Tuesday, March 30, 2010

say a little prayer for me

five years ago, i finally said goodbye to the UP College of Law. and, i said hello to unemployment.

ever since i graduated from college in 1998, i've never been without a job. even though i resigned from my short-lived stint as a pre-school teacher in mid-december and was actually prepared to be unemployed for a couple of months, i was lucky blessed enough to be offered a full scholarship for a master's degree in education, with a monthly stipend equal to my previous salary.

not bad, not bad at all.

then, a year and a half into my master's degree, a friend challenged me by asking me why i didn't take the UP law aptitude exam as originally planned. so i said, maybe i will. and i did. and i passed.

my parents weren't exactly into supporting me again as a full-time student, plus i couldn't get out of my contract with the school so i decided maybe i'll be a working student.

and so for five long years, i was a teacher by day and a student by night. it was tough, horrible at times, but it paid for stacks and stacks of photocopies. my dorm room, and my day-to-day expenses.

but then i had to resign to review for the bar, and so, right after finishing my degree, i tendered my resignation. since i wasn't exactly brilliant as a law student (i blame my working student status, hahaha), i had to figure out what to do after the bar.

it was then that i realized that while i enjoyed the thought of becoming a lawyer, i didn't exactly know what kind of lawyer i wanted to become. so, i jumped at the first available offer: the court of appeals.

the court of appeals wasn't bad. it was great. i loved the working hours, but more than that, i loved that i learned more while i was there than in the five years i was in the college of law. everything seemed so practical. all of a sudden, the difference between a petition for certiorari and an appeal by certiorari made sense. i also realized i loved labor even more.

then it got to be a bit tiring ... after a while, every day seemed to be a repeat of the day before. so i decided applying for a job in a law firm. i told myself, hey, i think i want to experience how a real lawyer feels like: to sign pleadings, to appear in court, to be called "attorney" ... and, call me crazy, but i wanted to be very busy too.

fast forward to today -- while i still get to enjoy the work i'm doing now, i think i'm up for another change. i've been asking my friends for advice, for help, for prayers. i don't know where i'm headed for. i don't even know what i want the future to bring. there's a general feeling of antsy-ness at the pit of my stomach, and i just hope that whatever the future brings, that it'll be something that'll make me smile when i think of the word "work" once more.

Monday, March 29, 2010

i pray that God bestows grace upon you all

for some reason, the Supreme Court has this thing about releasing bar grades right before holy week. when i first took it, and flunked, i remember griping about going home to the province and having to see all those congratulatory banners every ten meters or so from sta. rita, bulacan till cabanatuan, nueva ecija. i was very upset.

feelings aside, i remember having gone on my first lingkod alabang retreat right before the results came out, and how each moment, i prayed for God's grace. i didn't ask to pass - i guess i must've known then how inadequate my preparation was. instead, i constantly asked for the strength to take the bar examinations again should i not be blessed with seeing my name on that list.

i remember it was around the end of march too. it was 2006. i was scared i'd lose my job. i was so ashamed to tell my aunt and grandmother (who bankrolled the entire thing but giving me my allowance and paid for the hotel) about failing. so i cried until it hurt to cry anymore. and then, because i knew i had prayed for God's grace and felt that i had received it, i picked myself up the following day and planned to do it all over again.

the next six months were nothing short of torture. i had to work since i couldn't ask for an allowance any longer. that in itself was a blessing - my boss didn't mind that i was sharing work duties with reviewing; rather, she encouraged me by saying that i'd learn more cause what i was doing was practically the stuff i had to learn for the bar. my friends/officemates taught me the stuff i couldn't understand, lent me their books, and pitched in for me when things were just too tough for me to handle.

and i planned. a lot. i had schedules and daily targets and mini-challenges for myself. see that post-it? that was stuck on the cover of a book where i allowed myself to cross out the page number after every fifty pages. i don't think i finished crossing out the page numbers, but i do know that i finished that book.

i finished every single book i had that time.

on 3 april 2007, i finally saw my name on the list. on 3 may 2007, i signed the roll of attorneys.

