Thursday, June 7, 2012
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
It’s been a while since I’ve first had a whiff of the bittersweet air in law school and honestly, it hasn't been that much of a disaster as I thought it would be. I have currently ACCOMPLISHED 3 semesters in the academe; and I mean that in every fiber of my being. I.e., it’s no cake walk or piece of the park or whatever. You really earn every single unit in the course. Yes, YOU EARN EVERYTHING.
I started my journey last year. I was highly beleaguered at the enormity of the task but secretly optimistic knowing that my parents had my back all the way through. I was aware that financing this 4-year endeavor is not an easy task and it was not something I begged them for. Maybe they knew, deep down that this was not only for them gaining an economic leverage in the long term, as there is no certainty to any financial gain they may derive from this. Perhaps it’s because they know that this discipline may take a spiritual root in me; that I would actually need it for my spiritual sustenance. That’s deep man, and I cannot thank my parents enough for it.
Sadly, I had to forgo a lot of things; things that made my life stable and easy: 1. work; 2. gym; and 3. video games. Yes, my life revolved around these, apparently (and stupidly). I had to wave goodbye to my co-workers who are the best people I’ve met in my life so far; to my gym instructor who has left the country for greener fields and yes, my pseudo identity as the savior of virtual worlds. I geared up for the brewing storm and sought shelter in the confidence and knowledge I’ve gained through life prior to said storm.
I eased myself slowly into the world of laws and complex words. I was fully unaware that the study of the law would entail so much reading. I thought the reads would be somehow bearable and interesting but no, nothing can be gained from a lemon fruit (or a woman’s tit) without squeezing it, so they say. So, I labored the assigned reads. I tried my best not to be caught off guard during surprise quizzes and recitations because boy, the instructors gave these out non-stop. I did know that the more important task was to do good in my exams. I knew from the start that a firm foundation in my exams meant a stronger backbone for my standing and my QPI.
I was a sorry sod at first when I realized that the recitations were given daily and that the ordering of the cases in the syllabus, which I painstakingly combed, would not be followed. Thus, when an instructor calls for a specific case which I have not read, everything instantly slows down like a scene in a movie where the pivotal moment is at hand. As said instructor would shuffle the cards that contained our names, so would my mind lament at the misfortune that would befall me after I make a fool of myself before the world. Seriously, everything goes in slow-motion during random picks that even the sweat on my brow would fall dramatically if caught on cam.
This is why law students become prayerful. We all pray hard not to experience the agony of bluffing our way through the barrage of questions hurled at us. The tension is built so high, a knock on the door or a pen drop would probably send us all screaming. You can actually measure the tension from the loudness of the simultaneous sighs from the students after the professor calls off the scheduled recitations for the day.
In law school, the exams answer you. LOL. What’s great about these is that when you have absolutely nil knowledge about the topic, you can bluff yourself out of- oh wait. The Supreme Court changed the bar exam format from multi-part essays to multiple choice. Easy? NO. I cannot even fathom how ridiculously long my post would be if I had to dissect a single objective-type bar exam question here. It’s just not happening. It’s something you’d have to experience firsthand to be able to appreciate it. Plus, I would sound like a pretentious airhead (not that I’m not one already) if I had to whip you up with the basics. In a nutshell, objective-type questions for law school exams are not good news for law students. Trust me on this.
The circulating rumors confirm that the format change made hell for the experimental takers (the recent bar exam passers) of the pilot exam. Why? Because apparently, not one of them made the cut. Uh-oh.
I eventually got the hang of it. You just get used to the routine that once it gets shaken up by some rescheduling mishap, your system snaps and you see yourself befuddled with the ripple in your schedule. It would actually take more time for you to adjust your study habit than to do the studying itself. The sad part though is that you can only be so efficient and if you cannot, then the fault falls on your ineptitude.
My inefficiency persists because I refuse to destroy two (2) things: the modem and my bed. And while I concede that these should not be faulted for my inability to cope with the work-load, it would make my life easier if I would be rid these temptations. The exact formula is:
Temptation + Weak Work Ethic = Crazy Batsh*t Cramming
That probably summed up everything I wanted to talk about here (also because all the big words I used up here fatigued my lazy brain).
