Post Bar Exam err.. Post

3 days after the announcement we’re still pretty happy. Ok about 10% happy and 90% relieved that it’s finally done and over with. I was with Jill on Friday when the announcement was supposed to have come out originally, learning it was postponed when it was too late and I was already on my way to her place. I’ve given it time to marinate in my brain and this is what I’ve come up with.

It’s good that in our society, there are still things difficult to achieve – I read a book a few months ago about Indiana State’s high school basketball program, the very one that produced the miracle team Milan, depicted in the film Hoosiers in 1954 (ok I know this sounds like I’m digressing into basketball talk but hear me out). Back in those days, Indiana high schools regardless of size compete in a single tournament for a single championship, making their win even more dramatic considering they only had a population of 165. This changed in the 90s when, due to overzealous parents (accdg to the book) who wanted their kids to taste a championship at least once in their lives, divided the tournament, resulting in different ‘championships’ throughout the state. Obviously this watered it down and consequently (possibly without their realizing it), negating the glory that came with it.

When I look at the bar (and herewith my point), I’m glad it’s as difficult as it is, because for any society it’s important to have goals or achievements that remain, so to speak, the gold standard of achievements. I honestly believe the majority of Pinoy’s psyche allows if not wholeheartedly approves of the idea of receiving rewards without going through the pain, so it’s refreshing to see people working hard and actually receiving their just reward. More often than not we tend to coddle friends and family, relying on padrino systems and contacts to achieve these things. It makes my blood boil to hear the words ‘I know this person.., or I know that person.., indicating that because youre familiar with someone, you can get things done, as opposed to achieving goals via their merits. Not only does it award the non – deserving, it devalues the efforts of the deserving, and finally, tragically, condones getting something the easy way.

So bravo, to Jill. Bravo to her batchmates and everyone who passed. Savor that feeling of getting something because you earned it, and not because you begged, pulled strings, or used any other method than having to study 8 hours a day 7 days a week for a whole year to get it, which was what it necessitated. To me, that by itself serves a lesson and I hope they take it to heart, which brings us to:

An Opinion Article at which I could not find after 20 mins of’s Search function is COMPLETELY USELESS. Anyway, that opinion, which was probably written by Chief Justice Panganiban or Amando Doronilla sometime during the weekend (sorry, like I said, Inquirer’s search isn’t worth crap), mentioned the importance of morals and values in lieu of merely carrying out the wishes of your clients. It stated the most obvious example today – Gloria’s use of lawyers to craft monstrosities like EO 464, the Calibrated Preemptive Response, and the law (I dunno if it has a name) that allows detention of media without due process – all brilliant works of genius legal minds worthy of mention in law circles for all of legal history if it weren’t for the fact it’s used for a purpose outside of what the law is supposed to do, which is essentially for the common good.

All professions whether medical, legal or even if you just make goddam websites, require a level of social responsibility that should precede your need to please your wallet. After you’ve managed to make enough to support yourself and your family, you’re gonna have to reflect on how what you do is affecting your surroundings and the people around you. Whoever wrote those laws has clearly lost track of that. It’s one thing to awash yourself in legal geekery and revel in the victory of finding a loophole in the law allowing you to get away with incarceration sans proper procedure, it’s another thing entirely to see a person and his family suffer the emotional and physical drain of losing their freedom. How can you live with yourself knowing you created the law that allows the government to abuse its people? If you’re smart enough to write it, you’ve got to be smart enough to know that Gloria, just by virtue of asking you to make it, will use it for her own nefarious ends.

In my field, I must know 10 to 15 guys that could make a comfortable living making porn sites or hacking accounts. Just like lawyers or doctors or anyone who works in their field long enough, in the course of your work you’ll see loopholes, shortcuts and corners you can cut that can give you a boost, or a step up above the rest. We know this fully well and there’s no question of their ability to get away with it, and yes some do. But for the most part, honesty and integrity kicks in, in the form of feeling sick when you look at yourself in the mirror. Common sense dictates those smart enough to do so should also be smart enough to see the folly of their ways. You must be living in a very warped world to think you’re doing anyone a favor when you create something like that.

Yes, it’s finally over. – Jill stayed at a dorm in Katipunan to study for a number of weeks last year, and I count those as some of the happiest in my life. I’d visit her and we’d hie off to a restaurant or Starbucks. I’d work on the sites using my laptop or read a book while she studied for hours. It was good quiet time and felt truly content with the universe and all that was around me. But would I wanna go through it again?

Hell No!

I look at back at that time and I’m glad to put it on shelves in my brain and mark them as ‘good memories’, because they truly were. But that’s the only way I wanna look at them now, as something we’ve gone through and is now over. I think that’s what constitutes most of the relief and anxiety I felt while I was pressing F5 *every second to get the results at the SC website last Saturday. We spent a whole year preparing for that thing and I couldn’t wait to see if it paid off. Consequently, I realize now that if we hadn’t put in as much effort, I probably wouldn’t have been as nervous because I’d have less expectations. This as opposed to putting in the work, which means you value it a lot and hence value the results as well.

Anyway, whatever. It’s all done now, and at some point we’ll all be putting it in the back of our minds as another happy memory, and writing this (on a work day of all times), means I’m in the process of ‘shelving it’ so we can get a move on. Essentially, I’m glad she took the risk, because there is always big gain to get from big risks. The bigger the gain the bigger the risk, and we have a few more to work on, some in the very near future. All we have to do now is stay the course, get our ducks in a row and apply the same level of hard work and attention to detail exerted in previous examples. So long as we focus things have no choice but to get better.

Told you you had nothing to worry about.

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