The Difficulty of Following One's Heart

FACT: Making a decision doesn't make the questions and doubts go away.

After deciding to leave Law School, my mind didn't stop bothering me. I still lie awake at night pondering on whether I made the right choice. I sometimes stop in the middle of a chore and just stare into space. During bad days, I even consider the idea of returning to Law School.

What's my plan?

I've officially left Law School last November 9, 2012. I didn't write about it because I wasn't in the mood. Even before I finished taking my last two exams, I knew that I would not go back for second semester. I paid my dorm and left but it took me two weeks to submit my leave of absence letter. Yeah, I filed for a leave of absence. I didn't completely omit Law School from my life. I had to give my parents a glimmer of hope so that they'll let me call my own shots. And I also figured that I might think of coming back in the future.

Barack Obama's Victory Speech 2012

The United States of America is a key actor in international politics and whoever its people choose to lead them would dictate the direction of world politics.

I've always been an Obama fan. So, I was glad that the US President was reelected in office. Back in 2008, my Political Science Professor asked us to memorize and deliver Obama's victory speech. Since then, I've admired his eloquence. I can't help but check out his victory speech in his reelection. (I've included at the end of this post a link to a video and the transcript of his victory speech.)

What's Stopping Me from Leaving Law School?

Photo Credit: Wandering Mist
When faced with a tough decision, I always carefully think of all possible consequences. Leaving law school is no different. My heart says that I really, really, really want to leave. The problem is, my mind doesn't agree. My mind has been a constant adversary of my happiness. You see, I am a mind over heart person. I think about things before acting on them. This time, my thoughts are about other people's opinion. And it's what's stopping me from leaving Law School and move to the direction I want to take.

Reasons for Leaving Law School

Finishing law school would be best for me and my family. It would provide me one heck of a good-paying job, an ideal career, a privileged status in the society, protection for my loved ones. The list is endless. BUT I know in my heart that pursuing it would be a wrong decision.

Crossroad: To Quit or Not to Quit Law School

I'm facing a crossroad right now. One that I created myself not for want of drama but because my mind and heart don't agree on what makes me happy. I must decide before the 2nd semester starts whether I want to stay or leave law school.

Knock, Knock, Opportunity

Knock, Knock, Opportunity
We've been constantly taught to grab opportunities as they knock on our door for they are rare and some do not knock twice. However, the reality is that opportunities don't just come at our doorstep. We cannot idly wait for them. I say, we must chase for opportunities.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I'm guilty. After my last post, I watched two movies (Wedding Singer and The Five People You Meet in Heaven) instead of studying for my Constitutional Law class. I know I'm supposed to feel bad about myself but I don't completely feel that way because I did enjoy the movies.

I've already read "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" which was written by Mitch Albom when I was still in college. I liked the book but when I was watching the movie, I failed to remember most of the parts. So, it was as if I was rereading the book.

The book follows the story of Eddie who was a war veteran and worked as a maintenance man in an amusement park. The story started with Eddie dying. Strange as it is but Albom explained this by saying, "It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are beginnings. We just don't know it at the time..." Eddie was trying to save a little girl who was about to get crushed by a part of a broken ride. Eddie was an old man who was unsatisfied with his life. He felt trapped in the amusement park where his father also worked his whole life. He wanted to leave the place when he was younger but the nightmares of war never departed him and his broken leg, a remnant of  the war, hindered him.

Gone Off Track


The week is almost over. I've never been this eager for the weekend to come. It's been a terrible week for me. It was tiring - physically, mentally and emotionally draining.

Midterm Lifesavers

As promised in my last post, here's a list of useful tools which helped me a lot during my first midterm exams in Law School.

1. Energy Drink
During midterms week, I felt like it was a mortal sin to sleep. There are numerous provisions to memorize and a big pile of cases to read. I have every urge to avoid sleep and instead allot the time for studying. It's just normal to sacrifice several hours of sleeping because no one can actually survive law school without depriving oneself of sleep once in a while. And in this endeavor, I found a friend on Sting Energy Drink. It kept me awake until 8 in the morning and my mind was very receptive. Lime flavor really worked for me. It's my lifesaver! Plus, unlike coffee, it didn't make my stomach hurt in the morning. Just be careful though because energy drinks like Sting also contain caffeine and too much caffeine may cause side effects. It must be consumed moderately.

