Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Surprise

Day 4 of the long vacation and probably, one of the things that I had mastered in those work-free days was one of the habits of childhood -- afternoon naps. And today's Easter Sunday. Just for a change, I hopped over to Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall for the Easter Sunday Mass. It has been a long time since I went there.

During the Homily by Father Jason Laguerta (he's among my favorite priests next to Father Roy from our parish) Easter was compared to celebrating one's birthday, not as a kid, but an older person. He was right in saying that when one gets older, they tend to celebrate birthdays differently -- they prefer lesser parties and keeping it quiet and simple instead. I could relate to it because I had started having "quiet birthdays" when I turned 25, so yes, you could put it that I got old early.

I was also hoping to catch a movie this afternoon. I know it's sappy and cheesy but I've been wanting to watch It Takes a Man and a Woman since Saturday though . However, because the lines were horrible (yup, even if it's showing on four cinemas in Megamall) I decided to let go and instead go somewhere else. The movie date would have to wait.

After seeing my former colleague Ken who was with his wife, Mircel for a weekend date, I checked out Powerbooks and I guess I'm such a lucky girl because I found this book, Table for Two by Marla Miniano. This is one of the best chick lit books that I have read years ago. Just like what happened to my copy of Vince's Life the Wedding, my first copy was borrowed by an office mate and was never returned. So when an event involving a hole in the wall coffee shop happened to me months ago, I immediately thought of this book and missed reading this again. I owe Powebooks one because if I never chanced upon this, my last resort was to go to National Bookstore in Greenhills to obtain a copy. The best thing? Powerbooks had the copy at half the price so I did not think twice and paid for it -- for the love of my guilty pleasure.

I still have a day in my long vacation left. Tomorrow there will  be two events coinciding in a day. Curious? Try finding me on Facebook tomorrow and you'll find out why.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hand Me Down Love

This weekend, I finally did some cleanup of my bookshelf and found these books. After years of serving me through my research work, assignments and projects, I decided that it's time to let them go them serve a new generation of learners. I am planning to donate them to our municipal library but I don't know the name nor contact number of the librarian. I had posted this on my Facebook wall. But if I don't get a response, I guess I'll personally bring this to the library when I have the time, hopefully next week.

As you had known and seen, I am a sucker for books, especially the interesting ones. But by interesting, it does not have to be a New York Times Bestseller at all. Prior to shelling out money for a book, I had to browse through its content, or, in the case of sealed books like the ones in Fully Booked, I have to read the blurb (the snippet of what it's about found at the back cover) first and if it catches my interest well enough to trigger my inquisitive bug, then it's a steal. Yesterday, while I was running some errands at SM Taytay, I got to drop by Books For Less. It's a second-hand bookshop and saw this book, Words That Matter  on sale. This book was the first one I wrote for Two Cents Worth Wednesday here. I used to see this in Fully Booked too, but it's pricey at PhP795 so I decided not to buy it yet. 

The good thing about a second hand bookstore is they sell books at a price that sells like pancakes. When I found out that they had this book, what I checked first was the price. It was being sold at an amount that was way too much lower that what I thought. The saleslady actually told me that they only have just a copy of the said book and after minutes of contemplating, I decided to get it or else I'd regret it again when I return (they used to have a copy of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne at the same price but it was gone when I got back).

Except for really minor damages, the book still looked good as new and I can't wait to put my fingers on it and flip through each page. I think it's going to be enough to occupy me for a long break that I am looking forward to.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Reason Behind the Surprises

Dropping a note to squeeze some of my thoughts about how the days had become. Well, it has been a very occupied week and things are turning. Within the span of four days, we've been facing challenges one day after the other. From religiously accepting and screening aspiring newbies because we need another legal secretary in the firm to help us out with the increasing bulk of workload, receiving the news of an unexpected, unannounced resignation and the growing number of tasks to finish.

We were all in a rollercoaster ride. It's that taxing that one of our lawyers had to call in sick for today and for the past days, I would often have episodes of memory impairment and I'd come home bone tired.

But on the other hand, despite these things, there's the bright side of it: seeing a friend attend the mass last Sunday, being among those to get a free breakfast at McDonald's in celebration of National Breakfast Day, seeing the same friend I saw on church again just a day apart and finishing a whole days workload leaving the list of files squeaky clean!

