It is not entirely impossible that, for whatever reason, your birth certificates carry minor typographical errors which could not have been noticed of at the time your birth was registered. If that is so, then you need all the legal remedy you can get before the error comes back knocking at your door. In fact, errors in any entry in the birth certificates are quite common. They may be brought about by mere inadvertence, clerical lapses or by sheer ignorance of law. When you were a lot younger, probably, it was still not much of a problem. But the complexities definitely will be felt later when you enrol in college, take government examinations, go abroad, etc.

But thanks to Republic Act 9048. Where before minor changes in the entries in your birth certificates are subject to judicial processes, now, you could utilize the services of your local civil registrar where your birth certificate is recorded and apply for an innocuous and harmless correction in any entry therein or for a change in name or nickname.

This is particularly helpful to those who are in a bind of some sorts because RA 9048 empowers civil registrar (or consul general) to undertake clerical or typographical errors in an entry or allow the change of your name or nickname without judicial intervention. The only thing that you need to do is to personally file a petition in the local civil registry office of the place where your birth certificate was kept and pay the accompanying fees.

Grounds for the change of name/nickname

Just because the law allows you this remedy doesn’t mean that you are already entitled to it. Simply put, your petition may or may not be granted depending upon the gravity of the change. Under the law, the only instances where the change of name is allowed are when:

  1. The name or nickname is ridiculous, tainted with dishonor or extremely difficult to write or pronounce;
  2. The new name has been habitually used by you and that you were known publicly by that name;
  3. The change of name will avoid confusion.

Now, the decision of whether to change your name or not depends upon the discretion of the local civil registrar, taking into account the grounds mentioned above.

Take note, however, that for substantial errors in your birth certificate—such as those which affect your status, gender, nationality or surname—a court order is necessary.

For more details, you can check


Posted by: Atty. Oliver Bulang | April 23, 2011


softonsoftware.comYou might have been teary-eyed even before you blurted out “I DO” during that memorable day before a multitude of well-wishers. You probably couldn’t even make out the words, not only of excitement, but also out of sheer,—well,—love. You thought that was all you needed to complete your dreams. You even told yourself you don’t care about dying anymore. You both went home and milked your wedding day like it’s the last day of your lives. What a happy couple you were and you stayed that way for months or years.

Today, by twist of fate, you find yourself teary-eyed again—not by drops but by buckets. This time it is not because of a renewed sense of affection. It is because you regretted the day you fooled yourself into believing that your dear love was a creation of heaven. You were wrong. And you couldn’t think of any way out except to throw the towel in. Then a bolt of lighting comes to your numbed brain. You decide it’s time to do the inescapable — BREAKING UP. For good.

In the Philippines, marital relations are governed primarily by the Family Code. This includes, among others, legal separation, annulment of marriage and declaration of nullity of marriage. Truth be told, the recent rising statistics of couples filing for annulment cases is very disturbing. Whatever the reasons are, this trend poses serious consequences to familial relations, family being the basic unit in the society. As a matter of fact, the state respects the inviolability of family relations that it seeks to foster, all this time, protection and solidarity between and among family members.

Under the present Philippine Constitution, “the state recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation.” This means that the government is at the forefront in maintaining unity, harmony and domestic development in the household setting.

Rightly so.

As part and parcel of our society, family affairs dictate the directions of societal development – a reaffirmation of the truism that progress starts from home. Indeed, the state has stakes over domestic affairs inasmuch as they carry lasting consequences to developmental goals. Nowhere has this deep concern been clearly shown than in marital relations. As such, when it comes to marital problems, the laws deemed it necessary to resolve the issues in favor of family unity than discord. To this end, annulment of marriage and declaration of nullity of marriage have been frown upon by our courts as destructive of family institutions.

But the state also recognizes the fact that the shackles of marriage should not be made as a way to frustrate the ends of justice and equity. This way, it also adopted means for unlikely couples who should never have been united, to begin with, either because one of them is psychologically incapacitated to perform marital obligations or because of some other factors that make the marriage voidable or null and void from the beginning. Now these terms are highly technical that even court interpretations are indecisive. And the determination of whether a marriage is annullable or void from the start is decided on a case-to-case basis.

All told, annulment of marriage is not an end in itself. In fact, it should be the last resort to take given the complexities of married life. This is all too difficult particularly when child custody issues and property relations are involved. There’s more to annulling the marriage than meets the eye. To prevent this sad episode from happening, couples should pursue non-litigation avenues, such as counseling, to name a few. Perhaps, differences are not really that irreconcilable that, through the help of someone expert on the matter, things will be ironed out before they get out of hand.


