Friday, December 31, 2004

the year-end report

sometime this year, as i was having lunch with nic, he mentioned how 2004 is the year for those born in the year of the snake like the both of us were. he said it's our year for love and romance, and how while neither of us were in a relationship at that time, it's bound to come and when it does, it's bound to make the both of us believers.

it was tough to believe him. by our fourth month together, i had a lot of questions about the "love" i was supposedly enjoying with jay. i've met his family, i've hung out with his friends, and at that time, while i thought it couldn't get any better, i knew in my heart that it was a difficult kind of love. add to that the valentine's day fiasco, and had it not for my turning 27 years old, i'd probably have ended it in an instant. by march, things couldn't get any worse. the eve of my birthday, my then boyfriend presented me with the most stupid birthday gift ever - a gym outfit - and my mom called me on my birthday to tell me that she and my dad had decided to divorce and stay in separate apartments while they're sorting things out. the day after my birthday, the sister of my dearest friend called me to say he had passed away that morning, ten minutes after he sent me his last text message. one week later, my relationship ended on the worst note possible.

but then our plans aren't god's plans. i met the pilot, i re-discovered old friends and got rid of those who weren't really friends in the first place. i've found love in the place i least expected it. i've grown to love the person i am right now - head-strong yet soft, bitter yet open to love, plumper than i want to be but comfortable in my own skin. i've bought my first high-end pair of shoes and learned how to use the electric drill.

tomorrow's the first day of 2005. i hope to finally put up the new curtains i bought for my room and clean my bathroom. i'll be changing my sheets and checking the pile of papers that's sitting on my desk. i'll get started on that paper that's two months overdue for supervised legal research and begin planning for the cases that are scheduled for january. i'll make that exam that i hope to give my students on january 6 and fix my stuff for the dorm.

spike, my car, is still as dead as dead can be, and i was unable buy some of the things i hoped to buy for myself with my 13th month pay. i haven't made peace with some of my demons and sometimes, i freak myself out with my paranoia over patrick's love.

i hope 2005 promises to be good to me. while turning 28 scares the hell out of me, i'm ready as ready can be.

bring it on.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

a prayer goes out to the 80,000 (as of the latest news report) who have perished in the recent earthquake and tsunami. tsunami used to be just a word i learned in grade school to represent huge tidal waves caused by earthquakes. today, tsunami is a word that represents death and destruction.

my brother captured it best when he said, "today's one of those days when i am glad i'm a filipino in manila."

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

unlike some parents, mine never made us believe in santa.

santa claus was my mom buying us the gifts we wanted.
santa claus was my aunt taking us christmas shopping with a two hundred peso budget each.
santa claus was a variety of christmas presents - some good, some bad, some meant to be re-gifted - every year.

after all, how can you believe in santa when the closest thing you have to a chimney would be a small exhaust tube on your roof?

this year, however, my brother's girlfriend and my boyfriend kept using the word santa on me. see, i wanted this lovely fino pencil case which i found to be awfully expensive. come on, P750 for a tiny leather thing? no way, right? but they just kept telling me, don't worry, santa's going to buy it.

and so i waited.

and waited.

by the 22nd, i was in near panic. my christmas stash was nowhere near impressive, and while my dear sweet friends have given me lots of things to rave about, none of the presents i've received came in a fino box. i've got bars of soap, a shirt (gary, it fits!) and a cd, stationary, and what seems like a toothpick glass with a dog beside it, but no fino pencil case.

until i woke up on the 23rd, and there, beneath the tree, was a small fino box addressed to me.

i was in sheer fino bliss.

until the 25th came along, and my cousin's wife presented me with a coach box with a lovely AUTHENTIC coach bag inside.

santa, you've turned me into a believer.

you may not be at all fat, and you need not be in a red suit. sometimes your gifts come a bit early and sometimes late, but by golly, when you give, you give good.

p.s. a big shout of thanks to gary for the internet connection. without you, this post wouldn't have made it online today. i wish i had the patience to upload the pictures. unfortunately, i don't.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

and the car went pfffft....

so there i was, excited over our videoke party. i parked my car at red ribbon so corinne and i can buy our contribution to the party and asked nini and rosan to stay in the car. upon being told that there was a ten to fifteen minute waiting time, corinne and i went to mini-stop to buy the softdrinks. we loaded up the car with food and by 6:10 we were on our way to prons' house.

or at least that's what i thought. apparently, spike (my car, yes it has a name, and no, i'm not ashamed) had other ideas.

instead of turning out that beautiful engine hum like he usually does, all i got was this tik-tik-tik-tik.

breathe. relax. pump gas twice. try again.


curse. shout obscenities. hit steering wheel violently. try again.


pray. promise not to miss another mass till you die. pledge part of your salary to the parish christmas project. try again.


spike, you little pot of sh*t! what did i do to deserve this?

i lovingly took you to the casa every 5,000 kilometers since i bought you a year and a half ago. with the exception of the jetti gas my universal pangit ex loaded with you once, you've been thoughtfully filled up with caltex gasoline. and while you may be one big dust bunny right now, we've had our moments in the car wash. i barely allow anyone to sit behind the wheel because i didn't want you to think i didn't care for you.

we were good friends. we've been to subic, cabanatuan, and batangas together. i loved you in spite of the fact that someone said you looked like a red owner jeep or when they raised their eyebrows thinking i was cuckoo for having picked you over a toyota.

and spike, i loved you more than i did any of my exes. promise.

so why?

how do you now expect me to finish my christmas shopping?
how do you expect me to go home to my lola on christmas day and hang out in subic with my cousins after that?
did you forget that ugly commuting incident a while back?

i'm disappointed in you. all i wanted was three or four problem-free years. i understand that sometime after that, either you'd begin quitting on me or i on you.

but one and a half years?

tsk tsk.

i don't think so.

Monday, December 20, 2004

the pressure of boyfriend gift-giving

he's told me what he wants ...

a spiderman x-box controller.
an arm band for his i-pod mini.
nike stuff.

but to get him an x-box controller would mean more time playing with his toys, and i can't fathom spending P2,000 on what seems like a plastic attached to a garter. nike stuff, i can manage, but at the rate things are flying off the shelves just because it's christmas, i'm scared there won't be any left when i get there.

gawd. the pressure of boyfriend gift-giving. sometimes, it's so tough that you can't help but wish you can put your relationship on hold for the holidays.

i thought i was off to a good start when i got him a tiny christmas pillow (and a matching one for me) and presented it to him at the start of the holidays. however, it seemed i got stuck there ... and even though i spent a good 3 hours going through each store in shagri-la last thursday, all i had to show for it was one gift for him and, ehem, a gift for myself.

they say it's the thought that counts, but believe me, after having received a gym outfit from an ex-boyfriend for my birthday (who thought it was the greatest gift ever cause i finally coughed up money for a gym membership. he had forgotten the membership was to expire four days after my birthday and i haven't been back to the gym for more than 2 months). i tried expressing the appropriate reaction to the gift, i even slept with the gift beside me in bed, hoping i'd wake up appreciating the gift. i tried it on several times and i showed it to my roommate, brother, and friends. nothing. nada. zilch. i hated it. and i hate it still.

and so my quest continues. i've lined up two malls to visit tonight and i'm enlisting the help of my male officemate who i've always found to be cool and stylish (but not gay). i've got 4 days to go, and i'm running on holiday shopping adrenalin.

here's hoping that THAT shopping adrenalin doesn't lead me though to buy more gifts for myself.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

pasko na, pasko na, ang saya-saya

and with that commercial, i accepted the hard reality that yes, christmas is here.

i've no problem with christmas, in fact, i happen to love christmas: the giving and receiving of presents, the bazaars, anything and everything peppermint - from the starbucks drinks to the mcflurry flavor they came out with three years ago, the christmas trees and lights, and the fireworks. i love christmas so much that sometimes, i don't even mind the traffic.


but then what i absolutely hate about christmas is when they practically force you to be in the christmas spirit. we are REQUIRED to attend the office christmas party, we are REQUIRED to present a number, and we are REQUIRED to make a belen for the contest. there was a time when we were also REQUIRED to bring presents for an exchange gift we didn't want to take part it, if only for the fact that we were sure we'd get a bunch of glasses we'd re-gift anyway.

but that's beside the point.

christmas isn't about being obligated to do anything; it's about being happy enough that everything comes easily. it's walking in the mall and seeing a cute present and buying it for an acquaintance, not because you have to, but because somehow, you realized that you're so happy you just want to share it with that person. it's spending time with family, and friends who are almost like family. it's being pleasantly surprised from text messages from people you haven't talked to in a while.

but when people begin forcing you to enjoy christmas, then it's not christmas anymore. it's work.

on a lighter note ...

i had a mentos moment yesterday as i was walking to the courtroom.

the heel of my shoe broke.

there i was, in a dress suit with a lovely bag and an envelope full of materials for a case with my mouth agape as i stared at the heel of my shoe lying some 2 feet away from me.

it was a good thing i had a car full of shoes and one of those happened to match my outfit perfectly and in two minutes time, i was on my way back to the courtroom as if nothing happened.

