153 days to go before the 1st day of the 2009 Bar Exams…my Bar exams. Finally, it’s my turn! I have delayed this for a year in the hope that unlike my first 4 years in law school, I could have a more laid back and focused academic life this year. Did I get that? Maybe. Hehe.
Certainly, my final year in law school was more relaxed than the previous ones. My marital status was a more than plausible excuse to shy away from most activities that I normally couldn’t say no to as a single person. Ako pa, eh sobrang kaladkarin ako. Haha. Lalo na dati. Good thing I have Mike now who always asks me, "Kelangan mo ba talagang puntahan yan?" And because our relationship has already transgressed to a much higher level, he is, of course, authority figure in my life. Aside from just staying at home when I had no business to be outside, I cut down on a lot of extra-curricular pursuits as well, limiting myself to my responsibilities as block pres (which involve texting, sending emails, collecting money – although most of the time, I delegate that to Rocky, our block’s dutiful treasurer), yearbook finance head (again collecting money and accounting for it, opening bank accounts), Portia evening rep (again, this involves texting and of course, whenever I can, I show up in important activities too) and SJV secretary (okay, admittedly, I didn’t really do much here, except to be the SJV link to the LSG Org Board and to be the keeper of the barristers’ list to 2009, which I’ll now be turning over to Pau and Tin)…okay, so having run that down, I figured that I didn’t really end up doing nothing this year.
I was probably able to focus academically more this year. Unlike before when I found myself texting all the time and worrying about some student concern in class (oh yes, I did worry, plan and think a lot in class. No wonder I wasn’t able to really concentrate nor truly listen to my profs before). In the first sem, I had 16 units. I paid a whole lot of attention to Comm Law Review (was freaking scared of it before the midterms, but post-midterms, admittedly I kinda slacked off…bad, I know). In Crim Law Review, I listened to Sir Esguerra a lot in class, however, for some reason that I now regret, I wasn’t able to listen much to Rem Law Review where it mattered (crim pro)…there was a session when I had to absent myself from class because of a Comm Law Rev concern. Sayang…and sayang din that I didn’t read the cases in the original, as I should have. I found a new "love" that sem though – International Economic Law, such thatI even did an SLR with a touch of IEL (transfer pricing regulations in the Philippines in the context of a global economy) and even took another related elective on Preferential Trade Agreements the following semester. OLA wasn’t so bad in the 2nd sem as it was during the summer when I ranted with great angst about how I hated OLA. I had two super active cases in OLA 2, one of which was more than enough to keep my hands full (3 pleadings and 3 hearings in one sem!) but twas more than compensated by my fun team mates. I also thank God that through my SL, I was able to appreciate OLA more too in spite of the OLA component sessions, which I thought would have served its purpose better if they taught us how to make legal forms there instead, kahit may homework, okay lang. I also took up a really light elective under Sir Harry – special topics in international law. My second sem was indeed very light and relaxed (except for SLR…gosh, I super pray that Cat Sy and I would win a prize there somehow).
What really took up most of my time last semester, however, was not school. It was the various hang-up’s that I had! Haha. Kung anu-anong insecurities at regrets lumabas! But you know what, I thank God that those concerns surfaced, kasi He revealed to me the true state of my heart. Now I know that my concerns were not really as big a deal as I thought they were…that it all was / is basically a matter of perspective. I know God was really dealing with my heart. I am just so thankful that as undeserving as I am, He loves me enough, so much so as not to allow me to remain the way I was or am. Basically kasi, even though one may look fine on the outside, if within, he has a heart that’s not right with the Lord, walang kwenta ang lahat…as Solomon would say in Ecclesiastes, it’s all "meaningless". I am still journeying, and God is still not through with this work in progress within me. It’s very, very hard to describe (kahit na ang dami ko nang nasulat, ano? Haha).
