Friday, September 30, 2005

forever young

I read somewhere that your skin starts aging at age 25. From thereon in, I suppose everything goes downhill, skin wise.

Age doesn’t have much meaning for me. For me it’s just a number you recite robotically when someone asks what age you are. It’s something you write in forms.

I’ve always thought that throughout our lives, we remain the same person. We only “age” after we see how harsh the world can be. That you need to work in order to survive. That you have to fight for a spot for promotion. That you have to keep always on guard so you can keep your spot in a long line.

You skin starts aging at age 25, but you, what you are- who you are, at your core- you could start aging earlier.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


after losing my wallet a few days ago, i now have a new school ID, a new driver's license, new cards. granted that my hair looks mussed up in all my pictures (owing to the harassing processes in procuring them), it kind of makes you wonder about life.

breathe. take a step back. see everything in relation to everything else. you lose something or somethingS, you get another or others in return. newER things. not necessarily better things but they're there, to replace the void, what was/ were lost.

that's how life is. it just IS. you get bombarded by jaded niceties like: "nothing is permanent except change," or, "when a door closes, a window opens"- or my personal favorite: when a door closes, a door opens.

that last one kind'a throws you off track, 'no? my boss said it during one of our meetings. he must have been either drunk the night before or he was still in his early morning funk and getting confused with his metaphors. whatever it was, it made a boring meeting bearable.

what was my point again?

ah. the newNess of things. filling the gaps in the void. but only if we're lucky and they get filled. otherwise, they're forever lost.

and then, sometimes_ don't you just send this wish to the High Heavens? can we keep everything we have now? or had then. you just Have to presume that that wish cannot be granted.

i don't know. why do you think the world works the way it does?

Monday, September 26, 2005


I woke up early today to polish my Memorandum of Law. My deadline's tomorrow (yet, but it's near enough to induce panic- it'll be a close call tomorrow); and I still spotted a couple of typo's this morning. Come to think of it, I have to revise it again tomorrow, at noon, before I send it out.

The Memorandum is thick. I had it xeroxed, for 15 copies. Along with the attachments- the decisions of the administrative agencies in this case- the whole set cost me PhP595.00. For 50¢ per page.That's a total 1,200 pages! I'm already dreading how I'm going to send the thing out to the Court of Appeals and to the parties. They won't fit in a letter envelope. I suppose I'll have to find envelopes that would fit them.


After checking on my Memo one last time, I rushed to the LTO (the Land Transportation Office) to get a duplicate driver's license. (My wallet was stolen last Thursday. The cash I lost was negligible- PhP20- but along with the wallet- which is a knock off bought in Singapore- I lost ATM cards, ID's, and my License.) The whole process took 4 hours (although including the lunch hour). Here's the outline for the whole procedure.

Fall in line to get your affidavit of loss.
Fall in line to get an application to have your license verified.
Fill it up.
Fall in line to submit the application.
Fall in line to get your certification.
Go to another building 100m to 150m away.
Fall in line to ask for instructions.
Fall in line at Window 5.
Wrong line. (There are three window 5's within a 10meter radius.)
Fall in line at the right Window 5- to get an application for a license.
Fill it up.
Fall in line to submit your application.
Wait for your name to be called- to have your picture taken.
(Picture taken.)
Wait for your name to be called- for paying.
Wait for your name to be called- to claim your ID card.

What a long drawn out process! I was in my mother's womb for a shorter time. No wonder fixers abound. Nothing as tempting as a quick Fix when you're faced with a half day's worth of waiting for your name to be called.

Of course, you can't entirely be sure that the License and receipt the fixers will be giving you is genuine. And yet you get the feeling that it is. How else can fixers enter the LTO compound without the blessing of someone from the beaurocracy?

Maybe that's why there is the "long, drawn out process," to discourage people from going through it and taking the fixers' ways instead. My head hurts just considering all the dark possibilities.

Anyway, I spent half the time waiting looking for odd things at the LTO. Here is something I found. Mind the sign.

If smoking is absolutely prohibited, why is there a spot reserved for them under the mango tree? It's bad enough that trees in the center islands (of roads) are suffocating from automobile exhaust; here we have to bombard a tree that's far from where cars mill with cigarette smoke. I pity the trees in this country, especially that smoke tree at the LTO.