Friday, December 10, 2004

south beach diet, my style

owing to my desire to emulate a classmate in law school who keeps on losing weight every time i see her, i decided it was time for me to be serious about losing weight. i did say i went to law school to lose weight, believing that the late nights, lack of nutritious food, and non-existent social life will lead me to achieve my desired weight.

i was wrong. today, i am as rubenesque as the day i first stepped in malcolm hall. the only difference is that i have finally learned the power of high heels.

anyway, according to now-svelte classmate, south beach is the way to go: you never get to go hungry, you can still eat bacon (canadian lean bacon, but still bacon), and after two weeks in phase one, you lose anywhere between 8 to 15 pounds.

15 pounds? heck, that's exactly how much i need to lose to at least be considered slightly chubby. i want.

and so, together with another classmate who wanted to lose her post-baby fat around the hips, i decided it's time to do south beach along with everyone else, kris and korina included.

i spent money on mushrooms and fat-free dressing, cucumber, lettuce, and tomato. i gave away my stash of potato chips and began packing my lunch.

it's been two days and i must say, it's not that hard.

well, it's not that hard until it's 3 o'clock in the afternoon and major cravings kick in. yesterday, day one of my diet was ruined because of two small, but sinfully rich, cakes given by a friend. today, i was able to resist the lure of my favorite pancit bihon and barbecue until 4, then i caved.

as they said in the manual, don't give up. if you slip one day, plod on.

and believe me, i am. tomorrow, i'm thinking of having poached eggs for breakfast and chicken salad for lunch. who knows, i might be finally able to forget all about carbohydrates and sugar when the afternoon craving kicks in.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

there are things that make you feel like an adult: paying taxes, buying your own shampoo and conditioner, and actually getting your godparents gifts instead of expecting something from them on christmas.

and there are things that you wish you can do as an adult but could never afford to: buy your own two-bedroom condominium, have a million in the bank "just in case" and not think about it, and take time off from work to "search" for the meaning of life.

and in my book, there are things i've always dreamed of doing as an adult, impractical, crazy, but totally understandable.

buying a coach bag: impractical, crazy, but totally understandable.
or jimmy choo shoes: impractical, crazy, but totally understandable.

to a certain extent, my favorite aunt has helped me live my impractical, crazy, but totally understandable dreams: i am sometimes able to strut around in lovely impractical and crazy bags simply because i was able to pry them from her fingers. but then since my aunt is a size 5 1/2 and my foot's anywhere from a 7 to an 8, shoes have been a no-no.

believe me, i tried. i felt like cinderella's step-sister.

and so, to date, i've tried to curb my impractical and crazy dreams by indulging in less expensive brands. if i can't afford a manolo or jimmy choo shoes, then by golly, i'd look for something that'll make everyone think i'm wearing one.

but then much like eating yoghurt when you've got a craving for ice cream, you know it's not the same.

and so, this christmas, a week after my 13th month pay came in, i slipped inside designer's boulevard. i took in a whiff of the environment which screamed "money" and ran my grubby hands over the overpriced bags, shoes, and accessories. i gazed at the displays, gasped at the prices, and smiled pleasantly at the sales ladies when i'd shake my head to indicate, sorry, i can't afford that.

then i saw a pair of shoes on the kate spade stand.

they were made of black satin and the 3-inch heel was sure to make any calf slim and sexy. i've never seen anything like it, and i don't think even janylin - with their penchant for lifting imported shoe designs - can copy the exquisite wave running across the side of the shoe. hoping against all hope it wouldn't fit, i slipped it on my foot.

i couldn't help but curse, p*tang ina, ang ganda.

crazy? yes.
impractical? yes.

it would've been totally understandable if i walked out the store with empty hands.

but, i'm a girl. and i can only resist so much.

did i buy it? yes.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

what do you do when you begin the weekend with a fight?

well, then you spend the rest of the weekend making up, of course!

two huge fights aside, the weekend was quite lovely, if wet. after a class on special issues in taxation (don't even begin to ask what that means) where i was called on to recite AGAIN, i began my weekend with a sidetrip to SM sucat where i unabashedly sashayed into my friendly neighborhood barber shop to get my nails done. took out food from kfc, checked my favorite carwash (full!), and then home until it was time to for pat to pick me up for our saturday evening date. we were all set to watch a movie at festival mall when he decided to wanted to check out if cafe adriatico was open already. nope, sorry, it's still just cafe breton, so we ended up checking out the bazaar at the car park beside st. jerome. a huge snowman, two sticks of barbecue, a corn dog, two cans of coke, and two cones of dirty ice cream later, we found ourselves waiting for the anticipated mass, checking out the gay couple in front of us and thinking how sweet and wonderful it is to hear mass with your loved one. a looooong mass later, we parked ourselves in outback where we were offered bread every five minutes (soup would've been nicer). from 9 to 10, we basically window-shopped as i tried (successfully) NOT to buy two books from powerbooks which i've been salivating over for the longest time but i know would prevent me from studying the next couple of days.

on sunday, my brother asked me if i wanted to go to southmall with him and his gf. i called pat to confirm he won't be free until much later, and so it wasn't long before i was the third wheel and my brother's girl was giving me the evil eye cause he was basically hanging out more with me than with her. again, i successfully resisted buying anything, including this lovely shrug which can be worn 12 different ways. since my brother's gf wanted to significantly add stamps to her starbucks card, she cajoled my brother into going all the way to ATC. there, pat met up with us and he took us to the cuenca bazaar where i finally emerged with something: a lovely pink suede bag for school.

monday was really wet, and while pat and i initially agreed on just hanging out at home and having food delivered, we were both experiencing cabin fever by 5 pm. with nothing to watch on television and the game cube proving to be not that much of a distraction, we then decided to go to price mart where all we got was a huge bag of cheetos and yakult, and have dinner at yellow cab.

see, there's no point at the end of this post, and the narration of how my weekend was sounds so much like my earlier posts where i did nothing but say what happened to my day. but what the heck, i had a lovely weekend. a fun weekend. a rocking weekend.

thanks to gat. andres bonifacio.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

my aunt went to bangkok without me and all i got was a fake pink coach bag

no, really, it's true.

she SMSd me yesterday, "reporting" that yes, just like i asked she got me something pink, and some dried squid, and if i want, she'd throw in a body scrub for good measure.

so what's the pink thing, i asked.

a fake pink coach bag, she said.


see, my aunt is a benevolent, generous, and loving doctor with no children whose only sister is in canada. translation: she has no one to share her closetful of pretty bags with. and what good is a closetful of pretty bags if you can't share it with anyone, right?


that lovely gucci bag with a bamboo handle i abuse every single workday? hers.
that lovely louis vuitton bag i abuse every single weekend? hers.
that lovely polo bag i use to lug my lawbooks around in? hers.
that lovely anne klein bag that's somewhere i don't know but i know is still with me? hers.
that lovely kenneth cole bag which has a huge yellow highlighter stain on the inside? hers.

i told her when she dies, i want three things only:
her watch collection.
her bag collection.
and her bed.

(incidentally, my other female cousin wants her jewelry, and my brother wants her tv. my favorite male cousin wants her car, and the three in canada can use her house as their rest house when their home. see, we've got her will all figured out. this is what you get when you study succession.)

anyway, since this is the also the same aunt who shuns anything fake and would rather wear something un-branded than something fake, i thought when she said coach, she meant real coach.

man, my first real coach bag. i could almost smell the leather (or fabric, or whatever! i'm not picky).

unfortunately, i forgot she went to bangkok, and bangkok has all things pretty but faux.

so, when you come across me one of these days with a lovely bag slung over my shoulder, don't even ask. i'm telling you now.

yes, it's coach. and yes, it's fake.

Monday, November 22, 2004

sisig will never be the same without you

i got your name wrong the first time. the day after my first dumol class which i shared with you, i remember you calling me the 3rd "v" in the office, and i remember saying back, "and you're paolo rosal".

you were shocked, insulted even. you dropped your jaw in that theatrical, ever so slightly exaggerated way you do things sometimes, and corrected me. i blushed a little, thinking, damn, it's my second day in this freezer they call faculty room and i've probably crossed the path of the office jester and he'd probably hate me forever and ever, amen.

you didn't, at least i don't think so. but i was never your favorite, always wishing for art to be your teaching assistant once more. sometimes, i'd think you hate me and my evil ways, but then you'd have something special, like a harry potter button, for me, or a christmas gift, or offer me a ride home.

there's so much to remember - probably cause i've known you longer than the man i hope to marry. there's your huge red bag when we went up to baguio, and the many times i cried on your shoulder over yet another failed relationship. there's you offering your brother as my date for my best friend's wedding, and him actually accepting the invitation. the birthday parties at art's house, your excitement over anything connected to mau and mira in general. there's you deleting spam trader cause i always played with it -- while in class -- claiming i can multi-task (and i can, really!). there's the pictures in your palm, the many school visits we had convincing all those chi-chi pre-schools they ought to accept our students for practicum.

i know i put up a brave from the day you told me you'd be leaving. you won the victor neri bet, you claimed. i didn't even blog about you, believing that much like a pimple, the less you thought about it, the better off you'd be. i was wrong.

you're not there to make me laugh, you're not there to piss me off. you're not there to remind me to pipe down, you're not there to tell me my top's "giving way too much information". you're not there to say "i love you patrick" when he calls.

and most of all, you're not there to share the pure, unadulterated joy that bubbles up on tuesdays and thursdays when we chance upon our favorite sisig.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

somehow, the four different floors of the UP law library has different personalities.

