About Me

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Olongapo City/ Subic/ Quezon City/Alabang, Central Luzon/ NCR, Philippines
I am a BA/ MA History graduate from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Presently enrolled at San Beda Alabang-School of Law. I was a full-time faculty from Miriam College High school and currently a professor of History at San Beda Alabang. Advocate for the environment and co-convener of Share The Road Movement in Metro Manila. I am an optimist, I believe in the goodness of every person and of every thing. Very passionate, sensitive but strong willed. Love the color pink in all shades. Love to write, to paint, to take pictures, to laugh and most of all I love to love! Cest' La Vie!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

KABANATA 24

Dalawampung taon… dagdagan pa ng apat ayan ang edad ko, daang liko-liko, hanggang saan kaya dadako ito buhay kong ito? O Diyos ko, gabayan niyo po sana ninyo ako sa paglalakbay, sa paghahanap ng saysay, sa pagbibigay ng kulay, sa bawat gawa ng aking kamay, sa inyo po aking inaalay.

Isip, damdamin at mga gunita ko ay tila sali-saliwa, nagdudulot sa puso ng pagkabalisa. Ilan na ang nagdaang mga kabanata, idagdag pa ang ilang mga talata subalit landasin tila ba walang tanda, sapagkat bawat hakbang ibinatay ko sa tadhana.

Ano kaya ang kapalarang naghihintay? Mananalaysay? Abogada? Historyador bang tunay? Guro nga bang nagbibigay gabay? Anak bang nagbibigay giliw? Isang mangingibig na hindi magmamaliw?

Naway mga katanungan ko, mabigyan ng malinaw na kasagutan, dili naman kaya ay ilang palatandaan, hindi man sa kasalukuyan sana’y sa kinabukasn, upang sa halip na masiraan ay mabigyan ng kalinawagan.

Valerie May M. Cruz

PAG-ASA

Matapos ang isang unos, matapos ang isang pagtutuos mga luha sa batisan ay patuloy na aagos at ngiti sa labi ko’y maaaninag kasabay ng mapagkalinga mong haplos

Mga salitang mamumutawi sa bibig tila ba mga mahalimuyak na bulaklak, magbibgay galak sa damdaming busilak, magbibgay ganyak sa kapaligiran kong payak

Ang minimithing liwanag, mula sa madilim na sulok ng isipan na aking binihag, mga malungkot na alaalang dati sa aki’y bumitag

Tulad ng pitong kulay ng isang bahag-hari, katahimikang hatid ng payapang isipan ang mamamayani, sa puso ko nawa’y manatili upang sa gayo’y maligtas sa naranasang pagkasawi.

Valerie May M. Cruz
November 21, 2008

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beginnings - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Beginnings - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Perseverance and Determination At Its Best

It is said that, "anything is possible for those who believe," I came across this amazing video of a one-legged dansieur and a one-armed ballerina through The Inspiration by God Newsletter. Their names are Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei. Their grace, passion and exquisiteness will cause a tear to fall down your eyes. Sometimes, we feel so belittled and limited because of the so many restrictions we put upon ourselves. Then one day we see people who surpass their disability and conquer something that seems to be physically impossible for them. It is truly a wake-up call that nothing so difficult nor challenging cannot be done if we give it all our best and more importantly if we leave the rest to God. Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

video

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Daddy's 64th Birthday



Last Monday, (August 30, 2010), my mom and I put together a small thanksgiving with relatives and closest friends to celebrate my father's 64th birthday.

We consider it special because this year we almost lost the head of our family due to respiratory failure last May. Within a short period of time from May until August there was a great improvement in his health. Our gratitude to the doctors who supervised his health and recovery.

