Saturday, December 27, 2008

how i wish someone can fix my bad week like gilbert can fix a bad hair day ...

gilbert is my stylist. i've basically been with gilbert way before i became a lawyer ... i think i stumbled onto him after a particularly horrible day and i just wanted a haircut and he cut my hair in his no-nonsense way and left me feeling great. he won my undying affection though after i ruined my hair with a bad relaxing job at a cheap-o salon and he cut my hair into this stylishly short cut that some friends still rave about until this day.

gilbert = good hair = feeling fabulous = a happy rosa.

except that i've been having a bad week and i've cut my hair way too many times (and i'm actually loving my hair now, length and color included) to contemplate running to gilbert this time around.

and given this foul mood, i don't think gilbert - his wizardry notwithstanding - can fix it anymore.

so i'm planning to hie off to tagaytay, with my prayer paraphernalia, a couple of good books, and my atm (it's hard to be fabulous without money). i'll probably ditch my cellphone at home (cause it hurts to wait for a text message that never arrives) or maybe not (cause you never know if the text will actually arrive and bring you back to life). i'll stop figuring out MY life and start figuring out what GOD wants in my life. maybe it's time i let go and let God. i'm at the point where nothing feels right anymore and every little thing has become a reason to cry and grumble. i've been emo since monday and it's getting a bit old. as theo so lovingly put it, ate rosa, masyado ka mataba para maging emo.

and so i'm stopping.

for now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"be still and know that i am god"

if you've ever spent more than an hour with me, you'd know that while i am capble of a lot of things, the ability to sit still escapes me. i fidget, i move around, i stand from time to time, and when sitting takes its toll on me, i stand up and roam aimlessly just to have something to do.

case in point - i am unable to take long leisurely lunches and feel the immediate need to do something as soon as i finish wolfing down my food.

it's the same thing with the decisions i make. wrong as it may seem, i am not the type who has the patience to wait for something to bear fruit in its natural time. when i've made up my mind on something, i feel the immediate need to act on it, take the reins, and hammer out the details until i get what i want.

i think the only time i'm ever still is when i've crashed in bed after a terribly long and tiring day.

thus when God calls me to "be still" and trust in His promises (Psalm 46:10), i feel like fish out of water. i feel out of sorts, like i'm not being true to myself. so many times i've quarelled with God on this point, telling Him that this is how He made me to be - active, type A, a go-getter, never passive, never "helpless".

after a horrible fight with a friend, a fight that left me in tears, hurt, dejected, and wishing that i could hide underneath my blankets for the next week or so, i realized that this is what happens when i fail to be still. nothing that i start on my own efforts i can sustain till the end. it is God's grace that allows things to blossom beautifully in His perfect time. He is never late or never early, He is never too much or too little, rather, He is always perfect. A relationship with God isn't like cooking that depends on the person's taste and personality, rather it is like baking - precise, on time, never experimental. He is as dependable as the knowledge that watered chocolate will never form inside the mold. And like an expert pastry chef beating eggwhites, He knows exactly when soft peaks form, and when the peaks are perfect, and when to stop.

a beautiful article online reminded me that "personal initiative is no substitute for reliance upon God." on my own, my capacity is limited, my knowledge imperfect, my will unguarded. i, however, serve a perfect God. i can count on His promise that as His daughter, He will not allow anything that I cannot handle with His grace.

as 2008 draws to a close and 2009 beckons, my personal mission is to "know that he is God x x x not merely intellectually, but practically, spiritually, and emotionally. He is [my] God. He is the ruler of kingdoms of this earth and the all-powerful Creator of the Universe."

Without Him I am nothing, but with His grace, I can achieve the impossible, sitting still included.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

last weekend before christmas and i'm out gallivanting

but trust me, it's a good cause why i'm not out shopping for your gifts. it's my lola's 70th birthday!

(ok, if you're doing the math and you're thinking how can she be 31 with a grandmother that's 70 - my lola is actually my step-lola but she's the only lola i've known and since the beginning of time i've claimed to be her favorite although, bless her heart, she claims she loves everyone the same)

yesterday, a couple of friends and myself left manila a little before dinner to board a bus bound for cabanatuan, nueva ecija. thank goodness for the relatively light traffic, we were able to make it "home" before any of us fainted from hunger. and as we were greeted by lovely, lovely crispy pata, we were quite glad that we didn't succumb to hunger earlier. thirty minutes after we began all was left were the bones that were picked clean. happiness in an artery clogger. haha.

and then, lo and behold, we did videoke and since there were only the three of us, we all had to opportunity to hog the mike and sing all the songs we wanted to sing - from aegis, to tears for fears, to britney spears. good clean fun, until one of us fell onto the couch, asleep. that only meant one thing - go to our respective beds to get much needed rest.

in a couple of hours, my lola's friends will start arriving. that means i've got to get going and step out of my jammies to make myself presentable to the people who'll repeat the same mantra: (1) kaninong anak ka ba? (2) ang laki mo na pala? (3) saan ka ba nagtratrabaho? (4) aba'y kamukhang kamukha mo lola mo. tedious, at times, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

an open letter to the north pole

dear santa,

you know i've been good.

at least, as good as i could've been under the circumstances.

and since i've been pretty good, here's a list of the things i want this christmas. after all, with traffic being the ways it is nowadays (which may not really be your problem given rudolph and the gang) and the crowd that gathers outside mall doors as early as 9:30 a.m., i truly believe that making a list will make life so much easier for you.

here goes.

  1. a new laptop. i know i asked for this a couple of years back and my dad generously sent me the one he was using. but, see, the laptop just had to start dying on me. recently, i've been forced to lug it around with a full keyboard since some of the keys simply refuse to come alive no matter how much i've tried to revive them. a mac would be nice or one of those cool pink-colored notebooks. i'm not much of a techie so anything that: (1) gets me on the net, (2) allows me to play my games, (3) has windows and ms office, and (4) can be easily brought around - will suffice.
  2. a new camera. my old camera (1) destroys batteries (2) stops taking pictures in the most inopportune times and (3) refuses to work. i'm not going to pretend that i want one of those nikon thing-a-ma-jigs because, honestly, i wouldn't know what to do with all those features, and squinting while looking through the viewfinder isn't really my thing. all i want is the pink one that sony came out with (the one which automatically takes pictures when the subject/s smile). or something similar. all it has to do is take pictures ... and not die while doing it.
  3. a flat screen tv. it seems like the coolest thing to have. everyone has a nice tv. a plasma tv. or an lcd tv. or any kick-ass tv for that matter. my tv i've had since 1990. promise. clearly i've taken really good care of it. maybe its time to reward me with a new one?
  4. visa + airplane tickets + shopping money. my entire family - including my extended family - on both sides, plus my parents, plus one of my best friends, are all somewhere in north america. don't you think i deserve a white christmas too?
clearly, santa, i want big ticket items. but with the recession and all that, i'd understand if you'd want to go small this year. so maybe you'd consider any of the following instead:

  1. a planner i can use for work.
  2. a calendar with a page i can tear off each day.
  3. a portfolio bag where i can put files when i bring work home
  4. lots and lots and lots of sign pens for writing notes
  5. mont blanc refill
  6. a gift certificate for a day at the spa
  7. new sheets for my bed
still, sometimes, it's not the gift that counts but the thought, right? so maybe a couple of services would be nice, like:
  1. someone to help me clean the house
  2. a friend who can change the light switch in the kitchen to make it work again
  3. a plumber to fix all of my plumbing issues
  4. a gardener
  5. a pleading writer to finish all the stuff i have to finish before the end of the year.
and if none of these things tickle your fancy, well, any good old thing will do i'm the easiest girl in the world to please.



Thursday, December 04, 2008

there's a mickey in the office

at first i just heard the scratching noises that seemed to come from underneath the computer table. i asked the bookkeeper to check it out - she's not as afraid of mice as i am - and she maintained that nope, no mouse.

so i was able to breathe a little until one day i felt something touch my toe (was wearing peep-toes that day - guess what shoe won't be seeing the light of day for a while) and screamed a bit because of it but when i asked out pantry boy to check it out, again, nope, no mouse.

again, i relaxed. a friend even chastised me and said - ano ba yan, langgam at home, mouse at work. baka naman imagination mo na yan. maybe, i told myself.

until last tuesday when at the corner of my eye i saw a mouse scurry from underneath the computer table to the legs of the swivel chair. i prayed uber hard that it was, say, a giant cockroach (cockroaches i can live with) but when i poked the chair a bit, the mouse scurried back underneath the computer table.

okay. then i screamed. a silent scream. this is, after all, still a law firm.

the pantry man checked all over my room. wala na daw. since then, i had refused to put my feet on the floor and would step on she shelf beneath my computer table. my feet (and shoes) should have zero contact with evil rodent lurking around the office.

and then there was today. a partner saw the mouse again. then they began talking about it. then when i peeked out, the other partner said - hey, it must be your junkfood. i hear you eating.

oh no.

i wanted to say, it could be the billions of files around the office (mice love paper, right?). or the fact that there's wood all over (they love wood right?). or it could be that they climbed up from the 21st floor office of vita plus (if you work at the west tower of tektite and ever had to take a high rise elevator that passes by the 21st floor, you'd know why vita plus sales agents are hateful in our eyes) because they wanted something else aside from whatever it is that they sell at vita plus. but at the end of the day, i know deep in my heart that the mouse is most likely after my dingdong and chippy.

