BACOLOD CITY – Although their wedding was delayed for two years, a young couple from Negros Occidental still has reason to celebrate after both passed the recent medical licensure examination, with one of them landing second in the top 10.
Engaged couple Patrick Joseph Mabugat of Bacolod City and Dyan Dimalaluan of E.B. Magalona town passed the November 2020 Physician Licensure examination, with Mabugat ranking second with a passing percentage of 88.58 percent. He also topped the medical board exam in 2014.
The couple finished medicine at the University of St. La Salle (USLS) here in 2019 with Mabugat as valedictorian, and Dimalaluan, fourth honorable mention.
Both also graduated together with degrees in Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology in 2014 at the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R) here, where their love story began. Dimalaluan graduated cum laude in college.
Many netizens admired the couple for not giving up, and for reaching their dreams together. Some even tagged them as “couple goals.”
Mabugat said he proposed to Dimalaluan after their graduation last year, and planned to settle down this year after their board exams.
However, due to the pandemic, their board exams, which was initially scheduled in September, was moved to November.
Mabugat said they’ve decided to postpone their wedding as they don’t have enough time anymore because they have to prepare for their four to five years of residency.
But he did say that they have yet to decide on their specialization, or whether they would serve at a government hospital.
Mabugat said he was with his fiance when he first learned about the results of the exam.
“I was teary-eyed,” he said, adding that it took a while for him to absorb the fact that they both passed the exam, and that he even got one of the highest scores because he even dreamt of not passing the exam.
Mabugat said he didn’t face any difficulty during review, aside from being quarantined many times as he was on the road most of the time traveling.
Mabugat said he was having his internship at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila early this year when the news about the pandemic broke out.
He said they were pulled out from the hospital for their safety, but because they saw the need for manpower in the hospital, his batch decided to stay as volunteers.
However, after one month, the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases suddenly increased, and hospital management decided to totally pull them out because of the high risk of infection.
“From (my experience at PGH), I saw the need to develop and improve our healthcare system,” he said.
Mabugat went on a three-month review at a review center in Manila, but later flew back to Bacolod via sweeper flight to continue his self-review here.
He then spent one to hours a day reviewing for the medical board before dedicating more hours with the exam fast approaching.
He advised aspiring doctors and other students to always keep reaching for their dreams no matter what. “Times are hard nowadays, we must do what we can with whatever we have,” he said.
Mabugat is the eldest son of the four children of Col. Calixto Mabugat, chief of staff of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service office in Camp Crame, and wife Arlene.