Saturday, May 31, 2008
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Jam Session

At the end of a grueling day yesterday, where my multi-tasking skills were once again utilized, and after all the administrative meetings of the firm, we had a little fun.

My partner brought a guitar and a beat box early that day. I brought my old flute and Al, Sophie and Clarry II.

Then an hour of some jamming, to the delight of our staff and our associate lawyers, leading our managing partner to come up with a new firm slogan:

"We do weddings, and then annul them, too."

Then on to practice with him for a number we are to perform for a client's birthday tomorrow. We'll play "The Way You Look Tonight." That lasted well into the night, leading us to miss a birthday dinner party. I hope he forgives us for not showing up.

Let's see what will happen to that gig tomorrow.

In the meantime, have a happy weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008
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Blog Lecture No. 82: Presumptions

Sorry, class! Been a long time since I last lectured.

Given the recent events, I almost never wanted to lecture again.

But anyway here goes:

What are the kinds of presumptions in law?

They are:

1) Conclusive Presumptions; and
2) Disputable Presumptions

(From Rule 131 of the Rules of Evidence)

What are conclusive presumptions?

These are presumptions that cannot be overturned or disproved, even with contrary evidence, even if present.

What are these conclusive presumptions?

They are:

(a) Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally and deliberately led to another to believe a particular thing true, and to act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act or omission, be permitted to falsify it.

(This is essentially estoppel. If one acts on a misrepresentation by one party, that party is not permitted to dispute it.)

(b) The tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his landlord at the time of commencement of the relation of landlord and tenant between them.

(Simply put, a tenant, by agreeing to lease something, cannot say later on that his landlord does not own the thing leased in the first place.)

What are disputable presumptions?

These are presumptions that would remain true only if uncontradicted.

What are these disputable presumptions?

(a) That a person is innocent of crime or wrong;

(b) That an unlawful act was done with an unlawful intent;

(c) That a person intends the ordinary consequences of his voluntary act;

(d) That a person takes ordinary care of his concerns;

(e) That evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced;

(f) That money paid by one to another was due to the latter;

(g) That a thing delivered by one to another belonged to the latter;

(h) That an obligation delivered up to the debtor has been paid;

(i) That prior rents or installments had been paid when a receipt for the later one is produced;

(j) That a person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole act; otherwise, that things which a person possess, or exercises acts of ownership over, are owned by him;

(k) That a person in possession of an order on himself for the payment of the money, or the delivery of anything, has paid the money or delivered the thing accordingly;

(l) That a person acting in a public office was regularly appointed or elected to it;

(m) That official duty has been regularly performed;

(n) That a court, or judge acting as such, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere, was acting in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction;

(o) That all the matters within an issue raised in a case were laid before the court and passed upon by it; and in like manner that all matters within an issue raised in a dispute submitted for arbitration were laid before the arbitrators and passed upon by them;

(p) That private transactions have been fair and regular;

(q) That the ordinary course of business has been followed;

(r) That there was a sufficient consideration for a contract;

(s) That a negotiable instrument was given or indorsed for a sufficient consideration;

(t) That an endorsement of negotiable instrument was made before the instrument was overdue and at the place where the instrument is dated;

(u) That a writing is truly dated;

(v) That a letter duly directed and mailed was received in the regular course of the mail;

(w) That after an absence of seven years, it being unknown whether or not the absentee still lives, he is considered dead for all purposes, except for those of succession.

  • The absentee shall not be considered dead for the purpose of opening his succession till after an absence of ten years. If he disappeared after the age of seventy-five years, an absence of five years shall be sufficient in order that his succession may be opened.
  • The following shall be considered dead for all purposes including the division of the estate among the heirs:
  • (1) A person on board a vessel lost during a sea voyage, or an aircraft with is missing, who has not been heard of for four years since the loss of the vessel or aircraft;
  • (2) A member of the armed forces who has taken part in armed hostilities, and has been missing for four years;
  • (3) A person who has been in danger of death under other circumstances and whose existence has not been known for four years;
  • (4) If a married person has been absent for four consecutive years, the spouse present may contract a subsequent marriage if he or she has well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already death. In case of disappearance, where there is a danger of death the circumstances hereinabove provided, an absence of only two years shall be sufficient for the purpose of contracting a subsequent marriage. However, in any case, before marrying again, the spouse present must institute a summary proceedings as provided in the Family Code and in the rules for declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse.

