Earlier this year, the Professional Regulation Commission released the list of those who passed the Criminology Licensure Exam held in December 2022. Out of the 33,489 test takers, only 11,098 outstanding individuals ended up passing the board exam.
One of them is Dexter Valenton, a 23-year-old scholar who graduated from Central Luzon College of Science and Technology in San Fernando, Pampanga. But apart from being a successful examinee, Dexter also became the very first Aeta in the Philippines to ever pass the exam!
"Samahan po ninyo ako na i-congratulate si Dexter Santos Valenton. Siya po ang unang Aeta na pumasa sa board exam para sa mga kumuha ng kursong BS Criminology, ayon po sa record ni Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Elizabeth Baybayan," Pampanga Governor Dennis "Delta" Pineda proudly shared in a Facebook post.
Meanwhile, Dexter himself revealed that he is extremely grateful for passing the exam, especially because his family struggled to financially support him through college. "Sobrang saya po, sobrang thankful po. Hindi maipaliwanag yung nararamdaman since ako yung pinakaunang Aeta na nakapasa sa Criminology Licensure Examination," Dexter told PEP.ph during an exclusive interview.
"Sa college po, number one na pinakamahirap na pinagdaanan is yung sa financial, lalo na farmers po yung parents ko," the BS Criminology graduate explained, adding that he also pushed himself to study diligently for the exam. "Halos walang tulugan po yung pagre-review. Pagod [at] puyat ang magiging kalaban mo. Minsan hindi mo namamalayan nakakatulog ka na lang bigla, gawa ng pagod yung isip at katawan mo. But dahil may pangarap ako, kaya kinaya ko."
Now that his efforts have finally paid off, Dexter is one step closer to his dream of being a policeman: "Pinangarap ko po talaga na maging pulis dahil sa amin, wala pa akong nakikita na pulis [na Aeta]. Meron naging pulis sa amin kaso di yung tulad nung sa akin na college graduate and board passer. Kaya parang andun pa din yung discrimination, kaya nag-pursue talaga ako."
He also promised to keep working hard in order to be a good role model for fellow Filipinos. "As a future police officer, magiging good example tayo. Lalo pa ngayon di po ba, meron ibang police na nakakagawa ng hindi maganda? Magiging good example not only sa tribe but also para sa bayan."
Congrats on passing the exam, Dexter!