Monday, July 28, 2008

My New Online Family

I'm far from being a techie, and before, much of the time I spent on the internet was used up by (1) checking my mail; (2) checking my facebook; and (3) checking Jae's, Golda's, Sir Te's and Arnold's blogs. And then I stumbled upon a blawg that has been getting well-deserved raves from law students and bar reviewees. Reason: the blog appears to have been put up entirely because of the blogger-lawyer's admirable sense of civic duty, and its posts are dedicated to helping reviewees and students of law keep abreast of the latest legal and bar-related developments. Now, this blog has a link to an online forum, whose members are mostly law students or lawyers.

So... the curious cat that I am, I joined the forum and hid behind a cutesy username... And before I knew it, I was hooked to the forum and was making a habit of checking new posts everyday that I could. I found it exhilirating to be in constant contact with nameless, faceless people from all over the Philippines, and even in various parts of the world. Nice people, kind people, people who have something meaningful to say. I felt that I was among people with similar ideals, people who also genuinely want to help make the Philippine legal system a fairer and more just one. And then I did the scary part... I bravely decided to forgo my anonymity in order to reach out to bar reviewees who might need some tips on how to hurdle the bar. Truth be told, at first I was hesitant to do so, having been told many horror stories of meeting up with virtual strangers face-to-face. But, having been raised to believe, unconditionally, in the innate goodness of people, I decided to take the leap and reveal who I am.

And... I'm happy to report that I made, 100%, a great decision! Some members of the community met for the first time on July 5, 2008, and then again on July 26, 2008, and, thanks to the forum's amiable big boss and the blogger-lawyer who introduced me to the forum, Atty. Fred Pamaos--who is not only generous with his time but also with his hard-earned money--the gatherings were a resounding success! The kindness that the members exhibited in the forum happily matched the kindness that they showed me in person :)

I have been chided countless times for always acting on impulse, but joining the phbar community was really an exercise of good judgment on my part. Oh, I'm still cautious when it comes to cyberspace, but I'm so happy that the only time I took a risk, it was all worth it! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sa Wakas... Bagong Buhay! :)

I used to dislike smoking, even back in my college days when some of my debater friends huffed and puffed their smokes like they were going out of fashion. But then I entered law school and just two months after, I was hooked to smoking. My trusted brand -- West Ice. I was a certified addict, and nothing my mom said about how my dad is now suffering the consequences of years of smoking could deter me from indulging my addiction. A good friend of mine, who was determined to make me stop, even bought me those nicotine-replacement gums to help me quit (thanks, Mark!) to no avail. Somehow, I was able to convince myself that smoking is cool and is the best way to pass the time, and even though I still don't like the smell of cigs on my hands, there's Green Cross to take away the nasty smell.

And so fast-forward to seven years later. I was still well into my nicotine addiction until (1) I have had to endure coughing and heaving for almost a month, with medical bills amounting to thousands of pesos already; and (2) I was feeling nauseous and queasy all the time, due to hyperacidity. Of course the doctors were one in pointing the blame at my smoking addiction. At first I simply shut my brain down and refused to process this information that would mean the death of my nicotine habit. But my cough got worse, and I had to spend thousands more on meds, and I couldn't even go up a flight of steps without stopping to catch my breath. And so... I did the unthinkable...

I QUIT!!! I QUIT!!! Last Saturday, I finally quit. I have with me all the time my trusted Nicorette, and so far, not a single stick. Clap clap clap. A feat, indeed, for someone so addicted to smokes. I know i could easily slip back to my old ways, so I'm not taking out the champagne just yet, especially since my withdrawal symptoms have been baaaad -- shaking hands, lack of concentration, grumpiness, headaches... But in just these four days, I have already seen a lot of good things happen -- easier breathing, no more morning cough, yummier tasting food :)

And, what's even more crazy is I finally got my lazy butt out of the couch and into the... GYM!!! Hahahaha, me, in the gym? None of my friends could believe the whirlwind changes I've introduced in my life, but hey, so far so good :) So instead of coffee and smokes in the morning, I switched to yogurt drink and bananas. Who knew I had that in me? :) I don't know if I have the willpower to stay the course, but for the first time, I really want to. So that could only mean I have a much better chance of succeeding :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Forgotten Love Note

One uneventful evening, I was preparing to go to bed when I saw an old wallet just waiting to be opened. Curious as to its contents, I opened it and was glad to see that it contained some precious mementos from my trips abroad (a pass from the Louvre, tickets to the London U and Glasgow bus, ticket to Eiffel, etc.) and pictures from my high school, college and law school days (wallet size pics taken in cheesy studios :)), some from friends with matching dedication, tipong Joan, thanks for always being there, lalo na pag recess or you are a ray of sunshine in my usually cloudy life, from a friend who was then full of angst.

