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Mindy Kaling, unwitting patroness of struggling law students

As if I needed any more reason to love Mindy Kaling. It's no secret that I adore her, as an actress, as a character (Dr. Lahiri is my spirit animal), and as a person. But wow, hearing this from her, right smack in the middle of the hell that is Finals - man, shivers down my spine.

This is Mindy giving a speech at Harvard Law School Class Day last year. I actually find it quite amusing that she was invited, of all people. I'm just as puzzled as she is; I mean, she's not exactly the first person you'd imagine giving a speech to law students, and from Harvard, at that. Harvard, of all places, does not need the media attention. But apparently, for some law students in other parts of the world, we need this kind of talk, from this intelligent girl that speaks the truth and delivers it with a lot of heart (and humor.)

I love you, Mindy. No truer words have been spoken. I don't think I've ever come across a more beautiful speech to describe the profession of law and what it means to pursue it. Of all the people who would make me really want to fight, stay, and wade on through, I never imagined it would be you. But how glad I am that it is.

The thing I find the most fascinating, is that you are responsible for the language of justice, for the careful and precise wording in all those boring contracts that I sign while I watch Real Housewives.

You wrote the Terms and Conditions that I scroll through quickly while I download the update for Candy Crush. Terms and Conditions are the only things keeping us from the purge, everybody. I don’t read them—I just hit Accept. iTunes may own my ovaries for all I know.

“Employees must wash their hands before returning to work.” A lawyer wrote that.

“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” A lawyer wrote that.

“Mindy Kaling may not come within 1,000 feet of Professor Noah Feldman.” A lawyer wrote that.

These are protections that we take for granted. Your dedication to meticulous reading is a tedium that I find so admirable. You take words and you turn them into the infrastructure that keeps our world stable.

The seductive southern lawyers from John Grisham novels get all the glory, the Noah Feldmans, but the rest of you form the foundation for our day to day lives. It's backbreaking and often, there is not much glory. And in that way, a lot of you will become the quiet heros of our country. And those of you that go on to work for big pharma and Phillip Morris, you will become the loud anti-heros and someone is certain to make an AMC series glamorizing you.

Either way, you can't go wrong. I look at you and see our nation's future. Attorneys, corporate lawyers, public prosecutors, judges, politicians, maybe even the President of the United States. Those are all positions of such great influence. Understand that one day you will have the power to make a difference.

"You are responsible for the language of justice. You take words and you turn them into the infrastructure that keeps our world stable."


The law is a beautiful language in itself. And we are lucky to be gifted the opportunity to learn it, be fluent in it, and use it for the greater good. Thank you, Mindy, for making me realize this when I need it the most.


Read the whole transcript of Mindy's speech here.



Of writing

I've always believed that whatever is meant for you will find a way back into your life - in whatever way, however difficult.

There are very few things I hold dearly to me; there are only a number of things I consider a part of my identity. One of them is writing. It hasn't always been this way, especially not before college. I was more of an avid reader; someone who appreciated writing but not one who dreamt of making the craft. But UP happened, and CAL happened, and I realized, writing is something I will always, always enjoy doing. I will not claim to be great at it; but I derive tremendous pleasure from being able to take part in its craft. It's not so much the "expression of feelings" that I get a kick out of - because honestly, writing doesn't always involve emotions. It's the method. It's the process of putting together words and thoughts and elements, and crafting them to make something new. I like coming up with something more than the sum of its parts. There is joy in finding stories and telling them.

I never thought law school will give me that opportunity. In fact, my biggest gripe with law school is that it has given me no opportunities to write; it has doused whatever creativity I've nurtured in the last few years. But I've always told myself there is love in law school; there is literature in the field of law. I've made a promise that after law school, I shall write again. No matter where or how, basta, I will write.

If there's a commitment I'm willing to make for the rest of my life, it will be for the written word. And wow, I didn't ever think this will come to me at this time. This makes me want to really work my ass off and do well so that I can deserve it.

Crossing my fingers for this, Philippine Law Register. Maybe you're just the kind of change I need to make me genuinely want this place again.


Before Midnight: Portia Ball 2015

It's that time of the year again, where I get to pretend I'm not a stressed-out law student and dress up like a high school senior who got asked out to prom by her crush. Only in this scenario, I'm technically the one who did the "asking out," and I'm classier than your average teenager by not being decked out in sequins, tulle, and whatever glitter's left on your 2nd-grade arts-and-crafts box.

