As Pilgrims · Faith · Life = Hope

No Other Option But to Top

By: Nathanlie M. Baldoza
Health and Home May-June 2012

            Even before he took the nursing licensure examination (NLE) in December last year (2011), he was already called Mr. Topnotcher. The reason is obvious.

            Being the only graduate who earned the highest general weighted average (GWA) in his school’s 59-year history, Jerald Lalaguna Pelayo said he was determined to land on top so as not to disappoint those who relied on what he could achieve for his school. The official results of the exam? Call it a “nice blend of prediction and surprise,” as one musician puts it, because this statement best encapsulates the emotion that possessed Pelayo when news came that he topped the NLE.

            With a rating of 86.40, Pelayo bested the other 67, 094 examinees who took the NLE, which only 22, 760 passed and considered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) as the lowest in the three past NLEs.

            But amid calls and texts of congratulations and accolades, the news that first flashed on TV called the topnotcher’s school as unknown. Pelayo however reacted kindly to that bit of information. “Now it is known. I am a proud product of Mountain View College (MVC). For on top of the quality instructions I received from it, I consider it  a home where I found and learned the ultimate source of wisdom and true model of excellence – Jesus Christ.”

            Pelayo says his college life was a complex interplay of discipline, responsibilites, faith, and adventure. He had been an active member of a singing group called the Advent Philomels, while maintaining his full academic scholarship. He was part of the debating and volleyball teams of the school of nursing and had represented MVC in various local and national searches for top-performing students.

            “God is my primary motivation to excel. He requires my best. I will be accountable for all the unimproved abilities I am endowed with,” Pelayo answered when asked about his number one motivator to excel. For even when he played tags with his friends, he graduated valedictorian in elementary and high school. And in college, he reset school records made evident by his academic feats at MVC, and just recently his ranking first in the national board.

            Endowed with leadership skills, which were put into good use when he was elected president by both the nursing organization and the senior class, he had been active in serving his church as pianist and student church elder.

            “I try to live holistic. Even when I was reviewing for the NLE, I made sure I did not neglect the other aspects of life,” Jerald said as he began detailing his preparations for the examination. “I answered thousands of questions. I read nursing books. I meditated on God’s words in the Bible. I prayed a lot. I fasted. I took time out to play and socialize with my batch mates. I took the exam ready. I though I had a good fighting chance at the top.”

            However, after shading the last question he said he had forgotten about ratings because he found the test questions tricky. “I felt passing the exam would already be good enough for me.”

            Overwhelmed by the difficulty level of the said examination, he whispered a prayer to God, telling Him that his battle was over and that he trusted in His strength and believed that He could do miracles through him. “God had done amazing things before. I knew He could do an extraordinary work again,” he claimed.

            When one of his clinical instructors called him in the morning the examination results were released, all he could hear were screaming and shouting. Then the line went dead. He was in Masbate, his home province, where cellphone signal was intermittent. His phone ringing again, he next found himself praying and crying inside his room. He made it and with flying colors!

            God granted what Jerald and those who believe in him prayed for.

            “I kept of saying, ‘Why Lord? What have I done to deserve all this?’ I didn’t know why I was crying. I felt so blessed and humbled,” Pelayo confessed, attributing his success to God as the ultimate source of wisdom. “My success is a solid proof of a modern-day miracle. My life is a miracle.”

            His closeness and total dependence to God were results of their early morning worship. “I learned from my parents to put God first in life. My parents practice what they teach us. My father is a good leader. He disciplines us appropriately and accordingly.  He instills in our minds that worshipping the Lord upon waking up and before calling it a night in the evening is an integral part of our family life. My siblings and I were trained to memorize Bible verses, which I believe have sharpened our minds. I lost count of how many Bible verses I have memorized since the day I learned to talk,” Pelayo shared the secret that led him to successes and aspires to pass on to his children in the future.

            “The first Bible verse I memorized is “God is love” in 1 John 4:8. It serves as my guidepost in life. I believe with all my heart that it’s God who has a hand in what’s happening to me now. I cannot thank Him enough for loving me this much,” said Pelayo whose holistic approach to and spiritual motivation in life afford him with no other option but to top.

To our dear readers:

This is a repost from the published article in Health and Home, as published by the Philippine Publishing House (PPH). No copyright infringement intended. It is our hope, however, that this article may reach and bless more people, that the testimony of God’s unfathomable love may be made real in our lives as well.

God bless everyone!


Jerald and Ardys


© TandeMD


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