Yes, law school, as I’ve repeatedly said, is CRAZY fun only when you get passing marks. Otherwise, all you get is crazy. Yes, lots of that.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Its intentions are ideal but its interpretation and application may essentially lead to the exact substantive evils its proponents are attempting to address. It cannot retract from the mounds of adverse evidence, mostly consisting of studies and statistical data exacted both from foreign and local research institutes, which prove that the bill is self-defeating and would probably exacerbate the mischief it is supposed to prevent.
A discussion on the enumerated criticisms of those who oppose the bill would be in order. Thus, they argue:
(1) The bill is based on faulty premises since a study of Nobel Prize winner Simon Kuznets, found no correlation between population growth and poverty in first world countries. This research was later replicated in developing countries;
(2) The bill takes away limited government funds from treating many high priority medical and food needs and transfers them to fund harmful and deadly devices. The latest studies in scientific journals and organizations show that the ordinary birth control pill, and the IUD are abortifacient to fertilized eggs: they kill young human embryos, who as such are human beings equally worthy of respect;
(3) Leading secular social scientists like Nobel Prize winner, George Akerlof and US National Defense Consultant, Lionel Tiger, have found that contraceptives have deleterious social effects (abortion, adultery, female impoverishment, fatherless children, teenage pregnancies, and immorality).
(4) People's freedom to access contraceptives is not restricted by any opposing law, being available in family planning NGOs, stores, etc. The country is not a welfare state: taxpayer's money should not be used for personal practices that are harmful and immoral.
First, there has been no cogent finding that population growth and poverty rise in parallels. A contrary assertion has been a cornerstone argument by the bill’s proponents. They insist that population growth is the bane of developing countries. This theory was debunked by the opposition. In fact, Nobel Prize winner Simon Kuznets concludes that “no clear association appears to exist in the present sample of countries, or is likely to exist in other developed countries, between rates of growth of population and of product per capita" and “that there is insignificant empirical association between population growth rates and output per capita (economic growth). Rather, it is the rate at which technology grows and the ability of the population to employ these new technologies efficiently and widely that permit economic progress”.
Kuznets saw that the basic obstacles to economic growth arise from the limited capabilities of the institutions (political, social, legal, cultural, economic) to adjust. He argued instead that a more rapid population growth, if properly managed, will promote economic development through a positive impact on the society's state of knowledge. His findings have been confirmed by similar studies by the US National Research Council (1986), the UN Population Fund Consultative Meeting of Economists (1992), Eric Hanushek and Ludger Wößmann (2007), among others.
Furthermore, Julian Simon, a professor of business administration at the University of Maryland and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, compared several parallel countries in a study and asserts that the “birthrates were practically the same but [their] economic growth was entirely different due to different governance factors”. Indeed, no study has ever been presented by the bill’s proponents to argue that such correlation between the two factors exists. Lack thereof would lead to conjectures which have no applicable significance and would potentially imperil those who would be subject to the law because of its unsupported bases.
Second, it must be noted that Section 23 of the bill, which espouses its appropriations, mandates that “the current annual General Appropriations Act for reproductive health and family planning under the DOH and POPCOM together with ten percent (10%) of the Gender and Development (GAD) budgets of all government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices and instrumentalities funded in the annual General Appropriations Act in accordance with Republic Act No. 7192 (Women in Development and Nation-building Act) and Executive Order No. 273 (Philippine Plan for Gender Responsive Development 1995-2025) shall be allocated and utilized for the implementation of this Act. Such additional sums as may be necessary for the effective implementation of this Act shall be included in the subsequent years’ General Appropriations Acts”. It would indeed cost millions of taxpayers’ money to be able to set-up a nationwide campaign that presumably aims to aid the uniformed but is actually promoting sexual promiscuity, unwanted pregnancies and escalated abortion rates.