The end of Portia Week means the annual Portia Induction Ball, and of course, the Boyfriend and I were more than happy to play the role of prim-and-proper couple even for a night. As I've already been inducted the year before, no required cotillion dance for us this year, which means we got to enjoy it as normal guests this time around. Louie and I love joking around that the Portia Ball is our pseudo-Oscars (or actually, Star Magic Ball, if we're gonna be honest and real jologs about it), and we're secretly thrilled going about running errands just to prepare for this thing: picking up a dress, buying new shoes, getting a new tie — the entire enchilada. We very much like getting into it, #sorrynotsorry. Hey, we like the escapism of it all! Can't blame the exhausted engineer and perpetually sleep-deprived law student.

And now, let the photo dump begin:

Stopped by a gas station somewhere along E. Rod to fix him up and take pictures

I brought along with me my Re, considering its above-average performance at Tryst (see previous post). It's a pretty solid camera for daytime, no doubt about it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it's not too shabby at night too, considering that it had no flash. Hence, I decided it was a worthy companion for the night. Just look at these pics I took inside his car. Pretty decent considering the low-lighting, right?

This is as "action packed" as we can get so far for this action camera. Lol. We'll be sure to bring it along legit adventures next time. For now, the most thrill it's going to get is on the dashboard of his Toyota.

Filter: Gas station glow

Of course the night wouldn't be complete without some #fail on my part. Being the forgetful fish that I am (Dory is my spirit animal! What who are you? P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney!), I forgot to charge the camera from Tryst. Well, I was promised a week-long battery life, okay! I took a few more pictures with my Re when we got to the venue but eventually relegated the photo-taking task to Louie's trusty phone to take over for the night.

Thank you, Nexus 5, for the wonderful pictures!

The 3-D Portians: Desiree, Kat, Chrissa, and Therese

It's funny how just a few years in law school have given me this awesome set of friends (and sisters!): we're all so different, yet we couldn't be more alike in all our crazies. I'm so lucky I have these girls to share my anxiety attacks and small joys with.

KARLIE & TAYLOR, aka Karla and Chrissa, aka #Khrissa :))
Don't you just love our colors? 

Doing my Magic Pose with Desiree!
Works every time!

Sophisticated and classy would be an understatement to describe the venue. We held our ball at Light of Love, somewhere near E. Rodriguez. Much like last year, it was an events place that had the romantic garden scenery down pat. Look at all those pretty lights! Our hall, aptly named "Integrity," had a large balcony out in the back, extending towards the huge trees and vast gardens. It was a really lovely place; quite the perfect setting for anyone's teenaged rom-com and/or Disney fantasies. (In my head, I'm having Princess Diaries / Tangled flashbacks.)

The 3rd Year sisses!

Being our true wacky and actually very jologs selves

<br /> Okay this is where I shall allow myself to be sentimental&nbsp;<span style="-webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; background-color: rgba(255, 255, 255, 0);">—&nbsp;</span>if you're allergic to cheese, I suggest you skip this paragraph now! You have been warned! Scroll, scroooll, SCROOOOOOLL!

Okay this is where I shall allow myself to be a bit sentimental. I'm so incredibly fortunate to have this guy as my date. He's been such a patient, understanding, and caring man since Day 1, but most especially in the last few weeks leading up to this night. It's no secret that I'm still very much in shambles after what recently happened to my aunt. In fact, at some point, I almost didn't want to go to this Ball anymore, because I didn't like the idea of having fun so soon after someone's demise. It was Louie who reminded me that my tita wouldn't want me sulking (especially because of her) when I should otherwise be enjoying. She never liked it when I cried. And I knew she would've wanted me to glam up even for a night, especially since weeks before, when I was staying with her in the hospital, I showed her pictures of this dress. She loved it, and said it was so me. I went out last Sunday with the thought of how proud she would've been of the two of us, all cleaned up and pulling the whole thing off with the panache of primetime bidas ;) HAHAHA.

I'm super thankful to my mom and Tita Guada (papa's sister) for getting me through and helping me look this glam (Pagbigyan!) last Sunday. And to Louie, of course, for being the gentleman and awesome boyfriend that he is.

