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Friday, June 29, 2007

Reality Check

I saw a college buddy on TV last night, acting as one of the lawyers for Migz Zubiri at the the Supreme Court oral arguments.

My automatic innocent reaction was: “Boy! He looks so old!” Basis? Thick eyeglasses, pampered beer belly.

But the resident ogre at the back of mind blurted back: “If he is old, you too should be, right?”


Long, long pause.

“Hindi a. I definitely look very much younger!!”

He he. Talaga namang in denial.

Monday, June 25, 2007

5 Interview Questions (From Abaniko)

1. "He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides." - Charles Lamb. Your comment?
  • True. Lawyers are trained to defend whichever side the client brings to the table. Regardless of where your passion or conviction lies, your true worth as a lawyer is measured by how well you advance your client’s interests. Ideally, where the contending lawyers are both excellent, justice in the end still prevails, because presumably, the side handling the truth will be at a greater advantage. The other side will just have to be consoled by the thought that his rights were properly defended and protected.

2. If you could switch bodies with a famous person for a day, who would it be? Why?

  • Just the body? Brad Pitt of course! His is a physique I can only dream of. He he. But if we consider the life co-existing with the body, I’d love to switch with Bill Gates. Which means I’d then be using the virgin side of my brain (bobo po ako sa math!). And with the money and power he commands, my one day will surely be one hell of an experience. I’m just not sure if he’d still want it back after I’m done with it. (lol)

3. What movie changed your perspective about life? Explain.

  • There had been quite a few, but I guess “Dead Poets’ Society” tops the list. I watched it at a time when luxury and I were very much strangers to each other. I was then living with an aunt’s family and I had to sneak past midnight just to have access to the VHS player. In my lonesome, the movie’s theme of fighting for his passions and even dying for it struck a very sensitive chord. I remember I cried unabashedly (well, I was alone). I realized then that while I do have a myriad ambitions to chase and dreams to fulfill, I still just have one short life to live. So drive gung ho if I must but never should I forget to smell the roses and seize the opportunity to be happy.

4. If you could bring only 3 things to a deserted island, what would they be?

  • Things lang? Walang persons? He he. Kidding aside (My! These are very serious questions!), the three things will be:

1. My cellphone (hoping of course that there’s a signal there). I wouldn’t mind getting stranded for some time as long as I have contact with the outside world.

2. A swiss knife or any other multi-purpose tool. This will allow me to build at least a temporary shelter if the stay is short. If the stay gets longer, then I could use it to plant/harvest crops. If I need to be more adventurous, it could help in building a raft.

3. I wish I could say a good book pero pa-cute lang yun. I don’t think I’d have the interest to read. I’d rather have anything that would lull me to sleep. Even a transistor radio would suffice. Makapakinig na lang ng drama sa DZRH.

5. You are doomed to a life of disability. Select which one: farting noisily every hour or pissing every 30 minutes?

  • It should be the latter. If there’s one thing I abhor the most, it is toilet humor. Farting in public has never been a source of fun for me, even if it were with the closest of friends or family. Pissing every 30 minutes could be more inconvenient, but it will at least require me to pass it in private. Should there be times where such is not possible, the good old Pampers will be handy. Or bladder bags.

There you go. Thanks Abaniko for these questions. I had fun figuring out what to say here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cry, Koko

I bet the COMELEC will soon canvass the Maguindanao COCs. And if the figures are what they are purported to be, Migz Zubiri will then be proclaimed the 12th senator-elect.

Sad, but legally plausible.

Our election laws specifically designate the COCs as the basis for canvassing the votes for Senators. If there are questions as to their authenticity, the COMELEC en banc, acting as the National Board of Canvassers, may check the election returns (ERs) but only for the purpose of correcting the alleged discrepancies. That’s what the COMELEC presumably did when they recently visited the now-infamous province. (I smell "laying the groundwork".)