the first floor is where the newspaper-reading, internet-browsing, and lex-using social butterflies all converge. the second floor is holy ground. now, legal bibliography taught me that this is where are the AMJUR and foreign publications are located but the unofficial curriculum of law taught me that this is where you stay if you seriously wanted to study. the third floor is where you stay to study with your classmates, friends, and anyone you wouldn't mind sharing a table with. it's also where the reserve section is, and the photocopying machine. then there's the fourth floor. students who study here are the hardcore law students: read, memorize, read, internalize, read, memorize again, pack-up, go to class and perfect the exam.

now, if you really know me well, you'd know that the library is not the place to look for me. i'd sit on the railing beside the library, on the steps behind the library, even make small talk with classmates in front of the library but not inside the library. once in a while i pop in the library to pick up my readings from ate con, the photocopying princess, and sometimes, i have to venture inside the library to look for some classmates, but i believe i've spent more hours loitering in the fishball stand than studying in the library.

however, one and a half weeks after my supervised legal research ten-page draft was due, i realized that i have to actually spend time in the library. i tentatively used the computer in the first floor to check out the available books and inwardly flinched when i realized that should i want to write a decent paper, i'd have to go up to the fourth floor.

while i admit i am an awful student, i have no plans of not graduating simply because i was too lazy to do my SLR paper. and so i trudged up the stairs and tentatively knocked on the fourth floor door so the librarian would open the door for me.

somehow, i made it through the experience. the librarian was kind enough to teach me how to use the book which contains a list of all the journal articles ever published. i learned that while you cannot bring the books home, you can bring them to the photocopying machine in the third floor and they'll be the one to return it. i learned that UP law has a pretty decent collection, and that there's actually a journal that's called "william and mary law journal" which sounds weird cause it sounds more like a lounge act that a serious publication. i mean come on, william and mary?

maybe this saturday i'd be back. maybe i'd even bring my commercial law review outline and do some hardcore studying.

maybe, the fourth floor is the key to an invitation to the order of the purple feather.

i only wish i didn't realize it when i was already in my last semester.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

when you realize that you're giving everyone on the road the dirty finger and your face is locked in this permanent wrinkle, you know it's time to whip out your favorite bootleg eraserheads cd and sing along with ely buendia.

i always sing along to track number 16 first, pare ko, while thinking of the movie where jao mapa was the good guy, claudine baretto was the object of everyone's affection, and mark anthony fernandez was the way he always is - a little scruffy, very spoiled, and very very lovable. i sometimes imagine myself being so frustrated in loving someone that i'd spawn very honest lyrics about that love.

i then move back to tracks 7 and 8, magasin and ligaya. magasin happens to be a true to life experience for my brother - back when maui taylor was in csa and was a flat-chested freshman, my brother, being the all-knowing senior, decided to court that cute little thing. i never really knew about it until he showed me a picture of her when she started appearing in the now-defunct TGIS. and then one day, there she was, in all her almost-naked glory amidst pastries and other fattening what-nots, in a men's magazine that my house mate just happened to have lying around in the condo. my brother's reaction? sana dati pa siya nagka-boobs.

ligaya will always remind me of fourth year high school, when our accounting teacher's first name was ligaya and eheads was the biggest hit since everyone stopped listening to mike francis' two hit songs. my classmates would serande her and i know her advisory section actually sang that song in one of the school programs, somewhat a tribute to her, which didn't really work cause i remember having to cheat in accounting to make sure i pass.

eraserheads - with ely of course - can always do that to you. i bet each song means a different something to each one of us. my mom told me in the past how she's always reminded of me overdrive, and how the her favorite song is para sa masa because of the line "para sa fans ni sharon cuneta". UP students of the 90s probably thought of them each time they passed by narra and saw some quiet guy strumming his guitar. the back cover of their book, fruitcake, where they finally had pictures of themselves in togas taken (allegedly as a tribute to their parents who never saw them graduate from college, because they never did) reminds you of the millions of UP students who never marched from one end of quezon hall to the other, pausing in the middle to receive a bond paper encased in a stiff maroon folder with the UP parrot (yup, its a parrot, not an eagle) in gold ink.

while eraserheads is still out there, the eraserheads as i knew them isn't anymore. i'd forever have that cd though and one of these days, when the christmas traffic begins to tax whatever little patience i have, i'd probably slide it into my car's cd player, push the buttons to bring me to track number 16 and sing along with ely the lines i never grow tired of singing: o pare ko, meron akong problema ...

Monday, November 08, 2004

you'd think that after being in school non-stop for the last 23 years (2 years of pre-school + 7 years of gs, + 4 years of hs + 4 years of college + 2 years m.a. + the last 4 years of law school) i'd breeze into a classroom like it were my kingdom. after all, unlike everyone in my law class, i'm also a teacher, which means i know how it also feels to be the one dispensing the unos and the sincos.

however, i can't.

tomorrow's my first day of what would hopefully be the last year of law school and i feel queasy, tense, not to mention nervous as hell. and unlike the last four years where i've always managed to be with my blockmates, now i'm stuck with an OLA team with 9 other people i don't know (they're all from the day class, i'm from the evening class) and 3 electives that my classmates were smart enough to avoid.

unlike a pre-schooler, i've no mommy to hold my hand, no daddy to bring me to school in his shiny car, and yaya won't be waiting outside in case i need someone to be with. unlike in college, my boyfriend won't be in the same class, and neither would my high school barkada be waiting for me in casaa for lunch.

at 27, i'm too old to be feeling the jitters. i've bought my own car and i've had a major operation done on my already. i have traveled to davao on a super ferry alone and i've snuck to baguio and sagada and galera with my parents not knowing it (well, they did, AFTER i went to these places). i'm two years past my "i-gotta-get-married" target and i've learned to live with it. i've slept alone in my room after watching sixth sense and the others.

so i don't effing understand where this fear is coming from. but believe me, it's there.

Friday, November 05, 2004

so i was having a couple of bad days in a row ...

i had a bad wednesday, which led me to blog about it thursday, except that after checking my spelling (i am a terrible speller), blogger decided to delete it which meant i was more pissed than ever.

come on, i (sorta) worked hard at writing that damn post.

so the "i'm having a bad day" became "i'm having two bad days in a row". Add to that two long meetings, one of which had the assistant dean asking me to take the minutes down, and an outfit i just put together cause there was absolutely nothing to wear in my closet, and you have one grumpy girl complaining, " i feel so pangit" (somehow, and i bet you'll agree with me, "ugly" just doesn't convey the same emotion as saying pangit).

since i didn't relish going home and sitting like a blob in front of the television and i didn't feel like staying at work a minute longer, i drove aimlessly until i found myself making the right turn to SM sucat. my feet took me from one floor to the next until i was standing in front of several parlors.

going straight was advertising x-tenso but i didn't feel like blowing my tuition money in exchange for beautiful, lovely hair, so it was a no-go. i could have gone to let's face it for a facial, but i didn't exactly relish any of my experiences there, or in any of those facial centers that have sprouted up like mushrooms either. david's and i haven't really been on the best of terms, with the exception of this girl who does their threading in festival so that wasn't an option either.

i was ready to give up on my quest for the ultimate parlor experience when i spotted a barbershop. yup, a barbershop. i peered through the windows and it seemed like EVERYONE was having quite a relaxing time. maybe a manicure and a pedicure, i thought, since it was one of those "full service salons". i inquired and they said, yes, they also cater to women.

i've always wondered about those lovely barber chairs and when i finally parked my ass in one, i realized why men kept their hair short: god, it was such a treat sitting in those ultra-luxe, ultra-comfortable chairs. if all my haircuts were to be in those lovely chairs that can do anything, i'd cut my hair every single week too.

wait, i'm digressing, as i always do.

anyway, as the lady was doing my pedicure, i couldn't help but glance at everyone else. everyone seemed like they were having the works done. there's this guy getting a massage, another one getting a facial, and yet another one getting his hair dyed. there was this lady having her foot scrubbed while here face was under this blue mask. and everyone - EVERYONE - was asleep!

i quickly inquired about prices, negotiated a bit, and it was not long before i was likewise having the works done on me.

three hours later, and a wallet significantly lighter, i emerged from the barbershop. my fingernails were lovely squovals and my toenails were painted a pretty shade of tan. my face was devoid of all the little black spots that no apricot scrub can wash away. my hair was shiny and bouncy (walang sabit!). and all the knots on my back were gone.

and what do you know. i didn't feel pangit. not one bit.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

almost two years ago, i had to undergo an operation where one of my ovaries was surgically removed to save my entire reproductive system. while it did not make me any less of a girl (just check out my shoe-bag-clothes ratio), it somehow pushed me into a dating frenzy which resulted in less-than-desirable boyfriends.

yesterday, as we were eating lunch at home, my brother asked me if the thought of marriage ever crossed my mind. of course yes, i answered, thinking back on those many nights when i'd count how many months i had to go before the two-year deadline imposed by my doctor. much like any woman my age, i had the husband, kids, and house with picket fences dream. i prayed for the elaborate wedding, practiced signing my name with various last names (admittedly, in the middle of boring law school lectures i still do that, sometimes), and planned my entire entourage. all those friday and saturday nights spent alone at home i sometimes panicked, thinking that maybe my future mate may be out there, partying, while i chose to curl up with a good book.

