Category Archives: Law School

My Firm Life: The Interview

I have a friend who e-mailed to me these questions for her class. I decided to post it also here so that you could have a brief updated with what I am doing and why I can’t blog at all. Anyway, I feel so unfulfilled these days that I think, I’ll start releasing my stress through writing starting this week. I hope I won’t be so sappy or overly emotional.

  1. Can you give a little background about yourself, your current position and the firm that you are associated with?
  • I am Maris Angelica Ayuyao, 27 years old and a graduate of the University of the East College of Law. I am a new lawyer. In fact, I only signed the roll of attorney this April 29, 2015. I am an Associate Lawyer in RRV Legal Consultancy Firm. It is a small law firm in 12 Scout Rallos St., Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City.
  1. Is this a small, medium or big sized firm? What is the organizational structure of the firm? What are the pros and cons of working in a ____ sized firm?
  • It is a small firm. It is composed only of my boss, Atty. Redemberto R. Villanueva, who is the managing partner, and three associate lawyers, including myself. However, we sometimes team up with other law firms in other cases.
  1. How did you apply for the position? How was the application process?
  • I sent my resume and they immediately scheduled me for an interview. Atty. Villanueva interviewed me and after a few days, his secretary then called me and asked me on when I can start waiting for them.
  1. Before joining the firm, did you not consider working for the government? If no, why not? If yes, what was the main factor that motivated you to join a law firm instead?
  • I actually considered working for the government; however, I felt that really wanted to practice law and most likely, I have to transfer to the province if I have to work in PAO which did not appeal to me.
  1. As a/an [position], what are your responsibilities? How long have you been working as a/an [position] and how is it so far (workload, stress level)? Is it rewarding? Challenging?
  • As an associate lawyer, my responsibilities include attending hearings and meetings for the firm and a lot of writing not only pleadings but also contracts, memorandum of agreement and demand letters. I’ve been working for three months now in RRV and I am telling you this, it is a lot harder than I expected. There is no fixed work hour of work. There is no overtime pay. My health is also faltering now. But so far I am coping and learning.
  1. Can you give us a sneak peek on how a day in the life of a/an [position] looks like?
  • There is no fixed schedule for a practitioner. There are days wherein you have hearings from two different cities and when you come to the office, there is a client waiting for you for a meeting. You also need to constantly check your firm’s e-mail for communication with your other clients. But whatever happens in your day, you must always give time to drafting your pleadings and legal opinions.
  1. Please tell us about your first case and client. Have you encountered any clients who are difficult to deal with? Or do you know someone who has encountered such a client? Any tips on handling those instances?
  • I do not have my personal client yet but I could probably tell you the story of the first case which I drafted the complaint. The plaintiff, Mr. X, told me that somebody owes him money but he cannot collect money from him because his debtor does not want to pay him. That’s all he told me. Then, he sent an envelope with documents. In there, I saw a lot of copies of bounced checks, promissory notes and some letter of demand. It was so overwhelming and it took me sometime to understand the whole story. I realized that clients just do not trust their lawyers, they expect you to know everything right away.
  • The clients which are difficult to deal with are the following: First, the greedy clients who do not want to compromise. I have now one who really insists on bringing to the court a twelve-thousand pesos penalty charge despite being a multi-millionaire. Second, those who do not listen to your proposed legal action and insist their own way. You have to talk to them clearly about the consequences of the actions they want to happen.
  1. Before joining the firm, what were your expectations? Have those expectations been met? Are there any surprises? Like, are you doing things now that you did not expect to do?  
  • A catch-all answer to all the questions above is this: practice is a lot different than what is taught in law school. The spoiler here is that we really have a very sick justice system. But this is the challenge for all new lawyers like me: whether we maintain our idealism or just go with the system. I choose the former.
  1. On what branch of law are you planning to specialize in?
  • Criminal law. I want to become a Prosecutor someday.
  1. What values or skills did you learn from working in a law firm?
  • Time management. You would need this the most in dealing with all your clients. Also, always be calm. Always have grace under pressure.
  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you see yourself climbing the corporate ladder and becoming a partner or forming your own law firm? Or would you transfer and work, say, with a private corporation?
  • I see myself as a humble public employee, working as a Prosecutor in Quezon City. I could also teach, if I have time. I would like to pay what I know about law, forward.
  1. With your experience, so far, in working in a law firm, do you recommend it to future bar passers? Why?
  • Yes, I recommend all future bar passers to work in a law firm in order for them to fully discern their career path in law. Most likely, you would be exposed to all types of cases in working in a law firm.
  1. What is the most important thing that you realized upon practicing law?
  • That learning does not end after you pass the bar. You still have to read, update yourself with the latest jurisprudence and make sure that you know the news. This is because after passing the bar, the law is no longer things you study for your own benefit. More than ever, you need to understand the law because it is now affecting the lives of real people. In practice, the law now means the life and property of your clients, the people who are asking for your help.
  1. To conclude, do you have any words for those who are considering of joining a law firm? What skills and qualities do you think one must possess if he plans of joining a firm? Tips/advice?
  • You cannot expect to be wealthy right away as an associate. In fact, you would be surprised on how little pay you are going to receive from your bosses, which are the partners. Do not think of this as unfair. It is really difficult to earn a name for oneself in our field. It takes years of hardship and prayers to be in their position. I talked about the skills needed above so I’d go right away to qualities. I think the best qualities one must possess in joining a firm is humility and obedience. Be humble that there are so many things you do not know yet and be obedient in following your bosses. Trust me, they know better than you.

What Went Right?: How I Passed the 2014 Philippine Bar Examinations

I am one of the 1,126 fortunate souls who successfully made it through one of the toughest Bar Examinations in history. Only 18.82% passed the 2014 Bar Exams. The only question that kept on going through my head was “why?”

I am not one of the most brilliant students that you would ever meet in law school. I am also not very studious. I am usually lax, doodling in my notes and with my head on the clouds during class hours. With some miracle and a lot of prayers, I managed to graduate last year from University of the East, took the bar and passed it altogether in my first attempt. Nonetheless, seeing my name on the list was a very bittersweet experience for me. After screaming and jumping for joy with my family and went back to the computer to check on my schoolmates’, co-workers’ and friends’ names on the list, I was devastated. To tell you the truth, within minutes after seeing the full list, I had an acid reflux, my head spun around and I want to vomit. The mixture of elation knowing that you passed and the feeling of sadness, desperation and hopelessness for your colleagues was a recipe for disaster in me. Then I felt the loneliness. It really is lonely at the top. The mere fact that I was originally examinee number 599 and later bar passer number 98 clearly demonstrates the massacre of the 2014 Bar Exam Results. And as I return back to reality the next day, I learned that for the 32 Bar Exam takers in our Office, only 6 of us passed it or 18.75% which mirrors the 18.82% passing rate.