First Midterm Exams

My first ever midterm exams in law school was concluded yesterday. I just thought that I should remember the date that's why I'm writing this post. I'm not sure about the results but I'm really hoping that they'll bring good news to me. If not, I'll surely feel disappointed and probably tear my heart out here. I want to give you a detailed information about my exams and how I feel about them but I don't want to bore you to death. And I think relieving the experience would be stressful and frustrating.

Lesson Learned from A Loofah

Do you use a scrub sponge or a loofah when you take a bath? I do.

Loofahs (according to their manufacturers, advertisers, distributors and retailers) would make your bathing experience better than those people who don’t use them. It removes dirt and dead skin cells more efficiently compared to mere rubbing of your skin with your hands. However, scrubbing is painful. Despite the pain that the friction between the bath sponge and my skin causes, I still use a loofah because it makes me feel cleaner and my skin feels softer as I step out of the shower.

So what’s my point?

Well, while I was taking a bath the other day. It suddenly occurred to me that there are people who serve as our loofahs in life. They hurt us but because of them or because of what they do, we become cleaner, somehow better persons afterwards.

Iligan Through The Eyes of An Outsider

I love to travel. Traveling, for me, is not only an opportunity to see the beauty of the world but it is also an avenue for learning invaluable lessons. Each place offers lessons unique to it aside from the magnificent tourist destinations and mouthwatering delicacies.

I’ve only been to Mindanao twice. First was when my family and I spent the Holy Week at South Cotabato and Davao in 2011, and second was when I went to Dapitan to profoundly understand Jose Rizal. Philippine media is very centralized on Luzon particularly on Metro Manila that I tend to forget that there are other parts of the Philippines worthy of notice too. I am not really familiar with Iligan, to be honest. To me, it is just another city of the Philippines whose geographical location I had to memorize for a map exam during my freshman year in college. I don’t really hear it often until typhoon Sendong swept Northern Mindanao and brought devastation upon Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. The media, ever-ready to report what’s hot, continually gave updates about the condition of said cities. It was then that I started to take notice of Iligan. Ironically, it was during Iligan’s worst disaster that I discovered its beauty and learned to appreciate not only the city but its people as well.

The following reasons compel me to visit Iligan City someday:

My Love of Law

My dream of becoming a lawyer was born when I was in fifth grade. I originally wanted to be a teacher. It felt like I was born with that ambition. Maybe all children first dreamed to be a teacher since our teachers are our first hero outside home. I used to always draw a blackboard and a stick version of me on papers. Then, I had this teacher in fifth grade who taught us about the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Chuck, Blair and Law School

In the face of true love, you don't just give up even if the object of your affection is begging you to.”
This is one of the most memorable and striking lines of Chuck Bass (Although, I believe that all his lines leave lingering impact). Whoever said that Gossip Girl is only about love, scandal, sex and aggressiveness doesn't know what he was saying.

Lesson Learned from Minesweeper

Life is like playing minesweeper.
Sometimes you are faced with situations where you don’t know what to do. It appears intimidating and you fear to commit a mistake for the result may be fatal.

Lesson Learned from Drowning

Photo Credit: Sandervanderveen on flickr.com
Life is like going for a swim. It's enjoyable and refreshing. But there are times that the water becomes too much for us to handle. Sometimes, the pool turns out to be deeper than we imagined. Upon realizing this, panic easily follows.

It's easier to just give in...to let the water pull us in effortlessly. Struggling for oxygen could be tiring. Exerting force against the water could be exhausting. It would take a determined mind to fight the inviting current of the pool…to resist being drowned.

Follow Your Destiny, Wherever It Leads You

A close friend who always takes time to share motivational messages sent this to me this morning. I think it is something worthy to share and spread. 

