Viral ‘hakot awardee’ overwhelmed by the love she receives; shares study tips, routine

Published July 3, 2022, 8:59 PM

by Manila Bulletin

A senior high school graduate continues to be a trending topic online after she posted a TikTok video showing not just one but 60 awards—including 30 ribbons and 24 medals—she received during graduation rites.

Meckia’s solo photo wearing the medals and ribbons she received for her 60 awards during the Sto. Niño Academy graduation ceremony. (Photo from Meckia Mari Villanueva)

Meckia Mari Villanueva, the 18-year-old “hakot awardee” from Sto. Niño Academy in Bulacan did not expect that she would go viral for posting a video that was only meant to be a remembrance of her achievements during her last year in high school.

“I never imagined my video would blow up and in fact, when it started to reach five thousand views it has been overwhelming on my end,” said Villanueva in a Manila Bulletin interview.

“That is why I am grateful when it has reached a million views, especially when news organizations started reaching out to feature my story,” she added.

Villanueva’s TikTok video has over 1.2 million views and 9,000 comments as of writing.

“We were all in shock and it felt surreal being recognized that way,” she said. “My family was so happy, particularly my parents since they know that all of the recognition I am receiving is always for them,” she added.

Villanueva also recognized her friends who were always supportive of her studies and extra-curricular activities despite being schools and distances apart.“They made time to watch my graduation ceremonies and let me feel how proud they are of me,” she said.

With a Facebook caption, “thanks everyone, love u all,” Meckia shared a selfie wearing her medals and ribbons. (Photo from Meckia Mari Villanueva)

Love for studying

Villanueva is a daughter of a housewife and a casino dealer. She recalled how her parents saw and nurtured her and her sister’s potential when it comes to studying which then served as a strong foundation for them to achieve academic excellence.

“Our mother, particularly, was hands-on and focused on us ever since we were in nursery school,” she said. “My sister and I started good in our studies and our parents saw our potential that’s why they made sure that it won’t go to waste,” she added.

Her younger sister, Mella Mari, is also an honor student and go-getter like her.

A consistent top one since preschool, Villanueva said that their graduation ceremony held in May is where she received the most awards in her entire schooling years.

“During my junior high school days, the number of my awards only ranged from 10 to 20,” she shared.

During her SHS years, Villanueva was able to get more awards compared to her previous years in school.

“Given the number of subjects per semester and the online setup, our school granted a greater number of awards to recognize students who excelled in academics, virtual performances, recitations, research papers, and extracurricular activities which were all given individually as an award,” she said.

Most-awarded

This school year, Villanueva achieved her goal of graduating as the batch valedictorian. The number of awards and recognition that came along with it, she shared, was just a bonus.

“Aiming for the awards is just a bonus for the effort I exerted in every academic requirement,” she said.

“Last graduation, I was not expecting that much in terms of awards, delivering the word of ‘thanks’ is a huge and enough thing for me,” Villanueva said, referring to her valedictorian speech during the graduation ceremony.

A photo of Meckia’s medals, certificates, and ribbons she posted on her Facebook account. (Photo from Meckia Mari Villanueva)

Some of her awards include Best in General Physics 2, Best in Media and Information Literacy, Best in General Biology 2, Best in General Chemistry 2, Best in Physical Education and Health, Best in Personal Development, and Best in Entrepreneurship.

Dealing with bashers

While Villanueva received mostly positive reactions to her achievement, she also had to deal with hateful comments on her viral TikTok video.

“Some teased that maybe I was just the only student in our school, that we paid the school for my awards, or my mother is the school principal,” she said.

Despite this, Villanueva chooses to focus on the positive side. “However, I tried my best not to let hate overcome the number of warm congratulatory messages I have received,” she said.

Currently, Villanueva is enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) to pursue a degree in Biology. She plans to enter medical school to become a pediatrician.

Villanueva also aspires to attain a degree in communication and journalism.

Study routine through the years

In her newest TikTok video, Villanueva shared her study routine to help students having a hard time studying and those who want to improve their learning abilities.

Villanueva told her viewers to try to be productive in the early parts of the day as much as possible.

As part of her routine, Villanueva usually sleeps around 10 p.m. and wakes up as early as 3 a.m. whenever she needs to study or do something that requires more time and effort.

This, she added, is also the best time for her to concentrate since the peaceful atmosphere of this hour makes her focus more.

After class, Villanueva said she makes sure to take a rest before scanning her notes to review and refresh her lessons. She also noted that it is best to work immediately on activities that need to be done and to “spend any free time on other things that you want to do.”

Villanueva also told her fellow students to avoid pushing themselves so hard. Spending the rest of the night studying even when exhausted from the day’s activities lowers the chance of learning, she said.

For students like her, Villanueva underscored the importance of time management. “I always make sure that accomplishing multiple tasks a day will also grant me sufficient time to rest,” she said. “I do not tire myself too much for I deserve ‘me time’ after a long and productive day,” she added.

Aside from the tips that Villanueva shared in her Tiktok video, she also shared additional pointers for students struggling to find the perfect study routine.

“I guess there will be no greater tip than to figure out the best study habit that will work,” she said. “Personally, studying early in the morning works best for me while others are more active in the evening,” she added.

Apart from personal habits, Villanueva said that “time blocking” can save students from procrastination. “Advance readings, active listening and participating in discussions, writing notes, and scanning them multiple times can help,” she added. (Luisa Cabato)

 
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