Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.
For most of us, tonight is a realization of their childhood dreams, if not, it may have started out as our parents dream for us, for some medicine was an act of fate something we went into unexpectedly.
Regardless of the reasons why we chose to pursue medicine —- one thing holds true. Right now, at this exact moment, Batchmates, can you imagine your future self doing anything else but this? Can you imagine yourself five to ten years down the road with regular sleep, normal office hours and not studying in one way or another? Can you imagine not being a doctor? Of course not. Tonight we are all united by the fact that we have the same dream. This is our dream and now it’s only just beginning.
If there is one thing clerkship has showed us … it showed us possible versions of our future selves. For this we have to acknowledge our mentors, those who have taught us within and beyond the confines of the classroom or hospital. The late Dra. Cathy Toquillo once told us that, she expects so much from us as future doctors because in the future if her child happened to be in need of medical attention. She would find comfort in the fact that he is going to be cared after by competent, compassionate doctors. It is my wish that we don’t let her down.
Before clerkship, at least for most of us, the terms “being a doctor” meant prestige, doing rounds, conducting clinics… an esteemed profession. Because of you, our mentors, we now know it’s so much more than that. It really is more of a vocation. We saw in you… the real meaning of responsibility and empathy. Being responsible enough to make hard decisions for the good of your patients while still being considerate of your patient’s humanity. These are the types of things we can never learn from books. These are the lessons we learn from experience. So seeing it and experiencing it for ourselves, it makes us proud to have had you as our mentors. You’ve been excellent examples of how we want to be.We feel so blessed and grateful to have been under your guidance for the past years and for the foreseeable future still.
Words are not nearly enough to demonstrate how we, the graduating batch, feel today. There is an equal amount of pride, gratefulness, terror… among all of these though the stand-out emotion is love. Why? because today we have with us, all of you. The answer to the questions… “para kanino ka nagigising bawat umaga?”,”who do you want next to you when all your dreams come true”, “who are the persons you love the most?”. The people here today with us, you, you and you…answer all of those questions.
It’s weird, you’d think that on this day and at this moment, the things we’d like to say would be unique and special. But really all we want to say are the things we neglect to say to you everyday.
So first and foremost, we want to say thank you. firstly, for taking a chance on us, on our dreams. The decision to take up medicine is never just an individual decision, it’s a family decision. So we want to thank you for not only letting us take up medicine but most importantly supporting us through out all of it. It was extremely hard for each one of us, I won’t lie. But we know that it was painfully hard on your part too. Let’s be honest, the funding needed for it… is extreme. “Money doesn’t grow on trees. ” It’s not just the money though… Thank you for the time, the trust, the understanding, the love. Moments where we say, “di ko na ata kaya.” and you look to us and say with 100% conviction no doubts whatsoever —- “kaya mo yan.” —- and you know what, we believe you. Sometimes we go home at the end of a hellish duty, when we’re dead tired, when we get scolded or worse when we see our patients deteriorate … We don’t need to say anything and somehow you just know what to do. No questions asked. You just prepare our favorite meal, maglalambing, papagalitan parin kami dahil burara ka blah blah… treat us like we’re 12 years old instead of 24. And it wipes all the negativity away. It is the ultimate medicine for the sadness, low self esteem, for the frustrations. One word. The mere thought of it makes us feel better. Home. The simple act of welcoming us home is the best remedy for all our frustrations. Because within the confines of the hospital we are future doctors, trained to be efficient. But within the confines of our home, we are not that —- we are your good looking daughter, your crazy son, your most loved apo, your irritating sister, your bully brother. We go home and just like that all is well we become… rejuvenated. Ready to handle everything. So thank you for all of it… for believing in us, in our dreams, for creating our home, and for making us feel loved everyday equally—- in our best and even in our worst moments.
Next, we want to say sorry… for all the times we shouldve been there but we werent. Missed birthdays, baptisms, weddings and all other life events. Even more so… we’re sorry we weren’t there when you were sick… The worst feeling, is to be in a field where you’re taught to manage and understand a certain disease and to not be able to take care of the persons who mean the most to you.
I wish i could promise that those instances would never happen again - they probably would though because we are in a profession where - you have to give up parts of your life to become a good doctor. We know fully well that you’d understand but still we’re sorry.
On a shallower note, We’re sorry for our mean sometimes irrational temper,our short irritating replies or no replies at all. We’re sorry for when you become the sponge for all our negative vibes.
Next is probably the most painful — For the important people in our lives who aren’t here. May it be due to work, prior engagements, long distances, or death.
"we miss you and we wish you were here"
My mom isn’t here tonight, she’s in Canada. She told me she’s sorry for not being here and i replied it’s fine i’m not mad… because i’m sure if she could have found any possible human way she would have been here tonight. Because that’s what parents do.
Some of us, have lost their loved ones while in medicine. And I know for a fact, that they would give up anything, even all of this in a heartbeat just to have them back. I won’t even pretend to try to understand how bittersweet today is for those batchmates of mine. I just know from my heart, that even if they’re not here right now. I’m very sure they are just as proud and extremely happy for you… for us.
How do i know? Because if you experienced that kind of love, the truest kind… even if you’re not with them you still feel loved at the mere thought of them. Like air —- you don’t see it but you feel it … because the truest kind of love transcends distance, time and yes, even death.
Lastly, the most important message which needs no explanation whatsoever. “We love you”. All of this… this night, this hood, this award, these two letters after our name. All of these are for you, because without any of you they wouldn’t mean a thing.
So in behalf of batch 2014, this is all we want to say.
Thank you, Sorry, for the ones who arent here We miss you and we wish you were here. And above all things we love you.
And for my Batchmates, Four years… don’t they pass by in a blur? and today, we have this night, these people and this. Don’t you all feel like we’re the luckiest and most blessed persons in the world? well I do. I’ll see you all soon.
Thank you and to all a good night.
“But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?”