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Friday, February 23, 2007

The Countdown Begins

"Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk."
—Chinese proverb

There is now talk of specific dates as to when the results of the 2006 bar examinations will fly off the Supreme Court’s tightly guarded vaults. “March 22”… so says the circling whisper. “ March 22” … so say the hushed tones that sound not so unlike voodoo chants.

Of course, we all realize that all that is idle talk. Plain rumors. No one, as of yet, knows just exactly when. And setting dates only makes the waiting more tension-filled, more nerve-wracking, more agonizing.

Why then do the bar hopefuls continue to feed on the rumors? Is ignorance not bliss? (If you'd only see the criss-crossing text messages, e-mails, chats and other conversations on the matter, you'll know what I mean.)

Let me have some uninformed guesses (sorry, my psychologist alter ego just jumped off the window). I guess we want to figure out the exact date because we want to determine when the waiting will end. Uncertainty cultivates gloom. I bet it’s easier to run the marathon when you know how far lies the finish line.

We all want to move forward after this – either we made it or we faltered. Whatever the results may be, we’d like to know ASAP so we may plan and decide on what to do next.

But the waiting is part of this challenge that we chose to take. To endure a little more brings us in communion with all those who have been through the same path. After this, we shall be brothers …(hopefully).

Yes, it doesn’t help that the results of the medical board exams were released yesterday only after a few days of waiting. Much as we would like to wish that the same be applied to the bar examination, I’m convinced that such will come not in the very near future. The fraternity of lawyers deeply treasures its traditions and I foresee no immediate abandonment of the rites and rituals that separate the legal profession from the other callings.

So to all of us 2006 bar examinees, let’s just run the entire course and have fun observing the countdown to nowhere. Anyway, one thing is sure in the scheme of things – the day of reckoning will definitely come.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

If I Were a Super Hero

There's this site that gives you the chance to live your fantasies. Just take the test and check out the results. Hmm. Obvious bang walang mapag-tripan? He he.

Here's what the oracle told me: (at walang magrereklamo! Mag-test na lang din kayo.)

You are Superman

The Flash
Green Lantern
Iron Man
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Monday, February 19, 2007

Crystal Ball Talk

The Chinese New Year has just set in. And this is supposed to be how our Eastern brethren reads what’s in store for me:

“There will be positive news from all quarters of the world. Your stars are pumping out abundant acclaim at your work and home. There will be dramatic alterations in your life. Such changes will be beyond your anticipation.”

“If you have been considering a change of career or company, this year will be favorable to make the move. Changes will take place in your life during 2007 that will set the stage for future progress.”

I’m not much of a believer in astrology, or for that matter, anything related to prescience. I’m a cynic by heart. But if the predictions were this positive and hopeful, how would a tattered and weakened soul react but look forward in anticipation?

Okay, okay. That actually is how fortune-telling operates. The desperados are the easiest of preys.

But then again …

Bear with me. But I’ll try to think positive this time. I'm taking the better choice -- counting on luck.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Lea Salonga: Uncut"

I’m not really a big fan of hers, but I did like her Sunday night. She was in her element, singing perfectly. And she looked so radiant! For some reason, she exuded a different glow – so unlike her usual aura in television shows. She even looked like Gretchen Barreto’s better twin.

I’m talking about Lea Salonga who performed at the PICC for a concert sponsored by the Adamson University in celebration of the latter’s Diamond Jubilee. Striving for a connection, the organizers dubbed the show “Lea Salonga: Uncut” – with the emcee referring to Lea as a raw diamond.

Poor metaphor.

For Lea has become the epitome of class. She is now sophistication personified. For all intents and purposes, she is a polished gem. Indeed, there was no display of rawness during the entire show.

I submit she is not the best that the Philippines has, if singing talent was the only measure. But it was she who captivated the world, for reasons clearly beyond our regular standards. She possessed something else.

What that was, I’m not certain. But her concert confirmed what many critics have been lamenting all these years – singing is beyond vocal histrionics … one need not bust his lungs in order to enthrall.

I have no beef against belters. What I detest is turning singing into an athletic activity where singers try to reach the highest of notes as if they were chasing world records. Try and try until….

I appreciate singers like Lea who hit the right tones at the proper time, not those who know nothing but high notes. I actually thought that Jed Madela, one of the guests, was one of the first, but he surprisingly showed variety. And boy, he was good! Lea even described him as “hindi tao”. He made mincemeat of the classic “Impossible Dream”.

It was nice seeing Philippine Idol finalist Gian Magdangal as another guest. I liked his “Superstar” a la Usher, but for the other songs, he was tentative. Well, who wouldn’t? Performing with the best can only tax one’s confidence.

I was fortunate to have watched Lea before she conquers New York anew as Fantine in Les Miserables (thanks Gibbs!). I will never be able to see her play the role on Broadway stage, but I sure know what she’s going to deliver.
That’s enough to make me feel proud.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Two Bottles

Yesterday, I spent the entire day in bed, nursing a mean hang-over. I tried to summon even only the slightest energy to do some other things worthwhile, but the spirit can only lift a weak flesh to certain predetermined levels. Beyond those marked limits, one is predisposed to just let go and allow nature to take its own sweet course.

