No place like home


IN the hit Filipino television drama series, Forevermore, there are scenes of roads winding through the picturesque mountain sides of “La Presa”, the fabled abode of the screen star “Agnes” (Liza Soberano) the “Strawberry Queen of La Presa” and the wayward Xander (Enrique Gil).
Those winding roads are similar to those at Daulo pass, Pass Kassam and Tindom Hill and are the ingenuity of civil engineers who designed and oversaw their construction.
One young man of mixed Papua New Guinean and Filipino parentage is out there in the mix of civil engineers in the Philippines having a go at designing and building roads in his mother’s homeland.
This young man is Zirhyl Cadiente Kasek whose late dad Darlem hailed from Marup village on Karkar Island, Madang Province.
Zirhyl may not have been among the civil engineers that designed and built the roads around the mountains of “La Presa” but he is in the Philippines completing the formalities to be certified as one.
Young Zirhyl passed the “Civil Engineer Licensure Examination” given by the Philippine Board of Civil Engineering last year. His commitment to pass the exams in a field of 5,882 candidates was a proud moment for his mother Virgie Cadiente Kasek, a long time business lecturer in Divine Word University in Madang.
“The Philippines Professional Regulation Commission announced that only 2,245 passed out of the 5,882 candidates who took the examination,” Kasek said “and Zirhyl was among those who succeeded.”
The success of young Zirhyl in his engineering studies in the Philippines builds on from his high achievement throughout much of his education journey beginning in Madang where is was born.
“Zirhyl has consistently been in the top of his class,” his mother proudly said.
“He finished his Grade 8 at Madang International School and attained first place in Maths when he completed his Grade 12 at Tusbab Secondary School in Madang in 2009.
“He was granted an Academic Excellence Scholarship in 2010 to do his Civil Engineering studies at the PNG University of Technology in Lae. “However, he continued his studies in the Philippines at the New Era University in Diliman, Quezon City.
Zirhyl graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 2015. Last year he sat for, and passed the Civil Engineer Licensure Examination that allows him to be a certified engineer. He now works in the Philippines.
Zirhyl, the first born in a family of three is joined in the Philippines by two of his sisters Hazeldhane and Cherlane who are among the growing number of young Papua New Guineans studying in the Philippines.
He and his sisters are currently enjoying life in the Philippines but also look forward to the day when they’ll return to their beloved PNG, more specifically “Beautiful Madang.”
For Zirhyl, the Philippines has given their mother to PNG to help educate generations of business graduates in DWU since the early 1990s. Now it has provided education to the three of them and so many other PNG youngsters who are studying across the Philippines.

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