Thursday, October 28, 2010

monster in the making

my *not-so-new* officemates might have begun thinking i'm a monster. inasmuch as i want to disavow them of whatever notions that are presently developing in their heads, i don't think i can. because this afternoon, i swear, the monster that i've so patiently kept inside me reared its ugly head.

you see, i've been hating my hair for the longest time. something must've gone wrong in the rebonding session a year ago because after a month or so, my hair turned into this monstrous mess. so i just kept having it trimmed.

in january at azta.

in march at the place where i have my hair colored.

in june, at this salon in trinoma that i can't remember right now.

and i kept having it treated too.

knowing that only gilbert the stylist can find a long term solution for the doldrums i'm going through right now, i kept trying to find a way to bring myself to his salon in greenhills. but between switching jobs, catching up with family, and doing other stuff, i just couldn't find the time.

so i was supposed to get a cheap haircut from wow salon last monday. but i got hair reborn instead.

when my officemates said, hey let's go to abs-cbn after lunch (one of them had to go to the bank there), i said, okay, may parlor ba dun?

i could've gone to antonio's hairdressing which was on the way, but i was too cheap to shell out Php450 for a quickie haircut. so i said, sige sa reyes na lang.

how stupid of me. i've never had a good haircut there, whether it be reyes, or ricky reyes, or rchc (or something like that). but maybe i was desperate. or impatient. or everything else in between.

since i was just going to go for a trim (translation: please follow the current cut, just trim it an inch all around), i picked the cheapest stylist. still, with all the P34.99 salons around, a hundred bucks isn't that cheap.

i should've known better. i should've known from the way he pranced around the salon. i should've known from the smelly towel he draped around my shoulders. i should've known from the way he attempted to dry cut my hair. there were a bazillion signs telling me to just stand up and leave, but i ignored them all.

as i said, i was desperate. and impatient. and everything else in between.

so he cut my bangs straight across. then he cut around one two three inches from the right side. by the time he cut three inches on the left side, i flat out asked him to stop.

and i asked him to explain himself. cause for the life of me, i couldn't picture in my mind what he was attempting to do. at this point, i looked like someone who was so frustrated that she cut her hair with paper scissors in her desk, without a mirror, in the middle of the day.

so he tried explaining. he said he cut my bangs. and i was like, no those aren't bangs anymore, "hair ko na siya" (obviously i know bangs are hair too, but you know what i mean).

he said, i can fix it. so he cut some more.

he attempted to cut some more is more like it.

because by the time he was finished, i had "patilla" of hair on the sides. and long hair at the back.

i'm a freak. and i hate it.

i threw a hissy fit. and my officemates saw it.

they saw the monster inside. oh no.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

bawal mangopya

bago ako naging ganap na abogado, isa akong guro.

ako yung guro na minumura ng mga estudyante kasi matigas ako. mataray. walang puso. ang paniniwala ko kasi, lalo na sa klase ng mga mag-aaral na tinuturuan ako, hindi chika ang pag-aaral. sa laki ng binabayaran ng magulang nila sa paaralan, kailangan ko siguraduhing may matututunan sila sa akin. at, dahil nga sanay sila sa marangyang buhay, alien concept sa kanila ang mahirapan at pahirapan. kaya ayun -- kung nakamamatay ang mura, hindi na ako umabot ng 30.

correction. hindi na ako siguro umabot ng 25. kasi lahat ang majority sa kanila, galit sa akin.

tanda ko tuloy, nung isang beses, may nakita akong dating estudyante sa premiere ng isang sine ni john lloyd at bea. at kahit na nakanigiti siya sa akin nung magtama ang aming mga mata, binulong niya dun sa isa ding guro na kasama na niya sa trabaho ngayon na inakusahan ko daw siya ng plagiarism na hindi naman daw totoo.

natawa na lang ako doon. kasi, sa pagkakaalam ko, pag kinopya, tapos hindi inilagay kung saan galing, plagiarism na yun.

minsan naman may isang estudyante, binagsak ko din dahil kumopya ng isang article. ang paliwanag niya, tito niya yung nagsulat sa isang website o pahayagan at pinayagan siya gamitin yung texto, kaya okay lang yun. ang sagot ko, hindi. pwede walang copyright infringement, pero hindi nun ibig sabihin na tama yung pag-alis niya ng attribution sa source.

sa totoo nga, may mas malala pa sa akin. yun teacher ni pam pastor, ibinagsak siya for plagiarism kasi i-sinubmit niya as an assignment sa teacher yung isang article na na-publish na dati sa pahayagan. tanda ko yung blog post pa niya noon -- aniya, i didn't know i could plagiarize myself.