so, no more chippy. no more ding dong. no more junk food. for now. i think i can live without my junkfood if it means getting rid of mickey for good.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

survey says ...

hello everyone :)

as the newest associate in the firm, i'm tasked to do the christmas party gimmick for the firm. one of the games i thought of was to do our version of "the family feud", hence this survey. i hope you can all answer the questions here :)

1) what's the most gasgas christmas gift?
2) inappropriate gift for christmas
3) gift that if you receive, you'll most definitely reuse
4) staple noche buena food
5) where you will be spending christmas
6) when do you set up your christmas tree? (month only)
7) food item you look forward most to during the holidays
8) reason why you'd rather NOT have christmas
9) first thing that comes to mind when the word "christmas" is mentioned
10) famous christmas song

since i'll need a hundred people surveyed, i'll appreciate it if you can pass this to your friends and send back their answers to me too :)

merry christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

would you trust a lawyer wearing silver shoes with tiny balls?

yesterday i bought new shoes. call it the result of putting up on sale 25 pairs of shoes from your collection. all of a sudden, my shoe closet seemed so empty and in dire need of something to perk it up.

enter lovely silver shoes with silver balls and black grossgrain ribbon. factor in the fact that i saw them last saturday in alabang but they didn't have it in my size. add to that the fact that i saw them yesterday in megamall. think of a long, hard, difficult day writing a complicated pleading. now, wouldn't you also agree i deserve a new pair of shoes?

now, being the impatient person i am, i absoluted had to wear them today.

and so i did.

except that i forgot that one of the partners is taking me with him to a client meeting at two. i asked him yesterday if i should wear a suit and he said my normal clothes are fine. i just hope this also means that my sort of normal silver shoes with tiny silver balls are fine.

i sent a text message to my friends earlier asking if they'd trust a lawyer wearing silver shoes. my favorite reply came from rashel who said something like (i hate myself for clearing my inbox on my way to work) "well at least i know i can trust her fashion advice too."

well, i'll know later if my shiny shoes make the mark. for now, i'll just satisfy myself with the thought that no matter how tough a day i have ahead, my feet, at least, have begun celebrating the holidays

Friday, November 21, 2008

hello, weekend, here i come

i don't think i've looked forward to a weekend as much as i'm looking forward to this weekend.

and it's not even because there's something to look forward to. as a matter of fact, no weddings, no parties, no dates, no nothing. no pending laundry, even.

a weekend clear and free. a weekend to bond with my bed. a weekend all to myself.

well, a couple of weeks ago, it was that. then came a friend's bridal shower. not bad, i told myself. it's a bridal shower which was for its theme "last night out as a single girl" so it's bound to be fun. so i penned it in my calendar.

then a couple of friends wanted to do a yard sale and since i have to get rid of a LOT of junk at home, i said yes so i'm fixing those things this weekend too.

then there's the center visits which we could only fit in this sunday.

then there's my boss telling me, euphemistically, to get some weekend reading done. translation: take home work because you've been here three months already and you're still not a pleading machine so you have to do other stuff this weekend so that your weekdays will be devoted to writing pleadings.

and so, before i knew it, my happy weekend, my weekend with nothing else to do, my supposedly sacred weekend, has become like any other weekend: filled to the brim, with work to boot.


but there's a silver lining on every cloud and you know what's on mine? a number, really:
(1) while there's the party, it's also a party with really good friends, and who doesn't want to party with really good friends, right?
(2) yard sale means getting rid of stuff that's cluttering up my home PLUS making money. again, not a bad proposition.
(3) and center visits will be with the thursday people which means its bound to be fun anyway.
(4) and work, well, work pays for the bills and eventually, will pay for the life i want to live so live with take home work now, have a happy future.

so, i'm good.

the weekend may not be exactly as i've envisioned it but all it takes is a change of perspective and we're all good, again

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i am tired

no. tired doesn't even begin to cover it.

exhausted probably.

but i think what captures it best is i-am-so-tired-i-fell-asleep-in-the-middle-of-a-conversation-and-not-only-that-i-lost-something-on-my-desk-and-i-don't-even-know-where-to-start-looking-for-it-and-i-am-more-stressed-because-of-it-and-oh-i-keep-forgetting-stuff-and-almost-forget-my-best-friend's-birthday-and-actually-forgot-gary-and-rosan's-birthdays-last-week kind of tired.

i thought that after finally filing this monstrosity of a position paper yesterday, i'd be done. but stuff just keeps on piling on my desk i've got a couple of pleadings to go, hearings to attend, and clients to update.

so if i've been out of it, forgive me. like me skipping out on last monday's ag (did you guys save some macaroni soup for me?). or like me not being my usual happy self. or me even sleeping on you in the middle of your (i'm sure it was) very engaging story.

still, i am thankful for people who show some, no a LOT, of love.
- old officemate who tells me upfront i forgot her birthday and will i greet her please (and didn't make a big deal out of it.)
- ag-mates who say it's ok i'm missing an activity and pray that i finish my work soon
- new friend who shows up with not one but TWO boxes of pastel from cagayan de oro
- best friend who, in spite of me telling him not to anymore but does anyway, brings me two krispy kreme donuts
- new officemate who stays with me until my eyes are ready to fall off my head and doesn't make a big deal out of it

last sunday i told pazi and shy that i missed my past life. i think i might have told annsley the same thing last monday. i missed my stress-free mornings, my RWM five steps away and ready to dispense spiritual (and otherwise) advice when my spirit is worn out. i missed walking around the mall with no destination in mind.

mahihimasmasan ka din, i told myself. when all this is done and over with, you'd be back to that part of you that prayed for this new life, that part of you that felt the rush and exhiliration of signing your first pleading. that part of you that almost teared up when you first entered an appearance in court.

i've still got loads of work to do. i still don't know how i'll manage. but this morning, i woke up and found myself smiling still.

this is the life i prayed for, the life i chose, the life that has been given to me. i either embrace it or quit.

and guess what. i'm no quitter.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

i'm waging an all out war with the ants in my room

okay, before anything, a disclaimer. yes, i eat in my room.

having said that, i must say that i've never had an ant attack of this nature in the past. these ants are vicious, i tell you.

it started out innocently enough. i was chatting with a friend on the phone when i spied an ant line (you know how they make those snaking lines?) on the wall and remarked, "oh look, i've got ants!"

so i whipped out my trusty baygon and sprayed them to oblivion. done, i told myself, and mentally patted my own back.

these ants, however, were spoiling for a fight. i innocently left a bag of popcorn on the floor one day and barely an hour later, the entire bag was crawling with ants. a couple of days later, i left a bag of cheetos twisted puffs (my favorite, in case you want to know), a bag that was folded and sealed, and what do you know - they were full of ants by the time i got back.

it would be ok enough if our fight ended with food. after all, food i can easily replace. except that they've invaded my bed too. i've changed sheets so many times, beat up my cushions and pillows, and done everything i can to remove the ants. oh, they'd hide alright. then, deep in the middle of the night, they'd crawl back, bite you, and leave you scratching yourself to death.

now, being the mantika sleeper that i am, once i go to deep sleep, i'm gone to the universe until my alarm kicks in. last night, though, an ant bit me on the eyelid and it was so painful that i woke up at 3 am just to wallow in pain. i was in so much pain i couldn't sleep (and ended up watching an episode of gossip girl in the process). i was in so much pain that even while i slept, i was dreaming about the painful eye. and i woke up this morning, still with a painful eye.

how i wish my stinging eye could be sufficient reason to cut work. unfortunately it isn't.

still, this means an all out war between me and the ants in my room. you can invade my food, you can invade my bed even. but there is no way i'll let you get away with invading my sleep.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

critical mass

my home - i've begun trying to see it not as my mom's or my dad's or even something i used to share with my brother - has reached critical mass, again.

i cleaned it right before i switched jobs. i took down the old curtains and put up new ones, i threw away the dusty and old flower arrangements, junk, and what not and replaced them with lovely giant candles, pictures of important persons in my life, and my own junk. i waxed, pledged, vacuumed, and scrubbed. heck, i even polished the dining room table to perfection and put in two live (yes, they're alive!) plants in the middle. for short, i created a home i can invite someone to.

now, somewhere between looking for the perfect suit for back to back to back hearings and random overnights (to qc, with tita celia, with lingkod) and work (real work!), i sort of forgot that keeping house meant actually doing the cleaning on a regular basis.

and so, my dining room table now houses my laptop and a couple of labor books. another labor book found its way to my dining room table. my prized bag sits atop one living room chair while the couch houses several bags (bags which i choose from on a daily basis). shoes that are in regular circulation has failed to make it back into the shoe area (yes, i actually have an entire area devoted to shoes) and have found space at the corner near the door.

and let's not get started on the plants - i once took them out so that i could sun them. they nearly died cause i forgot to water them, but i was able to revive them a couple of times. now, they're barely alive again. i am counting on their resilience to make it through the next couple of days.

a friend shared with me how, for the longest time, she was a slave to the junk and mess at her own home. one day, she took charge and cleaned everything up, re-upholstered the furnitured, and created a beautiful living space for her own family. her sister said, ayan, pwede ka na ligawan. she didn't make much of it then.

let's just say she's getting married march.

i know i should clean my home soon. this weekend even, maybe. but i refuse to clean it simply on account that i wish to be courted by someone. i want to clean it because cleaning, in my opinion, is the next adult thing that i have to deal with. i've learned to balance a checkbook, manage my finances, spend within my means, and drive a car. i know where groceries are cheap and where they are expensive. while i still refuse to cook for myself (i believe it is more expensive than simply dining out), i have discovered places where i can eat cheaply on a regular basis. i know how to do my own laundry and ironing. it's high time that i face the last thing on my homemaker's list: cleaning.

p.s. i do admit i am horrible, very very horrible, at cleaning. volunteers willing to help will be very much welcome. eeeermsss?

