Thursday, April 28, 2005
This day in history from:

Remembering a Great Filipino

I just heard from the radio going home from work that Raymundo Punongbayan, the former PHIVOCS chief now with the Red Cross, boarded a helicopter this morning to survey relocation sites in Dingalan, Aurora Province but failed to return home. The last I heard, it crashed and there are no survivors at the moment. None are expected. The details can be found here.

Dir. Punongbayan figured prominently for his untiring service during the Pinatubo years. Until the last, he was serving the public.

Let us remember this great Filipino who gave his life in the service of his nation. May we reciprocate his service even for a little bit. May his soul rest in peace.

Some comments on the Pacific Plans fiasco

I've been following the Pacific Plan fiasco intently, both in the media treatment (which I think is already thinning) and in the claimants' blogs.

Of course, there are a lot of emotions involved. This is not like the Pepsi 349 case because the claimants here have already invested time, effort and of course, money so their children are assured of enough tuition money when time comes. In the Pepsi 349 case, there is no initial investment from the claimants apart from the emotional kind. I am already a father for more than seven years. I'm already fuming mad when someone bullies Bea in school. Just imagine if someone bullies their children out of a future through absolutely no fault of their own. I was sold a Pacific Plan some two years ago but decided to discontinue it, simply because I do not believe in fixed value educational plan. Might as well call it an annuity.

I believe in the traditional educational plan, but with the skyrocketting tuition fees brought about by derregulation, I don't believe pre-need companies can deliver on their promises unless the claimants pay huge premiums up front.

As a lawyer, I therefore have the following comments on this:

1. For the claimants, PARTICIPATE vigrously in the rehabilitation case. There is a big difference between rehabilitation and insolvency. Rehabilitation simply means that the company is in trouble but not bankrupt (yet). Hence, there is still a chance that the company may honor your claims IN FULL.

Dissect the reasons why PPI needs rehabilitation. Participate in the selection of a receiver. Dissect the rehabilitation plan if it is truly feasible. Otherwise, push for insolvency immediately and you will get more than what they are offering you right now. Much more.

And you can only do that if you participate in the proceedings.

I cannot say much more since I need to see the petition, the plans PPI sold and other pertinent documents to make a more detailed comment.

2. If the rehabilitation was caused by mismanagement, PROSECUTE the guilty persons to the full extent of the law. In this regard, I find the PPI line that the increased tuition fees depleted their trust funds rather odd. Trust funds, by nature, cannot be touched by the company that keeps it. It is, by nature, kept “in trust” for somebody else, namely the claimants.

Of course someone will contest this by saying that I oversimplify PPI’s situation. So it’s for you to find out if I’m correct or not.

3. There should be reforms in the pre-need industry. I think pre-need companies should at the very least buy insurance so that things like these never happen. Insurance companies, by law, do this by a system of reinsurance. Something similar should be done by these pre-need companies.

Here I find the silence of Congress peculiar. This is the perfect occasion for an inquiry in aid of legislation. Right now, they are more concerned with the complaint of Ana Leah Javier against their own rather than the future of their constituents’ children. Remember this when the next election comes.

4. DO NOT LET UP. They are relying on the Filipino’s short term memory and hoping that this will die down with the next big issue. You know how the media plays and how they’re playing you (for fools). Do not allow that to happen. For the PPI claimants’ bloggers, continue to do what you do. Remember who you’re fighting for.

5. Finally, this may sound trivial but for a company supposedly in trouble, PPI’s lawyer can still afford a Nokia 9500, Nokia’s top-of-the-line phone. Its materialistic of course, but I can usually judge a person accurately by their celfones and watches. I’m usually correct. For a troubled corporation, their lawyer is still enjoying the good life, unless it can be explained by some other reason.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
This day in history from:

An American Idol forecast

You may not know this but I have followed American Idol since last season. I even "cheat" by checking the website before the end of the telecast. Our cable's coverage is just Off Satellite and not Live. Hence, it's just delayed by about 30 minutes or so.

I make this blog forecast completely from my own opinion. People and friends may disagree but just hear me out.

At this point in time, the top 4 will be the two rockers, the country singer and the Vonz. While the "the Body" and Fedorov may step up, I don't know if they have enough fans against these four powerhouses to sustain their stay any longer.

Of the top 4, the Vonz may fall on the wayside first because I think her fanbase is no match for the three. I could be wrong but she is my personal favorite because she projects well on TV. Unless she can pull another Jasmine Trias by having her home state voting for her.

For the semi-finals, Carrie may fall unless she can improve and/or successfully cross-over to pop simply because of her country style. Pardon me, I just don't dig country and western and I think neither does most of the voting fans. If she can make the transition, however, she may go all the way. I think, however, she will be the hottest star in the country & western genre.

Then, it's a toss-up between the two rockers. I'm leaning more on Constantine only because he the better performer than Bo. And his fanbase is bigger than Bo's.

This is just my analysis and you may or may not agree with me. I'm just curious now to see if I will be correct. But Simon, even when going against the other judges, seems to be correct ALL THE TIME so I have learned to trust his judgement.

Lighter Side...My choirs

I've been noticing my blogs have become more serious every entry I make. I think I need a change of pace...

I think it's time tell you something more about one of my other choirs.

During a previous blog, I have stated that my choirs have kept me same, centered, balanced and basically alive.

Let's get things straight, I do not sing in these choirs. I can't even score high in videoke. As you may already know, I'm an instrumentalist. I play the keyboards and (you guessed it) the flute.

I started playing in a choir quite by accident during law school. People there had little musical talent (I stand corrected, there were a lot of musically talented persons in law school. It's just that law school sort of erases all these talents away...) or just had little time to volunteer for church services. I was just one of those who "had" the time to volunteer.

And so I played with three other guys for four years. This was the start of the institutionalized law school choir today. (By institutionalized, I mean established as an institution and not the members confined to an mental institution, heheheh!). And along the way, my musical abilities improved.

Pressures of work and married life forced me to lay off playing for any choir for about seven years.

Out of sheer guts, I volunteered for church choir in my neighborhood. That was a good decision. It kept me from homicidal (or parricidal to be legally precise) thoughts. As I have previously blogged, I ditched them for three choirs, two of them based in the place we now live.

The third is the choir that was formed through the net. You see, we are (shameful for me to admit) fans of the Bukas Palad Music Ministry that maintains a message board on its website. Shameful for me to admit in particular because I have high school and college friends who are members there. My musical ability grew during law school. They did not know this they probably still don't. I have not met them again for years.