with only around a fourth passing the bar examinations, there are more whose hearts are heavy and burdened right now. there are more who don't know what to do, who are most likely fearful, uncertain, and lost. i've been there before, and i survived. i just pray that God bestows the same grace He gave me then. there is nothing like it, and there is nothing sweeter when, a year later, you realize where that grace has brought you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

pretend healthy naman kasi.

at the s&r sale over the weekend, i tried - the best i can - to avoid buying junkfood and my super ultra-favorite drink, cherry 7-up.

i told myself, hey, you're 33. you're not getting any younger. you have got to start being healthy.

and since i know that orange juice, while good, just really wouldn't be all that for me, i bought this.

it even says "breakfast" in front so i figured this will be great, especially for those days (translation: everyday) that i need to rush out the door. look at all those fruits on the label. just looking at them, i'm thinking, i'm sooooooo super healthy already.

and not just that, look at all the vitamins i'm getting.

the best, diba?

but you know, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. i am an old dog. at the end of the day, i have to admit, sadly, that health stuff aside, all i really want are stuff like this:

ultra fake baked macaroni from the cafeteria.

have a great friday, everyone. if you can, try not to eat meat today! (if you're like me, however, you would've forgotten it was friday, popped in an empanada from yesterday in the toaster oven, and enjoyed it super so much.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

this is what i had for lunch

let me explain.

this morning, i realized that all my black flats had gone to heaven and died.

seriously. they were in various stages of death.

and i had a hearing. at 8:30 am. in QC.

so i said, i'll pick the one which has a little life in it left. i got in the car and went to my 6am mass.

as i walked to the church from the parking lot, it felt like there was something wrong with my shoes. but when i checked, they seemed okay. so i thought, maybe it was just me.

when i walked from the church to the car, there it was again, but i checked, and again it seemed okay.

it wasn't the same though when i got to the office. it was falling apart. so i changed into my "emergency shoes" underneath my desk. enough to get me through the hearing, but definitely not through the entire day. you see, the reason why those shoes were underneath my desk was because i had to buy emergency shoes the last time i wore them cause the glue was coming apart.

i think glue coming apart is the hazard of a warm house + not wearing certain pairs of shoes often enough + old age.

anyway, i did have the office utility person rugby my shoes together but we all know that once shoes have been "rugbied" together you can't trust them anymore.

i know i can't. i've had way too many disasters.

so during lunch - i ate a late breakfast after i got back from the hearing - i went to galleria, decided i was going to buy a pair of black flats, and finally rid myself of dead and dying shoes at home.

of course, there were an entire slew of flats that cause my attention - orange ones, fuchsia ones, studded ones. and i thought of getting them all, especially since i was wearing a black dress and they'd all go with my outfit. then i realized that i had an entire rainbow of flats at home and the only reason why i wasn't able to wear them was that i was going a white and black tweed blazer to the hearing. would i want to have the exact same problem again a month or two from now?

an animal print in black and white at aldo with kitten heels would've been perfect except that i still wanted the price to go further down. i am kuripot that way.

so i went to happy feet where i got my last pair of super perfect ballet flats, hoping that again, they'd have black ballet flats on sale. and they did. and so i bought.

and that's why i'm hungry now but wearing perfect shoes.

p.s. i am reminded of a conversation g and i once had, and how she commented that rachel alejandro, when she was still in that's entertainment, wore black flats with everything, believing they went with, well, everything. at that time i couldn't really comment, so i just nodded. you see, i couldn't admit to her that like rachel alejandro, and my major love for shoes notwithstanding, i too believe that black flats go with everything.

it's a very happy birthday ... uhm, day?

it's crazy how many important people in my life celebrate their birthday today.

okay, it's just four, plus a high school classmate. but still. how often do you have four people close enough to you that you actually know their birthdays celebrate their birthday on the same date?

me - just 25 march.