Friday, November 07, 2008

in a bout of frustration and creativity, i wrote this

on account of client confidentiality (naks!), don't ask. just enjoy

I thought that I would never see,
A case involving the cutting of a tree.

A tree that stood the test of time,
And whose branches never crossed the boundary line.

A tree a neighbor cut with hostility
And resulted in mutual animosity.

And so all day I research, surf, and read,
To ensure neighbor won't get away with his evil deed.

Maybe one day this case will go to court,
And maybe, I'll be able to protect my client's fort.

Lame arguments are invented by associates like me,
but jurisprudence, hopefully, by the SC.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

love, (pre-lingkod) rosa style

was listening to an eraserheads playlist as i was making major additions to an affidavit a partner wanted super detailed. i was a big fan of the old songs so most of their newer songs are quite alien to me. being the impatient listener that i am, i'd forward only to the songs i knew but then i got too caught up in writing the affidavit that i didn't realize that the playlist had moved on to songs i didn't know, including the song shirley.

the beat was fun and i sort of paused and actually listened to the lyrics. not satisfied, i googled the actual lyrics.

and then it dawned upon me. several times in the past, this was how exactly love (or some permutation thereof) happened to me.

In love nanaman si Shirley
Sa binatang maganda ang kotse
Sila'y nag-date sa may Antipolo kagabi
Lagi na siyang naka-dress ng eskwela
Nakaayos palagi ang buhok niya
Lumulutang sa ulap pag naglalakad sa kalye
Ganyan main-lab lab lab lab(4x)
Ganyan main-lab
The next week magsyota na sila
Magkaholding hands papunta sa C.A.S.A.A.
Kung maglandian akala mo'y walang katabi
(Repeat chorus)
(repeat chorus)
Ngunit isang araw sa may SM sila'y nagaway
Nagtampuhan may iyakan hanggang sa maubos ang laway
Hiwalay silang umuwi at sila'y nagbreak
After three days nag-ring ang telepono ni Shierly
Si binata ngayo'y nag-sorry ilang minuto na lang
Sila'y mag-on na uli
(Repeat Chorus till fade)

go figure.

but, past is past and this is me now. hopefully wiser, infinitely more careful, heart guarded with as much energy as i could muster.

then again, maybe not.

Friday, October 17, 2008

let me tell you something about my new best friend

this is enzo.

he is ten years, 8 months, and 16 days younger than me. (and if you're my really good friend you'd say, really? hindi halata. okay?)

tomorrow, he'll be celebrating his birthday.

i met enzo last june in lingkod. for some reason, he never really spoke to me. believe me, i tried. however, one day i had to share with him the secret of my miraculously pretty hair when we met up at victory liner on our way to baguio so he had no choice when i declared that we were already close. after all, he was one of the few people who knew what i did between leaving the office and arriving at the pasay terminal that day.

of course what made it better was the fact that he likes taking pictures with his phone and i like posing for pictures. and we got thrown into the same track. and he (together with yel) volunteered to go with me to confession. and he doesn't mind listening (like i don't mind talking).

five days and a whole lot of chats later, it became official: we were best friends for life.

of course if you both love cheetos and you both like talking that's a given already, right? it doesn't hurt to discover that he had stashed ketchup fries in his aunt's car and the zigzag down to baguio is more manageable because he's right beside you. it's fabulous that he can stay awake at all hours (long after you've fallen asleep with a half-composed text message on your cellphone that you manage to send only hours later) because you're assured that your new best friend is like a 24-hour call center ready to answer your beck and call.

four months ago, irma and madel were able to convince this gentle teddy bear to attend alnp-alabang's clp. now, he's serving the brothers and sisters, he's everyone's prayer warrior, and he's best friends with mon, jopeng, and bobby. he can make you smile. he is the best shoulder to cry on (*sigh* 29 meaningless text messages on a sunday afternoon).

clearly, as far as new best friends go, it doesn't get any better than that.

p.s. it's enzo's birthday tomorrow! please don't forget to greet him :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

of small salaries and personal fulfillment

yesterday, a friend from the court of appeals who resigned a little less than a month called for a short hello-how-are-you-let's-catch-up-on-each-other phone conversation. after we've shared how happy we both were at work, the inevitable was raised.

her: "do you know they're getting a bonus this friday? one month daw."

me: *grumbles*

her: "that's on top of saj"

me: *grumbles some more*

now, before you go on and lecture me and say "you knew this before getting into it" and "it's just money, and money doesn't buy happiness", let me tell you a couple of things.

i have never had a high-paying job. i graduated from a good school, got honors and what i thought then was a prestigious award, so i sort of expected ("hoped" might have been more appropriate) that i'd get a job which pays buckets.

my first teaching job sort of did. 10k a month plus overtime. not bad, or at least i thought it wasn't. after all, it was infinitely bigger than the allowance i was receiving at the time i graduated from college. plus, i learned it was bigger than what bank tellers were earning at that time so i was happy. it meant - at least to me - access to as many shoes i wanted.

six months into it, i left the job - a problem with my boss - and jumped at the chance that was offered to me when i graduated: a scholarship for a master's degree in education. it paid a stipend - 10k - but it meant commuting all the way to ortigas. i was young, i was 21, distance and money didn't matter. all i thought of was that i was getting my master's degree two years ahead of schedule.

apparently the problem with a stipend was that it doesn't grow. and it doesn't come with benefits. or bonuses. so i said, what the heck, i'll apply for law school. and i did. and i passed ... right about the same time they were ready to make me into a full-time faculty member.

needless to say, i had to wait another full year or so after that before i became a full-time faculty member. translation: my stipend remained pretty much the same for a couple of years. and when i became a faculty member, the people i had started graduate school with were so far off that all i could console myself with was the thought that hey, it's okay, you'll be a lawyer soon.

i eventually became a lawyer, except i got a job with the government which paid less than your average law firm. we did, however, get bonuses. for some reason or another though, when i became entitled to them, the bonuses sort of dwindled to a trickle. G and R commented that i might have balat insofar as money is concerned.

you know what? maybe i do. because a couple of days after i passed my resignation, they increased the salaries of government personnel.

looking at me, very few would believe that i actually work for peanuts. i attribute it to the fact that i know every nook and cranny of most malls in metro manila and know where to get things on sale. i guess only tita mayu knows exactly how much i make and how much i spend for things like meralco, water, insurance, titheing, gasoline, and car payments. and savings? let's not even get into that. i love bo sanchez, and would love to save like bo sanchez (he saves 30% i think), but if i did, i'd probably walk from the house to the office. that's how exact things are.

and if the abovequoted conversation wasn't enough to make me feel horrible, this did: my cousin's gf who just graduated last march earns only 1k less than i do. phooey. ten years of working experience, a master's degree and a law degree is apparently translated to 1,000 bucks more each payday.

of course how much i make and how happy i am are two things distinct and separate from one another. all i have to do is to remember the fact that this life i'm living now is the fulfillment of god's promise to me. i am happy. i wake up smiling. i look forward to work. i feel like this is what the last couple of years (not to mention those sleepless nights spent studying at starbucks and the agony of waiting for the bar results TWICE) has been all about. i wear a suit at least once a week. i write and sign pleadings. i have a PTR number. people call me ma'am and attorney. i am able to testify to others of the joy of trusting god and living out the joy of his plans for his children. these things validate the decisions that i have made throughout the years. this is it. i am exactly where i've always wanted to be.

except that there are days when all you have in your wallet is three hundred pesos, your gas indicator tells you it's only a couple of kilometers away from being empty, and your refrigirator has nothing but water in it. and you tell yourself, why, why, why was i not the one called to have the big salary?

