hit that button (2011 playlist)

My friend, Zeny, made a list of the songs that defined her 2011... which led me to this entry. I hope I make it before 2011 comes to a full close.

1) A Little Too Much by Natasha Bedingfield (OST, Something Borrowed)

2) Gravity by Sara Bareilles

3) Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson

4) Turning Tables by Adele

5) Terrified by Katherine McPhee ft. Zachary Levi

6) Time of My Life 

7) Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz

8) Strong Enough by Kina Grannis

9) Rocketeer by Far East Movement 

10) Like A Star by Corrine Bailey Rae

11) One Hello by Freestyle

12) Firework by Katy Perry

13) Superbass by Nickiminaj

14) World's Greatest by R. Kelly

15) Tadhana by Up Dharma Down

16) Torpe by Barbie Almalbis

17) White Horse by Taylor Swift

18) Fix You by Coldplay

19) Stay Beautiful by Taylor Swift

20) Halo by Lotte Kestner

21) Science and Faith by The Script

22) When Love And Hate Collide by Def Leppard ft. Taylor Swift 

23) Lullaby For A Stormy Night by Vienna Teng

24) Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin by Juris (Original by Ariel Rivera)


Hell to the Chief (Another soap opera of real life)

In just three days, the political landscape of the Philippines was changed drastically--and dramatically, at that. 

On Monday, 12 December 2011, the House of Representatives with a vote 1/3 of its total members or 188 Congressmen impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona. The Articles of Impeachment contain grounds involving betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution and graft and corruption. It likewise specifically cites his “undue closeness” to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. CJ Corona was the third to be impeached in Philippine History following Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and former President Joseph Estrada. It was the first, however, to be submitted within six hours. This impeachment was rather surprising for most Filipinos considering that legal processes appear to be slow.

The following day, Tuesday, 13 December 2011, the Senate received the Articles of Impeachment. Under the Constitution, the Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. 

Today, 14 September 2011, Wednesday, the RTC judges in the National Capital Region declared a court holiday in support of the impeached Chief Justice. The judges and court personnel convened to show numbers and extend warm support to the head of the Judiciary. At two o'clock in the afternoon, CJ Corona delivered his speech before a black-clad audience in front of the Supreme Court building in Padre Faura in Manila. He spoke sternly against President Noynoy Aquino and pointed to him as the mastermind of all these attacks. He stressed that the impeachment complaint was an attack not only to his person but most importantly to the judiciary as a whole. In a few hours after he delivered his speech, the Senators in their red robes convened as an impeachment court and resolved to convene again in January to try the Chief Justice.

I guess the next few days will turn out to be more exciting other than because of Christmas. 

On a personal note, I would like to remain neutral, although not necessarily apathetic regarding this matter. As a bar hopeful, I am concerned that the institution to which I will soon belong with is under attack much less its symbolic head. What I am more interested, though, is how this will affect the whole political scenario. Will the Chief Justice be impeached? How will the Senators decide on this? Will we ever finally impeach a public official with its trial seen through its end? Will the supremacy of the rule of law be upheld? On the other end, is the current president turning out to be a scheming dictator? Are we forsaking democracy? 

These are the more pressing questions running in my head at this point...and I am seriously excited to see how the answers will unfold. 

In this political boxing, I wish that in the end the Rule of Law and the common good will win. If this is a desperate move on the part of the President to remove the Arroyo-appointees, we do not really know. What I know, however, is that the impeachment was rushed and a little bit procedurally infirm, Although, these procedures are not specifically mandated by the Constitution, perhaps, we'll get away with that. :)

I also wish to see a more learned and mature Philippines--that includes both the government and the people. If it will be necessary, I hope there is a time machine that will transport us back to olden days and review the lessons of our bitter past. 

As we say it in Tagalog, "Abangan nalang natin ang susunod na kabanata..." (Let's see what happens next). See, we've got another soap opera to watch... :)


what to do in 2012

I will be sharing a secret here. 

