To fulfill your dreams, it really helps to get that college degree or have that invaluable support from those close to you.
But those mean nothing, absolutely nothing, if you don’t have the resolve, that determination, or that drive to achieve it whatever barriers or difficulties that may come.
Raymond (Xian Lim) had that one dream in mind as he is left fascinated with spirited on air from a worn-out radio languishing in their humble abode in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat. From the time he was a kid, Raymond (Bugoy Carino) never lost focus on this passion of someday gracing radio broadcast with a scintillating voice captivating listeners everywhere as a DJ.
However, a serious, life-threatening illness became that biggest stumbling block of his dream. After unexplained bruises appeared in different parts of his body and vomited profusely, his mother Erlinda (Lara Quigaman) and father Jorge (William Lorenzo), a Lebak town councilor, decided to bring him to Davao City to have those symptoms checked. After a series of blood examinations, Raymond was diagnosed with acute leukemia and is expected to live not longer than 21 years.
Despite the devastating news, he lingered on and remained hopeful and confident with the help and support of his mom, who painstakingly looked over his diet and medication. Then, all the symptoms of his illness were gone and went on to become a dutiful son and honor student.
But as Jorge lost in the local elections, the family were left hard-up in making both ends meet, and this meant Raymond could no longer go to Davao anymore for check-ups. They felt it wasn’t necessary, given his improving health.
As he finished his high school studies with flying colors, and became the class salutatorian, Raymond thought he could take a step further in realizing his dream by entering college and study Mass Communications. But then came another hurdle: his father could not afford it. Jorge also had to support his other children in school and pleaded to Raymond to sacrifice a year so that his siblings could continue studying.
Raymond worked for a year as a local police dispatcher to save up for the eventuality that he could go back to school and pursue his dream. But after a year, even if he got accepted at the prestigious General Santos campus of Mindanao State University in its Sociology program, his father told him he still couldn’t study given their precarious financial condition.
Raymond was utterly disappointed with his father for breaking his promise. He angrily told him that no matter what, he would find a way to enroll that year and follow that dream of being a DJ.
And as she realized how determined his son was in pursuing his degree, Erlinda sought the help of her mother Lola Betty (Maggie dela Riva), who is based in General Santos City. Lola Betty agreed to shoulder part of his tuition and allowed Raymond to stay at her house while he studied at MSU.
As Raymond commenced his studies at MSU, he tried to live his dream. Even with a thick Visayan accent, Raymond auditioned at different local radio stations in GenSan, but failed. When his parents visited, Raymond told his father that he was right about not sending him to GenSan and study since he won’t be able to become a DJ anyway.
But his father inspired him to continue pursuing his dream. Jorge extoled Raymond for not allowing any impediment to break his stride, even if he faced a life-threatening illness or financial difficulties. He wanted him to remain unwavering in reaching his goal.
Early morning slot
Raymond then tried and succeeded to join the university chorale, wherein he learned the rudiments of proper diction as they sang English songs. And as he auditioned one more time in a campus station, he finally got accepted as a DJ. His thrill, fulfillment and jubilation, however, had a price. He had to fill the unforgiving 2AM-4AM early morning slot, which he accepted just to live his dream, on top of his daily school schedule.
And it took a drastic toll on Raymond, as it left him extremely exhausted and spent. He would even doze off during classes and unable to study at home. When Lola Betty advised him to think twice about his grueling daily grind as it has been affecting his health and could lead to a recurrence of his leukemia, Raymond told her not to worry as there was no indication whatsoever that the deadly disease was making a comeback. A few seconds after he spoke, Raymond suddenly collapsed and threw up incessantly.
Raymond was rushed to a local hospital and a sobbing Erlinda came straight from Sultan Kudarat to the aid of her ailing son. Raymond told his mother not to worry because the vomiting was a result of a minor bout with hyperacidity. However, he said doctors noticed a slight increase in white blood cells, which is an indication of a recurring battle with leukemia. Erlinda promised Raymond that they would take him to Davao once more to get proper treatment, which her son doubted given the financial condition they were in. However, Erlinda said that Jorge was finding a way to get the needed amount for his trip to Davao and the medical expenses as part of his treatment.
After undergoing blood tests and treatment, Raymond celebrated his 21st birthday, a milestone doctors said he could never reach given his affliction. And as a surprise bash greeted Raymond with his friends and family, a jubilant Erlinda gave him his best gift ever—blood exam results from Davao showing negative results of any recurrence of leukemia.
Truly, a turning point for this dreamer who never gave up and never ceased dreaming, until he reached the pinnacle—being an actual professional DJ in several local stations until landing his now famous stint as “Mario Valentino” in MOR 92.7 in GenSan.
It was an incredibly inspiring story for those who lost hope in pursuing dreams, ambitions, and aspirations. Raymond has set the bar in facing and jumping all the hurdles before him and exultantly reach the finish line.
Xian Lim effectively portrayed this dreamer with the fluid internalization and effective thespic execution for viewers to grasp all Raymond went through to reach his goal. What really impressed us most was Lara Quigaman’s deeply felt performance as Raymond’s mother Erlinda. She embraced the character with utmost sincerity and a convincing, genuine immersion that deserves utmost acclaim. William Lorenzo was likewise remarkable in essaying the loving, dedicated yet hard-up father Jorge who would do anything for his son, yet is bound by his limitations as a family provider faced with realities beyond his control.
MMK Radyo, brilliantly directed by Raz dela Torre, evidently escalates that drive to succeed no matter what, bringing on air a simple yet riveting story of dreams fulfilled.