Monday, October 13, 2008

this is how my boss won, in one afternoon, my lifelong loyalty

today i attended a hearing wearing my brown suit which goes perfectly fine with my ferragamo shoes.

my sweet, beloved ferragamo shoes. my 30th birthday gift to myself. my "what's money in the bank if i can't enjoy it" shoes. the shoes i signed the roll of attorneys with. the shoes that i use to validate myself with on really bad days. one of my favorite pairs of shoes.

i love them so much that if i'm wearing them, commuting is out of the question. these shoes get to ride the car. all the time.

anyway, while we were at the NLRC it rained buckets so when we got out, we were greeted by a river pretending to be a street. we waited, and waited, and waited for the water to subside but eventually we decided to just go and brave it.

a couple of minutes before braving the flooded street, my boss took a look at my feet and asked, "kaya mo ba?"

being the cowboy that i am, not to mention the fact that i was a bit scared of him, replied, "of course." after all, what's a pair of really expensive shoes compared to creating a good impression.

he then said, "bago ata sapatos mo."

i winced and replied, "luma na po. at saka, sapatos lang yan." i swear, if i were pinocchio, my nose would have grown a foot longer.

he then indicated that he'd be willing to wait some more but after a couple of minutes, standing in the corner stopped appealing to hm and he suggested again that we go for it. i agreed. then he said, "iha, yung sapatos mo, mababasa. ako na lang kukuha ng kotse. dito ka na lang. daanan kita."

i was left with no words. i simply nodded.

this partner (together with the others) pays for my salary. he taught me everything i know about labor law. he made me appreciate labor as a subject and inspired me to want to become a labor lawyer myself. he is the reason why i applied for this firm, why i left my comfortable job in the CA, and why i'm working for peanuts. and he offers to walk to the car by himself, cross a flooded intersection, and pick me up simply so that my shoes would not get wet.


and if this isn't enough to earn my undying loyalty, nothing else will.

Friday, October 10, 2008

one hundred things to be happy about

  1. two hundred bucks salary differential from when i was still at the court of appeals.
  2. an unplanned lunch with a good friend
  3. ... especially if good friend decides to order gambas which happens to be one of your ultimate favorites
  4. ... and decides, at the end of lunch, to pay for everything, including your meal!
  5. surprise checks which will allow you to buy yet another suit for work
  6. free tickets to west side story ... especially since every time you'd pass by the billboard at edsa you tell yourself that you'll find a way to watch it
  7. honorariums without withholding tax
  8. secrets :)
  9. being assigned to a case you secretly hoped you'd be assigned to
  10. sm megamall and everything that goes with it
  11. knowing you've passed by krispy kreme every single working day for the last two months and you've yet to yield to the temptation of buying half a dozen donuts for yourself
  12. having your own tiny little office where you can hide out
  13. finishing your first ever pleading as a lawyer ...
  14. ... and signing that pleading!
  15. having a tita mayu :) (everyone should have a cool aunt who feeds you like any mom would but shares your secrets like a good friend, supports your luho like a grandparent, and covers your back like a sibling)
  16. unlitxt80 ...
  17. ... and friends with globe phones :)
  18. waking up to a LOT of messages on your phone ...
  19. ... and answering them one by one.
  20. phone-oke with your best friend
  21. ... who doesn't mind if you have your own version of "narda"
  22. theme songs :)
  23. rainy days
  24. trying on jeans you haven't worn in a while cause they've gotten a bit tight and realizing that they now fit way better than they did a couple of months ago
  25. benny, benny, benny
  26. free tissue at work!
  27. clothes you like at 70% off
  28. lunch at o'boy (4th floor West Tower, PSE Centre)
  29. not caring how much gas costs and bringing car to work to make the commute easier
  30. the kids at tuloy sa don bosco
  31. special mention: christian caroro (i swear it's wrong but he's really my ultra favorite kid!)
  32. mass with lingkod people ... ibang level yung high.
  33. rltc '08
  34. new friends
  35. saturday nights with the girls
  36. explaining something then seeing that exact moment that the other person gets exactly what you're trying to say
  37. no saturday work
  38. the lovely new buses that ply the mia route :)
  39. P55 shuttle to atc - makes having relationships at alabang easy!
  40. cheap stuff at sm
  41. cheap stuff anywhere!
  42. 12 noon or 8pm mass at PCJ
  43. thursday kaberks
  44. jojet (my tuloy kid) memorizing the multiplication table
  45. junjun (my other tuloy kid) breaking into a big smile upon realizing that i wasn't absent and would be there to tutor him
  46. friends who don't mind taking me home
  47. jollibee spaghetti
  48. mcdo drive thru
  49. sarsi light
  50. vacation at cabanatuan
  51. removing something from your to-do list
  52. my work :)
  53. that feeling after a confession
  54. bacon, bacon, and more bacon
  55. creative ideas
  56. when it's raining and you're at home with absolutely nothing to do except watch dvds
  57. long, long phone conversations late into the night and ending the wee hours of the morning
  58. long, long conversations ... standing in parking lot, then moving into the car, then realizing it's raining crazy outside already!
  59. cheetos twisted puffs
  60. gourmet tuyo
  61. champorado
  62. tuyo + champorado + bacon + fried rice = surprise send off party
  63. banners
  64. handwritten notes
  65. postcards :)
  66. post its in all shapes and sizes
  67. smileys
  68. YM conversations
  69. driving
  70. ruins @ bf
  71. hair that dries in place
  72. freshly sharpened pencils
  73. answered prayers
  74. sleeping
  75. deleting people who hurt you from your life
  76. balikbayan boxes
  77. mama and papa
  78. mama and papa finally buying a home
  79. the prospect of a US vacation
  80. fresh towels and sheets
  81. hotel rooms
  82. hotel buffet breakfasts
  83. paper -- all kinds of paper
  84. lovely planners
  85. colored pens
  86. the internet!
  87. pink hello kitty keyboard
  88. leaving your office dirty and coming back to find everything neatly piled on your desk
  89. new shoes
  90. resisting the urge to buy a bag
  91. matching luggage
  92. swivel chairs
  93. phones with lots of buttons
  94. parties!
  95. project runway
  96. reality tv (yes, i know, i watch crap on tv)
  97. pictures
  98. finding the perfect case to support an argument
  99. getting home after a long long long day at work
  100. you (and me) finally getting to the end of this list

Monday, October 06, 2008

when the going gets tough, you get tougher best friends

last week was a horrible week. so much so that a new friend actually expressed surprise when he asked how i was and my answer didn't begin with the word "horrible".

anyway, if one day out of the seven stood out, it would've been yesterday. what made it worse was the fact that i was actually expecting the day to be a good one. i woke up early, was pretty chirpy the entire morning, but when the day chose to blow up in my face, i was left with little energy to do anything else but sulk.

actually, sulk and watch "dear friend" but that's an entirely different matter altogether.

anyway, when i had somewhat regrouped (and apparently after sending 29 angry/sad/depressed/confused/tearful/complaining/whiny messages to one person), one guy friend suggested, "let's just meet up at festival and watch a movie." kaladkarin ever, i agreed.

we never got to watch that movie. i was hungry and so was he and we both agreed we wanted to devour a huge plate of ribs by ourselves so we ate at racks. another guy friend arrived and we decided, okay, it's time to remedy my problems the guy way. less talk, more grunting.

let's just say that while i love being with girlfriends in the midst of a tumultuous situation (especially since this would mean shopping, coffee, spa, and griping around a table while lambasting evil person who caused bad day), there are times when being one of the guys beats out retail therapy. last night was one of those nights.

Friday, September 19, 2008

sometimes, i hate the impulsive shopper in me

today, i got a hello kitty laptop keyboard for myself. being the reformed shopper that i am, i was able to justify the purchase:
  1. my laptop's keyboard has no hope of ever being fixed;
  2. it's too expensive to get laptops fixed. in fact, they even charge you for just looking at it;
  3. my alternative keyboard - a full-sized keyboard i got from CD-R King - is too big and does not fit in my laptop bag;
  4. the keyboard is cute, girly, and would motivate me to work; and
  5. the seller, after much haggling, agreed on selling it to me for P700 instead of P895.
of course, right after i withdrew the money, i had apprehensions. it's a bit too expensive and had i thought about it more, i might not even have bought it. but then, (1) nakakahiya na after i told her to reserve it for me, i'll just withdraw money and (2) i needed the motivation to finish my one million and one thngs to do.

in the end, no matter what ABB said to convince me otherwise, i had made up my mind.

now, ABB also taught me the wonders of ebay shopping so i checked it out there.

so, so, so, so wrong.

hello kitty keyboards were selling like crazy for a fraction of the price.

so i tried to convicne myself - well what i needed was a smaller keyboard. a laptop keyboard.

a scroll and a half later, there it was. the exact same keyboard. for P500. with shipping, it's P600. and from a trusted seller.


screw bazaars. screw impulsive shopping. next time, when i don't have money, i'll say i'll think about it, go online, and check ebay first. and if not's there, then that's the only time i'll run over to the atm and actually buy.

p.s. and if i don't actually get to do what i just said in the previous paragraph, don't hate me. i promise i'm way more prudent when it comes to money than this post actually reveals me to be. just go ask gay.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

moving out of my comfort zone

i love sm. i love sm malls (except mall of asia for some reason even i can't explain). i'm beyond happy that my daily commute involves a side trip to sm megamall almost every single working day.

save for their horrible labor policies, i love almost everything sm stands for: their tagline "we've got it all for you", the fact that almost everything is cheap, the fact that it's everywhere, and the fact that if you shop carefully and thoughtfully, you can actually make people think you spent a lot on your look.

sm = bliss.

but then i visited landmark at trinoma.

and there were clothes. a lot of clothes. a lot of affordable clothes. a lot of affordable clothes for work.

i must admit, my eyes popped. and my resolve to not buy for the meantime? flew out the window. landmark, at least last night, was shopping heaven.