Every year in between Christmas and New Year, I do a sort of personal retreat. After the Christmas rush and just before the fireworks explode, I enjoy the lull of the cool silence. I look back through the year that was, thank God for the blessings, identify my mistakes, figure out how to work on them, and write down the things I want to do the following year. It's a fun exercise and somehow I feel this keeps me moving forward and growing. 

This year, I kinda worked on this earlier. My friends and I started to look at our life and be thankful for the things we accomplished and received as early as 24 November, Thanksgiving Day. :) Yes, Thanksgiving isn't a Filipino tradition, but we just thought it would be fun to celebrate it anyway. (Seriously, we're just looking for reasons to be together...and eat! Hahaha!) At the same time we also wrote down the things we want to happen in our lives for the next year. It was just about creating the energy and excitement for the new year and also come up with concrete actions on how to make them happen .

Next year, I decided I will work on loving myself more and earning more money. I figured that it's time that I start building a new phase of my life as an adult. Besides, 2012 will surely be the turning point of my professional life. I am just so excited to do the things that I really wanted to do but I am just keeping at bay. NOW is the year to make them come true! Yiiiii! This is really going to be a blast!


I found this article on creativity by Alessandra Lanot from her blog Life After Breakfast. She shared a list which can help identify the things you're passionate about and maybe help us discover your life path/direction. Here it is:

1) I really enjoy... (list 15 things)

2) I am very good at... (list 15 things)

3) I am very interested in... (list 5 things)

4) I don't do it much, but I like to... (list 5 things)

5) When I was a child, I wanted to be... (list 3 things)

6) If it weren't too late, I would... (list 3 things)

7) If money were not an object, I would... (list 5 things)

8) If my parents wouldn't object, I would... (list 5 things)

9) These are the people I admire... (list 3 names)

10) These are the people I secretly admire... (list 3 names)

11) The world is in need of more... (list 5 things)

12) I think God wants me to be... (list 2 things)

And while you're at it, make this last list:

The 10 Things You Accomplished This Year 

I will work on it too and maybe I can post my answers. :) Hope you'll come up with your own things to do! :) Have a productive and purposeful life, everyone! :)


the people of my 2011

This is the second year I will create this list of people who spiced up my year. As I got my pen and paper to draw see who these exceptional people are, I realized how blessed I am to have met, experienced, influenced, moved and be loved by as many. To start of...

Kathleen Madula

Kath and I have been friends for almost 10 years now. At the beginning of the year, however, we were given the chance to get to know each other better. Thanks to the proximity of our offices, we get to hang out more often this year. Kath or Bunso, as I would fondly call her, would be my constant chat mate at the beginning of the year. I admire Bunso for her love for life and adventure. She's ever dependable and independent also. :) I miss this girl a lot especially now that she'll be working in a different city already.

SCA Lawyers

I have always prayed to be part of  an excellent but fun law firm. Thank God I became part of SCA Law. These people are the ones who unquestioningly supported me during the time that I did not make it to the Bar. They are my inspiration. I hope this time, I make them proud. :) 

Cecille, Mia and Denise Rebollos

I am so inspired of how these three sisters have fostered good friendship, worked in synergy and just enjoyed each other's uniqueness. They are pictures of love, beauty and character--same yet different. 

Cecille is the eldest of them three--a carefree spirit who commands respect in a very cool and fun way. She is definitely an icon of power and passion. Her red hair is an understatement. Mia, the second, is a mother of three kids and a very loving and supportive wife to her husband. She must be described as gentleness, vulnerability and grace. She draws people to her effortlessly. Whenever you are with her, you just let your walls fall down and you'll enjoy yourself as much as she makes you feel how she enjoys your presence. Denise, the youngest of them three, is love in action. If love is service, that is her. Denise will not settle of anything less than "Pwede na!" but she'll work her way to excellence--whether it be work or relationships.  The moment, she considers you as her friend, bank on it! She'll love you till both of you shall live...or beyond. 