With that kind of experience in our family there are few things that I have realized. One is that nothing is impossible with God. Prayers can indeed move mountains. Many of our family members and friends joined together in prayer. I think that was one significant factor to his recovery. Second is "love is all that matters". Prayers together with the love showered to us by the people around us made the struggle a little lighter to carry. Everyday counts now to say I love you to the people we care about because in a brink of time the people that we love the most may be gone; and no matter how we want to express our love for them it may be too late. Our sincerest gratitude to all of you. Lastly, ARK (act of random kindness) just like in the movie it is important if we have our simple act or random kindness to people even with strangers. During our challenging moments, people showered us with random act of kindness from the people who helped us to take my dad to hospital, to the nurses, doctors and crew in the hospital,their kindness even the smallest things were helpful to my mom and I.

Thank you to everybody who shared this especial day with our family. May God bess you and your family always! :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Beginnings - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Beginnings - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PAG-ASA

Matapos ang isang unos, matapos ang isang pagtutuos mga luha sa batisan ay patuloy na aagos at ngiti sa labi ko’y maaaninag kasabay ng mapagkalinga mong haplos

Mga salitang mamumutawi sa bibig tila ba mga mahalimuyak na bulaklak, magbibgay galak sa damdaming busilak, magbibgay ganyak sa kapaligiran kong payak

Ang minimithing liwanag, mula sa madilim na sulok ng isipan na aking binihag, mga malungkot na alaalang dati sa aki’y bumitag

Tulad ng pitong kulay ng isang bahag-hari, katahimikang hatid ng payapang isipan ang mamamayani, sa puso ko nawa’y manatili upang sa gayo’y maligtas sa naranasang pagkasawi.

Valerie May M. Cruz
November 23, 2008

Pagpupugay sa Isang Natatanging Ama

Maligayang Bati Dad

(Para sa Nalalapit mong ika-63 na Kaarawan)



Isang pagpupugay sa minamahal kong ama

Sandigan kong tunay, tungkod ko ng pag-asa

Sa paglipas ng mga taon; tikas at tindig angat pa rin sa iba

Hangga’t hanggan runong at husay ay damang dama



Kanyang isipan at mga kamay palagiang nagsusumikap

Pagmamalasakit; pagmamahal sa ina ko’t sa aki’y kumikislap

Kaya pasasalamat ko’y nag-umaapaw, tumatagos sa mga puting alapaap

Sa puso ko tunay siyang walang kapantay maging sa hinaharap



Ama kong mapagkalinga na sa aki’y laging umaagapay

Salita’y di sasapat upang ako sa iyo ay magpugay

Iyong pagkalinga sa akin mula pagsilang ay walang humpay

Aking tatanawing malaking utang na loob, panghabang buhay



Sa nalalapit at natatangi mong kaarawan ngayong buwan

Payak na mga letra’y siyang tangi kong nakayanan

Kasama ang hangga’t hanggang pagmamahal ko para sa ‘yo

Nawa sa iyo’y magbigay ngiti at pumukaw sa iyong puso





Isinulat ni: Valerie May M. Cruz

On Lawyers and the Profession of Law

While reading my sources for my master’s thesis, I came across with one of Camilo Osias’ beautiful speeches. It has considerably touched my heart for it talked about something that is very personal to me. Although he delivered it during the 50s I consider it classic and timeless. Although I am not a lawyer or a law student even, my dream of becoming one is still unwavering. It gave me a deeper anchor and footing on why I dream of becoming one, he added it with a flavorful ingredient of love of country. I am thankful that I was able to read it. I am sharing it to those who dream of becoming a lawyer too someday ^_^


Speaking of Lawyers: Commencement exercises of the Philippine Law School

April 8, 1951

By Camilo Osias-Educator, Legislator, Statesman

“To be a lawyer is to be a leader. Intelligent leadership demands performing the duties and shouldering the responsibilities of citizenship. Ordinary citizens look up to a leader, and to merit their respect and confidence he must lead his fellow citizens in doing acts that give nobility to life and reflect honor to the social order. He has to be at the forefront in civic moments that foster common progress. He must be identified with people and be ever cooperative in advancing the public weal. Amidst a fast changing civilization the demands upon leadership have become more numerous and exacting.

“Being a lawyer is to belong to a great profession with a rich tradition. A law graduate is aware of its ethical requirements. He must needs follow them in the course of his practice. From the rank and file of those in the law profession are recruited fiscals and judges charged with administering justice to rich and poor alike without fear or favor. The lawyer must stand guard against attempts or steps that delay justice or deny justice.

