The best and the worst
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - June 7, 2018 - 12:00am

It’s the best of time, it’s the worst of time for the new lawyers who have just been sworn in as members of the Philippine bar, their having passed the 2017 bar exams.  

Imagine the awesome atmosphere they are working in. Under a President who fears no one, certainly not the mass media of whom it is said leaders especially with power and guns should not mess with as they have the last word; who seriously wants to rid the country of the drug scourge;  who wants to wipe out graft and corruption; who swears and calls United Nations and foreign ambassadors names; who knows the law more than  law deans and companeros. No head of state has been as controversial and colorful as the present one – no, not even the unforgiveable deceased dictator. 

The above may constitute both best and worst times. The best that can be adjured is that new lawyers see veteran lawyers battle in court and in Senate and House committee hearings on how the law should be interpreted. The removal of  Supreme Court  Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno – through the concurrence of her colleagues upon the Solicitor General’s filing of a quo warranto petition, and not by the impeachment process as spelled out by the Constitution,  for Congress to determine, baffles legal luminaries will be one for the record.

It befalls the new lawyers to listen to their mentors speak about the constitutionality of actions by the government and decisions of the courts. But what if the mentors themselves defend the unconstitutionality of certain issues? So the challenge for the new lawyers is to be wide-eyed, have ears cocked, and slowly make their own decisions on what is right and what is wrong, about false and real news.

* * *

Among the happy new lawyers who took their oath before Supreme Court justices is Tiffany Ann Lim Dy, one of 1,724 passers of the 2017 bar examinations. Tiffany, a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, is the daughter of  Howard and Arceli Lim Dy, and the granddaughter of Dr. James G. Dy and  Mrs. Julieta Dy.

 The proud granddad, Dr. James, threw a grand thanksgiving party for the first lawyer in the Dy clan. Dr. James looked very happy the whole evening, cheered by Tiffany’s close friends and classmates,  Dr. Dy’s own close friends, and officers and doctors from the Chinese General Hospital, of which he is president. Tiffany looked so pretty in her stylish get-up as she thanked her lolo and lola for the big bash.

Tiffany finished her elementary and high school education at Immaculate Conception Academy in Greenhills, San Juan, and took up law because most of her classmates were taking up legal management at the Ateneo. “So I decided to give it a try. I ended up enjoying the subject matter and next thing I knew the 2017 bar exam results were out.”

Tiffany said her parents and grandparents “were first apprehensive with the idea of my taking up law because they said it is not only mentally exciting, but physically as well. Eventually they became supportive upon seeing that I was able to withstand the daily challenges.”

She has joined the prestigious ACCRA law office and started working there last month. While waiting for the results of the bar exam, she had a stint  at the Department of Labor and Employment as a volunteer. “It’s unpopular to those who are not acquainted with the practice, but such field is diverse that stretches out also to both corporate and litigation law.”

Tiffany is the second child in the family. Her older brother Harold, is 34 years old, and her younger twin sisters, Fiona and Frances, are 22 years old.

* * *

I found out that a number of my friends above 60 years old have had gall bladder problems,  a predicament besetting mostly the ageing  and from overeating. Doctors at the Chinese General Hospital  discovered I had two teeny-weeny stones in my gall bladder, and that the sooner I had them removed, the better.  I chose to undergo laparoscopy instead of the popularly known surgery.

The process according to my research,  is derived  from the laparoscope, a slender tool that has a tiny video camera and light on the end. When a surgeon inserts it through a small cut and into the body, he can look at a video monitor and see what’s happening. Without those tools, he would have to make a much larger opening. Thanks to special instruments, the surgeon won’t have to reach into one’s body. That also means less cutting. And quick recovery, as the patient can even go home a few hours after the procedure. 

Before laparoscopy came along,  a surgeon who operated on his patient’s belly had to make a cut that was six to 12 inches long. That gave him enough room to see what he was doing and reach whatever he had to work on.

 The laparoscope surgeon,  Dr. Sammy Cunanan, removed the  two tiny stones and some polyps – within 40 minutes. The biopsy showed the mass to be benign, thank God. I thank Dr. Cunanan for what I told him, giving me a “new” lease on life. If I had waited to nurture the stones and make them bigger, I would be suffering from  pain and immobility.

Dr. Cunanan is reputed to be one of the best laparoscopy surgeons in town. When I had my follow-up check-up a week later, he was very pleasant, telling me my biopsy showed no negative traces of the Big C, to avoid fatty foods, no beef or pork or dairy products for a few months. (Goodbye, litson and Angus beef!) And he was  wearing  denims and rubber shoes – very  youngish! Indeed, Dr. Cunanan is a surgeon Chinese General Hospital president Dr. James G. Dy is very proud of. And I must also thank another pleasant CGH doctor,  Dr. Joseph Sia Tan, a neurologist, for facilitating my executive check-up, as well as that of my hubby, two weeks previous to my laparoscopy procedure.

* * *

If you love Spanish food, the place to go is Oye Tapas & Grill, on the ground floor of Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global  City. This is the latest project of husband and wife Andrew and Sandy Masigan, creators of XO46 Heritage Bistro.

Its wide selection of traditional and modern Spanish tapas was prepared especially by chefs from Madrid and the Basque country brought over by Andrew, a gastronome himself. The chefs innovated Philippine dishes with Spanish taste and touches. You will love, as I did, Calamari Relleno, sweet baby squid stuffed with chorizo, grapes and honey; Beef Salficao, premium cuts of beef sizzling in garlic olive and secret spices; Calderetta, choice cuts of beef, chorizo and veggies in a thick, tangy sauce; Triple Adobo Supreme, juicy chicken and pork cuts; Callos al Estilo Gallego; Pintxos de Pimiento and Relleno de Bacalao; Grilled Pacific Prawns with Chorizo Chistorra and Filete de Solomillio a la Brasa. 

There’s a lot of mouth-watering dishes at Oye, I bet you’ll be back there after your first visit, as have local and foreign ambassadors. For reservations, call 02-541705.


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