Monday, December 20, 2010


After the disasters, natural and otherwise, that befell us in 2009, fate has been relatively good to me this year. Five days before Christmas, I find most of my latest material desires satisfied, and a few of my lifelong goals finally met.

1. A UP Diploma - Do not get me wrong. I will forever be a Blue Eagle by heart. But, being the only UPCAT passer from my high school who decided to go somewhere else for college, I must admit that there are times when I wondered what could have been. Well, there is absolutely no need to wonder now. Just for good measure, I did not take some sissy ass certificate course to satisfy my curiosity. I earned a degree from the only college in the entire university which has not produced a single SCL in its almost 100 years of existence.

1a. A law degree - 15 years after finishing college, and after taking (and passing) the LAE the first time. Better late than never.

2. A third consecutive Ateneo basketball championship - Game 1 was scheduled a day before the last Sunday of the Bar Examinations. So, I had to enjoy the Great Tamaraw Massacre from the comfort of a Century Park Hotel room (Not that it helped any with Legal Forms and Ethics the following day). This only made the release of all the angst, anger and pain accumulated over a period of five months much more sweeter the following Thursday.

2a. A picture with Bianca Gonzales - Taken at the bonfire. Now, if only one of the Eagles start dating Angel Locsin sometime next season. Uhm, Emman?

3. A nice place to stay in Metro Manila - We won't get to move in until 2012, but we finally got the ball rolling. We got some help from a couple of generous people, and I still have no idea how, in heaven's name, we will be able to reciprocate their kindness and pay them back.

4. A copy of a men's magazine with Bianca Gonzales on the cover - Do you see a pattern here? I promised myself years ago that if one day, Ms. Gonzales graces the cover of FHM, Maxim, UNO, etc., I will get a copy. So, imagine my surprise when during bar month, I realized that she had already graced the cover of UNO exactly one year before. It took a few Google searches and a couple of emails, before the publisher was finally able to send me the last two copies of the September 2009 issue.

5. Nike Air Max+ 2010 and Nike Zoom Hyperfuse - I don't really collect shoes, but I get them if they are shoes that I really must have. These are shoes that I really must have. I got both pairs in the same black/red colorway.

6. A new phone - Weng has been telling me to get a new phone for the longest time. But, the only phone out in the market then which I find worth replacing my trusty SE K620i is the BlackBerry. You have to understand that I have never paid for a unit since I went postpaid years ago. The cheapest BlackBerry unit required a plan upgrade and a cashout of Php6500. That is, until Smart decided to have a promotion for all of three days where no cashout is involved. Sign me up.

7. PlayStation3 - I do not have a PS3 console yet. So, in the meantime, I have to settle with playing NBA 2K11 and Madden NFL 11 on my rather outdated PS2. I can only take comfort in knowing that I can still get games for my PS2 at Php70 each.

photos courtesy of, DMCI Homes, Nikeblog and Titan22.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Tang Inang Mukha Yan Ang Pangit.

This pathetic excuse for a human being, who actually provides the living argument why abortion should be legalized, put a previously unknown reporter's life in danger simply by being the irresponsible, insignificant moron that he is.

Napakalaki mong tanga.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Did You Know . . .

. . . that there were neither pilgrims nor Native Americans in the Philippines in 1621?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My mother-in-law is spending Thanksgiving in the good ol' US of A, and it just occured to me that I am the only one in the family who has not (yet) asked for anything for her to bring back from the land of the free and the home of the brave. I want a PS3 console, but I think that went out the window when my wife - her daughter - asked for an iPhone.

So earlier today, I came up with a list of five movies that my sister-in-law can hopefully find at Best Buy. Sometimes you get lucky and find the hardest to find films in the most unexpected of places (The Seven Samurai, Naga City) here at home, but that doesn't really happen too often.

Here is my list:

1. Animal House

One of John Belushi's best-known movies. When he was 30, this was the No. 1 movie in America. He died three years later.

2. The Paper Chase

This movie demonstrates why the man who invented the Socratic Method should be rotting in the seventh circle of hell for all eternity.

3. Dr. Strangelove

I have seen some of Kubrick's films ─ Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, A Clockwork Orange ─ and this should be a good addition to the library.

4. Two of Us

This is for the Beatles fan in me. They could have screwed this story up in so many ways, but they did alright. I have seen this on VH1 a long time ago, but I wouldn't mind watching it again.

5. 61*

The original homerun race. Before ballplayers had incredibly huge heads and necks.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tonight, Tonight

For the sheer lack of anything more productive to do tonight, I think I will just load the entire Eraserheads catalog into my iPod and then play the Jordan Challenge-less NBA 2K11 on my rather outdated PS2 until my hands hurt.