first. tito lito - the husband of my beloved tita mayu. tito lito is the coolest uncle i have. when we were kids, he used to save his baon to bring goldilocks polvoron whenever he'd visit tita mayu. he had to save his baon to get those, so whenever my brother and i would tell tita mayu we want polvoron too she'd tell us, "you have to finish that, and if you can't you give it to me na lang." that's how much she loved him. and knowing the sacrfices he made to buy the polvoron, that's how much he loved her too.

tito lito picked us up from cabanatuan that summer my mom and dad were both away, and we were too bored in cabanatuan already. tita mayu's house (or actually, lola terry's house) was (and still is) cool. it had a bathtub and when i was a kid, a bathtub was the next best thing to a swimming pool.

tito lito woke up early four sundays of the bar to bring me to la salle. it didn't matter that i wasn't his kid, nor that i wasn't even a blood relative. and it didn't matter that i'm not even tita mayu's niece, just a malayong kamag-anak. he was there to make sure i didn't panic, that i got to the gates when i wanted to get there (he wasn't like "agahan natin" or "masyadong maaga"), and that i didn't have a thing to worry about except getting the answers correct.

tito lito is a fabulous husband and a sweet father and, to me, the coolest uncle. and if i have a choice, i'd want someone like him too. he's just that great, and i am blessed i get to call him my "adoptive father".

second. dek is my "guardian brother". i call him gb. it began when he kept telling me stuff: eat breakfast. eat lunch. drink lots of water. stop texting while driving. and, while i'd generally be irritated with someone as "involved" as he was, he did it in the nicest way possible that i couldn't help but appreciate all the things he'd do for me. i'm lucky i met him - he was so taray, i was so friendly that he just had no choice but to be friends with me too. hehehe.

thanks for the gentle reminders, the pictures, the text messages and phone calls, and always, always being my gb. promise, i'll bring you to s&r and make you libre pizza.

third. anto is my super shopping buddy. the first day we met, i already got to drag her to buy a cellphone with me. and that was just day one. thousands of pesos later, we're closer than ever. she's a sabado girl, the person who learns stuff last cause i'm "scared" of her. she's my kunsensiya, almost like, if i can't tell anto about this, then i shouldn't be doing it at all.

anto has seen me happy and sad, first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening, laughing and crying, sober and drunk ... and things are still the same between us. i just don't expect her to say "i love you" ... except she did, on my birthday, cause i've been bugging her about it already.

and, last, alex. enchanted kingdom. anything cheese. and that purple (violet? blue?) sando on top of a white shirt. galing kumanta, okay sumayaw, walang kwenta mag-park (joke!). i can't even remember now how you and i became friends, but thanks for the memories we shared when you were still here ... sana madagdagan pa!

i don't know if any of the foregoing people, except alex maybe, will get to read this post. still, it doesn't hurt to write all those stuff down. just so that they'll know they count. a lot.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

i will "secret" this

*image from OnlyMobilePhones

i have been reading chuvaness' blog so much the past couple of days (or has it been a week already???) that i'm picking up on her language (sadly, without the same finesse and style). see, whenever she wants something, she uses the principles behind the secret on it to ensure that she will get the thing she wants soooo badly.

she did it so many times (on a condo even) and has gotten the thing she wanted all the time that i think i will "secret" this phone too.

two stories:

1) i volunteer for tuloy sa don bosco, and during one volunteer's anniversary (it was in 2008 i think), fr. rocky asked us all to watch "the secret". at the end of the movie (show?) he asked us to form groups and share what we thought of it, the things we want to "secret" and other things. i remember kidding how i'll envision an engagement ring on my left hand, with me doing the requisite raise-the-left-hand-to-look-at-imaginary-engagement-ring-sparkling-in-the-sun pose but i never really took it seriously.