Here's another thing that's weird. 11 years ago, when my friend James and I took a driving exam- which we had to pass, for us to get a license- we used this beat up owner-jeep to run around obstacles (long sentence).

That was 11 years ago. Fast forward to the present and, guess what? The examinees are still using the same beat up old jeep. Here it is.

If it was old and beat up eleven years ago, I wonder how it is today. I'm just glad I'm not taking that driving exam today.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

vivaldi and peace

drowning my fatigue in vivaldi. i didn't realize that making a memorandum would take me more than 48 hours and cost me a gazillion units of iq. my mind tells me i have to sleep, but i've OD'd on caffeine and my body won't let me.

or maybe it will, but not without a fight. i'm too tired to.


i dream of lazy afternoons. i'm sitting on a carpet of grass, sheltered by a big tree with wide umbrella branches. the wind is blowing.

i'm doing nothing. maybe gnawing on a blade of grass. it's dirty? it doesn't matter. i roll my pantslegs up to my knees and just watch the winds move the clouds. like sails without a ship.... there's one that looks like a ship. with a sail.

sigh. blessed sleep. take me.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Horrible last two days

Shitty last two days

I had a terrible run up to the weekend.

Thursday, I went to my supervisor’s office in Makati to have my Motions signed (I’m just an intern so I need the signature of a real lawyer before I can submit any pleadings). I didn’t bring my car because I wanted to save on gas. The price of fuel is already too prohibitive, and it’s still rising. I took the train instead; and a cab after that, because I wasn’t too sure that I’d be able to locate my super’s office in time before he left for a meeting.

I reached the office, in time. It was a pretty new building. Squeaky clean. The lobby was like a hotel’s sans the bellhops. The elevator controls were all alien to me. I was used to riding ancient elevators. My super’s room had a wonderful view of the city.

After I had the pleading signed, I looked for a grocery store where I can buy my mother some food. She worked near my super’s office and I hadn’t seen her in a while so I thought I should stop by, chat, and give her a hug, if even for a few minutes. I found a store. I bought my mother chocolates, and coffees, and bread, and crackers, and tea.

After paying for the foodstuff, I hailed a cab. I didn’t want to look sweaty when I see my mom. And if I’d get to my mother’s office early, I might still have time to study for and attend my two o’clock class. After a couple of blocks, I realized that I had left my pleadings at the grocery store. In near panic, I asked the cab driver to let me off.

Now, the problem with the Makati Business District is that, except for a few spots where people could wait for buses and jeepneys, the whole sidewalk is fenced. So after alighting the cab, I was toeing the streets, inches away from the sidewalk, tempting prey for any police officer hovering nearby. I decided to climb the steel railings. Then I ran like hell for the grocery store.

My pleadings were where I left them. I breathed a sigh of relief.

After seeing my mom, I took the train. After moving a couple meters, it stopped. In the last time five times that I rode the train, for three of those times, it experienced mechanical failure. Is that normal? My friends say that it isn’t. Or rather, it’s normal when I’m riding the train. They say I should be forever disallowed from riding.

After a few minutes of waiting, we were told that we’d to walk off the train. We did. I had to walk back to the bus station, which was a good distance away.

There weren’t any buses around headed for Fairview, when I thought it was just lucky that this FX taxi with a signboard that said SM North passed by where I was waiting. I flagged it down.

There was a lot of friendly banter going on inside the cab. The driver was a man in his late twenties. There was a girl passenger seated in front. An old woman was beside me, to my left, and a teenage girl was seated at the left of the old woman.

Throughout the trip, I was just thinking that I was lucky that I happened to chance upon this FX cab. Makati to SM North isn’t a normal route. This FX was plying the route illegally by picking up passengers. And I thought it was just plain lucky that I’d to get into a cab with a lot of friendliness going around. Later on, I realized that the atmosphere, the love was genuine. The folks inside the FX must have really known each other. They were just fabricating the passenger atmosphere for my sake, so that I can be taken advantaged of. Sometimes, it just doesn’t pay to be the nice guy.

I realized that my wallet was picked after I boarded a jeep going to UP. My bag was open, and my wallet wasn’t in it.