so bakit ito yung pinag-uusapan natin ngayon? dahil dito. ayon sa mga punong mahistrado, wala daw plagiarism. malamang there was inadvertence at it was all an accident at the documents went through so many revisions that the original footnotes ended up being deleted in the editing process. pero para sa akin -- makitid man ang paningin ko, sana lang, they called a spade a spade.

because, inadvertent or not, accidental or otherwise, plagiarism took place. siguro, pwedeng mitigating circumstance yung hindi naman sinadya nung abogada na mawala yung mga footnotes niya. at malamang totoo namang ni-research niya ang draft decision. pero kung ang mga estudyante sa paaralan ay pwedeng ibagsak dahil sa pagkopya na walang attribution to the source, hindi ba dapat mas maalam ang isang mahistrado ng pinakamataas na hukuman ng bansa?

tama si justice sereno, and i quote (kasi baka ako masabihang nag-plagiarize din)

"Contrary to the view of my esteemed colleagues, the above is not a fair presentation of what happens in electronically generated writings aided by electronic research.

First, for a decision to make full attribution for lifted passages, one starts with block quote formatting or the “keying-in” of quotation marks at the beginning and at the end of the lifted passages. These keyed-in computer commands are not easily accidentally deleted, but should be deliberately inputted where there is an intention to quote and attribute.

Second, a beginning acknowledgment or similar introduction to a lengthy passage copied verbatim should not be accidentally deleted; it must be deliberately placed.

Third, the above explanation regarding the lines quoted in A.1 in the majority Decision may touch upon what happened in incident A.1, but it does not relate to what happened in incidents B.1 to C.6 of the Tables of Comparison, which are wholesale lifting of excerpts from both the body and the footnotes of the referenced works, without any attribution, specifically to the works of Criddle & Fox-Decent and of Ellis. While mention was made of Tams’s work, no mention was made at all of the works of Criddle & Fox-Decent and of Ellis even though the discussions and analyses in their discursive footnotes were used wholesale.

Fourth, the researcher’s explanation regarding the accidental deletion of 2 footnotes out of 119 does not plausibly account for the extensive amount of text used with little to no modifications from the works of Criddle & Fox-Decent and Ellis. As was presented in Tables B and C, copied text occurs in 22 instances in pages 27, 31, and 32 of the Vinuya decision. All these instances of non-attribution cannot be remedied by the reinstatement of 2 footnotes.

Fifth, the mention of Tams in “See Tams, Enforcing Obligations Erga omnes in International Law (2005)” in footnote 69 of the Vinuya decision was not a mere insufficiency in “clarity of writing,” but a case of plagiarism under the rule prohibiting the use of misleading citations.

Sixth, the analogy that was chosen ─ that of a carpenter who discards materials that do not fit into his carpentry work ─ is completely inappropriate. In the scheme of
“cutting and pasting” that the researcher did during her work, it is standard practice for the original sources of the downloaded and copied materials to be regarded as integral parts of the excerpts, not extraneous or ill-fitting. A computer-generated ocument can accommodate as many quotation marks, explanatory notes, citations nd attributions as the writer desires and in multiple places. The limits of most desktop computer drives, even those used in the Supreme Court, are in magnitudes of gigabytes and megabytes, capable of accommodating 200 to 400 books per gigabyte (with each book just consuming roughly 3 to 5 megabytes). The addition of a footnote to the amount of file space taken up by an electronic document is practically negligible. It is not as if the researcher lacked any electronic space; there was simply no attribution.

Seventh, contrary to what is implied in the statement on Microsoft Word’s lack of an
alarm and in paragraph 4 of the decretal portion of the majority Decision, no software exists that will automatically type in quotation marks at the beginning and end of a passage that was lifted verbatim; these attribution marks must be made with deliberate effort by the human researcher. Nor can a software program generate the necessary citations without input from the human researcher. Neither is there a built-in software alarm that sounds every time attribution marks or citations are deleted. The best guarantee for works of high intellectual integrity is consistent, ethical practice in the writing habits of court researchers and judges. All lawyers are supposed to be knowledgeable on the standard of ethical practice, if they took their legal research courses in law school and their undergraduate research courses seriously. This knowledge can be easily picked up and updated by browsing many free online sources on the subject of writing standards. In addition, available on the market are software programs that can detect some, but not all, similarities in the phraseology of a work-in-progress with those in selected published materials; however, these programs cannot supply the citations on their own. Technology can help diminish instances of plagiarism by allowing supervisors of researchers to make partial audits of their work, but it is still the human writer who must decide to give
the proper attribution and act on this decision."

ang pinakamalungkot sa lahat? baka isang araw, mabasa ng mga estudyante kong ibinagsak yung desisyon ng en banc sa kaso at isipin nilang tama sila sa pagkopya. ano na lang sasabihin ko? read the dissenting opinion of justice sereno? yun yung ni-point-out sa artikulong ito.

pero bago pa ako maging mas passionate at emotional sa topic na ito. titigil na ako. baka pati ako, padalhan ng show cause order ng korte suprema. unfortunately for me, unlike the UP College of Law, i may not have harry roque and dean leonen on my side.