of course, i'd want to give myself a major pat on the back for being able to walk out of landmark without a single plastic bag to my name. i saw a lot of clothes that i wanted, i fit a lot of them too, but i realized that with an hour to shop and with no real intention of buying equals purchases that i might end up regretting. on another day though, budget permitting, i will go there and shop my heart out. after all, everyone needs new clothes (and shoes. and bags.) once in a while.

p.s. lest you think i came out of the mall with absolutely nothing, well, i'm not that disciplined. when i got to tita celia's hotel room last tuesday night, i realized i had left the cardigan that was supposed to go with my dress for today at home so i set aside money to get something to go with the dress. after several stores and a thousand clothes racks later, i found this really nice white jacket/blazer with 3/4 sleeves on sale at bayo. perfect. i wasn't able to just buy something to go with the dress, it was something that's also court-appropriate for future hearings. yay me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


unfortunately, this isn't about the famous e-heads song, although i distinctly remember my mom singing this to me every time i'd beg her to allow me to start driving. she'd lean close and lip-synch to that part where it goes "gusto kong matutong mag-drive, kahit na wala akong kotse." because for the longest time that was me - license without driving.

it took me almost eight years from the time i first got my license before i actually had any need for it.

anyway, today was one of those rare times that i actually took a car to work. no hearing but tita celia's in manila and you know what that means - wherever she is, i have to be there. so i dumped enough clothes for the next two days in my car, and drove to ortigas - that lovely place north of makati which has less traffic, less people, and what used to be the biggest sm mall.

unfortunately, it was also one of those rare times where edsa was horribly jammed. when i first got off magallanes interchange and saw the almost-ready-to-be-crazy number of cars, i said to myself, pasay road lang yan. i started to panic a bit when the cars in the tunnel seemed to be stuck in place but, ever the optimist, i said hanggang diyan lang yan. did it get better after exiting the tunnel? no. did it ease up by buendia? no. was guadalupe the reason for the hold up? no. boni, we can always blame boni and pioneer, right? unfortunately not. i got to megamall without ever figuring out what caused the one hour and a half trip from mantrade to megamall.

it's crazy, really. i never thought i'd say this, not when i love my car to bits and commuting is just something i do because gas prices are so beyond my finances right now, but thank god for public transport. i can't wait till tomorrow when going to work would simply mean getting on a bus, sleeping, reading, or daydreaming in transit, and waiting for that moment when the conductor would shout megamall to tell me that my trip is over and its time to get down.

Monday, September 15, 2008

crazy swamped

my things to do list looks like this:
- FVS-cases
- YON - leave
- position paper
- aug 16-31 cases
- september cases
- finish July 2008
- RLTC stuff
- Tita Celia overnight
- payment credit card
- tuloy kap '08 closing program

and that's just for today and tomorrow. i'd hate to see how the rest of the week looks like. i might just keel over and ... well, shop?

yesterday, as i was pondering on the sheer impossibility of accomplishing everything i've set out for myself to accomplish, i did the most stupid thing in the world: i avoided doing anything on my list. i did try to wake up early and i did accomplish some work. but i allowed myself to fix my closet, iron my clothes, take the laundry in, watch an angelu-diether film shot in 2000 that i didn't know existed, watch the ugly betty season one marathon on star, and take a nap. it's obvious: when the tough get going, rosa does something else.

i do wish my attention isn't that of a five-year-old and that i'd learn how to focus more (for example, here i am writing this instead of finishing the last paragraph of the PMAP article. that would've been one down but my brain just refused to conclude it) but it seems to me i'm not wired that way. hopefully, the focused, mature, writing-machine rosa (which surfaces in exteme cases) will materialize soon, take over my lazy self, and miraculously churn out something (or a lot of somethings) before it crashes at the end of today.

until then, i might have to think of happy thoughts (this too shall end), or resort to bribery (produce something and you can buy shoes or clothes or whatever), or threaten (you want to lose this nice happy job?) because at the end of the day, i did bring all these upon myself and i can only rely on myself to accomplish every little bit of work to be done.

Friday, September 12, 2008

another something about me

by now everyone who reads this know i'm a lawyer, that i talk a lot, and that i like shoes.

here's another facet: i write for kikay exchange.

go see the latest thing i wrote about here.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

joy vs. happiness

happiness is getting the stuff i want: an lv speedy, my first coach bag, a balikbayan box filled with everything from wet wipes (i love walgreens' baby wipes that i actually make my mom send me packs all the time!) to isaac mizrahi for target shoes (yes, they're cheap and fabulous, if only they'd fit!) to designer bags (the real dooney and bourke, not the fake ones in greenhills).

happiness is getting in a cold fx, national bookstore's yearly cut-price book sale, and shopping at sm.

happiness is silvanas from brownies unlimited. happiness is having gourmet tuyo from sucre for lunch while chatting with good friends.

but joy. joy is a different matter altogether. joy is tougher, but more permanent. joy, as cheesy this may be, is that song we used to sing as kids, you know the one that goes "j-o-y, down in my heart, deep deep down in my heart."

last sunday, i experienced pure unadulterated joy. joy in listening to words inspired by god. joy in listening to experiences made richer by a life lived in the spirit. joy in lifting my hands up in worship to the lord. joy in fraternizing with brothers and sisters in community and knowing that they too are experiencing the same spiritual high that you are. joy in being affirmed that your commitment to god and his people is the best decision you've made. joy in just being there and "basking" in his glory.

i don't think i've sung louder or raised my hands higher or cried harder than i did last sunday.

thank you, gay, for being one of the reasons why this kind of joy became possible in my life (isn't it ironic how your name is somewhat synonymous to joy and happiness?). thank you, pazi, for being my first ever greeter, for re-inviting me when i was too ashamed to go back to lingkod after failing the bar. thank you, sparkeatags, for being my first ag, my first group of "girlfriends" and for a whole lot of happy saturdays spent together. thank you to my pandan ag for making me look forward to gmmmacqs since i know you guys will be there. thank you to my carpool-mates because fridays don't end with fellowships but the requisite talk 10 care of dom on our way to MB2. thank you kikay ag and fab ag for sustaining the joy - the honeymoon period with alnp may be long over but you guys are definitely making the stay even richer than the honeymoon period. thank you, clp batch 12, for making every moment fun, most especially the weeks leading up to commitment night. thank you, to all my brothers and sisters in christ, for being you. had it not been for all of you, i don't think my life will be as rich as it is today.

but most of all, thank you to my God, the Lord of my salvation, my redeemer, my friend, my hope, my perfect joy, my promise keeper. had i not been adopted by You, eternity will indeed be a very, very long time. my being your child has turned it into something i look forward to each waking day, something i dream about each night, and something that makes this temporal existence worth it.

Friday, September 05, 2008

happy month-sary to me

i was so preoccupied yesterday with the hunt for a suit that had ABB not texted me, i would've totally forgotten that yesterday marked my first month as a law firm slave.

again, one of the partners caught me by surprise when she popped into my office yesterday morning and casually asked me to attend another hearing. with last week's suit still due for washing, i had no option but to make a beeline for the mall and buy something that's acceptable but cheap. thank god i was able to sneak out early which gave me an hour or so to scour the mall for something i can afford. and, wonder of wonders, i went home with a simple black suit that i could live with.

i know i complain incessantly about my wardrobe woes but here's a secret: i love the fact that notwithstanding my present state of poverty, i have an excuse to buy clothes

Monday, September 01, 2008

one month down, a lifetime to go

i've been working at this firm for a month now.

or, more precisely, four weeks.

i celebrated it by sleeping all day yesterday, literally. i woke up at around half past seven to use the washroom. i then struggled back to bed and slept some more. the entire day i'd try to get out of bed to do something productive but save for sending a couple of messages (like canceling a trip to the mall to check out the sale, yes, it was that bad) and hurriedly shoving food in my mouth (hurriedly, lest i fall asleep in the middle of the meal), i could barely keep my eyes open. ten pages into anything i was reading i'd be back asleep again, only to wake up a couple of hours later, attempt to do something, and fail all over again. it was that way until 6:30 in the evening, and even then, i just basically lounged in bed. i had a horrible headache, a pounding one really, and it seemed too much effort to do anything that would require me to stay vertical for long periods of time.

i finally got on my feet at 10, and was able to do a couple of things i had planned for the day. i thought it was going to be difficult to go to sleep since i had basically done that all day, but lo and behold, after shutting off the computer at 1am, it wasn't that long before i was knocked out. the next thing i knew, it wa 5:30 monday morning, with work to be done.

anto said it best when she texted, after i canceled our planned trip to the mall, that i must really be busy now to forego a sale and just spend time sleeping. but i guess this is how 31, with zero exercise, feels like. they keep saying that i'm just getting used to the feeling of actually working 8 hours a day, commuting 4 hours a day, and squeezing in the rest of my life in the remaining hours. i hope so. i still bounce every time i think of how happy i am with my life now. keeling over out of sheer exhaustion is so not in the plan.

anyway, i like how the month passed without me really noticing it. 32, and ack, being at an age that isn't on the calendar anymore, is fast approaching and i hate that. still, it's weird how while days are flying by at warp speed, i can still feel the gloriousness of each day as it comes. i don't think i've ever been happier in my life (in general terms, you know what i mean). everything, stress notwithstanding, makes me want to jump up and down with joy.