You may not be familiar with the group we admire. But you may be familiar with their songs. Their main composer (but not too much now, I hear) is Fr. Manoling Francisco, S.J., the guy that brought us church classics like "Hindi Kita Malilimutan," "Tanging Yaman" and "Sa 'yo Lamang." See? You know them!

By frequenting their messageboard, I met a lot of online friends, who share the same interest in the same music but serve in different choirs. Then, as an eyeball event, we decided to form what is now known as the BP Online Community Choir (or simply BPOCC).

As individuals in our respective choirs, we were veterans. As as group, our friendship surely bonded us to become good, if I do say so myself. BPOCC already served three times in televised masses. It currently sings monthly in EDSA Shrine aside from other venues by request. We have, as the cliche goes, gone a long way from being online friends.

And BPOCC has now come of age. Bukas Palad is organizing a choir convention on 02 June 2005 to gather various church choirs from all over. BPOCC will be featured to sing a few songs. The ultimate recognition for the ultimate Bukas Palad fans!

I am the flautist of this choir. Sad to say, I may not be able to play for reasons I have stated in previous blogs. Playing or not, I will be there to support them. Because they are my friends.

I will keep you posted when BPOCC sings in that future event.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
This day in history from:

Taking the cause of the oppressed

I had a lot of ideas on what to blog today. I could make a follow-up on my previous day's blog (particularly the "great" news on the National Power Corporation). I could have made an "appeal" to the greedy. Blogging about the "Seven Deadly Sins" even came to my mind. These may be great blogs in some future time but for today, I decided to blog about the title you see above.

This is a story of how my yesterday went. In the morning, I had a great hearing defending a client accused of pushing drugs. He was no pusher, he was just set-up for a "shake-down" by the people who picked him up. When he failed to come across, they promptly planted the evidence and charged him. My direct examination had no hitch.

The cross examination really showed the truth in my client's claims. The prosecutor utterly failed to break him and his story. Unlike the police officers the prosecutor presented before that are now on AWOL on some extortion charge. A witness who tells the "truth, the whole truth, and nothing but" can never be broken, even by the best lawyer. And that's what happened at the start of my day.

In the afternoon, I met a client whose spouse was killed by a reckless driver. Here, we faced a driver who refuses to take responsibility (as he has merely relied on the insurance and the generosity of his boss to pull him through this rap), and his boss who focused on getting his car out of the impound before he likewise took responsibility for the spouse his car killed. He even hired an expensive lawyer to take care of his car BEFORE he took care of his employee's victim.

What's up with that? And all the while, through the ordeal of the death and funeral of my client's spouse, this rich guy always implanted in them that this was an accident (no one's at fault) and the driver had six children to feed. Well for crying out loud! This was no accident, as the death occurred through the driver's control or his lack thereof and at least those six children still have a father that would eventually come home to them...

I honestly told my client that the chances of a monetary recovery were very small and we would be prosecuting on mere principle here. My client decided to press on...good person...

Out of that meeting came one of my best pleadings I have ever made, PURELY IN FILIPINO since we were still in the preliminary investigation stage. I have never found myself so eloquent and so clear in Filipino in my entire life...I even translated the jargon in Filipino...

I did not earn money today. But this was one day I was glad I'm a lawyer. Truly, to defend the defenseless and to attack for the oppressed are the things that make this profession great. And it does not have to be a celebrated or high-profile case. The exhilaration, I think, is the same.

Monday, April 25, 2005
This day in history from:

Something to start your week...

Here's to a good week!

Reports say twenty-five executives from the National Power Corporation (yes, you know, that company that incurred most of our national debt) paid themselves P119M in retirement benefits, THEN REHIRED themselves so they can continue to enjoy their six-figure salaries. The details can be found here.

Fantastic! Having the Filipino people's cake and eating it too! May you choke on it in the process, at the bare minimum.

In a country scrambling to come up with the money to pay soaring tuition fees, compounded by the collapse of two giant pre-need firms that used to pay for them, you people have no shame!

Sunday, April 24, 2005
This day in history from:

My flute's giving out!

Ahh, the Armstrong 104n. My current flute that's about to quit on me after all these years...

I started playing the flute in earnest during my college days. I started with a "no-name" chrome flute that I borrowed from my cousin. My reason to start was pretty lame. I wanted to try out for the ROTC band so I can get away with light duty.

I eventually did not try out for that marching band (since I decided to stick with the "regular" ROTC training). But my interest in the instrument developed. The instrument, however, did not have an interest in me. Could not make that darn flute play all the notes completely.

Then I attended law school...

Attending law school is like threading the edge of sanity. Unbelievable pressures. Unbelievable volume of daily reading materials. Unbelievable professors and graded recitations. Unbelievable examinations. People have to scramble for something to keep them from going insane. Then during my second year, a friend of mine bought an "el cheapo" flute just to have something else to do.

That flute taught me one thing...the reason why I could not completely play my old flute was because it was broken. It was not me, it was the flute. So since then, I borrowed this friend's flute to play for our make-shift choir every Saturday.

This choir, mind you, kept me from being insane. Then some months after that, my parents decided to buy me a "decent" flute for my birthday. They were guilty at that time, having spent a ton of money on my sister's wedding.

So we went to a music store and I was set to buy the same "el cheapo" brand like my friend's. But lo and behold! There was a second-hand Armstrong 104n for the same price. Of course, that was my choice and it played perfect! (I had the old flute repaired but I donated it to the law school choir I left behind...)

With this "new" flute (that has a name only a few people know about) comes memories of more than thirteen years. Of course, I played this during law school, during bar review, during pre-week (which was funny because the lower batch was supposed to play and pray for us then). That flute kept me from going crazy through my law school and bar years... I even serenaded an ex-girlfriend with it...with positive results...(but not what you think...)

I forgot about it when I practiced law and got married. You know...marital and law practice concerns, except for the occasional weddings of relatives (and funerals...). Then, I got the chance to join a choir and started playing again. I ditched that choir when my wife and I separated. But I loved that choir as it kept me sane through my turbulent marriage.

But, I quickly found three, count 'em, three choirs to replace it.

More than month ago, however, the flute pads gave out, making some notes unplayable (in embarrassing moments, nonetheless). Having no budget to have it repaired, I just bought new pads and attempted to install them myself.