Thus, condoms are not wise investments. We have the lowest incidence of HIV cases after Bangladesh in the ADB report mentioned above, whereas Thailand, which has been regarded as the model in condom promotion, has the highest. European epidemiologist Dr. Jokin de Irala refers to “risk-compensation” as the reason for higher HIV-AIDS incidences when condoms are promoted. x x x Why spend millions to buy condoms when they are shown to increase incidences of STDs? A government-sponsored nationwide condom distribution will only fatten the pockets of condom manufacturers.
Moreover, experts agree that oral contraceptives are abortifacients, or are substances that cause pregnancy to end prematurely and cause an abortion. Thus, according to Walter L. Larimore and Joseph B. Stanford’s study on Post Fertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationship to Informed Consent, ‘the primary mechanism of oral contraceptives is to inhibit ovulation, but this mechanism is not always operative. When breakthrough ovulation occurs, then secondary mechanisms operate to prevent clinically recognized pregnancy. These secondary mechanisms may occur either before or after fertilization’. Ergo, [oral contraceptives] kill young human embryos, who as such are human beings equally worthy of respect, making the bill unconstitutional as it violates article 2, section 12 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that: “The State x x x shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception”.
Furthermore, studies show that prolonged consumption of birth control pills is hazardous to one’s health. Thus, “the American Cancer Society warns that the risk of developing breast cancer increases after birth-control pills are used, and the increased risk persists for 10 years after they are stopped" and that “several studies warn against an increased risk of cardiovascular problems in women taking these new substances.” It thus runs counter to the avowed protection granted by the 1987 Constitution for the lives of women and children (Article 2, Section 12).
Third, it is argued that the profligate spread of contraceptives due to its increased availability may result to steep increases in abortion rates, fatherless children, teenage pregnancies, and immorality. Indeed, if such birth control devices are made available in several conspicuous areas, chances are those who are willing to exercise their sexual proclivities, especially young teenagers who are overly eager but are presumably devoid of any knowledge of the consequences of sexual intercourse, may indeed satiate such desires with impunity and minimal restraint. This increases the risk of unwanted pregnancies as sexual voracity is promoted by convenient access to contraceptive devices. It is admitted that these devices are not fool-proof as studies show that 50% of unplanned pregnancies in the United States are caused by defective contraception.
Abortion is preferably and commonly resorted to by young mothers with unplanned pregnancies. Whether the process be through a medical procedure or through oral intake of medication, it is admitted that any such process is geared towards the elimination of the embryo regardless of its stage. This fact is of significance because Article 2, Section of the 1987 Constitution provides that the life of the unborn is protected since conception. Conception is medically defined as the “union of the sperm and the ovum” and is “synonymous with fertilization”. It is also “the onset of pregnancy, marked by implantation of the blastocyst into the endometrium.” It is crystal clear that from that moment, such organism, regardless of development, acquires the fundamental right to life protected by the Constitution itself. It is therefore imperative that the bill be struck down because of the harmful domino effect it entails which remains to be unseen, or is deliberately neglected, by the bill’s proponents. It is also admitted that although the aforecited Section of the Constitution equally protects the life of the mother and the unborn, abortion may only be resorted to when it endangers the life of both the child and the mother. It cannot be invoked as an expedient method to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Finally, instead of allotting millions of public funds in the drive for mass distribution of contraceptive devices, the government has to channel limited funds to job creation and education. The latest report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) entitled Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2010 notes that the “middle class has increased rapidly in size and purchasing power as strong economic growth in the past two decades has helped reduce poverty significantly and lift previously poor households into the middle class.” Two factors were reported to drive the creation and sustenance of a middle class: a) stable, secure, well-paid jobs with good benefits, and b) higher education. And so, why not create more bills that will strengthen these two factors instead of channeling our limited funds to contraception and sex education.
It is the State’s duty to order society by promoting the well-being of its citizens. Thus, it is a disservice to legislate what constitutes harm to its people. We pointed but a few of the studies showing the harmful effects of contraception to society, the family, the youth and women’s health. While it is true that the State cannot stop people from using contraception, since they may personally choose to expose themselves to its risks, it is not the State’s job to facilitate access to what is harmful. What the government should do is craft laws that prevent people from harming themselves or more positively phrased, help them develop themselves and society. We urge the legislators to dump the contentious and flawed Reproductive Health bill and to pass more bills strengthening the Filipino family, protecting its citizens against the risks of contraception, defending the scientific fact that conception begins at fertilization, providing essential medicines for the main causes of death, making quality education more accessible to Filipinos, and providing more jobs.