and, knowing in my heart that this might be the rest of my life, well, that makes me want to bounce all over again.

so horribly short

lack of sleep and tiredness notwithstanding, i shouted along with the 20,000 other people in the crowd the moment the countdown ended and it was, after more than five years, all four of them on stage again. i sang along (probably much to the consternation of the people around me) to the songs i knew, was amazed at the songs i didn't know (so much for being a fan), and forgot how hot, smelly, sweaty, and tired i was and just basked in the atmosphere. it was everything i envisioned and more. i could barely see the band but once in a while, the tall people in front of me would part and i'd get a glimpse of one, or two, or, at best, three of them, performing like they've never stopped being a band.

they sounded so good, no scratch that, so great that i had to check the giant screen every so often to make sure ely wasn't just mouthing the words.

somewhere in the middle of sembreak and they were showing pictures of up that it dawned upon me that i had not taken part in any UP centennial celebration but i found a way to be in an eraserheads concert. and, while no isko or iska can stake any proprietary claim over the band, i felt that me being there was a tribute to my UP heritage and that if i never get to attend any of the festivities at all, it would still be all right. i was at the eheads reunion and somehow, that's more UP for me than any celebration i would've attended, given the chance.

anyway, i wish i could be generous enough to say i wasn't disappointed or that i could pretend that fifteen songs was enough for me. but a measly hour basking in the band's presence is not enough to satiate me. i wanted more. i wanted them to sing my favorite song, pare ko, or the song i've dedicated to my brother, magasin. i wanted them to sing even the songs i didn't like - julie tearjerky, for one. i wanted the night to never end. i could've stood until the following day, foregone sleep, eating, and the bathroon if it would mean them singing every single song they've ever written.

way back in high school, i remember paolo and some other boys singing "ligaya" in one school program. it was sort of everyone's favorite probably cause our accounting teacher's name was ligaya. i also remember my mom teasing me how my favorite song should be overdrive since i wanted to drive so bad and i didn't have a car anyway. i watched pare ko the movie, claudine and mark anthony notwithstanding, simply because the theme song was, well, pare ko.

now they're talking about a reunion concert part 2. would i still want to be there just to hear them play pare ko? i'm not sure. i want to, but there's the feeling that it isn't going to be like last saturday's reunion concert.

at the end of the day, there's nothing to day except the concert was so horribly short, so much like eheads, the band. they've got so much more to give except that their hearts aren't able to do so anymore.

Friday, August 29, 2008

guess who's watching the eheads concert?


Thursday, August 28, 2008

i can't believe i'm now a real lawyer and just like the ola intern i was the first thought that came to mind was 'what will i wear?'

after graduating from up law, taking two bar examinations and successfully hurdling one, working for two years and nine months in the judiciary, and three weeks in a law firm, i can't believe that my major preoccupation before going on my first hearing as a full fledged lawyer is still "what am i going to wear?"

darn. that just screams law intern. or, at least, rosa the law intern.

i can still remember how one saturday i raided festival mall after classes in UP in search of the perfect suit for my OLA appearances. i hit on my mom for money (yes, i am pathetic that way) so that i can buy something decent in a skirt. i wore those two skirt suits alternately for the entire year and was glad when it was all finally over. i hate wearing skirt suits, or even pantsuits for that matter. IMHO, i look stupid in them.

the weekend before starting my law firm life, i tried looking for a suitable suit (no pun intended) and was unable to find one that made me want to rush to the cashier to buy it. i don't even think i tried on one. the suits i saw either looked too much like a uniform or were too expensive. since i am banking on the hope that all the walking, working, and not sleeping will make me more dyesebel than kim sam soon, i refuse to pay good money for something that i'm hoping will be too big for me come december.

after three weeks of just staying in the office and working on pleadings, i was feeling mighty good about myself. all my old working clothes are pretty much okay here so there is no big rush to get a suit. i'll lose the weight, make oodles of shopping money, and when these two have finally converged and a beautiful sign that says "sale" comes along, well, i'd go buy my gorgeous, cool lawyer suit.

so imagine my shock when last tuesday, one of the partners pops into my tiny (but lovely!!!) office, hands me a pleading, and instructs me to go to make an appearance at pasig rtc this coming friday.


tuesday was overtime day. wednesday i had to do a lecture at ua&p. thursday is tuloy day. and i have to finish a pleading by friday. so when, when, when will i buy my gorgeous cool lawyer suit?

now, i know all of you are going tsk tsk tsk she should be concerned about her client (i am) and she should be preparing for her appearance (i have already) and she should be researching (to simply ask for an extension?? forget it.) but if you were in my place, with absolutely nothing appropriate to wear for your very court appearance, wouldn't you be in major panic mode too?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

chasing the dream

i was watching the Today Show's brief recap of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the lyrics of the song they used, what if it all goes right, caught my attention. i especially love the part where it goes like:

"what if you climb to the mountain top
and touch the sky
grab a cloud as it passes by
you might fall you might fall
but then again you might fly

what if it all goes right
what if it all works out
what if the stars line up
and good luck rains down
what if you chase your dreams
and it changes your whole life
Yeah, what if it all goes right"

sitting here in the office at half past seven, trying to finish a pleading to be filed before the supreme court, trying to figure out how to fit in everything else i need to do between now and tomorrow morning, i'm realizing for the ten millionth time that this is me, chasing my life's dream. this is the fruit of hours writing and re-writing my resume and cover letter, walking around the hot and dusty streets of makati and ortigas from one building to another submitting resume after resume on the off chance a firm might have a vacancy. this is an answered prayer in the flesh. it may not even be the most attractive thing in the universe - as my former boss so aptly put it, me leaving the judiciary was nothing short of katangahan. but knowing deep in my heart that i'm yearning for something more, that i'm not idly waiting for my dream to fulfill itself but taking the reins and actively pursuing it, and that i'm mostly likely fulfilling my potential, is something that fuels me to continue, to wake up after barely five hours of sleep, and to brave the daily four-hour commute.

and because this is me chasing my dream, i know that it won't be long before one day, my life will change and i'll be glad i let go of my comfort zone and found that which brings my heart joy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

should i join the bandwagon?

if i give up my pldt, cable, sun phone, and globe pre-paid phone, i might just be able to afford the lowest monthly service fee for globe's iphone.

but then if i were to give up my sun and landline phones, how would tita mayu contact me? quick answer: i'll use my free 100 minutes of talk time, of course. of course, translated into hours and minutes, that's just one hour and forty minutes. multiply that by five and you'd get to how much time i spend on the phone with tita mayu.

but it's an iPhone.

and it's soooo cool.

and i hardly use my pldt, don't have time to watch tv anymore, and there's a phone at my desk at work.


who knew that i'd fall in techno-lust with something that didn't even cross my mind 24 hours ago?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

instead of fighting the lopezes for control over meralco...

... the people over at gsis should instead be worrying about their beneficiaries' benefits, me included.

i just found out over the weekend that owing to the non-posting of a huge number of my gsis contributions, i might not get the cash surrender value of my gsis enhanced life policy.


gsis deductions, fyi, are way, way more than sss deductions. and they deduct, month in, month out. but god forbid that you surrender your policy any time soon because you'll discover soon enough that someone has yet to reflect your contributions and therefore you actually owe the government money.

i've been in a bunch since i discovered it and would have wanted nothing than to get winston out in the open and have a boxing match against him. i wanted to shout, at the top of my voice, and hysterically blame him for running an office in that shoddy manner. and, more than anything, i hate how everyone i know from gsis is lawit ang dila because of overtime and yet there's this discrepancy.

where, where, where, did things go wrong?

no wonder immediately after the gsis brouhaha came out that all these pensioners came out on interviews attacking winston garcia for his bid to run meralco. if he can't run an agency like gsis - which, IMHO, should be running itself after all these years - how can he then run meralco?

Friday, August 15, 2008

i could almost hate the rain with a passion except it gives me an excuse to buy new shoes

recently, the weather's been horrible.

you'd wake up and it's nice and cool. by the time you leave home, the sky would be overcast. it would be raining buckets by the time the bus reaches makati and then scorching hot again when you get to ortigas and you'd have to walk a kilometer or so to get to your building. (incidentally, i walk only part of the time. i'd much rather take the fx from megamall if it's a. hot and b. i'm wearing nice shoes)

then it'll be hot the whole day, the skies will darken by three and by the time six rolls around and you're up for another walking spree (on my way home i do walk), the rains will pour like it's the end of the world and the bishops all prayed for water to fill the angat dam.

crazy isn't it?

yesterday i had every intention of getting to alabang by 7:30 so i braved the rains and attempted to leave the office by 6:15. my officemate offered to drop me off at megamall but by the time i got there i was soaking wet - my bag was wet (and so was the inside of my razr, i found out much later), my sleeves were wet, 3/4 of my pants was wet, and my shoes, well, let's just say it feels like i dumped by feet in a bucket of cold water.

and, if there's one thing i can't stand, it's wet feet inside wet shoes on a ride home in an airconditioned vehicle.

so - and this is from a girl who loves the rain with a passion - i was just about set to let loose a long string of complaints (ranging from "why am i so kuripot not to bring a car to work, i am being stupid saving money this way when i have a perfectly dry car at home" to "why did i leave the ca when there's a shuttle there and all i have to do is walk a couple of meters to get to the bus" to the inane "dapat kasi kanina pa umulan ang stupid naman ng weather."

and then it struck me: wet feet in wet shoes in an airconditioned vehicle will make me sick. i need a new pair of shoes.

and so i bought.