“You are assembled on this occasion at once memorable and solemn in caps and gowns are joining the continually enlarging republic of the learned. It is symbolic of long and laborious study. It should also symbolize accumulation, not of misinformation, not of unrelated facts, but of systematized knowledge.

“Knowledge is important. But more than information is state of mind. More than knowledge of laws is the spirit of the law, or if you please, the philosophy of law.

“Your who are graduating are graduating are products of Philippine institutions. You are inheritors if the great tradition of the race. It is axiomatic that a good lawyer in this country must be a good Filipino, and as a practitioner he should seek to add new luster to the Filipino name. And in this epoch of internationalism a good lawyer must be a good man, one of broad sympathies and consistent loyalties.

“in common with other products of our higher institutions of learning, a lawyer should possess a critical spirit and keen discernment and he must be of great courage, acting on the basis of reason convictions. He should exert his influence to do away with the custom of leaving everything to the State. Her must have initiative because it is essential that in this new Republic we do not create a climate that produces or tends to produce habits of intellectual docility. Where the citizenry live in an atmosphere of docility or servility we cannot develop a genuine sense of public responsibility.

“One more point and this I consider a capital point. The public expects, and it has every right to expect that a lawyer be courageous in the defense of what he believes to be right, and sacrificial in his spirit of service. He must posses a philosophy that pilots him through life and this philosophy he must through life and this philosophy he must treasure and defend courageously and unflinchingly. A lawyer must be a devotee of liberty. He must love liberty, passionately and profoundly.

‘Liberty is not unrestrained freedom; liberty is freedom to do right.

‘Liberty is not indulgence in every desire; liberty is selective choice

‘Liberty does not wallow in thee mire; liberty walks the high paths of the noble

‘Liberty is never individualistic; liberty is corporate

‘Liberty was not born in jungle; liberty had birth where truth and privilege had severest contest

‘The right of life, liberty and, the pursuit of happiness is not a braggart’s boast, but a freeman’s passion.

‘Nations have had their birth in liberty as brave men died to make them free.

‘Liberty is the patriot’s halo, the martyr’s crown.’

‘A good lawyer should be steeped in the Rizal way of life observing in his dealing with people and with organizations the spirit of tolerance and conciliation; less individualism and not supersensitiveness; good sportsmanship subordinating personal interests to those of the great number; respect for and compliance with the decisions of the majority after adequate discussion; much honesty and good-will; thrift and economy; seriousness and justice.


Source: Bananal, Eduardo. Camilo Osias: Educator and Statesman. QuezonCity: Manlapaz Publsihing Co., 1974.

image is from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Justice

Music in My Life

How did life become so serious? Hmmm well I’d say just now.

I am not saying this to complain, I simply want to ask it to the world and leave my questioning to hit someone with a giant question mark. (?)

I thought that I didn’t seem to miss high school that much when I became a college student until recently. College provided less restrictions and regulations in terms of self-expression, values and faith. Freedom on one hand is not alone, it comes with great responsibilities. When I was granted with more freedom my responsibilities became greater as well. It multiplied twice, thrice and higher. Graduation came along; I became an adult granted with greater freedom and definitely with greater responsibilities. The only more serious thing about responsibility is actually being responsible. To have so many choices and options and still decide to choose the right thing, the valued decision, the moral, the upright. Then suddenly freedom became a serious matter.

Little by little I reminisced my high school days. Maybe because I miss my friends. My friends and I used to make beautiful music together. We have this group formed and from there I met some of my life-long friends. I never was a part of the honor section except during my freshman year in high school. I never made it to the cut off. I was in to studying but not so much with the competition; even if I was not in the honor section, I didn’t neglect my lessons I was often the topnotcher of my section, if not among the top 3; the class president, members of so many clubs and school organizations, English club, R.V.E club, liturgical choir, lector’s guild, youth ministry, rondalla, girl scout you name it most likely I am a member. I graduated not with academic honors but with so many medals in my extra-curricular activities, it rounded to about 18 all in all if I remember it correctly.