I think I am finally getting the hang of this weekend thing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Fourteen months after its publication, and two months after I discovered that this issue actually existed, it finally arrived.

Of course, not until after I tried asking Bufini and some bookstores first, looked for and found the email address of the magazine's circulation department, waited for a about a month or so for them to reply to an email, and finally, talked to a sensible guy who provided me with the manner of payment and delivery.

Never underestimate the persistence of a fanboy.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Status Report

For the past three weeks since I returned to The Seagull*, I have been able to watch:

all 9 episodes of Season 2 of White Collar
all 11 episodes of Season 1 of Covert Affairs
all 12 episodes of Season 1 of Human Target
all 12 episodes of Season 4 of Burn Notice
all 7 episodes of Season 4 of Chuck
all 4 episodes of Season 6 of Bones

Not bad for three weeks.

Most of these are series which I have been able to follow at one time or another over at Solar TV (aka RPN 9). They usually aired on Saturday evenings, quite conveniently after all those lovely Saturday mornings and afternoons spent at Diliman. I am not discounting the possibility that I may have enjoyed them only because they made me forget things that happened only a few hours earlier, if only temporarily.

What is unfortunate is that, for some stupid reason or another, after a season or two, the network stops airing these series altogether and switch to new shows (Vampire Diaries, anyone?). The fact that Solar TV is the only channel on free TV which satisfies this demand, is the only thing that is stopping me from watching Willing Willie everyday. Well, that and the fact that Georgina Wilson is not co-hosting with Papi.

Covert Affairs was recommended by RQ. I find it a somewhat cheesier version of Alias. It's OK if you can stand all those flashback scenes about the lead character's (portrayed by Piper Perabo. Yes, that Piper Perabo.) "sawing pag-ibig", as RQ put it. I decided to tolerate it anyway only because Emmanuelle Vaugier is in it.

* Sorry, but you have to know and see my Facebook account for details on this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fine, Fine Time

Whoever at Nike decided to print only 150 Ateneo three-peat championship shirts is an absolute idiot. Either that, or he has developed an aversion to making money. In any case, it feels good to refer to that asshole, whoever he may be, as an absolute idiot. Almost therapeutic, even.

Look. Those 150 shirts would not even be enough for all the resident-students of Eliazo Hall alone. That is how dumb that decision is. That a demand for this shirt was artificially created is obvious - there is not enough supply even for the residents of the smallest dormitory in campus. It's like providing a slice of cake to a convention of supermodels the day before the apocalypse.

* * *

Of course, by now everyone knows that the blue birds from Loyola Heights won the UAAP men's basketball championship yet again, making them champions for three years running. This year, like last year, the cows from Morayta were favored to win it all, for good reason. The cows had two players who are members of the national basketball team. They had the eventual MVP and ROY. The birds, on the other hand, lost three players to graduation. All three players ended up being picked in the PBA draft, two of whom were picked first and second overall.

After the Game 1 blowout, there were suggestions of game-fixing. So, I will take this opportunity to confess. Yes, I bribed the entire crayola squad to play like shit that day. That is the only way I can ensure a 23-point blowout. Pay off every single soul wearing a yellow and green jersey. Having only the MVP in your pocket just doesn't cut it.

This explains why I almost had no more budget for the second game. Beavis almost refused to lose the game until funds were transfered just before he took three free throws at the endgame. He missed two, setting up Buenafe's shot of a lifetime on the other end.

If you believe any of that, then you must be someone from Nike who thinks that printing only 150 shirts for the most rabid basketball fans in the country is a cool thing.

* * *

I was lucky enough to watch most of the first round games, and some of the second round games live - including both games against the pepsters. The first round game was already won, before one player decided to lose the game all by himself. The second round game was pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was a game that was over by the middle of the first quarter.

Which is very much like the first game of the finals, which I watched from the comfort of a hotel room near Taft. I am still hoping that that would be the last time I would spend a night at that hotel. I watched the second game from Upper Box A, in the same section where an elated Jumbo Escueta later climbed up to moments after the final buzzer.

* * *

Speaking of the apocalypse, another moron decided to ruin some otherwise promising lives one afternoon in Manila, by throwing a fragmentation grenade at a huge throng of people in a celebratory mood. Over 40 people were injured, including a sophomore law student who had to lose both legs because of the senseless act of an idiot who could very well be the living argument that abortion should be legalized. I will forever be in awe of the courage shown by Ms. Raissa Laurel after the incident.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

GiTZ mo, n0h?

The st8 shol pRoTectnDProMotE D rIGhT Of ol CITiZEnZ to qUalitY EducAtion at Ol lEVElS,ndshoL tAke appropRI8 stEPz to mke suCh educaTioN acCESSiBLe to oL P0Wh.

