Follow your Dreams

On the same day last year, I almost decided to follow a different path.

I thought everything would be OK like that.

But an ‘inner voice’ told me to revive my dream and go back to the previous path where I was cut for.

And it wasn’t even a mistake.

🦌

SCD

A Day that Changed my Life

“Passing the Bar is, truly, an extraordinary feat of which, you should all be proud of…always be reminded that with the distinction you gain as lawyers, comes the concomitant responsibility to further the ideals of justice and the rule of law. Our society, especially during these most trying times, beckons you to not only become learned experts, but more so, to fight for the cause of the oppressed, to advance the pleas of the helpless, and to inspire others as a living example of integrity, above all (Omission, supplied).” – Senior Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernable, 2019 Bar Exams Chairperson

(DISCLAIMER: This is a re-post of the Supreme Court Public Information Office’s official video last April 29, 2020)

Three weeks ago? Yes, three weeks ago, this 3:34-min. long video became the genesis of what changed my life. The announcement of the results of the Bar put me in high spirits and, until now, nothing has changed.


I was clueless as to what would happen to me after the month-long exam last November 2019. Nothing’s certain. All I had with me were hope, faith, and prayers.


My life was normal for 6 months since the last Sunday of the Bar exams until COVID-19 transitioned every person’s life from this to that. Fast forward to a week before the announcement, I couldn’t sleep, properly. Honestly, like every other Bar 2019 candidate, I was nervous. But a day had to pass, I know. The day of the announcement would, surely, come. There was nothing I could do but to surrender everything to Him.


Until the day we’ve been waiting for came: it was a peaceful day. Everyone’s on quarantine. But 7,685 souls knelt down that morning, hoping and waiting for their names to be included on the list.


I didn’t get the chance to watch this vid. But a text message, plus a chat, brought chills to my whole being: “CONGRATS, ATTORNEY!” and “666. DE GUZMAN, SAMANTHA C.”

Time stopped! I couldn’t fathom that inexplicable, flabbergasting moment. I went outside without double-checking my name. “All I needed was the number,” I thought.

Then, the rest was history.


Every day was a roller-coaster ride!


The journey has barely started, I know. But I would, always, remember this day. On Apri 29, 2020, the heavens rejoiced. Ora et Labora!

Congratulations to the 2,103 successful examinees! We made it! And for those who didn’t, this is not the end. Continue soaring! We all become lawyers in God’s appointed time. 🙂

SCD

‘Sweetest Thing’

The sweetest thing I heard today was when Pops said, “I am happy that you’re happy.”, randomly, at suppertime.

He looked me straight in the eye and smiled.

“Thank you, Papa.” Then, I was dazed to discover how my father could fathom the real feeling I have inside.

💌,

SAM

Softly Indulged ❤️

I like the notion of having a “childlike tastebud.” A person ages, but the memory of sugar melting inside his mouth does not.

So today, I am grateful for a soft pleasure – to indulge myself with a cone of ice cream from a convenient store.

Maybe life is all about small-sized indulgence. You’re biting, slowly, until you realized you’re full.

💌,

SAM

One Sunny Afternoon

I was holding a pair of crinkled hands – they were white. These exquisite bougainvilleas were pale in comparison to the beauty that these hands witnessed for almost a decade.

“Why are you holding me all the time?”, she asked.

“‘Cause I don’t want to let you fall, Gran.” I answered.

💌,

SAM

Grieve

“How long am I gonna be stuck here, excuse me?”

Sweet? No, bittersweet. I had never seen this coming. Never.

So this is grief. You can’t, really, tell: all you have are bizarre pictures lurking past you…sometimes back and forth.

They would say, “It’s okay.” But, honestly, it’s not okay. It’s not okay not to be okay.

You were thinking of alternatives. Sadly, you had no Plan B.

Grieve. Just grieve.

💌,

SAM

Happy “6th” with WordPress!

It, still, wouldn’t escape my memory when I first wrote the very first two entries I had here on WordPress. Back then, I was a sophomore college junkie – little things. The little things which, eventually, transform into life-sized grizzly bears boggle my seventeen-year-old-mind:

I wrote about beauty reminders.

There was an encounter with a brute.

The succeeding entries came like the Wizard of Oz. I was writing, subsequently, everything which came into my mind: wishes and dreams, frustrations, travels, and love.

Then, came the year 2017. I changed the Blog Title from SAMTHING EXTRAORDINARY to IT’S A “SAM”-THING and even changed the cover with “SAMMY” tile. Given the fact that this blog was known from its URL, I decided to give it a new wisp of personality. Every detail was personalized with the end in view of giving my readers or viewers the idea that they’re visiting a whole new world where only they and “SAMMY” exist. 🙂

The truth is, so long as days or years pass, I will, still, write. WordPress has been a part of me. Taking it away is taking a portion of me which makes me incomplete.

To my avid readers, please bear with me. Cheers to more years with you!

💌,
SAM

‘Jez’ Got Real 👩‍❤️‍👩

Back in the year 2014, right after my college graduation, I was called to be one of Pangasinan’s delegates for the 10th National Youth Parliament under the supervision of the National Youth Commission. Four representatives from Pangasinan were selected (three from University of Luzon, and one from University of Pangasinan-PHINMA).