Photo taken from:

Posted by: Atty. Oliver Bulang | April 17, 2011


[Courtesy of Gamanikong]

1. Under RA 9010 the following will be subject to EVAT starting January 1, 2003, except:

a. Professionals, actors, actresses, talent, singers, etc.

b. Banks and non-bank financial intermediaries

c. Services performed as professional athletes

d. Cabarets, night clubs and racetracks

2. Export of Marikina shoes is subject to:

a. 12% VAT

b. 0% VAT

c. Exempt

d. Specific Tax

3. Assessment is necessary in the following cases, except:

a. before the preliminary investigation of a fraudulent tax evasion case could prosper

b. to fix the tax liability of a taxpayer

c. establish a case for judicial action

d. for issuance of warrant of distraint or levy

4. The prescriptive period for collection of taxes is:

a. 10 years from discovery of omission to file return, falsity or fraud if there is no assessment

b. 3 years from filing of return

c. 5 years from release of assessment

d. a and c are correct

5. Importation of automobiles is subject to:

a. Graduated Ad valorem tax of 2% to 60%

b. VAT of 12%

c. Specific tax

d. a and b

e. Exempt

6. The manufacture and importation of the following for local consumption are subject to excise tax, except:

a. alcohol products

b. tobacco products

c. cinematographic films

d. mineral products

7. Domestic sale of bagoong is:

a. exempt from VAT

b. subject to 12% VAT if gross annual sales exceed P1.5M

c. subject to 0% VAT

d. subject to 3% percentage tax if exempt from VAT

e. b and d are correct

8. The BIR commissioner may_________ payment of internal revenue tax when it appears to be unjustly or excessively assessed, or that the administrative and collection costs involved do not justify the collection thereof.

a. compromise

b. abate

c. credit

d. refund

9. No credit/refund of taxes shall be allowed unless the taxpayer:

a. Files a written claim for credit/refund with the BIR within 2 years from payment

b. Pays the tax under protest

c. Appeals to the CTA

d. Amends his tax return

10. Assessment is:

a. A written notice of the tax due

b. Based on facts and not presumed

c. Demand for payment of the tax within a prescribed period of time

d. All of the above

11. The following are required to keep books of accounts, except:

a. Corporations and partnerships

b. Persons engaged in trade or business in the Philippines

c. Persons who earn passive income

d. None of the above

12. Requirements in order that retirement benefits may be exempt from income tax:

a. Must be paid to an employee who is at least 50 years old and has served his employer for at least 10 years

b. Exemption from taxation of retirement benefit must be availed of only once

c. The benefit must be received under an existing Collective Bargaining Agreement

d. a and b only

13. For purposes of the donor’s tax, the following are considered strangers:

a. Brother or sister, whether whole or half-blood

b. Relatives by consanguinity in the collateral line within the 4th civil degree

c. Relatives by affinity, except the spouse of the donor

d. None of the above

14. The special deductions from the gross estate are the following, except:

a. Judicial expenses in testate or intestate proceedings

b. Standard deduction

c. Family home up to P1,000,000

d. Medical Expenses within one year from the death of the decedent not exceeding P500,000

15. Funeral expenses that can be claimed as deduction from the gross estate should be:

a. Actual amount incurred

b. Not exceeding P200,000

c. 5% of the gross estate

d. The lowest of the above figures

16. The usual modes of avoiding the occurrence of double taxation are:

a. Reciprocal exemption either by law or treaty

b. Tax credit for foreign taxes paid

c. Deduction for foreign taxes paid

d. All of the above

17. Jose is a law-abiding citizen who pays his real estate taxes promptly. Due to a series of typhoons and adverse economic conditions, an ordinance is passed by Quezon City granting a 50% discount for payment of unpaid real estate taxes for the preceding year and the condonation of all penalties on fines resulting from the late payment.

Arguing that the ordinance rewards delinquent taxpayers and discriminates against prompt ones, Jose demands that he be refunded an amount equivalent to one-half of the real estate taxes he paid. The municipal attorney rendered an opinion that Jose cannot be reimbursed because the ordinance did not provide for such reimbursement. Jose files suit to declare the ordinance void on the ground that it is a class legislation.

Will his suit prosper?

a. The suit will prosper because the ordinance is discriminatory in character.

b. The suit will prosper because the ordinance is not based on substantial distinction.

c. The suit will not prosper because taxes are the lifeblood of the government and should be collected without unnecessary hindrance.

d. The suit will not prosper because the ordinance is based on substantial distinction. Each set of taxes is a class by itself and the law would be open to attack only if all the taxpayers belonging to one class were not treated alike.

e. None of the above

18. Which of the following statements are true?

a. Resident Filipino citizens with income from foreign sources only are allowed personal and additional exemptions

b. Non-resident aliens not engaged in trade/business in the Philippines are not allowed any personal exemptions

c. Non-resident aliens engaged in trade/business in the Philippines are allowed personal exemptions based on reciprocity

d. All of the above

19. The periodic decrease in the value of a fixed asset due to wear and tear, obsolescence or inadequacy

a. depletion

b. depreciation

c. capital loss

d. special loss

20. The following cases may not be compromised:

a. Criminal tax fraud cases

b. Withholding tax cases

c. Delinquent accounts with duly approved schedule of payments

d. All of the above

21. Citing Section 10, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution which provides that salaries of judges shall be fixed by law and that during their continuance in office their salary shall not be decreased, a judge of a Regional Trial Court questioned the deduction of withholding taxes from his salary since it results into a net deduction of his pay.

Is the contention of the judge correct?

a. No. The contention is incorrect because taxes are enforced contributions.

b. No. The contention is incorrect because taxes must be collected in order to support the government.

c. No. The contention is not correct because deduction of withholding taxes is not a dimunition contemplated by the fundamental law.

d. No. The contention is incorrect because deduction of withholding taxes is required by law.

e. None of the above.

