PLE topnotcher, breadwinner and son of a tailor, admits he almost gave up on his dream

MANILA, Philippines – The topnotcher of the November 2020 Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) revealed the hardships and struggles he went through to achieve his dream.

Jomel Garcia Lapides, who ranked top 1 in the recent PLE admitted reaching for his dream of being a doctor was no easy feat. As his family's breadwinner and a son to a tailor and a housewife, Lapides said he almost gave up on his journey.

PLE topnotcher, breadwinner and son of a tailor

Taking up medicine is already a struggle in itself but Lapides was still able to juggle his studies and work. He was working as a nurse at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila while studying medicine and had to endure many sleepless nights.

“Meron pong times na parang sobrang nakakapagod na po…Amazingly, after a night’s rest, nagkaroon lang ako ng one day off…okay na, kaya na ulit,” Lapides said.

SEE ALSO: Educator who juggled teaching with Law school, ranks No. 6 in 2019 Bar Exams

Lapides went on to share that one of his inspirations to work hard was their financial status. While his father still worked as a tailor and later on as a construction worker, he took upon the responsibility of being their family's breadwinner.

“Medyo kinakabahan ako during that time, kasi nga ako ‘yung kumikita sa family, tapos malit lang po ‘yung kinikita ni tatay so parang pag nawala po ‘yon, sobrang laking impact sa amin. Kahit na ‘yung isa ko pong sister nag ta-trabaho kaso may sarili na rin po siyang pamilya," he said.

Their family's situation didn't dampen Lapides' dream as he applied for scholarships so he can pursue medicine. He assured his family that he will continue working to help them.

“They believed in me and supported me sa decision ko. So, I reassured them na kaya pa rin, na nakapag-ipon naman ako," Lapides said.

And his hardwork finally paid off when Lapides grabbed the highest spot in the November 2020 PLE. In 2011, he also topped the Nursing board examinations.

READ: November 2020 PLE Top 1 was also Top 1 in 2011 Nursing Board Exam

PLE topnotcher, breadwinner and son of a tailor

The inspiring graduate of University of the Philippines (UP) - Manila gave a few advice to those who are still on their own journey to success.

"It will be difficult now, it will take a lot of your time and resources, of your physical health, but this will be temporary,” he said.

“As long as you continue to reach for your goals and achieve it in the end, all the hardships and the sacrifices will be worth it. Achievement in the end is enough para i-wash away lahat ng previous failures or previous worries, anxieties ninyo about it,” Lapides added.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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