Kelvin “Bumbay” Ramos became part of the Investee Community in June 2019 when he applied for an InvestEd Student Success Loan to finance his review expenses for the 2019 Radiologic Technologist (RadTech) Board Exam.
On September of that same year, Kelvin’s years of hard work paid off and he achieved his lifelong dream to be part of the healthcare industry. Little did he know that 6 months into his new job, a pandemic would break out and change the world we know and live in.
This is Kelvin’s story and his journey as a student, an Investee and a healthcare professional serving in the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delays are not Denials
Kelvin’s childhood dream was to become a medical doctor. However, Kelvin shares that he realized early on that it was financially impractical for him to go to medical school. He grew up in a humble home with eight siblings in the small yet bustling city of Tarlac in Tarlac province—and for Kelvin, surviving and ensuring that all his siblings are able to complete school was more than enough reason for him to give way on his dream to become a doctor.
Nevertheless, Kelvin still knew that he wanted to work in the healthcare industry; especially when at the age of 14, he experienced a life-changing moment that deepened his connection to the healthcare profession, when one of his older sisters died of pneumonia.
However, life doesn’t make it any easier for Kelvin to achieve his dream, even after his sister’s death. It increasingly became harder for Kelvin’s family to keep up with their finances through the years; which pushed Kelvin to stop school for six (6) years to be able to contribute to their household income.
He fondly shares that, even if it was one of the most difficult moments of his life, he still thinks of it as an overall great learning experience which built his backbone as a person. He had ventured into multiple odd jobs—in factories, small businesses, hair and make-up gigs, hosting and tutoring—everything to help his family.
At that time though, it seemed like Kelvin’s dream to become a healthcare professional was so far away. Six (6) years is a long time and most people would have let go and moved on to pursue other careers, but Kelvin continued to persevere.
Through support from his family and his own grit, Kelvin was able to go back to school and complete his degree (with honors) at the age of 29. Even when most of his peers were either starting a family, getting promoted or starting their own businesses, Kelvin felt that there was nothing more important than completing his education and pursuing excellence in his dream job of working within the healthcare system.
All his sacrifices eventually bore fruit when he was able to pass the 2019 Radiologic Technologist Board Exam shortly after graduation and was able to secure employment in a private hospital by September 2019.
A Testimony from a Frontliner
When Kelvin started his job, he felt like he was finally able to breathe a little bit easier and enjoy the fruits of his labor. However, this time was cut short when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March 2020—only 6 months into Kelvin’s work in the hospital.
“No one saw it coming po. Parang I was still enjoying my job. Although I already had jobs before, I felt like this was my moment to do something that I liked and wanted to excel and grow in. Then all of a sudden COVID-19 hit and mixed emotions po talaga yung naramdaman ko. Hindi ko maintindihan, nakaka-overwhelm.”
(No one saw it coming. I was still enjoying my job. Although I already had jobs before, I felt like this was my moment to do something that I liked and wanted to excel and grow in. Then all of a sudden COVID-19 hit and mixed emotions I really felt. It was hard to understand what was happening and I felt overwhelmed.)
When the height of the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines broke out in March, Kelvin was initially scared and severely stressed out. He experienced having to walk to the hospital, even though it was a short distance, because of the lack of transportation due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) guidelines. He was also constantly getting anxious of contracting the virus and being a carrier.
However, even if it was hard to get used to this new normal at first, for Kelvin, the experience of serving in the frontlines of this pandemic has made his pursuit of the healthcare profession worth it and his job even more fulfilling.
“We were all panicked, stressed, anxious–pero po it was fulfilling kasi kahit neophyte palang ako kumbaga sa hospital industry, ‘eto yung chosen profession ko, ‘eto yung sinumpaan ko—kaya I will do it. Regardless kung may COVID-19 or wala—I will do it and I will do it well. ‘Eto yung profession ko. ‘Eto yung pinili ko. ‘Eto ako. Ito kasi yung magiging pride ko para sa sarili ko.”