22. The following conditions shall be observed when there is a net capital loss carry over:

a. The loss carried over is for a holding period not exceeding 12 months

b. The amount of the loss should not exceed the income before exemptions in the year when the loss was sustained

c. The taxpayer should not be a corporation

d. All of the above

23. What is the minimum compromise rate in cases of doubtful validity of assessment?

a. 40% of the basic assessed tax

b. 10% of the basic assessed tax

c. No limitation

d. P1,000,000

24. Which of the following VAT transactions are not considered zero-rated?

a. Export sales of goods

b. Domestic sale of goods in the regular course of trade or business

c. Foreign currency denominated sale

d. Sale of gold to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

25. Barbaran municipality has an ordinance which requires that all stores, restaurants, and other establishments selling liquor should pay a fixed annual fee of P20,000. Subsequently, the municipal board proposed an ordinance imposing a sales tax equivalent to 5% of the amount paid for the purchase or consumption of liquor in stores, restaurants, and other establishments. The municipal mayor refused to sign the ordinance on the ground that it would constitute double taxation.

Is the refusal of the mayor justified?

a. No. The refusal of the mayor is unjustified because double taxation is allowed in our jurisdiction.

b. No. The refusal of the mayor is not justified because the impositions are of different nature and character.

c. No. The refusal of the mayor is unjustified because it is not within his power.

d. No. The refusal of the mayor is not justified because double taxation will generate more revenues.

e. None of the above.

26. This is a summary administrative remedy, seizure of real property to enforce payment of tax due:

a. Levy

b. Distraint

c. Forfeiture

d. Tax lien

27. Which of the following cannot be considered as tax avoidance?

a. Splitting of donation

b. Survivorship agreement

c. Holding period for capital asset transactions

d. None of the above

28. Tony has inadvertently omitted P100,000 income in his 2004 Income Tax Return. Upon discovery in 2005, the BIR issued an assessment for deficiency income tax for P100,000 plus 50% fraud surcharge. Meanwhile, Tony included the omitted P100,000 income in his 2005 Income Tax Return. What advice will you give Tony?

a. Amend his 2004 Income Tax return to reflect the correct amount of income

b. Pay the assessed tax plus surcharge, and thereafter , ask for refund

c. Protest the assessment

d. Any of the above

29. Tino is engaged in buying and selling of fresh fruits at the Q-Mart and Aranque Markets. He is also exporting canned and preserved fruits to Japan. In 2004, he made a gross sales of P2,000,000. He is liable for VAT registration fee of :

a. P500

b. P1,000

c. P1,500

d. Exempt

30. Shirley was allowed to deduct P200,000 bad debts written off in 2003, where she had a net income before bad debts of P180,000 and a net loss of P20,000. IN 2004, she was able to recover the bad debts written off in full. The bad debts recovery is:

a. Taxable to the extent of P180,000

b. Taxable to the extent of P20,000

c. Taxable to the extent of P200,000

d. Not taxable

Answer Key:

  1. D
  2. B
  3. A
  4. D
  5. A
  6. C
  7. A
  8. B
  9. A
  10. D
  11. D
  12. D
  13. C
  14. A
  15. D
  16. D
  17. D
  18. D
  19. B
  20. D
  21. C
  22. D
  23. A
  24. B
  25. B
  26. A
  27. D
  28. C
  29. A
  30. C
Posted by: Atty. Oliver Bulang | April 17, 2011


[Courtesy of Gamanikong]

1.  Which of the following public official can exercise the DOCTRINE OF AUGMENTATION:

a    Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan

b    Solicitor General

c    COA Chairman

d    Senate majority floor leader

e    none of the above

2.  All BILLS must pass three (3) readings:

a    True

b    True, on separate days

c    False

d    False, only two (2) readings

e    None of the above.

3.  The power of the President to appoint carries with it the power to remove:

a    true

b    true, on non-career positions

c    true, on career positions

d    true, on both career and non-career positions

e    false

4.  Which of the following cannot be changed by an ordinary law enacted by Congress:

a    Opening of the regular session of Congress;

b    Date of the regular election for President and Vice President;

c    Regular election of the members of Congress;

d    Commencement of the term of office of Senators;

e    All of the above.

5.  Which of the following is constitutionally required when the Supreme Court renders a Decision?

a. presence of the majority members

b. deliberation

c. facts and the law where the decision shall be based

d. consultation

e. concurring and dissenting opinions

6. A doctrine or principle of law may be modified or reversed by the Supreme Court.

a    True

b    False

c    True, only by the Court sitting En Banc

d    True, even by the Court sitting in Division

e    None of the above

7.  Lower courts, collegiate courts and the Supreme Court should decide cases within its jurisdiction within:

a    3 months, 9 months and 24 months respectively

b    9 months, 12 months and 18 months respectively

c    3 months, 12 months and 24 months respectively

d    9 months, 12 months and 24 months respectively

e    3 months, 18 months and 24 months respectively

8.  The following are the requisites of a judicial inquiry: except:

a    question raised by a proper party

b    declaration of the court of unconstitutionality

c    raising the question on the earliest possible opportunity

d    actual case or controversy

e    constitutional question is the lis mota of the case

9.  Which of the following is not qualified to be a political party?

a    foreign organization

b    organization with unlawful purpose

c    non-believer of the Constitution

d    religious sect

e    all of the above

10.  Permanent personnel of the government can be suspended or dismissed.

a    True, only for a cause;

b    True, after a preventive suspension;

c    True, after administrative investigation;

d    A and B;

e    A and C.