i used to have "the grand plan" implanted in my young, impressionable, 20-year-old psyche. i thought i'd get married at 25, do my master's in education and graduate by 27, and have my first child by 28. i hung on to two dying relationships, the first one with my college boyfriend which resulted in me not going to law school immediately after college, and another one with my work boyfriend.

but then i met gizelle, a girl from work who's pretty impressive in my book, and when i hitched with her home one day, i gained all the wisdom i should've picked up when i was 25, bitter, and blogging about my problems in general.

travel, she told me, and do everything you've always wanted to do. don't wait for the man of you dreams to fulfill your dreams for you, and don't make your dreams dependent on someone else. when the time is right, and when YOU are right, the right man will come. and when that happens, it'll be the best damn thing in the world. cause you're not giving up anything for him, you're actually ready for life with him.

and she's right.

so, right now, i may have the coolest boyfriend in the whole world., but on a good day, marriage is usually the last thing on my mind. because there's so much i have to do - as a single woman - before i'll be happy settling down with anyone. i'm slowly but surely paying off my dream car. i'm one semester away from law school graduation. i'm making sure that the five years i spent teaching does not go to waste by putting everything in place before i resign. i'm building bridges with my parents and my brother. i'm finding out who i am and what i want (aside from an endless stream of jimmy choo shoes). and maybe, when everything's cool with me, i'll be ready for that part called "us".

Sunday, October 31, 2004

while lounging in pajamas the entire day is the next best thing to lounging in your bathing suit by the beach, it has a major drawback: weight gain.

i've been plodding around the house in my pajamas for most of my semestral break. every so often i'd put myself in my binding office clothes to make an appearance in the office but my pajamas and i have been very good friends. i eat breakfast, watch all sorts of shows and their replays, cook lunch and dinner, and chat on the phone in my tank top and floral pajamas. it's great. it's liberating. it has come to the point that i've begun thinking of replacing all the waistbands of my pants with garters.

but then, last friday, i had to make an appearance at a party and since i didn't feel like going in my office clothes, i made a pit stop at home to change into jeans.

i tugged at them and pulled and plopped down on my bed so that i can zipper them up.

i was able to, but oooh-la-la ...

there's a huge roll of fat right above the waistband.

i swear. i had two cup a rolls of fat on my side. they actually seemed bigger than gwyneth's pre-baby boobs.

since that's pretty unacceptable. i peeled off my jeans before i fainted and tried on every pair in my closet.

i was not successful. they all cut off circulation.

maybe next week i'd find time to do the three-day diet and lose the promised ten pounds. maybe next week i'd put on my rubbershoes and begin doing my mtv exercise video which has helped me so many times in the past to get back into a respectable weight. maybe i'd cut back on rice and fried food which has been a staple for me and my brother. but for now, i'm back in my friendly pajamas. no pressure, no stress. just me and my fat roll happily chatting with my dad online.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

what would you do if your shoes turned out to be blue?

i bet men out there can attest to this: things are immensely different in natural light. that really hot looking chick in the bar last night just doesn't seem quite the same in sunlight does she? no wonder girls have been advised by cosmo all these years to never agree to an afternoon date until the guy has more or less pledged his love: the adoration that one gets in candlelight and soft accent lighting just isn't the same as one would get when under the full glare of the sun.

while i've never really been bothered by mood lighting (especially since i met pat at lunchtime, wet hair and all, while gorging on onion rings and buffalo wings, and clearly he didn't mind how i looked), natural light has caught me off guard more than once. the color combination that looked oh-so-right inside the dorm? a huge don't in real light. the soft blushed cheeks in dresser table light? clownish in sunlight. while i've avoided wearing THAT outfit again and have finally found the perfect blush application technique, there are things that you really can't prepare for.

i had a hearing yesterday and since one of the pasalubongs i got included this very chic and very respectable looking pair of anne klein pumps, i knew that it was meant to make its debut in the courtroom. unlike the pink pair which kicked ass, this one didn't pack that much of a punch. it sort of whispered "i am competent" and "i am composed" more than "i am so fashionable". call it lawyer-hot; i'm willing to bet that the judge - all 65 years old of her - would've thought i was a real lawyer instead of a law intern if only for the fact that i was wearing respectable shoes.

so there i was feeling all good and pretty and competent (forget the fact that i wasn't sure the subpoena has been properly served by the court, damn them sheriffs) until i swung my legs out of the car to make my way to the hall of justice (yes, that's really what they're called, no kidding) and realized that my kick ass competent shoes were blue.

i did a double take. were they just blue black? or was it just the reflection of, say, the sky that made them blue?

no they were blue. very dark blue, darker than navy, but still blue.

all of a sudden i felt stupid. there i was in a bright red top and a black dress suit and on my feet were what clearly was not a black pair of shoes. i mentally let out a silent curse for believing my aunt when she told me - quite excitedly - that my grandmother bought me a black pair of shoes. and unlike the past couple of months when i had at least five pairs of shoes in the car, yesterday all i had were my driving shoes and the, gasp, blue pair.

the judge turned out to be in a meeting and so the hearing was cancelled. while i planned to drop by the grocery and get some things done in OLA since i had taken the day off anyway, all i could focus on was the fact that i had a pair that didn't match my outfit. it was shallow, it was stupid, and it was that brand of girly-girl mentality that i sometimes hate - but god forbid that i'd stay out another minute in blue shoes.

Monday, October 18, 2004

that's it. the semester ended for me.

no drunken party, because i skipped out on the block party last saturday.

only me, and a really stuffed jimny full of boxes making my way home on a saturday evening. i arrived home to an empty house and opened my room to see a bed full of pasalubongs - some from my aunt, some from my dad, and some from my lola. i sniffed the intoxicating "imported" smell as i tried on my new shoes and and my new clothes. i then switched to pajamas and settled in bed, while still wearing my new pink shoes.

fyi - they're not pointy.

i thought i'd be more ecstatic, it being the end of the semester and all, but after sending out a couple of messages chanting "woohoo", it felt weird and empty.

maybe i'm just afraid of how things will be when school ends. because school ending does not only mean the end of a five-year dream in the making, sleepless nights, and tension over grades, it also means the end of a comfort zone. it means resigning from my job to prepare for the bar. it means leaving the dorm, and yes, leaving wilma and her antics. it means facing the question my dad, ex-boyfriend, and basically everyone has been asking me all this time:

what will you do after the bar?

until now, the answer is, i don't know.

what do i want (which is a totally different thing altogether)?

i want to travel. i want to be able to finally see the US and see snow fall from the sky. i want to be able to see what autumn is like in real life and wear knee high boots without looking stupid. i want to have the natural flush that comes from it being too cold. i want to try their roller coasters. i want to visit an outlet store and try on jimmy choo shoes in a boutique.

i want to rest. i want to stay in bed and sleep until i can't sleep anymore. i want to watch a movie without feeling guilty over the fact that i should be studying instead of watching some dumb movie.

i want to enjoy life. i want a stree-free existence. i want to bathe in the rain. i want to wax my car instead of bringing it to those carwash places. i want to sit in greenbelt and watch the kids pass by and think "thank god i'm not their age anymore."

don't we all want those (or some permutation thereof)? but then at the end of it all, our desire to live the great dream means the moment we are set free from one responsibility, we strap some new one to our backs. maybe it's the desire to continuously grow. or maybe it's just human nature. we never sit back to enjoy our triumphs. we jump from one challenge to the next, as if the moment we finally get done with one thing, we're longing for the next challenge.

so i guess i better catch myself. while my entire family is asking me what i'll do after law school, i'll sit in my little corner and wait.

i'll probably learn how to drink beer, from the bottle no less.
i'd teach all my girl friends how to change a flat tire.
i'd reorganize my books, my closet, and my shoes.
i'll learn how to cook sans rival and kare-kare for patrick.
i'll take another boat trip somewhere, alone, and be the helpless kid on board once more.

and at the end of that, i'd probably know what to do. and when i find out, don't worry, i'll tell you.

*a friend thought - after reading this post - that i'm done with law school for good. nope. i still have a sem to go. but it's just a sem, compared to the ten semesters i had to plod through at the beginning of it all, hence the tension. the end END of law school deserves a more ecstatic post.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

i had hoped to get through my first semester at the office of legal aid without much brouhaha. after all, i was your so-so law student. i definitely didn't shine, unlike my peers, and teachers would probably squint when i go up to them in the future, as if trying to place where and when they met me in their classes. i didn't hope to change the world, especially not when i squeak in fright at the thought of being the same room as prisoners.

but then, with only two of the six required compliances under my belt, i had to do some rethinking. and that included saying "yes" to a classmate who asked if i'd be willing to conduct the cross-examination at yesterday's hearing.

it was a criminal case, a homicide case at that, but going through the files, i felt pretty confident i could swing it. i spent a good part of the evening reading through year's worth of transcripts trying to get a clearer view of the case. i wrote my notes down in green ink (my own little tribute to mac c.) and conferred with the law intern in charge of the case regarding our strategy the following day.

in my trusty suit, non-pointy but nonetheless sexy shoes, and power bag, i thought i had my bases covered.

except my fellow law intern forgot to share with me one tiny detail: that the judge assigned to rtc br 121 happened to be adoracion angeles.