But a small note, folded in three parts, obviously taken from a notebook, got my attention. The first line there was in my handwriting. It reads: Ano na babe? To which my ex-boyfriend replied: Just. Look. At. Me. I'M RIGHT HERE. The note struck me on different levels, not the least because it reminded me that even if I had since moved on with my life, there was that period where my failed relationship was real, palpable, honest... and well, it really happened. I may no longer remember how it felt like to have loved and be loved by the writer of this note, but it reminded me that, while things between us eventually soured, the time the note was written, I was blissfully in love.

But in a more 'big picture' way, I was struck by how poignantly sweet those words "I'm right here" are, then and now. At this crazy stage in my life where I am sometimes tempted to go on a frantic search for THE ONE because all my friends are getting married and I am always reminded that my biological clock is ticking, it would be extremely comforting if someone told me, "I'm right here." No, I'm not asking to be married ahora mismo, but wouldn't it be nice if someone I truly care for would tell me that he's not going anywhere, but here with me?

My life right now is, for the most part, a happy place to be in. But there are moments, like that evening when I stumbled upon a love note that I clearly cherished enough to keep in my wallet, that I couldn't help but wish that I receive another love note, just like that, soon enough. :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Crazy Day

So many things were going on yesterday that I had a hard time making sense of it all. Thing is, for all my crazy rollercoaster of emotions, none of the events that transpired had anything to do with me personally. Everything was all 'vicarious living', as it were, but the overly-passionate person that I am, I really felt like all the highs and lows were happening to me.

First: HIGH. Ateneo creamed DLSU in the UAAP opener. Hooray for my school!!!!!! I was so happy, that I decided on the fly to do grocery shopping so I could cook yummy pork chops for my entire fam. Once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence, so you bet my family savored every single morsel. Another high -- they liked my cooking. Hooray for my non-existent cooking skills!!!

Second: LOW. My beloved F1 team, Ferrari, lost to Lewis Hamilton in the British Santander Grand Prix. I knew that the rains threatening the London sky could only mean bad luck, as evidenced by....

Three: LOWEST LOW. My ultimate idol, Roger Federer, was defeated by Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon last night, and lost the chance to win Wimby 6 times in a row. This year has been an unlucky one for Roger, because he started it feeling weak and unprepared, due to an illness. My heart constricted when he lost the Australian Open to that A%$@!&E Djokovic, and then again at the French Open when he lost to Nadal, but I never thought he could lose in his favorite surface -- grass. So after several rain delays last night, I went to bed, thinking that since Roger evened the score at two sets apiece, he would go on to win the entire match. I was wrong though. And now I just feel shitty. worse, I couldn't hate Nadal. He's such a cutie.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Makulay... Ang Buhay...

For the past two days, I've been eager to get home, even if it meant getting stuck in horrendous traffic in EDSA during rush hour (though seems to me that lately, every hour in EDSA is a rush hour, grrr...) The reason? Coz I now get to watch my darling Roger Federer effortlessly blaze his way through Wimbledon through my brand-spanking-new LCD TV!!!!!!!! Yahoo!

Oh, the greenest green grass, those lovely yellow balls, Roger's Mister Clean white shirt!!! Suddenly, everything is much more colorful, vibrant and beautiful! You see, our old TV was already feeling its age, and the picture tube was going haywire.

You guys have to know that my family is probably one of the most backward when it comes to technology, so much so that we bought our first VHS two years after the betamax was canned. We still do most our laundry by hand (thank God though it's not me doing that), and we got our first microwave only last year (which mom only got coz it's free, thanks to her credit card points).

So, I decided to finally be technologically at par with the rest of the free world and I made a split-second decision while I was waiting for my friends in Trinoma last Sunday to buy a new TV. LCD TVs are so cheap now, very affordable. :) It's been only two days but I feel like it is the best purchase I've made in years. This is the first appliance I bought with my hard-earned money, so I feel like skipping and dancing. :) (My sisters, nephew and niece are skipping and dancing with me, by the way :))

Hehehe, yun lang, gusto ko lang i-share :)