Friday, February 29, 2008
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After recovering from that slightly traumatic traffic accident I had last Tuesday, we find ourselves swamped with a lot of work, with a lot of crucial stages of our various cases, all at the same time.

On the one hand, I relish these moments as it shows that the practice is doing quite well. And with more hands in the office, we have exponentially expanded our capabilities to serve our clients.

And with that expectedly comes more rewards.

On the national front, a lot of crucial things are set to happen today. In my opinion, the tipping point may be reached if that Spratley issue blows wide open. But that's just me.

Likewise, I find myself in a dilemma regarding my government consultancy. While I believe in my boss personally and his ideals for the constituents we serve, I have so far separated myself from the politics he has to play.

I know he has to tow the administration line. But I also know him as a person who will not let injustice slide by. And by his principles, he should have left by now, with me in it. But he continues to stay with blind loyalty.

And this is my dilemma. I'm finding myself sickened by what is happening and his blind loyalty. But I could not just leave him, for he will be at the mercy of his own detractors in the office.

I know at a certain point I will leave this consultancy because I'm only there because of my boss. But I'm beginning to think I may leave before he does. And I really don't want to do that...

So these days will be crucial for me on a personal, professional level as well.

Hope this plays out all for the best.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
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Dramatic turn

Something not good happened to me yesterday.

I have no one to blame but myself though because I did not know my limits.

Basically, I fell asleep at the wheel and in a slit second, I hit a motorcycle and the driver fell hard on EDSA yesterday morning.

The good thing is we are all alright and except for some dents on the new car and a busted tire, we came out of that traumatic incident relatively okay.

But I was so traumatized that I called it a day early after the hearing I was going to when that happened. Worse of all, that hearing was postponed because the judge was promoted to the Supreme Court.

Anyway, I'm just looking at the bright side of this incident.

But it took all the will-power I had to drive and go to work today.

Probably, I need a driver again. I'm not who I used to be. Getting old already.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
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I did not know how our countrymen celebrated the supposed day of unity yesterday, but our firm celebrated and relished it in our own small way yesterday.

We started yesterday with an early morning breakfast to discuss a major project, the first major project of our newly reorganized firm. The prospect for this project, and those in the offing, are very good and very promising. And we are grateful for these prospects and they brought in me an excitement I have not felt since I discovered The Secret.

That's a good sign.

Then, in a bonding and unifying activity, we (four of the five partners, at least) decided to do the rounds of gadget-paradise Greenhills. One of us bought a lot of stuff. I, on the other hand, got a good deal on a copy of Devil May Cry 4 (for a cheaper price and without the waiting time with my regular supplier) and a new hard case for my E90.

Then it was off to another family dinner at my sister's house where my kids were finally reunited with their cousins. They did not see each other for about two weeks due to Bea's bout with the chickenpox, if you may recall.

All in all, it was a very good day. I expect these good events will dictate the mood for the rest of the week.

Sunday, February 24, 2008
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Except for a chore this late afternoon (picking up my godmother and her daughter at a Manila hotel), this was pretty much a restive Sunday.

Basically, I just explored my new phone and rested for today.

But tomorrow is a different matter. While the country takes a holiday to commemorate a historic event, we will be working early morning tomorrow.

It will be a meeting to discuss the first major project of our law firm. And personally, I think we need this meeting so everything will go well for everyone.

The place and the breakfast will be something to look forward to. But I just hope it will not go downhill from there tomorrow.

By the way, Bea's cleared to go back to school but she has a lot of catching up to do. Choir went well yesterday, even without our veteran violinist. And I'm totally loving my new E90 Communicator.

Here's to a historic week for us all.

Saturday, February 23, 2008
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Moving on up

After about two years, I finally get to change my main phone.

So now, I'm moving on up from a Nokia 9500 to its logical upgrade: a Nokia E90 Communicator.

Don't get me wrong. I love my old phone. It's one of the first phones with WiFi built in. And it has been very handy in giving me internet connectivity, through GPRS and Bluetooth, when I needed it.