2) when i passed the bar and my dad came home, i was able to cajole him into buying me a phone i didn't need so we'll be "matching" and he said yes and so, for the first time in years, i got a phone not from greenhills and i loved it until a year later, it started to be difficult in that certain keys became horribly difficult to press. i had it repaired thrice - the first time in nokia care where they just reformatted it (boo!) and the second and third times in tektite where the problem would go away for a bit and return again. i tried having it fixed at st. francis square where - weirdly - they told me that they can't fix it unless it's really sira, meaning the keys totally don't function anymore. now, what good is that kung sira na talaga eh ngayon pa lang hirap na hirap na ako.

anyway, the secret + sira phone = i want this phone. i have an e63 which it totally love but i can't use it while driving (shhh... i text and drive) and so i want a normal phone i can use while i'm behind the wheel. life's safer that way, believe me. i will totally "secret" it, day and night, night and day.

then again, maybe someone could just buy me the phone. hello, santa claus. after all, it does feel like christmas in the mornings.

chilly mornings

since i've yet to fork out the money to buy an airconditioner for my bedroom (the same bedroom i've used since i was a first year high school student and it wasn't that hot yet), not to mention the fact that getting an aircon will mean having someone make a hole on the wall, install the aircon, and fix my house's wiring, i'm stuck with an electric fan. now, i'm pretty much cowboy about things like this - there are times when it gets too hot and i tell myself i MUST must buy an aircon soon, but it usually passes, and before you know it, it's cold once more and i'm okay.

after all, i haven't even gotten around to buying a flat screen and the tv i'm using is even older than the house i'm living in right now.

anyway, back to topic.

no aircon = sleeping with an electric fan and no matter how many people say it's bad and no matter how cool the weather gets, i like having the fan "steady", hitting me full blast. when it's cold, i just don pajamas, get an extra thick blanket, and i'm good, and when it's warm, more often than not, it's just an oversized shirt and undies, no blanket, good luck to me sleeping in ultra warm weather. it's been that way for years and so far, i'm good, i've survived, and i'm thinking i can survive yet another summer.

when i heard about the el nino news i was bracing myself for the major heatwave, especially at night. i knew that meant looking for the most "manipis" white shirts in my closet, the most "maluwag", the most comfortable if i'm going to get any sleep. i tucked away the comforter, even told myself i can do away with the blanket for the next couple of months. i was ready for warm and i am going to get my sleep, burning temperatures notwithstanding.

the freaky thing though is that the last couple of mornings, i've had to turn down the fan, get a blanket, and even don pajamas. it was actually cold! last night, i must've woken up several times - to turn down the fan, to change sleeping outfits, and to cover myself with a thicker blanket. it's almost like christmas season once more.

i don't know if this is due to the coming storm, or if it's simply a sign of how berserk our weather is nowadays. i'm not complaining - chilly nights are lovely, IMHO. but seriously, i think this is a sign that we all need to start doing something about the environment.

me, i've basically given up drinking straws for the last ten years (after i heard how they can add up). i try to refuse plastic bags as much as i can, like when i'm just buying chippy from 7-11, or when the girl from the cafeteria double bag things (paper bag THEN plastic bag). i've still to get into the habit of bringing reusable bags with me when i shop (i got two last christmas and they're just at home, i keep forgetting to put them in my bag). so far, i've taken teeny tiny baby steps. i think it's about time i take giant steps.

p.s. the shawl has nothing to do with the post, except that i want to put a picture up and shawls = chilly weather. i saw that yesterday and got it, hoping to give it to tita mayu if she'll like it. it's a bit too bright for her, i'm thinking, so if she doesn't want it, it's mine. cause, after all, it IS chilly.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

retail therapy

i know i said no unnecessary shopping during lent. however, while i've been very good with keeping my promise to attend daily masses, i've been pretty bad at staying away from the mall. horrible, i admit. i think since lent began, i've been passing by national bookstore at least once a week to get an armload of books.

i tell myself it's cause i commute these days. and it's cause having lots of books to read means that i stay at home more cause there's something else to do aside from watching television. i also try to convince myself that books are goods for one's soul (and i believe that they really are) and they expand one's horizon beyond the here and now (and they really do).

but since i have last week's armful of books still left unread, i'm beginning to think it's cause i just cannot pass up a good sale.

i mean, these books are cheap.

dirt cheap.