That proved to be a disaster. I somehow managed to "loose thread" (translation: break a screw) on important valve, sending it on an irreversible path to oblivion. I may have to eventually send it for repairs but I guess it's irreparable. I can still play it, though it's tough.

Of course I will try to have it repaired, budget permitting. But repairs take a minimum of three weeks (costing as much as half the price of a new one) and I have weekly choir commitments. A flautist without a flute is obviously useless...Hence, I have to buy a new one sooner or later. Again, budget permitting, hence the drooling found in my sideblog...

Ahh that flute...So many memories. A friend of mine once commented that it was my wife (yes you read correctly, my wife). When my human wife has come and failed me and gone, my flute was still with me. But probably for not any longer...

Oh Jeez! I better stop this blog before I get utterly depressed... But if I buy a new one, I will not sell it. Of course, I'll have it repaired and give it to my kids, whoever wants to take it up.

Saturday, April 23, 2005
This day in history from:

Start of something great

Of course, I have to sprinkle some personal blogs in my little corner of the internet...

Well I finished my custody case yesterday. By agreement, I now have sole legal custody of my children. And this will be backed up by a court order shortly. In theory, no more guarding Bea at school. No more "red alert" status at home.

Of course, I had to allow visits. But only visits. And in between those, she cannot even approach us within 100 meters.

This is therefore the formal beginning of the rest of our lives. Of course, my soon-to-be-ex wife will still be part of my children's lives. But as I have said before, she is now in her proper place.

I can now watch my children dance The Choopeta and The Tsokolate in peace...

This is going to be great! Now for the start the formal beginning of the rest of my life...

I like to thank my lawyers and my father for being there yesterday. As I have said before, I could not handle this case myself. I could not have gone through it myself.

I have to cut this blog short because I promised Bea we would watch The Spongebob Squarepants Movie today. WHOOOOOOOOOOO lives in a pineapple under the sea...Absorbent and yellow and porous is he...

Just pray for us if you can.

Thursday, April 21, 2005
This day in history from:

Something's bothering me...

Ran into an old batchmate and friend from law school a few days ago. We haven't seen each other for a long time.

He asked me why I'm not a panelist anymore during thesis defense season in our law school. I told him simply no one's been calling me to duty.

Then he started telling me why...

It appears that our jobs as thesis panelists have been given to first year lawyers like a reward or a prize. These are young inexperienced lawyers fresh from passing the bar. He was not (or I am not) belittling their abilities, mind you. But he said these new panelists could not even express themselves, much less formulate questions to the thesis proponents. He even said to one of them in disgust, "Why don't you just ask your question in Filipino?"

That's a darn shame. No wonder our top-ten bar performance is low this year.

A theory came to my mind why these tyros have become unexpected panelists. The thesis proponents may have chosen these first year lawyers to ensure a high grade. These tyros are probably their friends (they may have been schoolmates at one time) and hence, will give a grade that will cancel out whatever bad grade the other two veteran (or faculty) panelist give them. Well, that's cheating in my book and they are only cheating themselves in the process.

I believe the reason why law school standards (even in my school) are diminishing is in-breeding. For me, a truly successful law school is a "part time" law school, where not all the faculty are full academicians. Most of the teachers (and even panelists), but not all, should be full-blooded practicing lawyers:

1. These part timers can easily relate their lessons to practical situations. This brings the lessons closer to home and the students can better visualize and grasp the subject at hand.

2. These people are sharp. To be good in this profession you have to practice (and I mean this both in the "let's practice speaking" and the "I have a good law practice" senses). As in any art or profession, you get better the more you practice. To paraphrase something I learned from one of my teachers (the one detained by the Senate for contempt...), "When you practice law you do not read books and study how to practice law. You get out, you practice, you fall down, and you get up again." Good advise not only to law students but also to would-be practitioners.

3. They also bring excitement to the law profession with their "adventures." This inspires the students to move forward and try to join our ranks.

4. These people teach because they want to teach. They want to contribute their share in the formation of good lawyers (besides the revenge factor, for all they've been through as law students, heheheh!). What these people earn from teaching is just enough gas money. That perspective give a different spin to how they impart knowledge to their students.

Of course I'm not belittling the pure academicians as they contribute to the law and its study in an immense way. But a law school should strike a good balance between full-time and part-time faculty.

And putting first year lawyers in thesis defense panels is utterly preposterous. But as my friend tells me, it's being done. There may come a time when the thesis proponent is more articulate than the panelist. And that would be a sad time, indeed.

This may be a sign for me to teach. Of course, I will not give up my practice. I will still keep my day job...


Wednesday, April 20, 2005
This day in history from:

Gloria Olivae

Picture from Wikipedia (copyright:Reuters)
Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum:
Habemus Papam!
Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum Iosephum,
Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Ratzinger,
qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedicti decimi sexti.

Which translates to: "I announce to you great joy: We have a Pope! The most Eminent and Reverend Lord, the Lord Joseph, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church Ratzinger, who takes to himself the name of Benedict the sixteenth." (From Wikipedia)

I think St. Malachy is still correct...

The new Pope's chosen name is Benedict XVI. An olivetan (Benedictine) name.

The last Pope who used the name Benedict, the 15th (Religio Depopulata) was a known peacemaker as he was in the thick of World War I. Thus, when our new Pope's "choice of the title Benedict XVI as intended to convey a promise of humanitarian diplomacy and a firm stance against modernism." (from Wikipedia)

I have to admit I did not like him as a candidate because I perceived him to be uttery serious. But when I saw him as Pope for the first time, I knew he was going to be a good pope. He smiled.

The Americans are up in arms. But personally, I don't believe that this kind of organization cannot be run like a democracy as the Americans are used to. This is not a marketing oriented organization. This is an organization led by the Holy Spirit through our clergy. Sure, they're human too but so are we. At this point we need someone to tell us what is right and wrong in the world where the line has been blurred. The Holy Spirit still guided the conclave to the true and correct choice.

Viva Il Papa!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
This day in history from:

Conclave spin

Ever since Pope John Paul II's funeral, I've switched coverages from CNN to EWTN.

On the one hand, CNN just gets some crappy, hesitating translator of the ceremonies. In EWTN, it's direct from Vatican TV with no less than Archibishop John Foley as the translator. CNN's coverage is like surgery undertaken with blunt instruments.