(x) That acquiescence resulted from a belief that the thing acquiesced in was conformable to the law or fact;

(y) That things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and ordinary nature habits of life;

(z) That persons acting as copartners have entered into a contract of copartneship;

(aa) That a man and woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage;

(bb) That property acquired by a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other and who live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under void marriage, has been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry.

(cc) That in cases of cohabitation by a man and a woman who are not capacitated to marry each other and who have acquire properly through their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry, such contributions and their corresponding shares including joint deposits of money and evidences of credit are equal.

(dd) That if the marriage is terminated and the mother contracted another marriage within three hundred days after such termination of the former marriage, these rules shall govern in the absence of proof to the contrary:

  • (1) A child born before one hundred eighty days after the solemnization of the subsequent marriage is considered to have been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within the three hundred days after the termination of the former marriage.
  • (2) A child born after one hundred eighty days following the celebration of the subsequent marriage is considered to have been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within the three hundred days after the termination of the former marriage.

(ee) That a thing once proved to exist continues as long as is usual with things of the nature;

(ff) That the law has been obeyed;

(gg) That a printed or published book, purporting to be printed or published by public authority, was so printed or published;

(hh) That a printed or published book, purporting contain reports of cases adjudged in tribunals of the country where the book is published, contains correct reports of such cases;

(ii) That a trustee or other person whose duty it was to convey real property to a particular person has actually conveyed it to him when such presumption is necessary to perfect the title of such person or his successor in interest;

(jj) That except for purposes of succession, when two persons perish in the same calamity, such as wreck, battle, or conflagration, and it is not shown who died first, and there are no particular circumstances from which it can be inferred, the survivorship is determined from the probabilities resulting from the strength and the age of the sexes, according to the following rules:

  • 1. If both were under the age of fifteen years, the older is deemed to have survived;
  • 2. If both were above the age sixty, the younger is deemed to have survived;
  • 3. If one is under fifteen and the other above sixty, the former is deemed to have survived;
  • 4. If both be over fifteen and under sixty, and the sex be different, the male is deemed to have survived, if the sex be the same, the older;
  • 5. If one be under fifteen or over sixty, and the other between those ages, the latter is deemed to have survived.

(kk) That if there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are called to succeed each other, as to which of them died first, whoever alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall prove the same; in the absence of proof, they shall be considered to have died at the same time.

Is there a presumption of regularity of board or stockholder meetings?

Of course not! Whoever said that must be referring to another law book!

Is there a presumption of regularity of official acts?

Yes, under it is letter (m) of the disputable presumptions. But this only means regularity of official acts is presumed, unless disproved.

So who is right? SEC or MERALCO?

We have to presume SEC is correct this time because of this presumption and the presumption next to it that says "a court, or judge acting as such, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere, was acting in the lawful exercise of jurisdiction." MERALCO does not enjoy the same presumption, despite what one misguided columnist says.

Any other allegation of MERALCO of and SEC irregularity must bow to this presumption, until it can present proof to the contrary.

What is your basic fear then it comes to citing MERALCO in contempt?

I fear the fines SEC will impose will be passed on as "systems loss." So I hope SEC cites the officers personally in contempt, not MERALCO if it so decides.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
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No time, but...

Just a quick entry because I either have too much to do these past few days or too tired to write about it.

Been waking up and going out to work early these past few days for one reason or another. The work is fulfilling and rewarding at the same time so I'm not really complaining about it.

Anyway, my new flute is definitely coming next month. They guaranteed me it will come on 15 June at the latest. I was trying to entice them to give it to me early by offering to pay the balance in full as soon as I get it but they said they were having a hard time at Customs.

Fortunately, I already have enough to take care of that despite the mad amount of money I let go this month for the kids' school requirements. And good thing there's plenty more where that came from.

So after I get my new flute, I may then concentrate my efforts on getting Scarlett's replacement because we may have to assign her to one of our associates for his official use.

Then after that, who knows? My dream Rolex watch, perhaps?

Monday, May 26, 2008
This day in history from:

A Great Start

The big hearing we had went relatively well because we got what our client needed: time.

Had a great breakfast and a great but busy time at my consultancy.

Then on to a great reward, then a great early trek home to see my great kids.

Hope this becomes a great week, judging by its great start.

On to another hearing tomorrow...

Saturday, May 24, 2008
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Guitar Hero

Apparently, both Davids have Guitar Hero commercials.

