Excerpt from Patrick: The Calling For A Medical Profession Part 1 (Excerpt)
When they were little, Homer and Sol would dress up Roseanne and Patrick in matching clothes and pass them off as twins. They did this for almost half a decade but when puberty hit, the youngest child outgrew everyone in the family, making her “fake” twin sister seem like the youngest of the three.
In the late 90s, everyone would pick on the youngest kid and one joke ended up in a crying fit at a video store. It was during the time when VCDs (video compact discs) of Hollywood movies first became a hit in the Filipino market. It might be hard to believe now but back then, people drive to a video store to “rent” a VCD of their favorite movies.
The family went to this video store on a weekly basis. It had one of those radio-frequency identification (RFID) anti-theft systems at the entrance. Just like any other weekend, the kids proceeded with their routine: pick a VCD of their choice.
Patrick was about six or seven years old when he accidentally walked through the RFID sensor holding a VCD with the tags still on. The alarm went off and he stood there, frozen, holding the VCD in his hands. When he asked what was happening, Sol jokingly told him that the alarm went off because it “sensed” that he wasn't wearing any underwear. During that time, the couple was training their youngest child to learn how to put on clothes without any help.
The six-year-old Patrick stood even straighter with a look of horror on his face. He started to cry and shouted, “Wala akong brip (briefs)!” Everyone in the video store laughed. The crying continued all the way home. The following weekend, Patrick made sure he was wearing underwear before going the video store. They finally told him the real reason for the alarm a few years later.
And the inside joke stuck.
Their childhood years also provided opportunities for discovering what they want to pursue in life. When Patrick was old enough to travel, Sol would bring him to out-of-town work events. Just like his sisters before him, Patrick would help in the registration, handing out pens and IDs for local and international doctors who attend the annual conventions for anesthesiologists. Being exposed to the medical communities’ events at a young age, Patrick realized that he, too, wants to save lives and help others in need.
Patrick (P): I've always wanted to become a medical doctor. Having both very responsible, sacrificial and selfless parents made my passion for medicine even more meaningful.
The decision to pursue a medical profession didn't rest solely on his shoulders, but the biggest weight remained on him, because it meant extending his parents’ income-generating years. Some parents would discourage it and with good reason: medicine school requires money that goes beyond just the tuition fee.