Then the conclave begun in earnest yesterday.

Of course we cannot blame any news organization at this point because it's just hungry for news. Even a mere chimney gets more attention these days than Michael Jackson.

What I don't like, however, is the spin CNN puts into these proceedings. From the coverage, CNN has reduced the problem of the Roman Catholic Church to that of marketing. It therefore puts forth the thesis that the next Pontiff should service the need of its faithful, its market. He should be a "marketing" oriented Pope.

I find this treatment utterly demeaning and degrading.

Mind you, I don't think the people in CNN are Catholics. The Church's problems cannot be reduced to marketing problems and the next Pontiff should not be dictated by these perceived problems. There are problems, yes. So we must discuss it. But the Church must not yield to the pressures of the world. For one, the prevailing world view has not proven itself any better that what it seeks to replace in the Church. Just look as the Terri Schiavo case. That's what happens when you do not factor God in a life or death decision.

I personally do not care if the Church reduced its numbers as long it has a "quality" faithful. A CNN-like perspective would translate lesser followers to lesser church revenues. That's why I don't like the path CNN is taking with the Church I belong to in the first place. And I know the Church will not allow this to happen in the first place.

Personally, I think the next Pope should be chosen by God and not dictated by the faithful. The Cardinals are merely there as the mounthpiece (or the hand of God). It is God, through the Cardinals who will choose the next Pope.

That's the very reason why the conclave is a secret process. So that influence peddlers like CNN will not put any spin on it. I feel this process will lead to a "pleasant surprise." There was no CNN in 1978 and we got a great Pope.

Well, at least im hoping and praying that this will be the case.


Monday, April 18, 2005
This day in history from:

My secrets in passing the bar...(Part 2.4)

Finally, the last installment in this bar series...

I may blog about what is known as "pre-week," the flurry of activities in September where bar reviewees see if they are good enough to have the "Atty." in front of their names.

5. Improving Handwriting

As I have blogged before, part of communicating your answer to the bar examiner is that he can read your handwriting. Mind you, you're handwriting need not be beautiful. Only legible. The strategy is the have your handwriting legible enough so that the examiner can even read your answer. Then in theory, the brilliance of your answer will be allowed to shine.

There have been comments that even improving your handwriting is merely common sense. Of course, your handwriting should be legible at the minimum. And they have a point. So why blog about it now?

Simple. The unbelievable pressures associated with taking the bar forces and examinee to a "default" or instinctive mode. Under this pressure, common sense get thrown out the window. Those who have took this exam know this.

Under this pressure, as I have said before, your brain shuts down and merely relies on its stock knowledge. If you do manage to think of an answer, you'll find that your hand tries very hard to catch up with your brain, in an instinctive effort to capture the train of thought quickly before it "fades away."

Some people react to this kind of pressure differently. Some people shine like diamonds when squeezed. Others explode.

Personally, that's what happens to me during exams. My hand wants to catch up to my brain. Since my handwriting is not legible to begin with, you can imagine my handwriting under pressure.

For those with a decent handwriting, the best advice it to print your answer instead of using script. I've seen script handwriting that is beautiful at first glance but illegible when one attempts to decipher it. Writing in print ensures legibility.

For those like me who have terrible handwriting aggravated under extreme pressure, there is this personal experience I will share.

The trick is to force you to remember writing in print and legibly under that extreme pressure, under that "default mode."

Hence, you have to find a writing instrument that forces you to do just that.

Enter the Rotring Calligraphy Art Pen.

This was the pen La Vida Lawyer and I used for the bar exams. This pen only dispenses ink in a certain direction. Hence, it forces you to write in a certain way even in default mode. Of course you'll need to practice with this pen for a considerable amount of time...

How effective was this for me?

That bar exams was the first and only time anyone complemented my handwriting. As in, one of the proctors actually remarked that I have very good handwriting and will surely pass. I'm pretty sure my friends will be laughing hard when they read this portion.

So these are my secrets in passing that darn exam. Of course this may not work for everyone so do take it with a grain of salt. I do hope you bar reviewees learned something from this blogging series. And I sincerely hope you pass the bar this year.

See you in court.

Sunday, April 17, 2005
This day in history from:

On a dangerous mission…(Intermission 3)

Well what do you know?

This is the first time this happened to me. I’m so drunk I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know how many bottles of light beer I drank in that birthday party (I never knew there was “draft San Mig Lite” until last night. So if it’s draft beer, it did not come in bottles.) They even had My Bro’s Mustache regular performers Bobby Mondejar and friends singing 70’s folk songs in this private party. I had a very good time.

Ever heard of the saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” That’s exactly what I did last night. Attended the birthday party of an alleged former "enemy," attended by even more "enemies" (friends of the “enemy”) to keep them closer. So they won’t get around to “killing” me or my friends.

Scaring you, am I? Naw, it’s just the beer talking.

Damn, that draft San Mig Lite beer tasted fantastic and I haven’t ate and drunk like than in a very long time. I don’t even remember how I got home. I think somebody drove me home. I think.

Well what do you know? I’m so drunk I’m blogging!

Well I’m probably just frustrated this week. Almost all of my “missions” were either emotionally taxing or frustrating failures. I was supposed to be in Naga to conduct a seminar on public bidding. Literally three steps from the house, however, I got a text from my organizer friend that it’s cancelled. Damn, I needed the money I could have earned from that seminar!

Before that, I was calling and texting another friend about our collections. All I got were missed calls and unanswered texts. The conclusion is obvious. There is no collection for the week. Damn, I need money for my daughter’s tuition which is fast approaching!

The only successful mission I had this week was not even for my benefit. Well, that’s not exactly true. It was not for my direct benefit.

But collection-wise, my week was a zero—nada—zilch. It was a bad week. But we’ll always have one of those weeks. That’s probably why I turned to attend an “enemy’s” birthday party because hanging around with my friends did not amount to anything. At least, I enjoyed my “enemy’s” abundant (and free) food and booze. At least that amounted to something.

With enemies like these, who needs friends? :)

So I’ll try to complete my handwriting secrets as soon as I recover from the hangover that is about to come…

Saturday, April 16, 2005
This day in history from:

My secrets in passing the bar… (Part 2.3)

Let’s deal with the solutions to the two other major factors why one fails the bar first before I tackle handwriting since these are short topics anyway…

3. Lose that Excess Baggage

Again, taking the bar exams demands your full attention. All your energies should be devoted to these four Sundays of September. The bar exams should be your only serious problem when you take it.