And since most of the base documents (ERs) have been “recovered”, the COCs must now be opened, and read. But the lawyers will have to engage in a battle royale so as to prove whether or not the COCs are authentic. Of course, we all know they are not (Proof? Just look at Bedol’s face.), but on their face they are. The forms will be regular, the required signatures and thumbmarks will be present. No erasures too.

The claim that the results are statistically improbable will be dismissed as irrelevant. The NBC will claim that it does not have the jurisdiction to determine so. (The High Court once said it can, where the fraud is so palpable from the return itself; res ipsa loquitur — the thing speaks for itself).

The verdict? All objections will be “NOTED” (familiar, huh?). But since the COCs are valid, they will have to be counted. Migz will eventually overtake Koko in the tally.

No amount of protestation will stop the proclamation. Pre-proclamation controversies are taboo for national posts, including House Reps.

Koko’s legal recourse is to file an election protest. Which will be resolved some time 2013.

Unfair? Of course. But this is the Philippines.
(Note: Koko hopes that the Supreme Court, following the Lagumbay doctrine, will order the COMELEC to initially disregard the Maguindanao tally for being "statistically improbable". That way, he gets to be proclaimed as senator and turning the tables around, Zubiri will have to file the requisite election protest. The latter will then have the burden of proving that the Maguindanao votes were valid. Possible? Yes. Probable? I'm afraid not.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Morning Madness

Fronting us was sheer pandemonium.
We were rushing to the office, but there was no way we could move. The light signals go, but buses and cars were blocking us. Those at the end of the queue continue to push forward. We weren't moving. For minutes..
But just beside us was this MMDA office. And there they were -- a flock of traffic enforcers chatting... oblivious of the chaos developing at their very noses.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Missing A Father

Our father died in his early fifties.

Most of us then were quite young - me, fresh out of college and just starting to find my niche in the professional world.

He was no longer there when we started leading our own lives. Nowhere near us as we tried living up to his name.

In his absence, every little victory we celebrate, is incomplete. The question that always floats around is : "how would have he felt were he here?"

He is sorely missed.

(Nat King Cole's Stardust was among his favorites. He even bought a record to sing along with)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Delayed ID Post

When was the last time you had a significant observance of our Independence Day?

For me, I’m not quite sure. If my recollection serves me right, it could probably be six years ago, while I was still abroad, when I was tasked to sing the national anthem during the opening rites of the usual grand celebration for the Filipino migrants. Standing (no, trembling could be the more appropriate description) in front of thousands of beaming Filipinos, I was so moved by the unity that we as citizens exhibit when we are thrown out to foreign lands in search of opportunities we wished were available in our country. Needless to say, our nationhood is more felt by those who are outside the boundaries of this country, where many of our countrymen can only wish for the many freedoms we irresponsibly exercise and the comforts we wantonly disregard here.

I cannot think of any other instance immediately before or after the above incident when I felt or acted with a deep sense of patriotism.


Whatever happened to the idealist that was the younger me? Where was the student-activist who moved other students to stand up for their right to respectable education, and braved rallies in Plaza Miranda, Morayta and Mendiola, agitating for more respect to our hard-earned freedoms?

I’m now groping for answers as to the whereabouts of that part of me. I wish I could offer excuses to save face but I guess, like many of us, I could easily be found guilty of apathy without need to face trial. That part of me is therefore gone. Not necessarily dead, but would surely require intervention more than CPR to resuscitate.

I am tempted to say that maybe, time indeed has slowed me down. I mean time plus all the trappings we gather through its passage. The older we get, the more we take care of ourselves and the interests we have acquired as we matured. We are now more possessed with fear, no longer wanting to cause ripples that could eventually create currents that may just sweep us over to the dangerous seas (like why would I even dare shout repression when I could end up becoming a Jonas Burgos anytime?). We now define independence in personal terms – until we or our relatives and friends are abused, we feel that we are free as free can get.

