Quiet, I’m praying.

The Jesuits believe that it’s only when you’re alone and in absolute silence that God speaks to you. So once a year, they talk to God. To do that, they stay absolutely silent for forty days. Their eyes only read the Bible, and their ears only hear the sounds of the passing day. They do not talk or communicate with another soul. No touching other people. No eye contact. Nothing.

Maybe they’re right. Vows of silence are known across other religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Islam. They all have their own followers of silence.

So it was that I found myself somewhere in Tagaytay, contemplating silence one summer in a three-day retreat, Jesuit style. Read: in absolute silence. Continue reading “Quiet, I’m praying.”


I Beg Your Pardon

Atty. Fred from Jaromay Laurente Pamaos has in his blawg a small primer on the President’s power to pardon, and I suggest reading it before continuing on any further.

Now although the discourse is filed under criminal law, the power to pardon is a concept that law students encounter in political law. As I remember, the power to pardon of the President is discussed only in broad strokes in criminal law, and only to the extent of its effect on the liabilities of a convicted felon.

Although a pardon, broadly speaking, can be a reprieve from, or a commutation of a sentence, or a remittance of a fine or forfeiture, the President’s power to grant pardons is nevertheless a political exercise. In granting a pardon, the President acts as the embodiment of the Filipino people. It is exercised for and on behalf of the people precisely because a criminal act is considered in law to be a violation against each and every Filipino. Continue reading “I Beg Your Pardon”

Poker Faces

The team missed the final match of the national rounds last Saturday, mostly because we were drowning our sorrows. Despite our much better showing, it still wasn’t enough to score any points – the Jessup uses a winner-take-all system to decide who goes to Washington DC. To cut to the chase, the team’s inexperience was clear to the judges and we lost to better teams.

Fair enough.

Those results sure were a long time in coming. Before we got them the next day, we were in “limbo” – we weren’t competing on the final day and we had no idea why, exactly. The kids had stumbled in a few places, but not that badly as to produce a convincing loss. From that perspective there was nothing left to do but drown our sorrows in alcohol. Continue reading “Poker Faces”

It’s not just about winning.

I was in Cebu last week as coach of the DLSU-FEU Consortium Jessup team. While it wasn’t exactly a vacation (really close to work, actually), it wasn’t as stressful as practice either. In short, we came, we did our thing, and we left. Not much else to say about it. What else can I say? Losing sucks. Continue reading “It’s not just about winning.”

Online Work and Plagiarism

Some time last year, the issue of plagiarism, especially with respect to articles published on peyups.com, was brought to my attention by some of my close friends on that particular site. According to them, people have been copy-pasting some of the most popular articles posted on peyups.com to their own blogs or web spaces, with nary an acknowledgment to peyups.com, with the net result as if these articles were original creations of theirs. Continue reading “Online Work and Plagiarism”


I was talking to my friend Bej as I was driving her home tonight about how awkward it was to talk to old friends over the Internet. I’d been bumping into them recently, as if the end of law school were also the end of a Gulliver-like trance into which I’d been brought.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate old friends coming out of the woodwork, but to bump into them online without much to say to each other, is quite the unnerving experience. Continue reading “Dyahe”