Any other concern should be secondary and should not be prioritized. If you have any other serious problem or concern at this time that could not be solved immediately (say, within this month), you should consider giving the bar exams a miss for this year.

Believe me, this advice has been foolproof. I have advised several people to take the bar next year given the baggage they were carrying. They all passed when they took it with a Zen-like attitude the year after. One of them, I advised to pass up a relatively “easy” bar exam given his personal family problems that year. Even the supposed “very hard” bar exam the year after did not stop him from becoming a lawyer when he took it without serious problems.

This is simple but prudent advice. Why go through with a physically, emotionally, intellectually, financially and psychologically taxing exam carrying excess or additional baggage when you can take it the next year without it? Why give yourself a handicap? Remember, the new “five strikes and you’re out” rule. Choose a year where you feel that you can give the bar exams your number one priority because this exam demands nothing less. Otherwise, the odds are already against you from the very start.

4. Determining Fate

Of course there is no solution if it is not destiny to become a lawyer.

The key here, however, is to determine if this is not your destiny early enough so you’ll not waste your life in a futile endeavor. This discernment is the key.

I have always encouraged people planning to take up law to go for it. It only takes four months (or a semester) to see if you’re destined to become a lawyer. Given the hell you’ll be putting yourself through, I feel the first semester is enough to know if lawyering is for you.

Like a highway to a destination, I know there would be signs that say you’re destined to become a lawyer. Let me tell you a personal experience as an example…

The results of my first ever mid-term exams in law school were horrible. I was getting very low grades (failing ones, at that), in levels I am utterly not used to. Mind you, I never failed in high school or college. Suddenly, I was getting grades in the 60s, in the major subjects at that.

I told myself, if I fail this last major mid-term, I will file a leave of absence from the school to take a year and sort things out. I already discussed this with my parents and they were supportive. When I got my exam results, I got a 74 (passing was 75). Ooohhhh… by one point...

So I took that as a sign and calmly walked to the administration office to file my leave. While browsing the test paper, I noticed that I got zero in one question where I was correct.

The professor in that subject was a terror and rarely granted corrections, even if correct. But since I had nothing to lose anyway, I decided to approach him.

Not only did this teacher miraculously correct my grade, he even apologized to me citing his old age (he was approaching his nineties at that time). In short, from a 74, my grade was adjusted to 84!

From that time on, I know it was my destiny to become a lawyer. Even with utterly horrendous handwriting.

Which gives a good segue to tackle the handwriting problem…next blog

Friday, April 15, 2005
This day in history from:

My secrets in passing the bar... (Part 2.2)

This should be subtitled:

2. Better English

Think about it. An examiner has the power to change your life. What does he have to evaluate you, to make sure you are worthy?

He has not met you, or if he has, he supposedly does not know it. What is the only thing he has to judge your worthiness to join our ranks?

Your answer.

It’s one thing if you’re answer is correct. But if you do not communicate yours correctly, the answer will come across wrong, the examiner will be so pissed of that he will not let you become a lawyer, even if your answer is correct.

Hence, the need to better your English. I will not lecture you on high school or college English since we suppose you know that already. I will just blog about “bar English.”

Just a few things to remember on grammar and style:


b) There must be consistency in tenses within the paragraph.

c) Omit needless words.

d) Consistency/Unity in thought.

e) Prefer Active than Passive voice

You may have heard of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Read it. It’s only a short book.

The basic bar answer has three parts: 1) The categorical answer, 2) The reasoning and 3) The conclusion (or reiteration). Theoretically, therefore, a bar answer can be as little as a three-sentence paragraph. Of course, if the question is objective, just recite the law, concept or principle being asked. This formula is irrelevant for rote-memory recitations.

Given the amount of test notebooks an examiner has to check, you’ll also be doing him a favor if your answer is as short as possible. Face it. It’s either you know the answer or you don't. There is no sense in hiding it. Just make an educated guess.

Who knows? You may have a point if eloquently presented. Maybe one point. But there are other questions there that you may know the answer to. Maybe that answer you don’t know is worth only five points. There are 95 other points up for grabs. Or than one point the examiner gave you for good communication skills may be the difference between passing and failing.

a) The categorical answer

This is usually the “Yes” or the “No” part of your bar answer. Just make sure that you answer what is asked. A non-responsive answer is a dead-giveaway that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. And that will certainly not help to convince the examiner you’re worthy to practice law.

b) The Reasoning

For this part, explain how you arrived at your categorical answer. Here, cite the law or other legal authority to back up your answer.

Be as short as possible here.

c) The Reiteration or Conclusion

This portion wraps your answer up. This may be optional but it helps both you and the examiner cement the thought in both your minds. For you, it’s an opportunity to review whether you arrived at your categorical answer correctly. For the examiner, it’s an opportunity to review that path you took to arrive at your answer.

I’ve heard stories of bar examinees putting prayers or personal appeals addressed to the examiner in their exam notebooks. But you know that’s an appeal to pity (argumentum ad misericordiam). This is not a valid argument in your cause to become a lawyer.

Your examiner knows this and will automatically convince him/her otherwise. So don’t bother attempting this. That's really not a good idea. I think leaving it blank is better than pulling a stunt like this.

Finally, as in anything, you improve as you practice. There are only a few natural born writers, like La Vida Lawyer who could have gone for a career as such. For most of us, we have to work at it. Believe me, by finishing your degree, you've read enough materials to distinguish good writing from the bad. That way, you'll know how your writing matches up.

It's a good thing there's blogging now. You have the opportunity to practice writing. We did not have this when we took the bar. We could have used this kind of practice.

Until next time…

Thursday, April 14, 2005
This day in history from:

My secrets in passing the bar...(Part 2.1)

At last! Part 2.1 of my "bar passing" secrets! I think I have recovered enough (thanks to the "Filipino-Chinese Names" Joke in The Dubai Chronicles) to write this blog...

The most logical way to tackle the possible solutions to passing the bar is the match it with part 1. So here goes...

1. To lack of stock (or stack knowledge...can someone at least tag me what is the correct term?)

To some, this is a question of raw talent or ability. Some people have photographic memories. To others, it is a question of determination.

Since there are only a few people with such memory prowess, I have to push for determination. So how do you do it?

