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
- Valerie May
- 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!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
How Do I Myself as a Lawyer
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!