Thursday, January 14, 2010

Insights I Learned from Reading His Life

To do or what? See, I have that hardbound notebook even over coffee.

Few weeks before Christmas, I have spotted the book Say ni Chiz, a book about Senator Francis Escudero as told to Bibeth Orteza- Siguion Reyna on the bookstore shelf. It took me a few sleepless nights twisting, turning and thinking if I will get the book or not; which ended two days after Christmas as I went out of the bookstore carrying the book in my hand. I should have made this entry a few days prior to last year's end but because I got all occupied at home, it was left hanging till yesterday. And so today despite another bout with migraine, I'm off to doing it. Finally.

But actually, more than the purpose of knowing Chiz Escudero's humble beginnings, the book being his autobiography, what really prompted (or should I say convinced) me to own a copy of this is because I wanted to see, read and know how a lawyer thinks and what runs inside his mind expressing his views on the realities of life and the things, situations and circumstances that are around him.

An autobiography that does not contain much of the nakakaumay spiels of politics; for a change.

I'm sorry for saying this part, but, reading his book reminded me of author Bob Ong. Second to Bob Ong's books, I'd say this is the other one that kinda won me over. People might think you'll just get nothing but sucky political stuff in his book but then, I just found a few--not sucky but rather enlightening that as one reads, they too will say "oo nga naman"and they're justified. I found this book another good read because:

1. There are no pretentious sides of the story (OK, Sen. Escudero might be exposing his accomplishments being a congressman and then as a senator, but likewise it's his autobiography; it's all bout him so he has the final say).

2. The book fits the youth's thoughts and the minds of common Pinoys. And compared to other autobiographies that are written in a manner that's too technical, this one is just right--from the language used, the words applied (no technical, hard-to-understand jargons) to the way the stories in chapters are being told. It's just breezy--like you're taking a walk in the park.

So what did I get reading about his life? Here are a few things that I realized, missed thought in a way made sense which I firmly do believe he has a point in saying that:

1. There is no use getting jealous (even envious) over someone or something. There's no such thing as an ideal girl or ideal guy because we all have some dysfunctional points. So why be inggit over someone when you know he or she isn't a perfect being like you either?

Often, it is true that those people who answered the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" are the ones who tend to get it and succeed later on in life. In Chiz's case, he was once asked the question and said two things: to be a lawyer and a president. He got the first one, but the second, that's the thing there--maybe it will come in a few more years or so.

3. It is true that sometimes you need to look at the past to plot on what you want to happen in the future, but it's more important to look and live at the present moment. And if you'll keep on looking back at the past, chances are, you'll trip down and fall.

4. Courtship starts not in asking someone to be your boyfriend (in the case of liberal minds there) or girlfriend--as that's the conclusion. The process begins when you start to give special attention; to ask is to know the result of the effort.

5. Sometimes, the best kind of moral support parents can give their children is silence and a positive, clean reputation. I agree with my friend Mikhaela when she told me this: "Sometimes the best thing you can do for the people you love is to stay out of their business."

6. For those with torpe troubles (for my non-Pinoy followers, that's the term for the shy guys out there), never let go of the chances and opportunities that you have. If your sole reason for being torpe is just the fear of being humiliated, forget it because after some years, you'll just find yourself laughing about the whole ordeal.

It doesn't always have to follow that because you're a lawyer, you'll have to marry someone who's also in the same field. In Senator Escudero's case, his wife Christine is a music teacher and stage actress. (So that means a writer and editor like me could marry a basketball player, physician or-- never mind. I'll have no further objections).

8. Seeing a photo on one of the pages of the book, it made me miss UP Law Center and UP College of Law. Why? Because it was on one of the classrooms in that place, I took the UP College Admission Test nine years ago in August 2001.

9. While lawyers are great at reasoning, some of them at one point have a problem on one thing--believe it or not--on English grammar. (CLARIFICATION: I am not saying ALL lawyers are--just some of them do. Based on the senator's confession found on chapter 3 of the book. I know someone too in the same profession who's got the same problem). I suppose that's the reason universities got courses for writers and editors; to diagnose grammar and sentence glitches.

10. If I were to compare, I realized that during his years as a law student, Senator Escudero looked like my friend Miguel (when Miguel was 23 years old).

I just felt a bit regretful because, the book is supposed to help Chiz map out the path of his political career. At the end of the book, on chapter 10, he left this question and a statement to his readers that went this way:

"Saan nga ba ang punta ko mula rito? Ikaw and dapat magsabi sa akin. (Where do I go from here? You should be the one to tell me)."

And I went to see the book out just days after Chiz declared that he won't be running anymore. And as I told my friend Miguel about the whole thing, he's also got an opinion with a tone of regret.

Hay... isn't it ironic? Don't you think?

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