But this phone is not 3G, unlike my new phone. And while my other phone, a Nokia N80 also has WiFi and 3G, its service provider is Globe, which charges by the kilobyte. I was unable to take advantage of Smart's 3G that charges for time. And with a 3G connection, it will have an even better bang for the proverbial buck.

So I have just finished my transition from my old phone to this new baby. My dad will be the lucky recipient of my still-reliable phone.

But I have to rest already because I have to take Bea to the doctor tomorrow for her medical clearance to go back to school.

But I haven't tested the other features just yet...

Anyway... I'll tinker with the phone for a little while longer...

Thursday, February 21, 2008
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Life Goes On

Work will save us all.

It will save us from poverty and financial constraints.

It will also save us from feeling depressed.

So that's what I did these past few days.

I worked.

Seems to have solved a lot of things.

So far...

And of course, there's my duties as a father and a son to attend to. That also keeps me busy.

And solved my problems.

So far...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
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Cheer me up again, please!

We buried (or more accurately, interred) my friend's remains today.

It was a poignant sight. People trying to be strong and failing miserably at it.

That's all I want to say about that for now.

So I really needed cheering up today.

But two things did.

First, my godmother, who we picked up last Sunday from Houston of all places, gave me and my Dad an iPod Nano each. She gave me an 8Gb and my Dad a 4Gb. But technically, I have control of these two babies because I'll be in charge of putting content on them.

Second, a new HappySlip video:

I hope I can get tips from them on how to be happy during these times...

Monday, February 18, 2008
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Bittersweet... Part Trois

These words remind me of my current mood. But not exactly.

You may remember this from the eulogy in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" quoting W. H. Auden:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Here's why. This is a message I sent to a friend abroad inquiring about how she died:

I'll give you the short version.

She was fighting leukemia for about 16 months. It went on remission about a year ago but came back (with a vengeance) sometime before November last year. She flew out to Houston at that time and was supposed to undergo a bone marrow transplant but according to reports, she went into cardiac arrest on the CT scan machine while being prepared for surgery.

She fought the brave fight and I personally think that the Lord, in his infinite mercy, already spared her from further pain of a transplant (which I think has no anesthesia) and further chemotherapy.

Her ashes are still being viewed until tonight. She will be interred tomorrow after the 9:00 a.m. mass (Philippine time).

I personally was not there as I knew all about these only last year. She did not tell me what happened to her until the last time we talked long sometime in August last year.

May she rest in peace.

You can pass this to people we know.

Bittersweet... Part Deux...

Just arrived from twin "errands."

I went again to my friend's wake for the mass sponsored by our college batch. Unfortunately, my guitarist/batchmate did not show up and I was unable to play during the mass. I may not have the chance to play for her again. That's bitter.

But a lot of batchmates both from law school and college showed up and we had a chance to renew ties and relive memories. That was sweet.

I stayed there for about five hours. Then, I had to pick up my godmother in the airport. We could not have her (and her daughter) stay in our house because of Bea's chickenpox so they will stay at my sister's house instead.

Now, I'm a little torn between trying to sleep and starting work. I'll try the first one out. I have a lot of things in my head, lately. So if that will not allow me to sleep, I'll try to catch up on work instead.

I hope this week will be a good one... and I hope yours will be, too.

Saturday, February 16, 2008
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The day started with a good practice session with my other choir (the one that sings at the EDSA Shrine).

Met new people. Young people. Feeling old already.

Then over to my friend's wake. It was a bittersweet sight.

Only her ashes remained but the place was festooned with a lot of her stuff. Her lipsticks. Her books. Her clothes. Her handbag. Her shoes.

Apparently, I was one of the first to arrive today and I was greeted by her mother. She did not remember me at first. But when I said my name, it all came back to her.

From her mother's stories, I now know she succumbed to cardiac arrest when she was being prepared for her bone marrow transplant.

