna, Library Science, 1999
Roger Nafianog, Social Work, 1996
Rommel Amogan, Mining Engineering, 1989
Santiago Bugnosen, Mining Engineering, 1985
Abraham Dao-ayen, Mining Engineering, 1984
Wildred Balagot, Electrical Engineering, 1984
Harrison Paltongan, Accounting, 19xx.
Remegio Kawi Jr, Mining Engineering, 1980


Top Five
Christopher Cadiog Quela, Mechanical Engineering, 2005
Dexter Tayab, Geodetic Engineering, 2004
Margie Agalid, Social Work, 1998
Henry Cielito Molintas, Mechanical Engineering, 1993
Venancio Bad-ay, Mining Engineering, 1987
Stephen Agdaca, Mining Engineering, 1985
Dickson Lapniten, Mining Engineering, 1981


Top Six
Bonifacio Degay, Mining Engineering, 1993
Donald Marzan, Mining Engineering, 1992
Robert Chumacog, Electrical Engineering, 1975
Rolando Madarang, Electrical Engineering, 1973


Top Seven
Kenneth Dulnuan, Medicine, 2006, UP Manila
Melchor Patal-e, Midwifery, 2005, UP Manila (Leyte Campus)
Sato Sayaan, Mechanical Engineering, 2001
Virginia Challoy, Mining Engineering, 2001
Kathryn Ann Dacyon, Medical Technology, 1999
Patrick Bantiyan, Medicine, 1997
Florence Mamungay, Mining Engineering, 1994
Ricardo Dang-iw, Mining Engineering, 1986
Delia Cayaya, Social Work, 1984


Top Eight
Derace Faglan Nadunop, Architecture, 2005
John Degay Jr., Medicine, 2000
Jesse Ann Duclayan, Social Work, 1997
Adonis Calaycay, Medical Technology, 1992
Catherine Bega-en, Medical Technology, 1992
Ricardo Dolipas, Mining Engineering, 1993
Demetrio Fianza, Mechanical Engineering, 1990
Ronnie Siapno, Mining Engineering, 1986


Top Nine
Ray Piluden, Architecture, 2004, school unknown
Zenaida Gayaton, Social Work, 1999
Benigno Aliping, Mining Engineering, 1994
Calixto Catbagan, Mining Engineering, 1985


Top Ten
Jessica Buduhan, Midwifery, UP Manila (Leyte Campus), 2005
Jennylyn Camsol, Social Work, 2005
Rex Bucsit, Mechanical Engineering, 2003
Jesusa Pinao-an, Social Work, 2000
Gregorio Oldangon, Mining Engineering, 1992
Davis Labawig, Mining Engineering, 1986

UPDATE:

Wilaine Grace Dekdeken Pis-o of SLU placed 3rd in the board exam for accountancy held May 2006.

You can find more board exam topnotchers here: More Igorot Board Exam Topnotchers.

*University of the Philippines
** University of the Cordilleras-Baguio Colleges Foundation
*** Cordillera Career and Development College

35 Comments
  1. Nice… :)

    Would you also have a list of other academic achievers other than Board Top Notchers? Example my friend Daphne Marie Falag-ey of Bontoc (Alumnus of UC-BCF) has graduated with an ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD when she took Diploma in Applied Linguistics in Manila… and there are more :)

  2. Hi anonymous,
    Thanks :-) You brought up something which I’ve been mulling over for some time now. Graduating with honors is as much a proof of academic excellence as topping board exams. My problem is that it is hard to find information and to verify said info as to who graduated with honors from the different colleges/universities all over the country. Sa board exams kasi, medyo madali kasi pinupublish sa newspapers and websites.

    Maybe we will do it in the future if we come out with a good system of info gathering/verification. Congrats to your friend Daphne Falag-ey. We hope she continues the good work :-)

  3. Ay sayang, my husband is 3rd in mining 1985. He’s barkada with Basilio (1st); Gerry (2nd); and Bugs (4th). If he was born in Baguio and grew up in the mines (Balatoc), will he count as an Igorot?

