Monday, November 26, 2012


It is with humor that I told my friends, "I received my first legal fee!"

Since last semester, I, along with two others, have been helping out a janitor who has been dismissed immediately from work because of a congenital heart disease. After working for 10 years in the company, he was told that he would not receive anything from the company. Imagine the shock and desperation; you are left out of work, and you can't find any other because nobody would accept a janitor with a hole in his heart. You are also left without any means to start over; no cash to start a business or even to support a family. We're helping him to get his separation pay and other unpaid compensations -- all due him.

Although this was just a case assigned to us by the legal aid bureau (which I joined this year), in reality, this is not a job. This is what I wanted to do, and this is what I ought to be. I fear that after law school, I could not do this anymore, or at least not for a time, for obvious lack of resources and for the need to prioritize the family that depends on me. Still, I will maintain this vision. Sooner or later, there will be a way.

After we filed the position paper, Kuya Boy handed me a plastic bag. Inside were pieces of suman prepared by his wife!  It was not a bundle of cash or a yoga mat for sale, but it was fulfilling, overwhelming, and so painfully touching.

"Ma'am, gawa ng asawa ko 'yan. Masarap yan!" Indeed, they are. And they are my strong reminders that whatever is going on in your life, it pays to sometimes live for others.

And it is more with pride that I told my friends, "I received my first legal fee!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

foolish. pride.

People are sometimes foolish or full of pride. Or at times, both.

In recent years, I had come (or was made) to see that pride has different masks. The selflessness was only a mask of pride. The hesitation to ask for help, pride. The strength, pride. And the less subtle one, the refusal to talk, pride. But is it foolish?

Pride wears different insignias  For motherland. For race. For religion. For oneself. Not one larger and nobler than the other.

I am not prepared to say in vehicle lettering that pride is altogether wrong. But I am declaring now that it is one hell of a trait. It's as stubborn as a bull and as strong as a raging hippo. Hell, it could be much stronger than faith. or hate. or love. How many parents have forsaken their children because of pride? How many endings turn out sad because of pride? Countless. Yes, at times, it can be more powerful even than the legendary love.

Then again, pride is an element of success. Countless people strive hard because of it, and often, they succeed. It's a strong motivating factor that can move mountains. Or social status.

Pride. It builds. It destroys. And it's heavy. It's unstoppable. It's incurable. And it's hard to carry.

It can be wise. It can be foolish. And it sure damn hurts to break it.