A 25-year-old resident of Banga, in South Cotabato has become an inspiration for many when he graduated from medical school despite facing financial difficulties.
The son of farmers, Arenz Jade Docdocil announced his graduation from medical school in an online post that appeared a few weeks ago. He recalled that his parents discouraged him from pursuing his passion.
“My parents are both farmers, cultivating a small piece of land as our family’s sole source of income. To grant my dream and send me to a medical school seemed impossible to them. I may be able to enter medschool but I might be forced to stop in the middle [of my education] because my parents will probably run out of resources to support me,” he said in his post, which has been shared almost 22,000 times.
Describing himself as “stubborn” and “strong-willed,” Docdocil still applied for a place at the Mindanao State University, a public school that charges affordable fees for medical students. He was even granted a scholarship but admitted that the miscellaneous costs were still expensive. He even recalled that his mother chose not to have surgery just so they could pay for the costs of his education.
“[M]y family still had [to make] a lot of sacrifices. It’s unfathomable how my parents survived the times when they have nothing left in their pockets. I can’t imagine how much pain my mother had to endure from her adenomyosis and choose not to have her surgery just so she can still send the money intended for me,” he said.
“I can’t imagine how much heat from the sun my father had to endure to do farmwork all by himself and not spend money on other important things just so he can save it up and send it to me. I can’t also imagine the sacrifices of my grandmother despite her old age just to help save up for my needs,” Docdocil added.
In an interview with Coconuts Manila, Docdocil insists that he is more than just the child of impoverished parents.
“I never let ‘the son of a farmer’ define me. I am defined by my passion for achieving my dream and that was to become a doctor. We may not be that financially capable but my parents made sure that I was clothed by their love and support,” he said.
“What is more important is that you have the dream and courage to overcome the obstacles along the way. It won’t be easy for anyone. It was just harder for us because of financial constraints,” he added.
The young doctor said he’s been receiving a lot of messages from people since his post went viral, telling him that they were inspired by his story. He had told them that believing in oneself is important to succeed and advised his new-found admirers not to lose hope.
Docdocil is now preparing to work as a government volunteer doctor serving marginalized communities. He said that he’s ready for what he has to face now that COVID-19 has also spread in Mindanao.
“Going to work as a doctor in this pandemic may have made it quite challenging but it is already given in our line of work. This virus is just one of the many illnesses out there that are contagious and can affect anyone, even healthcare professionals. We as doctors just need to take extra precautionary measures,” he said.
Good luck Dr. Docdocil and stay safe!
Have you heard of similar inspiring stories about this year’s graduates? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to Coconuts Manila.
This article, Farmer’s son from South Cotabato becomes doctor, prepares to battle COVID-19, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!