11.  Any of the following may propose amendment to the Constitution except:

a    a constitutional convention called 2/3 vote of all its members of Congress

b    a petition representing 12% of the nation’s registered voter wherein each legislative district is represented by 3%

c    ¾ vote of all the members of Congress

d    a petition representing 12% of the nation’s registered voter wherein each legislative district is represented by 5%

e    all of the above

12.  Under the fundamental principles and policies of the State, which of the following statement is FALSE:

a    Municipal law is superior than international law;

b    Recognition of the superiority of women with men;

c    Non-encroachment of the government on purely ecclesiastical activities;

d    Indigenous communities are recognized;

e    Civilian authority is always supreme over the military.

13.  The Congress is mandated by the Constitution to vote jointly and obtain the majority vote of all its members in case of:

a    confirmation of the President’s nomination of  a Vice President

b    concurring with the President’s grant or amnesty

c    revocation of the President’s declaration of Martial Law

d    granting tax exemption

e    none of the above

14.  Which of the following statement is true?

a    Amendments may still be made after the 3rd reading of a bill

b    Both the Senate and the House of Representative shall have a joint journal.

c    gerrymandering is allowed under the 1987 Constitution

d    A member of Congress may be arrested for any crime committed

e    none of the above

15.  The three inherent powers of the state are always integral parts of the Constitution.

a    True

b    False, because the 3 inherent powers of the state are not always integral parts of the Constitution

c    False, because they are not always present in the Constitution

d    False, because they are not always present in the State

e    None of the above.

16.  The Constitution is the basic and paramount law of the land.

a    True

b    False, because it is not basic law

c    False, because it is not only law of the land but also law of the sea

d    False, because it is not at all important

e    None of the above

17.  Appeal is part of our due process.

a    True

b    False, because it is not part of due process

c    False, it is merely a statutory right

d    False, because appeal must be so provided in the Constitution to be part of due process

e    None of the above

18.  There are two steps in the amendments of our Constitution.

a    True

b    False, because there are many other steps

c    False, because judicial review is the 3rd step

d    False, because the Court may also provide another step

e    None of the above

19.  By actual case as requisite of judicial inquiry is meant a case that can never be dismissed on mere technicality.

a    True

b    False, because any case is enough

c    False, because even an opinion or consulta complies with the requirements

d    False, because actual case is not at all necessary

e    None of the above

20.  Only the government and its agencies can exercise the power of eminent domain.

a    True

b    False, because private entities may also exercise the power

c    False, because not all government  agencies can exercise the power

d    False, because even government agencies need specific authority to do so

e    None of the above

21.  The death penalty by lethal injection law is unconstitutional for being contrary to Sec. 19 (1) of Art. III of the Constitution.

a    True

b    False, because death sentence is not included in the enumeration of the said section

c    False, because killing is not cruel

d    False, because killing is not degrading

e    None of the above

22.  The police power of the state is naturally exercised by the police only.

a    True

b    False, because it is exercised by the National Legislature, the President and local lawmaking bodies including barangay councils

c    False, because the police does not exercise the police power

d    False, because police power is outside the authorities of the police

e    None of the above

23.  A lotto operator cannot be stopped in his operation until the expiration of his license or franchise.

a    True

b    False, because he can be stopped by the police anytime

c    False, because it depends on his budget for the police.

d    False, because it depends upon the policy as determined by the State

e    None of the above

24.  In the exercise of the power of eminent domain, the applicant can use property only after its ownership is transferred to him.

a    True

b    False, because it takes time before ownership is transferred

c    False, because the applicant does not acquire ownership

d    False, because applicant has to wait for the owner to yield the property

e    None of the above.

25.  Double taxation is Constitutional.

a    True

b    False, because it is unconstitutional

c    False, because it is illegal

d    False, because the Constitution does not allow double taxation

e    None of the abov

26.   “Life” as used in the due process clause of the Constitution refers only to the natural life of a natural person.

a    True

b    False, because it refers not only to natural life but even artificial life.

c    False, because it also refers to the natural life of artificial persons.

d    False, because life refers to the physical life of a natural person.

e    None of the above

27.  Right to be heard as a requirement of due process means that without having been heard, a party is denied due process

a    True

b    False, because it  is enough that he is given chance to be heard

c    False, because hearing refers to literal meaning only

d    False, because it is meaningless without actual presentation of his side

e    None of the above

28.  Determination of probable cause must be made personally by the judge based on his personal examination of complainant and his witnesses.

a    True

b    False, because determination of probable cause maybe made by anybody

c    False, because it may be made not personally by the judge

d    False, because the judge may rely on the examination by the Fiscal

e    None of the above

29.  Articles illegally seized under Art. III, Sec 3 (2) of the Constitution are not admissible as evidence in all proceedings.

a    True except that may be admissible if the case is against the party who made the illegal seizure.

b    False, because illegally seized articles may be admissible on a case to case basis

c    False, because the court may decide to admit the articles

d    False, because it depends upon the degree of the illegality of seizure

e    None of the above

30.  Arrest maybe made only if there is a warrant of arrest.

a    True

b    False, because person arresting may not be authorized even in the presence of warrant of arrest

c    False, because there are instances when arrest can be made despite the absence of warrant of arrest.

d    False, because arrest depends on many factors

e    None of the above

31.  The integration of all lawyers into one Bar Association known as IBP is violative of the Constitutional Right of a person to associate with people of his choice.