THE adoracion angeles who sent a couple of sweet old men to prison for soliciting without the necessary permit.

the ADORACION angeles who allegedly bitch-slapped her surrogate daughter.

the adoracion ANGELES who didn't get to the court of appeals because of a couple of cases currently filed against her.

i was lucky. she was having a good day. while that simply meant that she didn't shout at me for moments of incompetence, it also meant that i finally passed the halfway mark in compliances without so much as losing a limb.

but then, thinking long term, it also means another thing: that i will never EVER ever even begin to think i'd take on a case that will involve me being in caloocan city.

not even if it means never being able to afford my first jimmy choo shoes.

Monday, October 11, 2004

adopt me, why don't you?

before my mom left for the US almost two years ago, she gave me a choice: do i come back for your graduation or do i come back for the bar?

last time we chatted on the phone, she asked the same question.

and the answer has always been the same: the bar, of course.

while half (or more) the boys in my block joined a fraternity and a quarter of the girls in my class joined a sorority or an all-girls org in preparation for the bar, i've always resisted joining if only because i think it's pretty lousy to join any organization simply because you want to ensure that you'd have slaves at your beck and call for the bar. i've always thought my mom would be behind me 100% for the bar. we'd chat about how we'd both check in the hotel and we'd make a party of it, just me and her, bonding like we've done so many times in the past. for once, i didn't mind her missing out on a graduation, just as long as we get to hang out for the bar. i'm not looking forward to the beer-ops, i was actually looking forward to a smashing parlor time with my mom after four gruelling weeks of studying.

but then yesterday, when she called, she told me that she might not be able to make it for september. there are so many things she wants to avoid in the philippines, especially since the BIR is still making a big deal even if the business had already paid its income tax. apparently they want more, and she can't give more, not without endangering her own financial stability.

at first i thought it was okay. "just come visit me in the states when you're done with the bar," she said, adding "i'll even take you to disneyland." but then as they day wore on and as i stared at my glow in the dark stars that night, i realized that my mom had let me down.

i remember me and my brother asking ourselves so many times if our parents don't appreciate us. see, others get gifted with cars for simply graduating. we had to work our butts out just to get driving privileges. parents get excited when their children graduate with honors, mine expected us to graduate with honors. parents who have migrated call and write their children regularly. mine don't.

last christmas i was so depressed that i told a good friend who had 7 brothers and sisters if her mom and dad would be willing to adopt me for christmas. surprisingly, her parents said yes, and her siblings asked questions like "do we have to call her ate also?" and "what is she like?" but no one said "no". it never really pushed through, but for that brief moment, i felt some glowing feeling knowing that someone out there would not mind having me as their daughter.

so sometimes, i can't help but think, maybe someone out there would want a daughter like me. and if that someone is you, then you can be my mom, and i'll be your daughter.

and we can both enjoy that bottle of beer at the beer-ops like its the best damn tasting bottle of beer in the entire world.

Friday, October 08, 2004

final exams and happy feet sandals

tomorrow i'll have my first final exam for the semester. and by 4 p.m. tomorrow, i'd be done with 50% of the exams i have to take this semester.

exams are usually scary, at least for me. countless of exams have proven i am not an exam taker. you can make me do a paper, do a report in front of 50 angsty law students, recite even, but exams are a different thing altogether. nights before the exam i begin to get very sleepy, at least more sleepy than usual, and i develop ways and means to avoid stuyding. those papers i haven't checked all sem? i begin checking them. the mall? i begin to develop major URGENT needs, as in i HAVE to buy them, right now, ASAP, cannot be postponed another day.

which brings me to my second point: happy feet sandals. i had my first happy feet sandals way back in nursery when my entire class was going to sing magtanim ay 'di biro for graduation. part of our costume included bakya and somehow my fashion forward aunt and rule obeying mother believed that bakya as part of the costume meant authentic bakya hence the trek to buy happy feet sandals. and now, happy feet have made a comeback, and being the shoe whore that i am, i believed i wanted needed happy feet sandals, especially if i was going to take an exam i haven't prepared that much for.

early this morning, i began my search for happy feet sandals. i SMSd a student who told me they're available in galleria, but if i wanted, i could order from her friend who can give me my happy feet by next week. oh no, i replied, i need them tomorrow. after all, my first exam was going to be tomorrow.

to make the long story short, i spent a good part of this afternoon searching for happy feet, deciding between countless designs and wood color. in the end, i got a white one. i'm now a thousand bucks poorer (quite expensive for bakya, don't you think?)but what the heck: i'm definitely now looking forward to breezing into that exam room tomorrow, fully studied or not, in my happy feet sandals.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

three clues

i gave him three clues.

it's out of his comfort zone.
it has a great view.
it's cheap.

unlike all the saturdays we've had in the past, i SMSd him yesterday that i'm taking care of this weekend's plans. all he had to do was to make sure he'll be in shangri-la mall by 5.

do i have to bring a car, he asked?

oh no, i answered, just make sure your driver drops you off there. i'll be the one to take you home.

the entire day, he kept asking me, what is it? what is it?

and all i could say was, it's something you've never done before.

see, i really enjoyed watching my first live basketball game with him. and i thought, why not repay the favor? let me be the girl to take him on a date he'll never forget.

can i wear shorts and rubbershoes, he asked.

yup, i replied. the more casual your outfit, the better.

it's not naman drugs, right? he asked me. he reasoned out that it's something he's never tried before, and that the trip will give you such a great view of what not, it's definitely out of his comfort zone, and rugby, after all, is cheap.

i had to laugh. nah, while i enjoy the smell of gasoline and rugby, i wasn't into doing drugs.

i hope he enjoys the surprise, and i hope it turns out to be an experience he'll never forget.

what's the date all about?

you can guess. i've given you three clues, haven't i?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

when the rebound lasts longer than the relationship

a rebound, except in basketball, is never a good thing. while a basketball rebound means you finally nailing that almost non-existent lead in the last 2.2 seconds of the game, a relationship rebound means you were too weak to be alone in your misery. while a basketball rebound is celebrated, a relationship rebound is kept hush-hush, a dirty little secret between you and the other party. and while a basketball player is praised for his ability to jump quickly to the rescue of the loose ball, a guy who preys on a girl who just got off a relationship gets thrown a look of shame, as if to tell him how dare he date someone while she's hurting.

a rebound is generally short-lived. you have to literally grab the ball a make a run for it before everyone else knows what's happening. you shoot, hoping that you score, but then if you don't, at least you had that brief shining moment where everything was in your hands.

at first i thought pat was nothing but a rebound. i did, after all, intend to set him up with my friends. i remember us exchanging sms, finding people we know in common, and setting up our first gimmick together, just you and i, without the people responsible for introducing us to each other. funny how two days later, the guy and i broke up, and funny how the reason for the break-up had nothing to do with you at all. you were my rebound relationship. i clung on to you, probably hoping that somehow, being with someone as gorgeous and amazing as you would validate my self-worth.

i doubted you. sometimes, i tried to justify what we had to myself. i didn't really believe it when you told me you loved me, and that you wanted to be with me. there were times when i probably nearly ruined what we had with my paranoia. i keep expecting this to end all too soon.

i don't know. maybe you just get a kick out of proving me wrong. or maybe, i should just learn to enjoy this. somehow, we're both learning to be comfortable with each other. we're less combative, and we're kinder to each other. we've learned that in the middle of the other one's tampong pururot (which is all it really is if you think about it) all we need is to smile and say "i love you" until the other person calms down.

the tidbits i know about you hasn't really increased in number. and while we both cheered for la salle, i doubt if we'll be cheering for the same side when the NBA opens this november. but what the heck.

if rebounds last longer the relationship, then there's nothing that a little NBA rivalry could do to hurt us.

Friday, October 01, 2004

animo la salle

standing way up in the upper box, surrounded by a sea of green, it might have seemed weird to see me, a girl who has never been in the la salle system, cheering along with the crowd. while the players were warming up, and while the pep squad was warming up the crowd as well, the cheers were a bit alien to me. however, by halftime, with the score tied at 32, i could not help but join the frenzy. after all, mac cardona, from the sidelines, was raising both hands as if to say, "keep the cheers coming!"

it was my first time to watch a big basketball game live. pat, after having watched game 1 and after la salle lost at game 2, promised me that we'd watch game 3. i was excited. very. not even the thought of having to sit (actually, stand) way up in upper box b derailed my resolve to be there to cheer my dear mac cardona on.

by first quarter, i knew i got lucky. while i would have wanted my team to be the runaway winner, feu challenged my faith in the archers. every so often, they'd catch up, even take the lead. and even though la salle had a 10 point lead coming into the 4th quarter, it was not long before the feu crowd was back into a cheering frenzy: la salle was down by 2 in the last minute and a half of the game.

everything that happened after that was pure serendipity. casio sunk a 3-pointer and miranda's shot -- in slow motion -- circled the ring once, twice, and inexplicably, tumbled out of the basket. cardona got the rebound, sunk in 2 free throws, and unless the entire green and gold crowd was praying to st. jude at that time, they had no chance in earth to win.

it was the absolute best game ever, and the la sallians were amazing. whether the archers were winning or not, the crowd cheered like there was no tomorrow. even those with seats hardly sat down the entire game. it was one cheer after the other. on the other hand, the feu crowd would be quiet when their team was losing, and would resurrect only after santos sinks in another shot that puts them in the lead. UP snob-ness notwithstanding, i was actually proud to be in the green and white corner, waving my green and white pompoms, shouting D-L-S-U animo la salle! the entire time.

and oh, mac cardona, you're my MVP.
(incidentally, ang puti mo pala!)