So what went wrong? For weeks, I was figuring it out on my head. Then I recalled one concept I learned back in my college days: Murphy’s Law. Everything could go wrong in the bar preparations.  Worst, everything could go wrong on the night before the bar that would lead to disastrous results. Secondly, no success story in the bar is alike. My story could be a lot different from those people who said their success story in the bar from yours. Thus, I stopped counting reasons what went wrong to my dear comrades who are part of the 81.18% who did not make it.  Hopefully, they could learn insights that would help them pass the bar. These are the seven things that went right for me and helped me pass the 2014 Philippine Bar Examinations:

First, I trusted my law school education. I thank my two law schools—University of Santo Tomas (UST) where I stayed for three semesters of law school and to University of the East (UE) where I everything else in my law school happened. I thank my law schools for providing me teachers who really pushed me to my limits and at the same time helped me develop a passion and desire to really be a full-fledged attorney. Those nine semesters in law school are made up of my blood, sweat and tears; therefore, after receiving my diploma from UE, I am certain that I learned a lot from law school and that I am just one long quiz away from being an attorney. That being said, I am befuddled with my fellow law school graduates who are returning back to our thick law text books. When I saw a fellow bar candidate then reading the infamous J.B.L. Reyes’ Book I and Book II in Criminal Law, I felt squeamish. To all law graduates, remember that you have finished your law school. You got this. You do not need to go to the fundamentals over and over again for the bar. You are definitely wasting your time with text books! Do not belittle your 4-6 years in law school! Everything is already in your brain so please; do not dumb yourself back to who you are in the first year of law the moment you graduated from law school. Have more faith in yourselves!

Second, I chose my materials wisely. My main memory aid is a copy of the 2011 UST Golden Notes which I used for years. What is great about it is you read faster because somehow you have recall on your materials. There are also some notes which I’ve written while studying all these years for clarification and updates. I suggest to those people who are still in law school to do this. Do not worry about the updates, your review centers would provide you hand-outs on that and even if you would not enrol in one, for sure, good souls would offer it to you or you could ask them for it. It is hard to be a clueless law student who would invest money on several sets of reviewers then get frustrated that he cannot read them all. There is no use in hoarding a lot of reviewers if you would not have time in reading it. After the bar, they would simply be scraps of paper anyway.

Third, I strategized. My unorthodox material was the UP Law Center Bar Questions and Answers from 2000-2013. The mindset that was instilled to me as an Economics major is that there is a trend for everything. I was right about the Bar. Through the years, the chief difficult issues that would be resolved in the Bar Exams are more or less the same especially when it comes to Taxation. Taxation is believed to be one of the most difficult subjects in the Bar but believe me, just read the aforementioned material and you would realize that the examiners kept on repeating the same questions again. I also read San Beda Red Book which also highlight the mostly asked bar questions as well as their predicted bar questions. Of course, I used other materials for the bar (mostly from the handouts that was given from my review center, UP Law Center and the law books that I’ve used as a fourth year law student) but I relied on these two materials for all the eight Bar subjects.

Fourth, I know myself. I know that group studies would be a disaster for me so I stayed alone in our old house for five months in order for to study well. I also know that cutting me off from the rest of the world would make me nuts so while I deactivated my Facebook, I retained my Instagram. I also watched all games in UAAP where UE is playing (yeah, last season broke my heart into a million pieces) and I watch 24 Oras almost every day. The thing is, I know that being a little distracted and taking a lot of breaks in between my readings is the key for me to retain the things that I am reading. The only difference that I made in studying in law school compared to me studying for the bar is that I usually wake up early to study for the bar and do not any more study at night. This is simply because the Bar Exam is from 8AM to 6PM, thus, these are the time where my mind must work best and not any more during 5:30PM to 1AM back in law school. Of course, I do not impose what I have done in my Bar preparations to anyone. I’ve told how I’ve studied to a lot of people and they thought that I was so relaxed. But my point is, this is how I managed through law school and eventually the Bar. I cannot just lock myself in a room and study for like 300 pages a day, seven days a week like some people who passed the bar claim that they’ve been through. I would surely fail because it would dry out my sanity and every brain cell I have. What I am pointing out to future bar takers is to remember how they made it through their law school and do it again.

Fifth, I learned how to answer the bar properly. My favorite law school professor would always be Atty. Manuel R. Riguera. I just love and respect him so much. He was my teacher in Remedial Law Review and he was an outstanding and passionate teacher. But besides teaching me Remedial Law, he also taught my classmates and I the now infamous Jurists Three-Paragraph Method. I would not go into details on how to construct the said way on answering the bar exams. I would just provide the link here. I understand that it feels that this method is too laborious if followed strictly. Nonetheless, this is the best way for you to really show that you know your law and you could argue like a lawyer. Also do not sound like a layman in your answer. It could really turn off your examiners. You must answer simply yet you must answer like a full-fledged attorney.

Sixth, I do not compare anything to my fellow bar takers. Do not ask me on how many readings I made. There is no definite answer. I made a schedule based on the schedule of the UP Law Center’s series of review session yet I did not follow it too religiously. For example, I finished Civil Law about five days from the calendar of UPLC so I went back reading Labor Law which I feel unconfident with. The same happened with my excess hours for Remedial Law which went to my weakest subject, Mercantile Law. I know that I am confident with a subject when I start feeling bored reading the same thing over and over again. I know that I do not know much about a subject when whenever I see new materials on the said topic, I feel like I am reading the topic for the first time. Do not be too rigid on the schedule that you have made and go address the areas wherein you need more help with. Also do not get pressured whenever your friends are telling you that they are already on their third reading when you hardly finish your first reading. Remember that the Bar preparation is a marathon and not a race. The tendency of those who read too much is that they would burnout easily come Bar Examination month.

Lastly, I have a great faith in God. I actually allotted time during my Bar Exam preparations to read the Holy Bible, read about the lives of some saints, attend the mass even during weekdays and lift everything to Him. I am telling you this, almost all the time while I am answering the Bar Exams with my right hand, my left hand is inside my the pocket of my red jacket, clenching into a Rosary given to me by my fellow church-goer in the Sacred Heart Chapel in FEU-NRMF which she claims was blessed by now saint, Saint Pope John Paul II. But to me, it does not matter if St. Pope John Paul indeed blessed the said Rosary or not. What matters to me is that I know that every word I had written in my Bar Examination booklets, I had written it with Him. And in the end, I am just His handmaid and that everything that I would be doing as an attorney would all be for His greater glory.