Basta, my life and my works, the course I ought to take, from the biggest to the smallest goal, I lay down at His feet. Whereas before, I made my own plans based on my own will and volition solely, and asked Him to bless such plans, now the order shall be reversed. Before anything else, I just want to seek Him, to be more intimate with Him. Everything else is secondary…as Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" Basically, I’m finding out that as God becomes our joy and delight, the desires of our heart change in the process of being more attuned to Him each day. The desires of someone attuned to Him become more in line with His will,and because such desires are already in line with His will, He will readily give them. And of course, God’s will is perfect! He only has plans to prosper us, to give us a hope and a future…after all He made us wonderfully and fearfully, and knows what is best for us. Thus, a person attuned to Him would no longer need to struggle like a spoiled kid struggling with a parent, as he insists on something bad for him. Naku, ang dami pang realizations na ni-r-reveal sa akin. I hope to be able to find time to share them through this blog one time.
Also last sem, I took advanced bar review sessions are scheduled on weekends, I have been unable to go to church in CRL since November. While I miss singing for the choir (although admittedly, my attendance in practices was so intermittent), I find myself enjoying church services in Bread of Life Crossroads 77. I love it that I am able to cry my heart out to Him and truly praise Him during the P&W portion (hindi bitin!) and that the message is always so malaman…I love taking notes! I get to reflect about my life, about my walk with Him. Honestly, now more than ever, I just know that I want to be drawn closer to Him. Despite all my efforts and striving for various goals in life, it would all be meaningless without Him at the center of it all, without eternity in sight. After all, it’s not about me, but it is all about Him.
Speaking of the advanced bar review program that I enrolled in. I took utmost care to be rarely absent or late. (I only absented myself during Crim 1 sessions…thus I know I still need to understand the Indeterminate Sentence Law). Syempre, aside from ayoko sayangin ang resources and opportunity, I wanted (and still want!) to do my very best. Kaya naman, I listened intently and took down notes (I think my notes are pretty much complete) and pretty much got a sneak preview of the coverage of the bar. Now, it all boils down to reading and internalizing the concepts. My goal is to know the law like the palm of my hand. (So help me God!)
Last month, I read Sababan’s tax book (all chapters except for the last one about the TCCP, I still need to read that). Also for tax, I feel that I need to at least go through the provisions of the Tax Code (once or twice) because I wasn’t able to go through everything (I just read the salient provisions on income tax, although I made a pretty comprehensive reviewer in Tax 2). Last Monday naman, I started reading Duka’s book on labor. I had hoped to finish that last Friday, but today, I’m still in Book V…I just finished the chapter on Coverage of Labor Relations provisions. Ang bagal ko! And I get quite scared when I find myself thinking of other things. Lalo na when the results came out, and some of my friends sadly didn’t make it. Honestly, kinabahan ako…but ayoko nang kabahan. I’ve surrendered this to the Lord. I know He will enable me to give it my all, and where I lack strength and intelligence na, He will surely intervene. I claim His promises and will study and work in accordance with those. Henceforth, I will focus…I really don’t want to repeat this ever again. I know na may iba nang ipapagawa sa akin si God. Kaya I’ll give this all that I have for His purposes and glory.
Ang eager beaver ko ba? Hehe. Di naman siguro…more like, bumabawi lang kasi feeling ko I wasn’t really able to give it my all in law school, such that maraming bagay ang ngayon ko lang natututunan…review para sa iba, but first view for me. Pero honestly, thus far in my review, there are a lot of moments when I don’t know if I’m doing this review thing correctly…or if my pace is too slow, but I’ll just keep going – studying and trusting God. I’ll give this my all, for Him…I know He has brought me this far. I have faith in His faithfulness and steadfastness. I just hope that God would give me a "breath taking view" come results release time next year.
Honestly, I am excited yet a little jittery. I like the thought that concepts of the law are now getting clearer to me…and I am certainly looking forward to learning and imbibing more! Also another goal is to see to it that I would be able to advise clients (anyone or any organization) about the law really well, so as not to mislead them, and to help improve their lives. May God give that goal fruition…I pray that I would be able to work towards His purpose. I just claim His promises (ang dami dito sa favorite chapter ko!)…kaya, excited na ako! Bar review, here I come! 🙂 Internet, tama ka na! hahaha