Before you read the poem, CLEAR your head, close your eyes, take a deep breath, relax your mind and body. Forget all your worries. Think about your dream, ambition... The ultimate desire that keeps you moving in life and which is also the source of your stress. But don't focus on the stress, concentrate your thoughts on how badly you want to attain your ambition. And read on...

Lesson Learned from Ascending A Staircase

Life is a lot like ascending a staircase, it will take you several steps to reach the top. There are people who would look up to you from lower levels but there will always be people above you too whom you look up to.


Humility is a necessity in ascending the stairs because you will never know when you will slip. And one false step may cause your fall. 

Be humble.

Between Sisters: For Chesca

Our sisterhood is neither perfect nor is it fairytale-like. Ours is as humorously chaotic as the endless cat and mouse chase of Tom and Jerry, and sometimes as dramatic as an episode of Walang Hanggan.

We are opposite as two individuals can be. We don’t always get along well because you hate it when I give orders and I hate it when you don’t obey. We argue because of senseless, trivial things and most of the time, only because no one wants to lose and we both desire to prove our superiority over the other. Despite all the differences, misunderstandings, and consequent squabbles, the bond between sisters remains undamaged. The good memories ALWAYS overshadow the negative ones. The ever-forgiving love of a sister, after all, is insurmountable by any mistake, mood swing, annoyance, and hurt.

Never Grow Up

I love Taylor Swift. She writes her songs from her own experiences and puts her heart into the lyrics. I feel them every time. The message of "Never Grow Up" (written by Taylor Swift from the album, Speak Now) hits home.
Your little hand's wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything's funny, you got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that

Dose of Optimism

The Heavenly Father had enlightened and empowered me today. He made me see my current situation in a different light – a more optimistic and enthusiastic perspective. Law school and the adjustment in terms of study habit that it entails had made me really lonely for the past week. Although I maintained a smiley outside facade, I was actually hopeless inside. I don’t know what exactly transpired. I just felt lighter. Perhaps, God carried the burden I was carrying on my behalf. He lifted my worries, and filled my heart with the Grace of His love.

The First Roadblock


Five days in law school and I already found myself crying in hopelessness. Right from the start, I knew that it would be hard. Before classes started, I tried to prepare myself emotionally. I actually thought that I succeeded. But obviously I didn't. This is the first challenge I faced in law school - winning the mind game. Law school tests the students' character and passion.

Fear: A Dreamer's Enemy

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself." This is one of my  favorite motivational statements of Paulo Coehlo. Indeed, our fear hinders us from doing or achieving certain things. Fear is all in our mind. Once we've learned to conquer our fear, we will discover that it is actually what was restraining us to achieve our full potential from the start.

A Just War?

Soil covered of blood. Dead bodies scattered everywhere. Destroyed buildings. Gun fires in the distance. Wailing ambulance. Weeping families. 

War brings many dreadful effects to humanity and society. Despite the negative impacts brought by wars, the world is not unanimous in its opinion of it. There are those who oppose war while another side believes that war is justifiable and for the good of mankind. Benjamin Franklin believed that “there has never been a good war or a bad peace.” In this sense, can we say that war can be tolerated if it resulted to peace?

The Real Essence of Education

"If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man's future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual's total development lags behind?" -Maria Montessori
Accounts of our very first day at school – we all have them. Most people, especially our parents, treasure this moment and they try to retell this over and over. The first-day experience varies from one person to another. My other siblings, according to our mom, did not want to be left behind at school. They shed buckets of tears just to convince our mom to stay until their class ends. For them, school was frightening because it was an unknown land, an unexplored environment, an unfamiliar world.

A Better Me to A Better Country

Back in 2009, I was awarded as one of the 10 Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children. The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), as part of its efforts to recognize the contribution of OFWs or Expat Pinoys, holds an annual search nationwide for 10 children with OFW parents who excel academically and hold leadership positions in school or in the community. Among the requirements to the said search is an essay citing the ways that one can be an instrument of nation-building. Below is the essay I submitted:

Confucius once said, “To put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.” I think the most remarkable contribution I can give to our nation as a child of an Overseas Filipino Worker is to improve myself and become an asset to the country.  I can do this by becoming a conscientious student, a considerate sibling, a respectful daughter, an upright citizen, and a God-fearing Christian.