Louie has been more than just a boyfriend to me: he's been a great friend, support system, and partner. I'm glad to have someone like him who always knows what to say and do to make things better for me. This May, we're celebrating two years since our first official date. <i>Bilis!</i>&nbsp;But also, I get the feeling that, "What? 2 years pa lang?! It feels like I've known him forever!" :)) We always kid that we're such a "<i>loveteam</i>," and&nbsp;<span style="background-color: white; color: #545454; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: x-small; line-height: 20.2222232818604px;">—</span>&nbsp;Kathryn Bernardo-comparisons not withstanding&nbsp;<span style="background-color: white; color: #545454; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: x-small; line-height: 20.2222232818604px;">—</span>&nbsp;everyday I realize how true that is. We're real teammates. We make decisions together, we go through our problems together. We share in each other's daily defeats and small victories. But what I feel most grateful for is that he's just as weird as I am. I can't possibly think of anyone who is just as funny, quirky, and cray-cray. Buti na lang, hindi masyado halata when we dress up like this ;)

Watch out, KathNiel!

End #feels!

Alright, let's go back to the pictures now, shall we :)) 

3-D girls with our dates: Chrissa & Anton, Kat & Bien, Therese & Jio, and KBear & Lulu

With my Portia batchmate, Pia! 2013-B ♥
She's also an only child and a graduate of Creative Writing.

So incredibly proud of her since she competed abroad this year for moot!
Here she is with her date, RJ.

With my Murphy's Law Jologs Quiz Bee co-head, Vet! #tunaynajeje

Too bad I didn't get to have a picture taken with our guest of honor that night, LP Honey Oliveros, who was at her usual wacky, funny, but nonetheless dignified self. She is the chief of staff of Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, who is also our sis. LP Honey reminded us of what it means to be a Portian  a woman of service, honesty, and above all integrity. Her anecdotes were laugh-out-loud hilarious, but not without a few morals behind them. It was a reminder of the long journey that awaits us outside Malcolm Hall. Being an excellent person isn't confined to the four walls of law school; in fact, the reckoning point will only begin once we step outside and find for ourselves our place in the world. I can only hope to look back on this night many years from now and finally be able to confirm for myself that yes, she was right. The road is long and the journey will be tough. But as we say, "All excellent things are as difficult as they are rare." In the end, it will all be worth it.

Capping off this post with more pictures of me and my weirdo-who-already-shaved-his-beard-o:

Not sure if serious or wacky (I think it's more of "attempting to be serious and ended up wacky")

As a parting shot, here is a gorgeous picture of the 3rd year Portians (with our dates), taken by one of the official photographers. 

Happy 82nd year, UP Portia Sorority! Thank you for the nights like this. :)


Tryst 2015: Soaked!

2015 is UP Portia Sorority's 82nd year, and what better way to celebrate than with a huge, awesome party!

But this year's Tryst is not like any of the previous ones we've thrown, because what makes this year's party special, entitled "Soaked" is:
  1. As you can guess from the name alone: it's a pool party! #BYOB = Bring Your Own Bikini or Boardshorts!
  2. It's the Law/Med mixer everyone's been waiting to happen! It was co-presented by Lex Athenia Victoria Sorority of Ateneo Law and Tau Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity of UST Med, and co-sponsored by Lambda Rho Sigma Sorority of San Beda Law (along with Alpha Phi Beta and Sigma Rho fraternities of UP Law)
  3. It's right before Labor Day! What #LaBoracay? Temple Drive is where it's at!

Last night was a blast. We only throw one party every year, but wow, when we do, we go beyond expectations! I'm so happy we found a way to pull strings together and made it all happen. We had a lot of sponsors and had a large turnout of guests. Really - props to the Tryst Team! 

The Little Mermaid in me obviously had plans of jumping straight into the pool and never leaving until it's time to go home, but my ovaries declared otherwise (insert sad face), hence I took on the role of being just a dutiful pool-side party-goer (enjoyed my cocktails, thankyouverymuch) and a part-time YOLO photographer, thanks to my new baby, the Re. The pictures aren't perfect, but they're good enough to give everyone a glimpse of the great time we all had last night :)

Strobe lights make the wildest filters

Crazy blurry photo with my crazy beautiful friends! 3-D Portians, represent!
Me, Chrissa, Kat, and Des

Portia blue lights
Chua, me, Chrissa

Friends, old and new

Last night's date: Bearded Lulu!
Almost everyone didn't recognize my mystery date :P

More photos grabbed from the Tryst Facebook page:

Third-year sisses, feat. two second-year sisses at the back, and two boys :)) 

UP Law 2016 love! 

My weirdo with a beard-o

I'm still on an emotional rollercoaster from everything that happened in the last few days (and months, actually), but it's nights like this that remind me to stop, take a breath, enjoy life, and let the love around you embrace your fears away :)