It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.
- Muhammad Ali
Dr. Jerome Go – Psychiatrist, Chinese Wedding Host
“What is your specialization?”
That is the first question you ask someone when he tells you he took up medicine. I’d bet Chinese wedding host isn’t something you expect to get back. So how did our featured doctor (who is a psychiatrist by the way) ended up doing double duty hosting wedding receptions?
Our featured Fortune Earner has found his passion and success in both fields and attributes his this to determination and hard work. But in order to set himself apart from his peers, he has to have an ace up his sleeve and for him it is the Chinese language.
Who is Dr. Jerome Go?
He is currently an events host specializing in Chinese weddings. He is also a psychiatry resident at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center (UERMMC). Jerome took up his Medical Technology and Medicine degrees at University of Santo Tomas (UST). He went to Philippine Cultural College (Main) for his secondary education.
Philippine Cultural College ( Jerome’s high school alma mater ) – http://www.philippineculturalcollege.edu.ph
Doing my best in anything I do.
Jerome is definitely an all-around achiever. He excelled in:
* academics (valedictorian in Chinese curriculum and salutatorian in the English curriculum),
* sports (volleyball and badminton varsity player)
* the arts (declamation and singing contests)
* the student council (president)
With all these achievements, it may come as a surprise to know that he was NOT pushed at all my his parents to excel at school. He’s motivation seems to dwell from within.
He also didn’t have any particular liking towards Mandarin Chinese either. It just came natural for him to push hard for everything and Chinese subjects was just part of it. But this would all change with one simple invitation…
The Chinese Bridge Competition
Austrian Wu Jiaqi, Winner of the 10th Chinese Bridge Competition (Aug 2011) – http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/mediafile
Jerome was invited to join the 3rd Chinese Bridge contest for foreign college students. He eventually got past the qualification stage and became the sole Philippine representative among 75 delagates from 39 different countries.
The competition aims to promote Chinese language profeciency worldwide and thus requries the contestants to give a declamation speech, to showcase their talent (i.e. singing) and to participate in an improptu Q&A all in Mandarin Chinese.
He astonishingly won 3rd in the competition. Despite this grand achievement though there was a bigger takeaway from this event that became a turning point on how he saw himself and his culture…
The major turning point
It was the amazing fact that people from all over the world and from all walks of life spend so much time and effort to learn the language of his ancestors with majority of them not having any Chinese lineage at all.
Caucasians, Africans, Latinos etc. all different yet all united by one simple thing… the Chinese language.
Seeing the Chinese culture and language in a different light (http://www.flickr.com/photos/robhardingii)
It made him realize that if people with no Chinese lineage at all could have a profound interest in his ancestor’s heritage, he himself must make it a point to learn and appreciate his culture since he has the blood as well as the family to help him understand the culture and tradition first hand.
Thus from then on, the Chinese culture and language has become a significant part of his life, more specifically in his career.
Dr. Wedding Host
You have to stand out.
That is exactly what Jerome is doing in the highly competitive events hosting circuit as well as the sensitive practice of psychiatry.
Years of singing and hosting events together with his stint of hosting at Chinoy TV have made him a household name associated with Chinese weddings.
Jerome hosted for Chinoy TV, The premiere Filipino-Chinese Lifestyle show ( http://www.stanleychi.net )
He considers his main competitive advantage is the fact that there are plenty of hosts who could speak and sing in English, Filipino, Hokkien and/or Mandarin but only a select few could do so fluently with all four at a high level. And this has continued to be one of his key secrets to success.
This also extends to his practice of psychiatry. There are only a handful of Filipino-Chinese in the practice and even a smaller number has the same multi-lingual skills that he has. And guess to whom do they refer Chinese clients to?
Plus, his understanding of the Chinese culture helps him in communicating with and understanding his clients’ and patients’ needs. He knows which beliefs and practices are important and acts upon this knowledge for their benefit.
The doctor’s prescription on learning the Chinese language
Jerome’s insights on learning Mandarin Chinese
For those interested in pursuing fluency in the Chinese, Dr Jerome has this prescripton: It has to start from home.
Parents today prefer to teach their children English at home. During his younger days, his parents would not speak to him if he didn’t speak in Chinese.
Children take their direction from the parents and it is important that the parents understand the value of the language in order to teach it to the next generation.
He has seen people from different countries with no background learn the language as adults so it definitely is possible to learn later on in life but it will be more challenging than doing it young.
So his advice in a nutshell :
“It is never too late but it doesn’t hurt to start young.”
Jerome Go M.D. is a psychiatrist, professional host and singer. You may get in touch with him through mobile number 0922-8971866 landline (02)2431557 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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