Tease (r) Me: 👩🏻‍🎓

Can I excuse myself for saying it here, now?

Ladies and gentlemen, SAMANTHA CRISOSTOMO DE GUZMAN, 23, GRADUATE OF BACHELOR OF LAWS [and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science]. 👩🏻‍🎓

Due to the recent Legal Education Board resolution last early January, all Ll.B (Bachelor of Laws) holders are now considered as J.Ds. (JURIS DOCTORS). So, we can now call ourselves “doctors”, too. 😝🤪✌🏻

I need not expound all my thoughts for words are not enough. But thank You to my Guiding Light, my family members, my friends, and my classmates and my teachers.

As promised, please wait for more updates from me.


I am sorry, Dean.

Of whites and big dreams. 👩🏻‍🎓🌬

In the middle of March, seventeen (17) men and women from the well-acclaimed PHINMA- University of Pangasinan College of Law, took off from the bloodbath for the graduation pictorial.

Half a day was sufficient to bring all toils and insomnia into elegance, for what good would it bring to wear a “no-no battle-suit”? They would, rather, fight in full gears than come to the arena empty-handed [P.S. I was referring to our attire, sorry. 😂].

“I am sorry, Dean.” was the title of this entry because I was not so proud to barge into one’s office and take photographs for myself.

So, Dean, if you are reading this right now, I want to say thank you for being all-proficient and patient during our Civil Law Review classes. We salute you, Dean! 👋🏻We’re hoping that a day will come that you would do the same for us. ✌🏻 Again, let me be repetitive with my apologies for using your honorable office for my “artistic agenda”. 💓

2915831e-295a-416d-be67-e66d89296ec3I am sorry, Dean, for wanting to be a lawyer for my mistaken belief that the Law profession depicts tranquility. After almost four years of my stay in Law school, I welcomed the idea that “lawyering” is equivalent to battling. 🤼‍♂️

I am sorry, Dean, for my enthusiasm in entering this “Battle of Lions.” 🦁

I am sorry, Dean, for spending a year to teach while studying. You told me during the interview, “IF you want to be a lawyer, you should be a full-time student. Remember that the first day of your review starts from the first day of your class on your first year.” 📖

Thank you, Dean, for inculcating in us that failure to prepare is preparation to fail. ⏳

Thank you, Dean, for summing up thousand pages of annotation into a single sentence, clearly. 💡

Thank you for, jokingly, teaching the morale: “So what should you do when the Law favors the rich? AIM TO BE RICH!” 💸

Thank you, Dean, for, always, reminding us that UPang lawyers are above par! 👩🏻‍⚖️👨🏻‍⚖️

Thank you, Dean, for teaching us to stand for what we’re fighting for. ⚖️

Thank you, Dean, for your words of wisdom during annual testimonial dinners. 🗣

ca596f8f-7205-44c6-b929-31a17240426dAnd, finally, thank you, Dean, for giving us passing grades in Civil Law Review I and II, and for signing our graduation papers! 🏆🏅

By the way, thanks to Ma’am Diola, our librarian, who cheered me up and pushed me to do the shoot here. Ah, yep, it was Pops who took these photos. Do you want to book him as your photographer? No problem!

Congratulations, UPang Law graduates! God is so gracious! We made it, future panyeras and panyeros! And congratulations to all graduates of 2018! Hats off and sablay down to the graduates! 👩🏻‍🎓👨🏻‍🎓


5 DON’TS When Presenting in Class 📝

Don’t make them feel ignorant.

I am having a second row of blog post because oh, well. My thoughts and ideas just keep on flowing and we gotta make the most out of them!

Today, we had a real bloody [for me] lecture in Special Commercial Law and I got bored or uninterested in the middle because: First, I wasn’t able to read the topic [Securities Regulation Code], and second, I was expecting that somehow, the reporter would make us understand it in a way that a non-CPA would. Because, man, we finished different degrees and we exercise varying work. In short, not all of us are CPAs. I was kind of waiting or hoping that this ‘first view’, apart from being basic, would be comprehensive enough for the benefit of the whole class.

