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Bringing Blueprints to Life: 2 Arki students shine – brings pride to BU

February 10, 2023

Two architecture students from Bicol University Institute of Design and Architecture (BUIDeA) paved their way closer to their dreams, as one finished in second place in the licensure examination for architects, while the other was nationally recognized for his awe-inspiring -realistic artwork.

Shanna Mae Goyena, a BUIDeA alumna, was one of the top notchers in the 2023 January Architecture Licensure Examination (ALE), hitting overall second place with a laudable rating of 83.80%.

The Topnotcher’s Inspiration

As the eldest among the siblings, Shanna sees herself setting a prime example for her brother, who is currently a second-year college student. Her number one supporter is her parents, who, she admits, are so proud of her that no words can explain how they felt when she was listed in the second-highest spot in the 2023 ALE.

When asked what inspired her to become an architect, the top-notch said that becoming an architect was her brother’s dream.

“The inspiration came from a series of events that led me to the doors of the architecture profession. This wasn’t my childhood dream but rather the dream of my brother.”

She also chose to pursue architecture because she had prior experience in technical drafting in high school. She also said that she hopes to become an author someday since she is fond of reading manhwas or webtoons.

During her five years studying at BUIDeA, she said that “I got to know architecture by heart, which inspired me to pursue the architecture profession.”

Stepping Stones for the Future

Starting from being an architecture student to an apprenticeship and up until taking the boards, Shanna said that these hardships will soon bear fruit because of all the hard work and dedication to the dream profession; this is what she considers to be stepping stones for the future.

“As I think about the challenges we faced, I’m relieved that we didn’t give up despite the sleepless nights of doing plates. Those were now precious distant memories. Struggles are our stepping stones in becoming what we are now.”

She added that every university student had challenges they needed to overcome before becoming who they are today. And to her, it would not be possible without her reasons: “My family, my parents, my aunt and uncle, my brother and cousins. They are the joy of my life. The company that trained me in building and construction, especially my architect mentor who had faith in me that I can be an architect, too.”

‘He is the Greatest’

She first heard about the news of the results from her father. She couldn’t believe it at first. Notifications from her phone started blowing up, congratulating her for landing in second place.

“I thank God for this blessing He bestowed upon me. He is the greatest. The first time I heard my father from the line as he said that I got second place, my mind went completely blank. I went to my room and tried opening the website but it’s not coming through. Then everyone kept congratulating me. That must be true, I thought. Then I cried my heart out thanking God.”

Consistency and Discipline

When asked what she did that helped her not just pass but claim the second-highest spot, Shanna revealed that she imposed on herself that she needed to be consistent and disciplined in preparing for the board exams.

“I promised that this would be my only chance, and I need to pass this no matter what. My study habits are not as dreadful as others might think.”

Our top-notch values include sleep and breaks while reviewing. Sometimes, she would find herself listening to K-pop music and watching K-pop content just to relieve stress.

“But I would take a series of examinations, preboards, and mock boards seriously just to prepare myself for the real examination.”

She said that she would always recall what the late BUIDeA director, Arch. Reynaldo O. Nacional Jr. would say during their class, “When we set the goal, we must set it to the highest. Aim for the topnotcher and you’ll surely pass the boards.”

Bawal ang Kidit sa Arki

As for advice, Shanna said that even after passing or finishing at the top, she still has a long way to go.

“We must be flexible in what we do. Explore more and learn through doing. If things get hard, then rest, but make sure to get back on track. Architecture is a collaborative and noble profession, so ask your seniors in the institute, your professors, and your mentors. They are always willing to help. But please do remember the mantra of the institute we learned ever since we became students, ‘Bawal ang kidit sa Arki’”.

Meanwhile, Jandel Tuazon, 19 years old and a first-year BUIDeA student, went viral on social media for posting his realistic and astounding artwork and plates. He was interviewed and featured by a number of media organizations across the country, such as the Philippine News Agency (PIA) Albay, Ako Bicol Online TV, GMA, and others.

Art Runs from Within

Jandel is the youngest, together with his twin sister, among his other five siblings. He said that art runs in their family, so much so that it was not surprising when Jandel got social media attention after posting his artwork. Ever since he was young, Jandel already knew his talent for art.

“I was 7 years old in elementary school, and I already loved to draw. I used to try to imitate what my elder brother was doing, and I discovered that I was able to do it as well.”

Facing Fear

When asked what inspired him to study architecture, Jandel said that it is his dream course since he has the skills. But despite this, he admitted his weakness in math, which made him doubt his choices. 

“But I told myself that I have to face what I fear in order to achieve my dream with the help of people who have supported me and continued to encourage me to push architecture, and now I have passed BUCET and this is the sign I was waiting for.”

Prior to entering BUIDea as a freshman student, Jandel shared that he had already joined numerous art competitions at the local, regional, and national levels.

“I can’t even count how many competitions I’ve participated in because of the sheer number of them. In the past few years, I have participated in various events in the field of arts, representing our province and my municipality in regional and national painting and poster-making contests, and I was fortunate enough to win back-to-back championships.”

As of writing, he even has an ongoing national student art contest where he is representing the university.

To Inspire

After submitting his final plate for a major subject, Jandel thought about sharing his piece of art in a Facebook group. The trending piece is a scene in Daraga, Albay, where a passing Jeepney and a commercial building, undergoing renovation, were sketched in black and white.

Jandel’s keen attention to detail and his reality-like artwork caught the public’s attention, and he was featured in numerous media outlets. He said that it took him five days to complete the artwork.

“I thought about posting them on Facebook not to be arrogant but to inspire fellow artists, especially architecture students, and suddenly a lot of people noticed it.”

His Facebook friend told him that he should post his art on art social media pages. After he posted it, he received thousands of reactions, positive comments, and shares, which he did not expect to go viral.

The original post had gained almost six thousand reactions, as of this writing. 

“It’s a good feeling that there are people who appreciate my work, especially those who I don’t really know because it’s not every time that my work is recognized; it only happens once, and as a visual artist, nothing makes me happier than being admired for our works; that is a great gift for us.”

Challenges of a Visual Artist

When asked about the challenges he faces as a visual artist, Jandel said that juggling commissions and academics, as well as the lack of materials or resources, are his frustrations.

“As a visual artist, I have faced many challenges, especially in balancing my studies and racketeering through commissions and participating in competitions. But sometimes I have to sacrifice things and opportunities for the sake of my academics. Of course, studying is my priority. Another problem I have is the lack of art materials because some items are costly, especially since the artist’s materials and those that need to be used in my course are even more expensive.”

To Aspiring Young Artists:

From one fellow artist to another, Jandel would like to remind you to choose your passion.

“To my fellow artists, who are planning to enter the world of art, and especially to 1st-year students like me, if you know you are happy with what you are doing now, just keep going because one day someone will appreciate it, just learn and wait. Let’s not be shy to show our talents! Remember not everyone has that ability. Only you! Let’s prove that art is not just drawing, drawing lang, but you can use it, and all our suffering today will be replaced by the light of our smiles one day! Sama-sama nating abutin ang mga sarili nating bituin! Padayon!” | by Arnold C. Noda, CPRO; Graphics by: Avril L. Precillas, BUCPRO Student Affiliate (CIT/IDeA)