- CoNSt p0wh. ArT. xiv, § 1.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sa Wakas

Kay tagal ko nang naghintay at nagsunog ng kilay
Ngayon ay masasabi ko na matamis ang tagumpay

- verse written by some students, c. 1994

The grade for PIL, from the first semester, came in last. Exactly one hundred thirty three units. All accounted for. So, unless somebody over at the OCS made a really horrible mistake, I should be able to add two more nice letters to my name by the end of next week. (Those two letters should be in the right order. If you mix them up, you just end up as someone behind a turntable mixing sounds for those who are colloquially referred to as "party people".)

I went to Diliman yesterday for the first time after taking Tax finals, to fill up some forms, and to pay, for the requisite clearance and the application for copies of the TOR. It was not weird, but it was different. For instance, I went inside Room 107 to leave papers for the lucky girl who inherited my cases, and I did that without cursing under my breath or wanting to leave immediately. Those are the thoughts that ordinarily overwhelm you every time you do that. At the same time. I also had to get a visitor's pass to enter the library. I entered that place every day for five years just by making small talk with the guard. I later left the Twilight Zone and went with two blockmates to the alumni hostel to get a "loose piece of clothing that is put on the shoulder" that we are supposed to wear next week. Apparently, it should be worn over something else.

I would probably miss all the things that made my evenings quite different for the past five years. In fact, I was already staying late at work and not leaving the office at 4:00 PM as early as last October (or the end of the first semester), since I only had classes on Saturdays during the second semester. I was already spending more time online at home, and less time searching for stuff on Lawphil at [Section 17, Article III, 1987 Constitution]. Actually, I am going miss it all. Just not now. Right now, I am just grateful and delirious that I do not have to do any of that ever again.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal, Again

"I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope."

- Red, The Shawshank Redemption

After I submitted what hopefully was the last blue book I will ever submit in my life last Saturday, I also hopefully finished Tax 2 and hopefully said goodbye to five long years of cramming for night classes after work, photocopying boxes of cases half of which I probably tried to read at least once, grasping for answers out of thin air during recits, writing down answers legibly, or at least mumbling them, for your reciting seatmate to see or hear. (Disclaimer: I actually still have to submit a portion of an arbitral award, but I just need a working computer to do that.) Five long years were spent looking for the perfect reviewer after an all-too imperfect semester, surviving final exams, waiting for grades, removing conditional failures, and bidding - yes, bidding - for subjects. We also spent some time counseling (presumably) indigent litigants, representing them before courts of (presumably) justice, and experiencing firsthand how (presumptously) a law firm should not be run.

Hopefully, they are all over, and hopefully, I will not have to do any of those things ever again.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

When in Rome

I was thinking, if we had "dress-up day" back then, I probably would have worn a collared shirt. Maybe long pants, too. Ok, maybe even a pair of shoes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

虎, 虎, . . .

. . . burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Mayo noon ang buwan, at may Santacruzan.
Ikaw ang Elena, sa gabi'y siyang reyna.
Libo ang kandila; ngunit pagtingala -

tila ba himala - higit pa ang tala!

Ilaw rito't doon sa puso ko noon.

Ngunit ako'y lito, kaya't di natanto,
na lahat ng ilaw, na sa aki'y tanglaw,

ay ikaw. Ay ikaw. Ikaw.

Paglipas ng Mayo, pagsungaw ng Hunyo,

nang ika'y lumayo, ilaw ri'y naglaho
At mga kandila nangagsipagluksa

at sa pagtingala wala ni isang tala.

Dilim dito't doon, pumaligid noon,

kung kaya't natanto ng puso kong ito
na lahat ng ilaw na sa aki'y tanglaw,

ay ikaw. Ay ikaw! Ikaw.

Kung ikaw ay wala, wala rin ni tala.

Kung ika'y kapiling, kahit tala'y saling.
Sapagkat ang ilaw na sa aki'y tanglaw

ay ikaw! Ay ikaw! Ikaw!

"Ikaw," awit sa dulang "Sinta" ni Pagsi.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Push Button to Eject

A little over nine months after I first entered a courtroom, to make my first appearance before a judge, in my very first case, the client calls and tells me that they received a copy of the decision ordering the adverse party to vacate the property.

Like I said elsewhere, the outcome of the case had everything to do with the contents of the killer position paper, and had absolutely nothing to do with its page formatting. Of course, it also helps if the opposing counsel does not appear to know what he is talking about in his position paper.

I won my first case. Whatever happens for the rest of my life, I can now always say that with a straight face.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Poor Eli

Does anyone who watch Heroes here really think that Eli (and all of his copies) has a snowball's chance in hell of beating Peter and Sylar? I will be disappointed if that fight is not over in five seconds max.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's a poem. By Robert Burns.

