Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wonderful shadow

At 70, he holds court in a classroom of thirty students, shuffling through a stack of yellow index cards with one hand, holding a microphone with another.

He selects a card at random, and reads out a name. A girl springs to her feet. The professor peers over his black-rimmed glasses.

“If a boy is in love, and stands outside the home of the girl he loves, should he be denied this right? If you were in Congress, would you support an anti-stalking law?”

The girl pauses. “Yes, I would, because—”

“If he does no harm, and all he wants is to stand on the street where she lives, would you deny him that right?”

The professor raises his arms and looked into the distance, a white-bearded Romeo to his invisible Juliet.

“If he says, ‘How canst thou break this heart whose only sin is to be is love with thee?’ Could you break his heart?”

Laughter in the room.

“Tan.”

“Manrique.”

“Virtuoso.”

The professor props his chin on his hand.

“Does loving thee have no legal weight?”

___

The above was taken from a draft of an article by Patricia Evangelista to be out this coming Februrary for UNO Magazine (The constitutionality of love and lepers). The 70 year old professor was no other than Rene Saguisag, a law professor and a former senator, whose legislative record shows 415 days of perfect attendance in the sessions of the 11th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines. 

I'm amazed, really! For one, I love great teachers. Because I think there's a scarcity of them here in the country and the sooner we realise that, the better. Second, I actually have plans to enter law school. 

I started contemplating on the idea of me studying law right after I landed on my first job at ABS-CBN. I thought, "a life of a student was way better than this running errands and left and right kissing of somebody else's ass."

It was very hard adjusting to the idea of you grinding even on Sundays just for a few bucks instead of just asking them pronto from your parents. Plus the culture inside the company didn't make it any easier for a neophyte like me to make my way within such urban jungle. I thought, "life at school would be easy." "That's where I belong."

But three years have passed and still I'm a slave for the media industry. Last year was probably the hype of my intention to enter law school. I started jaunting one law school to another and started asking for their offers and even consulted my father about it. Even the fraternity that I'm gonna be a member of is already decided. I was almost ready. By the coming semester of 2011, I would be a law student.

But things changed, well not really unexpectedly. I left ABS-CBN hoping to get a normal 8-hour office job, an ideal set-up for me to be able to attend school during weekends at the same time still earn decent cash to support whatever it is that would come along the way. But it didn't happen. 

I'm still here floating in an industry where you have to leave your mother in a middle of a Holy Mass because your editor called and he needed this video material. And so your mother would wait for 4 hours [which would mean 4 holy masses for her to sit in and listen]. This industry where holidays aren't really marked red in the calendar and the pay...the pay...well, there's no other word to describe it but - terrible. 

But I love law. I would read law textbooks in my spare times and discuss them with my uncles and cousins who are mostly cops. I think I would be a good criminal lawyer. Or a political lawyer, perhaps?

In a gathering of journalists some time late last year, I proudly declared my intention to enter law school. The announcement was met with sounds of crickets while others remained unfazed. Some gave me a quizzical look. 

One veteran journalist made sure my mind would be rocked. That was Ellen Tordesillas. She said, she too thought of studying law because she thought it would help her understand more the technicalities and even the boundaries of her writings. But then here's the problem, she said. "The study of law would derail your journalistic mind, eyes and heart."

She need not explain it further. I understood what she meant immediately. The dawning of thoughts made me sad. Maybe law school is just a childhood dream. Maybe it isn't for me. 

But honestly, the thought never left my mind. I think it is still waiting, sitting patiently inside my clattered mind for me to summon it again. How about a talk with a lawyer to balance the argument? Or a class sit in? Ask more people about it?

There are many things I could do. But I guess I don't have to hurry. Everything will probably fall in their right places. After all, it is I who would command the universe to make it happen. It is I who would captain this world to sail into a horizon I want it to claim. Until then, I would tell you the stories of word battles and reason intercourses. 

Until then...


____
Article draft taken from Pat Evangelista's Facebok account. No intention of copyright infringement. 

____
"Wonderful Shadow" by Tanita Tikaram

10 reaction(s):

soltero said...

Frustration ko din yang Law School - You can still do it, and I know kayang kaya mo yun.

James - M.I. said...

Go for it Desole. :)

Sean said...

i think that sitting in or maybe enrolling for a semester will allow you to understand whether it is really for you. at the very least you'll be able to silence the urge. good luck with whatever decision you make :)

Ronnie said...

Law school? Grool! I wish you all the best, DB.

San mo plano mag-pursue ng Bachelor of Laws? Go na sa San Beda!

Nishiboy said...

my mom still has plans for entering law school. she's 54.

at interesting yung excerpt na binigay mo. galing.

KikomaxXx said...

kung saan ka masaya chong susuportahan kita.. waheheh not financially ha... wahehehe

uno said...

i would rather say... choose to live...

hindi man matuloy ang gusto mo...

mas masaya ung mahalain mo kong anung meron sayo.... like your mom... he needs you...

Mu[g]en said...

Journalism and Law do not mix. That's what I've been told.

Peter said...

Yeah, sort of agree with the comment from Mu[g]en.

ʎonqʎʇıɔ said...

I think one of the greatest feelings in life is to go for what you want. With the wind in your face and devil may care. All the cliches in the world. Whether or not you succeed, it's better than being left with the question "what if?"

:)

 

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