At that point, I thought God was merciful and kind. The pain from that kind of surgery supposedly cannot be dulled be anesthesia. He spared her from the pain and suffering of surgery and recovery. He took her right there and there in a great act of compassion and mercy.

Then, her father arrived. Unlike her mother, who I don't see often, I worked for her father for a few years. I think he was genuinely glad to see me there. We talked for a while and asked me how I was doing. And I expressed my sincerest sympathies to him, as he was also like a father to me.

Then before the mood descended any further, a few of our friends arrived. It snatched me from my depressed mood and cheered my up a little because I have not seen for a long time, especially that other congressman's daughter whom my other friends mistaken as the one who died.

Anyway, I'm back in the house and I'm gearing up for the next choir practice here in a few hours.

I'm thinking of going back there tonight. More updates later.

Friday, February 15, 2008
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A long day

The post-Valentine day for me was a very long one.

It started at 7:00 a.m. with a partner's meeting. Then on to the office for another meeting.

Then, a lunch meeting with a major client. The another meeting with another client afterwards, in the afternoon.

Since there was a huge traffic mess because of the anticipated events of this day, we decided to wait it out in the upscale mall where we had our last two meetings.

Wandered around looking for something to buy.

Had a fantastic dinner of lobster, chicken and pork.

Then wandered around some more.

I found something to buy. Two Blu-ray discs (of Rent and and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) and a new DualShock 3 controller for the PS3.

Wandered around some more.

Now testing the controller and the movie discs...

Watching the extra features of "Rent." Will test the Final Fantasy disc a little later.

Winding down this long day.

Tomorrow is another long day. Choir practice perhaps early morning then off to a wake after that.

Choir again in the afternoon and probably back to the wake in the evening.

Sunday will be more of the same. But I have some work to do.

But next week, the flute fund will be enlarged. Perhaps the budget may be reached.

Excited but tired at the same time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008
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Happy Hearts Day!

I think I posted this before. But hey, it's Valentines Day!

Dedicated to the two women in my life: my mom and Bea, of course...

Love Moves In Mysterious Ways
(as performed by Nina)

Who'd have thought
This is how the pieces fit?
You and I
Shouldn't even try making sense of it

I forgot
How we ever came this far
I believe we had reasons
but I don't know what they are
So blame it on my heart, oh

Love moves in mysterious ways
It's always so surprising
When love appears over the horizon
I'll love you for the rest of my days
But still, it's a mystery
How you ever came to me
Which only proves
Love moves in mysterious ways

Heaven knows
Love is just a chance we take
We make plans
But then love demands a leap of faith

So hold me close
And never let me go
'Cause even though we think we know
which way the river flows
That's not the way love goes, no

Love moves in mysterious ways
It's always so surprising
When love appears over the horizon
I'll love you for the rest of my days
But still, it's a mystery
How you ever came to me
Which only proves
Love moves in mysterious ways

Like the ticking of the clock
two hearts beat as one
But I'll never understand
the ways it's done

Love moves in mysterious ways
It's always so surprising
When love appears over the horizon
I'll love you for the rest of my days
But still, it's a mystery
How you ever came to me
Which only proves
Love moves in mysterious ways
Love moves in mysterious ways

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This day in history from:

Attending Father

Bea's down with chicken pox.

But fortunately, I had her vaccinated for it when she was younger. I thought that rendered her immune. But now I know she can still get it, but it will only be in a very mild form that would not last a week.

I remember when I got that disease in full force. There was no vaccine at the time and the timing was perfect. I got it when I was reviewing for the bar exams.

Anyway, at least Bea (or Nico for that matter, since he's also vaccinated) will not suffer as much as I did if (or when) they get it.

So for now, it's SOHO duties for me. It does not matter as much because the wonders of technology will allow me to work from the house. And I have some things to do, as a matter of fact. If needed, I can make a quick stop to the office but I can't be out of the house for my normal long time.

So if you'll excuse me, I have to play father right now and attend to Bea... Of course, Nico would want the same attention, too.

