ALTHOUGH hopeful, Marcia Butastas went to sleep last Thursday night with less excitement than her batch mates.

Unlike many of her fellow test takers who stayed up past midnight to wait for the Professional Regulatory Commission to release the results of the October Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure examinations, Marcia went to bed early and did not bother pulling out an all-nighter.

After falling ill early this year, passing the exams, let alone landing in the top 10, was the last thing on the 21-year-old’s mind.

But later, Marcia woke up to her sister’s cheering. She passed. With an average of 89.33, Marcia was not only a CPA now, she also ranked tenth in the exams.

An alumna of the University of San Carlos, she is the only Bachelor of Science in Accountancy graduate from the Visayas region to land a spot in the top 10.

The road to becoming a CPA, though, was not an easy journey for her.

Marcia was supposed to join her peers in the May CPA exams, but had to postpone her plans after being diagnosed with viral encephalitis.

Following her doctor’s advice, she stayed home and self-studied as she was deemed too weak to leave home and go to a review center.

“I started to doubt God’s plan, but I just held on to my dreams. I recalled the struggles I’ve been through and why I must go on. I faithfully took the exams, and now all those trials make sense to me,” Marcia told SunStar Cebu.

The third child in a brood of six, Marcia took inspiration from her siblings.

Following the separation of her teacher-parents, Marcia set aside her dream of becoming a civil engineer for a degree program that could provide her with a wider range of opportunities.

At 17, the high school graduate left her home in Biliran, Leyte for greener pastures in Cebu City.

For almost five years, Marcia juggled studies and responsibilities as a working student assigned in the school’s library.

“Even though there were times when I found accountancy difficult, it was my commitment to the degree program that made me stick to it. I studied college so that my siblings will not have to go through the same challenges I had to face alone,” she said.

Marcia admitted braving not only financial woes but also culture shock, homesickness, the struggles of being a working student, and her health.

But now with a license and a top notch feat to her name, Marcia is planning to work for a private employer to help send two of her younger siblings to school.

She encouraged those who are in a rough time to keep their faith and make challenges a source of motivation and inspiration.

“Every chapter in our lives comes with a purpose. Challenges are what make our journey more meaningful. Of course, never forget the persons who helped you in your journey,” Marcia said. (RTF, Sun.Star)

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