I usually come home late from meetings or choir practices. I remember just having fun, just simply fun. When I come home, I’ll have dinner, do my assignment, some light reading of lessons but what I really get excited about is the extra-curricular activities after class hours and one activity in particular, singing. No matter how tired I was the entire day, choir practices relaxed me; calmed me. In fact during my senior year, I often got scolded for compromising my UPCAT exam review to attend choir practices during weekends, forgive my audacity but no regrets for some magical twist of fate I got in not immediately but after a year. Of course not by mere magic, I compensated my lack of diligence in studying with prayer. I sing in my prayer. Thank God he heard me and did not abandon me. With the help of my one whole year in Miriam College, it was God’s way of sending a message to me that is, “I hear you.” In Miriam I got myself into being a member of the liturgical choir as well. In masses I sang and while I sang I still prayed. I never prayed any harder in my life. Hence the singing wasn’t as light as it used to be. This time I compensated my praying while singing with studying. I could not transfer unless my credentials are above average. There is now the turning of the tide.

I cannot remember having the same kind of fun I had in high school when I got in to college. This is not to say I didn’t have fun, life in UP is still the best years of my life. There, I discovered myself, my identity. There I also met the love of my life. I also got to sing with my beloved Likasyan friends during graduation. It was on the other hand different. I couldn’t be as careless and blissful during my teenage years. I always took summer classes to compensate for the minor subjects I took for Political Science. Even though I had more time in college I usually find myself seriously studying not simply by choice but by the circumstances of the situation. Reading about history, politics, and current news and constantly practicing my Spanish. I didn’t realize that I have become more likely a serious person.

I no longer get to sing, and now I miss it I really do. There is one thing I am thankful for though I don’t get to sing anymore. That is the memory of having done it. Yes, the joy of singing, not only as a personal form of leisure or self expression but also for God and most especially having done it with my friends, part of the notes that composes the music in my life.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

STANDING STILL

THERE HE WAS STANDING STILL
EVEN IF HE WAS SURROUNDED WITH MAN IN STEEL
SADNESS AND BETRAYAL IS ALL THAT HE FEELS
BUT THE LAST THING IN HIS MIND`WAS TO KILL

OUR NATION WAS CUT INTO HALF
BY CRISIS AND PROBLEMS THAT ARE SO TOUGH
PEACEFULNESS AND UNITY ARE SO FAR AWAY
AS IF OUR COUNTRY WOULDN’T EVEN LAST A DAY

THERE WERE A LOT OF THINGS TO SAY
THAT WAS NEVER SAID AND HAD FADED AWAY
WORDS THAT MUST HAVE PREVENTED ALL THESE MOCKERY
AND COULD HAVE POSSIBLY STOPPED ALL THESE FALLACY

THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE GREEN WITH ENVY
TO THOSE PEOPLE THAT WERE GIVEN A COURTESY
LIKE THIS MAN STANDING STILL
AGAINST ALL THESE INSANITY

AS I SALUTE TO HIM WITH HEAD UP HIGH
I LOOK UP TO HIM HIGH IN THE SKY
BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT BENEATH ALL THESE
IS EITHER TRUTH OR COVERED LIES

VALERIE MAY MONTEMAYOR CRUZ

CHASING YOUR THOUGHTS

HAVE YOU EVER FOUND YOURSELF LOST?
LOST IN THE MIDST OF DEEP THINKING
CAPTIVATED BY THE SHALLOW IMAGINATIONS OF THE MIND
HAVE YOU EVER FOUND YOURSELF CHASING YOUR THOUGHTS?

THOUGHTS THAT ARE LIKE THE LEAVES BLOWN BY THE STRONG WIND
LIKE A PAPERBOAT FLOWING IN THE RIVER’S CURRENTS
LIKE A PARASAIL THAT CROSSES THE SEA WITH NO EXACT COURSE
HAVE YOU EVER FOUND YOURSELF CHASING YOUR THOUGHTS?