(One last thing: I do not know if this will help you but my family, especially my father, was on full support for me during the night before the Bar Exams. So much so that they would come with me to Manila Pavilion, where the Bar Examinees of UE were housed, and would stay there until the next day. I think it helped me in the sense that sleeping beside them helped me sleep faster. It is just difficult to me to sleep in a place where I am unfamiliar with like hotels. Having some good five-hour sleep made me refreshed for the Bar Exams the next day. I highly recommend, no, MANDATE all bar examinees to SLEEP the night before the bar. Eight hours of non-stop writing and thinking no joke!)

That’s it. Sorry for this lengthy post. I just want to cover everything that happened to me during the Bar preparations which lead to my victory. I just want more and more law students to achieve their dreams of becoming a lawyer. Being part of the 1,126 persons who had passed the bar might seemed so cool from the start but when you realized how many of your friends and comrades had fallen to desperation, uncertainty and shame that people are thinking that they are not smart enough to become a lawyer, then you would lose the joy that you are feeling for yourself knowing that these people also worked their asses off just to finish the four Sundays of the Bar Exams.

To all people who did not make it, if you are still up for your dream on becoming a lawyer, then still go for it. Identify your mistakes in taking the bar and humble yourself enough to make changes. You can do it. Just go on trusting God and trusting yourself. To my fellow 2014 Bar Exam passers, please keep your idealism alive and let us help our country for its betterment through the workings of justice. We are 1,126 new lawyers who are called to make a difference to our country and we must stand up for that challenge. With all that being said, see you all in PICC on Friday.

– 98. AYUYAO, Maris Angelica C

Nang Biglang Natapos ang 2014

The Politician
The Politician Smile. Naalala ko na tawa ako ng tawa nung una kong nakita ang larawan kong ito. Nung bata ako, pinangarap ko maging politiko. Presidente pa nga ng bansa eh! Pero nung nakita ko ito…naisip ko, parang hindi naman bagay. Haha! Pero hindi pa ako nagsasalita ng tapos. Abangan ang mga susunod na kabanata.

Dahil 2015 na…marami na namang ‘magpaparamdam’ for 2016 Elections. Kaya eto…for the sake of wala lang, nilalatag ko na ang picture ko na malamang nasa 2016 na kalendaryo niyo.

Seriously, no. Wala po akong balak takbuhan na posisyon kahit sa pagiging Tanod. At utang na loob, WAG niyo iboboto sa 2016 ang mga nagpaparamdam na mga taong ganito. Hindi nila mahal talaga ang bayan. Papasok lang sila sa politika dahil at gagawin itong negosyo. Inilagay ko lang ang larawan ito dahil napansin ko lang na never ko pala inilagay ang grad pic ko dito sa Facebook. So sa mga taong naghahanap ng grad pic ko, here you go…

Ang bilis lang. Patapos na ang 2014. Sa totoo lang, wala ako masyadong alala sa taon na ito. Wala eh. Boring talaga. More than half siguro ng taon, nagtatago ako dahil sa Bar. Maliban sa pagtatapos ko ng kurso ko, pagkuha ko ng Bar at pagkakaroon ko ng isang tunay na trabaho, wala na akong maituturing na “highlight” ng taon ko. Boring, ‘no? Kaya naman puro tanong lang ang naiwan sa akin.

Gayunpaman, nagpapasalamat ako sa taon na ito lalong-lalo na sa pamilya ko na binigyan ako ng walang hanggan na suporta; mga kaibigan ko sa pag-intindi na wala akong gaanong magawa sa kanila ngayong taon; sa Pamantasan ng Silangan sa pagtuturo ng lahat ng kinakailangan ko para sa bar; at sa mga katrabaho ko sa Kagawaran ng Repormang Pansakahan sa pagtulong niyo sa akin.

Isa na lang talaga ang hinihiling ko ngayon: hindi na sana muli mangyari ang 2014 sa buhay ko. Ayoko na danasin ang lahat ng sakripisyong iyon. Ayoko na ng pakiramdam na pinuputol ko ang sarili ko sa mundo para lamang sa pag-aaral. Gusto ko na ng pagbabago. Gusto ko na makatulong sa bansa para sa ikabubuti ng sistemang panghustisya. Gusto ko na rin na tumulong ng malaki para sa aking pamilya.

Kaya naman sa lahat ng Bagong Taon, ngayon ako pinakanasasabik. Sana nga lahat ng pagbabago na hinihingi ko ay matupad sa 2015. Hindi na rin ako bumabata. Sa darating na taon ay dalawampu’t pitong taong gulang na ako. Kaya naman parang awa niyo na…isama niyo lagi sa dasal niyo na maipasa ko ang Bar Exams.

Bago ako matapos ay sana, wag lang pansariling bagay ang ihiling natin ngayong taon tulad ng sana magkapera o pumayat. Hilingin natin ang mga bagay na magiging kapaki-pakinabang tayo sa kapwa natin tulad ng sana mas masigasig ako sa pagtatrabaho, mas habaan ko ang pasensya ko sa pamilya ko o sana mas galingan ko sa pag-aaral ko o sana mas maging mabuting Pilipino ako. Ito rin ang taon para laliman natin ang pananampalataya natin sa Maykapal. May nabasa ako na iniisip ng tao na magiging masaya lang siya kung siya ay magiging matagumpay. Pero ayon sa isa pag-aaral sa larangan ng sikolohiya, baligtad raw dapat. Magiging matagumpay lamang ang isang tao kung maligaya siya sa ginagawa niya. Kaya para sa lahat, ipinagdadasal ko ang kaligayahan niyo ngayong taon. Manigong Bagong Taon sa Lahat!

P.S. Hindi ko ito inilagay sa Facebook account ko pero may isa akong resolusyon: na makapagsulat ako ng marami pa sa susunod na taon. Patawarin niyo ako sa hindi pagsulat halos. Maliban sa abala ako ay hindi ko alam kung saan magsisimula pagkatapos ng Bar Exams. Hanggang sa susunod na taon!

What’s the Fuss with #Thinspiration?

I posted this image in my social networking sites with the caption: My realistic #thinspiration, ♥ ;). Good morning, my puffballs! :) Credits goes to Marbee's owner. Follow her in Instagram as @bunnymama
I posted this image in my social networking sites with the caption: My realistic #thinspiration, ♥ ;). Good morning, my puffballs! 🙂
Credits goes to Marbee’s owner. Follow her in Instagram as @bunnymama

Now, I posted that image above in my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter just for laughs. I mean, for the past months, I see my girl friends in those social network accounts posting about their #thinspiration which were composed by the almost unclad Ellen Adarna doing exercise and a bunch of super thin girls with their ribcages saying, “how do you do?” Then I realized on thing: #thinspiration cannot be searched in Instagram and Facebook as well as in another social network, Tumblr.