But to my disappointment, I hadn’t found an atmosphere of common ground because the report revolved around the law itself with only few practicable applications. Of course, since majority of the class are not CPAs, and especially when we had no or less time to read, most of us had a hard time. Hmmmn…or was it only me?

I, also, observed that we felt left behind on technical matters that only the experts among the class knew. The reporter and a CPA classmate had a discourse or questioning all throught the reporting which made me conclude: “They could be the only persons understanding each other here.”

So I had to get my phone and tweet my notions while the discourse went on…and on. Then, I planned to just read the topic.

Because of this incident and based on experience, let me give you a short list of DON’Ts when reporting in class or presenting to an audience:

1. Find something that the class relates to. 

2. Don’t make them feel ignorant.


3. Don’t focus on a single person, alone. It’s a report or presentation, NOT a display of skills. 

4. Aim to have your audience better understand your topic. 

5. Do not be afraid to entertain questions. 

Oh, I am way too eloquent tonight to express my views! As usual, I got the idea from my tweets. Thank you, Twitter! 🙈🙉

Remember: As a reporter, your main purpose is to facilitate, not to exacerbate. 🙂



Bye, bye!

These days it’s hard to get a remote job. Most employers out there deny the existence of an employer-employee relationship due to failure to meet formal requirements, which they hadn’t even required. Don’t forget to ask for an employment contract. But whether or not there is a written contract, what is controlling is the meeting of the minds of the parties. Opt for a security of tenure. Avoid employment at will.


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! 💡👋🏻


Sammy, r u OK?

Processed with VSCO with e8 preset
I have come across into a point where specters are sometimes mistaken as lifelong, one-dimensional chunk of myself. No matter how hard you fight for them, way of life also has this course to befriend you, then, betray you, afterwards.

It’s not even hard to tell…

As the clock ticks, so my heart beats. This journey I am going on through ain’t easy. Scholarly is not the word for it. I’d prefer, “solid” or “unyielding”. Most of us might feel the same about it but we differ from the way how we see ourselves on it.

When I first stepped on to that sturdy ground – the place where I thought I would put my dreams together – I felt no anxiety. My whole system was still caught up to my previous Alma Mater…where I felt flying up like I was in cloud 9. The new school is no different, I gasped.

Days went by so fast. I tried to build a piece of me there, yet, what counts was just temporary. Like I have permanently constructed myself to the other school. I used to tell my sister comparisons that she hated though she couldn’t directly tell. 

Now, I am a sophomore. Killing days and nights reading, reviewing, coping…I was not born with a silver spoon so I worked during daytime. Most hours, if not all, I spent catching up to read lessons for the night. And some, I spent them with a few friends for chitchats and snacks. I, still, have a life to live, eh?

Absurd, it is, to say all struggles we’ve been through. Tough on its face. The same with the presumption of validity of a certain instrument, when it is valid on its face, you are no longer compelled to go beyond what lies on it, defines how people see us. We were supposed to be tough, even if we are crying inside.

Our training could be so harsh. I remember the time when I sat on my chair at school without reading much and I got picked by our professor, “Is there a valid delegation of power by the legislature in taxation?” And I answered bland, too honest about what I know until she let me define taxation. Thankful, I was. There were also instances where I couldn’t answer the questions thrown by this acclaimed and reserved judge, until I got the momentum to answer his questions using logic. Professors differ according to the nature of work they have.

But I have grown accustomed to them. Recitations became a normal routine for me and, little by little, the lessons I thought were hard, were made clear to me.

Case digests. As much as I like writing, the number of cases being assigned to us were growing numerous that I only get the chance to write them in-between my classes while teaching. While some of my classmates let other people do the writing for them, I let myself do it for my benefit, later. Bar examination would require you to write on your own.

