Tag Archives: balitang pinoy

2008 Philippine Bar Exam Results

And finally the results are out.. congratulations to all who made it and passed the 2008 Bar Exams!
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Craving a taste of home

My long weekend is coming to an end and I’m trying to cram a blog post here between Facebook messages, uploading pictures to Flickr and writing some snail mail — and cleaning up to make room for my Christmas tree.  (Yes, we’re going to try and put it up this weekend..)

The previous week was chaotic enough that I am looking towards the coming week with some anxiety.  I’m wondering if there’s a switch I can flip to skip through it and jump to the next.  Or can we just put everything on hold with a pause button?  Wishful thinking, I know.

I’m trying to distract myself with some positive thinking and happy thoughts.

We didn’t really plan on a tight weekend because we just wanted to chill this Thanksgiving weekend.  In fact, we started it by spending our first Thanksgiving ever here at home with just the four of us: Alan, myself, my mother-in-law and Angelo.  It was quite a busy day for me as I cooked away beginning first thing in the morning with my leche flan, until just before dinner when I finished up with the garlic spinach side I was serving with the eggplant parmesan, potato salad and the prime rib. 

We were hoping to resist the urge to hit the Black Friday shopping spree but we gave in anyway and drove to our favor outlet mall, Tanger, up in Riverhead.  It was difficult trying to decide which bargains to snap up and which to forego.  (Talk about practicing self control!)

Yesterday was a quiet day and we decided to drive to New Jersey to have lunch at the only Red Ribbon branch here on the East Coast.  Alan wanted to have some kaldereta which apparently is now off the menu.  We ended up having their sotanghon and arroz caldo with their asado siopao.  The siopao was so good we decided to take some home.  The pandan maja blanca slice that came with Alan’s combo was a big disappointment, though, having grown up on Red Ribbon goodies from their first store waaaaay back in Greenhills. 

We got some ensaymada which I will try in a bit, but I’m wondering what happened to the Red Ribbon that greeted us when we visited it the first few months they were in operation here in New York.  I have kept my expectations low when it comes to franchises from back home that I see operating on this side of the world (you can’t quite beat the original ones considering they make ingredient substitutions here), so I’m not going to bash Red Ribbon like some of the negative reviews I’ve seen online.

We go to places like this to satisfy a craving for a familiar taste.  It does not guarantee us the same experience, but it brings us close enough to it and face it, we have to make do.

Rumors are flying that Jollibee is finally opening a branch somewhere in Woodside — and if it’s where we were told by a cousin it would be, good luck in getting there with your family in tow unless you’re commuting.  But we’ll go all the same.  Jollibee IS Jollibee..anything for a taste of home.

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Ateneo tops the Bar!

My alma mater did me proud again!!

1. Mercedita L. Ona, Ateneo De Manila University, 83.55
2. Jennifer Ong, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 83.35
3. Yvanna BL Maalat, Ateneo, 82.75
4. Jennie C. Aclan, University of San Carlos, 82.10
5. John Michael F. Galauran, University of Nueva Caceres, 81.60
6. Karen S. Canullas, San Sebastian College, 81.40
7. Cecille L. Mejia, Ateneo De Manila University, 81.35
Sheryl Ann D. Tizon, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 81.35
8. Marforth T. Fua, San Beda College, 81.20
9. Ruby M. Luy, Ateneo De Davao University, 81.15
10. Christian B. Llido, University of Cebu, 80.90
Vivian S. Tan, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 80.90

Click here for the complete list.

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In the aftermath of Glorietta 2

I was putting Angel to sleep but I had my blackberry on hand.  In the darkness, I surfed to the the online version of Philippine Daily Inquirer where I clicked on the GLORIETTA BLAST banner and landed on the first story/article featured in this subsection, Things Fall Apart by Patricia Evangelista.  There was no enumeration of the dead and the injured, and there were no new facts given — but there were snippets of bits and pieces of this tragedy which made for one big heartache.

I cannot help but be reminded of how things were in the aftermath of September 11 in 2001.  Although this is by no means of the same scale, it reeked of the same senselessness.  I was just settling down at work when I thought I’d check the headlines back home and saw the latest update online. I immediately texted my sister whose office was in the area.  She was home and was away from the locale of the blast when it happened, but my six-year-old niece was in Glorietta 1 watching a play. 

I couldn’t help but think about the grief we felt here in New York six years ago.. and how violated we felt that others took it upon themselves to decide the fate of so many innocent people. In the pain and enormity of the loss, even if it wasn’t a personal one, you couldn’t even start to point fingers on who did wrong.  The grief was so huge among us who did not lose anyone personally, and we cringed at the thought of how much it hurt for those who suffered a loss.