LIKE THE STORM THAT CHANGES DIRECTION CONSTANTLY
OR THE VOLCANO THAT ERRUPTS ABRUPTLY
AN EARTHQUAKE THAT CAUSES AFTERSCHOCKS
HAVE YOU EVER FOUND YOURSELF CHASING YOUR THOUGHTS?

ARE THESE THE TRAGEDY THAT WE AS HUMANS HAVE?
THE THOUGHT ITSELF THAT WE HAVE IN HAND IS UNCONTAINABLE
AS IF OUR THOUGHT HAS ITS OWN THINKING
THEN IN THE END WE FIND OURSELVES BEING CHASED BY OUR OWN THOUGHTS….


WRITTEN AND CREATED BY: VALERIE MAY M. CRUZ
UP DILIMAN
BA HISTORY
AUGUST 27, 2004

PRAYER

WHENEVER I NEED THE HEAVENLY FATHER
I CLOSE MY EYES AND PUT MY PALMS TOGETHER
I CALL ON HIS NAME AND NOTHING ELSE MATTER
AND I TALK TO HIM IN THE POWER OF PRAYER

IT HEALS MY WOUNDED HEART
AND IT GIVES ME A BRAND NEW START
AND IT GIVES My LIFE A SPARK
WHENEVER I AM LOST IN THE DARK

WHENEVER I SUFFER FROM MOCKERY
PRAYER MAKES ME HEAR MELODY
WHENEVER I AM LEAD INTO FALLACY
IT SHOWS ME THE WAY TO HONESTY

WHENEVER MY SKIES ARE GRAY
AND MY HAERT IS FULL OF SORROW AND DISMAY
AND WHENEVER I HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY
I CALL ON HIS HOLY NAME AND PRAY

Written and created by: VALERIE MAY MONTEMAYOR CRUZ

RAINBOW

THERE IS ONE PLACE THAT I ALWAYS DREAM OF
BEYOND THE BLUE SKIES, BENEATH THE CLOUDS THAT ARE SO SOFT
I ALWAYS WONDER WHAT THIS PLACE IS MADE OF
THE RAINBOW IN THE SKY IS WHAT I ALWAYS THINK OF

DIFFERENT COLORS THAT ARE PAINTED IN THE SKY
THAT ALWAYS MAKE ME SAY, I WISH I COULD FLY
IT MAKES MY SORROWS AND FRUSTRATIONS GO AWAY
AND GIVES ME A NEW MEANINGFUL AND COLORFUL DAY

IT SPARKLES AND SHINE UNDER THE BRIGHT YELLOW SUNHINE
AGAINST THE SUN THAT FLOATS LIKE A YELLOW LIME
EVERY MOMENT WILL BE TREASURED WITHOUT FEELING THE PRESENCE OF TIME
SOMETHING THAT I CAN’T OWN BUT I WISH COULD BE MINE

TIME

TODAY WILL BECOME YESTERDAY TOMORROW
WHAT WILL HAPPEN THE NEXT DAY NOBODY KNOWS
THE SEED THAT YOU HAVE PLANTED WILL SOON GROW
CHERISH EVERY MOMENT AND GO WITH THE FLOW

LEAD YOUR OWN LIFE, YOU HOLD YOUR OWN CLOCK
MOVE FORWARD, DO NOT BE STUCK LIKE A ROCK
THE SUN WILL SET BUT SOON WILL RISE
TIME PASSES BY RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES

YOUR DREAMS LIE ON YOUR HANDS
YOU CAN BUILD YOUR OWN CASTLE OF SAND
OPEN YOUR EYES TO A CLEARER VIEW
THAT WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE PROFOUND AND NEW

YOU ARE A HUMAN WITH SO MUCH CAPACITY
YOU KNOW THE MEANING OF DIGNITY AND INTEGRITY
YOU KNOW HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE GOOD FROM BAD
BECAUSE YOU RE CRATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

