Saturday, October 25, 2008

Looks Like A Good Wall To Me

I have developed a huge amount of respect for lawyers in my practice, especially those working in law firms. It takes the right mix of confidence, compassion, diskarte, and most importantly, humor, to practice law in the Philippines.

I unfortunately can’t direct you to a particular moment in my short-lived firm practice that I could proudly tell my grandkids about when I have become nostalgic and huwag naman sana incontinent.  But I will remember and miss finding myself in a random officemate’s room with five other lawyers at around 5 p.m. everyday.

We’ll each have our respective cups of coffee, and our respective humiliating and/or frustrating stories to tell about a judge and/or a boss and/or an opposing counsel. Laughs will be exchanged for about an hour, at which point everyone would quietly disappear and make their way back into their rooms for yet another three hours of work, at least, as a general rule.

Long hours will be missed, because I’ve somehow gotten used to them. Working weekends and working lunches will also be missed, for the same masochistic reason. Intelligent conversations about a case that you’re passionate about will be missed, along with really early flights for out-of-town cases. Even the privilege of saying “Same appearance, Your Honor,” will be missed, just because I won't be able to say it too often anymore.

But I’m off to a new job in a couple of weeks. After less than three years of law practice, I realize my ladder may have been leaning against the wrong wall all this time. Law firm practice may not be it for me. So I got down, scouted for other promising heights, and set up my ladder against what I hope to be MY right wall this time around.

Looks like a good wall. Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Doughnut Buy

A lot of cheap-looking things are sold at unreasonably high prices to get us social climbers to buy them. Just off the top of my head, there are brands like Melissa, Crocs, Havaianas, Grendhas, Ipanema, and Pluey.  These are, basically, rubber footwear; substantial equivalents of which may be bought under the brand names SM Parisian, Reva, Islander, and Beachwalk, respectively.

Why few middle-class people buy the latter items constitutes interesting material for a study in sociology. Why do we prefer buying rubber slippers for thousands of pesos rather than just chucking P49.75 for a pair? (Melissas cost between P2,000 to P4,600. A pair of SM Parisian shoes that look exactly the same and serve exactly the same purpose, cost between P150 to P500.) My theory is that if our high school classmates saw us in the supermarket wearing Havaianas instead of Beachwalk sandals, then they’d see how effortlessly affordable thousand-peso tsinelas have become to us and accordingly conclude that we’ve made it big as adults. Yes. The sweet smell of rubber slipper success.

On a purely incidental note, I don’t understand why people who buy Pluey boots even buy Pluey boots. If you can afford a Pluey, you’re probably never going to have to wade through flood water in your life. You’ll have your driver lie on the street for you so you could use him for a plank.

To justify our socially unacceptable spending, we make excuses like, “Ooh. These are just so comfortable. I could use these shoes forever.” Really? My feet are yet to recover from the Havaianas that I thought I needed for the Eraserheads concert. The thongs pinched the sides of my feet. I had to put on band-aids to save the suckers. Crocs aren’t as comfortable as they market them to be either. The straps are as much pinchy, and they aren’t at all flattering on the feet. I look like a toddler wearing them for Pete’ sake. So why, why must we buy all of these?

Yesterday, Pao saw a ridiculously long line in front of one of the stores in Trinoma. We had to see what hundreds of people were lining up for. Maybe the NFA decided to set up distribution centers in malls and this was NFA rice. Maybe they’re giving away free food. Chicken nuggets? New Lucky Me instant noodles? Instant Pho perhaps?

No, no and no. People apparently waited in line for half an hour just to get into the All Flip Flops store. The sign at the store window read: “40% off on any two identical pairs.” Ahh. Now we could buy gomang tsinelas for just P600 a pair. What a bargain.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We did it. We did it. Hooray.

This is no ordinary desk. This is Sheila Coronel’s desk. This is where she probably sat writing pieces for iReport – the magazine published quarterly by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) of which Ms. Coronel was co-founder and Executive Director.

(For those of you pagans who do not know what PCIJ is,  it's only the non-profit media organization that published the report on the Erap mansions in 2001. The report sparked the impeachment proceedings against Mr. Estrada, which eventually led to that joke of a revolution called “Edsa Dos.”)

Ten years ago, when I was an Ikot-riding Journalism student in U.P., I would have given up a month’s worth of fishballs to get a glimpse of Shiela Coronel’s bookshelf, more so to snoop around in her workspace. I would have had, as Celina would put it, a tween’s equivalent of a Miley Cyrus moment.

At 27, I actually got to drink hot tsokolate-e in Shiela Coronel’s home. The moment made me realize what a lucky son-of-a-gun I turned out to be. By grace, I am able to do things now that the 17-year old me could have only wished for some years back.

Sure, many of my grand plans are yet to be fulfilled, like winning a Pulitzer, flying a hot air balloon over Scotland, and running a bed and breakfast in Tagaytay. But this post is about the simple things that come with being an adult - things we sadly take for granted because they have become too familiar and well, “unsophisticated.” My list includes, among others, being able to: travel with people I like, drive to a Jollibee at 12 midnight for a Jollihotdog, and watch R-rated movies during payday Fridays.

Every January in the church that I go to, we are encouraged to list down things that we’re believing God for in the coming year. In January 2006, before I took the Bar and when I just started my first job, I listed down: “buy Christmas gifts for my family with money that I earned.”  Whatdoyaknow, I am able to do that now. I could just buy AC that Ben 10 wristwatch this Christmas, and maybe one too for Gab.

What a lucky son-of-a-gun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Am Walrus

We lost our Internet connection two Saturdays ago. It turns out PLDT’s big gray box in our street conked out, resulting in dead phone lines and inactive DSL connections. Believe you me when I say nothing can be more distressing. I’d rather watch that KC Concepcion – Richard Gutierrez movie again than endure another week without Internet. No…wait. I take that back.

 Pao and I seemed able to survive the absence of the Net in our lives for a full 12 hours. We entertained ourselves with food, books, television, and the occasional hanky-panky. But even these could only occupy so much of our day. By Saturday afternoon, we were begging Pao’s family in Quezon City to please report the blasted Internet connection. Like the Philippine Police force, PLDT responded with unbelievable speed. Their response was, uhm, lethargic.

We’re back online ten days later. The fact that Pao and I aren’t talking because we’re both busy updating our Facebooks/blogs is a testament to how miserably dependent we’ve become on the Internet. To further isolate ourselves from each other, Pao decided to install a Wi-Fi router in the house. Now we’re able to browse through our  preferred Internet pages at different rooms in the house without having to see each other. What brilliance!

Since it’s been a while since I’ve had my groove, I hope you bear with me if I post an unusual amount of blogs in this site. Think of me as a big brown walrus who was taken captive for behavioral testing in a laboratory and then brought back to the wild to freely swim, swim, swim in the cool, calming waters of the Internet.*

* This could very well be the worst metaphor ever constructed, but what the heck.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Theme Designed by Patricia Alix-Villa of Fancy Girl Designs 2012

Back to TOP