Thursday, December 15, 2011

yearbook write-up

Akalain mo, yumi-yearbook na naman ako. Parang kelan lang nung kinulit ko ang mga friendships ko sa Kamia at MassComm na gawan ako ng write-up. Haha.

This time, I asked the bespren Golda to write mine. Pero bilang napaka-busy niya sa buhay with all her extra-curricular whatnots, lumipas ang deadline at hindi niya ako nagawan (hmp, dude, kelangan mo ko i-compensate for mental anguish, serious anxiety and wounded feelings). Buti na lang andito ang Blockmate of the Year na si Tin. Here’s what she came up with. Aylabyu, mare!

Between working, going to film festivals, filling out her Witty Co. merchandise like the “Akala Mo Lang Wala Nang Slumbook Pero Meron, Meron, Meron” slumbook, drafting funny blog posts, partying, updating her Facebook status with the latest quotable quote from professors, listening patiently to her friends rant, and casually going to concerts, Cess studies hard. To prove it, when Cess gets drunk, she is able to quote the Constitution, Agency, and Civil Procedure provisions verbatim. Indeed, Cess will always find time to study. This time is usually from 8pm to 3am. The location ranges from McDo Matalino to Burger King Timog. Contrary to what some people may believe, the word she texts the most in the middle of the night is not, “Inom?”. It’s “Aral?”  However, on any regular day, at whatever time, wherever she may be, and whatever else she may be doing, Cess will be ready to give you the latest Philippine showbiz news (“Oo nag-break na sila.”), and name old Pinoy movie titles (Bukas, Luluhod and mga Tala, Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, Huwag Mong Buhayin Ang Bangkay) and obscure 70s and 80s OPM artists from Jingle song hits. All that and be your friend. Cess, the Best.
199 words. Pasok sa banga!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What is random?

It’s the last week of school this year and I haven’t been doing anything school-related for two weeks now, except go to classes and sit them out. I couldn't say I’ve been studying since reading is very different from studying, as Dean Maggie said just last Friday. Well then, if that’s the case, I haven’t been studying for the past five years because what I've been doing is a combination of frantic reading/highlighting, sitting-surviving classes, and frenzied word-hunting during recitations.

Which brings me to a question -– also asked by the huge Bar Operations Commission bulletin board outside the library -– are you ready to take the bar exams? The answer should be YES, since I have taken almost every core subject on the curriculum, but I still get scared when I couldn't answer with certainty random queries from colleagues and previous bar exam questions. Nerdy much? Not quite. Just apprehensive perhaps. And all the doubts I harbored for years come flooding my senses. Have I chosen the right path? Is it too late to quit? Am I ready? These questions have been popping up with more frequency than usual these past few days. The answer my mind has been giving is a frightening NO.

Over the years I have learned to ignore them, pushing them back to the deepest cavities of my consciousness, hoping they would never resurface again, that my love for learning would conquer the doubts and put an end to all their hounding. Five years, but they’re still there. I think of the reasons I had when I decided to take up Law. Nothing noble, I just thought I wasn’t in the place I wanted to be in (wherever that was) and Law was an ok thing to do in the meantime. “Ibang klase kang ma-bore,” was what an officemate said. “Nagseself-destruct,” I retorted.

Then I remember the career counseling thing I took at the Office of the Guidance Counselor at Vinzons Hall back in 2001, on the second month of my first semester in UP. It was a long personality test of sorts meant to measure your fitness for the course you’re taking. I was enrolled in Journalism, but the test result was such that I only scored a B+ as a reporter, an A- as a teacher, and A+ as a forest ranger. Whattup.


Maybe if you think less of yourself it would be easier, I thought. The search for reasons extended beyond my ego. I thought of my parents and how happy they would be if I become a lawyer. I would be the first from both sides of the family. I thought of the land dispute my grandfather is having with another relative, and how Papa said they’re counting on me to fix things up. My grade school teachers, they would be thrilled. If I do well I would have succeeded in letting them know that their efforts are appreciated.

Heck, there’s still OLA next sem. If that doesn’t show me what lawyering is about I don’t know what will.

Or, maybe I could take Environmental Law and be a real ranger (SFX: Power Rangers theme). In pink spandex suit. Hot.