and anyone who loves reading as much as i do, and reads as fast as i do, especially on lazy weekends when i'd rather go hungry than go out, these things are manna from heaven.

i just try to think that easter came early for me.

of course it doesn't help that my room now smells like cherry pie, thanks to betty crocker. i got this from the S&R sale where a lot of things were buy one take one. i wasn't too excited at first since a lot of candles nowadays smell nice on the bottle but does very little to perfume the room (yes, i know it's cause i buy cheap candles. hahaha!) but these are just lovely!!!

anyway, last of my stash happens to be mint 3 musketeers from my not-so-favorite store, the dollar store. got the tip from tita ethel who said they were being sold there for around a hundred bucks for 8 pieces (P109 actually! that's a little over P13 per piece. not bad to satisfy a mint craving!)

i know i said i'll never go back to the dollar store after i got "tricked" into buying disposable razor thinking it was cheaper there only to discover that pcx has it for 2/3 of the price. hateful, hateful, hateful, considering that sometimes, i think stuff's been in the dollar store for ages judging from the thin layer of dust over everything they're selling. plus, the staff's not too nice. it's like you owe them for punching in the stuff you bought. still, the desire for mint chocolate comes before pride (sad to say) and so i still bought.

i was actually thinking of buying 10 packs (80 pieces of mint goodness) but i stopped myself and said that's too much.

after all, it's just in alabang and i can pass by anytime.

this is soooooo not right.

i tell myself, you're saving up for a bag (yes, another bag. bad bad bad). and there's the "plan" to get a bag when you turn 35. so stop buying, start saving. after all, i still haven't saved up for vietnam (much less paid for the tickets!!! sorry!!!). but sometimes, retail therapy is just sooooo good.

and, as i always tell myself, so much cheaper than going insane.

Monday, March 22, 2010

of crappy english and the upcoming bar results

right now, i am drafting an opinion for a client. while i can't post the details here (client confidentiality and all that), let's just say that i am having the most difficult time cause, for the life of me, i cannot understand what this certain lawyer is trying to say.

this brings me back to the time when i was still an executive assistant v in the court of appeals, meaning i was a law graduate but i haven't passed the bar yet. it basically involves doing the same things that the lawyers are doing, except for much, much less pay. i thought i was going to be an executive assistant v for a couple of months only, but then i didn't pass the bar on my first take, and it meant being in the same position for yet another year. i can't really diss the position, since i truly learned so many things drafting decisions and resolutions but what got me really down was when i'd be faced with horribly written pleadings, with the worst english, by lawyers.

the thing is, as lawyers, everything we know is in our heads. our jobs rely primarily on how well we are able to communicate these ideas - to our clients, to the opposing party, to the judge. that's the reason why, to this date, the bar examination is a four-week trauma journey that requires you to write - by hand - essay type answers. it would be so easy to come up with an examination that would simply ask "which of the following is not an element of the crime of qualified theft" or something like that to test the prospective lawyer's knowledge of the law, but it will not, unfortunately test his ability to communicate. and, as i said, communication is key.

so, while i may not be the most grammatically suave person (just ask my bosses, i am prone to stupid little mistakes), i'd like to think that i am able to communicate my ideas to the reader, with very little, if any, confusion. so that additional year that i was slaving away, trying to work while reviewing a second time, i'd cringe every single time i'd come across a poorly written pleading, and ask god, why, why, why is s/he a lawyer and not me. i'd then ask my friends, why don't they make the bar easier? why don't they just make it multiple choice like all the other board exams? why does it have to be so complicated???? (naks, a sharon line!!) and my friend g would always tell me, your view will change once you pass the bar yourself.

come 3 april 2010, it will be three years since i received the most wonderful news in the world. i remember how i went home early, found myself stuck in quezon blvd traffic with what presumably was the chief justice's camry, and was so scared knowing that if he was on his way home already, then the en banc session was done already and the results would be out really, really soon. i remember how i gave g my two phones, went to mass, and couldn't remember anything the priest said. i just stood up when everyone stood up, and knelt when they did. and then we went home, and no results still, and then r called congratulating me, and then i called family (my dad, crazy man, wasn't picking up to hear the greatest news in the universe) almost in tears trying to tell them that, yes, i finally made it this time around.