I have read that there are offers of assistance to investigate the crime — I hope the government sets aside its pride and accepts this if only to expedite getting to the bottom of this and pinpoint the ones who are responsible for this atrocity.

I offer a prayer for all those who have been hurt and affected by this sad incident one way or another.
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Impeachment for the Nth time

Browsing the local news in Manila last Monday when I saw one headline to the effect that the opposition was going to “boycott” the latest impeachment complaint. Rather than give my two cents worth on this, I recommend this piece by Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, one of our foremost constitutionalists. That opinion is shared by many 0in the legal / judicial profession, and you would do well to take a moment to read this. Take my word for it.
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Congratulations to the successful examiness of the 2006 Bar Examinations

Placer or not, everyone who made it deserves a pat on the back, a round of applause and a hearty toast.  And even those who did not deserve to be congratulated for trying, no matter how many times they had tried and failed before.  Below are the top 10 placers, all 11 of them.  (Two lucky examinees tied for second place.)  I have copied the full list of examinees and have it on my wordpress mirror site.

1st Place – Noel Neil Q. Malimban -University of the Cordilleras – 87.6%  
2nd Place- Debora S. Acosta – University of the Philippines – 87.4% 
              -Ricardo M. Pilares III – Ateneo de Manila University- 87.4%  
3rd Place – Erika Ana Andrea C. Jimenez- Ateneo de Manila University – 86.6%  
4th Place – Maria Charizza B. Carlos – Ateneo de Manila University – 86.1%  
5th Place – Gina Lyn Rubio – Far Easter University Institute of Law -85.75%  
6th Place – Anjuli Larla A. Tan – Dr. Vicente Orestes Romualdez Educational Center -85.70%  
7th Place – Karen H. Gaviola – University of San Carlos- 85.68%  
8th Place – Al-shawid L. Ishmael – University of Cebu -85.65%  
9th Place – Timothy Joseph M. Mendoza – University of the Philippines- 85.55%  
10th Place – Alain Charles J. Veloso – University of the Philippines -85.50% 

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Nicole and Smith — a diplomatic uber-mess

I have been mulling about writing a post on my thoughts on the case but it’s been much too emotional until the verdict was handed down.  I do not wish to condemn either Nicole or Daniel Smith — I believe that the justice system, destiny and eventually, their God will be their judge.

Rape is a very emotional topic, discussed in legalese or otherwise.  It’s usually a “he said, she said” matter which is not as clear cut as other crimes.  It is also a private crime, and as such, cannot be prosecuted unless the victim herself, or if she is not able to give legal consent, her family, agrees to prosecute.

As a woman, I feel strongly about violating any person, male or female, sexually.  More than the physical damage, there is untold emotional and psychological damage that we cannot fathom unless we’ve been there otherselves.  As a lawyer, I tend to be more objective but I strongly adhere to the legal tenet that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.  Again, I do not wish to pass judgment on either party to this case.

I believe, though, that Filipinos as a people, are being put on trial for its failure to adhere to the provisions of the Visiting Forces Agreement.  It’s bad enough that we have refused to honor the ruling of international arbitrators in the NAIA III case, insisting on our own version of how things should go.  It makes me wonder if this administration is now hard put to make a stand only because any grease money had changed hands with the previous administration and so it was left with an empty bag.  But back to Smith..

I laud Judge Pozon for his steadfastness about standing up to Uncle Sam and GMA, but we have to keep in mind that he knows his decision is up for automatic review and will in all likelihood be appealed by Smith’s defense team on questions of fact before that even happens.  Except for an acquittal which would’ve meant no appeal except if new evidence or extenuating circumstances surface, Pozon can say the sky is red and he would have just been told to his face on appeal or review that it is actually blue.  And we have to remind our ever emotional kababayans that we are talking about a treaty which is recognized as part of the laws of the land.  What would we do if say we had this agreement with Indonesia, a Filipino soldier is in Smith’s shoes, and the Indonesian authorities refuse to hand over our erring soldier until all appeals are exhausted — we would probably run to another higher authority to arbitrate and who comes to mind? 

There is the issue of civility and diplomacy which we cannot just shun because it is convenient or expedient in terms of PR concerns.. we all have to adhere to the rule of law considering we might one day find ourselves on the other side of the fence.  They should release Smith back to the US Embassy.  If the decision is upheld — and I say that as a big IF — then Smith will serve his sentence.  If the higher courts find that the 40 years is commensurate to the circumstances of his crime, then he will turn old and gray on Philippine shores.  We don’t know how the decision will go, or what revision will happen.. it’s barely half the journey getting the accused convicted.    What is imperative is that we act in a stately manner, a true sovereign nation — and honor our commitment under the Visiting Forces Agreement or VFA.  If Smith’s case shows us loopholes in the agreement, then let’s get our legislators working to correct it or altogether scrap the treaty — but that’s going forward, we cannot now turn a blind eye when truth as it stands is staring us in the face.