Go, go, Power Rangers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Room for Rant

an edited version of photo from this website
This morning I texted our landlady to report the busted bathroom lights. Two hours later, I got this reply:
“Ok na ilaw sa T&B. BTW, ilan ba nagoocupy sa room nyo kc maraming shoes/slippers sa labas. U rented it for 2 persons only. Di pwd sleepover wc u signed sa terms & conditions. D h20 & electric consumption kc lumalaki kpg dumarami tao. Hope u understand. Tnx.”
I was aghast. Grabe. Asking is very different from accusing. Pag maraming tsinelas, boarders agad? Hindi ba pwedeng marami lang talagang tsinelas? Sabi nga ni Bunso, “Ay naku. Ano ba sya, bobo o mukhang pera? Bakit, tig-isang pair lang ba tayo ng tsinelas/sapatos? E pano yung kabilang room, walang tsinelas sa labas. Ibig sabihin walang tao?”

It would be very uncharacteristic for me to reply in a rude manner so I just texted back -- “Hi po. 2 lang po kami, we just leave our shoes and slippers outside so as not to get the room dirty. Wala po kasi kaming time to clean everyday. I always text you naman po whenever my mom is in town to let you know that she’ll be staying with us.”

Hayun, hindi na sumagot si loka. Kainis lang talaga. Grrrr.

I dunno why I got so irked to the point that I have to waste a few minutes of my time to blogrant about it. Hayayay. Bad trip ka ‘teh. Alam mo yun?


Monday, November 28, 2011

The Thing Is

The thing is I can't write poetry (or I can't write, period). But I love poetry, and a few weeks ago I stumbled upon this gem and I thought I'd like to share it with the four or five people who read my blog. Haha.

The Thing Is
by Ellen Bass

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again. 

"The Thing Is" by Ellen Bass, from Mules of Love.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Princess Is a Loser. PRIL for short. LOL.

This sem, I’m taking PRIL (Private International Law) under the great Dean Merlin Magallona. During our first class meeting, he gave out a LONG list of provisions that we have to memorize verbatim.

As usual, I ranted to my friends about it.

Cess: Andami-dami namang pinapa-memorize na provisions sa PRIL.
Gian: Conflict rules? Oo, you should know them by heart daw.
Cess: Hindi ko yata kaya. Isa lang ang heart ko, broken pa. *tear*

May pag-emote na ganyan. Nakakaloka. I’m starting to think that a) I am in dire need of a love life, or b) I am destined to be forever single just so I could blurt out such corny lines. Sige na, Universe. Tutal naman may mga taong natutuwa sa mga kababawan ko, so OK na rin. It’s better to be single and happy than be in a relationship and be miserable. 

But please, don’t let me be a spinster. Hindi naman kataasan ang standard ko (click here for reference).

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


3 and I, we go back a long way. I first encountered him in first grade as I did not go through prep and kindergarten. But in our class I was the bibbo kid who already knew how to read and write while my classmates were learning to hold their jumbo pencils. 

I wrote "3" in reverse, parang E. I was embarrassed. And shocked. Mommy already taught me these at home, how could I commit such a mistake? Apparently, i wasn't alone, my teacher also found it strange that bibbo kid moi could blunder so horribly at so basic an exercise. To make matters worse, she even announced it while she was returning our papers. Perhaps that traumatic experience killed my capacity to love numbers, and up to now, while I could write numbers in their numerical forms (siguro naman ano?), I could not bring myself to like even simple arithmetic. My aversion towards numbers grew as the maths grew more complicated (fractions, decimals, negative numbers, percentages). In short, A α M, where A is aversion and M is math. Hahaha.

The horror stories continued. During the second grading period in second grade I was toppled from the 1st to 6th place because of my poor performance in the Math exam. In 5th grade, I got a tsk-tsk-tsk and a dismayed look from the Math teacher because I was the only one among the top 4 students asked to solve the problem on the board to arrive at the wrong answer. In 6th grade, my spot in the honor roll was threatened because other students scored higher in the Math part of the NEAT. High school wasn't any different, and I could not comprehend why the x's and y's were being added and subtracted and multiplied. Letters belong to the alphabet, to form words and sentences and beautiful stories. Subjecting them to these brutal operations was blasphemy.

and I find this absolutely hilarious. :)
But then, I trudged on. Math was an unavoidable abomination and I just saw it as something I could ignore since I did not fancy a career in Engineering or Medicine. As long as I performed well in other subjects, I thought I would manage. 

And I did. College and work didn't involve a lot of numbers. That's until I took up Law. I thought it didn’t involve Math, but I was totally wrong. Succession had a lot of fractions, and I messed up our final exam. We had two Taxation subjects, and these had a great deal of nosebleed-inducing arithmetic. And there goes my reason for writing this entry. I passed Tax 1! I couldn’t believe it. The midterms was horrendous as it only consisted of 12 problems. No MCQs, no True or False, no essay. Just pure computation of “tax consequences” and “exposure”. While the final exam had MCQ, T or F and tax rates, I didn’t feel any better because I applied the “when in doubt, choose B” and “when the statement says ‘always’ or ‘never’, it’s false” principles. 