When I searched ‘thinspiration’ in Google, everything was so clear to me. There are so many images of girls that are so thin they are obviously anorexic with captions such as, “Because the pain of looking in the mirror hurts more than starving” or “Everything looks good on skinny” or the hilarious, “Pizza or hip bones?”

Mind-boggling Choices. Here are the images I've seen in Google/Tumblr. Somebody in 9gag clevery stitched them together.
Mind-boggling Choices. Here are the images I’ve seen in Google/Tumblr. Somebody in 9gag clevery stitched them together.

(Any normal person would say, “Pizza, duh.”)

I cannot be the spokesperson of both being fit because obviously, I’m overweight or some body-loving warrior because there are days wherein I loathe my body. My weight just yo-yoed for years. I’m just a girl who struggled with weight all her life. I was born chubby. When I was in my preschool days I was sickly, hence, a thin child. My parents got worried and they made me drink a medicine that boosted my appetite. When I was about the age of Ryzza Mae Dizon, I had exactly the same body as she does. When I was in middle school, I grew faster than girls my age that people called me fat. I believed that until after college where I stuffed everything in my mouth not caring what other people think only to realize years later that I wasn’t really fat until before college based on my pictures. In law school, I immediately gained 20 pounds just after two semesters from stress eating. I lost everything when I went to gym for two months and eventually gained everything plus some more as the years go by. I was in my heaviest about a year ago and hit the obesity mark for the first time in my life. Because of my gynaecologist’s advice, I took everything in moderation and today I weighed 20 pounds lighter than the year before.

And yes, I do want to lessen my weight so much more because come on…I’m ageing. I’ll be 26 years old in a month’s time and while those chronic, deadly diseases caused by being overweight have not become a threat yet for me, they might suddenly come knocking on my doorstep soon if I don’t change my lifestyle. But probably I’d concentrate on that after the bar. I’m sorry that I have no heart to post exactly what my weight is today but to give you an idea, my BMI is 27.6.

So, I understand almost every girl’s wish to eat without gaining anything. What I do not understand is why you need to starve yourself for something that cannot be usually seen in normal clothes like hip bones, collar bones…and come on, I have never heard of a man saying, “Hey, I dig that chick. She has gap between her legs!” We, women, are our worst critics. But believing and wanting these things for your body is very unhealthy for you. While obesity kills, these pro-ana or pro-mia (short for pro-anorexic or pro-bulimic) equally does the same thing which is to kill you eventually. I cannot really judge girls who still believe in these pro-ana or pro-mia beliefs. But if you are not loving and accepting yourself for who you are, chances are no one else will. Also, recognize the fact that anorexia and bulimia is not only characterized as an eating disorder but also a mental disorder. With everything that we do, always ask yourself the question, “Why am I doing this?

We all cannot be those women in the glossy pages of the magazines. As a matter of fact, those women cannot be those women they perceive as they are in real life. They are airbrushed heavily and any more imperfections like their body shapes could be resolved by Adobe Photoshop. They aren’t real but you, my reader, are. In life we had no choice to be but one person, ourselves per se. Anything less than that would not make you happy. Somebody would be thinner, prettier, smarter or kinder than you. But nobody in the world is like you.

There is nothing wrong with trying to lose weight. But losing yourself is.

My Five Guidelines for a Happier Year

Happy 2014, everyone! Sorry this greeting and post are weeks late.  Life has been complicated for me this 2014 and this is just the thirtieth day.

How are your resolutions going? This year, I did not make any concrete resolutions, only guidelines. Nonetheless, I am sharing these because I believe that it is beneficial for everybody. Also, tomorrow is Chinese New Year. I do not consider myself as Chinoy or Chinese-Filipino though I have Chinese blood. Then again, this is a great day to do some changes in your life.

 

WHAT WE DO EVERY DAY MATTERS MORE THAN WE DO EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE

Face it. We think that our lives are a bore or some people live better lives than ours. This is especially true now when a lot of us record happy aspects of our lives in the social networks. But you see, those are the highlights of our lives. We do not usually post things that make us upset or our argument with our parents or our significant other or days where we practically did not do anything special at all.

That’s why if you’re a law student or medical student or taking up other courses which requires a long period of staying in school and feel that you are missing out so much in your lives, stop feeling that way. “Living to the fullest” does not mean frequent travels or having romantic relationships or giving in to that pressure of having a family by mid-twenties. Living to the fullest is giving your best every day in the path you choose so that someday you will be able to fully share the world your purpose. Besides, you can never be overdressed or over-educated.

Then again, it doesn’t hurt to reward yourself every once in a while. There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 reminds us that,

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 

INVEST IN YOURSELF

Well, of course, we could all agree that vanity is a sin. I seriously started giving in to makeup and skincare products on about the last quarter of 2012. I’m practically broke every single week because I spend them mostly in Korean beauty products. I also do not return the changes in the bills of my parents because I malverse them as extra money for the said products. Yes, do not dare do this, ladies. The rule of thumb is act your wage or in my case, act according to my allowance.

I’m wiser now. I do not buy new makeup until I almost fully consumed it. I also stopped shopping for skincare products and this act rewarded me. When I went back to the simple cleanse-tone-moisturize routine, my skin became visibly healthier. I hardly had any new zits.

Yes, I will still continue in investing myself. After all, I only have one body and I need to maintain my health because I have so many dreams to concretize. By the way, this is the year I’ve been waiting for all of my life. I’ll take the bar this year. Nevertheless, I will keep it simpler this year. Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize. Add some makeup. Do not forget some sun protection to prevent wrinkles. That’s it. Also, do not forget…

 

MEDIA CALL US UGLY TO SELL US SOME SHIT

There are so many ways of media that tells us we are not pretty and that we are not good enough. They tell petite people to wear higher heels. They make fun of every acne and scars we have. They convince everyone that they are fat by keeping their models unhealthily thin. They also tell us that we do not have enough clothes, shoes and makeup. But the truth and in fact, every one of us is made uniquely beautiful in our own ways. We do not need any validation from others. Feel free to express yourself. Do not wear shoes and clothes that do not feel comfortable to you.

You do not need to be in the trend. You just have to be you.

 

LISTEN TO OTHERS…AND DO NOT FORGET TO LISTEN TO YOUR OWN WORDS, TOO.

True, the ‘selfie’ generation had become a part of us. I love how it made some people in a way empowered to face the camera and share a part of them in the world. Honestly, this wasn’t easy for me in puberty years and pretty much the whole high school. I have looked at myself as a very, very, very ugly person. I hardly look at the mirror and when a person brings a camera with them, I immediately volunteer myself to take the picture. That is how disgusted I am with myself.