If only I could clone myself, I'd make three copies. One for work, one for Bea, one for Nico and one for play...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
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Yesterday did not start out well.

Multiple delays in our hearing preparations made us almost arrive at a crucial hearing late. We arrived with barely minutes to spare.

It's a good thing that both respondent and his counsel were weak. The counsel conducted a weak cross-examination of our two witnesses. Did I forget to mention I was one of them?

That venture did not turn out well for opposing counsel because we were able to turn it against their case. Basically, it backfired and ended up bolstering our case.

His witness also did not help. As a matter of fact, my partner demolished his credibility, leaving him in a heap.

With that, we are confident we have sufficiently proven our case and demolished theirs. From the edge, we feel we have rebounded and did well.

It's a good way to start the week. The day did not certainly start out the way I liked it. But I'll take the ending anyday.

Which is certainly opposite of what the country went through yesterday. But what can you expect from a nation whose national ambition is to get out of the country?

Sunday, February 10, 2008
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The predominant thought in my head this weekend is the death of a dear friend.

Spent most of this time communicating with friends through phone and email to share information/memories about her and to possibly arrange a mass at her wake. Of course, I want to play. That's the least I can do.

Her body is still in Houston and the date of arrival will greatly depend on the family's decision to cremate her there or not. From experience, there is a lot of red tape involved in transporting an uncremated body for health reasons.

If they choose to cremate the body there, she could arrive in a day or two.

So, I think it's best to hold back on my feelings until then.

On another front, my Yamaha dealer has secured for me an order for a YFL-471 as the YFL-421 has been phased out.

This new flute will be more advanced than what I originally wanted. It has ring keys (with open holes) instead of plateau (closed holes), making it more difficult to play. Because of that, I'm keeping my YFL-221 just in case. Also, these things are supposed to be shipped with plugs in case the open hole thing is not for me. But like the YFL-421, it is sterling silver all the way.

It's the same price as a MacBook Air. I can always get that one later, as I am still pretty satisfied with Scarlett's performance. Also, I generally buy the second generation of any new gadget, when the initial bugs have already been fixed.

Besides, this new flute will last me a long time and I can even hand this to my kids if they decide to take up the instrument. I can't say the same thing for my gadgets.

We also had a massive choir practice last night. Good thing they served a very good (and filling) dinner.

Last night was also the debut of Clarry II. I played him conservatively in the responsorial psalm because the piece only consisted of three easy-to-play notes. He played and sounded way better his predecessor. And for the price I paid, he should.

As always, I will be swamped between work and attending my friend's wake next week.

Hope next week will be better.

Hey! Valentine's day is just around the corner. Time to date myself again...

But to you who have dates next week, enjoy. As in every year, be good. If you can't be good, be careful. If you can't be careful, name him/her after me...


Saturday, February 09, 2008
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Arms of Love

This song is dedicated to my dear, departed friend. You have fought a long, hard battle and you have fought well.

Time to rest, dear friend. May you find yourself safe in the arms of His love.

Arms of Love
by Amy Grant

Lord I'm really glad you're here.
I hope you feel the same when you see all my fear,
And how I fail,
I fall sometimes.
It's hard to walk on shifting sand.
I miss the rock, and find theres nowhere left to stand;
I start to cry.
Lord, please help me raise my hands so you can pick me up.
Hold me close,
Hold me tighter.

I have found a place where I can hide.
It's safe inside
Your arms of love.
Like a child who's helped throughout a storm,
You keep me warm
In your arms of love.

Storms will come and storms will go.
Wonder just how many storms it takes until
I finally know
You're here always.
Even when my skies are far from gray,
I can stay;
Teach me to stay there,

In the place Ive found where I can hide.
It's safe inside
Your arms of love.
Like a child who's helped throughout a storm,
You keep me warm
In your arms of love.

Thursday, February 07, 2008
This day in history from:

Another loss...

As I promised, the bad news I was talking about earlier is confirmed.

I lost a dear friend to leukemia today.