Resource inputs from Chiqui Lechago and Donna Flores
Monday, March 28, 2011
The bill is flawed. This remains to be a fact as the debates currently wage on as to its viability. Truly, it is a progressive piece of legislation aiming to improve women and children’s health and welfare while bolstering the drive for information dissemination regarding sexual and reproductive health concerns. The bill fundamentally protects women’s health and is essentially founded on real concerns by real individuals. Moreover, it idealizes the concept of free choice and lauds the exercise of such.
However, the bill must not be viewed and valued on its face value but on its entirety. Its overall ramifications must be foreseen and its deleterious effects properly addressed. At its current stage, we believe that it fails to uphold morality and remains to be constitutionally infirm.
We believe that it succeeds on several aspects such as its assertion on better provision of medical services for women and children, its reaffirming stance on the illegality of abortion, its determination to better facilitate information drives and on its impressive resolve on the overall wellness of the Filipino woman. Be that as it may, it does not sit on firm foundations as some of its provisions need to be revised or ultimately stricken out. Thus, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S. J. posits in an online article that “[t]he RH bill is by no means a perfect document. I do not believe that the authors of the bill themselves consider their work sacrosanct or rock-permanent. They must realize that there are provisions in the bill which run counter to the moral beliefs of some. They cannot overlook the fact that moral rules of our society and much of our civil law are based on religious values. At the same time, however, we must also realize that in our religiously pluralist society we can differ in matters of morality, especially sexual morality. Neither, however, is the bill totally bad. There are provisions in the bill which seek to answer the crying needs of women and important needs of young people, especially among the poor.”
We respectfully believe that the bill loses its color when it mandates under Section 10 that contraceptives be considered as “essential medicine” and that the same “shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.” It is our humble view that restrictions must be set relative to the unlimited access granted by the bill to said devices. It has been conclusively proven that most of the common contraceptives are either ineffective or harmful. Defective condoms are actually blamed for failing to prevent conception approximately 50% of the time and that most oral contraceptives are abortifacients. To consider such abortifacients as “essential medicine” would be sanctioning abortion. Moreover, birth control pills increase the risk of the occurrence of breast cancer and cardiovascular problems in women. It thus becomes imperative that these must be prescribed by authorized medical practitioners only.
Truly, the law must not operate to allow the State to offer contraceptives free of charge. It must restrict its distribution. We are not, however, imploring that such be prohibited altogether; we are merely suggesting that these be duly regulated and not be distributed in wanton disregard of its untoward effects. Thus, while the bill focuses on health and wellness, there are certain provisions which defeat said core purpose (i.e. the free and unrestricted access to contraceptives). This inconsistency has to be thoroughly addressed.
Furthermore, some provisions violate, or vitiate in the very least, the freedom of choice by making contraceptives patently accessible. The exercise of choice, in its ideal sense, must be free from any vice or defect, must be intelligent and must be spontaneous. Making contraceptives conveniently available may effectively reduce a person’s capacity to weigh his or her options well, free from any undue influence, as the law itself makes contraception ostensible, legal and accessible. This cannot be countenanced as it curtails the exercise of a person’s freedom of choice.
We further believe that the bill, although primarily concerned with apprising the curious and uninformed, does not imply that sex education be a core subject in every academe. Section 12 mandates the formation of a “Reproductive Health Education curriculum” to be spearheaded by the POPCOM, in coordination with the Department of Education. We believe that these agencies, following the same mandate that the courses be age-appropriate, must assess the frequency in conducting these courses. Excessive information may induce or increase confusion, while stale and archaic methods may prove to be ineffective; both of which would render the program inutile. Thus, these agencies, with proper funding and thorough orientation, must strike the correct balance between the given extremes.