But of course, David Cook was more appropriate for the gig because he moves and looks like a rock star. But then again, David Archuleta is arguably more appropriate because of his age and that age's affinity for video games.

Anyway... here are the two commercials:

And what about Sitar Hero?

Have a happy weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2008
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A Double...

Went to consultancy this morning and found out I won a case I handled for my boss with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Went to a meeting with a long-time client and found out things are patched up between us already.

Went back to the office the find out I won an election case for a client. Had his opponent disqualified and beat a former officemate. Showed her why I was her boss and she's the subordinate...

A double win today. Of course, it's a good day!

I like to have more days like this.

And tomorrow, I get to play with my chamber group and choir. Another double...

Double good days...

Thursday, May 22, 2008
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Congratulations, David Cook!

Just watching it today because, unfortunately, I had a meeting during the live broadcast.

Anyway, I think the American public got it right this time. They judged the best David for the entire season and not just last night's performance.

Increasing Wealth

How do you explain an increase in wealth of a government official who is not paid a competitive salary?

Is this answer correct?

Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde said the jump in Mrs. Arroyo’s assets in 2007 was just “natural” due to increasing value of real estate in the country.

“Let us not forget that the President’s husband came from an old rich family, which own large (tracts of) land and the value of real property is really increasing so we should not give malice to it, it’s just natural for her assets to grow,” he said. (from this link)


Any accountant will tell you that assets are recorded based on acquisition cost and not on market value. Acquisition costs cannot appreciate over time and any increase in market value of any asset is only recorded when such asset is sold at that value.

So I suggest you go back to your accountant for a better answer. I won't give you an unsolicited one.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
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An AI7 Fearless Forecast

Who doesn't know American Idol?

Personally, I've been following that show since Season 3, when Fantasia Barrino won. And I have been following that show intently (with a passion, and sometimes even in a detached scientific manner), since then.

During that season, I wanted Dianna DeGarmo to win, but Fantasia's brute force (or talent) made her a shoe-in to win. Turns out, a reject, Jennifer Hudson was the most successful in that batch.

During Season 4, I wanted Bo Bice to win, but he was set up with a final song that suits Carrie Underwood more than him.

During Season 5, I so wanted Katharine McPhee to win. An accomplished singer and with a beautiful image to boot, I don't know what happened and America chose Taylor Hicks. In time, that decision proved to be a bad one. I think Katharine is now on her way to a second album while Taylor bombed. He even had a free concert here at a local mall and I don't think that created much of a buzz. Daughtry is the most successful of that batch (the number 4 guy). And I think Taylor is the most unsuccessful Idol (or it could be a toss-up between him and Ruben Studdard.

During Season 6, I wanted Jordin Sparks to win. Of course, Blake Lewis was not fit to sing "This is my now," setting Jordin up for the win. I think she likewise did better that Taylor Hicks so far, even on her first year. This was the first time the one I wanted to win actually won.

How about Season 7?

After watching and reviewing the entire season re-aired in a marathon session last weekend, I have come up with this prediction:

They will set up David with a song that will suit David more, thereby enabling David to be the Season 7 American Idol.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
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Friday, I'm In Love

I'm still in my '80s nostalgia trip... pardon me.

I've recently rediscovered The Cure. Looking back at their body of work now, I've discovered that they're very, very good.

Here's a song I just discovered now. I did not know this song back then. But since it's The Cure, the style is very familiar to me.

Anyway, I hope you like it as much as I like it now.

Friday I'm In Love
The Cure

I don't care if Monday's blue
Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don't care about you
It's Friday, I'm in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Oh, Thursday doesn't even start
It's Friday I'm in love

Saturday, wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday, never hesitate...

I don't care if Mondays black
Tuesday, Wednesday - heart attack
Thursday, never looking back
It's Friday, I'm in love

Monday, you can hold your head
Tuesday, Wednesday stay in bed
Or Thursday - watch the walls instead
It's Friday, I'm in love

Saturday, wait
And Sunday always comes too late
But Friday, never hesitate...

Dressed up to the eyes
It's a wonderful surprise
To see your shoes and your spirits rise
Throwing out your frown
And just smiling at the sound
And as sleek as a shriek
Spinning round and round
Always take a big bite
It's such a gorgeous sight
To see you eat in the middle of the night
You can never get enough
Enough of this stuff
It's Friday, I'm in love

I don't care if Monday's blue
Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don't care about you
It's Friday, I'm in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Thursday doesn't even start
It's Friday I'm in love

Monday, May 19, 2008
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The Night You Murdered Love

Ahhh, the '80s...