Simple. Treat your whole law school years as one big review. You know your abilities and take extra efforts to "savor" each case, each provision of law your teacher assigns. When the teacher assigns five sections, study ten. Then go back to the five assigned. Same goes for those in review. Extra effort.

You may be saying, "I don't have the time," and/or "I don't want to do the extra effort in school." Then, I will say to you, "It's time to question your determination to become a lawyer." If you don't have time, make time.

Sometimes, it helps to write notes while studying, or even copy in your notes important phrases or provisions. The act of copying such provisions makes sure that such have "passed through" or "processed by" the brain. And once processed, it's already there, hence contributing to your stock knowledge.

Now this portion will be very harmful to marker or dermatograph manufacturers. I suggest you discard that completely. During my review, I just read the books without marking them.

This may be very hard to do but consider the following:

a. Marking takes time. Sure it takes merely seconds to mark. But consider if you add all those seconds how many hours would you save in a six-month period? You could have used that for sleep. You could have used this period to improve your handwriting. You could have used this extra time to deal with your excess baggage. See what I mean?

Try reading some speed reading books, they'll often advise you to trash marking...

b. Marking is useless. If you mark like all of us, you'll notice that you need to mark all of them. Hence, your marking will just be reduced to the simple mechanical task of CHANGING THE COLOR OF THE PAGE. One of my professors (who I owe so much) once remarked: "You better just mark the ones that are NOT important."

So if you're going to mark them all, why mark at all? (That's sounds so much like the late Johnny Cochran...If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit...)

c. Marking is a mere psychological crutch. It's a safety blanket. It's just something to show yourself and the whole world (or at least your world) that you read the book or the case. But through it all, marking just reduces you to a mechanical act without the intellectual act of "savoring" what you read. So you marked it. That does not mean you even read it at all. Or even understood it. It didn't even go through your brain. No processing, no stock knowledge.

d. Marking is extra expense. Need I say more? The could have gone to additional xeroxed review materials. Or extra food. An additional movie. An iPod perhaps? (That would be A LOT of markers...)

Trust me. Let go of that marking habit and you'll be better for it.
Next blog...Improving your English. (I'm sleepy already...)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
This day in history from:

On a personal mission... (Intermission 2)

Today was especially tough because I had to deal with a personal case.

No matter how good the lawyer is, he should not handle his own case. Especially if it involves his children. In this regard, I always compare lawyers to barbers. Barbers never cut their own hair.

(A side joke: In a barbershop with two barbers, how do you spot the good one? He's the one with the bad haircut...)

That is why this day was particularly a bad one. I had to deal with my soon-to-be-ex-wife today. Since I only asked my lawyer friends to appear during trial in my custody case, I had to prepare the pleadings myself.

Spent most of the morning making my pre-trial brief. That entails a summary of facts which means I had to relive my harrowing experiences with my her again. Then there was this matter of furnishing a copy to her personally since she has no lawyer and I don't have a messenger.

I texted her where I can give her the copy. After some prayers, I decided to offer her a take-it-or-leave-it deal: Once a month visitation rights to my children. IF they want to see her. Hesitating for two seconds, she agreed.

Then I spend the rest of the day drafting the compromise agreement...

Handling a personal case is a double blow. I'm physically exhausted from the exercise because it is indeed physically taxing. The emotional strain is the second blow. Add to that my discovery that after two years apart, my wife has not changed a single bit. She even thinks she won in this deal. Stupid.

I just offered this for our peace of mind. So we can move on with our lives. Sure, she'll always be the mother of her children. But with this deal she is put in her proper place...the sidelines. She'll never be worthy to chart the course of my children's lives. And I'll see that she doesn't.

Hence, the part two of my secret in passing the bar has to be postponed for now. Had to put this out first.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005
This day in history from:

On an important mission... (intermission)

Spent more than half a working day with La Vida Lawyer on an important mission--to get paid.

While on our way to our client, we discussed my previous log and how the next part should go. He suggested that I post samples of my handwriting now and my "bar handwriting." A good idea, but unfortunately, I could not find anymore samples of my "miraculous" handwriting and could not find the means of replicating it.

But please forgive me for now for this short post. We split up at around 6:00 p.m. for separate appointments. We're beat and I know he still has another client to meet. Poor guy. That's because he has twice the responsibilities. But compared to his former law office, the hours he keeps now is a vacation. He has more time now for his family...precisely the reason why I went solo two years ahead of him.

By the way, we got paid. YEHEY!!!! Thank you JABEZ...

Monday, April 11, 2005
This day in history from:

My secrets in passing the bar... (Part I)

The blog title needs no further elaboration. And I have a feeling this will be my most read blog to date. (I hope this prophesy is true because if it's not, it will be utterly embarrassing.)

Not meaning to engage in "bench lifting" (translation: pagbubuhat ng bangko), I took the bar only once. Some people will be green with envy at this point. I took that darn exam 10 years ago with La Vida Lawyer as my board mate, i.e., we rented a condominium unit near our school during the review for the 1995 bar exams. Hence, these "secrets" are probably common to both our experiences. (Note: He also took the bar only I'm lifting his bench!)

First, let me spell out the main causes flunking the bar exams (the way it's set up right now):

1. Lack of stock (or is it stack?) knowledge

Trust me. There is absolutely no way one can go over the entire coverage of the bar exams in a measly six months. During that exam, you would therefore rely on stuff you already know or have learned through your law school. When push comes to shove, our basic instincts take over. The rest of the stuff you try to stuff in your brain gets discarded. Hence, you should have enough content in the head of yours in the first place.

2. Terrible English

Getting a passing grade entails getting good answers in that exam notebook. And to have a good answer is a function of two things: (a) content and (b) form. Good content basically means you got the answer Correct! (In a Kris Aquino accent...) The factor above mainly deals with good content.

Good form means you communicated your correct! answer fairly well to the examiner.

Hence, a bad answer means you: (a) got the answer wrong [bad content], (b) totally botched up in communicating your answer to the examiner [bad form] or (c) both.

Therefore, the more bad things as to content and form you put in that notebook of yours, the lesser your chances in having "Atty." placed in front of your name. Conversely, the more good things you put in that notebook, the closer you are to your dream. (A side note: Who says becoming a lawyer is a dream come true? Freddy Kruger?)

3. Terrible Handwriting

This was my most basic problem going into my bar exams.

This factor may be a subset of good form but it's so important I have discuss this in a separate section.