EVERYBODY IS GIVEN THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF TIME
TO BE KNOWN AND FAMOUS, THE OPPURTUNITY TO SHINE
THE TIME TO LEARN FROM MISTAKES, TO BE DOWN FOE A WHILE
BUT AFTER ALL THAT, YOU AR BOUND TO TRAVEL A THOUSAND MILE

“TIME IS GOLD”, WHAT PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY
IF YOU ARE YOUNG, ENJOY BEING YOUTH AND PLAY
LOOK AT THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE AND DO NOT BE DISMAY
FOR THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A BRAND NEW DAY

HOLD ON TO WHAT YOU HAVE
BUT STILL AIM FOR THE NEXT LEVEL
TAKE THE STEPS ONE AT A TIME
AND ENJOY EVERY MOMENTS LIKE RIDDLES THAT RHYME

VALERIE MAY M. CRUZ

THE CRYING CANDLE

MIDNIGHT HAS COME AND I WAS WITH NOBODY
IT FEELS QUITE COLD AND LONELY
THE CRYING LITTLE CANDLE KEPT ME COMPANY
AS I WATCHED IT’S TINY RED LIGHT VERY SADLY

I STARE ON ITS WHITE AND MOIST BODY
THEN I STARTED TO NOTICE SOMETHING FROM WITHIN
AS IF THE CANDLE WAS AS SAD AS ME
I SAW THE TEARS COMING DOWN FROM ITS EYES

AND I WATCH IT FELL DOWN FROM MY DESK
AS IF THE CANDLE FELT MY EMOTIONS
AS IF IT FELT THE HEAVY FEELING IN MY HEART
FEELING THAT I DID NOT KNOW WHERE IT START

I STARE ON IT EVEN MORE CLOSELY
TRYING TO LISTEN TO WHAT ITS TELLING ME
AND NI HEARD IT SAID TO ME
LITTLE CHILD, PLEASE DON’T WEEP ON ME

FOR THE WORLD IS FULL OF HAPPINESS AND GLEE
YOU STILL HAVE TOMORROW TO LOOK THROUGH AND SEE
DRY YOUR EYES NOW AND SET YOUR HEART FREE
YOU CAN START ALL OVER AGAIN UNLIKE ME

THEN I STARTED TO REALIZE
THERE IS NOTHING MORE TO COMPROMISE
EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE CLEAR NOW
IN THIS WORLD THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO SEE

THERE ARE SO MUCH TO BE HAPPY ABOUT
THE FLUFFY CLOUDS IN THE SKY
THE LITTLE HUMMING BIRDS THAT FLY
THE STARS AND THE MOON IN THE VELVET SKY

THEN THE LITTLE WHITE CRYING CANDLE TOLD ME
I AM ABOUT TO GO NOW MY CHILD
FOR MY FIRE IS NOW KISSING THE GROUND
TELLING ME GOOD BYE AND CONTINUE WHAT YOU
FOUND