Thursday, September 30, 2004

don't you know how garlic butter smells like?

somehow, i've manage to survive the UP dorm system my entire college life and half of my law school life. while i've learned to live with communal bathrooms, the lack of running hot water, incessant chattering day and night, and beady eyes checking out how my current boyfriend looks like, i cannot have a difficult time accepting the fact that cheap - and relatively acceptable accommodations - come with hormonally challenged old ladies who do nothing but exchange gossip and throw away garlic butter that does not belong to them.

you might find me cheap, pathetic even, to be ranting about someone throwing away my garlic butter. but when you used your last money to buy it one day from pan de manila, and was terribly looking forward to eating it with hot steaming pan de sal after a particularly long day, you can't helped but be ticked off upon finding that someone has thrown away your dinner, or what would have been a big part of your dinner.

still believing in the good nature of people in the dorm, i actually spent almost five minutes looking for it in the overcrowded refrigerator. among other things, i found a bottle of gin, a paper cup of what was probably soda ten weeks ago from wendy's, and eggs that seem to have grown into chicks already in the ref but not my garlic butter. a middle-aged lady approached me, asking what i was looking for, and i said, well, i couldn't find my garlic butter.

apparently, someone cleaned out the ref over the weekend (clearly missing the mutated soda, hrmph!) and upon smelling the contents, probably thought that since my butter smelled unlike any butter she has seen inhaled before, threw my butter along with other not-so-right-smelling things that were infesting our wing's refrigerator.

i couldn't help it. i whined. "maybe she didn't know garlic butter was supposed to smell that way. she shouldn't have messed with it in the first place."

two days later, i was actually over it, payday having arrived and the possibility of buying another tub of garlic butter has presented itself once more. however, this morning, my roommate (wilma, you ALL know her, right?) told me that some people were chatting about my garlic butter last night. apparently, they were saying that if it were garlic butter i should have labeled it (clearly they don't know how to read the label on the container, duh.) and written "do not touch" across the cover (last time i checked my ms. manners, no one was supposed to touch what clearly did not belong to you.)

oh well. i've got another semester to go in that place. i don't know where they'll be next year, or five years after that but i know where i'll be:

i'll be where garlic butter tubs don't disappear from refrigerators.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

handcuffs and the color yellow

i get a natural high when appearing in court while wearing a suit and stilettos, with my hair neatly pulled back in a low ponytail and my power bag slung carelessly over my shoulder. call it my ally mcbeal complex. something about being all dressed-up in a world where mostly male lawyers dominate gives me a kick that no shopping trip can ever give.

no matter how hot that courtroom is, you'd feel like breezing in. you tend to sit up straighter, and smiles are somewhat brighter than usual. you approach the clerk of court, introduce yourself, and ask if the opposing counsel is present already. you sit and wait for the roll call, where you stand and blurt out, "law intern rosa xxxxxxxxxx, for the defendant, appearing under the direct control and supervision of the up college of law office of legal aid and my supervising lawyer atty. roque, we are ready, your honor."

in family court, you usually get lucky. the room is filled with overpaid lawyers in barongs or suits, who opt for postponements, owing to one reason or another. their clients are generally pretty, sweet-smelling, and quite young ladies in their 30s or 40s, or handsome, rich powerbrokers, who want nothing but an annulment. sometimes, you come across custody battles, still between rich, beautiful people. more often than not, you're the one with the client who's most shabbily dressed, the client who had to scrimp and save to make it to the hearing that day.

today, however, i had to venture out of my 2 favorite courtrooms, rtc 106 and 84 in qc, and found myself in rtc 124, caloocan. while the building was new, the atmosphere really was the same. and unlike before where i pretty much dealt with people who just want out of a bad marriage, today's case was a criminal case for libel.

in my best, most unlegalistic tagalog, i was trying to explain something to my witness when a horde of people started coming in. i made nothing of the policeman who entered, probably cause i wasn't driving and so my license would be, for the meantime, be safe in my wallet, but then the first two rows began being filled up with men in yellow.

forget what they show on television where prisoners are men whose heads are shaved wearing orange with a big P at the bag. in the philippines, they wear bright yellow shirts, and they are handcuffed to one another.

at first, i tried to make nothing of it. if i want to be in litigation, men in yellow and handcuffs shouldn't intimidate me, right? however, having gone through the revised penal code only the night before, crimes began running through my head.

and not your ordinary crimes, mind you, the heinous ones.

did that guy murder someone? is the one he's cuffed to a rapist? what about that other guy?

it was not long before i had to get out of that room. quickly.

forget poise. forget confidence and charm and appeal. ally mcbeal never had to sit five inches away from a probable murderer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

school snob

gary and i are friends.
gary and i get along. sometimes.
gary and i have the greatest conversations which means that we sometimes spend an inordinate amount of time chatting over the phone or over potato fritters at the tent.

gary and i generally agree, and i'd like to think that since he likes hanging out with me so much (he!he!) that he actually loves my company like anything, but the moment i begin to say anything about schools, colleges, universities, and diplomas in general, he looks at me weirdly and begins to shake his head in that weird way of his. his voice becomes high-pitched, and he cannot help but squint at me.

he believes i'm pretty illogical.

see, i've always been a school snob. my "checklist" even includes an item indicating where i prefer my future husband to have graduated from. and no matter how crappy the educational system sometimes get, i still believe in the power of the diploma.

come on. no matter what you say, with all things being equal, you would hire a UP law graduate over, say, a graduate from the harvardian school of laguna, right?

so i think gary's a bit scared. i'm watching the la salle-feu game tomorrow.

guess who i'm cheering for.

yeah. i'm a school snob.

Monday, September 27, 2004

random tidbits:

* my brother started blogging. i remember him writing a very short story when we were kids, bottles of beer, then leaving it out for everyone to ready. by the end of the day, everyone was hooked (it didn't have a proper end) but since he didn't admit he was the one who wrote it, we all ended up gushing about it while wondering about how it ended. right after he got stabbed and before the doctors decided whether to go on with a heart-bypass or not, he told me wrote bottles of beer. unfortunately, he couldn't remember how he wanted to end it.

needless to say, he writes better, way better, than i do.

* i'm glad feu won, but not that mac cardona lost out to arwin santos. since feu won, i've a date to watch the finals at araneta this thursday.

while my dear MISGUIDED friend believes that feu will win, i've got my money on mac and the boys. arwin's running on the high being mvp brought him, and mac was on a slump. ty tang's got a lot of promise, and yeo was just not THAT fueled yet, owing probably the the lack of tenorio to make his adrenaline run like mad. feu may have won 3rd place in cheering (in that absolutely weird "let me look like the people who do ice sledding/ racing whatever cheerleading costume) and 1st place last year, but i do love my dear mac cardona and i've got my bets on him.

* ara, i've got a plan. email you later.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

today i made a not-so-significant-but-still-a-contribution-nonetheless to our fiscal problems.

i got caught by an mmda.

i didn't bribe, although i was itching to do so.
i didn't cry, only because i was not capable of doing so.
i didn't run, there was a traffic light preventing me from doing so.

my hands shook while i texted a friend about what happened. still, i waited patiently inside my car as the traffic enforcer rattled on and on while writing my ticket.

calmly, i hope, i asked him if my license would not be confiscated and if all i had to do was pay the ticket at the nearest metrobank branch.

he nodded.

ten minutes later, i had my license, plus a ticket, and was on my way back to where i was supposed to go.

and at 12 noon, i made my way to a metrobank branch and made my P500 contribution to the mmda budget.

all in a day's work.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


blogging on a daily basis can be difficult, and i'm rarely able to do it, but me, blogging twice in a day, that's a rarity.

but when your school's assistant dean practically forces you to get married and settle down with your boyfriend of five months because, in her words, he's got postura, well, you do find yourself attracted to a computer with an internet connection and begin blogging. immediately.

at 27, i know what pressure feels like. it's your roommate looking at you with pity because you're currently unattached. it's you hanging on to that single ovary left in your reproductive system hoping against all hope that it functions perfectly when you need it to do its job. it's attending countless weddings of friends and relatives and baptisms of friends' kids.

pressure is also an ex getting someone pregnant a couple of WEEKS after he got mad at you for not telling him that you've begun to date someone else.

but i'm also tired of the pressure. i'm tired of proclaiming, yet again, that so and so is THE ONE. i'm tired of optimism over small gestures, of empty promises of the future and what not. i'm tired of looking at wedding pictures of people i don't know while idly planning how my own wedding will be like.

this afternoon, while the assistant dean coolly interrogated me about my relationship with pat, i had to restrain myself from digging my stilettos onto her shin and grabbing her coiffed salt and pepper hair. the pressure's killing me. and asking about it ain't helping.

not one bit.
fast forward to today

i've got a couple of quirks: i go through archives of blogs i like, i memorize gasoline prices (currently pegged at 26.84, but only 26.72 at my favorite caltex gas station), i measure days and weeks based on significant events (i.e. same time last week it was the foundation day conference), and i can't sleep the night before a significant event.

