[Previously posted as Recycled Dreams in the Aesculapian Vol. 40, No. 2, modified and updated for this blog post]
Kung saan ka masaya, te suportahan taka…
The line above (loosely translated from Ilocano: whatever makes you happy I will support you) is from an old PLDT TV commercial advertisement circa 2001 where a father, a Doctor apparently, reassures his son, who was taking up Medicine at that time wanted to shift to Fine Arts, that regardless of what he wanted to become he’d still support him. Personally I liked the print ad version better. But this article isn’t just about the ad, but rather it’s about what we can learn from it.
Flashback to the time when I was just a kid and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I always had a ready answer: I wanted to be a scientist. What kind they asked still and I’d say just a scientist. What was I to know, I was just a kid right? Now fast forward a few years later, it was the time just before graduating from college. Like so many others of our class I mulled at what lies ahead for me. If I wanted to I was offered the chance and position to go into research and become the scientist of my childhood, but I decided to take on another career path, where most of my classmates were also heading — I was to pursue a medical course. And mind you it’s not because I bumped my head on the wall that I got this idea. I guess it was part of me all along and I just didn’t realize it.
So when I was interviewed here at UERM and asked why I wanted to study Medicine for lack of a better answer I uttered the most over used and abused cliché “Because I want to help my fellowmen” and the interviewer seemed unimpressed. He then proceeded to ask me, again, why I wanted to become a Doctor of Medicine and I said that it’s my dream, and that I didn’t want it to remain just another dream.
And like any medical student will probably tell you, I worked, studied and persevered to fulfill the dream that I can honestly say is mine. I wasn’t forced, coerced, and most definitely not bribed to becoming a doctor. It’s my own choice.
Unfortunately I can’t say holds true for all of us. Like the father in the advertisement, and most other parents who are professionals, there is the tendency to want to pass on the dream, to follow in their footsteps, and ultimately continue their legacy. I know of a friend who is taking a medical course only because both his parents are doctors, his uncles and aunts are doctors and apparently, as logic would place it, so should he. In the long run, he will just continue the tradition of being another doctor in the family. It’s a good thing that he did not take his studies half heartedly, and embraced the dream as his own, otherwise he’d probably end up a mediocre, a doctor who never wanted to be one, in stark contrast to those who really want to become doctors but could only dream of it. Such is life.
Mulling over these thoughts of mine, I dream again. Perhaps if and when the time would come when I have a family of my own, I will allow my kids to live and choose their own dreams as my own parents allowed me to live and choose mine. Their dreams doesn’t necessarily should be a duplication of mine, but if ever he does tell me what he wants to pursue, I’ll probably look back at this article, smile and say kung saan ka masaya te suportahan taka.