a    True

b    False, because integration does not compel a person to associate with persons not of his own choice

c    False, because a person may not even associate with the other lawyers by not attending their meetings

d    False, because what is needed is the payment of his annual dues and not his attendance in meetings

e    None of the above

32.  Ex-post facto law is always disadvantageous to the accused.

a    True

b    False, because not all ex-post facto laws are disadvantageous to the accused

c    False, because there are some good ex-post facto law

d    False, because an accused may not be adversely affected by an ex-post facto law

e    None of the above

33. There is no instance when the writ of habeas corpus is suspended.

a    True

b    False, because sometimes the writ of habeas corpus is suspended

c    False, because the writ and privilege of habeas corpus maybe suspended

d    False, because it is only the writ of habeas corpus that is suspended

e    None of the above

34. The Supreme Court cannot inquire into the factual basis for the declaration of Martial Law because the President has better information upon which the declaration was based.

a    True

b    False, because the information of the President are not accurate

c    False, because the information of the President maybe incomplete

d    False, because the Supreme Court may have better information than that of the President

e    None of the above

36.  Once a court fails to decide a case within a period fixed by the Constitution, the case maybe dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

a    True

b    False, because the Court does not lose jurisdiction over the case

c    False, because nobody can compel the judge to decide the case

d    False, because the case can proceed without prejudice to sanctions against the judge

e    None of the above

37.  A Filipino man who secured an ecclesiastic divorce from his wife and then married another in a Civil Ceremony cannot be prosecuted for bigamy.

a    True

b    False, because separation of church and state does not prevent prosecution for bigamy

c    False, because he did not wait for sufficient time to lapse

d    False because of religious freedom

e    None of the above

38.  The PRA convict who survived the 1st lethal injection due to his strong body constitution can no longer be injected a second time without violating his right to due process and against double jeopardy.

a    True

b    False, because the facts do not consist double jeopardy or violations of due process

c    False, because nobody can stop the 2nd injection

d    False, because it would depend on whose fault was it that the 1st injection did not accomplish the purpose

e    None of the above

39.  After waiving his right to counsel, an LLB graduate handled his defense for murder but during his appeal, he argued that his waiver was invalid.

a    True

b    False, because his waiver was valid

c    False, because his waiver did not comply with the requirements

d    False, because he can no longer question his waiver

e    None of the above

40.  In naturalization cases, a decision granting three petition shall become executory after 2 years only although it becomes final after 30 days after notice.

a    True

b    False, because finality and executoriness always occur at the same time

c    False, because 2 years for the decision to become a executory is too long a period

d    False, because just like any other decision, the decision should become final after 15 days

e    None of the above

41.  Trial in absentia is always conducted every time the accused is absent.

a    True

b    False, because trial in absentia is not always conducted during the absence of the accused

c    False, because it is not proper

d    False, because it depends upon the prosecutor

e    None of the above

42.  During custodial investigation, a suspect is entitled to services of counsel, which cannot be waived.

a    True

b    False, because the suspect may waive the services of counsel

c    False, because a counsel may not be needed during the custodial investigation

d    False, because waiver of counsel is never allowed

e    None of the above

43.  During preliminary investigation before the prosecutor, the service of counsel is not waivable.

a    True

b    False, because waivable

c    False, because services of counsel are not needed

d    False, because weather or not the services of counsel are waivable depends upon the investigator

e    None of the above

43. Which of the following is not a doctrine in Administrative Law:

a    Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency;

b    Doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies;

c    Doctrine of Prior Resort;

d    Doctrine of Necessary Implication;

e    None of the above.

44. Which of the following is not a source of Administrative Law:

a    Constitutional or statutory enactments creating administrative bodies;

b    Decisions of courts interpreting the charters of administrative bodies and defining their powers, rights, inhibitions, among others, and the effects of their determinations and regulations;

c    Rules and regulations issued by the administrative bodies in pursuance of the purposes for which they were created;

d    Determinations and orders of the administrative bodies in the settlement of controversies arising in their respective fields;

e    None of the above.

45.  Which of the following is not included in the definition of the Government of the Republic of thePhilippines?

a    Autonomous regions;

b    Local government units;

c    State universities and colleges;

d    Government-owned and controlled corporations performing proprietary functions;

e    None of the above.

46. Which of the following is not descriptive of a government instrumentality?

a    An agency not integrated within the department framework;

b    An agency vested by law with special functions or jurisdiction;

c    An agency endowed with some, if not all, corporate powers;

d    An agency enjoying operational autonomy, usually through a charter;

e    None of the above.

47. Which of the following is not a requisite of a valid administrative regulation?

a    Its promulgation must be authorized by the legislature;

b    It must be within the scope of the authority granted by the legislature;

c    Its promulgation must be in accordance with the prescribed procedure;

d     It must not be unreasonable;

e    None of the above

48.  State which administrative regulation need not be published.

a    Interpretative regulation

b    Legislative regulation

c    Contingent regulation

d    Supplemental regulation

e    None of the above

49.  Which statement is not correct?

a    An administrative agency vested with the power to investigate is considered a quasi-judicial agency;

b    Res judicata applies to decisions of administrative agencies only if said decision was rendered in the exercise of its quasi-judicial power;

c    The power of contempt is not inherent in administrative bodies vested with quasi-judicial power;

d    Prior notice and hearing is mandatory when an administrative agency is   engaged in the exercise of its quasi-judicial power;

e    None of the above.