The common denominator: They just be. They live their persons and they inspire others to do just the same. ;)

Nancy Sia

She lives life with the mantra: My love creates miracles...and she does. Coach Nancy was more than a life coach to me. She like a mother who instead of carrying me in her womb, carried me in her big heart until the time of awakening. She cared, guided and supported me. Although I saw her as a tough lover, she let me experience her gentleness which in turn allowed me to open up and taught me to love once again. She was a very loyal friend who will always protect you from anything that might harm you. I am just to blessed to have met her and I am sure we'll carry on a very meaningful friendship in the years to come. 

Power Voice

These six people changed the way I loved. Our relationship was unconventional. For around seventy days,  we all journeyed together as we re-discover our persons. Fyne, Merce, Lit, Pam, Tito Bobet and Coach Nancy completed my council during my LEAP journey. It was a challenging council in the beginning since half of it were deaf-mutes. But at the end of it, I know I am so blessed to be part of this group.

They challenged, stretched and nurtured me. They served as my mirrors and reflected who I am, my relationships and my dreams. They all showed love in different faces. Fyne taught me gentleness and care; Merce taught me responsibility and fun; Lit showed me vulnerability and strength; Pam exuded passion and gratitude; Tito Bobet taught me how to trust and give second chances and of course, Coach Nancy sparked miracles through her love. For the six of you, I will forever be grateful. :)

Audee Villaraza and Kristel Tiangco

In their relationship, I am the third wheel! That's what I always tell them. My friendship with Audee and Kristel started from being mere acquaintances to movie-buddies. For several times this year, they have been my refuge to escape the tortures of work and review. :) Our favorite: Horror movies. Haha! More than that, I am so grateful to have shared a friendship with these two very loving people. To more movie dates, friends! :)

Time Of My Life (TOML) LEAP Team 49

53 students, 9 coaches, 1 head coach, 7 facilitators, 1 love. LEAP Team 49 surely lived the Time of Our Lives as we journeyed for 10 weeks realizing and owning our greatness. I am so grateful to each soul that I have met in this team. You have led me to love and trust myself and ultimately share that to others. Thank you for helping me see my blind spots and supporting me to correct them. Thank you for cheering me on as I went through every challenge for the past months. I am so grateful to have true and vulnerable friends in you. May we share a lifetime of greatness together. From the bottom of my lovingly bitchy heart, I am so grateful for each of you. ♥

Julian Lancelot Caius

Finally, a baby in our family! Juju is my brother's first born. I have always felt happy for my friends' kids, but I never knew that having a baby in your family brings much more joy. 


...and it all started here

I was going through my blog and wondered how long has it been existing. So, I went to my very first entry: 25 January 2005.

I cannot remember why I started blogging. If my memory serves me right, I guess this was the time that I started reading blogs by different people. Dating it back, I was in second year law school then. Then it started. My blog was initially a "secret" get away for me. A place where I can dump all my thoughts--and the things I want to say but just cannot say out loud. For almost seven years of typing them all away, I guess, I have shared a great deal of myself in the cyberspace. Although I know I should have written more. :)

With more than 200+ entries already, I know I can write more. :) And I hope to be more vulnerable next time. Hehe.


daddy said

On my 18th birthday my daddy gave me a letter and he said "You are the architect of your life." That sounded very vague at that time. Seriously, architect? How? My young mind, of course, thought that I "design" my life. But I guess that was too technical for me. Too mannish. I did not fully appreciate the depth of what he meant. Guess, the lines and measurements that I saw in my head made it feel more complicated that what it is supposed to be. 

Now, more than 10 years after, I realize the power of my dad's wisdom. Yes, I "design" my life. I have the power to create the results that I want. I dictate which path I take and what I allow to happen to me. I CHOOSE. I have that power to choose. In my language, it will sound more like, "I write my story on fresh parchment." In more modern terms, I was given a blank white Word page and I can click my life away with words and punctuation marks. There. That felt better and more me.

Ten years ago, my father had set me free! 

Although, I was not able to grasp it completely (that I chose to lie under their wings--hah! it was too comfortable there, you see? Hehe.) I should say that those ten years was time well-spent to surveying the ground, laying the foundation, amassing the funds, knowing where to draw the rooms, what furniture are needed. Those were 10 years of planning...and now, it's time to start building. The frames are well put up; the house now has form. We're almost ready to paint, to usher in the fixtures, to put the flower boxes. 

