I’m very happy to have this chance to introduce myself through writing, because I am quite shy when it comes to recording videos. My name is Mary Grace Sing, and I am a licensed veterinarian living in Cebu City, Philippines.
Growing up as a Filipino citizen with Chinese ancestry, I was raised with mixed customs. There are times when I feel a little out of place, because I do not quite relate to the typical Filipino culture, nor do I conform to traditional Chinese culture. I guess this makes me (and my siblings) a bit different from the usual Filipino-Chinese person, but I believe a mix of different cultures is very enriching to one’s life; it is always interesting to learn new things and apply them if so desired. My mother was my very first teacher and continues to be my number one supporter to this day. She ensured that I grew up with a strong moral code and a high sense of responsibility and discipline. I was taught to be sincere and humble at all times, to help those in need, and to respect everyone’s dignity. Although I have had my share of shortcomings, I believe that these values, which I cherish and uphold in my adult life, have helped me to reach my goals.
English has been my primary language for as long as I can remember. I attended a strictly English-speaking school, where all students were prohibited from speaking other languages (aside from Filipino during designated class hours), and my family spoke English, Cebuano, and some Chinese at home. Even from a young age, I was an avid reader, and my mother always purchased books for me to enjoy. I found that reading helped me to expand my thoughts and imagination.
I think the most distinct trait I have is a strong love for animals. I cannot remember being interested or passionate about anything else in my entire life. After highschool, I attended six years of veterinary school and passed the board exam in 2016. My journey as an officially-licensed veterinarian started in September that same year, when I began working at a busy small animal hospital in my hometown. I continued to work in this hospital for a total of three and a half years. I’ve only recently resigned from my post in order to spend more time with family and take a short rest from emotional and physical exhaustion. I am now spending my days bonding with my two dogs, Cookie and Chloe, and my cat Chuck. They are overjoyed that I am spending so much time at home!
Although I have enjoyed being a full-time animal doctor and I haven’t lost my love for the work it entails, I think a veterinarian’s feelings are oftentimes overlooked, and the burden of carrying these negative feelings can be a lot to handle. To put things into perspective, I would like to share some personal experiences. A vet is expected to be knowledgeable about every aspect in the veterinary field, which includes numerous disciplines and specializations. This would take not only years, but significant resources – something that is not within reach of our compensation – in order to learn and master. Vets are also expected to be all-around workers. We must be able to communicate and interact with aggressive animals, and oftentimes, more aggressive clients; we must be able to restrain and give medications to an uncooperative patient; we must gather information from clients, perform thorough physical exams, and investigate illnesses where we can get no information from the patients themselves; we must come up with a diagnosis and treatment plans even for the most dumbfounding cases; we must collect blood samples, perform tests, clean up and clean after our patients; we must care and manage them for as long as we can, and sometimes we are forced to do the only thing that will give them peace. It’s not exactly the happy job I thought it was, since I used to be naïve enough to think being a vet meant making all the animals better. Now I know it is about doing what is best for them. Despite our dedication, we are oftentimes subjected to verbal abuse, and this, combined with the mental and physical fatigue of daily work, creates a negative impact on us for a long time. Nevertheless, I feel that it is a noble profession, and one that I am proud to be part of. There is nothing more fulfilling than to have extended a life, and see a patient recover and happily return to his family. I think that animals are very special creatures who give us unending love and teach us new things every day.
All of these experiences have led me to a sort of crossroads in my life. I am now happy to find myself here at Englishbuds, thanks to my sister-in-law Ate Daisy, and with encouragement from my other sister-in-law Joy. I am extremely grateful for this chance to meet new people, learn about Japanese culture, make new friends, and be able to help them hone their English skills, all while enjoying the fun and fulfillment that teaching brings. English is truly a versatile language that can help broaden one’s horizons, so I am happy to share what I know and help people reach their goal of becoming fluent English-speakers. As a new teacher, I am striving to improve myself every day to be able to provide quality sessions while maintaining the students’ interest. It’s quite challenging because it is different from my main line of work; I tend to be a bit serious because I really want the students to learn and make the most of their lesson, but I am actually a light-hearted individual and I love to laugh and have fun. I really appreciate that everyone helps to maintain a close and happy atmosphere where we can all learn from one another and enjoy our time together. I can’t wait to meet more friends at Englishbuds! Thank you and see you online – Grace