However, this ‘selfie’ generation also made some people too self-centered. I hate people who always begin speaking with “I” and end their paragraphs with “me”. Sometimes, I hate reunions or meet ups with some people I know who are so self-centered. They often complained about how stressing their work are, how their bosses bully them, how their co-workers gang up on them, how their family suck and basically how they play as the victim to every aspect of their lives. It’s almost they are implying that the people who are listening to them have no problems of their own. On the other hand, if we are not talking about how life ‘victimizes’ them, they are starting to badmouth some people we know and often gossip on their matters which details they do not know firsthand themselves.

I admit that sometimes I am guilty of saying those things, too. And when I started hearing myself saying nothing but complaints about my life or badmouthing some persons, I know that something is so wrong with me. It’s either I am tired of my life or I am very insecure or jealous of some people I know. That’s why I learned to listen to myself in order to assess the person I am becoming into. Always reassess your words to reassess the person that you are evolving into.

No matter how hurt you are, do not turn into a person you hate.

Always remember the wise words of my favorite Chinese philosopher, Lao Tze:

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habit.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

 

WHEN YOU ARE LOST, REMEMBER YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAMS

It’s generally easier being a child. We have adults to take care of our money and ourselves. We have our innocence to easily identify the right from wrong. We are beginning our lives that is why it is easy to build a dream.

However, when adulthood creeps in, we realize that the world is not that huge playground that we first thought it was. We get frustrated. We are told we are not good enough. We are told that we are not talented enough or smart enough. Then, we just see ourselves just battling every day to exist and not anymore to live.

I am not saying that you cannot change your dreams. You can. But the beauty of childhood dreams is that they give a mission and vision right away in our heads because back then our innocence is there and our intention for the world is always pure and good. For example, a lot of children want to be a doctor in order to help people. Maybe you have thought that you are not suited to become a doctor but the reason why you feel so empty now is because you are spending everything you own to yourself and not in helping people which you initially perceived as you mission here on earth. Or as a child, you could dream that you want to become rich in order to buy a house for your parents because you were living on the streets before. But now that you achieve your dream to be materially rich, where are your parents? Did you fulfill your promise or are you wasting your life in vices and practically isolating yourself from everyone you know?

When I want to give up on law, I remember my first year high school math teacher who defended me from the person who bullied me. I always thought that for thirteen years, I’ve been battling my bullies alone. It feels so good to be defended by someone that is why when I grow up I will do everything in my power to protect the suppressed through the power of their rights vested in them. Unfortunately, my math teacher died in 2012 at a tender age of thirty-five because of esophageal cancer. But I will offer to him my license to practice law as soon as I get it next year.

 

Well, there you have it. Have a great 2014 and life ahead. Feel free to share some life guidelines to me as well!

ggg
Sky Lanterns. I edited this photo of mine in an App called Moment Cam and used it to greet my Chinese-Filipino best friend a Happy Chinese New Year. It turns out that the Chinese do not make Sky Lanterns fly in their new year; there is a separate festival for that. Nonetheless, I am always fascinated with sky lanterns (as if it is not obvious in my blog’s name). It reminds us that in letting go, beautiful things are coming ahead of us. That is why, let go of all the heartaches, the past, the what ifs and embrace the life’s surprises coming for us. 🙂

Wednesday Massacre: 2012 Bar Exam Disaster

Wednesday noon was a blur for me. It all started when I was on my way home from the Quezon City Hall to pick up my Voter’s ID. I went to St. Peter Parish to light up some candles and to pray. When I hitched my ride to home, I received a text from my classmate that our grades for this semester had been released. I freaked out and decided to go straight to SM Fairview instead of my home in order for me to check my grades as soon as possible.

At that moment, little did I know that it wasn’t my semester’s grade that would shock me.

I received another text again from the same classmate that the 2012 Bar Exam Results were released. I was doubly nervous. I know some friends from my old law school who took the Bar last year. As soon as I had access, the first thing I checked was my grades which were all good. I say they were good because my grades this semester were a lot better than my grades last semester. I called my Dad to tell him my grades but as soon as he answered my call, he asked if were there anyone from my school who passed the bar.

I went, “Huh?” then I continued, “Daddy, do not think about that first. This is my moment. I am pleased to announce to you that I passed all my subjects this semester…”

While I was enumerating my grades, I logged in to Facebook. Yes, I know that I wrote that I quitted Facebook but circumstances dictated me to reactivate my account for school purposes. When I logged in, I finally get what he means by his initial question. The first story I read on my timeline is our Office Administration status saying, “17.76% 2012 Bar Passing Rate… God bless the UE College of Law!”

17.76%! My heart suddenly froze for a minute and throbbed heavily like gongs. I quickly tried finding the list from the Supreme Court’s website. I personally do not know any barristers from my present law school because I never had any one of them as classmates so the moment the list was loaded, I tried looking for my two friends in my law school. When I saw both of their names in the list, a wonderful feeling magically filled my heart. They are finally lawyers!

But still, I want to know what is the story behind that 17.76% passing rate. First, Ateneo is exuberant as the dominated the top 10 of the bar, including the first and the second places. University of the Philippines have 4 people in the top 10, regaining their glory for not being able to send any person in the top 10 on the 2011 Bar Exams. Also, Aquinas University surprised everyone for one of their graduates made it in the top 10. Second, the Supreme Court pompously announced that they even lowered the passing rate from 75 to 70 otherwise only about 361 persons would have passed. Justice Villarama, head of the bar committee for 2012 said, “The Court, following history, and in the spirit of the Lenten season, decided to be liberal this morning. Out of liberality – may puso rin naman yan,” Wow. Liberal? Really? Thirdly, this “Wednesday Massacre” as my future professor in Remedial Law, Atty. Riguera, baptized this Bar Exam fiasco, came about because a lot of students miserably failed in Labor, Criminal and Remedial Law subjects. University of Santo Tomas’ official publication, The Varsitarian, added in their report that only 2% of the examinees passed Remedial Law which consumes 20% of the Bar Exams. Fourthly, this year is the fourth lowest bar exam passers percentile not second as the reports initially says.

Everything I enumerated above is what we learned from media. These additional statistics is what is being whispered in the legal community. Let us start with the not-so-secret stats of my former school UST. They garnered an average of 48%. In my school, UE, it was 36%. In San Beda, I heard that their passing rate is about 70%. Usually their passing rate is almost 100%. Top-notch school Ateneo is not as happy as we ought to be because although they dominated the list of top 10, they have 41 students who failed the bar exams and usually they only have about 2-3 bar flunkers per year. Still, these passing rates all doubled at least the current national passing rate of 17.76%.

Then again, I want to ask this question: Are the bar examinees in 2011 Bar Exams necessarily better than those who took the 2012 Bar Exams?