* image from

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


dear boss,
how are you? i hope you're enjoying KL just fine. i enjoyed it when i was there, and knowing the fun person that you are, you're probably having a blast.
then again, you're away from your boys, so i understand why KL won't be as fantabulous as it would be on any other day.
anyway, in writing this post, i'm following your orders to blog. you see, i haven't been writing much, not for lack of stuff to write, but maybe just cause there's too much fun to be had at work. i mean, i work a stone's throw away from hi-top where near-expiry stuff (i don't really care about expiry dates, haha) abound. and the food (as you've raved about) is dirt cheap AND yummy.
and let's not even begin talking about your imaginary boyfriend. he's major major eye candy ... i think he must be the number one reason why i accepted this job notwithstanding that i now have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. each day.
thanks, by the way, for wonderful stuff that you say about me all the time -- in your emails, whether they be addressed to me or to your imaginary boyfriend, in our conversations, and now, in your blog. until now i can't believe i'm the same person you write glowing words about -- you may not know this but for the longest time i wanted to quit being a lawyer already. i don't think my past bosses were very happy about that, but ever since i started more than a month ago, i can't help but be thankful for each and every day that i'm here. i'm THAT happy.
or maybe it's just that i'm well-fed. you can never really tell. hahaha.
anyway, we're all doing great in here. "mama" is within the vicinity so i have to be spiffy and smart and alert (and yes, doing lawyer-ly stuff), so this will have to be it ... for now.
glad to be here,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

between then and now

i know i haven't been writing much, and i'm so sorry about that. but maybe, just maybe, it's cause i've been having the time of my life.

yes, nerdy as it may seem, i am bouncing with joy over the fact that i think i have found my calling.

ironically, last night, we discussed financial stewardship in our AG and when i got home, i started breaking down my budget. and, in spite of how much difficulty i had figuring out where to get the money that i now have to fork over to the government by way of taxes (no tax shield anymore!!), i woke up not worrying about anything, and still excited to work.

i guess that's cause i'm happy now. as for the worrying, i'll be like that biblical verse about the birds and flowers trusting God for their provisions. this job is ♥ and i'm hoping that it won't be long before that ♥ is translated into moolah.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


i live in bf, and if there's one thing that people know about bf (aside from the fact that it's the biggest subdivision), it's the fact that we don't have water.

and then they started digging. of course i was upset over the fact that the las pinas people were dragging their feet over the matter but eventually signs came up, and diggings began, and it wasn't long before the diggings were on my street.

that inconvenience was sheer bliss, i tell you.

of course after the main valve was placed in my home, i should have immediately contacted a plumber to connect me to the main but i ended up dragging my feet over the matter and so i was stuck for a while with delivered water.

until last thursday. and the plumber came. and just like that, i had water.

lots of water.

i could've emptied out anggat dam for all they cared. the girl who depended on delivered water for the past five years finally had clear, chloring-smelling water inside her home. i was in heaven (or a close proximity of it).

of course, my pipes are old, and my tiles have scum from 5 years worth of deep-well water. in spite of the copious amounts of water coming out of my faucets, i don't think i can make the tiles sparkling clean anymore. so the next step will be to get my bathrooms renovated.

but it will be done. budget lang ang katapat.

the more important thing is that i have water now. water. water. water. and it's all good.

*image is the classic photo taken by Harold Eugene Edgerton. learn more about him and his works here.

Friday, October 08, 2010

the good, the bad, and the ugly

i know i haven't been writing here as much as i used to, but fret not, my dear readers (all five of you), here's an update of my glorious (yes, may ganung factor) week:

the good
♥ i've had idle minutes and i've had non-idle minutes at work, but everything's just fine and dandy, the way i like it. everyone's really kind and helpful. it's a bit unsettling to work with a whole bunch of other people, as opposed to 13 others in a small office, but i'm loving every minute of it.
♥ i finally have water -- happy, flowing water. more on that in a later post, but let's just say that this is life-changing.
♥ by leaving the house five minutes earlier, i get to QC with minimal harassment, and with 20 minutes to spare. happiness!
♥ yesterday, the kid i've been tutoring in tuloy for months just ran up to me and hugged me tight. it has never happened before, as i am an unforgiving and relentless in forcing the kids to study even if its supposed to be a "rest night" for them, but being "loved" by that kid made me realized that i am making a difference in these children's lives.