Comfort Zone

I must let go. I've been holding myself for too long. It is difficult for me to leave my comfort zone and take risks. This attitude is greatly influenced by my closest friends in school who possess the same. They are part of my comfort zone. I don't try to mingle with other people and join other organizations because I already have them. I never go to a place without one of them as a companion. We support each other as a group but at the same time pull each other to be stagnant (even if we don't intend to).

Identity is A Big Deal (Lesson Learned in Mae Sot, Thailand)

Value your identity because many have lost theirs and are struggling to the point of death just to preserve the little identity they have. This is what I learned from illegal Burmese migrants I met in Mae Sot.

Mae Sot is a province of Thailand that is commonly called as the "Little Burma" since it's where most Burmese sought refuge when they flee Myanmar  to escape from danger (Burma is the old name of Myanmar). Some Burmese refugees and migrants who grew up in Mae Sot lost contact with their families and relatives. They are not considered citizens of Myanmar nor of Thailand. They are stateless individuals.

Lesson Learned in Myanmar

Just because you don't get credit for what you do, doesn't mean you stop doing it.

In Myanmar, my friends and I had the opportunity to meet and talk to residents who carve statues and figurines for a living. They were a group of four or five men.

This group of men transforms the wood into something beautiful, something with a face. They give life to the wood.

You know, what was sad about their story?

Here I Come, Southeast Asia!

Excited. It is my first time to travel abroad. For someone who dreams of seeing the world, this is such a BIG DEAL. Since I was young, I have always wondered what lies beyond the Philippines. Imagine my happiness when our instructor told us that we will have an educational trip in some countries of Southeast Asia! I said to myself that I need to join the trip by hook or by crook. Lucky for me, my parents are very supportive. They are more than willing to pay for all the expenses. These are the moments that I really feel blessed to have such loving parents!

Lesson Learned From A Highlighter

It's necessary for some details to be highlighted while others are better left ignored. Similarly, don't focus much attention on the flaws of people around you, try instead to see their positive traits.

This is one advice that we unintentionally forget to live by. Because it is so much easier to notice people's shortcomings, right?

Luckily, I discovered a technique to overcome this tendency to be a nitpicker.

Learning Fragments

Life is an adventure.That's a fact. No amount of careful planning can prepare anyone for its surprising twists and turns. It has always fascinated the curious child in me, kept the adult me apprehensive, and preoccupied my inner philosopher.

This blog is my attempt to write down my story, contemplate on my struggles and triumphs, make sense of life, and discover my soul in the process.

I am writing this for myself, for my sanity. I'm certain that I still have to face a lot of challenges and failures -- challenges that would make me forget how to be strong; failures that would make my self-esteem wither and even shatter my hopes and dreams. When that time comes, and I know it will, this blog would remind me that life is wonderful despite pain, and trials are conquerable no matter how tough.

This blog is also for anyone who, by a quirk of fate, would come across this blog and find meaning in what I have to say. It is part of our nature to empathize with one another. I believe that the lives of the 7 billion people in the world are interconnected. Somehow, at some points, our stories converge. We are overwhelmed by the same emotions, bothered by parallel thoughts, and moved by the same call of passion.

There are priceless lessons waiting for us each day. Sometimes we are too preoccupied  that we miss to notice real treasures of life, which are concealed by their simplicity.

Life lessons are fragments, scattered in different places and situations from various people and objects. They could be hidden in a book, expressed in a line of a song, portrayed in movies, overheard at the grocery store, manifested through an interaction with a stranger, etched in memories...They are everywhere, if we only take time to observe. We must collect as many fragments as we can to make our journey through life meaningful.

I hope to enjoy my journey collecting learning fragments with you!



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