Thursday, March 29, 2012

UGH. (Utterly Grueling Horror)

That sums up my second-to-the-last law school finals season. It’s the mostest when it comes to degree of exhaustion, not because of the subjects, but because of scheduling issues. I only had three subjects with final exam components and boy, were they difficult. On the 26th I had Private International Law, Labor 2 on the 27th and Crim2 on the 28th. Back-to-back-to back. Tsk. It’s the first time that such misfortune befell on me. Usually there’s at least a day in between. I know, I shouldn’t be complaining because finals is just a measure of how well you learned during the sem, and if you studied your lessons and prepared for every class, you should have no problem reviewing for the exams, but me being me… I always said that it’s not a review if you’re viewing everything for the first time. Oh, well. Lesson learned: Take the core subjects with your block. Anghirap lang mag-schedule kapag Miss International ang drama mo. It’s too late for me to even think about this, no?

Let’s see. Where did things go wrong (aside from the not-so-ideal study habit that I have formed over the years)? Yes, I never run out of excuses. But seriously, not everything is my fault.

1. PRIL, Monday, March 26, 6PM –- I have no major issue about PRIL since I did study for this subject more than any other this sem. I love the subject (despite being esoteric most of the time), I love the Prof (despite being esoteric all the time). But he usually asks for provisions verbatim during exams, and a dissenting opinion on his favorite case, Aznar vs Garcia. What did me in was the fact that it was not known whether he would give a take-home exam or not, so I spent the entire Sunday studying. Only to find out on exam time that it’s gonna be take-home, due at 11AM the following day. It went downhill from there. I take it back. PRIL was a major, major issue.

2. Labor 2, Tuesday, March 27, 6PM –- I spent most of Monday evening and Tuesday morning working on the PRIL exam. It wasn’t easy. I swear I did not sleep a wink. The rest of the day was spent stuffing my brain with mostly familiar labor law concepts. The exam was reasonable, but I was too sleepy and distracted. Strange, there was a debate inside my head as to which I’ll Never Fall In Love Again version was better -– Dionne Warwick’s or The Carpenters’. During the effing exam. And I thought Tin was weird for her random musings (e.g., how to study better for future exams). So I guess I now belong to that bunch of crazy people who think about anything and everything during exams except the answers. WTF. I still think I’m not as crazy as April though, who thinks of why she’s taking the exam in the first place. Haha.

3. Criminal Law 2, Wednesday, March 28, 6PM -– Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. How do I describe this? Just terrible. Horrendous. Brutal. I was weeping inwardly, even entertaining the thought of turning in a blank blue book. Mental block gripped me, and felonies and their elements from all 14 titles of the Revised Penal Code’s second book were swirling randomly inside my head. I was dizzy with sleepiness as I only had four hours of sleep the night before, the only sleep I got since Sunday evening. The pain and disappointment was so intense, even graver than a break up. Or maybe I’m just a nerd.

For now I can only hope for a miracle, and rely on the kindness of professors. I feel a little better, thanks to Tin, Gian, and April who relented when I invited them to drink despite their own upcoming exams.

Oh. I think this version is better, by the way. 

Ma-connect lang…

What do you get when you cram exams?
You only get wrong answers and singko
So for at least until tomorrow
I'll never cram exams again
No, no, I'll never cram exams again.

There was a case in Crim 2 (Gallego vs Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. L-57841 July 30, 1982) where the accused officers of Board for Marine Engine Officers were charged with violation of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) for giving a passing grade to an examinee who only wrote recitals of “Hail Mary” and “Our Father” on his exam paper. Gosh. I should feel better about my self.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

radio gaga

Whatever happened to EO No. 255?

We are radio people, my siblings and I. Perhaps we got it from my mom, who listens to the radio a lot. I remember listening to radio dramas on DZRH, like  Ako Ang Inyong Tiya Dely and Matud Nila during daytime and Gabi ng Lagim in the evening. The latter was a family affair. We would sit in the living room where the radio was and scare each other, so each of us should make sure that we have responded to nature’s call before the program starts. We were music lovers -- we knew not only contemporary pop music but also the oldies from yesteryears. I was fascinated with 70s OPM, particularly those of Asin and APO Hiking Society, and the George Canseco movie theme songs of the 80s.

While tuned in to The Morning Rush one morning, Zia Quizon’s Ako Na Lang was played. My sister noted that it is the only Tagalog song played on RX, and it’s not even pure Filipino, with lyrics like What are you waiting for / Call my number, knock on my door / Nandito lang ako / How I wish you'll let me know. It’s a refreshing tune nonetheless.

My sister’s observation brought to mind this Executive Order issued by Pres. Cory Aquino in the late 80s, EO No. 255 which requires radio stations with musical format programs nationwide to broadcast a minimum of four original Filipino musical compositions in every clock hour (full text below). I don’t know if this was ever implemented, or if the NTC promulgated the implementing rules to effect this. With the current state of mainstream pop radio, I guess the drive went with the ebb of nationalism a few years after EDSA I.
It's a chicken-and-egg thing, this OPM issue. There aren't as many songwriters who make Pinoy music as there were before, perhaps because of our declining appreciation for anything Pinoy. Radio stations don't play OPM as much as stateside songs because nobody listens to them anymore. But if producers would just create good music and the radio industry supports them, I'm sure Pinoys will be more than willing to support OPM, too.


EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 255 July 25, 1987

WHEREAS, radio programs with musical formats allot very limited playing time to original Pilipino music;

WHEREAS, to ensure the growth of the local music industry, the airplay of original Pilipino music in our radio stations must be increased;

WHEREAS, the State is constitutionally mandated to conserve, promote and popularize the nation's historical and cultural heritage and resources, as well as artistic creations, and to give patronage to arts and letters;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, do hereby order:

Sec. 1. All radio stations shall broadcast a minimum of four (4) original Pilipino musical compositions in every clockhour of a program with a musical format. For purposes of this Executive Order, "original Pilipino musical composition" shall refer to any musical composition created by a Filipino, whether the lyrics be in Pilipino, English or in any other language or dialect.

Sec. 2. Any franchise holder or operator of a radio station which fails to broadcast the minimum number of original Pilipino musical compositions in every clockhour of a program with a musical format shall be fined in the amount of P100.00 per violation. The National Telecommunications Commission may, after due hearing, suspend or cancel the Certificate of Registration and Authority to operate of any radio station in the event of repeated violations of this Executive Order or its implementing rules and regulations.

Sec. 3. The National Telecommunications Commission shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement this Executive Order.

Sec. 4. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 25th day of July, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beautiful Eyesore

I hate those eyes. They’re big and too revealing, and sometimes scary. Scary? They’re beautiful but there’s something in them that terrifies me. I see your pain and sorrow and I wish I could ease them, but then you stare. Or maybe you just glance but to me it feels like staring. So I look away, afraid that you’d see through me and recognize the remains of whatever I have confessed to you before.

I love it when you laugh. Your eyes become smaller, and it relaxes me because they’re not as piercing anymore. There’s no need for me to hide behind the glasses that are not tall enough to shield me from your glance anyway, or to suddenly grab a book and feign studying. I guess I’ll just keep you laughing. Then I won’t have to look away.

I don’t understand why I feel the need to hide when I have already exposed myself. Maybe it’s because things are different now. You are free (yes, but you choose to remain in that cell of yours), and this could be a better time for me to hang around with you more often. Things are not as simple as that, unfortunately. You’re broken, and although I want to help you move on, only you can decide when to start the process. For now I should keep my distance and hope you find that evasive healing.

Here's looking at you, kid. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012


In February, my boss turned 60 and opted to retire. She could have extended her tenure for another five years but she said she had other plans. At first I surmised it was the deluge of complications that the Entertainment TV Group was burdened with in recent months that made her decide to leave, but knowing what she had to go through to establish ETV, I perished the thought. She is one of the strongest women I know. She once remarked that she eats stress for breakfast. With the cutthroat industry we are in, that is actually an understatement.

I was a newbie when the movie The Devil Wears Prada hit the theaters. A colleague told me and my boss’ assistant to watch it. “I’m sure makaka-relate kayo,” she said. Watch it, I did. From then on, I would describe my job to anyone who asked in the following manner: “Kung napanood mo yung The Devil Wears Prada, ako si Anne Hathaway,” usually followed by the disclaimer, “Pero hindi ko sinasabing devil yung boss ko ha.” The comparison is brought about by the fact that like Miranda Priestly, my boss had two persons assisting her -- an executive assistant and an executive secretary. I was the latter.

WVG, as she is referred to, has quirks not entirely dissimilar from Meryl Streep’s Miranda. (I wonder why bosses are called by their initials. It makes them sound inhuman. In my boss’ case, it’s harder to pronounce the initials -- 5 syllables -- as compared to just calling her Ma’am Wilma. Anyway...). She is also perceived as mataray and icy in the workplace and people allegedly avoid being in the same elevator as she is (this is hearsay, hahaha). She doesn't hesitate to let you know she’s upset and in my almost six years of being with her, I have been at the receiving end of such outbursts quite a number of times. I have no personal knowledge as to the brand of clothing she dons, but I’m pretty sure she wears Prada, too.

The similarities end there. Unlike other female executives who suffer from queen bee syndrome, WVG is motherly. She values her people and makes sure these diamonds-in-the-rough are polished the right way to shine brightest. Watching all the tribute videos for her during the past week made me realize just how lucky I am to have been given the chance to work with her. It is unfortunate that I didn’t have much interest in TV production and opted to devote my time to law school instead.

That's a peace sign, not sungay. Seriously.
It’s been two weeks now and I've gotten used to the empty room she once occupied. I still feel a bit of separation anxiety and pangs of nostalgia every now and then, but I don’t feel the urge to cry anymore (True story!).

Well, very good.*

*A line from the tribute video shown during WVG’s birthday party, supposedly signifying the other meaning of her initials.


I just celebrated my sixth year with the Kapuso Network last week. Well, not quite. Things like these usually go by unnoticed. Perhaps the appropriate word is “remembered.” Six years. Whowuddavthunk.

Below is the video our HR prepared last year for those who weathered five, ten, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years in service.

If you can spot me your eyes are healthy. Chos.