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Chino Yuson: The doctor is in(to music) |

Young Star

Chino Yuson: The doctor is in(to music)

- Paula C. Nocon of the Philippine Star’s YS -
He wields a scalpel by day, he plucks guitar strings at night. He wants to cure patients, he wants to entertain audiences. He’s aspiring to receive a medical diploma, he’s praying for the release of their first CD.

That’s 25-year-old Carlo Santino Lim Yuson, or Chino. The guy is currently a med student at UERM (University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Medical Center) and is also bass guitarist of the up-and-coming acid jazz band Sound. How does he do it?

Answers Chino, "Medicine takes up three-fourths of my day, and the band, about one-fourth. I’m not a musician who happens to be a doctor. Medicine is my priority. But music will always be in my life. I’m happy with the thought that I can still do both. As a matter of fact, everyone else in the band has a day job."

Chino’s multi-faceted life tells of an interesting journey of trial-and-error. His love affair with the guitar began as a freshman in high school, when he first mastered Kalapana’s The Hurt, and then went on to grunge, and finally evolved to acid jazz.

Later, in college, he took up AB Philosophy because he didn’t know what he really wanted to do with his life yet. "Just because I majored in Philo doesn’t mean I’m a philosopher," claims Chino. "What it did though, was give me ideals to strive for."

But it was on one fateful night when a friend of his got into a fight that Chino finally found his calling. He recounts, "My friend’s face got really smashed so we rushed him to the emergency room. As I watched everything going on that was when I decided that I wanted to be a doctor. Since I took up Philo in college and no one in my immediate family is a doctor, it was quite a surprise to many."

Now a year away from being a doctor and a few months away from having his own album, Chino Yuson is looking at a bright and colorful future ahead of him. And the future is looking back at a Bright Young Thing.

What makes it possible for you to practice both music and medicine?

It’s no longer about doing one thing and then the rest are just hobbies you keep to yourself. You are more informed so you can do more things and share it with others. You’re more fulfilled that way. But of course, you get less sleep.

As a Philosophy major, what philosopher most impressed you?

Gabriel Marcel. He talked about how we’re all connected, that we’re not alone. You can’t be just into yourself; there’s a world out there, open your eyes to it.

What are you looking forward to?

For medicine, just to pass the board and get my license. For music, to launch our album, Bossa Manila.

What’s the best thing about your generation?

It’s not as black and white as it used to be. Especially in this country, where we live in the gray area.

What’s the worst thing about your generation?

We’re slipping. It’s because we’re scared of hard work. We’re easily daunted, we make excuses. We’re afraid to rise to the challenge.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

It’s never too late to change your mind. And if you do, it’s okay.

What advice would you give the older generation?

Own up to the mistakes you might have made.

In medicine, what gets you going, passion or discipline?

It’s hard to be a good doctor if you’re not disciplined; but it’s passion that makes a great doctor. So I think that it’s passion that probably matters more because that way you help more people.

What’s your dream for the fields of medicine and music in this country?

For medicine, a better health care or social security system so that all people can afford treatment. For music, that more Filipinos would appreciate Filipino music.

Who are your role models?

My parent — they’re really good people. My dad, Joey Yuson, passed away when I was 14. He was a banker. At his funeral, we were so surprised when so many people came. It turned out that he helped so many of the less fortunate, through scholarships, for example, and nobody even knew about it. And then there’s my mom, Nina Yuson, who‚’s president of Museo Pambata. She’s very devoted to her cause.

If there was one disease you could cure, what would it be?

Cancer, because it comes in many forms. Or diabetes, because it complicates other diseases.

Do you have a stand on abortion and euthanasia?

I’m pro-life. And that’s the oath I will take as a doctor.

What do you want to do for your country?

Simply to help people out as a doctor. It’s so different from anything else I’ve done in terms of what it demands from me. As a doctor, every time you help someone, you affirm that it really is an amazing profession.
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Sound plays regularly at Monk’s Dream Rockwell and Sanctum. You can download their MP3s for free from Send your BYT nominations to or

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