We also believe that the church must not turn a blind eye from its constituents. It must not remain stagnant because the issues are becoming more real and more pressing. Indeed, Fr. Bernas believes that “our embrace of religious liberty is a manifestation of our belief that religion is profoundly meaningful and that we can draw from religion guidance in our social and political options. At the same time, however, we have also drawn a demarcation line, not always clear, which separates the functions of government and religion, thereby potentially severing government from a source of social and moral values dear to many believing citizens”. This becomes more apparent as the bill is slowly taking form.
Both sides are baring their fangs with their conflicting notions of the ideal versus the real. The church, being the “moral beacon” of the country, must see that morality is subjective and is not a dormant concept as it does not operate in a vacuum. It remains to be dynamic and must evolve accordingly with the current socio-cultural atmosphere. It behooves the church to recognize that ideal concepts are indeed ideal; as such, they remain to be standards which have to be followed but not blindly adhered to. In the same vein, the body politic must understand that the church’s stance on its version of morality is based on long-standing tradition and has yet to be debased by contrary actuations. Similarly, the proponents of the bill must attempt to harmonize its own goals with the morals protected by the church and must not endeavor to run counter it. Admittedly, this is a gargantuan task which may only be resolved through open dialogue between such adverse parties.As the bill remains to be in its 2nd reading, certain amendments may still be proposed. The proponents and detractors of the bill have yet to arrive at a valid and equitable compromise without ever losing sight of the primacy of the citizens’ interests.
Friday, January 1, 2010
2. Wholesaler of balut in Sto.Tomas, Batangas: “Starducks”.
3. Fast food eatery in Nueva Ecija: “Violybee”
4. Internet cafe opened among squatters named “Cafe Pindot”.
5. In Manila , there’s a laundry named, “Summa Cum Laundry”.
6. Petshop in Ortigas: “Pussies and Bitches”.
7. A pet shop in Kamuning: “Pakita Mo Pet Mo”.
8. Bakery: “Bread Pit”.
9. Bank in Alabang: “Alabank”.
10. Restaurant in Pampanga named, “Mekeni Rogers”.
11. Restaurant in Pasig : “Johnny’s Fried Chicken: The ‘Fried’ of Marikina “.
12. A boxing gym: “Blow Jab”.
13. A tombstone maker in Antipolo: “Lito Lapida”.
14. A copy center in Sikatuna Village called “Pakopya ni Edgar”.
15. A beerhouse in Cavite called, “Chickpoint” .
16. Laundromat in Sikatuna: ” Star Wash : Attack of the Clothes”.
17. Internet cafe in Taguig named, “n@kopi@”.
18. Name of a kambingan, “Sa Goat Kita”.
19. A salon somewhere, “Curl Up And Dye”.
20. A lugawan in Sta. Maria, Bulacan: “Gee Congee”.
21. A water refilling station in Dapitan named “Wa-Thirst”.
22. A store selling feeds for chickens: “Robocock”.
23. Shoe repair in Marikina : “Dr. Shoe-Bago”.
24. Shoe repair store along Commonwealth, “SHOEPERMAN: we will HEEL you,
save your SOLE, and even DYE for you”.
