Sunday, November 2, 2014

dreaming a dream

Part and parcel of the silence here in my blog is due to professional studies. The last five months was spent memorizing provisions, reading Supreme Court cases and consistently asking myself whether what I opted in my life was the best decision of all. After rebounding from HIV depression, I knew that everything was back to normal; and the dreams are back afire.

My truer friends who know my condition were more concerned than I am after I told them that I would proceed to law school: "Isn't it bad for you to be stressed out given your condition?" I actually pondered about it but would I want HIV to punctuate my ambitions in life? I guess then when it comes to amoral choices, we shoot in the dark. So shoot I did.

The two weeks that passed was spent unwinding. It is the semestral break, although since Monday, I started prepping for second semester. The sheer rote learning employed in law school is so burdening and mentally taxing, notwithstanding that humiliation is a tool of instruction, that sometimes the destination is too far from where I am that it bogs me down. Don't get me wrong. With a costly tuition and a costlier-than-the-usual set of books, the destination will always be relative to the journey.

In short, I feel like giving up. I feel like there is always an easier way out. That I could just sedate my ambitions. I hope I don't cross anyone. For someone with HIV, there is always that gray area in my brain where I keep on telling myself that I have to compete with my May 2, 2011, the date of my diagnosis. I don't have to prove things to anyone, but I am mandated to beat the hell out of my having HIV to prove that I can do things. Then again, when the going gets tough, the tough quibble at times.

But somewhere in the vast uncharted corners of the universe comes wonder. I get to receive emails from people regarding their conditions. And all of them are about employment issues. Truth be told, I cannot answer them with precision everytime. But for these generous email senders who placed their trust on me, I could not thank you enough for making me realize why I want to be a lawyer in the first place.

At the time when I was about to take the law school application test, there was a question that asked the applicants what kind of legal field do we want to specialize on. I ticked, "Labor Law." I dunno why that choice given that Criminal Law and sending people to rot in jail appealed to me back then more than anything. But I also already thought too that as the number of PLHIVs increases, PLHIVs will encounter work-related issues, whether unjust termination in work, insurance coverage, immigration issues, mandatory testing, etc. I could just ask you to watch Tom Hank's Academy Award-winning performance in the 1993 film Philadelphia to get my point.

A while ago, under the spirit of unfettered brazenness and grandiosity, I scoured the Internet to know which American schools offer a Health Law track in their Master of Law degree. There are Georgetown and UPenn that licked my interest.

The Philippines could do so much better if we have a bevy of lawyers adept with health and HIV laws that could tie them with labor, immigration, insurance or even adoption and family issues, on top of human rights, among others. Imagine a free legal assistance group for PLHIVs and whose lawyers are not just gays but who are PLHIVs too, a circumstance that will not hinder people seeking help to pour out their concerns; won't the country be a better place? Ah, the beauty of dreams!

Then again, tomorrow will be the start of the next semester and for now I still have years to burn. Since 2011, what I have proved is that it is us who kill our dreams or let our wounds remain unhealed in open air. We, not HIV.

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