VALERIE MAY M.CRUZ

How Do I Myself as a Lawyer

After passing the 2015 Bar Exams I envision myself professionally as dynamic advocate of human rights and a patriotic defender of the Constitution and of Justice in our country. I believe that these are the very essence of being lawyer; the traits that would make me essential, relevant and most of all respected.
These have long been my inspiration and source of deep passion for pursuing the profession of law more than the prestige of its title, more than its power and more than the money that it brings. Someday I wish to come home to my province of Zambales in Olongapo City to fulfill this vision, be with my family and hopefully begin a family of my own as well. I see myself putting up a private practice while rendering my services to my kababayans who will need my legal assistance.
If asked where I draw this inspiration from my answer would simply be from home. My father also a lawyer from Olongapo City is Atty. Sergio Cruz, product of the Martial Law years, former IBP Governor for Central Luzon, a very staunch advocate of human rights and four scores ahead of the game from me.
During the 1990s he worked with Father Shay Cullen founder of PREDA (People's Recovery, Empowerment Development Assistance Foundation). He served as Father Shay’s attorney and defended several cases concerning child sexual exploitation and child rescue and protection. From some of my father’s visits to the foundation he would take me with him and from there I have met children mostly young females and teenage boys neglected by their parents. They were the faces of children who were victims of abuses and poverty, no longer innocent to the cruelties of life but still haven’t lost their hope for a better future. My little conversations with them made me realize about the realities and the dimensions of life outside the comfort of our home, considering that I was a child then myself. It made me want to help them and render my services to them someday. In my conscience I hear this voice telling me that one way to meaningfully fulfill this is to become a lawyer.
At an early age I knew that when I become a lawyer I will be able to protect children by becoming an active agent of change who can secure that children like them in the future will be protected from violence and abuses of perpetrators. Just like what our National Hero Jose Rizal once said the children are the future of our country, hence, it is in the hands of every concern citizen to protect them and invest in their future.
Every now and then my father would handle cases like these, cases from all walks of life and he would discuss some of it with me and my mother during dinner time. He would always tell me to learn from them, to be strong and to protect myself because some people might take advantage of me most especially since I am a woman and more so, an only child. He would tell me not to limit my agency simply because of the implied limitations of gender by the society. Although women have now reached milestones in terms of empowerment and equality, women are still mostly subjects of violence and harassments. From these small talks in our dinner table I have learned some of the toughest lessons in life. Once I am already a lawyer I will be able to protect not only myself and victims of the society but my own family as well; no matter how difficult and arduous the course maybe. I know that it would be worth every penny, every time and effort.
Now that my father is already in his mid 60s and semi-retired he continuously fulfills the duty of his law profession, this time dedicated for the poor. He is now working with Kazama Grameen Inc. as one their legal consultant. It is a Mission Support from Ireland also known as Misean Cara established by the Columban Fathers here in the Philippines. It helps to provide support for the rural poors of Mabini, Hermosa and Pangasinan with now growing members. They help the rural poor by giving them small loans to start small businesses and provide families with effective micro-credit operations for the purpose of income generation and livelihood projects. These loans help to improve the economic situation of the beneficiary and at the same time they also teach them to save and handle their money properly. Doing these, help the beneficiary to bring out the best in their capabilities, restore their dignity and empower them at the same time.
Apart from being a legal counsel to Kazama Grameen Inc. he also serves as volunteer to the Gawad Kalinga Project in Zambales for Botolan. He helped negotiate with one of the potential land donors in our towns the Escalonas to donate a substantial part of their land to be the future site of the houses that would be built for the urban poor of our town. Through my observations of some of my father’s work, a lawyer’s fulfillment of his duty may not necessarily be grounded on landing on big clients or by wearing corporate suites but by doing something that is fulfilling and worthwhile. Knowing that what you are doing may not be grandiose but matters.
After passing the bar exams I wish to be a part of some of my father’s advocacies as well. Though we are different persons and we do not necessarily have the same destiny I hope to take inspiration from the things he has done as a lawyer and take off from there. From these I have learned that while lawyers are often seen negatively as someone who is scheming, suspicious and quarrelsome; lawyers are also passionate, persistent and service oriented. The former might be considered as inevitable traits for survival in the field of litigation especially during trials but I would want to keep the latter traits the highlights of my career once I am already a lawyer. I wish to see myself as a lawyer who is courageous in defending what he believes is right; and sacrificial in his spirit of service charged with administering justice to rich and poor alike without fear or favor. A lawyer who is not driven by the superficial glint of money, power and prestige but is fueled by the banner of his advocacies aimed to promote human rights, justice and liberty. This is how I envision myself having passed the bar exam by 2015

The Beginning of a New

Starting all over again. The word “again” indicates that this is something not new to me. Not necessarily something that I enjoy doing but something that has to be done. Not mandated to me by fate but something that I feel I must do in order to fulfill my destiny. I usually leave things and sometimes people behind. I get out of my comfort zone. I try to look boldly even though I am trembling deep inside then I charge forth despite all the anxieties and uncertainties in my mind. I am not a typical out door person who loves mountain climbing or a beach person who enjoys boat sailing but I certainly consider myself as an adventurous individual. I take pleasure on going against gravity and waves of life till I reach the top of the mountain or the sea shore. I knew from the very start that the path I have taken is not an easy one and it may take some time before I reach my final destination.

