Lumad Joeffrey S. Mambucon of San Fernando, Bukidnon, has overcome discrimination to earn the honor of being the first Tigwahanon-Manobo doctor of medicine.
Mambucon shared in his Facebook account on June 30, 2020, about his journey from being a gleaner, weeder, daily laborer, tree trimmer in the mountains, and a working student until he reached his goal of being a doctor.
The Lumad doctor first graduated from the University of Mindanao in Davao City in 2010 and became a licensed nurse.
Ten years later, Joeffrey Mambucon finished another degree in Medicine at De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute (DLSMHSI) Dasmarinas, Cavite, on June 30, 2020, in a virtual ceremony.
Before reaching his dream of being a doctor, Mambucon crossed the fire of insults, discouragement, and discriminations from people who looked down on indigent people like him.
“Would illiterate and uneducated parents be able to raise a kid who will become a Physician? Impossible!!” Mambucon recalls the hurtful words said to him.
“Nothing more could ever compare to the amount of pain I have felt for being discriminated, which made me ask, Is it too hard to just support and love one another rather than taunt him/her for his/her dreams?” Mambucon added.
Instead of revenge, the dedicated Lumad proved his value by pursuing excellence in his studies and eventually received two special awards at the DLSMHSI.
1. Dean’s Special Award for Research
2. Dean’s Special Award for advocacy, inclusiveness, and equity as FIRST TIGWAHANON-MANOBO LASALLIAN MD
Despite all the discouragements he received, he still managed to remain standing with the unwavering support from his tribesmen and teachers.
Mambucon said, “To my fellow tribesmen who make me feel like a celebrity every time I come home bringing me with lots of food such as sweet potatoes, cassavas, native chicken, and exotic foods that I love. Together, this milestone is our success. After this pandemic, we will celebrate with our traditional music, dances, and bangkakawan!”
“To all my teachers who climb mountains, cross rivers just to reach students like me, and had me work in their households and told me that I will succeed and finish school because I am hardworking. I thank you so much Ma’am and Sir, your predictions became a reality.”
The hope that Mambuco brings, he extends to other people in the minority.
“To those who grew up drinking that ‘am’ or rice water mixed with Bear Brand and now lost their hopes to study, I say stop daydreaming and look above with head held high! If I was able to do it, I pray and believe that you can do it, too.”
The trending Lumad doctor hopes to join the Doctors to the Barrios program of the Department of Health to serve his countrymen.
Socio-economic status and ethnicity won’t stop Filipinos driven with the passion to pursue their dreams, like Edrian Bangngayen, a former child laborer from Abra, who also graduated with honors in Tuy, Batangas, and Mindoro’s Mangyan Patrick Reyes who passed the teacher’s board exams with the help of Kara David’s Project Malasakit.
SEND CONGRATULATIONS to Joeffrey S. Mambucon, RN, MD for overcoming discriminations and becoming the 1st Tigwahanon-Manobo doctor of medicine.
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