Maybe, idealism is the luxury of the adventurous young. But hold it! If that is the case, why is it that even the youth of today is as uninvolved as I am? As I see it, most of them cannot hold a candle to the civic-consciousness our generation once had. Could it be then that non-involvement (some say cowardice) is more a function of the era and not of one’s age?

I cannot speak for today’s youth. I cannot apologize for them.

I can only speak for myself. And admittedly, the many personal travails I had caused me to me clam down and made me focus my energies to nothing but the pursuit self-redemption. Everything else became secondary. I am not proud of it, and I hope things will change.

Looking at myself, past the uneventful Independence Day of 2007, I admit to my shame. My apologies. But with the continuing brazen disregard for our democratic ideals as backdrop, I hope to do better next time.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Stargazing With My New Baby

Before your thoughts drift any farther, my new baby’s a Canon Powershot S3IS.

Just got it from somewhere. Like manna from heaven.(wide smile)

I have always wanted to have a digital camera for use in my blogging and this one just came in at the right time. Now I can fulfill a long-cherished dream – being a true-blue photographer.

But I have yet to learn the basics so I’d really be glad to learn from those of you who have already mastered the art form. Would anyone out there please tutor me? :-)

Well, one surefire way to apprise one’s self with the features of any gadget is to tinker with it. So I did. And fortunately, I got into this occasion where some showbiz stars performed.

So for my initial venture into photography, here are some evidence of my futile attempts at joining the ranks of the paparazzi.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Treading The Road to Recovery

The worst is over.

Nanay is now out of the ICU and has been transferred to a regular room where she could recuperate. I know it’s still a long way to go, but we are happy that the major obstacles have been cleared. Thank you all for the prayers. We appeal that you continue doing so until full recovery is pronounced.

Let me just share some of my thoughts as we stood guard at the hospital for news and instructions:

- despite the pillage that the Marcoses have done to this country, it cannot be denied that some of the projects they implemented turned out to be truly beneficial to Filipinos. The Heart, Kidney and Lung Centers were brilliant ideas that deserve our appreciation, particularly from those of us whose finances are hopelessly wanting. Because of these medical facilities, operations which could have been available only to the rich abroad have now become commonplace and quite accessible.

- we still have a bunch of qualified and humanitarian doctors around, who courageously stood their ground against the pull of the mighty dollar. We so far have met Drs. Tan and Quitiquit and were we so glad that they shaved off their much-daunted fees in order to save a life. To them and the rest of the medical team, I doff my hat in respect.

- the value of family and camaraderie among us Pinoys is still very much alive, despite the creeping apathy that modernity usually ushers in. I deeply appreciate the fact that there were those who entertained no second thoughts when asked to donate blood and those who were with us physically and through prayers, including fellow bloggers who only knew me through this page. Thank you folks!

- there is still much room for improvement in our health insurance system. We were lucky that I have one with my office which somehow absorbs a considerable portion of the expenses. But for those who would have to scour for every penny to spend, the prospects are just too scary. The PCSO, despite its much publicized support, can only cover so much. Where else to get the funds is one nerve-wracking challenge.

Here are some pictures I took (bawal actually) at the hospital.

Nanay before the operation. She asked for her grandchildren but the hospital guards would not allow all the kids to get in.

The waiting area for the patients' relatives.

After the operation, the patients are brought to the Recovery Room where they can be viewed by the anxious relatives.

The ICU.

And finally, the bill. It's just partial (and sans the professional fees), but enough to make one cry. :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Tale of a Heart 2

Nanay finally had her heart bypass yesterday.

She was brought to the Operating Room at 9:00 a.m.. We tried to comfort and encourage her but it was a herculean task against a backdrop of another patient nearby, shouting in pain as frequently as he breathed.

We waited until about 3:00 p.m. for the result.

"She is fine. Had three blocks cleared," said the doctor as he called us.

She is now in the ICU, transferred there from the Recovery Room where the critical first 24 hours had to pass.

We all pray that full recovery will come soonest.