'Meteor Garden' soundtrack singer Josh Santana now a licensed doctor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 16) — It only took a day for singer and TV actor Josh Santana or Michael Pamular in real life to make a big life changing decision-- leave show business and be a medical doctor.

It was a moment in a hospital with his father in 2011 when he asked Santana about his childhood dream to pursue a career in medicine.

On that same day Santana computed how old he'd be if he would pursue a medical degree. Later that day he bought a reviewer for the medical entrance exams, finished it overnight and the rest is history.

"Showbiz is not the answer to everything during my years of experience sa showbiz nag enjoy ako ng sobra wala ako masasabi. Pero kasi darating sa point ng buhay mo parang tinatanong mo sarili mo you want to do something different something more." the singer explains.

[Translation: Show business is not the answer to everything. I really enjoyed my years in showbiz but there will be a point in your life where in you will look for something different, something more.]

Josh Santana: The Meteor Garden singer

Santana rose to fame in the early 2000s not as a singer but as an actor. He co-starred with Carol Banawa in the defunct teleserye 'Bituin'.

He was then chosen to sing the theme song for another Kapamilya TV drama 'Basta't Kasama Kita'

But it was during the Meteor Garden fever when the name Josh Santana dominated the airwaves and hit charts. His song 'Biyahe' or the tagalized version of 'Can't help falling in love' became an instant success.

From then, he recorded back to back hits that earned him two gold records. He also teamed up with actress Nikki Gil to sing 'Dito sa Puso Ko' the theme song of the hit TC series 'Qpids'.

"I think nabigyan ako ng tamang mga proyekto, masasabi kong I had the biggest break, to be able to sing theme songs in different TV series especially yung sa Meteor Garden, ang laking blessing nun for me" Santana said.

[Translation: I think I was given enough projects, big breaks and lucky to sing theme songs for TV series. The fact that I was chosen to sing for Meteor Garden was really a huge blessing for me.]

Josh Santana on changing careers

His shift from showbiz to the medical world didn't come easy.

Santana says that there was a time when he felt like an 'alien' or an 'outsider' because he had no medical background at all.

He finished an AB English degree in the Far Eastern University in 2007. But determined to go on his chosen path, Santana exerted extra effort to catch up.

He admits there were several moments when looked back and doubted his decision to leave show business, but knowing that he could serve more people as a doctor helped him in his med school years.

The turning point

On Thursday, March 15, the results of the Physician Licensure Exam were released to the public.

Santana is among the passers of this year's licensure exams for doctors. He couldn't help but feel overwhelmed and heaves a sigh of relief because all his hardwork were worth it.

"Medyo mahirap pa i explain at this point kung anong nararamdaman sobrang saya sobrang unbelievable noong inisip ko palang na gusto ko maging doctor para siyang jump from one world to another siyempre ang dami kong iniwan ang dami kong trabahong tinalikuran." the singer adds.

[Translation: It's difficult to explain what I feel right now, I am very happy, it's unbelievable. Before I was only thinking what will happen if I'll leave show business but now here I am a licensed doctor.]

He says it is never too late to pursue a dream. He was hesistant at first thinking about what could go wrong instead of thinking about what could go right.

Santana is still open to sing and come back to the music scene someday. Music has always been his first love after all.

He explains, "lahat ng tao may karapatan maging happy sa dream nila . I dont think anyone should be snatched with that chance to be happy in life "

[Translation: We all have the right to be happy with our dreams. I dont think anyone should be snatched with that chance to be happy in life]

And just like his greatest hit song 'Biyahe' -- he found out that life is indeed an inspiring journey.