In a few weeks time, I am about to end my term as a teacher in the institution that I have considered as my second home, Miriam College. I will once again get out of my comfort zone and try again my chances on becoming a lawyer while trying to finish my Masters degree hopefully by 2010. A few years ago I had my own defeats in the battle of life. My optimism is clouded with pessimism and reality suddenly became surreal. This came when my plans in life did not emerge as I thought it would be, suddenly I did not have control of what was happening in my life. I felt bruised and exhausted hence I decided to take a rest and seek refuge. I cleared my mind and put emotions aside while I consider for another plan. They say that when a door closes a window opens for a new opportunity. The new opportunity in my case came along as the chance to share my compassion and knowledge about the subject matter I tried to be expert for, this was the field of History. I became a high school teacher at Miriam High School teaching Asian Civilizations for sophomore students. This, however, was not my first encounter with this institution

I was a freshman student then at Miriam college tracking for AB International Studies when I transferred to UP Diliman as a BA History student. This was actually my first major “Starting all over again.” All over again because I entered not as a sophomore student but yet again as freshman student. Thanks of course to the support of my loving parents that they immediately supported me despite the fact that my tuition fee was quite expensive not to mention the additional allowances and dorm fees that they have already paid for during my stay in Miriam. I started all over again and I tried very hard with the best of my capability to finish my degree within four years. I blended in easily with the UP crowd and I gained so many friends and wonderful experiences. In fact I considered those years as the best years of my life. Unlike a typical UP student however, I did not have the UP pride and angst because I know that I entered the back door in order to get in therefore I must always keep myself composed and humble and keep my focus towards my goal. This goal was to finish my degree and aim to get to UP law. Don’t get me wrong at this point I am not being too ambitious or anything. My father is a UP Law graduate and a member of a UP Law based fraternity hence I had the idea that since we share the same genes I have the chances to get in as well. But reality strikes, the destiny of Juan is not necessarily the destiny of Jose. I fell short of my father’s genes (just kidding), in short I did not make it. It was a tough time most especially a lot of people were expecting that I will make it. I realized that not only men are capable of having ego but women as well.

This event made me cross path once again with Miriam College when I was hired to become a full time faculty and as a club moderator of Banaag Theatre Guild. I did not regret my decision at all because I met so many inspiring people who are thriving in their respective fields and students who are driven, outspoken yet encouraging and inspiring at the same time. Spending time daily with these people made me easily forget my short comings and saw myself in a totally different light. I was no longer my former obsessive compulsive self but a reformed person who is more outgoing and less rigid. This is something I did not plan for but everything fitted just fine. Ten months not only of teaching but constant learning as well. I became more open-minded to criticisms, more trusting but also vigilant and most importantly frugal. I learned that value of money that no other economic theory can say. Indeed experience is the best teacher. I was able to have my own savings from my own money for the first time. When things are in sync and in order as it is now, people ask me then why do you still have to leave teaching?

Perhaps my reason may not be agreed upon by many because it is not practical. I just simply wanted to pursue my dream, to finish Masters and hopefully to become a lawyer. I always tell my students the same thing. How can I teach something that I do not apply to myself? I have taken my rest, my batteries are all charged, equipped with new lessons and experiences. But of course this is not to say that I am closing another door. I am just opening a new one, the truth of the matter is, even though I am leaving teaching for the mean time it does not mean that I am leaving it behind forever. Like I said I am no longer my former obsessive compulsive self. I am looking forward to the time that I will again cross path again with Miriam and experience the joy of teaching. However, there is something that I still need to pursue in order to fulfill the longings of my heart. Rare are the the time when I get so inspired as I am now at this point in my life. Like an artist I cannot miss opportunities like this to create my masterpiece. Life is too short to wait for things to happen. I did not even realize that I am now in my early 20s, time pass by really quickly. I must go my way to make them come true I am once again ready for the beginning of a new.