i also have an internal calendar running through my head.

which makes it awfully weird that not only did i get the date of an important hearing wrong (turns out it was september 29 and not september 23 as i had written down in my planner in orange ink!) but i also forgot that it was a wednesday today, nearly making me a traffic violator should i have failed to park in my slot by 7:00 a.m.

maybe i'm just really, awfully, majorly tired these days. in the thick of things last week, while crawling under a table to lay down newspapers on top of the carpet to make sure paint doesn't ruin it, i was thinking, what would i give for it to be saturday already. but then saturday came and went, and so did sunday, and before i knew it, it was wednesday already and i don't exactly remember what i've been doing the last couple of days. i do remember dinner with a good friend though, and a new friend being unable to make the abovementioned dinner. desperate for something non-law related and non-partisan (the collegian these days is trash, i tell you, them writing against everyone they don't like and gushing over anyone who writes anything that reeks of hate and "gloria tuta" lines), i bought a second-hand book from books for less.

i crashed into bed yesterday with my new book and fell asleep intermittently until it was time to wake up. maybe the 8-hour sleep (with a few breaks in between) did me some good. hopefully, i'll get my internal calendar back, right in time for next semester where i plan to take a couple of review courses as electives and finally, after three semesters, enroll in labor arbitration.

incidentally, and totally off-topic, it will be christmas soon. in case you're feeling might generous, and what not, here's my wishlist from coach. have fun.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

they a say a child has great insight. and they say that a child would say things that no one else, not even your very best friend, would tell you.

i've always thought i looked hot and fashionable in my sexy, pointy stilettos, until today when a kid in pre-school approached me and started pressing that part of my shoe where no human toe has gone before. after a couple of seconds, he looks up to me and asks, "why are your shoes like this?"

for once, i didn't have anything to say. i looked at him helplessly and tried to make do with a smile. not to be deterred, he continued looking at me, then my shoe, then at me again and pursued his line of questioning, "why are they pointed?"

i could have said to him, "well, all the sex and the city girls wear them" or "aren't you aware that they're the in thing right now?" i could have told him how pointy shoes make your feet look narrow and how pretty they look peeking out of the bottom of your pants. i could have given him a million and one reasons. but i didn't. i was stumped.

dear sweet little boy, i'll admit it. i don't know the answer to your question. but you know what? tonight i'd look at my shoe rack and all my pointy pumps. i'd think back on times such as this, and this, two of the numerous times i've gone home with a nice pointy shoe inside a paper bag. i'd think of the times i nearly sprained my ankle after having tripped and the times i've had to massage my feet after the muscles have cramped from being in an unnatural position the entire day. because, at that very minute, i understood perfectly well what you were thinking: unless my feet were triangular, i had no business wearing triangular tipped shoes instead of round ones.

Monday, September 13, 2004

me, and relationships with men with cars

being more of a commuter than someone who gets driven around in cars, my checklist guy never needed to have a car. we can ride a tricycle, a up-philcoa jeep, or the MRT every single date of our lives and it would not really matter to me. in fact, the long, feel-good, fuzzy relationships in my past, the ones that lasted long enough to celebrate an anniversary instead of simply month-sarries, were with sweet, caring, and loving car-less men.

on the other hand, relationships i've had with men with more desirable modes of transportation (read: car) have all come to awful, if not terrible, endings.

i don't know. maybe a car shares in the affection they could have given me.

last saturday, i crossed the five-month, one week, and one day barrier i've had when it comes to relationships with men with cars. and it got me thinking.

is it the car that's the issue or is it just the boy?

i don't care. i'm glad i've gotten rid of the men in my past, with cars or without, because now i'm with pat. he drives "victoria" and i drive "spike" and it doesn't really matter who has a car sometimes. we've yet to try commuting though, although i did promise him a ride on the mrt one of these days. together, we crossed the my relationship barrier and dates are still as sweet as ever. we still manage to sneak a kiss when we get to "our traffic light" and we still go out on dates every weekend. on the rare occasion that both of us are car-less, we make the date come to us through delivery (we've got a white board full of take-out numbers!). we're looking forward to our first out-of-town trip together (enchanted kingdom does not count as out of town!), if and when that happens.

so there.

Friday, September 10, 2004

end of the week

it's the end of another week and i am exhausted. (incidentally, so is wilma and therefore we haven't chanced upon each other awake. no wilma stories this time around.)

work and work-related stuff, not to mention law school and everything else that goes with it, have turned me into a grumpy, tired bitch.

an UGLY grumpy tired bitch.

and so i am itching to crawl into the nearest parlor and have something done.

like get my crabby, bitten nails buffed, scrubbed, and manicured. and get my now-wild hair relaxed, colored, and trimmed.

then crawl into the nearest spa and have my aching back kneaded and my tired feet scrubbed and pampered and my legs waxed so i can wear a skirt again.

but then i've got stupid little things on my to do list such as "do the laundry" and "buy shampoo and conditioner". then i've got a big event coming up next week where i'm practically at wit's end just trying to make sure i've got all my bases covered.

whew. it's friday and i'm supposed to be shutting down for the week.

but i can't.

dang. i don't even have a clean pair of pants to wear tomorrow.

no rest for the weary.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

i know i screwed up my master's degree by never finishing my thesis.

and i know that law school has its ups and downs for me, sometimes more downs than ups.

i'm definitely sure that i'll never get around to getting a ph.d. attached to my name, unless some university in the future decides to award me an honorary degree.

but i do know that eating fish won't make you a vegetarian.

yup, it's another w story.

last night, i had a styro full of cold calamares from a party and w was having fish and rice for dinner. both of us were pretty engrossed in what we were reading so conversation was quite minimal, until she piped up,

w: rosa, pag kumain ka ba ng fish vegetarian ka pa din?

believing her to be joking, or at the very least asking a trick question, i vehemently shook my head.

r: it's still meat. eating vegetables will make you vegetarian.
eating fish, won't.

not finished with her analysis, she ventured on, "but fish don't have cellulose."

now, without the power of google, i'm definitely at a loss as to what cellulose is and what it has to do with meat, but i remained steadfast and let out my on weak argument. "eh diba, fish meat. hindi naman leafy green fish?"

and i let out some more. "even chicken is meat, and i don't think it doesn't look anything like pork or beef either."

unconvinced with the wisdom of my arguments, she continued testing my knowledge. "so ibig sabihin mo lahat ng seafood, meat? kahit yung calamares mo?"

believing i had won the argument, i nodded, "oo naman. para maging vegetarian ka, dapat hindi karne ng animal ang kinakain mo."

i'm glad i was sleepy and i'm glad she got tired of it because i don't know how i could have explained what a vegan was to her.

Friday, September 03, 2004

my phone's turning a year old this weekend, but one look at it and you think it's older than that. it's taking such a beating the last year that i had it, and sometimes, when i see my brother's new phone or pat's hi-tech gadget, i can't help but want something new, nice, and scratch-free. however, at the end of the day, i know i love my phone and wouldn't trade it with anything else.

my life the past year has been so much like my phone. i've taken such a beating -- my first 5 ever, the incident with jay, the my parents' eventual separation, and the stress of continuing to work full-time in a sometimes thankless job -- that i feel i've aged more than a year in the last 12 months.

but much like scratches and dents on your phone's casing has a little story to tell, like how the first major scratch on the screen's left corner came from that time when you were exchanging SMS with your crush when your phone took a nosedive on the concrete floor, each battle scar tells you something about how the past year was. There are things you'd rather forget, but there are things which you proudly bear also. That little callo that began forming on your little toe came from wearing stilettos during your first hearing ever. roots showing shows how long you've been with your new love affair, recalling the mad rush to the parlor to have perfectly-colored hair the day he arrived from bangkok.

yesterday, i had the worst day of my life. it seemed like everything that could go wrong, did. but today, i don't know. somehow things are a bit better. when i was in the courtroom this morning, a couple of young boys were handcuffed to each other, apparently in jail for some misdemeanor, awaiting their hearing. a couple of guys who were obviously still in college had an aunt in tow, ready with their 30,000 pay-off for their attempted murder case.

yup, life can be worse than the life i'm leading.

so what if my one-year-old phone has the biggest and most awful dents any one-year-old phone has seen? it's still much better than a whole lot of other phones out there.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

they say that while you can't pick family, you can pick friends.

what they didn't tell you was that like family, you can't pick roommates either, at least not in the UP dorm system.

this is my third year with w, my dear roommate. four (or is it three?) years younger than me, she has provided countless hours of entertainment, especially with her lord of the rings analysis, and innumerable advice, especially when it comes to what she believes i should do with my lovelife. w has become a favorite lunch topic, boring office lunches perks up suddenly when i utter the magic words, "hey, i've got a w story."

now don't get me wrong. i like w, she's cool and she doesn't pretend she's all high and mighty even when she's on her way to earning a ph.d. at 23. but after the third day in a row where she left her desk light on (and therefore off-limits for me) before she left, a girl who can't sleep with the lights on can only take so much. i just gotta share some w stories.

such as when one day, as she was leafing through a cosmo i lent her, she suddenly let out a large gasp. panicky, she asked me, "rosa, pwede ka daw mabuntis kahit sa labas lang"

brain fuzzy from reading public international law, i replied, "labas lang ang ano?"