the bad
♥ After almost a month since I had problems with my RCBC card, the matter has yet to be resolved. I've made no less than five phone calls and four emails and i'm still getting the standard excuse: the depository bank of the grocery where my account was improperly debited still has to reply. it's crazy i tell you, and more than that, terribly disappointing. i hate you RCBC, and your customer service, for lack of a better word, sucks.
♥ all my life, i was blessed with a job that never required me to log in my time in and time out. wait, i think i was required at my first job, except that the guard did that for us, and it wasn't fancy shmancy and all that so i don't really remember it. anyway, at the new office, we're all required to time in and time out using this biometric thing and guess what, on my first week at work, i neglected to time out already. the consequence? verbal warning. i am so not on my way to being employee of the year.

the ugly
♥ after a year and a half of sporting really dark hair -- i missed having black/dark brown hair after coloring it a rainbow of browns and reds -- i had the hair stylist strip my hair and color it chestnut brown (or tobacco brown, or something). while i love the color (subtle change, but less harsh on my ageing face), i think that stripping it + coloring it + the fact that it was previously rebonded = hair almost the consistency of hay. i've tried deep conditioning it and what not, but i guess unless i cut it all off (uhm, hello gilbert?), i'll have to grow it out until all the fried up hair is gone.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

bachoy lang pala katapat ko

if there was one thing that i felt bad about when i left my previous job, it was the fact that i would never again be able to eat the bachoy from my favorite stall in the food court. don't mistake it for la paz bachoy - the bachoy that i'm referring to is made of miswa noodles and liver and a little pork (i think) with a weird mucous-like (at least to my mind) consistency. i first had a taste of it college, when the food service in ilang-ilang would serve it on fridays. i loved it so much that on the fridays that they served it, i'd choose to stay in the dorm instead of going home, postponing my weekly trip home to saturday morning.

bachoy was ♥

i stopped eating it -- cause i couldn't find it anywhere -- after i graduated but the memory remained. so imagine the extreme joy i felt when, one wednesday, i saw liver floating in a sea of miswa at the tektite canteen. bachoy was back and i was going to eat it every single chance i get. and since i had (originally) planned on spending the rest of my natural and productive life in that firm, barring the store's cook refusing me bachoy, or the food stall going out of business, i was going to have bachoy every single wednesday (or thursday) that they served it.

so when i finally decided to leave, i couldn't help but say goodbye to my beloved bachoy. and, as luck would have it, they served bachoy on my last wednesday there, which i ate with gusto. if i weren't eating with the managing partner, i would have probably ordered a take-home portion, and portions to freeze when i needed more bachoy in my life. i was saying goodbye to a diet staple and it was crazy tough.

on my first day at the new job, i learned that food here was (1) cheap and (2) good. the canteen ladies knew everyone by name, and it wasn't long (four hours to be exact) before they learned my name too. i was happy, no, i was ecstatic. but at the very back of my mind, i was still nursing my break-up with my bachoy. they could feed me all the yummy kalabasa and sayote they want (their vegetable dishes are yummy too) but they couldn't make me forget about love affair with miswa and liver.

and then today, as i passed by the canteen to reserve my lunch (you can reserve in the morning so you get the food you want), there it was on today's menu: bachoy, P25. i thought, what's the likelihood that it'll be my miswa-and-liver object of affection. then i figured, i can order half, and if it isn't, then i could afford not to eat it, right? so i told the manang, a half order of bachoy please (to go with my chicken afritada and half rice), and she said, yes, soup would do you good, so i was thinking, oh, it couldn't probably be what i thought it would be.

but the best surprises are those that come when you least expect them.

guess what i just had.

chicken afritada. half rice. and my beloved miswa-and-liver soup.

if this isn't a sign that i had made the right decision moving here, then i don't know what else would do the job.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

real life has just begun

i remember the day when i bought my first household appliance. it was a single tub washing machine, and for the life of me, i realized that i didn't exactly know what one should consider in buying a washing machine. so while i could easily rattle off spike's specifications when i first bought him, and in fact, knew more or less what these specifications meant, i was at a loss when it came to laundry equipment. nevertheless, i was excited, and couldn't help but gushing to my friends that after having bought one, i was finally an adult.

admittedly, the same feeling came when i bought myself a life insurance/retirement policy, when i invested a portion of my money in stocks, and when i was faced with a broken pipe at 5 in the morning.

still, being an adult in my personal life didn't automatically translate to being an adult at work. yes, as a court attorney i sometimes held a man's liberty in my hands, and yes, a a junior associate, i had to appear for and in behalf of clients. in the court of appeals, i dispensed justice with flair, and at the law firm, i fought long and hard to ensure my clients the justice they deserved. but, for some reason, it felt like child's play -- i was being paid for doing something they needed me to do, and that was okay. i was passionate about work, but thinking about it now, maybe not as passionate as i thought.

cause when i entered my new workplace last friday, i couldn't help but thinking, hey, this is real life. and real life, at the ripe old age of 33, has finally begun.
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