  4. Very good question! I’ve asked questions like that myself. Sino nga ba ang Igorot? One with Igorot parents, born in Manila, and says things like, “Hindi ako Igorot, parents ko lang.” Or one who may not be Igorot by ancestry but nonetheless considers him/herself an Igorot. To be honest, I still don’t know the answer.

    But I am inclined to think, at least for the purposes of this blog’s List of Achievers, that those who do not consider themselves Igorot (even if they are by ancestry) will not be recognized as Igorots. What about those who don’t have Igorot roots but have nonetheless lived as one, should they be recognized? Hell, yes! So if your husband considers himself an Igorot, then he deserves to be included. Ang ayoko lang mangyari is for people saying things like, “Hoy hindi naman ako Igorot. Bakit mo ako isinasali diyan.” So I was careful about who to include.

    So tell me if he does consider himself an Igorot. Their batch is really something ha, getting all the top slots like that. Just to make sure, is your hubby Dante Garin? Belated congrats to your husband and to you as well :-)

  5. This is a good topic for a debate. I always qualify my statement whenever people ask me if I am an Igorot or not. Even though I have an Igorot blood, I always say I am partially an Igorot. Not that I am embarassed to say I am one(hell, I am prouder than some “100% Igorots by virtue of blood” are) but it is in fairness to my mother who is 100% Ilocana and my father’s father who is intsik. I am sure that if my mother is still alive, she’ll say she is an Igorota too (acquired) because she’s spent most of her productive life in Benguet serving the Ibalois. Besides, even if I deny it, my Igorot blood shows in my calves.

    My answer to your question is yes and thanks.

  6. I appreciate your providing the information. I made the necessary update. LOL about the calves :-) Thanks again.

  7. Sus, I just read this old post from 2006. Tininda pala ako ng sis kong si Ferricardia. Actually, MARGIE PIDO-LUMAWAN, who is from the Kalanguya tribe, also got an ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD when she graduated from her Masters in Applied Linguistics Program in Manila.

    And I did not graduate from UC-BCF, but from UP-Baguio. Pero pinsan ko si Jean Falag-ey Paspas na Number Two sa Radiology. Go Jean! Go Cordillerans!

    DAPHNE

  8. Ms. Jessica Buduhan jaz came to our house (maybe) two weeks ago. She’s the niece of one of housemates. Isn’t that great? Small world, huh? She just came from Leyte and is going home to Barlig, Mt. Prov. for a break.

  9. hi. thanks for including my name to this post. was just trying to search my fellow Pinao-ans, if there are any on the net, and got here. and browsed your blogroll further. wow! great work!

  10. Please include my friend, Mary Ann Bagyan Galce (of Sagada and Besao) in the list of igorot achievers. A graduate of Saint Louis University, she ranked no. eight (8) in the 1992 licensure examinations for Social Workers. Thanks a lot.

  11. mind to include my cousin, JUN DIWAG, a graduate of University of the Cordilleras who bagged the second rank for Criminology board exam last year? thanks a lot..

  12. My Igorota classmates didn’t believe I am an Ifugao girl, or “Kiangan” as they later on fondly called me but yeah I am Ipugaw and proud of my ancestry. But would you still include my name on your list coz boy your list is cool. I hope with Igorot you mean all Cordillerans. And please make a minor correction, i was Top 7 not 9 in the Social Work Board Exam of 1999. Thanks!

  13. tanong lang po-’di po ba Igorot ang mga Ifugao?kasi mga kaibigan kong tiga Mayaoyao,deny to death silang mga Igorot.

  14. hmmmm who is the real igorots?
    so when can u say that you are one?
    i’m an fbi too . . a Full Blooded Igorot, but sometimes i’m ashamed to say that I am one. Why? I grew up here in the city of Baguio and like other fbi’s who grew up in the cities we are not exposed to the traditions and culture of our own race . .we can’t even speak fluently our dialect . .I even met some people whom i thought are igorots coz they know our culture and even speak fluently our dialects . .and when i ask them what tribe they belong to . .they say they are not really igorots but lowlanders who grew up here in the cordilleras!!!!d ba nakakahiya ung ganun!!!! ung tga lowland pa mas alam kultura mo na igorot?. .so going back to the question , , who really are those considered to be igorots?
    I am, because I am an FBI.
    You can . .

