My Big Question (Part 4 of My 5-Year Tribute to 'Ina')
Originally written and published on September 22, 2019...
In 2016, I began a five-part tribute to our region's patroness, Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. The first part was about my family being deeply-rooted in Bicol Region, and my parents being married on the very Feast Day of Ina.
In 2017, the centenary anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, I recounted that Mother Mary was the last reason that kept me to the Catholic fold, giving me a very strong and flourishing faith later on.
In 2018, I shared my deep love to our peninsular region, from the names of its towns and cities, to its landmarks, beaches, dialects and even cuisine.
This year, the last before my 33rd birthday that will coincide with the Big Feast, I will share the big question I’ve been confronted with since passing the bar…
Becoming a lawyer was something I would not have personally desired if I had another set of parents or if I was given the freest choices to make. In law school, I went back and forth between pursuing my studies and quitting. Until the very last moment of the Bar Exams 2015, I didn’t know what I was going through. I guess I was really meant for it because the results yielded the highest passing rate in decades and I was one of the lucky applicants.
However, as a lawyer that I am today, which should make me happy and contented, I still feel unfulfilled. Something’s lacking in my life; I feel that my profession is limiting my fullest potentials. My parents wish that I do not just become a lawyer; they wish that I will become a prominent one or a judge. But I have plans to retire the soonest I earn more than enough money for my predilections and personal desires.
Their wish for me to become a judge – however – is still possible. I believe it’s close enough to my “real” dream. After all, a judge’s mandate is to see to it that justice is served, with the end result of maintaining peace and order. As I have always been a society-oriented person coupled with my strong love for Bicol Region, this seems to be a tempting compromise between my dream and my parents’ dream for me.
But if I were to follow my heart’s desires, I wish that I be granted the privileges to make changes directly affecting our communities, to have that key to crack the code called “poverty” and bring in prosperity and progress to the region.
It is true, Bicol had the highest GRDP growth rates in four of the last nine years, but we remain to be one of the poorest, one of the most neglected, and one of the most underdeveloped, that the great strides we pushed for in the last decade are not enough to uplift the lives of millions of Bicolanos.
There is this yearning in me to unlock the solution to this pervasive problem. I have decided that, one day, I might run for an elective position for, if this is the only way I could satisfy my yearning, then I should make the necessary attempts to do so.
But running for a position is not as simple. It’s common knowledge that it takes thousands or even millions to win the elections. Other than this apprehension, I'm not a very lovable, charming, or even approachable person. I am just the kind who is honest, trustworthy and knowledgeable. The electorate, however, chooses their candidate based on sheer popularity or even money. I don’t have either.
These are the reasons why aiming to become a judge is a very tempting goal. But will this make me happy? Will this not make me regretful? On the other hand, opting for the harder decision, that is to run for elective position, is a bigger risk. Is it worth taking?
I am not going to make a decision just yet. I will let time reveal it for me. With God’s guidance, and through the intercession of our Beloved Ina, I wish that I will make the right decision --- the one that will truly make me happy.
Next year will be the last part of this five-year tribute.