Pride of BCC: Joseph Mag-aso Jr., No. 2 in CPALE



For Binalbagan native Joseph Camacho Mag-aso Jr., his birthday gift came three days before he would turn 24 years old.

On May 31, the Professional Regulations Commission announced the results of the Certified Public Accountant Licensure Exam indicating that 3,155, or 30.28% of the 10,421 takers, passed the test given on May 26-28 in various cities in the country.

Mag-aso, who celebrated his birthday on June 3, placed second, with a rating of 90.50 just .33 shy of the No. 1 spot shared by Nicole Gonzales of the University of the Cordilleras and Hazel Ann Sera of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines main campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila, who both got 90.83.

“The No. 2 rank was the best birthday gift that I can think of,” said the June 2023 summa cum laude graduate of Binalbagan Catholic College.

Joseph Camacho Mag-aso Jr., BSAccountancy Class 2023, summa cum laude and No. 2 in the CPA Licensure Exam; right photo, with parents Joseph Sr. and Helen Mag-aso during the graduation ceremonies’ presentation of summa cum laude honors

He said he and his friends were anxiously waiting for the result when it came out around 1 a.m. “I’m so overwhelmed with it and I thank God for the wonderful gift He has given me,” the board topnotcher told NEGROS WEEKLY and Negros NOW DAILY.

Four other BCC graduates – Eunilyn Martinez, Jewel Loise Esposo, Ren Leuter Aride and Harren Gabriel Patano – also passed the licensure exam.

Just as jubilant is his alma mater, which, in its statement issued following the release of the result, said: “This outstanding achievement reflects the unwavering dedication, hard work, and excellence demonstrated by our students and faculty in the field of accountancy.”

The college said it has produced five top placers and 95 CPA board passers since it offered the Accountancy program in 1990-91.

“This achievement exemplifies the unwavering commitment of Binalbagan Catholic College to maintaining the highest standards of academic rigor and excellence.”

Our meticulously-designed BS Accountancy program, it added, ensures that our graduates are not only well-prepared with the necessary knowledge and skills but also possess strong Christian values and ethical foundations essential for excelling in the competitive fields of accounting and the corporate world, the school added (please see related story).

The topnotcher is the youngest of the four children of Joseph Mag-aso Sr., a small town lottery agent, and the former Helen Camacho of Sitio Butong, Barangay San Pedro in Binalbagan.

His three siblings are Benjie, who is working in Japan, Jolyn and Josey, an Information Technology graduate who is currently employed with the Accounting Department of Binalbagan-Isabela Sugar Company.

Joseph Mag-aso Jr. with BCC classmates and friends

For Joseph, his being No. 2 in the licensure examination “is a shared achievement and a proof that a small community like BCC, is also capable of achieving greater things.”

An academic achiever since his basic education days, he completed With High Honors both his Junior and Senior High School education at BCC and graduated salutatorian from Binalbagan Elementary School.

He was also a consistent Academic Excellence Awardee during his college days at BCC.

Joseph was active in co-curricular activities, among these, as president of the Junior Philippines Institute of Certified Public Accountants in his senior year and as editor-in-chief of El Contador, the JPIA-BCC publication. In high school, he was among the top feature writers in the school-based press conferences in the region.

Joseph considers himself privileged to have the opportunity to inspire young Negrenses and calls on them “to stay humble… look back to where we come from and always pay it forward.”

Our Q&A interview with the CPALE topnotcher:

Please summarize the highlights of your academic life – from grade school to college.

I’ve always been fond of reading books and studying since I was young. I remember my aunt buying me books to read, which I did immediately. With reading, I became interested in mathematics and writing during my grade school days.

I was introduced to inter-school competitions and graduated from elementary school as the class salutatorian.

In high school, I was a constant representative of our school in competitions such as the Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge and the Division and Regional Schools Press Conference (as a feature writer).

My first national competition took place when I was in Grade 10 when I placed fifth in the individual competition of the national finals of MMC.

I won my first national title when I was in first year in college. I became the national champion of the Philippine Statistics Quiz in 2019.

Eventually, I also clinched several national titles in Accounting competitions and became part of various training and conventions among Accountancy students.

I graduated as Summa Cum Laude of the Bachelor of Science in Accountancy of BCC.

Among many career choices, why Accountancy?

I actually forgot how exactly I ended up deciding to take up Accountancy. There were a lot of programs that I considered during high school, but I eventually planned to take up Accountancy, Business, and Management Strand in Senior High, then to take up Accountancy in College.

Mainly, it was because of the practicality, and the fact that Accountancy is by itself an Applied Math discipline.

