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August 16, 2011

The Anonymous Comments

Four years ago, I took my board exams in Cebu City. It wasn't a smooth ride going there and I don't mean the long land trip from Bacolod to Cebu via Don Salvador Benedicto. I didn't mind the long road trip. I was with my classmates who were equally nervous and yet excited as well. There was a lot at stake. We were the first graduates of the University of Saint La Salle College of Medicine and while we were hopeful to become doctors, not many were optimistic of our performance. In fact, in the early days of this very blog, I encountered a lot of skeptics, thinking that we - I myself - would not make it pass the board exams. One anonymous skeptic wrote, "Boy oh boy!Im not underestimating your batch, im stating facts! Those you were expecting to make it passed the boards! Your batch wont even make it 20% . Plain and simple fact. I am really looking forward to next years board exam... La Salle, Bacolod- 20%.! Ha! I think you will not even make it. You are expected to pass but you wont make it!"

Well, we have proven this anonymous skeptic wrong. The pioneer batch did make it past the 20% this skeptic was saying and now, all of the members of the pioneer batch are already doctors. Half are either done with specialty training or are still undergoing specialty training. Half of us went to public health.

The same anonymous skeptic also wrote, "Don't be so cocky boy, you still have a l-o-n-g way to go boy! You may be wearing the white blazer as well as the title of MD on your shoulder, but you still have to pass the board exams. This is a challenge to you and your batch, you won't make it 100%. We know the caliber of your batch, most are dumb, some are idiots and a few are average."

Well, technically he/she was right in two things. One, that I - we - still have a long way to go. Two, we wouldn't make it 100%. Well, at least not in a singular stroke. While during our first try we only made it at around 70plus percent, those who did not make it the first time did not give up, took another try and another and are now doctors. Of course, passing the board exam was not enough. So I do agree with this skeptic. We still have a long way to go.

That anonymous skeptic's comment may now be just a footnote to history considering that after four years since we took that board exam, the members of the pioneer batch have proven that they are here to stay despite the perception of some members of the community. As for me, I took that anonymous comment as a reminder that in this world, not everyone wants you to succeed. There are some who are waiting for you to fall. They will call you names. They will put you down. They will dismiss you as nobody. But that should not stop you from reaching out for your dreams. Josemaria Escriva wrote, "Don't waste your time throwing stones on barking dogs." Since then, I began to change as well, at least in how I would handle criticisms, be it constructive or destructive. I get excited actually when someone would criticize or discourage me or tell me that I can't. I get excited to prove them wrong and I can't wait to get to the end when I can look back and say, with much deserved and appropriate pride, "Teh, diin kamo?"

Despite the prevalence of skeptics like these, I am thankful that there are also friends and believers who would rather put their energy into building up than tearing down. In reaction to this anonymous comment, a friend of mine wrote, "if you are going to write something like what you wrote, why hide your name? can't stand up for your own opinion? afraid that people will know what kind of person you are?". Another reader left a comment, "i say to anonymous: "for the love of God, please, please, please, get a life! and when you see a piece of anything minty, on the floor, pick it up. it just might help your bad breath... but then again, it just might not..."

So to those who have just taken their board exams, Good Luck. May God help you prove your skeptics wrong.

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