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  • Writer's pictureJP

Legal Juggernaut: My 20-Year Law Journey with a Side of Sizzling Adventures

What a grueling few months. Getting back on the academic saddle is surely a challenge, coming from someone who hasn’t been in a classroom for the last 20 years. I thought with my life experiences I was already tough enough, pero kulang pa pala.

Studying law is not for the faint of heart. The curriculum is rigorous, and the workload is heavy. We delve into subjects like Civil Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Commercial Law from day one. The extensive reading assignments, case studies, and legal research projects often leave us burning the midnight oil (sana chicken oil nalang).

As a 40-year-old returning to school, juggling school with existing responsibilities can be challenging. We, the older adult learners, have families, jobs, and other obligations to manage. I soon realized it requires careful time management and a strong support system.

And interestingly enough, as I consider myself a foodie, food is an integral part of my support system. And as Filipinos, I soon discovered that my classmates all love eating! Food can serve as the ultimate motivator during study sessions. Having food while studying makes studying law, or any field for that matter, a delightful experience. And what’s best, having a few cold ones with my favorite skewers after closing my codals makes studying worthwhile.

Matic na yan, after a long week of recit-intensive, no-ceasefire classes, I head out to the nearest JT's Manukan Grille at BLOC 10 lifestyle mall in Filinvest Alabang (it’s just a 20-minute drive). Usually “walking” order na yan as I want to satisfy my palate as quickly as possible. As I enter the shop, I put down my staple order. “Dalawang San Miguel Pale Pilsen, tatlong corazon, isang isol, isang baticulon”. If the week was heavier than usual, or I felt I wasn't my 100%, may kasamang “isang sisig, may egg ha”.

There usually is a short wait, but enough for me to settle down on my general area of preference. But as soon as the beers come in, one gulp, kalahati agad. Then followed up with a corazon drenched in my favorite sawsawan of salt dissolved in calamansi juice, adding a bit of heat from the siling labuyo. My self-doubt (if I really made the right choice in entering law school) melts away. Often, I think, “sobrang nag-eenjoy ako dito sa JT’s. Mag franchise nalang kaya ako? Wag ko na kaya ituloy ang law? Sino kaya pwede kausapin about franchising?” But of course, that’s after my second pilsen, going on my third, fourth and fifth.

After I had my fill, or buzz, whichever comes first, it is as if my muscle memory that I’ll start opening my books. Go back to the topics I know I didn’t do well in (during recit, you law students know this feeling) as I finish the remnants of my orders and bill out (I don’t like waiting around as you’ve noticed).

And syempre, going home with a buzz, it is but mandatory to bring home some cansi to share with my wife, and to wake me up to continue studying.

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