Was BCC your first choice for your college education? Why?

BCC was my only choice for an Accountancy program. BCC has been always known for its strong Accountancy program. It has produced numerous CPAs and topnotchers in the CPALE.

The school is competitive in accounting quiz bowls not only in the province but in the region and country as well. It has also well-qualified, experienced and passionate educators.

Personally, it is also more accessible as it is located in my hometown.

The BCC façade | College photos courtesy of the BCC Administrative Team
The Yulo-Locsin Mansion presently the BCC Administration Building with the BSA Accounting Laboratory located at the second floor

What was most challenging about your college life (in general) and Accountancy studies (in particular)?

Accountancy in itself is difficult because of its broad scope. Aside from financial accounting, we also have to study auditing, management services and the always-updated taxation and business laws. I was just fortunate enough to have some support and scholarships so that I didn’t have to worry much about finances during college.

Studying during college (and even earlier, during Senior High as an ABM student) was also a challenge. I experienced sleepless nights just to finish some time-consuming tasks.

Being an accountancy student entailed a great level of diligence and consistency. I had to be responsible and resourceful as well.

Please recall your board review experiences. Any low/discouraging moments?

We went to Manila to have our formal review in the Review School of Accountancy in Sampaloc. It was difficult for us, especially financially and the fact that we had to be away and made sacrifices.

However, I was fortunate enough as I was with my close friends in college during the whole six months of the review.

Did you expect to land in the Top 10? What did you pray about prior to the board exam?

Since my first year as an Accountancy student, I had told myself to always review like I was about to take the CPALE tomorrow. The actual board had always been the goal, and there were targets during college to become a topnotcher since BCC has not produced one for more than 20 years already.

I believe that this is somehow a testament of the power of positive manifestation. Also, I always prayed to God to give me what I deserve, and to guide me as I prepared for the exam.

The actual board was really challenging and not what I was expecting, especially during the second day (Tax and Regulatory Framework for Business Transactions). After the third day, I was still somehow confident that I may have a chance to be in the Top 10, but I was not expecting to end up as high as No. 2.

To whom do you attribute (and also share) your success?

Life has not been easy, but I am lucky to have a strong support system composed of my family, friends, and mentors. This success is a collective effort of my family and friends, my review center, ReSA, my professors during my college life, the BCC Administration and the rest of the BCC Community. This is our shared achievement and a proof that a small community, like BCC is also capable of achieving greater things. Most of all, this would not have been possible without the blessing and guidance of God, who is the source of my strength during the arduous days of the review.

The CPALE topnotcher in his first meeting with mentors after the release of the licensure exam results, from left, Sr. Analee Garciano, PBVM, and Accountancy instructors CPAs Mary Rose Calderon and Carlo EbetoThe CPALE topnotcher in his first meeting with mentors after the release of the licensure exam results, from left, Sr. Analee Garciano, PBVM, and Accountancy instructors CPAs Mary Rose Calderon and Carlo Ebeto

What are your career options now that you passed the board with flying colors? Please mention job offers have you received since the results were released.

Actually, there are a lot of offers from different sectors. However, I plan to start in SyCip, Gorres, Velayo (SGV) & Co., since I was also its scholar during the review. I have actually signed already for their Strategy and Transaction Service Line and will start working there in August.

Any plan for further studies? Also, your career plans at this point.

I have plans to take up some international certifications like the Certified Management Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst. The goal is to always improve whenever I can.

You have become an inspiration to small-town young Negrenses who dream of academic and professional success. What word of advice would you like to share with them?

I am privileged enough to be given this opportunity to somehow inspire students, especially to those who come from small colleges who want to take up examinations as prominently difficult as the CPA Licensure exam.

As hard as life has turned out, we should always appreciate the effort of the people who are doing their best to support us. Just continue with life and trust that their sacrifices, along with ours, would become a fruitful one someday. Have also patience for things that will happen at the right time, when we are ready. And when success happens, please stay humble and keep in mind that this is not ours alone. We should look back to where we come from and always pay it forward. | AVDC


BCC STATEMENT: ‘A milestone’

Binalbagan Catholic College is pleased to announce that Mr. Joseph Mag-aso, Jr., a graduate of our institution, has achieved the second highest score in the recent Certified Public Accountant Licensure Examination.

In addition to Joseph, four other BCCNians – Eunilyn Martinez, Jewel Loise Esposo, Ren Leuter Aride, and Harren Gabriel Patano – also passed the CPALE, considered as one of the most challenging board exams in the country.