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A Philippine Idol controversy?

Dessie paid me a visit a few days ago and left me a link on Simplywired which I visited, and where I left a comment that I would write a post on that post here.  So here goes..

Let me begin by once again congratulating Mau and the other two top contenders, Jan and Gian, for having gone this far and showing us what a talented people we Filipinos are.  There seems to be a controversy brewing with a threatened lawsuit hanging over the first Philippine Idol’s head because of a botched contract.  From what I understand, Mau had been a runner up in a previous national competition sponsored by Viva and a result of which was that Mau had entered into a 5-year management contract with them.  This contract has another year, more or less, to go before it is up, and we all know that one of the plum prizes of Philippine Idol was a management and recording contract.  (It’s 2AM and I’m in no mood to check specifically, so pardon the lack of details.)

The question most people are asking is why is it that Viva is only asserting its right under that management contract now?  My reply on Simplywired was, it was a business decision.  Why was it that Viva never gave her any projects while she was under contract with them?  Again, it was a business decision to put her career on hold to push the winner’s career instead.  It is not uncommon for a recording company to sign up a competing band or talent to someone who is already in their roster, because it is much easier to control the competition when you hold the reins to their careers.  While it seems unfair, it makes for good business judgment because instead of allowing a competing talent to be signed up by your competitor, you can instead have full control and effectively supress that talent by signing them up.  That is why it pays to evaluate any offers for recording or management contracts when you are a free agent.

If you were Philippine Idol, would you dethrone Mau as Philippine Idol?  That’s a tricky decision.  The issue is not whether or not she deserves to be Philippine Idol because we already know any of the three did, and she does.  There is the issue of being upfront and honest — concealment is just as bad as a misrepresentation of the truth.  My guess is Philippine Idol will probably buy her contract out.  Then again, I’m not part of Philippine Idol management, so I’m just guessing.  Abangan!


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Kudos to all who acknowledged Jan Nieto

I’ll say it again — all the finalists were very talented Filipinos who make me proud to be one.  You can see that we can pit talents against the best in the world and it has been proven once again by the crop of amateur talent brought forth by the first season of Philippine Idol.  Like Bridget and Jher, I cannot wait for the next season of Philippine Idol.

From Augustman: WOW! The first BLOG section I have read exclusively dedicated to Jan? Better late than never. As a Pinoy living in Michigan it’s nice to see this. Perhaps we have similar taste, now that we have been exposed to western culture for ages (right?). The judges have been crowing about the international style of Gian, but I do feel that Jan has the more sophisticated universal flair and appeal. Oh, well….we will know the results in just a very few hours more. Ciao!

From Jerome aka Bridget Jones: my dearest dinna! congratulations to jan indeed! his journey has just started and I agree with Ryan Cayabyab when he said that he is the perfect example for people who want to make it in the entertainment industry (and in life). he has showed everyone that following your passion and your heart is very important. and with hard work, one can achieve his/her dream. he has worked very hard the entire season and this has been evident week after week, performance after performance, acknowledging that the talent he has is raw compared to the theater-experienced Gian and the professional contestant Mau. With that, hats off to Jan. I assure him, he will go a long, long way as an entertainer. I wish I could interview him noh? hugs to you, d! :-)

From Lani of Worthless Anik-anik:   Yes, Jan is really good now. I know he will go a long way as an entertainer not just because he is talented, but because he is POGI talaga (lol).

From cool mommie: hi! i too am a fan of jan nieto. and like you i won’t go about bashing the other contestants. it just so happens that when you do see him and hear him sing, you know that he sings from his heart. it’s not just for show. you can feel his sincerity & humility, it’s actually not something you would expect from someone with his upbringing & background. i think it just shows the kind of family that he has. i’m very saddened that he didin’t get the title. even my 6 year old daughter is disappointed. :) but for me he is still my philippine idol. i hope to see more of him soon!

Watch out for updates on Jankurtnieto.net.   Again, many thanks.. congratulations to Mau, Gian and Jan..

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Congratulations to Mau Marcelo for becoming the first Philippine Idol

.. it was a well-deserved victory.  Here, though, is Jan’s last performance during performance night.. congratulations to you, too.. you have come a long way!  I know that this is just the beginning.. you will go far.

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