Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Doctora-Not-Quite

April 24, 2008

She gets a kick out of watching some old friend or classmate's jaw drop when she tells him she's studying Medicine. The gut reaction is: “You must be kidding.” The friend cannot be blamed. Since grade school in St. Paul Pasig, studying seemed contra-indicated with her, like pollen to an asthmatic. To her just looking at a notebook or a text book has an immediate sedative effect. And in the morning, there is almost no stimulant on earth that can wake her except being bodily lifted into a barrel of ice-cold water.

She finished her undergrad (BS Food Technology) at UP by the skin of her teeth and under the most imminent danger of over-residency.

In medical school at the FEU Institute of Medicine, she made an incredible turnabout. She seemed to have breezed through four years of poring over thick anatomy books, dissecting cadavers, and clerking at hospitals. In between, she has captained the school's diagnostic debating team and chaired several research projects. Most incredible of all, she is about to finish with nary a 3 or 4 or 5 she used to rub noses with.

I always thought she had great abstract reasoning caps, despite being unable to memorize 'humpty dumpty sat on a wall' at the point of a gun. She is very adept and sure with her hands, which should give her great fallback as carpenter or mechanic if she got bored with doctoring.

She herself will tell you she's good at solving jigsaw puzzles.

She compares the science of medicine with putting together jigs and saws. You get a piece of clue … bit by bit … here and there. Sometimes the pieces don’t square and you try all over again. And when at last, you put in the “eureka” piece … it is as though you found the rainbow at the end of a thousand potholes.

I feel a catch in my throat as I watch her walk her funny walk at the processional during formal rites at PICC.

She's not the fairest of the brood nor the brightest but I call her my best product.

This is the girl who made a whole gradeschool class laugh when she raised the solitary hand when teacher demanded who had a "balat sa puwet" when their picture-taking session got rained out. The same girl who had to be taught how to fight back, to name-call when she's name-called one time too frequently. Who bawled her heart out when she didn't make it to the grade school tug-o-war team but went on to become captain of high school softball varsity.

This is the the girl whom I half believed when she bragged, as a three-year-old, about having a friend called 'god' who'd talk to her in the backyard. The same girl who promised me I'd be rich if ever she would be. Who said I'd be a cooler mom if I knew how to listen. Who chided me for brooding over a filched wallet and lost money which "after all is only money." Who scoffs at going abroad because she wants to serve fellow Pinoys. Who asked me tearfully one day if I thought she was still my best product after a bewildering confrontation.

Today, she graduates -- my first daughter, my doctora-not-quite. She won't be a rich doctor but she would be a good one. And yes, she's still my best product.

Note: Not quite a doctora yet because of another year of senior internship, the board exams, and residency training ahead.


ScroochChronicles said...

Congratulations!! I'm sure she got some of her oomph from you :)

Belle said...

congratulations to you and your daughter! you must be on cloud nine- the happiest mother on earth!

exskindiver said...

wow, impressive MC.
She must have had the best support system to pull through med school.
Or a great mother.
or both.

myepinoy said...

Congratulations Annamanila!

Congratulations to your daughter-Doktora-not-quite!

I could relate to this. kahit third year pa lang anak ko sa pre-med, ang tawag ko na sa kanya Doktora Nikita.

I know the hardships este the challenges they go through to earn the title "Doctor."

Ang bilis talaga ng panahon.


rhodora said...

My friend, Congratulations to you and your daughter.!

I'm sure she will breeze through the internship, board exam and residency training easily.

pining said...

Congrats Anna :-)
I'm sure you're very proud of her because medical school's a lot of hard work...massive respect to her, indeed!

SASSY MOM said...


I know how difficult it is to send a kid to medical school. I have seen my mom do it! My brother doctor just started his practice this year.

Again, congratulations to you & your daughter!

Anonymous said...

congratulations to you and your family and most to aleta. who could question the goodness of a product if the maker is perfect:). enjoy the fruit of your labor. luv ya!

your prec

Leah said...

Congratulations! My Kuya is also a doctor and I've seen how hard he studied plus ofcourse the residency. All the best for the exam.

And I know how hard it was for my mom to put him thru school. I can imagine how you did too AM.

Happy Mother's Day!

julie said...

Congratulations to the proud mama and to the best doctora-to-be!

Hope you specialize in Developmental Pediatrics, hehehe.

As usual, you wrote a witty post, Humpty Dumpty, hehehe...

Happy Mother's Day, MRC!

chateau a.k.a. imom said...

