Tag Archives: Jannell Cajote

Painting Again

I never knew I could paint again until I tried. It’s been two decades since I picked up the brush and the palette. In this day and age of confusion, art is a great  stress reliever: or is it? Art is considered a stress reliever if you are not being commissioned to do it. Meaning, you are not time bound nor pressured to finish the painting tailor made according to the client’s specifications.   It’s a good thing that lawyering, my main profession, is not similar to  painting in which the client almost always can dictate the outcome.

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Here we are during the opening of the Art Exhibit.

On 24 April 2017, around 20 listed and declared artists in our office convened and showcased their painting/artistic talents. I was among the privileged to showcase my two artworks. Here are my contributions:

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From left to right: Let it blow, let it blow (Snowflakes) and The Prophecy of Simon (Jesus)

Your eyes do not deceive you. The featured image resemble the painting at the right. The earlier artwork was done in watercolor and painted by yours truly 23 years ago. It is more detailed and admittedly, more beautiful than the recent copy. Painstakingly reproducing it brought frustration and immense difficulty because the goal was to produce a better or clearer version of my earlier masterpiece. Reproducing it was in itself a journey. Imagining does not translate well into canvass if its rarely done. Focusing on that thought and thereafter releasing it through movement onto the canvass are two different things. You will be surprised that I literally prayed to Jesus (in my painting) to allow me to finish the painting in time for the Art exhibit. The recent copy although it is not as detailed as the original,  is not entirely a failure.  I merely  allowed my emotions to dictate what comes out: not mind. If I may say so, although I meant for the recent copy to look like the original, what turned out was  – just an expression of my soul.

After finishing the two paintings in eight days, I never expect I would actually be excited to finish some more.

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This is me with fellow lawyer, Atty. Jannel Cajote during the art workshop under Fidel Sarmiento.

Being popular for a day

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I’m too shy and too slow to have my picture taken beside Senator Manny Pacquiao. My son Miguel (in red striped shirt) was sorely disappointed.

Today, the union officers in our office were  inaugurated by no less than  the very popular, eight time world boxing champion turned senator, Manny D. Pacquiao. Who does not know Manny  Pacquiao? Everyone dreams of becoming as rich and  as popular as he. Actually, for me,  I would settle for rich.However, the idea of being popular appeals to me also. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all be popular even just for a day? Actually, my dream came true sooner than expected; I did become popular for a day when this came out several years ago :

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I am not a topnotcher ; just lucky.

Imagine the delight of all my relatives and friends when my face appeared in the front page of one of the dailies. How did this happen? I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Back to Manny. It is no secret that Senator Manny Pacquiao came from humble beginnings. During his speech at today’s inauguration, he confirmed that he used to live in the streets and would experience hunger from time to time.Gifted with strength and agility, he harnessed his boxing skills until he reached the peak of his career as an Eight-division Boxing World Champion. Everybody dreams of becoming rich and famous but I don’t think  anybody wants to experience what he has gone through prior to his superstardom.

Meeting a celebrity is always a dream which does not always end up positive.There are several horror stories which will put you off meeting celebrities for life.  The nice part of the brief encounter with Manny is he was always willing to accommodate anyone who wants to have a picture.My office mate and fellow lawyer Atty. Jasper Sales was fortunate to have a selfie with Manny.

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Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Atty. Jasper Sales and Mrs. Leonor Sales

So why didn’t I have a selfie/groupie with Manny? First, everything happened so fast. Most people in the crowd were armed with an advanced high tech cellphone. Next, they were tall. Thirdly, they were quick! The exact opposite happened to me because my cellphone conked out as the Pacman alighted from his car. Next, those who were successful in getting a selfie with Pacman were either tall or armed with a selfie stick. Neither of which, I possess. Thirdly, I was too slow because I was wearing high heeled shoes and had a small boy in tow.

The secret to being popular is simple in this day and age. There is the long and hard way.  Study hard to become a topnotcher. Or if you want instant fame, jump off from a building in a thickly populated area.  If you’re lucky enough to be alive after such a daring feat, you will find yourself immortalized in you tube and other social media. Lastly, you can do what I have done,  be in the right place at the right time.

Creative Lawyering

Being a lawyer allows you extensive use of your mental capabilities which are often reflected in your pleadings. The problem lies however if you don’t write as well you talk. You see, legal problems are solved more than half of the time through writing; from a simple demand letter to a well researched, well written petition for certiorari.

What  now if you don’t write well? In my case, I have a continuing struggle with my writing style. Different senior lawyers/reviewers call for different styles. Well, if half of the time a case is solved through creative writing, 40 to 49 percent of the time, I win cases because of my acting. Yes, you heard it right, acting.  You see, lawyers  know how to act too. We are almost theatrical. We memorize our lines well once  we are inside the court. Good for you if you are pretty and you dress well. Judges cannot help it if they listen to lawyers who are very articulate and well, charming.  So if you ask me how does a lawyer become charming? I have a handful of suggestions below:

  1. In our department, we love to dress up and trade ideas.

Colors of the Rainbow

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Purple Day. We never intended to come to the office wearing the same  shade. But hey, great minds think alike.

2. We even throw costume parties just to be able to pick an idea or two. Parties are a perfect avenue for observing the most successful lawyers.

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Pardon the grimacing faces of my sons. My boys were eating  corn dogs when the camera  snapped.

3. Of course preparation is always the key. In my case, I have a secret folder where I list down all the objections I could possibly think of. Further, to impress my audience, I include the actual citations i.e, OBJECTION! Leading based on Section 10 Rule 132.

4. lastly, we PLAY.

In the series of pictures below, the author of the crime (clue: he is wearing stripes) surreptitiously and  obviously without notice to the owner, snatched a jar of candies. The lady lawyer who refused to be identified, witnessed the unlawful gain but did not want to be involved. The victim, likewise a lady lawyer with a sweet tooth, desperately cried for justice. The white outline, well, that is supposed to represent the body of the crime.

Lawyers should know how to imagine. Most successful persons tend to be extremely creative thinkers and imagination plays a huge part of that thinking process.  First we should imagine, then next, we engineer. Imagineering is actually a term coined by Walt Disney, the great pioneer of American animation.

In my fifteen years of legal practice, the best lawyers are those who  come to Court not only prepared, but  also know how to play around by applying some of the wackier possibilities to see what might actually work for their case. Surprisingly, those wacky things solve the case.