Oh, I forgot to mention about social events! We have this testimonial dinner & acquaintance party held, annually. The new bar passers deliver their testimonies about their lives as a student, how they survived the review, and even the present time that they were already full-fledged lawyers. I would oftentimes be moved that every person has a story to tell. And maybe one day, I would get to tell mine, too, standing at the podium…my professors all listening and my family teary-eyed.

By thinking all of that, I can hardly tell how long it is to continue fighting and soaring. I asked myself, “Am I really cut for this?” due to increasing life’s difficulties, especially financial problems. They say a student of this profession must read 6-8hrs. a day when in fact only half of our class can live up to that standard-slash-preparation-for-the-bar. Even I myself would be glad to read 6hrs. straight in a day.

There were still, or only, two years left for me. Another six months to review, then, I am ready for the battle of the lions. Some notions of giving up would just be normal, I thought. For an aspiration not hard is an aspiration not worth fighting for. I might put myself into this uncomfortable situation, it’s okay. This is where I am cut for. Law. And as long as God is fighting for me, I would, too. Besides, whatever I reap now, I will sow it…soon.



Human Rights, are you there?

An old photo. Back to the days when I tried nail polishes for the first time. The photo speaks for itself. Human Rights, I think, has to say a lot here. The focal point of little things is the focal point of life.

You could just imagine my sigh of relief as I wrote the last word in our Human Rights take-home exam. Law students have this struggle of non-stop writing, manually. We must equip ourselves with good handwriting, cursive, and of course, legible. Bar examinations is old school: composition notebook, 0.5 black or blue sign pen, and your calligraphy/cursive handwriting. I still remember in the past few days when I was literally having a painful hand for the continuous writing in Labor Law final exam. Notwithstanding the foregoing requirements, you also have to be speedy enough to meet the set standard of time. In that case, we were allotted only two hours for 23-item or set of questions. It would be more appropriate to call it “set of questions” because one item includes five sub-questions, so from the moment you answered the first one, your hand begins shaking and running for time. The first hour had passed and I was still on the first page of the test question, that was, around the sixth or seventh question so I needed to speed up more and think more quickly. Until then, that I finished writing second to my classmates. Ideally, now, you have to train yourself in answering questions brief and concisely and faster than the average. Bar exams put more pressure so you have to be on the look-out.

The following morning, I was on my superhuman mode of waking up at dawn to start reviewing. I was in a rush from the previous examinations and due to the fortuitous event that transpired our province. At 9AM, I was sitting comfortably at the Law library with two annotated books at hand and a notebook for my reviewer. The transgressor in me wanted to sleep and end my scheduled “continuous” review, but I fought the urge. After the exam, we were all in awe so we ate and roamed until we no longer can feel the pressure of the next class. For all intents and purposes, we still have Agrarian Law class in the afternoon leaving us six hours vacant from our last exam. In between our breaks, most of what we did was chitchat and capture moments of our insanity. Man, we couldn’t absorb information anymore! The time now has come to go back to our supposed room for Agrarian Law. We waited and acted like a sane person, but our actions would prove otherwise. Law students have their own outlets and you can distinguish them from other members of the society outside its sphere. Until we got that update that our professor was not coming. Oh, no! What a wasted “un-wasted time”!

I wrote this blog for the very purpose of ending my prolonged agony in this Human Rights exam. From postponed exam to a take-home exam, I sure did passed different enigmas just to finish off this one. And before I finally pass this composition notebook later, I wanted to make a history of posting my gratitude of this subject which has made me liberal, yet, calculative of every rights of individuals across the globe. With the last question in our exam, “Considering all the foregoing query, what, then, is human rights?”, I wrote like a full-grown justice. LOL

“Human Rights is an overview of human life. Considering all the query, it is more than a piece of paper but a slice of the whole cake of humanity. It exists in the littlest of things that man cannot encumber upon for it is the very essence of his world. Statutes may be enacted, Constitution may be reprimanded, but these universal rights, like water, must be as universal as the solvent to protect not only individuals from a certain place, but everyone without distinction or discrimination. This entitles a person to his freedom from the world’s static disturbance or dominion over himself. Human Rights, again, then, is an overview of human life.” (Subject to copyright. The above text cannot be used without proper citation from the author of this blog)

In sum, I believe we all have the right to leisure under Art. 24 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Perforce, this entitles me to write this blog, as writing is a daydream, to wee the exhaustion I had from answering the exam, just as how we acted insanely after our nerve-wrecking exams in Labor Law and Phil. Law on Natural Resources.