I first found my bag open after alighting from the FX cab. I didn’t think much of it then, thinking that I probably opened it whilst I was in the cab, when I was looking for money to pay the driver. After closing my bag, I opened the door of the FX for the old woman and her teenaged companion. She bumped me while getting off. Later, in the jeep I saw my bag was open.

I don’t keep money in my wallet. In fact, I think only Php20 was inside. However, I do keep my driver’s license, my ID’s, and my cards inside my wallet. Those were enough for a nascent headache I was having to evolve into a migraine attack.

Yesterday, I went to court to file the Motions I had my super sign. I brought along a book, where I keep my money, in case I needed to pay for the filing of the Motions. Wouldn’t you know it, I left my book in the court office. I realized it only while I was at the gas station later that evening. It’s a good thing my routine is that I check my money first before I have the gas filled. I couldn’t find my book. It contained, within its pages, two thousand Pesos.

Shit happens.

pursuing law

i'm currenty working on two labor cases (among other cases that are active). being new to law practice- i'm still only an intern- i'm slowly getting a feel as to how the legal system works. in the colloquial, you can describe it as, "IT SUCKS".

i have two cases that we've won in the lower courts (administrative agencies, specifically) but which are lingering in the appellate court because of so many motions that our opponents are filing. in law school, we're taught how the law works, and how we can apply the law to the facts and vice versa so that we can win cases. in practice, you somehow wish that you were all taught how to collect instead.

it can be very frustrating. these two cases (and these are only two in a file- and only because i'm working on them TOday) were filed in 2001. last time i checked, it's already september of 2005. four years and the winning party still hasn't been able to collect. in one of my cases, the opposing party keeps on filing dilatory motions; in my other case, my client's opponents are getting ready to abscond.

sometimes, you have to ask, where is the justice in all this? probably buried somewhere beneath these motions.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


what do you when Fate hands you the keys to your own destiny? do you take it? do you use it? do you take it and use it? it's easy enough a question to answer, but what if other people will be affected? everything then becomes complicated.

spend your whole life bitching about how the Fates are always in the driver's seat; when you get your chance, you waver.

Monday, September 19, 2005


taken a fancy to friendster. i couldn't have imagined.

time was when i'd rue everyone who got into the bandwagon. there's something about the bandwagon that disturbs me. it's bad enough that most people plod through life in a perpetual zombie state that they have to adopt this attitude of having to do what most everyone else does. take a fer instance. rats off a sinking ship.... oi, that's not a good example, haha. maybe my caffeine fix hasn't wired my neurons enough yet. gotta get more coffee....

where was i?

oh, yeah, friendster. my profile tells me that i have 25 friends, or 18, depending on its (the site's) mood. 25! that's pathetic. even an old classmate in highschool who bangs his head on a wall whenever the teacher asks him a difficult question has more friends than that. maybe if i start banging my head on wall i'll have more friends(ters)? quick, somebody ask me a stupid question!

having my caffeine fix. what do you do when you suddenly realize that you've been living half your life confused? i don't know either. but it's leaving me more confused, that's what it's doing.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


how much of life is illusion?

you meet and talk with people and you can't be entirely sure of their intentions. what's beyond the smiles and the nods? you'll just have to take everything at face value and go on with your life. as if nothing untoward happened. and you know, what? maybe that's true.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

hate it

you just have to hate it when time seems to be going too fast for you. you can't catch up. you can never catch up. sometimes, all you can seem to do is ask: why do i bother? why should we?

the day stated normally enough. for a wednesday.

my car was in Coding so i'd to wake up early to beat the 7am bar. of course, i'd also to wake up early to jump ahead of the early morning rush hour. i did. got to school at 0600hrs, clearly at a loss as to what i should do. (OLA duty was still at 0800.)

couldn't waste some time in sleep. lately, my back was giving me problems.

couldn't study. for the life of me, there weren't any tables around.

wouldn't you know it. after this seemingly short span of a moment of trying to think of how i should while away the time, my watch was telling me that it was already close to eight. what do you know. its that sad old tale of time creeping up on you when you're not looking. which is to say that we should always be looking. i don't think there's any way of escaping the sure and steady plod of time. it just happens, time's creeping up on you, when you're not looking.

so what should you do? look?

like a glacier. mowing through anything it slides over. there it is. time. below us. around us. over our heads. damocle's sword. snake in the bushes, lying in wait. when we're not looking. or even when we are.

where was i? oh. OLA.

it was our last day of duty. two months from now, when we'll all be in the thick of our second semesters, we'll all have already belonged to different teams.

time moves on. sometimes, you just want to cry for all the stuff and the people you left behind.