  15. Friends let me share my opinion as a proud igorot,nowadays intermarriage and migrating is “open”,to be consider as igorot is a matter of choice,if you know the strenght,goodness and wisdom of people who consider themselevs as igorots,yesterday,today and tomorrow,and if you think that you possess the qualities of being one of us then declare and defend this class of people,igorots does not mean pagan,beggar,kankanaey,ibontoc,isagada.ibaloi,ifugao,itneg,headhunters,natives,etc,i think igorots are simply filipinos who preferd to run and live in the Mountain Ranges rather to be colonized.Phil.literature during the spanish gov.maynot hav mention any goodness,strenght and wisdom of igorots probably they dont want other Filipinos to follow their example in preserving their human Dignity.I hav read the Book”Battlefront”igorot soldiers where mentioned,the first ibontoc migrant in Europe who were abandoned etc..Now if you dont want to be called igorot thats your choice but never take advantage of the privilege of being an igorot here and abroad,we maybe exotic and minority in number but wl its only the Filipino Organization recognized around the world”BIBAK”they are proud igorots..if i see cordillerans or kababayan with inappropriate attitudes(umibabain) i consider them not igorots,.i wl continue to defend the unblemish,untainted,unconquered proud igorots..lets try…friend

  16. How about Laureen Sabado pharmacy SLU top 2 from Kapangan. Mark accos from Kapangan also SLU, Kimbunga also CCDC top 1. Ronald Beding is top 1 CCDC from Kapangan. and a lot more. the Blogger should regularly update it.Thats your responsibility.

  17. Thanks in putting me in this list. It is an honor but I give God the glory. By the way, it was in 1984 when I placed fifth in mechanical engineering. My first cousin (an igorot) also placed fifth in mechanical engineering in 1988. He also graduated cumlaude that year. Since then, I came to the US and completed my masters in engineering in 1999 at Old Dominion University. I also just recently received a US Patent for the invention of a wastewater filtration system.

  18. Thanks for including my name in the list below my batch mate and our class valedictorian at Pines City National High school batch 2000, Jean Falag-ey Paspas. Congrats Jean! My complete name is Rogelio Balballin Cawis Jr. By my surname alone and my features, i am an FBI with an ancestry from Sagada, Besao and Bontoc Mountain Province and Mankayan Benguet. This is really an honor but for God be the glory. Mr. Ronald Yangkin Beding was also my batch in the October 2005 Criminology Board Exam. He was our top 3 and my fellow Igorot in the top 20, though he did not appear in the awarding ceremony. Jun Carpio Diwag is also a genuine Igorot and the top 2 of the May 2006 Board Exam. Kindly include also my mentor and my idol Mr. Chester King-eo from Sagada who was also top 2 in the September 1997 criminology board. Congratulations and keep up the good work of proclaiming our achievements, so that they will know who we really are and if what we are capable of. Above all, we should attribute and thank God for the greatest gifts of all. Thanks a lot and God Bless!

  19. Mr. Rogelio Cawis or Rommel was also a Cum Laude of UC-BCF batch 2005 criminology graduates. I know him very well and for me, his greatest achievement is that he really struggled from poverty, having been from a broken family like me and without parents since he was 2 years old. We together lived the life of a laborer, komboy, pandesal and ice cream vendor, construction worker and one who was always hurt and humiliated by some people and some relatives for having been defenseless. He really is a pride of his Igorot ancestry. I was also an achiever in elementary and high school, but sad to say, i did not continue my study.