50.  Which statement is not correct?

a    Failure to observe the doctrine of primary jurisdiction is a ground to dismiss the case based on jurisdictional ground;

b    Failure to observe the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is a ground to dismiss the case on the ground of lack of cause of action;

c    Non-exhaustion of administrative remedies as a ground to dismiss the case may not be waived;

d    All of the above

e    None of the above

Answer Key:

  1. C
  2. B
  3. B
  4. E
  5. C
  6. C
  7. C
  8. B
  9. E
  10. E
  11. D
  12. B
  13. C
  14. E
  15. C
  16. A
  17. C
  18. A
  19. E
  20. B
  21. E
  22. B
  23. D
  24. B
  25. A
  26. E
  27. B
  28. D
  29. A
  30. C
Posted by: Atty. Oliver Bulang | April 17, 2011

It’s Official!

The week that had just passed was a very tough, yet fulfilling, one. As a new sworn-in lawyer of the Philippine Bar, the thought of finally joining the ranks of the legal minds all throughout the country brought quite a jolt to my spine.

I, together with the host of men and women who hurdled the 2010 Philippine Bar Examinations, took our oaths as lawyers on April 14, 2011. I was admitted to the practice of law on the next day, April 15, 2011. And ever since, I can’t seem to collect my feelings. Certainly, I’m now a lawyer but the feeling always eludes me. My friends say there is always a time element in the acceptance of a bigger responsibility that comes along an esteemed profession. Maybe or maybe not.

As I’m about to start my journey, lingering doubts never fail me. This is exactly the feeling that I came to terms with when I entered law school and I reckoned it was all because of the feeling of uncertainty, the feeling of not being able to reach up to the expectations of the stereotypical mortals.

All along I thought the rigors of law school were already past me, I was wrong. The uncertainties continue as long as you choose to be a part of this noble profession. I feel like a newborn bird about to undertake the difficult task of taking my first flight. As wide and as free as the clear blue sky are the possibilities of success (and of failure). And for a promising breed of bird, falling is simply unimaginable.

The next weeks or so would see my years of training, both in and out of court. And I’m bound to do whatever it takes for me to obtain a share of the pie that folks before me have partaken of.

Private practice is now the name of the game. *

Posted by: Atty. Oliver Bulang | March 18, 2011

982 Pass 2010 Bar Exams

Taken from the SC website:

982 Pass 2010 Bar Exams
Posted March 17, 2011; By Annie Rose A. Laborte 

A total of 982 out of 4,847 examinees passed the 2010 Bar Examinations held on September 5, 12, 19, and 26 last year at the De La Salle University in Taft Avenue, Manila.  Cesareo Antonio S. Singzon, Jr. of Ateneo de Manila University Law School topped with a rating of 89%.  Justice Conchita Carpio Morales chaired the 2010 Committee on Bar Examinations. 

Justice Morales announced the number of those who passed represents 20.26% of the total number of examinees. The exams were administered through Deputy Clerk of Court and Bar Confidant Atty. Ma. Cristina B. Layusa.

The top 10 Bar passers are

1st Place SINGZON, Jr. Cesareo Antonio S. Ateneo de Manila University 89.00%
2nd Place JAVIER, Filemon Ray L. Ateneo de Manila University 86.95%
3rd Place TOLENTINO, Paolo Carlo C. Arellano University 86.80%
4th Place ANCOG, Janette R. Ateneo de Davao University 85.90%
5th Place SUNGA, Johana T. Ateneo de Manila University 85.85%
6th Place POBLACION, Krizelle Marie F. University of the Philippines 85.65%
7th Place ORTUA, Maria Christina C.
UY, Krystal Lyn T.
University of the Philippines
University of the Philippines
8th Place CAPONES, Joanna Eileen M. University of the Philippines 84.80%
9th Place GAN, William Benson S. Ateneo de Manila University 84.75%
10th Place CARAMPATANA, Glenn C.
University of San Carlos
Arellano University

The list of successful Bar examinees is being shown on three LCD monitors set up at the Supreme Court front yard and can simultaneously be viewed at, the official website of the Supreme Court.

Justice Morales announced that the examiners are

Political and International Law Atty. Sedfrey M. Candelaria and
Justice Rosalinda A. Vicente
Labor and Social Legislation PRC Commissioner Jennifer Jardin-Manalili and
USec Hans Leo J. Cacdac
Civil Law Atty. Rita Linda V. Jimeno
Taxation Justice Juanito C. Castañeda Jr., and
Atty. Serafin U. Salvador, Jr.
Mercantile Law Atty. Llewellyn L. Llanillo
Criminal Law Justice Apolinario D. Bruselas, Jr. and
Justice Renato C. Dacudao
Remedial Law Atty. Rodrigo Lope S. Quimbo and
Atty. Herminio Harry L. Roque, Jr.
Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez and
Justice Remedios A. Salazar-Fernando


Oathtaking of the successful Bar candidates is set at 10 a.m. on April 14, 2011, at the Philippine International Convention Center.

The Bar passers may secure their clearances from the Office of the Bar Confidant during office hours, Monday to Friday, beginning March 21 to April 13, 2011, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Justice Roberto A. Abad is the Chairperson of the 2011 Committee on Bar Examinations. This year’s Bar examinations will be conducted in all four Sundays of November as follows: First day: Political and International Law, and Labor and Social Legislation (morning) and Taxation (afternoon); Second day: Civil Law (morning) and Mercantile Law (afternoon); Third day: Remedial Law, and Legal Ethics and Forums (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day: Trial Memorandum (morning) and Legal Opinion (afternoon).