Monday, August 11, 2008

the day ...

... i wear my new white top ...

... i have to do a demo teaching for my new sideline ...

... everyone notices my outfit ...

... i'm feeling mighty proud of the work i turned in last friday which came back today with very minimal corrections ...

... is the day i spill chocolate ice cream on myself.

don't you just hate it when you thought you have the best day blooming ahead of you and something like this happens.

thank god i was reading this book this morning and the author decided to include my favorite verses in his discussion:

"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. Habakkuk 3:17-19

so what if i've got chocolate stains on my shirt? there's always a reason to rejoice in the Lord.

p.s. i also serve the Lord of miracles so if it isn't too much to ask, Father, will you take away the stains on my shirt?

to think i thought one of my favorite colors was red

my first fino (a local leather goods brand i absolutely adore) bag was red. to this day, i still use it as much as i can.

i own a pair of deep red shoes with brown croc trim and kitten heels that i wear with alarming regularity. they're sort of my favorite but i try to restrain myself from wearing them too often lest they age prematurely. recently, i also bought a pair of red patent leather shoes to replace the one which had a lot of scratch marks.

i also have a pair of red rubber shoes that i love way too much to throw away, although i haven't worn them in a year, if not more.

so, clearly, i was well within my senses to have voted "red" when ate gracey asked what color our group would be wearing for the tuloy volunteers' anniversary last saturday.

until i took an actual look inside my closet and realized that i actually do not own a red shirt.

Friday, August 08, 2008

and it just keeps getting better!

the whole universe (and probably the world beyond) knows by now how i am loving my new life. i wake up at what was formerly the impossibly early 5:30, i don't mind staying until 6 (or later if need be), and lunch, while still exciting, isn't the highlight of my day anymore. commuting, while a major hassle, is a time for me to sleep and, don't laugh at this, contemplate on the meaning of life. and, the long walk (from edsa to tektite in the morning and tektite to starmall in the evening) is my concession to the fact that yes, i am fat, and that i need exercise.

anyway, on the same day they gifted (i say gifted cause really, isn't the fulfillment of a dream, albeit unintended, a gift no matter how you look at it?) me with my dream office, the receptionist inquired if i'd be free for dinner on thursday. now, i had tuloy tutorials (which i had already backed out of) and branch council meeting (the reason why i excused myself from tuloy tutorials) already scheduled for that day but (1) this is my new job and (2) can you actually say no to the source of your income no matter how busy you might be in your personal life?) but i said yes, i'm free. a couple of minutes later, she said that it's been set, they'll be hosting my welcome dinner with the partners and the other assoicates on that day.

wow. a welcome dinner. now, that's something i didn't expect. what i had expected - most of which were formed from the warnings of well-meaning friends - was that they'll put me in a room, dump stuff on me, and force me to forget that i had a life to begin with. so imagine that i had braced myself for that and what greets me is a dinner in my honor? fantabulous.

the dinner could've been basically at aysee's (you know that famous sisig place near ultra) for all i cared and i'd still be a happy cow. imagine my surprise when this information greeted me yesterday morning:

heat restaurant
edsa shangri-la hotel
7:00 p.m.

wow, right? when i passed the bar, my boss treated me and the other lawyers in the office to lunch at chocolate kiss. justice tagle treated me and a couple of my friends to lunch at emerald garden restaurant. my lola and tita celia sprung for lunch for me and my officemates at emerald garden again and for an informal dinner party at gerry's grill. tita mayu and tito lito took me out for dinner at italianni's. no one, however, took me for a fabulous dinner, in my honor, at one of manila's most famous buffets.

so, if i gush on and on about work and how much i'm loving it, you really should understand. at times i feel i'm way out of my league here but i'm happy, not to mention the fact that they make me happy, and i've no doubt it will keep getting better with each passing day.

p.s. it must be said that all these are made possible by one thing: god and his faithfulness. the day i passed my resumes, i heard mass at the greenbelt chapel and honostly confronted the lord with this message:

"god, ikaw na ang bahala sa application ko. you know how horrible i am at discernment so i'll need you to choose for me. please make sure na hindi ako masilaw sa pera because if one firm is offering a lot, i might not be able to stop myself from jumping at that chance. you know what i want and what i need right now so i'm letting you take charge of this."

that was a thursday. i received a text message from this firm on a tuesday, scheduled an interview for friday. the partner said the words i hate hearing - "we'll just call you."

since it would be manila day the following tuesday, i prayed real hard that they'll contact me for my second interview by monday but they didn't. i passed a whole lot of resumes on tuesday morning and planned on going to makati after lunch to pass some more. at around 1145, the firm called asking me if i could come in by 4. of course. right there and then, they offered me the job.

i told myself it was all too easy. so i said, okay lord, i'll wait till friday.

and i did. and no one called. so i accepted the job.

the monday after, people started calling.

the pay is horrible (for the millionth time, i know. sorry) and it entails longer working hours and the commute is taxing to my 31-year-old self. but five days into my new job and all my dreams seem to be coming true.

right now, i'm coming to terms with the fact that yes, god does answer prayers and when he wills it, it will be answered in the most specific way possible. not masilaw sa pera part included

Monday, August 04, 2008

of new lunch mates, internet access at work, a phone on my desk, and a secretary named benny

when i was a kid, i'd play this game at my grandmother's house in cabanatuan. i'd commandeer her living room center table, put an old rotary phone on one corner and a typewriter on the other and pretend i was an office girl with loads and loads of work to do. i'd scribble for hours and hours on sheets of scratch paper, sometimes typing non-words (i didn't know how to properly form words yet) using the dilapidated typewriter, and force my aunts, uncles, cousins, and even my grandparents at times to come "visit" my office as if they were clients or guests.

clearly, i had a very specific idea of what an office ought to be like. no, scratch that. i had a very specific idea of how i wanted my work to be like.

of course everyone knows that i finished a degree in education so that meant faculty rooms for me. i never stayed long enough - now was even qualified enough - to get to the office-with-computer-and-phone level. so, i just hoped that since i switched over to law, i'd probably get my "dream office" when i finally become a lawyer.

when i got to the court of appeals, i sorta expected that i'd get some approximation of my dream office but what i got was a desk. yep, just a desk. since we didn't have enough computers, i had to bring my own. and the phone? well, there's a phone but not on my desk and almost always, it was never for me.

mark this day though because finally - yes finally - i got THE office.

i arrived at nine and it was not long before a secretary ushered me to my new "office". tiny as it may have been, my heart leapt a little when i noticed that it not only had a desk, it had a visitor's chair, my very own computer, and a complicated phone with lots of buttons. and when i turned the computer on, viola! internet access!

but wait, there's more! there's a secretary named benny :)

so, i may have taken a pay cut (yes, i can't stop talking about that, sorry) but by golly, i now have my own tiny space in the universe i can call my office. and if you need to reach me, well, you better get through benny first

p.s. i know my title begins with lunch mates and i haven't talked about lunch mates yet and i've ended my post already so here goes: i have lunch mates. yay.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

i may not know how to clean my house, but i'm pretty handy with a power drill

amongst my friends and my family, my house has become some sort of a legend. for one, no one's allowed inside for the simply reason that i cannot bear them to find out exactly how poor i am at keeping my immediate surroundings in order. in fact, there was a time when a couple of brothers helped me lug things from my house to the hospital when my brother had dengue and i left them very clear instructions that they are to stay in the garage and are not to set one foot inside the house.

thankfully, they complied. although i must say that the more i try to keep people out, the more curious they are as to how the inside looks like.

the rumors regarding my house escalated when i had two people clean my house for a full day. friends asked if they could now visit knowing that i had actually paid people to professionally fix everything. when i said no, they can't, since the cleaners didn't finish cleaning the entire place they were like, "grabe, it must be really, really dirty."