Now I feel a little fondness for one number -– 3.

I think I shall never see
A grade as lovely as a three
A three that’s earned with blood and sweat
When failing is a serious threat
A three I've asked from God all day
Knowing praying is the only way
Exams are taken by fools like me
But only God can give a three.

*poem printed on a UP shirt

Saturday, November 05, 2011

What's Love Got To Do With It

I read somewhere about this pop existential theory which says that the number one song on the week of your birth will dictate the theme of the rest of your life. I Googled mine but I didn't arrive at a definitive answer because different charts from different territories came up with different results.

Because it's the oldest music chart, let's start with Billboard Hot 100 (US):

What's love but a sweet old-fashioned notion
What's love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken...

Then there's Take 40 (Australia):
There's no comfort in the truth
Pain is all you'll find...

And finally, the UK Top 40:

No New Year's day to celebrate
No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away...

Too bad I couldn't find any Pinoy music chart archives online. :(

So what do these songs say about my life? The first is about being jaded, the second about being unfaithful, and the third about being engaged in a long-distance love affair. Go figure. Hahaha.

Find yours, too!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Registration Relief (bleh, cheesy title yet again)

And now, the second part of the misadventure-that-was-enrollment for my supposed last sem in school were it not for my innate delinquent tendencies.

The denial of my appeal the previous day dampened my spirit (ako na ang emotera) and made me decide to just enlist on the last day instead, bahala na si Batman. But at around 2PM, Evening Batch Rep Aict texted me that the Crim 2 section I wanted had available slots left. Whether somebody changed his/her mind or dropped from the section, I didn’t know. The news kept my hopes up, but to be able to enlist, I had to clear my liabilities at Vinzons Hall. The line at the Student Services & Scholarships office was long and winding. Well, UP transforms into University of Pila every enrollment. Good thing the men and women of OSSS are efficient and cheerful to boot, I was given a payment slip in no time.

But the pila at PNB was another story. Magulo na, mabagal pa. And I arrived there at 4:15PM! I was able to pay 30 minutes later, took a cab from Shopping Center to Malcolm  (dahil one-way traffic sa Oval) then ran to Vinzons OSSS again to have my record cleared. At Malcolm there were 10 students queued outside the Office of the College Secretary, although it was then 4:55 PM. Anxiety was setting in. Oh no, baka mag-close na ang OCS/maubusan ako ng Crim 2 slots. I’m dead. Good thing OCS determined to finish with all the waiting students and we were done by 6PM.

Like most of my Malcolm contemporaries, it feels a little strange that Prof. SFL is no longer behind the College Sec’s desk. The new College Sec is nice naman and she took the time to check each student’s issues and even advised one student against canceling an elective “kasi magandang subject yan (Remedial Law Review).” Imagine the stress the student felt when another student told her that the subject would be taught by Prof. VAA. LOL.

Anyhoo, seems like I have to make the most out of my last few days of freedom. Tanduay Ice, here I come! 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Registration Rantage

So here I am, on my fifth year and has been tagged “graduating”, still struggling to get a slot in a first year subject. Oh, Criminal Law 2, I’ve waited 5 years just to take you. It’s probably my fault; I was too presumptuous to think that I’d win a slot even with a single bid point since I (stupidly believed) enjoyed a priority status.

Wait, bid? Yes, students bid for subjects, like collectors do in Sotheby’s or Christies (sushal). It’s kinda hard to explain the system to regular students who just choose the class to enlist in depending mostly on two factors – schedule and teacher’s popularity. UP Law had this novel registration system in place two years ago, during Dean Leonen’s first year as dean. Under the system, each student is given 20 points per unit of subject s/he intends to take which s/he will use to bid for a particular subject. But the rule is not simply highest-bidder-wins, as the system is built on a set of priorities depending on the student’s year level and shift. Since I am too lazy to explain, here’s Ms Batnag’s blog entry to elucidate on the matter --

These were my bids.

 I won a slot in every section but Crim 2 (Law 110). The system gave me these instead:



Buti nga, anyabang kasi. Haha.

But since this is law school, we are somewhat keen on insisting what’s best for us and are expected to make the most out of the due process thing –- appeals. I appealed, saying that  the section awarded to me could not be accommodated by my work schedule, which is true. And I remember Prof. VAA saying last sem that “You enrolled to become lawyers so it’s understood that when push comes to shove, your work gives way.” Her advice is well-taken but it’s a Catch-22 for me. Work pays for school, so no work = no school.

My appeal was denied, BTW. Hoping for better news tomorrow.