So many memories for me. Don't know if I love it or I hate it. But I love it for the most part.

Here's a quintessential (sorry for the big word) music video, showing the music and the trends at the time... The music is good. ABC is one of my favorites.

The Night You Murdered Love

It's cold outside - The night love died
On the night you murdered love
It's cold outside - The night love died
On the night you murdered love
From an early age
I was taught to respect
That a broken heart girl
Ain't a thing you collect
Close your eyes and say
Nothing lasts a day
You're wasting my time
Yet I love to love you
Close your eyes and say
Honour love obey
You're wasting my time
Yet I love to love you
It's cold outside - The night love died
On the night you murdered love
It's cold outside - The night love died
On the night you murdered love
January... February... March and April May
June July sees you go by
I see love walk away
Didn't use a blade
A bullet or a gun
You poisoned the moonlight
When you put out the sun
Close your eyes and say
Nothing lasts a day
You're wasting my time
Yet I love to love you
Close your eyes and say
Honour love obey
You're wasting my time
Yet I love to love you
It's cold outside - The night love died
On the night you murdered love
It's cold outside - The night love died
On the night you murdered love
January... February... March and April May
June July sees you go by
I see love walk away
Close your eyes and say
Nothing lasts a day
You're wasting my time
Yet I love to love you
It's cold outside - The night love died
On the night you murdered love
It's cold outside - The night love died
On the night you murdered love
It's cold outside - The night love died
On the night you murdered love

Saturday, May 17, 2008
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No Choir Tonight

My choir will not be singing tonight, as I just found out. And I was looking forward to this all week long. Apparently, the choir members (given their ages) will watch Neil Sedaka's concert tonight.

Anyway, that frees me up today to some other things. But I left something at the office and I may have to drop by a little later.

The festivities yesterday went very well, although it was limited to us just feating on Savory dishes.

I'll just wish everyone a good weekend.

Friday, May 16, 2008
This day in history from:

Random Thoughts and Updates

It's my parent's 44th wedding anniversary today. They're planning to just spend it at home with their grandchildren (and us, of course) and just have something delivered, considering it's still a workday.

Wow! Forty-four years married... what a feat!

Because of this, I have to get home early so I filed a motion for teleconferencing on the lawyer's meeting this afternoon. The motion was denied because we will have a busy week next week, but I was promised the meeting will end early enough.

Apparently, our firm systems are working because I completely forgot I have a hearing this morning and the secretary reminded me yesterday.

Went to my Yamaha dealer yesterday for some updates on my flute. According to them, my flute is already here in the Philippines! Wooohoooo!

Apparently, my flute came with a big shipment of about 10 container vans and they have only gotten 2 released. So it will probably take another month before I get my new flute, but that's ok. I'm not in a hurry, anyway, because I'm still reeling from this month's expenses.

But it's just a matter of time before I will know if I have the chops to handle an upgraded flute (perhaps with the holes already open).

That's all for now. I'll probably post pictures later.

Thursday, May 15, 2008
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Sheer Power...

I remembered this clip from a good friend, who designed my custom blog theme (maybe it's time for me to ask him for a redesign... heheheheheh!), back when YouTube was still in its infancy.

The guy's a master at doing push-ups, as you will see here:

Pachelbel Rant

It turns out, not everyone loves "Canon in D" by Pachelbel.

Just ask Rob Paravonian:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
This day in history from:


I know our small fledging firm is beset with a lot of challenges, as with all law firms of whatever size or prestige.

But I have to say, we're beginning to get our act together.

Clients are being served. And served well. Of course there are occasional hiccups but show me a firm that does not have them. Contrary to popular belief, lawyers are human, too, although some people (and some jokes) would like to think we are sub-human...

Firm systems, traditions and processes are now in place. We have weekly lawyer's meetings (on our litigation cases) and weekly partner's meetings (on other matters). More systems and traditions to come...

Most importantly, the people are coming together as a team. More than the systems and the services and the competence, the team effort and the human dynamics are the most important ingredients that would make or break this firm.

And I have to say, from given what I said and seen so far, this firm is going to do great things, meet all the challenges it will face and will do a lot of good.

And being there will be good for all of us. We're even going to Boracay for our firm outing. That was far from my mind a year ago.

For that, I, personally, am truly grateful.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
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The things people do...