*insert rosa blushing furiously here*

anyway, two saturdays ago, fueled by the bright red "sale" signs at SM, i finally bought curtains and new curtain rods for the living and dining areas. that same night (or should i say early, very early, sunday morning), i took down the old curtains. then a little bit at a time, i unscrewed all the old rods and what-nots. thursday evening, armed with a power drill, i drilled through a concrete wall and finally attached new curtain rods in the living room. and, the saturday after that i drilled through another stretch of concrete wall to attach the curtains in the dining room. by lunch last week, i had beautiful, gorgeous, lovely curtains billowing in the breeze.

that, and very dirty living and dining areas.

and so, i put aside my lack of talent in the cleaning department. armed with a big canister of household wipes (like wet wipes, but only for the house. they disinfect too!), i slowly plowed through cleaning my house as much as i could. i used glass cleaner for the glass surfaces, "pledged" all the wood surfaces, and vacuumed the floors and rugs. i threw away those things which i hadn't used for eons and left at my house's curb all those things which could still be used but i couldn't use anymore. by saturday evening, my house - or at least the dining and living rooms - looked like a home.

throughout the entire week, i cleaned all the remaining spots in the said areas. i dumped all of my brother's remaining trash in his room.

by friday night, i had invited over my first guest.

and you know what? it felt great being able to show off two weeks worth of laboring at home.

i still hate cleaning, and i still would rather work the power drill than whip out the broom and dust pan. but there's a certain exhiliration that comes from cleaning a home that i could now finally call my own.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

it's the end of an era ... and the start of a new one.

yesterday i stuffed my car full of things i had accumulated over the last two years and 9 months, turned in my office keys, and said goodbye to government service.

it's the end of an era... and for the first time since i made the decision to leave, i'm feeling mighty scared of starting a new job.

of course every time gay and i would talk about this, she'd remind me that:
1) i prayed about it; and
2) my first day is bound to be exciting.

i've got my outfit all planned for monday. i've already sent a message to the firm making sure that they really accepted me - it's one of the things which scare me - arriving there and being told, "ha, tinanggap mo pala yung job? but we already gave it to someone else!"

i don't know how first day is going to be like. gay said the office manager will come, tell me how things are run in the office, stuff like that. my concerns, shallow as they may seem, include who i'll be eating lunch with, will i get my own room and computer, and will i make new friends?

i hope so. i had said goodbye - sort of - to people who've seen me shell shocked over failing the bar, cry over passing the bar, freaking out cause i couldn't manage to finish a resolution which has bugging me for months, and falling asleep while having a lunch conversation with my boss. i said goodbye to a cushy, happy, relaxing, stress-free job in exchange for a lower-paying, definitely stressful job in the middle of ortigas. i have no idea how life is going to be like.

i do know that it's not going to be like the way it is now: long, leisurely lunches, the knowledge that you're doing some good to the world when you turn in a decision you slaved over, highly addictive turon from the supreme court canteen, reading back issues of magazines when the perfect words escape me, and robinson's five tumblings away. oh well.

and so, just keep me in your prayers! i am definitely going to need it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

living alone and dealing with my neighbor's leaves

i live alone and, while it could get pretty lonely at times, i've gotten used to it. when you're too lazy to pick up after yourself, or when the trash reaches smokey mountain level, there's no one to nag you, no one who'd judge you for your sloppiness.

but then you learn to live with the mess. at the end of the day, when it gets so horrible you can't bear it, you can always force yourself to spend an entire weekend cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning some more until the house is clean enough you won't be ashamed to have friends over.

it gets horrible though when you have neighbors - neighbors you've peacefully co-existed with for the last 18 years or so - who decide to one day trim their tree and allow the trimmed branches and leaves to fall into your yard. and horrible cause you have to drag that uber-heavy branch and sweep thousands, if not millions, of leaves.

hateful. hateful. hateful.

so i have a dream. i dream that i will be rich enough to afford someone to fix my house for me. someone who'd scrub the bathroom floors (yet another job i hate). someone who'd take care of the leaves in the yard and who'd tell the neighbor off for dumping his trash on my lawn. and, oh, someone who'd keep me company when it gets too friggin' lonely for words.

but for now, i guess i'd have to rely on my own powers to deal with it. so far, i've dragged the offending branches and they've been disposed off and the millions of leaves have been encased in garbage bags. i've taken the first step to fabulousness at home by buying curtains and lovely curtain rods.

who knows? a month or two for now, i can take the next big step and actually invite my friends for coffee or tea or drinks at home. god knows they've asked often enough.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

finally, my words, published.

of course, since i'm basically a ghost writer, no one would really know that it was i who churned out those words using my aged laptop in a cold corner in room 310 of the centennial building.

but then again, i blog. so now everyone who cares to read this would now know. :)

manila standard

business mirror

gma news tv

p.s. thanks to f.b. who first informed me that it was on the papers. apparently, he saw it on inquirer but it's not online anymore. hmph.
what do you know. i've actually fulfilled a number of my new year's resolutions.

last december 29, 2007, i promised myself that in 2008, i will:

#1 - buy more shoes.
#2 - spend more time at the mall.
#3 - eat kfc regularly.
#4 - apply for a law firm.
#5 - go to ortigas to get IBP id.
#6 - update resume.
#7 - renew passport.
#8 - apply for a us visa.
#9 - relax and not panic that i'm not married/coupled up with someone/dating someone for the moment.
#10 - spend more time with family.

and guess what ...

#1 - i've bought at least three pairs (i'm not really sure how many but i'm at least sure of three that i've bought recently) of shoes. and the only reason why i haven't bought more is cause i've bought a very expensive bag that i'm still paying for.
#2 - like, duh. of course i spend LOTS of time at the mall. i'd like to say though that because of aforementioned bag, i actually do not BUY much at the mall anymore. galing, no?
#3 - i still do eat kfc regularly, notwithstanding the inexplicably long lines. i mean, come on. all they serve is chicken, more chicken, and even more chicken. so how come it takes forever for them to serve you, right? still, i must admit that the long lines and my recurring allergy to chicken can prevent me from having my kfc fix.
#4 - i've not only applied for a firm, i applied to a LOT of firms and in 18 days, i'll begin working for one. happiness, right?
#5 - i've got my ibp id and my lifetime certificate too. totoong abogado na talaga ako.
#6 - my resume is not only updated, it got me a job :)
#7 - i've gotten my picture taken and i've filled out the form. thanks to tita mayu, by august 3, i can readily pack up and leave the philippines any time ... except that, well, uhm, i'm pretty broke.
#10 - well, the fact that i'm always either at tita mayu's house, out with lingkod and tuloy people can mean only one thing: i'm making time for family and friends.

clearly, i've only got the US visa to apply for (keep fingers crossed that tito lito will be able to help me apply for this) and to relax over my present state of life.

the first one is achievable. with the super handsome ex calling again for some reason, the second one is going to be a bit more difficult though.

but, i don't care. 8 out of ten ain't so bad midway through the year, doncha think?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

glad it's done and over with

when i first passed the bar, i thought the euphoric state would never pass. gay told me it would but i sort of didn't want to believe her. after all, it took me an extra year to finish law school and another extra year to finally make it so i was convinced that becoming a lawyer at thirty meant that i would enjoy every single day of it.

in fact, for the first month or so, i'd always wake up with a start and sort of whisper to myself, shucks, ang galing, abogado na ako.

of course, being the wise person that she is, gay was right. it was not long before the giddy feeling actually passed. the days started being normal again. and, while i don't have to correct the guards when they call me attorney now, it felt like it was only then that i felt like a lawyer. for all intents and purposes, i was doing the same job, for basically the same pay, in the same place, at the exact same desk.

but at least three times a year - june to july when people pass their bar petitions, september during the bar, and march when the results come out - i'd get reminded of the fact that i'm a lawyer now and there's no more bar examinations to deal with and NOTHING IS EVER - short of being disbarred - GOING TO CHANGE THAT FACT.

and honestly, during those times, the only thought that clutters my brain is that i'm glad the bar is done and over with.

Monday, June 30, 2008

i know i gotta go to work now, but ...

here at tita mayu's house, with free wi-fi and the promise of good food at mealtimes so it shouldn't come as a wonder that i can't force myself to go to work. right now, my excuse is that my laundry is still outside, trying to make the most out of the sun which belatedly made an appearance today. everything's cold and damp, and will only end up being smelly and icky if i take them down now and pack them up in the car.

but, i very well know that the major reason why my butt is comfortably parked in an ergonomic chair which has seen better days is the fact that today is the day that i'm supposed to tell my boss that i have finally decided to move on.

it's funny how in the beginning, the government job was just something to tide me over until i passed the bar. i think that in my entire batch in UP, i was the only one who didn't knew where she was headed after graduation. the top people had job offers, the others passed out resumes. me, well, i focused on finishing the tasks i needed to complete before resigning from ua&p and reviewing for the bar.

it didn't help that when i came on board, i was made to believe that the work was temporary too. there were no other lawyers positions available so should i pass the bar, i would have to (gasp! - at least then) look for another job. but lo and behold, something opened up for me, and it became too embarrassing to say you'd rather pack up and leave. even more embarrassing when you've sort of told everyone that you're gunning to eventually be the court of appeal's executive clerk of court.

i guess the pressure of family, the advice of friends, and the fact that lack of productivity (entirely my fault, i assure you) has become a favorite sin of sorts has forced me to accept that maybe, just maybe, it's time to move on. well, that and a whole lot of other things that i can't really write down here.

anyway, i'm bound for a firm that i've wanted to work for since law school. it's small, and unless you move around in legal circles, you won't really recognize the names of the partners. i'm taking a pay cut (gasp again, first because i'm coming from the government which supposedly pays really low and second because given the economy why am i even thinking of doing this, right?) which i hope will be amended soon (because otherwise this will mean having my cable and pldt phone cut, not to mention finally unplugging that ref which eats up electricity!). i am excited like i've never been excited before. i've been grinning like a stupid cat for the last six days, and much like passing the bar, i've no doubt i'll be grinning until august 4.

but first, i have to resign. which brings me to where i first started.

my butt's still parked in this ergonomic chair which has seen better days. i better get going. asap.

Related Posts with Thumbnails