Well, I guess it's God's way of rewarding the hard work and effort to finish each task. Some of those I hoped and got, while some of those were unexpected; and just like what I told a friend, maybe God is laughing at me seeing the disbelief in my face when some things I prayed for (even the ones I don't but just thought of) would happen right in front of me.

Never mind, for tomorrow's Friday and before I know it, it's going to be weekend. For sure I'll make it through. Oh, and not to forget, this:

Trust me, this really works :-)

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Snippet from 10 Years Back

I was killing the time, resting in my bedroom going through some old journals tonight. Just for a change, I decided to read  back the things I wrote about from years ago and incidentally I found this:

It's the good girls who keep diaries. The bad girls never have the time. 
Yes, that's my penmanship in college. On this same day in 2003, I was asked that question by one of my staff (I did not know that person ACTUALLY BECAME part of my staff until last month, so sue me) out of the blue as I was busy editing. When I think of it today I find it funny why people back then seem to make a deal out of it when you're in college and you're still single. It's as if a romantic relationship is a requisite. The truth is, I did not really mind the fact that I was not dating anyone despite being in the legal age to do so back then. Maybe the person found it weird that on my part, while everyone in my staff (including this person), have their partners, I don't seem to look at it as a big deal (but I eventually, accidentally got in the bandwagon eight months after this note).

Things are different now. We're both established in our careers (okay, I am somewhat established). Yes, the person still jokingly brings up this question once in a while if there's a chance but at least now, I can give a rather politically-correct answer and just smile the whole thing off. I'd like to think that little by little, things in my life are starting to fall into place and while I would like to ask for the answer to this one, I better be content with what I have for now. One at a time just like what wise people say.

When I read this today, I can't help but laugh. I still can't believe I was asked this question in such a "wala lang, wala sa hulog" way a decade back.  Call it odd but years after this conversation, I would bump into the same person again. The catch aside from having the usual work life expected from people our age? We're both unattached to anyone. if that's a good news or otherwise, is something I do not know. But I'd rather let nature just take its course. After all, like how the late Steve Jobs puts it,  As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. 

You'll just know.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We're on the Same Page, Senator

I was getting my daily dose of news this morning on the web when I chanced upon this article about Senator Koko Pimentel's attempt on working on to save his marriage. While I did not take time in watching the video, I simply went through the transcript of the interview and what I liked most was the part where he reiterated these words:
“This is my latest realization. If we have divorce, definitely I or she would have availed of it. But since we have no divorce, then we let time pass and maybe some wounds have healed and we are still trying. I still don’t have the good news to tell you but the good news is the point of view, the perspective has changed and we are now trying to make the troubled marriage work,”
For me these were wise words from a wise man. Ever since the possibility of having a Divorce Bill in the country made it to the news right after the issue of RH Bill, I was having these fears if ever that happens. I remember a conversation with one of my friends in public service where I somewhat laid my cards about what my view is about divorce. While both of us were pro-RH, we had a different standpoint with regards to divorce -- he's open to the idea of having it and I am against it.

My main reason for being anti-divorce was the same reason as that of the honorable senator. If (divorce) gets to be implemented, couples will have easy access to it even for the silliest reasons. If this will be readily available like your comfort food in the supermarket, people will no longer attempt to work on restoring their marriages. In my currently job as a legal assistant, not a day passes without me having to encounter a couple filing for divorce. Their reasons range from the silliest to the legally acceptable, and it makes me feel sorry at times. I've been raised in a family with parents who are married for 29 years. And while my parents are hinting that they have been waiting for me to tie the knot, given that I am of marrying age, I won't hide that, I also hope to have the same kind of relationship they have when I get hitched. Yes, there are occasional disputes in their married life but I've seen how they both worked on it and restoring their marriage.

Mama always says that you don't need divorce if you are in a happy marriage. And to turn your back and walk separate ways with your partner is not always the best resolve. I agree to that. In my opinion, if ever we do have divorce, the words relationship, marriage and effort will no longer be put to good use so maybe it should be put to rest away from the dictionary (and to our life's vocabulary).

All things require effort. Lahat ng bagay ay nadadaan sa usapan as the group APO Hiking Society's song goes. It is best that people try their best to patch things up amicably because it prevents them from going through a more drastic, more complicated route. After all, an Australian barrister had already said it and it's one of the best lessons I learned so far:

"You take a deep risk by stepping in to the courtroom because somebody else will make a decision about your life."
So why want someone else intervene when you can amicably decide what could work to make your marriage work, right? After all, just like any other relationships, there is no cookie-cutter approach that divorce will work for you the same way that it worked for someone else.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Between Books and Dollhouses

During a conversation with Mama days ago, she told me about speaking to my niece, Kate on the phone. Apparently, the little girl is requesting something from me. If I could possibly buy her a dollhouse.