The Supreme Court annually conducts the Bar examinations pursuant to its constitutional mandate to promulgate rules governing, among others, the admission to the practice of law.

A total of 5,038 law graduates have filed their petitions to take the 2010 Bar exams; 5,012 were admitted. However, 156 absented themselves during the first Sunday of the exams, reducing to 4,856 the number of examinees. Still, nine other have dropped out, leaving the remaining number of examinees to 4,847.

The following are the statistics on the Bar exams results for the last 10 years:


Year Total Number of Examinees Total Number of Those Who Passed Percentage
2009 5,903 1,451 24.58%
2008 6,364 1,310 20.58%
2007 5,626 1,289 22.91%
2006 6,187 1,893 30.60%
2005 5,607 1,526 27.22%
2004 5,249 1,659 31.61%
2003 5,349 1,108 20.71%
2002 4,659 917 19.68%
2001 3,849 1,266 32.89%
2000 4,698 979 20.84%

Posted by: Atty. Oliver Bulang | March 17, 2011

All For God

If there is anything describable beyond euphoria, then this is it now. I was a faceless coward last night, I rise up from the rubbles just now. I couldn’t thank you more LORD GOD, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Bernadette, the hordes of Angels in heaven and my Guardian Angels.




Of the 4,847 examinees, only 982 passed the 2010 Philippine Bar Examinations with a passing rate of 20.26%.


158. BISNAR, Gerardo Alfredo M .
159. BLAS, Herbert J .
160. BONGCAWIL, Cherrie Mae J .
161. BORAIS, Charlyn D .
162. BORROMEO, Renato P .
163. BOSANTOG, Marlon P .
164. BROFAR, Reinier John G .
165. BUCIO, Erwin B .
166. BUDUHAN, Diana Grace D .
167. BUEN-MERENCILLA, Paula Michelle O .
168. BUENAVENTURA, Kathy C .
169. BUENAVENTURA, Kristoffer N .
170. BUENO, Gemicks Ace T .
171. BUENSUCESO, Sean M .
172. BUETA, Gregorio Rafael P .
173. BULAC, Michelle Mae C .
175. BULIYAT, Marie Mae D .
177. BURKLEY, Florence Diana V .
178. BUROG, Marie Irahlyn C .
179. BUSQUE, Janice H .
180. BUSTONERA, Chito Noel D .
181. CABATINGAN, Marisar Ivy C .
182. CABE, Rodalice P .
183. CABRADILLA, Fritz M .
184. CABRERA, Stanley Kristoffer V .
185. CABUDOC, Edsel R .
186. CABUGAO, John Philip O .
187. CADAYDAY, JR., Clayton C .
188. CADLUM-BOCO, Eusebia A .
189. CAGUETE, Joan Kathlyn C .


My life will never be the same again.



Posted by: Atty. Oliver Bulang | March 16, 2011

Philippines 2010 Bar Examination Results – Can You Handle The Truth?


I am writing this piece tonight for two things:

  1. To chronicle the few remaining hours before the BIG day.
  2. To have an outlet for the twirling emotions I now feel.

Today is the 16th of March, 2011 and less than 24 hours from now, I shall be sentenced either to a lifetime responsibility to serve God and my fellowmen as an addition to the noble legal profession or be thrown out to languish in the dungeons. Tomorrow, the 17th of March, 2011, is the scheduled release of the 2010 Philippine Bar Examinations results and everything seems so blurry to me.

Is this real?

Am I dreaming?

All nagging thoughts come dashing toward me that I don’t even know what to think, feel or write. I am numb, deadened and stagnant. Could this be the same feeling when one is lined up in a death row? Or the pain and excitement a laboring mother feels by the time she is wheeled through the delivery room? Or the sense of defeat a dying person feels?

I don’t know.

Taking the bar exam was one herculean task; waiting for the results is like walking the road to perdition. Almost 6 months have passed and the thought of having to witness the culmination of the toils I’ve been laboring throughout my law school years is simply mind-blowing. Whatever will come out tomorrow, I know fate wills it and no amount of regret and blaming could turn back the hands of time. I did my best. I did what I had to do using all the confidence and self-determination I could muster to last the grueling September Sundays. I felt like Superman when I got out the gate of La Salle despite the chaos of the bomb blast at the fringes and the stones wheezing over me; I’d been a prisoner during the hellish waiting game and now I’m at loss of what life could be after the results are finally known.

What little confidence left of me right after the last Sunday was eaten, bit by bit, by the inescapable reality that dawned on me as the days of endless waiting wore on – that luck and intelligence do not guarantee bar exam success, that somewhere, out there, some imaginary force is at work as the stars and metaphysical entities aligned themselves to re-create (or demolish) the vision we once saw ourselves, that GOD is still the final arbiter of everything – no matter how perfect you are in timing, planning, preparation and intelligence.

Tomorrow night, as the grounds of the Supreme Court welcome the pack of bar hopefuls, I’d be waiting it out miles away. I’d be facing the results – good or bad – with an open heart. Whatever it will be, I know GOD knows who deserve it more now or in the future.

For six months now I’ve been asking God to hear and fulfill my intentions. He got tired of me whining until I heard a  loud voice boomed into my head:

“Can You Handle The Truth?”