“The Parliament of Youth Leaders, also known as the National Youth Parliament, is a gathering of at least 200 youth leaders and youth sector representatives from all over the country who engage in a simulated legislative process where they present, discuss, and craft policy recommendations that will address pressing issues that directly affect them.

Consistent with Republic Act 8044, otherwise known as the Youth in Nation-Building Act, the Youth Parliament meets at the call of the National Youth Commission every two years.” – National Youth Commission

Our main agenda, then, was the reformation of the Sangguniang Kabataan, which, honestly, on my video resume, I didn’t adhere to it at first. If I remember it right, I mentioned this in my previous blog post entitled, “Welcome to the Days of Future Past.”
This was the set up: Youths were divided into committees: Committee on Health (where I belong), Committtee on Employment, Committee on Education, and Committee on Participation.

When Kim, Ate Dawn, and I arrived at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel, we stayed in the hotel room before we head on to the Ambassadors’ Hall for the Preliminaries. By the way, this hotel played huge roles in Philippines’ history [the location of the inauguration of the members of the First Philippine Assembly in 1907], and I believe, since May is Heritage Month, the National Youth Commission decided to convene the youth there. And this is where Jez and I met, in the most unexpected and awkward situation.

Okay. Let’s go back to when we had just arrived. Later that night, after the Preliminaries, somebody’s knocking on our door. I opened it and to my surprise, a man and a lady with backpacks, said “Hi”. Then, the lady asked if there’s a space for her. Before answering, I looked at Ate Dawn and Kim who were, also, astonished by the fact that we’d not be, exclusively, using the room as we need to share it with a fellow. Later on, I opened the door for her. She asked the crew to provide her with an extra bed. And so the story starts there, but it doesn’t end…little did I know, when I opened the door, I was coined by her and her boyfriend as “ang babaeng galit sa mundo” because of my facial expression, then. 😂✌🏻

This lady was named as Jezrel Olaer, a delegate from Davao City, part of the Committee on Employment, and now a licensed Customs Broker. We had built an amazing friendship in the most extraordinary ways. Thanks to technology. This friendship was made possible despite our geographical distance. For three years, we shared each other’s lives and with and through God’s grace, we, finally, saw each other, again.
Truth be told, I had a planned trip in Davao but it didn’t push through because of an unforeseeable event. But God’s timing and ways are perfect! If I wasn’t able to go to Davao, Jez was scheduled for a Pangasinan trip. So, here we are. Tea sesh with her after she met my parents. *Butterflies all around my stomach* I had to admit I almost cried when I hugged her. It’s been three long years!

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This woman is, extremely, humble, sweet, and generous! Whenever I asked her questions answerable by “YES” or “NO”, she would answer me, “Opo” even if we are of the same age. Also, she had spoiled me with an abundant amount Davao delights (Durian candy, Durian Yema, Durian Pastillas, Durian Piaya because the real fruit is prohibited in airports, Mangosteen Candy, and Ube Candy). Aren’t they all sweet? She, also, included Taiwanese teas and key chain. As a support to my studying Law, she gave me a cute notebook, pens, and coloring book from Miniso. “I have to do some de-stressing,” she said. Oh, how sweet and supportive you are to my Law schooling, Jez! Thank you.

I have proven how disciplined people from Davao are. While she was ordering our teas, she, unconsciously, put her one thousand peso bill on top of the table just beside us. So I said, “Wow, Jez! Dyan mo lang talaga ilalagay?” Then, she said, “Sorry.” That’s not just it. Even after my instruction that Pangasinan is different from Davao, that in the former, you have to hold your wallet or even grocery bags all the time, she, used to put her wallet beside her where others could sit. When I noticed it, she laughed and said, “Sorry.” You see how normal it is for Davaoeños to leave their stuffs without fear of being robbed? It’s a lesson for me, for us, for every city in Philippines!

Thanks be to God because I found such a rare opportunity to meet good people. National Youth Commission, I commend you, too, for bringing youths to participate in policy-making as a tool to national development, and for making youths from across the archipelago friends for life! 🙂

Like I said, I’ll see you, soon, Jez. XOXOXO

💌,
SAM

13th of June: THOUGHTS ON LABOR 📝⚓️

“Let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, or that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provisions have been made. I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed.” – ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Address at Springfield, Illinois (1837)

I found myself re-opening C.A. Azucena, Jr.’s annotation on the Labor Code, 2013 Edition. Truth be told, I am not a fan of reviewers (although I’m on my fourth year now because our subjects are, mainly, reviews). I find consolation with my good, old annotated-books, no matter how sacredly thick they were. It’s where I can both dream and plan with the author, and learn and decide the logic or reality. For reviewers are, usually, excerpts of stories. You’re barely providing yourself the full consumption you need. In short, you’re not getting what you’re paying for – learning and experience. Experience, because discussions are displayed in a clear context in annotations, whereas in reviewers, they are not.

The abovequoted line from Lincoln shot me by the heart. I, really, like perusing pages of Azucena’s work before the preliminary title of the Code. They were outsourced from both life and law. Sometimes, these two interchange, eh?

Hello, senior Law school! Please be guided with these kinds of quotations. They’re, outrageously, informative! 💡👋🏻

💌,
SAM