Ora et Labora! Thank You, Lord, for affording me Your Wisdom and Knowledge to battle all these out.

Thank you, readers. Thank you, WLAN connection. If this posted, I am more than blessed because the promo I availed is about to lapse.

by: Samantha C. De Guzman


Liberty (To Privacy and Interference)

“Man is one among many, obstinately refusing reduction to unity. His separateness, his isolation, are indefeasible; indeed, they are so fundamental that they are the basis on which his civic obligations are built. He cannot abandon the consequences of his isolation, which are, broadly speaking, that his experience is private, and the will built out of that experience personal to himself. If he surrenders his will to others, he surrenders himself. If his will is set by the will of others, he ceases to be a master of himself. I cannot believe that a man no longer a master of himself is in any real sense free.” (From the words of Laski in the case of Morfe v. Mutuc)

Perfected Imperfections (Imperfect Perfections)

“Let Your will be done, LORD, not mine.”

“I VOLUNTEER! I VOLUNTEER, SIR.” Yes, like Katniss Everdeen, I volunteered to be one of the speakers in debate, while my colleagues were trembling due to nervousness, for fear of being picked out of that draw. But the hope of finding myself in this debate was different from that of what I expected. Here’s the story:

I can’t believe I really stood up for the legalization of Same-Sex Marriage the whole duration of debate even if it’s contrary to my pages-long position paper that I have prepared for four weeks. When we tossed the coin, I was relieved because we got to chose our side but my disappointment arose when our Prime Minister affirmed the motion. 😦 (But you are a versatile debater, Danielle! I admire you for that!) The “fighter” in me became a silent sanctuary, yet, I have to fight, even if it’s contrary to law and morals.

The loopholes for Government side were really obvious and I supposed I perfected to establish the arguments on my position paper, which I wasn’t able to use tonight.

Oh, how unpredictable God’s plan was! Just when you were looking forward for a certain day to come, yes, it did. But in a very different circumstance. I might have not used my intuitions but my bravery and the Holy Spirit’s motivation did work out, perfectly. Imperfect arguments can perfect your day. But I was hoping for the perfect arguments, yet, I wasn’t sure of having the perfect moment. My 8-pages position paper was, I guess, useless. I wasn’t able to establish these, contrary to what I hope and prayed for. All “possible attacks/loopholes” to my paper were greatly sealed with night-long ideas that I have been conjuring up every now and then. They were supported by provisions, situations, etc – both falling under the question of facts and laws.

*Regarding the “growing needs of society”…it is a established proof that the reason for this motion is because of the increasing demands of people, discreetly. If you agree with the amendment process, then, what is your reason for attacking this Doctrine of Necessity? Do we need a statistical data here, which is not, I think the end goal of the Asian Parliamentary Debate. Moreover, DECORUM is very important in Debate. You don’t argue, informally. You are supposed to do it, intelligently. It was well established that the reason for Debate was to stand up for what is right and to do it in the proper way. Rude? Better sit, still.

In the end, our side won the debate and I was even chosen by the five adjudicators as the BEST SPEAKER, which until now, I couldn’t fathom how does that happen after all my contentions tonight. Ora et Labora! To God be all the glory!

Lessons learned: Although Debate seeks the truth, it also seeks quarter-full of bravery, despite of your 1% change of winning over that of 99%. And yeah, I should have had a copy of my position paper before I finally passed it. Was I really thinking? That would be useful for future debates.

Hello, readers! (I know this is somewhat inappropriate but I had to greet you in the end. By the way, I missed posting. 😉 )

by: Samantha C. De Guzman