2011 Bar Examination posted a remarkable 31.95% passing rate. At first glance, the statistics pronounce it like that because 2011 Bar almost doubled the 2012 passing rate. However, let us go some statistics of the bar exam years back and you will easily notice that there seems to be a trend created. It keeps on going up and down every year curiously.

 

Ups and Downs
Yoyo. I gathered the bar percentage for 13 years. Notice the pattern in the line graph?

This bothers me because following this trend, I could predict that this year’s bar exam results will play somewhere within 25%. But in 2014 wherein I shall take my bar examinations, it will suddenly plummet down again to 20% or perhaps, God forbid, lower.

I really am nervous. What would become of me when I take the bar? I have no other dream but to become a lawyer. I studied for twenty years (and counting) straight just to prepare for the bar. However, I also thought of those who already failed the bar. What would become of them? I know some people immediately left their dream to become a lawyer. For those who are willing to take another chance, they could freely do so especially now that the Supreme Court lifted the 5-take bar rule. Still, if you fail but you are still willing to take the bar again, how will you do it? It is bad enough to gather all the pieces of your broken pride and morale. However, to take another year or half a year of to prepare is another story. For sure the 949 bar passers in 2012 bar exams are now somewhere on top of the world but how about the 4,737 people who did not make it and had shattered their dreams?

I completely understand that passing the bar is hard. However, to obtain that law degree diploma is also a great struggle. The hours are wasted in finding those assigned cases alone and just imagine how many more hours are needed just to read them. There are days where you cut off your connection with your old friends because you are too busy or too depressed to face them or any other people for that matter. There are days wherein you just want to cut your connection with the world and deactivate your social networks because you feel like you are going nowhere with your miserable study life while the rest are getting hitched, travelling the world and having the time of your life. I have classmates who immediately quitted law school after just several days in it because they can’t handle the pressure. Some call it quits after a year. I am even kicked out of my first law school though I now completely adjusted to my new one. Surely, ask any student or any lawyer for that matter, about law school and brace yourself with all the stress stories they would share. Or maybe they would be completely quiet about it just like me.

Yes, don’t try talking to me about school. I completely hate it.

Nonetheless, I want to take that 2014 Bar Exams no matter what happens. Although there is now that fear that more heads would roll on that year based on statistics, I take it as a challenge. After all, I believe that God backtracked me in order to prepare more of the bar. Had things went in my life smoothly, I should be taking the bar this year but I really feel raw and unprepared.

All in His time.

And when that day comes, I swear I’ll make Him proud and all the people who believed me.

The Ayuyao Monday-Happiness Paradigm

“Do you like Mondays?”

It is really annoying whenever I wake up on a Monday. Often time, the first thing I do in the morning is checking my phones for text messages and my Facebook (I have to activate it again for academic purposes), Twitter and Instagram accounts. I’ve noticed that some persons, especially on Twitter and Facebook, would complain on one thing: It’s Monday again and I hate it.

Personally, I do not have a favorite day. I love every day. I love waking up in the morning grateful of whatever I have and at the same time, unsure of what new things I will learn today or who will I have new conversations with. One person commented that my life is boring going to school and house all my life. But hey, I chose this life. I want to become a lawyer and this is the only way I’m working towards it. Nonetheless, I love how every once in a while, I meet up with my friends from high school and relieve our happy and sappy moments as teenager. I love it when I suddenly meet a friend I haven’t seen in a long while. I love that sometimes, I am forced to watch a movie to keep my little brother happy. I enjoy my shopping days with my mother. I like talking secretly with my secret amidst a boring class. I like it when the whole family goes grocery shopping on weekends. I love when my classmates and I share dreams together. I like learning. I guess it is really a blessing that I easily get happy with the little things life offers me.

But I don’t really get it why people complain much on Mondays. Life is not about having all fun and games. Life is not only about partying. Life is not dozing off on weekends. Life is mostly about work because by working we are able to fulfill our purpose in life. With our work, we are able to serve others. It is our opportunity to help, to inspire and to make the difference that you always wanted. To the people who are like me in your early to mid-twenties, remember that roughly ten years ago, our elementary or high school teachers told us that question, “What do you want to be ten years from now?” Yes, this time, you’re living your vision as a child or teenager. Is it very much near to what you perceive your life to be?

I guess I could say now that the happiest people in the world are those who could say, “I love Mondays!” These people are compassionate and are very much driven to their career path. They grow tired but could hardly feel it because they really like what they are doing. They still emanate that certain glow which is so noticeable even if they have eye bags because of lack of sleep. And at home, they are still very much energized that they are still very much eager to share how their day went with their family or loved ones.

Therefore, I am telling you. If you hate your job, quit it. Find another one that could really bring out your talent and skill. Find that one you could excel in and would make you feel that you’re always doing the right thing. If you don’t like to take further studies anymore, take a break first next semester and think that it is the right course for you. You may want to take another field. Do not live the lives dictated to you. We are young and we have the energy. We are too young to feel so old, bitter and weary in this world because we are not liking what we are doing.  This is the perfect time to find who we really are, our purpose and our aspiration. It is not an easy road ahead but if you like what you are doing, what is difficulty?

Monday is always associated with new beginnings. Nothing is ever easy when you are beginning something. However, with new beginning is the start of something you have always wanted. Why don’t you take a shot to your new dream this beautiful Monday?

Happy Monday. This Monday is also the 17th Birthday of my baby brother, Gio. Greet him a happy birthday! :)
Happy Monday. This Monday is also the 17th Birthday of my baby brother, Gio. I love him because he is a perfect example of what happiness is. He like what he is doing. And although he is busy and an academic achiever in Engineering school, he always makes time for me and you will never see him stressed. He always inspires me! Greet him a happy birthday! 🙂

Lucky 13

Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up where we started.
― Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

Hello, how are you?

I am asking that not only to you, my dear reader, but to myself as well. It has been more than a month since my last blog entry which was promised to have a part two. I swear I’ll do .it But today’s entry is not about it. But I’ll go back to it.

It may seem that my life had additional dynamics for the past months. First, I have more meet ups with my friends when I have time. Second, I thought that my life would be more at the easy side this semester because I only took 15 units. But hell, I was so wrong! Each unit demands so much from me. I swear that you cannot neglect just one unit otherwise the consequence it might ask for you for a price is impeding your graduation. Well, maybe not to me because I still have one semester left which will contain 13 units but failing is not an option for me. I cannot fail because I really have no face to show to my parents if I fail one. I believe that my education in University of the East is their second chance given to me that I cannot take for granted. I also have all the time in the world because I am a professional student. Nonetheless, the stress given to me by this semester is so much. The readings and digests to be submitted are endless. What hurt me the most is the fact that our official vacation started on the so-called end of the world, December 21, 2012 and resumed on January 3, 2013. One of my professors said that we are going to have early preliminary exams when we resumed classes on January 4. My other professor demanded 40 digested cases from us. It was freaking crazy for me. Yahweh should have made the eleventh commandment as: Thou shall not assign homework on Christmas break.” Christmas is about being with your friends and relatives which you have not seen in a while. It really feels improper to say “no” to an invited gathering during the Yuletide season. But I did declined some. In days which I stay in the house, I tried making digests and read the Civil Code notes in Persons and Family Relations. I’m glad that accomplished them all although I felt annoyed and a little depressed that I did not have the chance to write at least a blog entry. Last Friday, the results of our preliminary examinations in Civil Law Review were returned. I did not get a high grade though I was one of the few who passed that nerve-wracking exam. I guess I’ll just do better in my midterm and final examinations.

