Note: This article has been migrated from my other website.  I decided to transfer all the articles here before it shuts down.  Read on.


amalayer1As a public attorney, we help de-clog court dockets by conducting a pre-litigation conference, during which we play the role of a mediator and enlighten both parties of their rights and obligations.  The conference aims to explore possible remedies for the parties to avoid going through the hassle and inconvenience of court proceedings.

As advocates of fairness and equality, we become instant pastors by trying to convince the parties to forgive and start anew.

Let me walk you through a scenario upon the termination of a pre-litigation conference. Some of our clients, after venting and realizing the benefits of offering forgiveness, walk out of our office with a brighter perspective about life.  The forgiven party on the other hand, if wise enough, upon realizing that he was given a second chance will now be extra careful and consider the repercussions of his future actions.  The public attorney, after successfully convincing each party will take a deep breath, sit back, sip his coffee and say that “this is one of the best days ever”.

However, the above scenario more often than not is a product of wishful thinking. There are still many who decide to pursue their case even if it is not worth fighting for.  But mind you, after experiencing a full-blown trial, they would have regretted not forgiving on the outset.  But again, not all cases are the same.  There are still those that necessitate a court battle and per experience this usually happens when the accused in criminal cases is not remorseful.

After watching “Maalaala Mo Kaya”, which featured the life of Paula Jamie Salvosa, the girl who became famous because of her viral video “amalayer”. I Googled her name and found out that she is now a full-time campus minister.  I also read a statement where she said: “Maayos na lahat.  Nakahanda na yung ebidensiya.  Kakasuhan ko sila, because I want to be vindicated.  Pero hindi ko tinuloy, because I got the best lawyer, and that is God.”  Her decision meant one case off the court dockets.

Because Salvosa forgave the person who uploaded the “amalayer” video, I consider her as an ideal client for a public attorney who is swamped with paper works, jail visits, court appearances and client calls.  But more than that, I see her as an example of a person who experienced the beauty and freedom of being forgiven and being able to forgive.

The “amalayer” incident would have been the igniting point for several cases to be filed by the people involved but Salvosa, instead, chose to learn a lesson from it and resolved to settle the matter in her heart, extra-judicially.

I would like to reiterate that one of the most effective methods to de-clog our court dockets is the offering of forgiveness or the asking for it.  I am saying this, not only because of Salvosa’s story, but because I have experienced it.

Just recently, my wife and I could have filed a case against someone for grave oral defamation, but the bigger person in us decided not to.  Besides, we’d better focus in our work and advocacies rather than sow hatred in our hearts.  Again, just like the “amalayer” incident, that is one case off the court dockets!

Indeed, ang buhay ay parang gulong. Some days we are up and some days we are down. There will certainly come a time that we will need to receive someone else’s forgiveness.  Realizing that, I want to say that if it is in our hands to forgive then we’d better.

The next time you feel like suing someone, and especially if it is just for the sake of it, think again.  Forgive, because that will be one case off the court dockets!

Note: This article was published in The Baguio Midland Courier on August 3, 2014.


(Pic: Cassy started in our Jolly Baby Class Program and is now enrolled in Bright Hope's full year Toddler Class Program)

My wife and I started BRIGHT HOPE ROOM FOR GROWTH INC., six (6) years ago.  A venture that we started our of passion and purpose. It was a tutorial center then in Barangay San Vicente, Baguio City. We had grade school to high school tutees and even had the opportunity to teach non-readers from the nearby public school out of the goodness of our friends who shouldered their tutorial fees.

Since tutorial centers are mostly only full in the afternoon, we had to look for ways to fill the hours that our center was not being used.  One day, when I was walking along the street in our barangay, I saw a lot of mothers holding babies from ages 1 to 2 years old, so I started to have an idea.  I did my own research as to how early a child can go to school and came to a conclusion that “the earlier, the better”.

So in the first quarter of 2012, I gathered my neighbors and some of my school batch mates and convinced them to enroll their 2-year old babies in our toddler program.  Most of them were hesitant and said that it was too early for a child of that age to be in school but they registered anyway and from then on, we all saw wonders every single day.

On October 24, 2013, an article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer further confirmed the relevance of starting early and I quote:

“The average 18-month-old can say about 10 to 30 words, but some normal 18-month-olds can say only five words. Sometimes I see a toddler of the same age who can say more than 70 words and can put these words in combination to form phrases or sentences. Kate, Trevor, Ryan and Cameron, all my patients, were already talking like a three-year-old when they were 18 months old. Trevor, at 15 months, was able to say more than 40 words when most of his peers could say only three to five words. Our son Len, at 24 months, was able to read the words “Toyota” and “Subaru.”

What do all of these children have in common? They were lucky to have parents and grandparents who started talking with them from the first day of life. They read to them early on and continued reading every night as part of their bedtime routine. These toddlers were fortunate to have parents who challenged and stimulated their brain cells during the first 12 months of their life by frequently talking, reading, counting, adding, singing, and playing in a happy way.