My day started with not one, but two text messages with numbers that do not appear in my phonebook saying the exact same thing:

d2 ka reply or call nalang send ka load 150pesos importante sasabihen ko sayo last txt na e2

which roughly translates as:

Just reply or call here. Send 150 pesos load. I have something important to say to you but this is my last text credit.

What do you think of me? Born yesterday?

Had a slow day, but when I got home tonight, curiosity got the better of me and I saw "2 Girls 1 cup"... Utterly disgusting!

Then when I thought I saw the most disgusting thing I ever saw, I then watched "2 Girls 1 Finger"....

Just watching viewer reactions to the two videos should have warned me. Even Joe Rogan could not handle it, and he hosts Fear Factor...

I would not even link to these videos. If you're curious enough, don't say I did not want you...

Well, I hope my day tomorrow is less disgusting...

Monday, May 12, 2008
This day in history from:

Away from the Net on Mother's Day

Sorry I could not post something yesterday.

Between the intermittent power and company in the house (my sister and my nieces) and my apparent need to rest (I slept all afternoon), there was no time to blog, except for one twitter post to greet mothers and single fathers like me for the occasion yesterday.

Anyway, we anticipated people flooding the malls yesterday so we decided just to order in food. And we wolfed down couple of pizzas, a couple of pasta servings and some potato dish from an emerging pizza place. The kids were particularly pleased.

Paid for Bea's trip to Boracay sometime this month. Nico and I will stay behind because of work and I really don't know if I can put in some vacation time.

Late though it may seem (though arguably, it's still Mother's Day in some parts of the world), I'll reiterate my greeting to all the mothers out there (including those I like to make a mother, but I digress) and also to all the single fathers out there (like Gabe and Ron, and whose numbers, I surmise, are increasing).

Happy Mother's Day. Even if that day is obviously contrived, you really deserve recognition all year long.

Saturday, May 10, 2008
This day in history from:

A Particularly Long Day

Considering this was supposed to be a rest for me, my schedule was particularly hectic today:

8:00- 10: 00 a.m.: Practice for chamber session and Errands (attend to kids, took them to the grocery mall store for supplies)

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.: Chamber session

2:00-6:00 p.m.: Report to office and did some work (both in the office and at home)

6:00-7:00 p.m.: Choir practice for the Mass

7:00- 8:00 p.m.: Mass

8:00- 10:30 p.m.: Monthly Choir Practice

10:30 p.m.- onwards: Winding down, some internet and blogging time before going to sleep.

I can't believe I'm still capable of having this kind of day.

I'll make my Mother's Day entry tomorrow, when it's already appropriate.

In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Friday, May 09, 2008
This day in history from:

2 Guys 1 Flute

This is neat:

Thursday, May 08, 2008
This day in history from:


Two big hearings and a lawyer's meeting tomorrow.

We hope we reap in the big rewards.

Haven't practiced Clarry II and I have a big assignment with a clarinet piece for our chamber group on Saturday. I hope I can squeeze in some practice time in between. Else, I will bomb bigtime.

I like to say more about my day tomorrow, but I simply can't.

It's a big day tomorrow nonetheless.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008
This day in history from:


The firm's beginning to maximize productivity using Google Apps.

1. The schedule of hearings of the firm have been posted in Google Calendar and anyone in the firm can see the schedule and the lawyers can coordinate in case of emergencies.

2. We already posted some documents in Google Docs that have to be completed through collaboration among multiple lawyers and their respective secretaries.

3. We have instituted Google Talk into the iChat in our Macs and we now have video conferencing.

Through these systems, I have actually completed a lot of tasks from the comfort of my own room (my bedroom, of course). A current case that is near my house has made it more convenient to temporarily work from the house, you see. With these systems, I can virtually be in the office, talking to my partners through teleconferencing and collaborating on documents with other lawyers of the firm while still in the house.

We need to work on these systems a little bit more, though, to ensure confidentiality in our work.

This is really great and we are truly grateful for technology like this and we can still work done despite the distances.

We also need to maximize these resources and perfect our system because one day, the distances between us will be more than just a few kilometers away. One day, time zones will come into play...

That's a very exciting prospect. I'm getting excited to maximize these systems from out of the country in the near future...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008
This day in history from:

When it rains, it's four!