I knew her since college, a jolly soul. A daughter of a prominent congressman and a very good writer.

But it was in law school that we got really close. We spent a lot of time together during our law studies.

And when we graduated and took the bar, I started my law practice in her father's law office. The congressman (along with my bosses, a prominent lawyer and another politician) eventually became godparents in my wedding.

She's even the godmother of Bea.

I think she fought her cancer for more than a year. The last news I heard was she flew to the United States for a bone marrow transplant.

Apparently, that was not a success.

Rest in peace, dear friend. And let the perpetual light shine upon you.

A new mouse... in the year of the rat

I got a good deal on a new mouse for Scarlett.

It's a white Logitech V470, a step up from the V450 I was using because unlike my old mouse, this one's a Bluetooth Laser mouse. Now, I don't have anything sticking out from my USB ports and frees my computer up for other peripherals.

Well, it works like my old mouse with the benefits I just stated. And I thought, I could not connect to my Nokia 9500 via bluetooth to the internet while using this mouse. But I was wrong. Scarlett will handle that connection while connected to my bluetooth keyboard and this mouse, all at the same time.

My old mouse will be doing its chores for the Vaio, if I'm using it but it will mainly be assigned to my PS3.

Anyway, I just received a phone call that brought me some really bad news. I'm still confirming if it is true. If it is... I'll just post it here.

That's it for now.

Give your enemy a way out

Sun Tsu says:

When the force is trapped in an irredeemable position, where there is absolutely no escape route, every soldier would fight to the bitter end to avoid defeat. Under such circumstances, the officers and soldiers become undaunted by the thought of death and are compelled to do their utmost, hoping to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

When the army ends up in a hopeless situation, the soldiers become totally fearless. Having no way out, the soldiers become totally united. Trapped inside a critical territory, the troops become more cohesive; and finally when there is no other alternative, they simply have to fight ferociously for their survival.

Take heed.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008
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But there's work...

I was supposed to make a blog lecture on two potential topics yesterday: 1. something about what has happened and 2. something about status quo orders.

But there's work.

Anyway, just some quick potshots, if you still want to listen:

1. The reason why the nominations were closed after one nomination for the new speaker is to prevent a potential dispute with the minority. By tradition, the losing candidate for speaker becomes the minority floor leader.

2. You bet your bottom dollar what happened was personal. And so will the reprisals be.

3. Mistake after mistake. Could be the beginning of the end.

4. Lozada could benefit from the status quo order issued in Neri's case because they are similarly situated. All he has to do is get a lawyer to file a similar petition in the Supreme Court. If he can.

And of course, there's still more work today. What else?

Have a great day.

Oh, if your Catholic, like me, go to mass today, fast, abstain and so good works.

Monday, February 04, 2008
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Let's calculate

First let's see whether the soon-to-be former Speaker's votes can impeach the President.

If this is enough, the Pulido complaint had its use. It buys the administration time to dissolve the Speaker's remaining supporters.

If the speaker still has enough votes by the end of the year, it becomes a race for six months because after that, the President cannot be impeached on the last year, if I'm not mistaken.

So that six month window is a crucial time. That starts about the end of this year.

Watch for it. As I watch the proceedings right now.

May God bless us all.

Sunday, February 03, 2008
This day in history from:

Chasing Time

The weekend (as well as my Friday) was all about chasing time.

Since I went to Baguio for most of the week, I had a lot of paperwork to catch up with when I got back. Not to mention the fatigue factor.

The weekend did not prove to be any better. Instead of catching up on rest, I was catching time as a small emergency had me catching up to my chamber session in the morning. Then, a children's party in the afternoon had me catching up for choir... which bombed, by the way.

Today was more of the same. An unannounced attendance in a wake likewise had me chasing time to show up on time for today's mass.

And because of all of these, I have to catch up on more paperwork for this morning. I think I have to start early, as in early morning.

I hope I can get some rest... as the week ahead is another crucial one. But then again, I'm beginning to believe every week is a crucial one.

Have a great week ahead.

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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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