That, I realized, via a eureka-moment induced by the bottled St. Michael's concoction, is simply the approximation of the yin and yang of life. You can’t reach blissful acmes without getting pulled by an abysmal nadir. Positive – negative. Happy - sad. Fun --- hang-over. And this stupid rationalization is just but a symptom of the negative extreme. (lol)

Seriously, I have been learning not to be terribly serious with life. I surmised, with the aid of some divine nectars, that challenges and problems are but regular spices to this entire journey, that without them, life will be some damn bland experience. The resulting motto? Take all the punches, but don’t forget to store beer in the fridge. Or whatever.

I’m beginning to lose count of the various hurdles life has thrown my way for the past few years, but while I do sulk for being Fate’s favorite toy, I guessed I just had to enjoy the attention. Stubbornness can be pretty annoying, and when I eventually get the Playmaker’s goat, I’m quite sure he’ll soon just leave me alone with the good things in life.

And what better way can there be to taunt Life but by showing resilience? By finding time to meet with friends and just let time pass sans any trace of worry?

That’s why, for some time now, I’ve been having two-bottle sessions with friends. Not very often, but good enough to wash down the rust of life. This began during the bar review period when fun was taboo. Given the back-breaking rigors of the period, it was then but natural for us to thirst for any soothing elixir. But of course, only up to a certain level, we hoped.

But as all drinkers would know, the pre-specified limit is just the cross-over margin. There is where the drinkers are given the option to exercise restraint and pack-up; but as that is breached, there is no more telling when to stop.

And most of the time, the limit is breached. And when the dam breaks, all the angels in heaven join in the fun. Problems be damned! They’ve had us by the balls for so long now, that sparing time for gleeful abandon with friends will not hurt.

Thus, the other night, I enjoyed. Thus, the hang-over.

And until now, I’m still trying to make sense of myself.

Two bottles, anyone?

Monday, February 5, 2007

Tale of a Heart

This is about my Mother’s heart.

She’s scheduled to sign-out of the Philippine Heart Center anytime today, after having an angiogram yesterday.

The results showed that she had a main artery partially blocked, necessitating a bypass – soon.

It’s never easy getting news of this sort. One is always in the pink of health until a check-up bares a different color. After that, everyone gets his own dose of mortality checks.

Even just with the prospect of an angiogram, Nanay was already visibly afraid. It didn’t help that we know so little of the procedure. She only eased a bit when I gathered literature from the internet as to what it was all about.

Now, I shall be surfing again for information related to heart bypass. I hope knowing the process will at least provide her comfort.

We still have to gather every one to discuss how we’d all meet the challenge. Medyo nasa denial pa yata lahat.

I’m confident that the doctors at the Heart Center are competent at what they do, and performing heart by-passes are but regular parts of their daily grind. They are the best in the field.

The bigger part of the worry is where to source the funds to finance the operation. Were we blessed with obscene riches, the procedure would have proceeded immediately.

Pero wala eh. Just like any other Juan dela Cruz, we do not have enough savings for the rainy days. That’s why we’re given some time to gather the money. I’m sure it’s going to be an uphill climb (ang hirap kasi talagang maging mahirap!), but who cares? It’s a mountain that has to be conquered regardless of the cost.

Bahala na.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Test of Faith

Ginawa naming Divisoria ang Davao kahapon.

We had to fly in mid-morning and fly out early evening. We were to conduct a lecture in between.

We reached the training center past noon. There were still three speakers scheduled before us. We were getting worried we will not make it to the 6:45 flight.

"Trust God", sabi ni Gary, isang kasama namin. He was to talk after us pa! "Madami ng nangyaring ganito na nalusutan ko."

Mahaba ang lecture at maraming tanong sa mga nauna. We promised, iiksian namin ang amin. One hour, at most.

Eksakto. Tapos kami ng mga 5:10. Salang kaagad si Gary. "Ano gusto nyo, fast or quick? Basta mabilis lang to", yabang pa niya sa participants.

Pero 6:00 na, nagkukuwento pa rin siya. Di nya nakikita ang time-out sign namin.

Tumawag na kami sa mga nauna na sa airport. "Ano pa'ng ginagawa nyo dyan? Andito na ang eroplano!"

Walang kaabog-abog, lumayas na kami. Aside from Gary, me isa pa siyang kasama na magsisimula pa lang. We had no choice but to leave them both.

Ang masama, pinagamit na sa amin ang sasakyan na dapat para ke Gary (mas bosing kasi sya, he he). Ni-request na lang namin ang guard na ihanap sila ng ibang masasakyan.

Pagdating sa airport, we realized, niloko pala kami ng tinawagan namin. Kararating lang ng plane!

After a few minutes, dumating sina Gary. Gusto sana namin, pero di na kami nakapagtago.

Nakangiti siyang lumapit sa amin, sabay sabing, "You did not trust the Lord!"

Guilty, your honor . . .