All my school years, I have been cursed with, as my friends say, hieroglyphic handwriting. I have my yearbooks to prove this. I even have teachers telling me to improve it, otherwise, consider a career in high-speed sewing or vulcanizing.

Even now, when people see my handwriting they always say: "OMFG! How on earth did this bozo pass with this kind of handwriting?"

The handwriting need not be beautiful. Only legible.

Why is this a factor?

Consider that a bar examiner must check from 3,000 to 5,000 test papers in about six months. That's about 500 to less than 1,000 test papers a month, 25 to 50 a day given a 20-day working month. Add to that, the examiners must endure a myriad of wrong answers, in bad grammar and/or in poorly organized thought.

Just imagine if you add to the mix bad handwriting...

4. Excess Baggage

Taking the bar exams demands your full attention. I repeat. Your full attention. There should be no extraneous distractions and undue pressures when taking this exam.

What are the typical distractions? Personal problems, family problems, financial problems, relationship problems. You get it.

I'm not necessarily saying you have to get rid of these problems because they are unavoidable. I'm just saying not to think about these things for a while. I mean someone else has to think of these problems for you while you are in review and while you are taking the exams. You should not be carrying excess baggage come September.

In my case, it was a love problem. The solution? We cooled off for a while to allow me to focus...

5. Fate

When all else cannot explain it, it all boils down to fate. It is not your destiny to become a lawyer.

For the solutions, tune in next time for Part II. You will even know how I surpassed my "handwriting" handicap...

My eyes are starting to hurt and my head is begining to throb...

Later... :)

Trashing the bar exams...

Major Tom made an excellent blog on the issue of abolishing the bar exams.

At first, my reaction to this was a selfish one. What? After all the I've been through to pass that darn exam, they want to abolish it.

To that blog, I made the following comments:

1. That vocal lady of the Senate may have some personal agenda when she made her comments. Remember her son failed to get through the law school system and even the game of life itself by putting a bullet through his head.

2. While it is true that passing the bar is 50% luck, that luck may be intepreted at Divine Providence (I can't say will of God for ecumenical reasons) so I think there is some reason for these passers to be called rightly lawyers. You can never underestimate what these "young ones" went through to get this far. Believe me, they truly and justly deserve the title conferred upon them.

3. The way the legal system here is set up, anyone can practice law in the Philippines, if you know how. The only difference is, an underbar cannot appear in courts. With that case of Cayateno vs. Monsod, the definition of "practice of law" has been swung open to include just about anything. We ofter hear of "fake" lawyers going about fooling people. The last case I heard about was that of a former Court of Appeals employee. He did not even go through law school. And yet, by being around lawyers he somehow managed to fake it and probably made more than I do (because I still factor emotions when I charge, heheheheh). But I think, apart from estafa, the penalty for illegal practice of law is a little more than a slap on the wrist.

4. For these reasons, I am more inclined for those in the bar to policing their ranks more strictly or increasing penalties for illegal practice than tinkering with tradition or even thinking of money-making schemes like conducting useless continuing legal education seminars.
To add, if the main complaint against the bar is that it has be come a test of rote memory, then change it. The exam is essay type and presumably, as essay-type exam should not be limited to merely a recitation of the law.

What oral exam? Barring the logistical nightmare this will entail, I think this will be a better test of a candidate's worthiness to become a lawyer. Given my relatively short stint as a lawyer, even I can spot a rotten lawyer-candidate kilometers away. Takes one to know one. Heheheheh!

Well one thing is for sure. There has to be some changes. Let the debates begin!


Sunday, April 10, 2005
This day in history from:

Royal Weeding...

Just a few short comments on the Charles Mountbatten-Camila Parker Bowles wedding:

1. My favorite joke about the event is one delivered by Jay Leno in The Tonight Show way before this wedding. He said the royal family plan to release a commemorative video of the royal wedding, including the marriage ceremony and portions of the honeymoon under the title Seabiscuit 2...

2. Again another Jay Leno joke about the event. Now that that wedding is over, the British people are now trying desperately hard NOT to imagine the royal couple having sex...

3. Now I know why Elizabeth II doesn't want to abdicate. I think she wants to abdicate the throne directly to Prince William. She may be thinking, "WHAT? And give this country to this bozo and his horse?"

Well each country has its own problems. At least GB has a happy problem...

A chance to play

Finally, a day at home...

Since this was a Saturday, I played for the choir for the anticipated mass. It was a chance to play and offer it for the Holy Father. Hence, I specifically requested we play two songs for this mass. The first was Be Not Afraid by Bob Dufford and the second, Tell the World of His Love by Katrina Belamide.

These songs have special significance insofar as the Filipino's connection with John Paul II is concerned. The first song speaks of a favorite saying of the Holy Father. It even speaks of his life, his lack of fear. The second was the official song of the 1995 World Youth Day where the Pope visited the country.

Cardinal Ratzinger said in his homily of the Pope's funeral mass said that the Pope interprets his priesthood "with particular reference to three sayings of the Lord. First: "You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last" (John 15:16). The second saying is: "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (John 10:11). And then: "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love" (John 15:9). In these three sayings we see the heart and soul of our Holy Father."

These are saying that could likewise define a good life. I'll try to remember these words.

Hey! Please stop me! I'm waxing religious and a religious lawyer is oxymoronic. Also, I already said back to regular programming...

Anyway, I stayed out of the house a little late because a friend of mine needed some advise. I told this friend not be pressured by anything and anyone into a life-changing situation. This is likewise generic good advise for all of you out there.

Finally, a few pointed questions (more like cross examination...) through text confirms that my wife has not changed her ways. Still untruthful to the end.

Again, that's me a lawyer to the last...could not escape it even on a rest day...


Saturday, April 09, 2005
This day in history from:

Things I want to tell new lawyers

Well the bar results are out. This is the time of the year that the Supreme Court's website gets congested beyond belief. Good luck trying to download the list. I think you will get the complete results faster if you went to the Supreme Court personally instead of downloading it from their website.

To those who passed, congratulations. I know what you all went through to get this far and passing the bar, according to a former boss, is "better than sex."

Some others would say, to quote a famous Carpenters song for weddings, "[You've] only just begun..."


The release of the 2004 bar results provides the perfect backdrop for me to blog about the things I want to tell new lawyers. There may be some similarities with my previous list on things I want to tell older lawyers. That's because we lawyers are all the same...