Friday, September 09, 2005

things i learned

Pushing 30. Things I learned along the way.

Not necessarily in order.

1. If you have work and you can do it today, do it.

Otherwise, you’ll wake up one day and find that you have to not sleep for 48 hours just so you can keep your deadlines. Plus, you’ll avoid getting that Memo asking you for a Show Cause- why you’re not submitting your work on time. (You save time on composing your Show Cause.)

2. Don’t just keep friends, keep on adding to them.

You’ll never know when you’ll need help and it’ll be just your luck that there’s this one friend who can bail you out. Of course you should also…

3. Help your friends when you can.

A friend in need…. Of course, adages are what they are. They can grate on the nerves with mere repetition. But think about it. If they’ve existed for so long, then there must be a grain of truth to them. Personally, I’ll want to stick faithfully to numbers two and three because I don’t want to have this bare service when I die. That would be embarrassing! I mean, who’ll stay and talk about your good points (bad deeds go like old soldiers and fade away), and eat your cookies, and drink your tea, or coffee? No one!

4. Plan your life.

Life is short. Maximize. That trip you’ve always been wanting to take? Don’t just wish for it and relegate it to some vague time in the future. Plan it. Set a date. You can’t keep yourself holed up in that cubicle for the rest of your life. That would be boring. And before you know it, if you don’t just go take that trip, you may just find yourself sadly out of time to do it. But of course…

5. You can’t always plan your life.

There are too many variables that could go wrong. You know about the butterfly effect in Chaos? One flap of a butterfly’s wings and a storm is set in motion across the Atlantic. Have a back up plan. Or, do the best that you can with what you got.

6. When things go wrong, give yourself time to grieve, then dust yourself off and Move your friggin’ ass out of your rut.

Things go wrong. That’s a rule of life. Can’t make it go away. It’s like saying, you’re going to get hungry later. Or you’ll need to sleep. It’s one those things that are inevitable. Shit happens, that’s okay. Everyone gets theirs. Learn a lesson, then move on.

7. When things go wrong, and you think you’re so sad and lonely and God’s forsaken you, don’t freak out man, someone’s got it worse.

Somebody’s always bigger than you. That goes the same with your problems. Someone’s got it worse. Believe me. Someone out there can’t find anything to eat (and he hasn’t eaten for a week). Someone out there was left by her boyfriend for someone ugly. Or someone uglier.

8. Keep a dog.

When the whole world seems out to get you, you’ll have someone to talk to. And comfort you. Someone you can hug. And she’s not expecting anything in return. (Oi, but you’ll have to feed her, of course.)

Hah! I don't always stick to each one of these. Maybe when I'm oldER. For the moment, I have to compose my Show Cause. My boss is going to kill me!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


i've seen a glimpse of the future. it's beautiful. but how do you make it True?


i'm tired yet can't sleep. i have a million things to do yet i can't do them.

i started this day trying to finish Girlfriend in a Coma (Coupland). i did. good book. but its sour ending combined with the sunless morning to make me think of how fruitless this life can be. (think of the future. how long will this last?)

going on thirty, yet i don't feel any different. i feel like i'm still Me- Ten Years Ago, only older. you get to thinking: will i be the same ten years from now? if that's so, then when i'm pushing forty, it'll only still be my nineteen-year old self in a middle aged man's body. how luckless can you get? (enough to drive you nuts.)

what is all this for?

why are we here?

what are we here for?

why is everyone here with me?

why are they all around me?

why am i here?

questions- which must have made a lot of men insane over the course of time. but aren't we already? the insane is only insane because everyone else is different. "sanity" is only the majority. numbers. who are we to say what's real? who are we to say that we aren't all deluded, and someone in an asylum out there is right, or has been right all along? of his perceptions, of what he can see. who will give him a voice, when the minority is buried in the din of "normalcy"?

no one.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

dashed hopes

Nothing worse than dashed hopes. Up until before six pm this evening, we all thought the Maroons could barge into the Final Four of the UAAP. They couldn’t. The bench players are crappy. Axel was injured, yet Vergara kept playing him. That’s how shallow our bench was. The better players, even when injured, are fielded in anyways. The best six or five players are left winded down the stretch.