Congrats to Doc Not-Yet, and to you! I am sure she will make a great doctor. I'm touched with her desire to stay and serve our country. She's a rare breed indeed.

Your stories of her younger days remind me of my own V. So there is hope for my V, haha. Academically speaking that is. Allergic din sya sa pag-aaral eh. haha

Major Tom said...

Wondrous moments for you! Congratulations to Doc and to you. :-)

Major Tom said...

Wondrous moments for you! Congratulations to Doc and to you. :-)

mitsuru said...

way to go. welcome her for me to the noble profession. yup, she should stay in the philippines and serve the people. go to the barrios, be in the line of fire. not being paid or paid in kind but masaya ka na. nakakatulong ka eh. oh when you're young and idealistic, money is not yet a big deal. aaah, those were the days. ha-ha.

Abaniko said...

Congrats to her and to you, proud mom. Med school is tough. I should know that because I went to Nursing school for one semester and quit to go back to the corporate world. And Med is more demanding than Nursing school. I hope she'll be a fulfilled doctor and while raking in money, I hope she won't forget to go on a medical mission in less fortunate communities once in a while.

Anonymous said...

I can feel the pride of the mother of the doctora-not-quite in this post.

Congratulations miss anna! You both have done well. :)

- niceheart
I'm also blogging at this link:

Heart of Rachel said...

What a heartfelt post. It's endearing to read words of love and great pride. Congratulations to your daughter and wishing her many more great opportunities in life.

Happy Mother's Day my friend.

raqgold said...

congratulations to the whole family! and happy mother's day!

Princess said...

Congratulations to the doctor-not-quite-yet and to her mom.
I can feel how your daughter and you are feeling right now. Happen to have a niece who just finished her internship, too.
My, Anna, your writing is so colorful, dramatic and engaging I want to keep your posts in a scrapbook!
Have a great Mother's Day.

Sexy Mom said...

congratulations, my dear friend! and to your daughter, too. moments of shining glory. children do not fail to amaze, they are God's wonders.

i wanted to be a doctora, too, but i ended up with an MD (a marriage degree, that is), bringing to earth an economist, a future lawyer, a future physicist, a future accountant maybe? even a future doctor (chato wants to be one), and 2 others who do not worry a bit yet about what they want to be.

and there is only Him to thank for--through all the challenges in each passing day.

Happy Mother's Day to you and your daughter-in-law.

Belle said...

happy mother's day!

noemi said...

One proud mother! You deserve a trophy. I have also wanted a doctor in our family but it's alright naman since I want my kids to choose what they want in life.

Happy Mother's day.

the suspect said...

a fitting tribute to mother's day is seeing your children live their dreams... i congratulate ur daughter for attaining such wonderful feat. and most of all to you, i warmest congratulations fro becoming the guiding force to her success.

to the two of you, may the Good Lord continue to bless your family.

Rudy said...

Congrats to you and your soon-to-be doktora, Myrna. And kudos to her too for choosing to stay here instead of pusuing a life in the greener pastures.

BTW, May kasalanan ako sa yo. Check out my recent post for the explanation... huhuhu :-(

Em Dy said...

Congratulations to both of you! The best is yet to come.

pining said...

forgot to mention Happy Mothers day :-) you have a lovely present already!

soloops said...

O Venerable One,

Your maternal prowess is all-too-obvious in this your "best product'.

Gina said...

MC--- Happy Mothers' Day!

Congratulations to the new doctor! And to the proud mom.

Loren said...

Hi! I've just recently moved my site in blogspot and I'm kind of looking around until I stumbled on your interesting blog site. I wish to link you if you allow me. Please feel free to do the same, thank you.
Congrats to your new doctor!

geri said...

Congratulations Anna and to your (will also be rich) doctora :) A few months you mentioned how you infant potty trained your children when they were babies, now you write that they are grown ups na pala.

Toe said...

Huwaw! Congratulations to the producer and her best product! Ang galing-galing! :) Aaah, if she's good with her hands, she'd make a wonderful surgeon today. Parang si House... solving sicknesses like a jigzaw puzzle. Congratulations again! :)

rowena said...

Wow ang galing. Congrats to your doktora-to-be...and of course, to you. And best of luck to her board exams...Hope she'll achieve all her dreams.

lady cess said...

congratulations to your daughter and to you, proud mom of a soon-to-be successful doc!

and belated happy birthday too :)

kate said...

as for that best product line... i know someone who would disagree ;) congrats pa rin te! pag me sakit ako alam ko na kung kanino ang tuloy :)

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