1. Never rest on your laurels for you are only as good as your last draft.

2. Bar grades or ranking does not equal ability.

3. We know something you don't. We know how to win.

4. Read Sun Tzu's Ancient Art of War.

5. You don't know what we're trying to pull.

6. Your gadgets cannot save you from your stupidity.

7. Arrogance begets more arrogance. (Or "Disrespect will get you crushed.")

8. Do exactly what your boss tells you.

9. Subject-verb agreement.

10. Your new leather briefcase gives you away. (or "We go to court only with our planners and our case files.")

Thursday, April 07, 2005
This day in history from:


I have been on the road for most of this week and I did the my own driving for the most part. Given the traffic, it has proven to be a most tiring experience. I knew how to drive since I was 12 and according to my license, I would have been driving for 18 years. Now it no longer excites me...unless it's a new car, of course. But I have grown weary and tired of it.

Add to that a hearing and a 6-hour meeting and a lot of phone calls, I was drained.

So what did I do to relax when I got home yesterday? Played a PS2 game I just bought while killing time at some mall.

Guess what game it is? Gran Turismo 4...a driving simulator.

Heheheheh! That one light beer I drank last night must have really gone up to my brain...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005
This day in history from:

But life goes on...

Well even if John Paul II has left us, let's pray that those he left behind (I'm sure he handpicked almost all the cardinals that will be voting given his long pontificate...) will elect a worthy successor. We are like orphans right now... Fatherless until a new Pope is elected.

While politics is always a factor in any human organization, including the Roman Catholic Church, let's hope that the Holy Spirit guide the cardinal electors to choosing the right one for us...

Back to regular programming...

Anyway, have you ever had the experience of enduring a painfully long line in an ATM only to find out that either the money is not there yet, or the person before you was the last before the ATM goes offline?

Well, something similar happened to me yesterday. Had a hearing is Cabanatuan City yesterday (for those who are not familiar, it's a minimum 2.5 hours drive from Manila). We drove for about 2.5 hours yesterday only to find out that the judge was absent... Then we had to travel for another 2.5 hours to go back...

What a waste of time! The only good there is I still get paid anyway...

I could have finished my seminar on government bidding that we are going to conduct this month. Probably my contribution to stop corruption in this country. In this seminar we will teach them how to get a government contract the RIGHT WAY.

I have to go so I can finish my powerpoint presentation...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
This day in history from:

Fears for the future...

Good grief!

Not only do I have to fear the future for my family, I feel a certain trepidation for the future of mankind.

The previous blog was written before the Pope John Paul II died. When he did, the wheels were set in motion for the transition period.

The first indication is the quick and comprehensive update of the website. The front page quickly read "Apostolica Sedes Vacans" which I surmise to mean "Vacancy of the Apostolic See." Words like interregnum and conclave continue to blare from the television. The Vatican spokesman, after announcing the Holy Father's death, quickly followed by stating the wheels are in motion.

I have to admit, I started reading on papal succession when the Holy Father's condition worsened some few odd months ago. I have already read the procedure for succession, the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis that was laid down last 1996.

I even researched on what happens when a pope dies and I knew that tapping the head with a small silver hammer thingy. I don't know what was with me then. I think I got interested in this so I would not suffer bandwidth problems today (as you may be experiencing now...)

I fear for the future, especially St. Malachy's papal predictions. People have referred to De Labore Solis (from the labor of the sun) as John Paul II due to the fact that he was born under a solar eclipse. Other say that he was born where Copernicus "labored" to prove that the earth revolves around the sun. Still others say that because of his devotion to the Virgin May, he is the fruit of the intercession of the Woman Clothed with the Sun referred to in Revelations 12.

If indeed, John Paul II is De Labore Solis, there will be two more before the Final Judgment...

St. Malachy referred to the next one as De Gloria Olivae (from the Glory of the Olive). Some have interpretted this to mean that the next pope shall come from the Benedictine Order (since the Benedictines as also known as the Olivetans). Some say that the next pope will bring unprecedented (glorious) peace (since the olive is the symbol of peace.)

The final one is the most disturbing. He is Petrus Romanus (Peter the Roman) who, "[i]n extreme persecution, xxx will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End."


If this is true the time frame will probably have a maximum of about 50 years (assuming the two next popes will have the same tenure as John Paul II). And given this, Peter the Roman has already been born, I think.

Sunday, April 03, 2005
This day in history from:

A short prayer for the Holy Father, His Holiness John Paul II

May Christ, and St. Peter open the Holy Gates of Heaven and welcome you in their loving arms. May all in heaven welcome you with a welcome you truly deserve.

Good Shepherd, you have touched us all. Please pray for us as you arrive in paradise.

De Labore Solis. Your mission is accomplished and into His hands, we commend your spirit.


Saturday, April 02, 2005
This day in history from:

Just some short news...

Well Terri Schiavo is dead. And Pope John Paul II's condition is "grave." (Let's pardon their pun.)

Let's pray for both of them. For Terri that her death was peaceful (as it was most certainly inhumane) and may she find the peace she did not get in this world. For the Holy Father that he recover. Or that if he dies, that he die peacefully and in the comfort of the loving hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I will blog about these two topics in more detail later on. I just fear St. Malachy's prophecy that the next pope is the second to the last one. See more of St. Malachy's papal prophecy here.

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Side Prayers

Lord Jesus,
Teach me to be generous,
Teach me to serve You as You deserve
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labor and not to ask for reward,
except that of knowing
That I do Your Holy Will. Amen

May every word I speak be from Your Truth...
I ask come from Your Wisdom...
May every case I handle receive Your Guidance...
May every heart, every life I touch, feel Your Love.

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,
"Oh, that You would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Your Hand be with me,
that You would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain."

So God granted him what he requested.

Side Oath

The Lawyer's Oath
I do solemnly swear that
I will maintain allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines,
I will support its Constitution
and obey the laws as well as
the legal orders of the
duly constituted authorities therein;
I will do no falsehood,
nor consent to the doing of any in court;
I will not wittingly or willingly
promote or sue any groundless,
false or unlawful suit,
nor give aid nor consent to the same;
I will delay no man for money or malice,
and will conduct myself as a lawyer
according to the best of my knowledge
and discretion with all good fidelity
as well to the courts as to my clients;
and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation
without any mental reservation
or purpose of evasion.
So help me God.

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