Nursing topnotcher gives back to alma mater

Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2008 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The topnotcher of the recent nursing board exams, a female student from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), will be saying thank you to her alma mater in the best way she knows.

Zandra Mae Bongco, 21, said that instead of applying for work abroad or in private companies, she is now considering a teaching job being offered to her by the school administration, particularly by the dean of the College of Nursing.

“I am considering the offer for me to teach in the university. I feel attracted to it. I think it would be fun and on Saturdays, I would still have time for graduate studies,” Bongco said.

Though she is not discounting the possibility that she might go abroad to work, Zandra said that it is not her immediate plan. Rather, what she wants to do now is to serve the school that contributed to her development not only as a student but as a person.

“My school really helped a lot in this recent achievement of mine. I would say that the knowledge I gained from my teachers, the basics, the fundamentals that they taught me helped me to emerge as Number 1 in the nursing board exams,” Bongco said.   

She remembered her teachers to be strict with the students, especially if it concerns their studies.

“They put their heart into what they are doing. The salary is not that much but because they are dedicated to developing good students, teaching has become their way of life already,” she said.

Bongco added: “That is the reason why I have been very serious about my studies and why I have been developed into the kind of student I am now.”

Asked what advice she could give the youth who would also want to achieve big things in life, Bongco said: “First is never forget to pray and aim for higher things and not just settle for what is presented to you.”

Bongco said that her strategy was no different from the others.

“I just studied well. I just prayed to God,” she said.

She recalled that during the first day of exams, she found the tests she took to be very difficult.

“I was telling myself, ‘God help me pass.’ That’s all I wanted to happen, for me to pass. But God gave me more than that and I even became Number 1 among the examinees,” Bongco said.

Bongco said her parents – her mother who is a housewife and her father who is into recycling mineral water bottles – are very proud of her.

Meanwhile, Adel Tamano, PLM president, said they are very proud of Zandra as well.

“We are proud of Zandra. Though a big part of the success really belongs to Zandra, I would like to recognize the good job done by the Dean of the College of Nursing and his staff. They contributed much to this achievement,” he said.

“This just shows that students can achieve great things if given proper government support.  Zandra’s success should serve as a sign for the government to put more support or emphasis on human resources,” he added.

Tamano, who assumed the university’s presidency in August 2007, said they are very strict in accepting students at the PLM.

“They really have to be good. Once inside, they should maintain grades not lower than 80,” he said.  

He vowed that they will continue to support Zandra on her plans to take up medicine in the future.  

“We will find available scholarship for her so that she can pursue medicine,” Tamano said.

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