Unfortunately, most parents have the wrong idea that education starts at Grade K. To have happier and smarter children, education must begin during the first 36 months. This is the “golden window” of opportunity for parents, grandparents, daycare workers, babysitters, and nannies to make a huge difference. And for a dramatic educational outcome, educators and policymakers should look into this “golden window” of learning and apply recent cognitive research on how to boost babies’ language and brain development in their curriculum.”

As the article stated, babies are blessed to have people around them who can challenge and stimulate their brain cells while they are developing.  Let us not neglect this stage and take this once in a lifetime opportunity to raise geniuses out of our babies. So parents, your babies can go to school too!  It is just a matter of carefully looking for the best program that would suit their needs and their personality.  Happy parenting everyone!

Note: To read the full text of the Philippine Daily Inquirer article, visit:

Bright Hope Room for Growth, Inc., is located at the 2nd and 3rd Floor, Luke Foundation Building, #90 Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City.  We offer Baby, Toddler, Nursery, Pre-Kinder and Kindergarten classes in small class sizes. For inquiries, contact us through the following numbers:

Principals Office: (0917) 656 2006
Admin Office: (0917) 145 2381
Land Line: (074) 424 2647


A foodie is a person who has a particular interest in food, someone who has a discerning palate. A friend once asked me if I am a foodie and in a heartbeat, I said “NO”. I don’t think my palate is sophisticated and discriminating enough to be considered one. Don’t get me wrong. I love food and I will eat anything you serve me for as long as it is edible and especially when I am famished. Most of the time, my goal is just to fill my stomach and that makes me happy and good to go.

When asked to rate food I will only say things like –  “too salty”, “can we add salt on this?”, “I believe the chef’s family has no history of diabetes, too sweet”, “the food is like my skin, flawless but with a twist”. Judging food should be as simple as that, right?

But don’t under estimate my self-proclaimed un-sophisticated palate, because the same mouth where my palate can be found is convincing enough to draw the eating public to your restaurant. (with narrowing look and a slight giggle) So instead of a foodie, just call me a food PR.

For me, reviewing food should include not only the taste but the presentation and ambiance. Imagine mo nalang na ngumunguya ka ng spaghetti na lasang sinigang habang katabi ng table mo ang pintuan ng CR at habang painum ka ng iced tea ay maririnig mo pa na may nag flush ng toilet bowl kasabay ng iyong paglunok. How would you feel?

Going back sa being foodie and making a food review. Sa akin, dapat yung itsura ng food bagay sa taste. If you ordered adobo, dapat lasa at itsurang adobo ito. Hindi yung:

Kuya D: “Excuse me. Kuya, I think I ordered adobo, not dinuguan”.

Waiter: “Sir, sorry but that is adobo.”

Kuya D: (tumbling 5x, sabay split).

On a serious note, here in Baguio City, there is this hidden food paradise that only food hunters will discover. Along Ambuklao Road, a huge glass house warmly welcomes people with adventurous palates. This food paradise is called “Mama’s Table” by Chef Vicky Tinio-Clemente.

Reservation starts by texting Chef Vicky and receiving the message below:

chef vicky text
Di ba? Sa word palang na “degustation” e mukha na siyang masarap. 🙂 And always tell her ahead of time if you have allergies kasi mahirap naman kung kailangan pa nilang tumawag ng ambulansya kung biglang kumapal ang labi mo. 🙂

Without traffic, the paradise is only a 10 minute-drive from the city. Upon arriving, you will be ushered by Chef Vicky to this wide sala: Where you can entertain your guests:

Me, telling my friends about alta stories.

Toast to a colleague’s success:

Celebrating Judge Jeanylene T. Isip-Fukai’s success!

Fight over who’s going to foot the bill:

away ni yzanne 2
Atty. Yzanne Merced could not believe she’ll be footing the bill. Atty. Jerico Gay-ya just decided to look on while Judge Glenda Ortiz-Soriano is saying “kasalanan mo ito, ikaw ang nag-invite”. Prosecutor Bong Soriano of course just supported her wife, while Chef Vicky was super ready to kick us out.

Plain soshalan lang:

Judge Jeanylene Isip-Fukai, Atty. Jerico Gay-ya, Judge Glenda Ortiz-Soriano and yours truly. We just arrived so everyone looks fresh pa, later wala na.

It is also in this part of the house where you’ll get the warmest food welcome through Chef Vicky’s special appetizer:

(Pic courtesy of Atty. Yzanne Merced)

While waiting for your food, you will be tempted to take pictures of the beauty that is before you. A huge glass house, wide garden, sophisticated furnitures, paintings that only altas can identify and appreciate (Wala akong na-identify kaya na bad trip ako. But I was able to appreciate naman kahit papano, I said “hmmmm nice painting” and I immediately went outside to count how many pine cones fell). Here are some dramatic pictures from the place: By the fire place and the living room.