My headaches started when one of my officemates tried to have me edit this:

We' ve been friends for a long time ago. We come from the same alma mother. Actually, our paths crossed one time on another. But it's only now that I gave him a second look. I realized that beauty is in the eyes. The pulpbits of my heart went fast, really fast. Cute pala siya. And then, he came over with me.

He said, "I hope you don't mine. Can I get your number?"

Nag-worry ako. What if he doesn't give it back?

He explained naman na it's so we could keep intact daw.

Sabi ko, "Connect me if I'm wrong but are you asking me ouch?"

"The!?!!??". .. ang sarcastic na sagot nya.

Aba! The verb! Parang siya pa ang galit! Persona ingrata!!! Ang kapal niya! I cried buckles of tears.

Na-guilty yata siya. Sabi niya, isipin mo na lang na this is a blessing in the sky. Irregardless daw of his feelings, we should go ouch na rin.

Now, we're so in love. Mute and epidemic na ang past. Thanks God we swallowed our fried. Kasi, I'm 33 na and I'm running our time. After 2 weeks, he plopped the question. "Will you marriage me?" I'm in a state of shocked. Kasi mantakin mo, when it rains, it's four! This is true good to be true. So siyempre, I said yes. Love is a many splendor.

Pero nung inaayos ko na ang aming kasal, everything swell to pieces. Nag-di-dinner kami noon nang biglang sa harap ng aming table, may babaeng humirit ng, "Well, well, well. Look do we have here." What the fuss! The nerd ng babaeng yon! She said they were still on. So I told her, whatever is that, cut me some slacks! I didn't want this to get our hand kaya I had to sip it in the bud.

She accused me of steeling her boyfriend. As is!!! I don't want to portrait the role of the other woman. Gosh, tell me to the marines!

I told her, "Please, mine you own business!" Who would believe her anyway?

Dahil it's not my problem anymore but her problem anymore, tumigil na rin siya ng panggugulo. Everything is coming up daisies. I'm so happy. Even my boyfriend said liketwice. He's so supportive. Sabi niya, "Look at is this way. She's our of our lives."

Kaya advise ko sa inyo - take the risk. You can never can tell. Just burn the bridge when you get there. Life is shorts. If you make a mistake, we'll just pray for the internal and external repose of your soul. I second emotion.

Can you? Don't know where this came from.

Sunday, May 04, 2008
This day in history from:


I rarely write to rant over specific incidents but I feel I have to today because it totally ruined my day yesterday.

Also, I have to rant because people here have been always been taught never to complain about sub-par products or services and just not make a fuss. People here have been taught not to assert their consumer rights for the sake of smooth interpersonal relationships.

But I will not tolerate such kind of treatment any longer, even at the risk of ruffling a few feathers.

Anyway, we had booked the car with a nearby big (and expensive) car dealership for a "pick-up" service appointment on Saturday, that is, someone will pick up the car (for an extra fee, I like to add) and take to their dealership to be serviced and then deliver it to the house. That was a Tuesday.

Little did I know they called my mom up Friday night to say something came up and no one can pick up the car yesterday. My mom, not knowing any better and for the sake of smooth interpersonal relationships, agreed and said I will be the one who will take the car to the shop.

She did this not knowing that I had work to do for a big case we have next week.

So just imagine the fit my mom had when I had to decline to take the car to their expensive shop yesterday.

Anyway, I could not take that sitting down. I had to call them and give a piece of my mind about their sub-standard service.

First, it was obviously a bump-off. This big dealership cannot possibly have only one person to perform this "pick-up" service. So it was just a matter of them deciding who to bump-off and decline their service for that day.

Why did they decide to reneg on their obligation to us and not to others? What was the reason they choose us? Is it because we just had a small car and they had to give way to a big customer?

But we booked on a Tuesday. Shouldn't the bump-off pecking order be based on the time of booking and not the car being booked or the money to be spent by the customer?

And why call on a Friday night when you already have no choice but to agree?

Second, if they believe in customer satisfaction, they should have found ways to fulfill ALL their commitments and not bother their customers with their internal problems in the first place. From my viewpoint, we are paying customers and we demand the service our hard-earned money deserves.

There should not be a bump-off pecking order to begin with.

And we don't deserve to be bumped off. No one does, for that matter.

Third, for the life of me, I could not find their telephone numbers using regular means. They had a lot of dead phone numbers strewn over the phonebooks and the internet and it took me some time to find the person who I gave a piece of my mind.

She explained that the person who was supposed to get our car went on emergency leave. Again, for the reasons I stated above, I'm not taking their unsatisfactory reasons any longer and I may even consider writing a letter to the appropriate authorities to complain.