Dollhouses -- it's a little girl's best friend.
I was seriously considering getting her one. But Lord forbid, when I tried to check toy stores (I've been to two different stores), I never thought a dollhouse comes with a hefty price. I haven't been to Toy Kingdom in SM Megamall to look for their merchandise which I plan to do next week.  As of this entry, I am currently checking online shops for one that fits my budget and so far, I saw one from Lazada but I'm having second thoughts about purchasing stuff online as I don't normally do that. I am no online shopper so if you do have experience about online transactions (especially on the issue if they are really convenient or otherwise), please let me know at least I have a picture of what to expect should I choose it as a last resolve.

When I told my mom about this, she told me that one of the things she wanted to do when I was younger was to give me a dollhouse -- but then she said I never got fond of dolls when I was a kid (because I grew up loving books instead, which is in my favor!). Oh well, I just told her that it was a blessing that I never did liked dolls because I would have given her a hard time (and tantrums to boot) giving in to what I wanted if I did.

Torn between two titles.

Speaking of books, I am really wanting to pull payday as early as possible because I am itching to buy a book to read. Some of my friends attest that Stephen Chbosky's Perks of Being a Wallflower is good but I am thinking if I would get it because I was able to read snippets of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars  as well and it got me hooked to the point that I did not want to leave the bookstore until the last minute of my lunch break.

The worst case scenario would be I'll end up buying both. Books are my guilty pleasure but I am really careful about spending because I'm saving up for something.

I better find a quick but better resolve about this. I'm keen about not destroying my budget and my savings.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Today's The Day

Today, I would wake up to a happy morning feeling really blessed for this is the day God fulfilled one of my wishes as I mark a milestone.

On this day, I am celebrating my first year with the Australian  law firm.

I know some of you would think this to be shallow, but in my case, this is something to be happy about. A career is comparable to any other relationship; and if I were to look at it, I have been married to my career as a legal assistant for exactly a year today.

More than just legal jargons, familiarizing myself with the whole process and more than a thousand cases dealt with, this year was filled with lessons -- that though simple, to me were meaningful. In the past 365 days, I learned that:

  • While nothing is ever easy, everything are worth giving it a shot.
  • If you are in doubt, it's always okay to ask. I grew up being someone who hates asking questions. Blame it on the fact that I've been dealing with lawyers on a daily basis and they'd been so used to utilizing the Socratic Method, but I realized you won't lose anything if you'd dare to ask in order to understand things. The boss and the other lawyers appreciate it and they won't mind spending  time to answer and explain.
  • Free your life from guilt. One of the best things I observed with the Aussies, (from our lawyers to the clients) is that pleasing them is not necessary. If you commit a mistake, the usual rule applies: ADMIT, APOLOGIZE, MAKE AMENDS and MOVE ON (believe me, they're even the ones who initiate that you move on after a fiasco -- just as long as the damage is repairable).
  • If the boss gives you a task, it just means he's confident that you can do it. If he believes in what you can do, you should put the same regard to yourself.
I'm thankful to God to have reached this far and I keep praying that this will be for the long term. This has been among my earnest prayers ever since and likewise as this is a day I am grateful about, I am thankful to the following people too:

Mom and Dad, I know it came as a surprise to you that I got into this field when all the while I told you I would love to be a writer. Dad, I know you're wondering too what happened because you asked me once if I could become a future speech writer of the President. I have my word when I said I still want to -- in time it will be. 

My best friend Apple for reminding me never ever consider quitting at times when I feel like doing so; that if I have something worth keeping with me, I shouldn't let it go. 

To my other friend, Januver for encouraging me to give things the benefit of the doubt. Who'd have thought that while you told me this "in the context of future relationship", I was able to use it with my career and it worked.

And last but not the least, Boss Andrew and to everyone in the firm for giving me this once in a lifetime chance and for giving it a shot by hiring me despite of the fact that I don't have a law degree in the first place; for believing that I could do more even without it.

Case number 1 has been won. Hopefully, I will be able to move and resolve Case number 2 next but I'm willing to wait. For now, I'll celebrate and eat my cake. :-)