  20. Thanks for including my name in the list below my batch mate and our class valedictorian at Pines City National High school batch 2000, Jean Falag-ey Paspas. Congrats Jean! My complete name is Rogelio Balballin Cawis Jr. By my surname alone and my features, i am an FBI with an ancestry from Sagada, Besao and Bontoc Mountain Province and Mankayan Benguet. This is really an honor but for God be the glory. Mr. Ronald Yangkin Beding was also my batch in the October 2005 Criminology Board Exam. He was our top 3 and my fellow Igorot in the top 20, though he did not appear in the awarding ceremony. Jun Carpio Diwag is also a genuine Igorot and the top 2 of the May 2006 Board Exam. Kindly include also my mentor and my idol Mr. Chester King-eo from Sagada who was also top 2 in the September 1997 criminology board. Congratulations and keep up the good work of proclaiming our achievements, so that they will know who we really are and if what we are capable of. Above all, we should attribute and thank God for the greatest gifts of all. Thanks a lot and God Bless!

  21. I would like to get in touch with cousins and friends who are hereat topnotchers’ list. Would there be a chance especially for Atty Marciano “Rocky” Delson and Ms. Jesus Pinao-an Dyte. Thanks. More power!!!

  22. FOR Ms. Jesusa Pinao-an and ATTY. Marciano “ROCKY” Delson. I would like to get in touch or if they can get in touch w/ me thru e-mail….. mts.fpsc@live.com. I hope this site can also be a helpful one in linking and reaching out throughout the world. Thanks. If possible.

  23. To Whom It May Concern:

    Could you please include also Adalberto Molintas Nazarro – Placed 5th in Mechanical Engineering, 1989? Adal is now an engineering manager at MOOG Controls, Inc. Salamat

  24. I was born in the low land but, when I was about to start my high school my father started working in Philex Mining Corporation in Tuba, Benguet. I learnt and appreciate Igorot culture and can speak they way how they speak ilocano Though, I am not well versed with igorot dialects but can understand them. I am happy for most of my igorot friends who excelled in thier studies like Efren Buada a placer in Mining Board Exams. Igorots as far as I know are the most educated and successful group of people or tribe not only in Northern Luzon but entire the Philippines. Having graduated High School at BCHS and BSME at SLU made some of my co-workers call me igorot, but mind you I am never affected but instead it makes me proud because I love it. It is never downgrading on my part if they call me such and will never take it as an offense. Never……..If there are those who are ashame of their igorot identity ( I hope they dont ) then they are losing their sanity….Frankly, I am not an Igorot by blood but I am happy to be included by choice. God Bless

  25. Kurang-kurang met gayyem. Nagado pay iti hanyo nga nailista. Dagijay padpada tayo nga igorot nga topnothers iti Law, Civil, Sanitary, Architecture ken Geodetic idjay BCF ket awan met ditoy listaan yu gagayyem.

  26. you did not include the top nocthers of mining eng’g in feb1996, although only 6 passed, 3 of them sounds like igorot & 1 tot he is igorot. also in 1997(on same exam) my classmate who is igorot looking tot that he is #4

  27. Yup…..you missed some igorot topnotchers.Yours truly placed seventh in the 1993 board exam……..Arch Ray Piluden finished his architecture course from UC 9formerly BCF)

  28. Good day Mr. Billig, please include Juliet Basatan Kaniteng who placed 10th in the May 2007 Criminologist Licensure Exam. She finished her Criminology course at the University of the Cordilleras as a CUMLAUDE. She’s from Besao Mt. Province, Mankayan and Bokod, Benguet. Thank you.

  29. CONGRATULATIONS TO WILSON DUMAGA KIMMAYONG, TOP FOUR IN THE 2004 CRIMINOLOGY BOARD EXAM!!!…ALSO, HE RANKED FIRST IN THEIR BATCH-PNP RECRUITMENT, CLASS STANDING AND IN THE SCOUT AS WELL..HE’S REALLY A TOPNOTCHER!
    NOW HE’S ALREADY AN OFFICER IN THE PNP..FROM PO1 TO PO2 AND THEN POLICE INSPECTOR…GREAT JOB PINSP WILSON D KIMMAYONG!!! KEEP IT UP!!!

  30. Hi! My warmest commendation to the brain of this Webpage! Please open also UC-BCF website, so many Igorot topnotchers listed. You can likewise determine by their Igorot sounding surnames. Should you decide to include top 11-20, there are more.

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