Anyway, I look back now on how 2012 has been. It was seemingly a very stagnant year for me because as a whole, I did nothing but stay at home and go to school even on summer break. But in between that ennui and routine-based life, I learned many things: That 20 seconds of courage. Those birthday cakes. That want to feel beautiful. That high school friends are really the closest you can have for a family. That a broken bone is nothing compared to that broken heart. That feeling when you dared yourself and actually did it. That realization that I was so blessed and I hardly recognized it. That feeling that you inspired people to look at their best, too. Those encouragements and expressions of gratitude. And all those magical moments in between.

This 2013 entered with so much expectations, plans and excitement. I want to tell you all about it however, I will not spill anything until it is official. This 2013, I don’t really have much of a resolution. Maybe I’ll improve my makeup skills and relearn skills which I had forgotten like driving and cooking. I will also not include losing weight anymore because the more I wish for that to come true, the more I fail it. Nevertheless, I will ensure that I will live a healthier lifestyle like I’ll try to eat less meat and sweets. Hey, I am not getting any younger. I’ll turn 25 this year, the age of officially ageing. I will take care of my skin more and probably start jogging after I obtain my orthopedic’s go signal that I could again run. Also, I need to focus more on studies because the moment the clock struck midnight of January 1, I could already say that, “Yes, I will take the bar…next year.” Damn. That thought electrifies me because passing it is all I ever wanted ever since but the question of whether I’m ready for it or not rings in my mind all the time. I know two things, though. One, preparation is the key. Second, you can do it while having fun.

Silver
Silver Year. This 2013 will be my silver year. Time seems to go faster now that I am an adult. But still, I do not hide my age. I am very proud of what I am and what I will be for next years to come. How about you, what do you look forward this year? 🙂

Let us have a blast this year.

That Feeling of Being Infinite: Book Review of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.

—Charlie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Two days ago, I finished reading Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” By the way, you may find this weird, but I haven’t watched the film version yet and probably I will not be able to watch it for a long time because it was last shown in SM Cinemas just this Tuesday. Hence, I am telling you this now, there won’t be any comments on how hot or perfect Emma Watson was as Sam. At any rate, it took me two days to read it.I really could not remember the last time I had read strictly for leisure purpose. As a law student, whenever I get the chance to have that vacation, which usually spans just for two weeks, I try avoiding all kinds of reading materials.  Because my family hardly goes into any vacation, being away from any reading material is the best type of rest for me.

Yesterday, when I was about to finish the review, I realized that I missed the main twist, the most significant part in the story. I tell you it was so subtly and intelligently written that even my intricate sister, who finished the book weeks ahead of me, missed it too. Maybe because I am a law student, my eyes are automatically skipping some parts and trying to search the main idea. I will read paragraphs quickly, and then when I realized that I didn’t get any grasp on what I have read, I will read the whole thing very slowly. Well, sometimes I do that. But there are times when I’d just shrug and tell myself to keep on reading because I might understand what is going on in the next sentences to come. Maybe that’s how I missed it. So now, I’m paying the price by rewriting everything I had written yesterday.

The book promises that it is a coming-of-age novel. The story revolves around fifteen-year-old, Charlie. He writes to “friend” his daily life as a high school freshman his struggles in school and his closely-knitted family. His story tackles on several issues and problems of high school students nowadays like drug addiction, smoking, sex, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality and everyone’s favorite problem—falling in love for the very first time. Who wouldn’t want stories about high school life and angst? Everyone says that the most memorable part of their lives is their high school life. This is where our we know more about ourselves, build our character, first voice out our thoughts, unleash our curiosity in many things, develop lasting friendship and feel that we are living slowly in the center of the world. This is the part of our lives wherein we could say,  “I swear we were infinite.

Charlie seems to be an ordinary high school boy. At first glance, you would find him a very smart, straight-A’s boy who is obviously beyond his years but he still possesses the innocence. He loves reading books, especially the novels his teacher, Bill, gives him as extra homework for his Advanced English class. He is also a big fan of music. All throughout the book, Charlie mentions several songs which I’m mostly unfamiliar with. The story was set in 1991 and I was three-year old then. Anyway, he is also good in mixing tapes and gives them to his friends and family. Charlie is endearing. He is a good son, a supportive brother and a loyal friend. Charlie could be very cool, too. Although he could be small in size and could easily be targeted by the bullies, he is a very good fighter. He is a wallflower, the quiet observer of life.

Nonetheless, one would wonder why Charlie seems to be friendless among his batch mates. All his friends are high school seniors. He is always going to his psychiatrist but he supplies no direct reason why in his letters to friend. You would see how submissive he is. He dated a girl who he hardly likes. He let his gay friend kiss him every night on the time of his depression. He can’t really say no to anyone. It’s also a wonder why he suddenly became addicted to cigarettes the moment he tried it and the next days to come; he smokes ten sticks a day. Later, he became addicted to LSD and marijuana, too. It’s as if he is trying to escape from something but he does not want to express what. Or perhaps, he cannot express it. He seems suppressing something in his memory. But what must it be? He has a good and close family who loves him so much. He is doing so well in school. He has caring and intelligent friends.

One must think deeper in reading Charlie. Stephen Chbosky’s writing style was too simplistic. I am sometimes annoyed with how literal it is written. There are times that you feel like the author is not giving you the chance to use your imagination or think. Charlie is blatant on writing to friend what he sees like his sister having sex with his boyfriend or how he masturbates. But I am telling you this: don’t let the writing style of Chbosky fool you. You must comprehend what Charlie is really undergoing by reading the novel very carefully. Recognize that Charlie is a character full of complexities. He is a broken character yet a very riveting one.