Although, definitely, it does not stop there--there are still too much to do. But I now like what I see and I am excited. :) 



"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy."


Bar Account 2011


I woke up 30 minutes past my alarm went off. I did not hear it ring. I still have enough time, though. After taking a shower and dressing up, my phone beeped. My best friend just arrived to pick me up and bring me to the bar site. We dropped by the nearest fast food for a quick breakfast and to buy lunch. On a rainy Sunday morning of November, I am again set to take the Bar Exam. 

As I entered the gates of the school where I practically lived all my life, I felt at ease. The old Bar jitters dissipated. It was kind of weird but comforting. I filed myself on the queue going inside my assigned building. It was high school all over again! :) I led myself to the third floor. My room was at the corner at the end of the corridor. I smile upon seeing it. It was the old drafting room during my time. Bits of memories flash on my head. As I opened the door, the proctor was already calling out names, arranging the examinees on their assigned seats. I was just in time, I told myself. 

The usual protocol of distributing the answer sheets and questionnaire was done. Except this time, with the advent of computerized checking, we will be using color coded machine readable answer sheets. I got the blue set. I was wearing blue, my ID was blue and I got the blue set. Irrelevant. I just liked that everything seems to be in accord. Hehe. 

At exactly 8 am, the bell rang. That was our cue to start taking the first exam. 

Political Law has always been one of my favorite subjects. I guess, I just always have a political mind. Or yet, systems just fascinate me. The exam was composed of 100 questions which are relatively difficult also. :) After two hours, the bell went off again. Time to submit the answer sheets.

After an hour break, we are set to take Labor Law Exam. Somewhere midway the exam, my back started to ache. Then I realized the questions began to become harder. I did not expect Labor Law to be as difficult. I almost wanted to sleep on it! 

At 12:30, we we're off for lunch. It was a good thing though that I saw a friend from way back who was also in the same room as I am. She also did not have company so we paired up and ate lunch together. Upon getting out of the building, we saw this year's Bar Chairperson who happened to be our professor in Legal Writing back in Law School. We greeted him and he was kind enough to stop a while and chat with us. 

We have 11/2 hours to burn for lunch and a little reading. As soon as we finished our food, we attended to our personal needs and went back to our room. I needed a little breather. The next exam is famous for being a killer: TAXATION LAW. :)

I am happy I drank my canned coffee. I am somehow perked up. Although, I can no longer distinguish if my heart was racing because of the coffee or the exam. :) It was a 75 item exam and I can say it was generally fine. I mean, Taxation Law is expectedly difficult and the questions were fair enough. My exposure at work helped me to answer some of the questions. I hope I fared well.

There. One Sunday down, three more to go. 

When I got out of the university premises, I ran to the nearest Starbucks to get my warm Christmas cup and sticker. ;) 

A prayer of surrender by Bro. Sheldon Tabile, OCarm

One morning, I was insanely gripping anger and fear in my heart. I sought help from a friend who is a Carmelite brother to intercede for me that Jesus' grace and love may teach me to forgive and let go. This is the prayer he sent me through chat, exactly the same words my heart seeks to say. 

May it touch you and bring the same love and healing in your lives. :)

Jesus, you invited that all those in burden to come to you
and you will give rest.
There are emotions that burden me now-emotions that I want to let go.
However I find myself returning to it.
It seems that my efforts are not enough.

I come to you Jesus,
Seeking for rest; 
Seeking for healing;
Seeking for your immeasurable love

May it overflow to me
May it fill my being;
those spaces that resist to forgive
May Your Love touch those hard parts in me;
may these parts soften
--soft enough, to be kind to others

Touch me o Jesus, 
physically, emotionally, spiritually
that I may be free
from all the burdens
that makes my life heavy

Teach me to let go...
of fears,
And allow You to be in charge of my life

May I always have faith that in very situation of my life...
you are hidden there
You are the surpirse!

This I ask you... because you have promised it to us
--to all those who have FAITH in you.