Customer satisfaction should be their top priority. Not excuses. They should honor their commitments in any case and not even consider the possibility of bumping off anyone.

So there. I do hope you do the same when confronted when sub-standard products and services. We should assert our rights. That's what we deserve for our hard-earned money.

Enjoy what's left of your weekend.

Saturday, May 03, 2008
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One of our associates was absent yesterday, but we needed her to be present during our weekly lawyer's meeting, as she had a lot of cases to report.

The solution? A teleconference.

Since we had our firm internet and domain running Google Apps, we set up our iChat for Google Talk and from there, the associate was with us during our meeting via a teleconference.

It was a first for us. But as our managing partner said, "This is the exception, not the rule. I don't want in the future talking to computers." Reminds me of a scene from "The Demolition Man."

And then the fun started when I started to offer her food...

Then, there was still work today, to prepare for our big case (that would take the entire firm to service) next week.

I still had time to rest a little before choir, which went pretty well.

Now, I hope I can catch up on some rest tomorrow... I expect there's nothing to do tomorrow so rest and recreation will be the most probably agenda.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, May 02, 2008
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Instead of resting myself to boredom yesterday or spending time with my kids, my dad asked me to drive for him to Tagaytay for a client call.

The drive was particularly tough, coming from little sleep because of my Ubuntu upgrade from "Feisty Fawn" to "Hardy Heron," the unexpected traffic at the end of the freeway due to its major repair and trying to do that in a fully-packed car (my dad brought his people along with him) that already needed a tune-up.

Tagaytay was not particularly cold yesterday, I want to add. It only got cold when it was time to go.

Anyway, my dad taught me a lesson in professionalism as I watched him with his client. Even though he's an architect and not a lawyer, he me showed yesterday how to treat a client. He was always respectful, he showed remarkable patience and he did not leave until the job was done and his client was satisfied.

Of course in our profession, there will be times when that will not work, especially for stubborn clients and when it concerns issues of legal procedure and not the cause of action. Sometimes, the lawyer has to take control of the situation, even to the objection of his client, for said client's own good.

So even if that trip sapped the life out of me yesterday, I'm still glad I drove for my dad yesterday.

Now to get back to work I left behind...

Thursday, May 01, 2008
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Blogging Office Issues

I can't believe it has come to this.

In our office, three of the seven lawyers are bloggers. That's one shy of a majority. (There's a pun there somewhere, but only those three may get it.)

We were also toying with the idea of keeping blogs of the work we have done for the day, internally, of course, as sort of our daily service record. That way, we can all keep track of each other professionally. (Or more specifically, so our managing partner can keep track of us.) But that has to be internal to the office and absolutely hidden from the outside word. We still don't know how to do that.

Since blogging has become somewhat akin to mass media, that is, one cannot assume that any given weblog will be completely private, as in anyone can read it, there will be responsibilities that will go with publishing your thoughts for theoretically the whole world to see.

And if that blogger is lawyer, the responsibilities double.

Hence, the firm now needs to establish a blogging policy. As I said before, I never thought it will come to this.

So here's what I propose:

1. Be aware of the "reasonable expectation of privacy" doctrine in blogging. As a blogger, one cannot assume that what one blogs about will be private. Remember, one's blog is always one controversial post away from being (in)famous (and hopefully, raking in the big blogging bucks... Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!).

2. Be responsible as a blogger. This means your basic "journalistic" responsibilities, with particular emphasis on the issue of libel.

3. Be responsible as a lawyer and as an officer of the court. This means your basic legal ethics, especially on ensuring client confidence (i.e., we don't blog about specific clients) and on ensuring judiciary confidence (i.e., we don't blog about specific cases, or respecting the sub judice rule) or even public confidence in the legal profession as a whole (e.g., if you're blogging about a point in law, at least make sure it's correct and duly substantiated).

Also, if you want to demonstrate you're a lawyer in your blog, at least show you're a capable, competent one.

But as an office policy, as my partner said, "Blog about the chair, the table, your cat or dog, but not about your work." (Guilty as charged!)

4. Be responsible as a human being. This means basically, The Golden Rule.

No, it's not "He who has the gold makes the rules." It's, "Blog about others as others would blog about you."

Basic courtesy, basically. Political correctness? Maybe, if that's your style.

I think I covered everything. Did I miss anything, guys?

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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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