SOCIETY tends to label us, that’s just how the system works. Like if you are in school, people would define you based on your grades.
But Gino Arvin Baguio Santos, a proud Dabawenyo, begs to disagree as he did not let his school performance define him as a person. He instead chose to dream big and make that dream a reality.
Santos, 23, has always described himself as an average person and student. He has never been a Dean’s Lister. He didn't even graduate Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude, he confessed.
But by believing that he can do more than what other people see him and that he can achieve greater things in life, he had set a goal to top the recent licensure examination for dentists and voila! He did land on top, ranking 6th with a mark of 83.03 percent based on the results released by the Professional Regulation Commission.
READ: Southwestern graduate tops dentist licensure exams
He joined other topnotchers from schools in Luzon, making him the only one among the top 10 who came from a university in Visayas, that is, the Southwestern University in Cebu.
Indeed, he is a living testament that success is not correlated to excellent grades and what place you’ve come from. In fact, Santos said that his graduation had been delayed for a year and a semester as he had to juggle with meeting quota for their hands-on patient treatment for their clinics and at the same time study other related subjects during his 5th and 6th year in dentistry.
“While we are studying, we also need to meet our quota because we cannot be promoted to another level without complying it,” Santos said in the vernacular during an interview with SunStar Davao Friday, adding that it was one of the challenges he had to face as a student of dentistry.
“I’m just a low-key person. I’m not into figures (or labels),” Santos said and went on saying that he had been blessed by God and that he had achieved all of it through hard work and prayers or “Aral at Dasal” as he calls it.
“Just because you’ve failed at your subjects, you’ve been extended, or your graduation had been delayed, it doesn’t make you a nobody. Whoever you are and whatever happened to you during your course studies are not the bases of your strength and capabilities,” Santos shared.
“Kagaya ng iba diyan, kinain din ako ng sistemang Dota at sistemang Emperador (oops) at sistemang TV series (Not K-drama). So what? (Just like others, I am also drawn into playing Dota and drinking liquor and watching TV series. So what)?” Santos wrote on his Facebook wall, narrating further that while he was waiting for the licensure exam’s result, he was in fact watching the TV series, Vikings, and was also playing Dota when someone suddenly called him to congratulate him for making it into the top 6.
“What I’m trying to say is, it is good to graduate on time. That’s better, there’s no doubt about it. But if you have failed on your subjects, your graduation had been delayed and you’ve extended your years in studying and you didn’t like it, you’ll still do okay. Failing doesn’t make you less of a person, student or a dentist,” Santos shared in mixed English and vernacular.
Santos is the younger of the two children of a Dabawenyo couple and he lives in Green Hills, Catalunan Pequeño, Davao City. He plans to pursue studying oral surgery as specialization to level up his skills.