(We were all panicked, stressed, anxious – but it was fulfilling because even though I was just a neophyte in the hospital industry, ‘this is my chosen profession,’ this is what I swore to do — so I will do it. Regardless if there is COVID-19 or not — I will do it and I will do it well. ‘This is my profession. ‘This is the one I chose. ‘Here I am. This will be my pride for myself.)
Kelvin feels fortunate that the hospital he works in has a designated quarantine space subsidized for their frontliners. However, he shares his hope for healthcare to be a priority in our country’s development because it was evident that when the pandemic first broke out, we were not prepared.
“Nakakataba ng puso matawag na frontliner because of all the sacrifices of the medical professionals. Pero dati naman hindi siya masyadong pinapansin—yung effect niya sa economy and yung effect niya sa bansa natin as a whole. What if mangyari sa atin yung sa Italy, sa Europe—they’re a developed country and yet nahihirapan sila. So how about us? How about us na hindi naman masyadong developed ang ating healthcare system compared to those countries?”
(It is very heart warming to be called a frontliner because of all the sacrifices of medical professionals. But in the past, the medical profession was not paid much attention — its effect on the economy and its effect on our country as a whole. What if what happened in Italy, in Europe, will also happen to us? They’re a developed country and yet they are struggling. So how about us? How about us that our healthcare system is not very developed compared to those countries?)
Kelvin further calls for people to push for better healthcare from our government and appreciate our health workers more even after the pandemic.
Achieving Success with InvestEd
Kelvin remembers the day he got the call that he was eligible for an InvestEd success loan.
At first, he was doubtful whether InvestEd was a legitimate company and whether the student loan was a scam. But he was later on convinced that InvestEd and its student success program was perfect for his coaching and financing needs.
“Actually, with all honesty, I feel like I found the right student loan with InvestEd. ‘Nung una doubtful ako, hindi ko inexpect na ganito pala siya, for real. Ang dami kasi nag-kalat na scam. ‘Nung una, parang ayoko maniwala; then tumawag sakin and tuloy tuloy na and totoo pala siya.”
(Actually, with all honesty, I feel like I found the right student loan with InvestEd. ‘At first I was doubtful, I did not expect him to be like this, for real. The number is a scam. ‘At first, I didn’t seem to believe it; then call me and he will continue and he will be true.)
When Kelvin became part of the Investee Success Program, he was partnered with one of InvestEd’s student coaches. Because of this, Kelvin believes that InvestEd has become an important player in his journey towards success. He shares:
“I will be forever grateful to InvestEd for what I have become now. Sa totoo lang, mas stable na ako at ang pamilya ko ngayon at mas komportable. I feel at ease with myslef because I am providing for my family and I’m able to save for my future. Balak ko nga po sana this December is 6 digits sa savings account ko. All of this happened because of InvestEd.”, Kelvin shyly admits.
(I will be forever grateful to InvestEd for what I have become now. Honestly, me and my family are more stable now and more comfortable. I feel at ease with myself because I am providing for my family and I’m able to save for my future. I was really targetting to hit 6 digits in my savings account this December. All of this happened because of InvestEd)
When asked to explain his success journey with InvestEd, Kelvin likens InvestEd as part of his roots which enabled his branches to grow:
“Because of InvestEd, I was able to fund my review and pass the boards. And because I passed the boards, I was able to get a job. Parang step by step support and prinovide sa akin towards success. Yun ang pinaka-reason why InvestEd is part of my roots and why my branches grew.”
(Because of InvestEd, I was able to fund my review and pass the boards. And because I passed the boards, I was able to get a job. It was like a step by step support system that guided me towards success. That is the main reason why InvestEd is part of my roots and why my branches grew.)
Kelvin with his parents Julieta (L) and Honorato (R) on his graduation day in 2019
After passing the Radiologic Technologist Board Exam, Kelvin was employed on September 2019 at the Central Luzon Doctor’s Hospital in Tarlac City, Tarlac, which is one of the designted hospitals with COVID-19 wards in the city. Kelvin currently works there as a Radiologic Technologist and conducts X-Ray imaging for suspected COVID-19 patients.
Kelvin’s story is proof that indeed, no dream is out of reach.