For 20 years life was a great roller-coaster ride, I sat front seat to witness and report about all major events starting from Zamboanga’s Cawa-Cawa Siege, the Little League Baseball Scam, EDSA 2 & 3; and travelled all over the world to see Palaces and state halls; and meet Presidents and Kings that few people get to do.
I left the Inquirer in 2007 after my heart told me it could no longer take all the wild and unusual excitement. I underwent a heart operation and six metal stents were placed to open up my 99-percent blogged veins last year. I’m now living on a bionic heart.
After the Inquirer though, the excitement continues after I put up the Deans and Kings Legal Public Relations, the first legal PR firm in the country. We help project and explain to the media and the public the developments pertaining to high-profile legal issues and cases you see, hear and read on television, radio, and newspapers.
Needless to say this kind of work – like media – brings stress because we are exposed to a daily dose of legal issues and stories about the really good and really worse in man. There is good and bad behind legal issues and like lawyers, we have to untangle the mess and web of lies, truth and the law.
These two careers exposed me to the best and worse a man can do to fellow man. I’ve met, shook hands and talked to Philippine presidents, foreign heads of states, senators, justices, congressmen, generals, tycoons, legal eagles, rebels, terrorists, madmen, fugitives, convicts, whistle-blowers; and sinners and saints. Some of them are also my clients and former clients now.
Like in media, the stories they tell involve mostly negative issues as they either rage after suing somebody or suffer as they get sued by somebody. Some of them end up investigated in congressional hearings, in jails, in hospitals and some I last see in funeral parlors. This is such a dog-eat-dog world.
I am happy to have the support of family and friends to keep my sanity; and sense of right and wrong intact. Thus far, I’ve managed to stay clear and politely rejected clients whose perceived criminal acts seem too bizarre and unacceptable. We try mostly to take on the cases of those of who have less in life and the law.
It is in times like this that I turn to our Kristiyano-Islam Kris Library (Kris) advocacy for additional spiritual and moral support. Kris helps me see and believe in the inherent goodness of man. Kris is where total strangers I meet in and outside of Facebook send help even if they don’t know me and even if they live in the other side of the world.
Such is the case of an FB friend who only started communicating with me just this month and yet he trusted me with his US $200 which he sent over so I can buy basic school supplies for 120 kids during the opening today of the KRistiyano-ISlam (Kris) Peace Library, Kapatirang Claretian Inc. (KCI) and Claret Urban Poor Apostolate (CUPA) – Kris-KCI-CUPA Library -- in Barangay San Isidro, Rizal Province.
There is also the unique case of my Auntie Flor Nocum and assisted by husband Uncle Mar and daughter Mariflor tapping Arab friends in Kuwait to collect copies of the Holy Quran and Islamic books which they sent to Kris Library-Zamboanga for the research needs of Muslim students in Zamboanga; and then there is OFW couple Rhuayda and Seller Basangan celebrating Seller’s birthday in Ireland by raising P15,000 to help Kris.
Lastly, there is the wonderful Pasig-based family who gave us a check of P50,000 so we may finally send our first Kris scholars to college; as well as those entering elementary and schools in Zamboanga this year.
There are many more good people and their deeds inspire me and keep my faith in man’s capacity for goodness.
This afternoon, I will take a bigger doze of pain relievers as I see the smiling faces of kids – with eyes glowing like flashlights – as they read for the first time imported books in a library put up by Claretian priest Fr. Eduardo Claud but which the kids can rightly call their own.
Life is beautiful!