now on account of my desire to be not too graphic, you know what came after that. having read the same article, i authoritatively replied, "of course. they can swim, you know."

w doesn't usually trust me, believing i sleep more than any self-respecting student should, but when what i said jives perfectly with margie holmes' proclamations, i am the bomb.

she panicked, very much so, because apparently, while she claims to be one, they've been doing everything but the girl, if you get my drift.

she doesn't trust my knowledge of criminal law ("sabi ng isang ph.d. sa physics hindi daw pwedeng homicide yung charges kasi sa labas naman daw ng house nangyari. kaya nga homicide dahil galing sa word na home. babagsak ka na talaga sa bar, rosa!"), she doesn't trust that hey bf is the father of the 9-year-old child living with him ("hindi niya anak yun, no! i-pa-pa-dna test ko yung bata!"), and most of all, she doesn't trust me, such as one day when we were discussing about marriage and the white gown.

w: alam mo ba kung bakit white ang gown pag wedding?
r: oo. it's for purity.
w: so hindi ka pwede mag-white pag di ka na virgin (yes, it also seems to me that this is her favorite topic)
r: hindi na uso yun. diba may time na ecru yung uso? basta kung anong gusto mo isuot, bahala ka.
w: hindi ha. sabi ng pinsan ko pag nag-white ka daw nagsisinungaling ka.
r: kanino?
w: sa pari.
r: eh di mag-confess ka ulit.

now since that was such a heathen thing to do ...

r: (di nagpapatalo, as always) at saka, w, hindi naman nakasulat anywhere na kailangan virgin ka para mag-white.
w: ah basta. ako nga ayoko mag sobrang white pero kasi pag hindi white ang suot mo, hindi ka na virgin.

we've had funnier, weirder, and sometimes, i just ask myself, why do i even bother?

i don't know.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

"you lied when you said in your blog you weren't a movie person!" a friend told me yesterday as i proceeded to point out movies that i want to watch in the near future.

i didn't honestly know what he was thinking when i invited him to watch now that i have you with me. another friend gave me passes when she found out that i wanted to watch a movie. "watch it anywhere, even rockwell" she said "as long as you don't do it on a sunday or a holiday. bring pat"

well i did want to bring pat with me but (1) he didn't like abs-cbn and its affiliated companies (he claims he's kapuso) and when he finally did say yes (2) stupid teacher extended class the day we were supposed to watch and i arrived 10 minutes after the movie started showing. since we were both hungry and parking was a horrible mess and he didn't even know which side of megamall had the movie theaters which meant i'd have to look for him on top of being late already, i said, ok, let's just watch it next time.

exams + rain + busy schedule + katamaran = rosa not being able to watch movie.

i nursed those passes for two weeks, checking click the city every so often to make sure it was still showing. i invited and un-invited people to watch with me, and people invited and un-invited themselves to watch with me. but yesterday, when work was just really awful and going home to the dorm seemed like a very lame thing to do, i called a good friend who i had enjoyed many good (and bad) movies with and ask him to watch with me.

he was shaking his head in disbelief, sniffing every so often to remind me that i pulled him out of bed and that he was quite sick, thankyouverymuch. i dragged him over to cinema 8, bought popcorn and awful-tasting 7-up, and then settled down.

two hours later, we emerged, laughing and kidding ourselves that it was better than any movie either of us had seen in the last couple of weeks. yes, it was a tagalog movie (*snobs*) and yes, we watched it in a theater which leaves much to be desired in terms of features and what not, but at the end of the day, it was a movie which we both enjoyed, a movie that kept us laughing every so often, and a movie that was best shared with a good friend.

Monday, August 30, 2004

cookies made me cry

an exam is never a good thing. an exam on a sunday is even worse. my entire weekend was reduced to that short time between "end of exam" and "time to go to sleep so i make it at a decent time to work on a monday". i tell you: exams are nothing but a teacher's way of torturing you.

i digress.

my teacher, on account of the scheduling difficulties, decided to have our midterms on a sunday. since i only get to see pat on weekends when i go home, this almost amounted to sheer torture. part of me wanted to cave in to self-imposed pressure and go home to bf. the more sensible part of, which thankfully prevailed, told me to stay put in the dorm and study my ass off. i faced my weekend of studying armed with two grocery bags full of chips, raw food for cooking (which i actually don't do, which meant that me in the dorm kitchen elicited gasps of surprise and bewilderment from the kitchen regulars), and a 1.5 gallon container of water, plus a promise from patrick that we'd go out on a date after my exam.

sunday dates, especially on that one special sunday when your dad is in town for a manila-bangkok flight, are a bit tricky for pat. up until the last minute, i didn't really count on him coming all the way to UP to take me out. but then he was right there, parked in the deserted law complex parking lot, ready to take me out.

and take me out he did. we went to the podium, where we had a simple dinner at thai in a box where he allowed me to pick the appetizer of my choice. he then took me for desert at pagliacci where i had the most divine mint ice cream. we strolled around, hand in hand, and ten minutes before the movie started, we settled down in our seats with our usual huge tub of popcorn, softdrinks, and a bar of chocolate.

except that a minute after settling down, he excused himself. bathroom call, he said. he didn't reappear until much later with a huge bag from plaid. he asked me to close my eyes -- he had a surprise he said -- and when i did, handed me a bag containing two huge chocolate chip cookies from subway.

see, right before the exam, when the pressure was all there and i was tense and scared and all that, i sent him an SMS saying that i'm going to buy me a chocolate chip cookie if a get out of that exam room alive. bagoong rice plus finally tasting that mint ice cream that dindin was raving about made me forget about the promise i made to myself.

he didn't.

and so cookies made me cry.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

lest you think i'm a smelly old fart, no pun intended, i turned my attentions to better things...

like commuting.

there's this stupid dude in the philippine government who suggested to the big three that maybe they should increase gas prices in small, but frequent, increments. well give them an idea, why don't you? well, the big three probably thought, "hey that's a good idea" and went to increase gas prices every f*cking week.

did they think it would make it a wee bit easier? hell no. because no matter how much i fill my car with gas every possible moment i get, unless i dig a pit below our house and come up with a gas reserve, i'd still have to shell out way too much money for gasoline.

and since i've never been a princess, and a car really is a luxury i cannot afford anymore, i decided to commute. after all, the road rage is giving me a way too acidic stomach and pre-mature wrinkles every time i venture out.

i made a resolution: cars on weekends, cars on hearing days, and cars on days when i have to lug around my laundry. i can always pretend while riding the mrt that i'm in new york, right?

no. today, while my car was sitting pretty -- and quite dry -- in my basement parking slot over in ortigas, i was forced to venture out in the not-so-pretty rainy outside. i hesitantly stepped over muddy puddles and waited ...

... and waited...

... and waited ...

... and waited for a jeepney to arrive. after almost 20 minutes of standing in the rain, i caved in, and resolved to take a cab and forget all about saving money.

except no cab arrived. no jeep either.

an hour and a half + very wet shoes + very wet pants later, i arrived in the office.

commuting again?


but not any time soon.

Monday, August 23, 2004

in the past, there were things your grandmother avoided showing your grandfather before they got married.

how she looked without coiffed hair and make-up.
her upper arms and thighs.
her room.

but then there was the 70's and then we all got a bit less conservative, even us filipinos, and then our parents tried being "friends" with us by being as lax as they could without getting us pregnant. the result? your boyfriend probably knows a lot about you.

i'd like to say that pat and i are fairly close. we've shared pretty embarrassing stories about our past. a couple of weeks ago, we went on a date just to play "truth or dare" where we didn't only ask sensitive questions but also "yucky" questions about each other. we've seen each other in ratty pambahay clothes. we've cried and laughed and shared special occasions together. one particularly awful day, i broke down in front of him and he accepted me at my worst.

but then yesterday, i did the unthinkable.

it was unplanned. it was something i didn't plan on doing anytime soon. if i had my way, it would never have happened at all, not in this lifetime, not even in the next.

i let out a loud fart.

::you can snicker now, you evil blog reader you!::

i'm glad it didn't smell, and i'm glad it was loud but it was a short one. but in a living room where there was only the two of you, it was undeniable. it was mine.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

lemon in your kili-kili and then some

let me turn you off by sharing that my armpits aren't pretty. they're not commercial worthy, unless i'm the "before" of that skinwhite commercial. so this morning, upon the advice of a very knowledgeable student who swears by this procedure, i rubbed lemon juice on my armpit.

i'd like to believe they're a little prettier after the procedure.

after oatmeal on your face (to exfoliate) and cucumber slices on your eyes (to reduce puffiness), i'm beginning to think that the kitchen has more things in store for my "beautification" than my vanity table and medicine cabinet combined. however, at the end of the day, i still have some problems that you -- yes you! -- may be able to help me with.

how do i remove hard water stains in my bathroom?
how do i prevent pretty fabric insoles from getting dark (i wash my feet and powder them like crazy but after a while the fabric insoles of some of my shoes still get dark where my feet touch them)?
how do i prevent ingrown hair after waxing?
what's the best way to prevent leg hair from growing back too soon?
how do i make my hair grow long?
where's the best (and most affordable) place to get my hair relaxed?
who's the best stylist who can make my hair pretty?
who should i go to for eyebrow threading?
how do i shrink my pores?

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