Sometimes, delays that turn out as mess is God's way of saying "wait", and for Kenneth, it means the perfect timing.
Kenneth Dela Torre, who ranked first in the criminology licensure examination in April 2023, faced a series of tests before finally experiencing a remarkable achievement. Sometimes, unexpected delays and setbacks can be interpreted as divine messages to wait for the perfect timing, and for Kenneth, it turned out to be a well-deserved and gratifying reward.
Back in December 2022, Dela Torre, who was a graduate of Naga College Foundation (NCF), put up with his itch to take the said board exam, only that his credentials were still lacking.
One of these important documents is his official transcript of records. He know he could not make it to the deadline. He said in an interview with PIA Camarines Sur, “December talaga gusto ko na magtake ng exam. Hindi na po kakayanin ng oras at kakaunti pa lang ang credentials namin so hindi na siya natuloy.”
But as soon as a door closed, another one opened. He, together with his friends from NCF, instead took the December 2022 PNP Entrance or the NAPOLCOM Exam.
Of course, no doubt, he passed that exam, alongside four others from his batch. But that experience was for Kenneth, a “blessing in disguise.”
As perhaps a meticulous person who has sharp observations on details, Dela Torre shared that the opportunity to have taken the NAPOLCOM exam has revealed some of his improper attitudes on taking the criminology licensure exam sooner.
“Dati inaaway ko yung questions kasi meron talagang questions doon sa mga sample [exams] na grammatically incorrect sa pagkaka-construct ng mga sentences,” he said.
Not only being keen on some grammar issues, but several aspects of his life transformed too, such was his drive to ace the boards with new perspectives.
“Yung nadelay po yung pagtake ko ng exam, ay nabago rin po yung style ko sa pag-answer ng questions and my study habits, yung motivation and mindset sa review. Lahat po yun nag-improve and I am very thankful to God na para siyang nag-iwan ng message sa akin: ‘Wag ka na muna magtake, idelay muna natin yung lisensya para meron kang bonus after.’”
What turned out to be a reroute became a special revelation from God for him. Indeed, the delays formed part of his deep faith that made him to the top.
Ranking first out of 13,000 examinees could make one at the top of the moon but Dela Torre did graciously. He kept low his profile, but his determinations, higher.
But what contributed to his achievement was mainly his study habits that were derived from a certain book entitled, “Outsmart the Board Exam” by Rucel Britanco Virata – not a usual book bought at a bookstore, it was given by his girlfriend who is also an engineering board exam passer.
Inspired, he developed a study habit of allotting at least one to two hours of study with at most 15 minutes of rest interval, then back to religious reading and lectures reviewing. Each day, he added more hours until he carried on nonstop review.
“Yung body clock ko parang nasa ibang time zone dahil sa pagrereview. Yung oras ng paggising ko ibang iba na. Yung pagtulog ko parang nasa ibang bansa ako kasi yung oras is masaydo ng late,” Dela Torre shared.
He added that he did not focus on one source of review material only. He utilized the internet to check on official websites of law enforcement agencies to have himself familiar with basic principles and concepts. He said all of these greatly helped.
After attending to lectures, he answered sample questions himself and kept incessantly reading of notes.
“Ok naman magmemorize, pero mas mabuti kapag naiintindihan mo kung ano talaga yung ibig sabihin nung mga terms. [Ang] ginawa ko noon is nirelate ko yung mga terms sa mga bagay na interesting sa akin, tapos ginagawan ko ng acronyms, tapos minsan dinodrawing ko yung iba,” he wrote on a Facebook post.
Even though he has solid study habits, Dela Torre believed no one is a hundred percent ready for the exams.
He shard, “Any board exam is unpredictable and no certainty or guarantee na lalabas sa exam ang mga binasa mong kasi nauutakan din po tayo ng mga matatalino nating board of examiners.”
He added that “exams are made that way in order to put a thrill to future professional criminologists, and to select the best of the best examinees who will carry on the work for the next generations.
Motivations, inspirations and after-boards plans
Being the middle child among three siblings, Dela Torre has also experienced a plight of how poverty strikes a dreaming child. This is why, he has his parents and family as his primary motivation in this endeavor. He humbly wanted to make them proud.
“May mga times na halos wala na rin po kaming makain, yung bahay namin ay sira-sira dahil sa bagyo,” he recalled. This, he realized that any situation shall not be a hindrance in achieving one’s dreams. The only limit to success, the topnotcher said, “is one’s drive towards it.”
The Naga pride, Dela Torre, also seeks to inspire others that motivation can be found around. One only has to seek God for it. As he confessed, “Seek and you shall find.”
After the surreal moment that has sank in momentarily to Dela Torre, he said that he has plans of studying law in the future, and pursuing a teaching profession.
The NCF has offered him a full scholarship for master’s degree and he was delighted to grab it. In order to improve his knowledge on criminology and to become a competent educator in the time ahead, he said he would first take further studies.
To this, Dela Torre said his words of gratitude to his alma matter: “They are true to their purpose [as] they are there to provide quality education lalo na ngayon na nakaproduce ng two topnothers. They really serve as partners sa kapulisan sa pagpromote sa law enforcement. This makes police community relations better and more improved. It helps the practice of criminology in law enforcements more effectively.”
Fall in love with Criminology
Topnotchers were not born, they are made. But made with careful skills and developed passion.
Dela Torre said he started his college not being the best student in the batch. However, his love for Criminology became deeper as time went by, and this made him appreciate his course by heart, without having to mechanically memorize the topics. He embraced it his entire college life.
Perhaps, this helped him passed the exam – no sweat!
“Talagang I fell in love with my course because it has a little bit of everything – it has psychology, sociology, then law. Talagang minahal ko pa talaga yung course ko and mabuti po at dinala ko po ito sa board exam at nakatulong po siya nang marami,” he said.
He added that understanding criminology means learning the causes of crimes and the development of criminal behavior; and how strengthening laws and establishing a good family becomes a foundation in a society with utmost peace and order.
As it sparked a fuller passion for him, he encouraged other future board takers to fall in love with their respective courses before embarking on their examination journeys.
Lastly, Dela Torre thanked his family, his school administrators, his girlfriend, and everyone who has inspired him and helped him get to where he is now. Humbled, he rose his chin to move forward and touch the lives of anyone he will meet along the way. (PIA 5/Camarines Sur)