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."

- J.D. Salinger (1919-2010), The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye, incidentally, is the best ten peso book i ever bought from Book Sale, or anywhere else, for that matter. It was an old Bantam paperback edition with a solid maroon cover with lemon yellow type. It was borrowed and was, unfortunately, never returned.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Higher Learning

At about this time of the year 19 years ago, I and six other people came to school on an ordinary day and found our names posted on one of the bulletin boards along the walk. We passed the UPCAT. The letters arrived at home a few days later.

I recalled that day because last week, my first godchild did not find her name on the list. That list, I presume, is still posted on the bulletin boards of the old "alma meyter," even though UP has already been posting the results on the Web for years now. Ramon Magsaysay HS in Cubao is still posting their list on their wall facing EDSA. That alone gives me enough reason to believe that every other high school in the country is doing the same thing.

It is a fact that it is statistically difficult to get into that list. While high school grades are considered in the selection process, having high grades does not at all guarantee admission into UP. Of the seven of us who made it, only two graduated with honors, prompting one of my classmates who did not make the list, but graduated with honors, to tell to no one in particular that day, that he should have chosen another campus. One of my friends who chose UPLB as his first choice could only snicker. He later met his wife in Elbi, and to make a long story short, they made me a godfather a few years later.

While admission into the premier state university of the country is source of pride for all of us who were lucky enough to make it, it does not mean the end of the world for the others who did not. If anything, I can guarantee that they will be less arrogant than the stereotypical UP student. I myself turned down my slot in UP 19 years ago to attend another school, and it turned out rather well for me (except for the arrogance part - that other school was apparently good at churning out arrogant dicks as well). It was so good, in fact, that 10 years after finishing college in that small liberal arts school in QC, I passed the LAE and was admitted to UP Law. I figured that that would settle, once and for all, all lingering questions in my head about what would have been if I stayed at UP, just like six of my friends. But, that's another story.

While I have no doubt in my mind that she will excel in whatever it is that she chooses to do in the next four years of her life, I want to warn her that, chances are, she will be experiencing the most wonderful moments of her life within the next four years, and she must not be carried away. She will also face her biggest problems and see the best and worst in people. During those moments, it is very likely, that she will be on her own. She must not be overwhelmed by all the new things that she would have to face and she must not lose sight of what she came there for in the first place.

It is, nevertheless, fortunate that she is attending college away from home at this time and age. Unlike her parents and I, she does not have to lug coins with her and fall in line to use the only working PLDT pay phone in the dorm (or campus) to call home. She will have the luxury of a relatively cheap Internet connection to send email and to chat. She can choose to spend her free time in any of the God-knows-how-many malls around the city. She does not have to go to SM City North EDSA every time to catch the last full show.

She will have the best years of her life. She only needs to make sure that she does not have too good a time while at it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Homestretch

I have started to count the Fridays and Saturdays off the calendar. Hopefully, in a few more weeks, I can already see the so-called light at the end of this cursed tunnel. It is so close, you can almost taste it.

I have been away from college for more than 10 years now, and I can still recall, with fondness, my days and nights there. Right now, I think I will leave this place (Hopefully. Soon.) with no fondness, except for the remarkable people who made all those years a little bit more tolerable. Of course, things are significantly different in college, the most significant difference being in college, the only thing I had to do was to go to class and pass. That is it. Everything else took care of itself.

(One other thing, is that I don't think my professors in college really went out of their way to really inflict moral damages upon my person. But, of course, one can also argue that it is the method at work.)

Anyway, I have finally started working on the paper. Hopefully, I will be able to finish it on time. I have been religiously attending the elective subject, and so far, it looks like that's all I have to do to get out of it in one piece. The one remaining major subject was supposed to be a 3-unit subject, and it was, until the professor decided that we are not suffering enough, so we now all go to class one hour earlier. "Room 1408," of course, is still one of the seven portals to hell.

By the end of March, I would have already submitted an ejectment case for decision and obtained a final settlement of an award from the NLRC, in a case that has dragged on since my classmates were still in grade school. Hopefully, I would also be able to ask a court to reset a hearing in a case for slander. To May.

Speaking of "Room 1408," is it just me or the old hags just decided to be a wee bit more maniacal? Look, I have been working for more than 14 years and I already had four different jobs in two different countries during that span. I have never, ever, seen a working environment worse than this hellhole pretending to be an office. And that is putting it mildly.

Anyway, I hope everything goes as planned. My sanity cannot afford to stay in that place one day longer than I have to. Besides, I already paid my old college more money for a five-month course, than I ever had in all my four previous years there, combined.

And it is non-refundable.