By Mark L. Garcia
BACOLOD CITY — A nursing graduate then, a topnotch lawyer now.
For Mark John Simondo, being a nursing graduate in 2009, it was hard to find a job related to the course in the country during that time, and taking law was his option to move forward.
“I don’t want to go abroad to work, it should only be here in the Philippines. That is why I looked for a course that would let me get a job so I can stay here,” Simondo told Manila Bulletin.
All he wanted was to pass the Bar, but it was beyond his expectations to top the examinations.
“I cried when I saw the announcement. In four Sundays of November that I took the exams, I was not confident if I did well, or even passed it,” he said.
Simondo, 31, graduated valedictorian in law last year at the University of Saint La Salle, his school since kindergarten.
He graduated in nursing as Magna Cum Laude in 2009 and enrolled in Law in 2012, three years after he practiced his previous course sporadically in various private hospitals in Bacolod City.
His parents Noli, 56, a police officer, and Edith, 53, are currently in the United States to take care of his elderly grandmother.
Michael, his younger brother, also took up nursing and graduated in 2011 but did not pursue a career related to his course; rather, he became a firefighter at the Bureau of Fire Protection.
It took Matrk John five years to study law to avoid the stress of taking up too many subjects, Simondo said, given that he was also active in the moot court team of USLS.
He said that he is the first lawyer in his family and he is thankful to God for giving him signs that led him to this moment.
Simondo also thanked his girlfriend, family and his school for their support and help they gave to him.
He also urged the aspiring law students to always pursue and never give up ,despite his hesitations on taking it at first.
“If you are in the law school, you do your best and always pursue,it, ” he said.
He admitted that he is still to decide on what field of law he would specialize on, saying one month before his oath taking in June would give him the time to reflect on it.