“Familia Alta, Sino ang susunod na tagapagmana?” From left to right: Prosecutor Bong Soriano, Judge Glenda T. Ortiz-Soriao, me, Atty. Jericho Gaya, Judge Jeanylene Isip-Fukai, and Atty. Yzanne Merced.
From left to right: Prosecutor Bong Soriano, Judge Glenda T. Ortiz-Soriao, me, Atty. Jericho Gaya, Judge Jeanylene Isip-Fukai, and IBP Baguio-Benguet Chapter President Atty. George Fukai.
With my Food Buddies from the PUBLIC ATTORNEY’S OFFICE: Atty. Juliet Toma-ac Camuyot, Atty. Immanuel Awisan, Atty. Louella Navarro, Atty. Rubie Lorraine Bogya-Lictao, Atty. Daisy Padolina-Limos and yours truly.
“Ang mga anak sa labas at ang tunay na taga-pagmana” – Siyempre hindi mawawala ang posing na ganito, para madaling i-crop. LOL.

Mga maaring eksena sa garden habang hinihintay ang pagkain:

chef vicky's garden dex and abbey
Pag-ibig ang namutawi. (My beautiful Abigail and I)

After taking pictures inside and out, ito na ang pinakahihintay ninyo – DEGUSTATION:

table at night 2
The table that will change your life.
Sinong magsasabing manok lang ang pinapatayo o pinapa-upo?  Meron ding “pinatayo itlog”. Once you taste this, you will never look at your eggs the same way again. Forgive me dahil di ko namemorize mga pangalan nila.
meal 2
THE SOUP. Chef Vicky carefully explained to the group kung paano ito ginawa and to be honest, I never tasted something na prinepare with so much love and detail. Passion at its finest.
Melted mallows with a twist. Nakakiliti yung lasa ng cheese at nakakakilig yung tamis ng mallows. Perfect combination.
DUMPLING na mapapatumbling ka sa sarap. The challenge:  Isang subuan lang dapat at kailangan makuha mo ito ng buong buo para ma-appreciate mo ang lasa.  Kung maliit naman ang bibig mo, try mo singhutin nalang. LOL.
THE SALMON. I am not a fan of sea food but Chef’s salmon made me change my mind. This was served along with different kinds of spices and herbs that complimented the salmon. Chef also provided a spoon so you can enjoy the, somewhat, soup that comes with it.
OMG, THE STEAK. This made the visit all worthwhile. The steak was amazingly tender and juicy and it came with mashed potatoes. Chef did something to the mashed potatoes that made it appear like it still has skin. The different kinds of mushroom was also a hit to my palate.
MOUTH WATERING WATERCRESS. Who would have thought that this rapidly growing aquatic plant will be part of the menu? This will prepare your palate for the oh so yummy dessert. 🙂
HEY, NOT YOUR ORDINARY MERINGUE. I think I heard chef say PAVLOVA. I’m not really sure. Next time I will take down notes. The chocolate thing that you see is Toblerone syrup. The strawberry and peaches regulate the sweetness. This brought heaven on earth.

The very first time that I’ve been to this place, there is only one thing that I captured and that is – PASSION.  Only a person who loves what he/she does can come up with something like this and I salute Chef Vicky for being an inspiration.

After every visit, you will never “not want” to have a picture taken with the lady who, like an orchestra conductor, played melody for our stomach.

Chef Vicky with my friends from the PUBLIC ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, Atty. Daisy Padolina-Limos, Atty. Louella Navarro, Atty. Rubie Lorraine Bogya-Lictao, Chef Vicky, me, Atty. Juliet Toma-ac Camuyot, and Atty. Immanuel Awisan.
friends church
hmmm, I am wearing the same shirt here but this is actually with another group of friends. Me, My wife abbey, Ellen, Chef, Net, Kris Mangaliag, Ali Mangaliag, Kai and Jean Urquiza.
Top: Atty. George Fukai, Atty. Yzanne Merced, Prosecutor Bong Soriano. Bottom: Atty. Jerico Gay-ya, Judge Jeanylene Isip-Fukai, Chef Vicky, Judge Glenda Ortiz-Soriano, Chief Protocol Officer to the Chief Justice, Atty. Zaldy V. Trespeces and yours truly.

We enjoyed the food and the place and I hope that you enjoyed the read.  Visit Chef Vicky one of these days and be inspired.

I intentionally did not edit her digits above so you can contact her and have this once in a lifetime experience.  Again, this is DEGUSTATION at its finest.

NOTE: (Night pictures courtesy of Atty. Yzanne Merced (Except the group pic in the garden); Day and Food pictures courtesy of Atty. Louella Navarro)

That BAGUIO CITY WEDDING you've been dreaming about?  IT'S REAL! VISIT SOULSCENT FLORAL ARTISTRY and make it happen. NOW!
That BAGUIO CITY WEDDING you’ve been dreaming about? IT’S REAL! VISIT SOULSCENT FLORAL ARTISTRY and make it happen. NOW!
We offer Baby, Toddler/Nursery & Kindergarten Classes in small groups.  For inquiries call 09178120753.  Visit us at 2nd Floor, Luke Foundation Building, #90 Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City.
We offer Baby Class, Nursery, Kinder 1 and Kindergarten 2 classes in small groups. For inquiries call 09178120753. Visit us at 2nd Floor, Luke Foundation Building, #90 Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City to reserve a slot.