Perhaps, the novel shall be best remembered with the line, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I remember that for weeks, my friends in Facebook and Twitter posted that line as status message or tweet after watching the movie. I understand why those eight words are popular. Precisely, that is the answer why a lot of us suffer in broken relationships or are abused or are settled with very little love received. The love we accept are directly proportional with our self-esteem and how we measure our self-worth. But besides that, I shall not forget this lesson:

“But it’s like when my doctor told me the story of these two brothers whose dad was a bad alcoholic. One brother grew up to be a successful carpenter who never drank. The other brother ended up being a drinker as bad as his dad was. When they asked the first brother why he didn’t drink, he said that after he saw what it did to his father, he could never bring himself to even try it. When they asked the other brother, he guessed he learned how to drink on his father’s knee. So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we came from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

Powerful lines. It simply states that all of us could be wounded people from circumstances on our past. But one could always choose a better path. And with our choices, it makes who we really are. A weak man shall always blame his past like how his job sucks now because he lived and raised in the slums or how he can never have a stable relationship because he thinks all women are the same because his mother left his father and him when he was little. However, a truly successful man who lived in a similar situation shall be the one who should be working extra hard because he does not want his sons to suffer poverty that he experienced when he was little and would value his relationships more. Charlie taught us that your past should be a story not an excuse. Charlie must live in each one of us.

I recommend this book to anyone. It is a book filled with life’s lessons that would let you reminisce on your teenage year. At the same time, you look back your past and think whether the wound inside your heart has healed and made you a better person or think if the effect is otherwise. You would love the overflowing hope it promises you after reading it.

Remember: You cannot change your past but you can always choose you future.

From http://projectfree-tv.net/perks-of-being-a-wallflower-trailer-hermione-percy-jackson-go-to-high-school.html
We accept the love we think we deserve. I think in the movie, it was Charlie who said it to Sam. In the book, it was Bill, his teacher, is the person who said it to him. In any case, those words will live on.

UAAP Season 75 Aftermath Random Thoughts

I don’t know if it is really normal to really be a big fan of college basketball even if it has been years since you last graduated. But I am still a big fan of it. I know I have not blogged much last month because I had been busy but if you are following my twitter account, you probably have noticed that I tweeted so much about UAAP. UAAP stands for University Athletic Association of the Philippines. It is composed of eight of the biggest universities in Metro Manila namely, Adamson University (AdU), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU),  Far Eastern University (FEU), National University (NU), University of the East (UE), University of the Philippines (UP) and University of Santo Tomas (UST).

As you all know, I received my Economics degree as well as some units for College of Law in University of Santo Tomas and now I’m pursuing my Law degree in University of the East so in a way, the UAAP is very much alive in me. But you see, both in UST and UE, my classmates care little if not at all about UAAP. In law school, people hardly participate in school activities. Also, there is that big attachment formed in their undergraduate. I was told that your true love is your undergraduate school and not your post-grad school. Personally, I both love my schools so much. I scream equally on the games. I swear you wouldn’t want hearing me scream because it might damage your eardrums permanently. Though I really need to know more about UE—the history, the cheers and the school spirit. Did you know that I just learned today that UE was formerly known as Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration? Well, I still have remaining two semesters to know my law university better.

Truthfully, it’s kind of depressing having no one to talk about sports in school but thank God for the Internet, I could still discuss the games with my college buddies and also at home because everyone in my family graduated from a UAAP school including my little brother who is a first year engineering student now in UST. Also, in Facebook and Twitter, you can easily air your views and read the views of another. It feels so good cheering for your teams as well as trash talking some schools at times though.  Yes, trash talking shall never be parted from cheering your school.

I did watch a game live this season in the Mall of Asia Arena. It was between UST and DLSU and surprisingly, DLSU did win that game. But although I was sad that UST lost that game, the experience of me chanting UST Cheers and having that adrenalin rush all throughout the game made me feel younger again. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I watched a game live but I’m happy that I relieved it in that game.

Photo credits: Interaksyon.com
Intense. Often, I am usually noisy when watching UAAP when one of my universities are playing. But I’m very quiet when watching them playing against each other. UST’s Teng and UE’s Sumang are battling it up here.

My UE Team did not fare well this season. They only won 3 out of 14 games in the eliminations. Nonetheless that includes one big win from this season’s champion, Ateneo. I was lucky enough to watch the game with the entire UE community in our lobby. I must tell you that the UE is crowd is one of the most passionate players in the league! Also, I just love it when the even Coach Norman Black’s face turned pale when they lost to the nothing-to-lose UE Team.

UST almost had it all. Almost. I was really sad hearing their loss to Ateneo. I really thought that the 2006 Championship would be repeated. I can never forget that season which some dubbed as a “Cinderella finish”. Why? It the first round of eliminations, all schools except FEU had defeated the lowly UST Team. Probably because of three things: First, they are still adjusting with their new coach, Pido Jarencio. Second, they lack maturity as a team. Third, their players kept on having illnesses. If I remembered it correctly, there was a dengue outbreak amongst the players. But coming into the second round of eliminations, they were a solid, strong team. They defeated all the teams in that elimination round and they were defeated by Ateneo only on the Game 1 of the finals. In the end, they emerged as champions. In this season, nobody is really expecting UST to reach the finals but they did. They were such a great team to watch and I assure you that they are not for the faint-hearted. They are usually lagging behind their opponent in the first three quarters but damn that fourth quarter of theirs. For some reasons, they could easily steal the ball and shoot them effortlessly. Unfortunately, they did not defeat Ateneo this time. So all bitterness aside, I congratulate the Hail Mary Squad, Ateneo de Manila University. Five straight winning basketball championships are not easy to achieve. I also salute the Atenean community for being extremely supportive of their basketball teams.

I hope in the future there shall be more teams included in UAAP. The season feels so short because we only have eight teams. Probably at ten teams, we could have a longer and more intense season. I heard that since San Beda College would be turning into a university soon, they are planning on joining UAAP. I would love that but I don’t like some super proud Bedans ask us Warriors to change our school colors because although San Beda was established way before UE, we were in the league as the fifth member of the UAAP. Also, Ateneo is now campaigning for their sixth title or the ANIM-O. I challenge all teams in UAAP to do something and halt them. I mean come on, five championships are way too much.

I just cannot wait for the next season. Generally, only a few good players from all schools are graduating so I expect a very good and quality basketball next season. I heard that UE have two ‘import’ players for next season and recently, Manny V. Pangilinan donated P5M for the UP Team so in a way, every team is stepping up and prepping up for the next season.

More than the school rivalry and the intrigues and protests this season, what shall linger more is the camaraderie, sportsmanship and mutual respect for all people under the UAAP member schools.  UAAP is one of the biggest reason why I am proud being a Golden Lady Warrior or a Red Tigress. Probably, that is what made me addicted to it up to now. I can see that UAAP will really last for a very long time and could go on even after my death. But for now, I could imagine myself as a grandmother taking her grandchildren into the game and still shouting,”O, Defensa!” even with arthritis on.

Long live, UAAP!

Unlikely Combination. A Red Kitty. Weird but it is what I am in UAAP.