It would have been a coup had it happened! UP is the Ginebra of the UAAP. Can’t win games, but the neversaydie attitude is there. Part of what makes the UAAP a more palatable fare than the professional league. You imagine it to be free from greed. But UP had more of it, if only because they’ve less resources to pick from.

It was a good run while it lasted. Everyone was waiting with bated breath. We move on. Life moves on.

ber months

The Ber months have arrived! Just as suddenly as this year started, it’s as swiftly beginning to end. The life of a year is only as long as it is short. Once it exits, it can only exist in our minds, and only for so long as we allow it. Or as long as memory will deign to stay with us. (We’ve no control over that last one.) Time passes when were not looking. And quickly.

the Game

a response to, "Friday"

i posted an entry in my blog before i read yours. strange animals, weekends, 'no? they provoke a flurry of thoughts, from the menial to the i just want to Use my weekend productively, if that's possible.of late, i've been using it to watch uaap games, so your obssession with The Game isn't alien to me. just this past week, i was decidedly late for class because i had to finish this UP game. i loaned a teevee from a classmate, set it up on my dashboard, and was cheering the maroons on in great elation. or exasperation. depending on where the maroons are coming from.we'll probably not make it to the final four, but we sure as hell had a wonderful ride. which must be what life is all about, come to think of it. the ride. gofigure.


It’s Saturday again. One more weekend to waste. You’d think that with all the weekends that all of us will have to go through in a lifetime, we’d have done Everything that Ought to have been done.

That’s just a pipedream, of course. The lot of us would spend the whole week drumming up a myriad of ways to spend the weekend. Weekend comes and we hardly commit to conceived plans. We’ll all soonest succumb to just sinking in our beds and waiting for another week to begin. Weekend goes. Then we spend the whole week wishing it were the weekend… so on and so forth. It’s only a cycle that never ends.


What does it mean when you’re suddenly wishing for someone to die? Hah! Must be a scary place to be in when your thoughts are bombarded with death, needling you.

I don’t know if everyone has not ever been in that phase when you just want to choke the bejeezus out of someone. Could be your officemate, or your meddlesome brother, or that annoying classmate of yours. Go figure. We can’t possibly do it in real life, so we just work it out in our minds. Simple, guilt-free crimes.

Or maybe you just want all of this to end, so that you can begin to live life anew. Like going to the blackboard and erasing whatever’s written on it. I don’t know. Not that folks can’t do anything about their lives until, I guess, when we’ll all be in the throes of Alzheimer’s. or AIDS.

That’s a compelling image of life, as words written on a blackboard. As if our lives have already been drawn out; but in a permanent marker, which can’t be erased.

But I’m nitpicking. Fact is, you’re just too lazy to turn your life around by moving.

Dare you to move.

Oi, but it’s a weekend. All I’ll be doing is trying to lose myself in languid, lazy sleep. Zzzz….

Thursday, September 01, 2005

sleeping too much

whoa! i've been sleeping too much!

i slept at 2230 last night, planning to wake up at 2247- i needed to draft a motion to declare a defendant in default plus a million other things- i didn't, instead waking up at 0400- and promptly slept again. i finally woke up at 0435. pressure building. i didn't have anything else to do but heed the call of the morning and push my butt into gear.

seated down, working on the Motion- after opening a template for a Motion for Default, i'd realized that a simple Motion wasn't enough. i needed to allege a few other facts that i didn't have command of. i'll need to go to the court tomorrow to ask for a certification from the clerk of court. (today, i have to go to the caloocan rtc to file one more- one less?- motion. those are on top of the other things i have to do for school, like Study.)

why does time seem so short? why do we need to sleep? why couldn't there have been thirtytwo-hour days, the extra eight hours given to us, for sleeping?

ogod. maybe i just need to plan my life more.