and you know what, g was right. it all changes once you finally pass the bar. cause i remember the years after that, they kept lowering the passing rate to 70% and i kept thinking that dang, if they did that when i first took the bar i would have passed myself so how dumb is that????

anyway, the results will be out soon (it usually comes out holy week. mine came out on holy tuesday) and there's chismis that a huge percentage is disqualified already (for getting grades below 50% in any single subject) and that very few people passed tax (which is a really dumb bar subject if you ask me)and so the supreme court had to sit en banc to decide what to do with the results. IMHO, it doesn't help anyone when you lower your standards. because really, all you have to do is read this complaint affidavit prepared by this lawyer i know to realize what a stupid idea that is.

p.s. that said, i am keeping my fingers crossed and my hands in prayer mode for the brother of a friend. may he be more blessed than i was and make it on his first take.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

random thoughts

i used to do this everyday. as a matter of fact i had a few couple of readers who would patiently comment on my ramblings. i even met a couple of friends through this blog. and now, i can't even muster up the energy to do more than tweet.

have i, like the rest of the universe, lost the power to write beautiful words?

but then again, i'd like to think, i used to be a teacher and a law student, and that meant that when i wasn't reading or studying, i was talking. writing was a luxury i did the moment i got to work and the office was quiet and my mind was bursting with ideas, thoughts, and musings. now, lawyer that i am, i basically write for a living. i write letters, opinions, and emails. i write 40-page (or more) pleadings basically begging the courts to rule in favor of my client. i even record phone conversations in the form of letters. as my boss (and mentor) loves to remind me, put everything down in writing.

the downside to that is that in spite of the liberal internet access at work (i don't have internet access at home. i may be the only middle class person without internet access) i rarely find myself blogging. so many thoughts and ideas cross my mind in the course of a day (like how my secretary would probably keel over and die if we lost our internet connection, or whether or not those who buy fake bags like buying fake or they just really like the bag and couldn't be bothered with the real thing). so many "good" writing fodder ... and yet i resort to tweeting.

the entire day yesterday, i was majorly addicted to reading daphne osena-paez' blog that i kept clicking "previous 20" over and over again, going back, back, back into her past. i read about her kids named after flowers, her wonderful husband, her lovely siblings. i read about her house with the red door, and how she pared down her life by selling 50% of her clothers and 80% of her shoes. and the though that kept crossing my mind over and over again was that "i want."

thinking about it more this morning, "i want" not just the charmed life that she leads (a mom and wife with a couple of interesting part-time jobs, or something like that, as she describes herself on twitter) but i also want that part wherein she writes - freely, with joy, and with barely a touch of bitterness. of course, my writing before was full of angst, but i chalk that up to being in my 20s, and being a major fan of jessica zafra in college. i'm in my 30s now, and haven't read much of jessica's recent work. things are different, and i'm thinking, my writing will be different too, hopefully, as carefree, and yet as carefully worded, as daphne's is.

she's always been my favorite f girl, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to "grow up" to be like her.

anyway, today's the first day in a couple of weeks that i'm not going to be in the office really early. i'm not yet late ... after all, work doesn't begin till 9. it's just that i'm in qc and the car is coding so i'm hitching a ride to work lang. it's so fun to have relaxed mornings. recently, relaxed mornings have meant waking up at 5, going to the 6 am mass, then being in the office by 745 - 830 (depending of whether i took the car to work or commuted). today, it's meant going to mass at 630, eating a leisurely breakfast (egg salad sandwich. i love) at tita mayu's, and just reading a bit more of daphne's journal (i'm in 2008 now. stalker much).

hopefully, i'll be able to write more beginning today. so, fine, i've said that about five times already in the past six months. but a girl can dream, can't she?

see you soon.
Related Posts with Thumbnails