Make that three in a row! Three Filipinas have reached the pinnacle of academic excellence in top American universities this year. First, Janelle Micaela S. Panganiban graduated summa cum laude from the prestigious New York University with three majors: global public health, public policy, sociology (honors). Lara Andrea Montales followed graduating summa cum laude from the prestigious Wharton University of Pennsylvania in the U.S.
Now, the latest is Patricia Bunda who graduated summa cum laude at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She finished Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, Minor in Biomedical Research at the top California school.
On her Facebook page, Patricia narrated how her dreams became a reality even though it took her seven years and three schools in two countries to get her degree.
“As a kid, one of my biggest dreams was to graduate from the best university in the Philippines, but by God’s grace and favor, today, I graduated from one of the best universities in the world. It took me 7 years, 3 schools, in 2 countries to get my degree, definitely not the traditional route. But if I were to do it again, I would not change it one bit,” she wrote.
“Although it seems like this achievement is a good way to end a story, my journey as a student is far from over. I am hoping to pursue an MD-PhD degree and eventually return to my home country to help cultivate its research field. I hope that someday my story will inspire more Filipino students to pursue careers in research and realize their potential as future scientists who can make a big impact in society.”
She said each school she went to had an impact on her journey as a student and as a person.
“My 2 years in UPLB taught me the value of honor and excellence, but more importantly, it instilled in me a deep desire to make my country a better place. Spending 3 years at Palomar College taught me how to believe in myself and to not be afraid to dream big. Finally, my 2 years at UCLA taught me that with hard work, dedication, and lots of prayer, nothing is impossible.”
Patricia thanked her parents for their “unending love and support, for constantly covering me with prayers, and for giving me the confidence to pursue my passions.”
“To the rest of my family, friends, teachers, classmates, roommates, and everyone who have shared their lives with me on this journey, thank you for being a testament of God’s goodness in my life.”
Kudos to all our Filipino graduates around the world and their achievements.