Nursing topnotcher 2024

Because of financial difficulties and some personal setbacks, this lone Cum Laude graduate in the VSU nursing program who completed his degree in August 2023 backed out of the review center that he enrolled in and postponed his bid to obtain a license.

This is the story of Mr. Jhon Philip C. Maloloy-on, 9th placer in the May 2024 Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE), who hails from the remote Kawayan town of Biliran island. 

“When we graduated in August last year, our virtual review started as early as July. I felt that I had so much backlog then in terms of preparations. It was also difficult for me to cope with the many expenses in Cebu because the cost of living there was way too high for me,” Philip said as he recalled his decision to bail on his review.

The nursing topnotcher also explained that the actual schedule of the November NLE was also one of his main considerations as to why he had to delay taking the exam.

“The November 2023 NLE was set on a weekend—that is Saturday and Sunday. It coincided with my church day which falls on a Saturday. I cannot in good conscience skip my church day to take the exam. In the past school competitions that I’ve joined, I always made sure to go to church and pray for one full day as my way of preparing myself for any major undertaking in my life. I believe that this is the least that I can do to give honor and glory to the very Lord who keeps on blessing me with many amazing things.”

Luckily for Philip, the next nursing board exam was set on a weekday, and it gave him ample time to pursue self-review so that he could prepare for what he considers the biggest challenge in his life.

“I rented a boarding house in Naval where I can focus there on my own every weekday and then I go home to Kawayan on a Friday so that I can spend my whole Saturday in our local church. That routine allowed me to recharge my energy on a weekend and push myself on weekdays by reviewing as early as 7 in the morning up until midnight.”

For this #ProudViscan, he understands the value of staying committed to his faith while also working doubly hard to excel in the very profession that he cherishes so dearly.

Nursing was not his first choice

Philip revealed that he was supposed to take a biology program at VSU but was convinced by his father to choose a program that requires a license. 

The nursing board topnotcher is the proud son of a fisherman Mr. Felipe M. Maloloy-on, Jr., and a housewife who ventured into a small sari-sari store business Mrs. Mercidita C. Maloloy-on. 

Despite their family’s financial hardships, the couple successfully raised 5 children including their 3rd child Philip. 

The first two siblings are now licensed professionals who are also working in Biliran with their eldest Mrs. Vermalyn M. Navarrete as an elementary school teacher and the second child Ms. Brenda C. Maloloy-on as a licensed civil engineer.

Philip chose nursing following the request of his father but he also admitted to having only fallen in love with the said degree program later on after being immersed in the first community hospital where he took his Related Learning Experience or RLE.

“I had this grandmother as my first patient. As someone who grew fond of my own Lola, I was able to connect easily with this patient. I was told by my patient’s family that I had this unique way of making her happy, that she would only eat whenever I was around. A few days into serving and getting to know her, I went back to her ward only to find out that she had already passed away.”

This was Philip’s first major heartbreak in the hospital and one of his biggest lifelong lessons about how fragile life is. On that same day that he lost his first patient, he was also directed to assist in the delivery of a newborn child.


“In one single day, I saw how one loses her life and another human being brought forth to the world. It’s both painful and happy at the same time. It was so difficult to make sense of it that I had to express and communicate this odd combination of emotions to my clinical instructor, Sir Prince Japred P. Toring. His guidance was very helpful to me. I even consider it as my turning point to deeply understand the value of the profession I was pursuing.”

On making both ends meet

Philip had to rely on the meager allowance that he gets from his second eldest sibling while also getting minimal scholarship money from the university’s in-house fellowship grant for consistent honor students.

He had to endure financial hardships, especially since pursuing a nursing education requires so many extra fees for the internship, books, group research, and many other important activities.

One of the ways that made him survive all these is by tutoring his classmates and helping them with their academic needs. 

“I always get treated by my classmates, which allows me to save money from time to time. In exchange for tutoring them, I get free lunch or dinner after our study sessions. In surviving the high cost of living in Cebu during the review, I stayed with my classmates whom I was also tutoring at that time. When they took the exam ahead of me, they told me that a lot of the things I taught them came out in the actual board exam.”

Tutoring his classmates not only made Philip save some money but also allowed him to master some topics because teaching things effectively requires a deeper understanding of concepts which he found very valuable in his board exam journey.

For this #ProudViscan, his VSU experience was unique because it allowed him to gain so much independence not just in his financial needs but also in his pursuit of self-directed learning.

“Our VSU education was really hard in many ways but it was also very fulfilling. I believe that our training was important to prepare us for the harsh environment of the real world, especially in the field of healthcare. That’s why I’m very grateful to have chosen to study at VSU and I have all my professors, clinical instructors, mentors, and even some of my friends to thank for because they’ve been there for me in many ways that I can remember.”


The #ProudViscan nursing topnotcher also offered his success to the Lord and his ever-supportive family who never doubted him from the very beginning.

Mr. Maloloy-on is the third consecutive nursing graduate from the Visayas State University to be part of the top ten passers of the NLE.

It began with Ms Althea Grace C. Mosende obtaining the 8th spot in the November 2022 board examination for nurses followed by Ms. Erikka Blaze Monredondo who also clinched the 8th place in the November 2023 NLE.

The VSU College of Nursing (CoN) has continually raised the bar in nursing education in the Eastern Visayas region by continuously producing a  100% passing rate for first time takers since 2014.

Newly appointed University President Prose Ivy G. Yepes expressed her delight in yet another milestone achievement for the VSU nursing program.

“I’m ecstatic to know that our very own nursing program did it again by having another topnotcher, Mr. John Philip Maloloy-on. This is a testament to how strong our nursing program at VSU is. We have been producing topnotchers for three consecutive years now since 2024. VSU, under my stewardship, is committed to further strengthening our College of Nursing (CoN) by equipping them with new facilities and equipment in the next few years. Congratulations to Mr. Maloloy-on and to CoN!” Dr. Yepes said.

[With reports from the Leyte Normal University (LNU) interns Golda Meir Cabidog and Catherine May Salinas.]

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