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Top 1 in Vet boards recalls crying over failed subject, shifting course to follow her passion

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MANILA, Philippines – Maria Adrianna Isabella “Alli” Claravall clinched the highest spot in the March 2023 Veterinarian Licensure Examination. But before this accomplishment, Alli shared that her journey had been challenging. Her inspiring story will remind us how important it is to find and follow our passion so we can achieve our goals.

Top 1 in Vet boards recalls crying over failed subject
Maria Adrianna Isabella “Alli” Claravall took up BS Statistics before following her passion and shifting to veterinary medicine | Photo Courtesy: Alliyah Claravall

Growing up, Alli has always been fond of pets, as her family had many dogs and cats. Despite this, she didn’t initially consider veterinary medicine her first choice in college. Instead, she took up BS Statistics at UP Diliman because of the influence of her relatives and high school teachers.

Alli found herself struggling with her course because she was forcing herself to do something that her heart wasn’t in. It came to a point when she got burned out and failed a subject.


She recalled, “Akala ko rin ay maa-appreciate ko yun just as I did in high school, pero hindi pala. Halos ipasa ko lang po yung mga subjects ko. On my first year, second semester, nagkaroon ako ng 5.00 o bagsak na grade sa isang subject. Nawalan talaga ako ng passion sa ginagawa ko.”

It was then that she started considering her options and shifted to a course that she really loved. “Noong mga panahon na yun, napapag-isip-isip ko nang lumipat sa kurso na may kinalaman sa mga hayop, something related to animal welfare,” she said.

When she finally shifted to veterinary medicine, it wasn’t easy breezy as well. The course was difficult and expensive. Furthermore, her parents were already senior citizens who had a small business. Despite it, Alli persevered, and her parents supported her along the way.

“Pareho na ring senior citizens ang aking parents. Hindi kami mayaman. Itinataguyod lang kami ng aking ama sa maliit na negosyo. Sa dami ng gastusin sa kolehiyo, madalas na hindi sapat ang aking allowance,” she said.

Determined to finish her course, Alli applied and passed for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines scholarship from 2018 to 2021. But when she reached her last year in college, her scholarship ended. She didn’t want to be a burden to her parents so she applied for another scholarship grant.

Fortunately, Alli was chosen as the first recipient of the Adopt-a-Student Program of the Dr. Teodulo M. Topacio Jr. Scholarship due to her stellar academic record. “Dahil sa pamilya Topacio ay naka-graduate ako. Isa ito sa mga patunay na ang Diyos talaga, hinding-hindi ka pababayaan,” Alli shared.

Alli finally received the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of the Philippines-Los Baos Laguna on August 6, 2022, as cum laude and class valedictorian.

Even better, her hard work and perseverance paid off, as she topped the vet boards. She offers her success to her parents and says, “Pinakamahalaga sa lahat, ito ay para sa aking mga magulang.”

Alli plans to go into small animal practice and just looks forward to “where the road leads me.”

— Sally, The Summit Express


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