This outstanding achievement reflects the unwavering dedication, hard work, and excellence demonstrated by our students and faculty in the field of accountancy. In previous years, our CPA candidates have also excelled, bringing our total number of top placers to five and a total of 95 CPA passers since the BS Accountancy course was offered in SY 1990-91.

The BCC Administrative Team, from left, Ariel B. Solina, MIT; Mary Rose G. Calderon, CPA, MBED; Sisters Aquila A. Sy, Anna Lee Vista and Analee H. Garciano of the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This achievement exemplifies the unwavering commitment of Binalbagan Catholic College to maintaining the highest standards of academic rigor and excellence. Our meticulously-designed BS Accountancy program ensures that our graduates are not only well-prepared with the necessary knowledge and skills but also possess strong Christian values and ethical foundations essential for excelling in the competitive fields of accounting and the corporate world.


We also take immense pride in the exceptional performance of our BSED English graduates who, in the September 2023 Licensure Exam, achieved a remarkable 100% pass rate. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to our students for their outstanding achievements and express deep gratitude to our faculty members, whose relentless support, mentorship, and guidance have been instrumental in this success.

This milestone not only reflects the individual accomplishments of our students but also underscores the collective efforts of the entire Binalbagan Catholic College community.

As we celebrate this significant milestone, we remain resolute in our commitment to fostering a culture of academic excellence and empowering our students to make an impact in the society.

Congratulations once again.

Thank you for your continued support and trust in Binalbagan Catholic College.  To God be the Glory!


Joseph Jr. is fondly called “Jo”. He is very simple and unassuming and doesn’t like to be in the limelight. As a leader, he works silently but produces an excellent outcome. Some of his teachers and mentors have these words for Joseph on how he was as a student and as a leader.

I remember Joseph to have been keen. The reason must have been his passion and consistent studying. I learned that he doesn’t read much during the day in school but all these preparations take place at night in the comfort of his home. Because of this, he came to school all prepared for the lessons and tests alike.

Whenever I checked their assessments, I would do his first. I would check twice where he missed. Just possibly, his answer was correct and mine was not, really because it was unusual for him to make a mistake. Joseph is the epitome of brain and passion – “Maalam na, Matutom pa”. – Christopher Palparan, CPA, BCC Faculty


Despite his impressive academic abilities, Joseph maintained a quiet presence in the classroom. He preferred to remain unobtrusive, often refraining from participating in recitations or seeking attention. His humility is evident in his reluctance to be recognized for his superior academic achievements, yet his excellence is undeniable, as reflected in his consistently perfect exam scores.

Beyond his academic prowess, Joseph is a natural leader.

As the president of the JPIA-BCC Chapter club, he demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and a dedication to the welfare of the club members always prioritizing their best interests. He regularly sought advice from advisers, coaches and teachers to ensure that the club’s programs and projects were executed according to plan, showcasing his strong organizational skills and commitment to excellence. – Mary Rose Calderon, CPA, MBeD, BCC Faculty


Joseph embodies a rare blend of extraordinary intellect and genuine humility. His sharp mind is matched by an unwavering eagerness to learn and take on any task, no matter how complex or unfamiliar. Yet, it’s his humble nature that truly sets him apart. Despite his impressive abilities, Joseph has remained down-to-earth and approachable.

He is not just an intellectual powerhouse but also a supportive friend, always there to lend a helping hand. When he was a student, remarkably, Joseph never brought bags or books to school but only relied on his sharp mind and incredible memory to absorb and retain information. He has been a joy to be around, beyond his remarkable intelligence. – Carlo Ebeto, CPA, CB, LPT, MBA, BCC Faculty


Jojo, as his family and friends call him, comes from a family of Math wizards. He is a nephew of teacher-leader in Mathematics, Ramona Mag-aso of BCC Junior High School. He has an uncle who also excelled in Math area during his college days. Jojo found it easy to solve mathematical problems during his high school years.

Not only was he good in Math but he also aced Journalism contests.  He often joined in press conferences and often was recognized as a top writer.

During the NIR RSPC in 2016, he placed fourth in Filipino Feature Writing. This was one story that The Junior Patrician could never forget. We would joke and say, “This hurts more than a break up,” since only the Top Three qualified for slots in the national level.

As a nephew, he is close to his Titos and Titas as well as his lola.  As a son, his parents are always proud of his academic achievements since elementary up to his ranking 2nd in the 2023 CPALE. Jojo is a shy-type individual. He is quite quiet. Whenever we joined contests, seldom could I make him talk nor take a picture of him. He is reserved. One strong point about him, he is diligent about his studies. – Sheryll Saracia, Adviser, The Junior Patrician, Faculty, BCC Junior High School