25. Petshop: “Petness First”
26. Flower shop: “Susan’s Roses”.
27. Taxicab: “Income Taxi”.
28. A 2nd hand watch store: “2nd Time Around”.
29. A squid stall in a wet market: “Pusit to the Limit”.
30. A gay lawyer’s extension office: ” Nota Republic “.
31. A ceiling installer: ” Kisame Street “.
32. A car repair shop: “Bangga ka ‘day?”
33. An aquatic pet store in Malolos: “Fish Be With You”.
34. A beauty salon: “Saudia Hairlines”.
35. A bakery: “Anak Ng Tinapay”.
36. A resto along Mayon road in Manila : “May Lisa Eatery”.
37. Laundry shop: “Wash Your Problem”.
38. This mobile massage business name isn’t funny, but
their slogan is: “Asian Mobile Massage Service: Massage only, God is
39. Ice cream parlor: “Dila Lang Ang Katapat”.
40. Chicharon store: “Chicha Hut”.
41. Neighborhood pizza store: “Pizza Hot”.
42. A fishball cart near UST: “Eat My Balls”.
43. A barbershop in Cagayan de Oro: “Pinoy Big Barber”.
44. A Resto: “The Last Supper”.
45. A goto resto: “Goto Ko Pa!”
46. A gym in Malolos: ” Gaymann Fitness Center “.
47. A store selling fresh chicken, owned by woman named Dina: “Dina Fresh
48. Salon: “Hair Dot Comb”.
49. Signage on a restaurant: “We are open 25 hrs. a day – no lunch/dinner breaks!”
50. A funeral parlor in Bacoor, Cavite :”Funeraria Happy”.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
After having been able to survive my first 20 banking days, I think I’m all set up for bigger prospects. Lol. Here’s a rundown on my teeth rotting conquests so far.
1. Within said time frame, I was able to experience working on my first quarterly reports. Well, I was more like a baggage than a free set of hands then. I have to say that the frenzy took its toll on me: I missed a lot of my regimens, I neglected all my gym sessions (my registration expired anyway) and when I got home, I hit the hay instantaneously. This actually went on for a couple of days and said stress consequently affected my work performance and lifestyle.
2. I also felt my first wake up call (I was taking too much time wallowing in ‘trainee land’) when my supervisor expressed her malcontent over my performance, albeit subtly, through her body language. I was taking too long at my daily loads (after being trained exhaustively) that for a brief moment, the entire department thought I was retarded. At least I think they did.
I realized that I had to push myself more.
So, I mustered the will to study the procedures by heart and before I knew it, I was able to finish my tasks in record time. Henceforth, I will have to be reprimanded before I take matters seriously. Lol.
3. Amid my promising progress, I still fear month ends and quarterly report preparations. I’ve never been able to fully participate on (or comprehend at the very least) said processes.
4. I’ve been blessed with the best office mates the world has had to offer so far. But then again, familiarity often breeds contempt so I’m logging my current impressions of them here before the animosity grows. Lol. Seriously though, they’re good people. Even if I can barely keep up with their technical blabber, I can definitely count on them when my struggling becomes too apparent. And although I consider myself to be culturally detached from them, our diversities do more than augment our trivia banks.
I guess that’s it so far. I’ve given myself a year long window to asses my ability to juggle law school and work and so far, it’s been fairly favorable. Here’s to hoping the good things last.Cheers!
Friday, April 3, 2009
It’s been a while (a month I presume) since I made an entry here so I guess an update is warranted.
I’ve recently started working (for 2 weeks) in an accounting center of Landbank Phils. and I have to say that I was taken aback by the sudden shift of environments (from bum to glum) that I thought my hair would fall out. This was my first take on the real world and although it shook me abruptly, said tremor was pleasantly brief.
On day 1, I was introduced to my supervisor and she apprised me, albeit not sternly, on certain ground rules that needed proper observance. The one I took at heart was her instruction on humility. She has been working on said bank for 15 years and the hint of authority in her tone didn’t exude arrogance. She practices what she preaches, I suppose.
Then and there, the challenge began.
Since I knew nothing of banking (and doing work in general) I apparently felt like a fish out of water when my colleagues started doing their jobs, hammering away at their keyboards whilst thoroughly sifting through mounds of source documents in mind warping speeds. My ignorance was apparent, my inability evident. I had to step things up a notch! I immediately tempered myself to an inquisitive mode, trying to ask the right questions in an appropriate manner. I took notes and endured.
The thing I like most about the work place is that everyone is able and willing to help one another. My office mates are impeccably polite and even the people on the higher end of the hierarchy are keen to lend a hand. This work place culture, though prone to abuse, is not something I would take for granted.
After a week or so of incessant inquiry and observation, I got the hang of it. I actually have been doing my branch’s (Matina) books recently. I realized that this work requires mad skills (analysis, speed and accuracy to wit) and just like driving, it takes time and adequate practice to master (quoting my father) . I’m hoping that it won’t end up as bad as my driving though. Hence, the work blues faded and I’ve started to enjoy the crests and troughs of working as a professional.Cheers!