Posted by: Atty. Oliver Bulang | March 13, 2011

The Red Mockingbird [Part I]

After ten minutes of laboring through the priest’s sermon, Marla was already weary of listening to a homily which she thought was more appropriate for an audience decades ahead her. She fixed her eyes towards the bulky features of the man in the pulpit, speaking piously of life, death, forgiveness, charity and benevolence, and of course, of the mandatory 10-percent church share of ones’ earnings and wondered if the good father ever experienced hunger and poverty.

He was Padre Catalino Fausto, known to town more as “Padre Kaka,” the man who diligently provided his followers with a constant dose of self-righteous views with such fervor for more than 15 years and practically made a fortune out of the generous flocks of San Antonio, a town situated north of Santa Fe City, most of whom had been earning a modest income toiling the lands either inherited or doled out by the government, if not on remittances abroad from relatives lucky enough to join the forces of Filipino Diaspora.

Not a bit interested in the holier-than-thou undertones of Padre Fausto’s lecture, Marla’s eyes wandered off around the pale indoor surroundings. The church’s interior looked somewhat sagging, most pews bearing their donor’s name behind had already been worn out, the ceiling above were studded with black spots and peeled paints and quaint saintly figures were lined up along the walls on either side. Built by Spanish Dominicans in the late 19th century, the church apparently had not tasted renovation for the last 20 years. It didn’t give justice to the fact that the church is one of the country’s top contributors in terms of tithe remittances.

It was a Sunday in the summer of 2007, and the church was jam-packed with folks in their best Sunday dresses. Children were huddled together around their parents, while their male siblings were perhaps at the back pews only because those of the same age groups were there enjoying the good rear views of the opposite sex.

Marla’s gaze stopped at the imposing figure of San Pedro with his proverbial rooster on the left side, the town’s patron saint. Just below it, something irresistible was pulling her attention. She caught a glimpse of someone donning a red gown made almost dazzling by the long wavy hair flowing at the back. She was Patricia Azucena. A genuine stunner, she had just turned 18 (two years Marla’s senior) and belonged to the long line of Azucena beauties, an affluent family who once claimed they founded the first settlement of San Antonio in mid 18th century after shooing away the indigenous peoples to the mountains. Marla couldn’t help herself but be captivated by Patricia’s elegance, accentuated by the magnificent red dress and her Castilian features. Such a fine lass.

She tilted a little to her left side to gain a nice view of Patricia. Thoughts came dashing through her imagination as she began to visualize herself about how splendid she might look with that red gown on. Wishful longings continued to amuse her into a drifting day dreaming. She couldn’t…

“Marla!” a soft but penetrating low voice broke her bubble and yanked her out back to reality. “ Couldn’t you at least sit upright? You’re disrespecting the House of the Lord!”

“Sorry, mama,” Marla softly muttered and before turning away she caught Patricia’s eyes towards their direction.

Marla swore she saw some smugness in Patricia’s grin.

She tried to look at her mother, then to her father and run her eyes to her four silly little sisters wedged between them. Only then she realized the great disparity she and the girl with the red gown had but nevertheless vowed that someday, she could be the pretty and captivating Patricia. Or way more than that. A wild thought and a lofty dream for a poor girl whose family lived only for a meal or two a day. Sometimes even none at all other than a glassful of water.

Padre Fausto winded down on his discourse, a short prayer followed and the church choir then launched into a beautiful rendition of “Jesus, our Savior.”

The morning mass ended at 9 o’clock at the time when the sun was slowly crawling towards midday. Church folks began spilling out through the four entrance doors. Marla eased out, tagging her feisty young siblings along as they trailed their parents making their way out. The air is dry outside, almost sultry.

*   *   *

Lando Sebastian, a local of San Antonio, had been working as a contractual street worker under the municipal government’s payroll for four years. He descended from one of the original settlers of the place, a vagabond from the Visayas Islands. Coming from a modest family and being the unico hijo, Lando had lived a rough life toiling the raging temper of his father. He stowed away for most of his life, got jailed for theft a couple of times and lived life on the streets while his peers were busy pushing pens in schools. He detested going to school because he believed one can still get rich without getting an education. At age 16, he ran off for good but five years later, went back and demanded his share of the inheritance from an ailing father. He squandered it all. He married another homegrown girl named Martha, one who had exactly the same colorful credentials as him. One year later, their first-born came out. They named her Marla, a conjunction of Martha and Lando. Uneducated and therefore unemployed, the couple rode the rough times. Had Marla known, she would have probably chosen to choke herself inside her mother’s womb.

Little did she know that when she was about two months old Martha was on the verge of putting her in a sack and flush her off in the toilet. Good thing Lando came home early (after being turned down employment) and foiled the attempt.

While the rest of the folks took their rides on the way home either on fancy cars or on public transportation services, the Sebastians slog it out walking under the blistering sun, not because – as Lando always proudly claimed – of sheer lack of money but because of his professed awareness for cardiovascular exercises. As if the family hadn’t had enough.

“What’s for lunch?” Lando asked under heavy breathing without flicking to anyone in particular. It was obvious though that the question was intended for Martha. “I don’t know,” came her answer, and Lando knew she meant it.

As usual, the young kids were now tugging their parents’ shirts and began their usual chorus of “I wantadobong baboy! how about lechon kawali? Can we have nilagang baka?” All had hearty laughs but for Marla. There was no use of indulging in such a pointless exercise, she always thought. She wondered at her parents’ creativity in giving succulent names of otherwise bland meals. In the Sebastians meal lingo, adobong baboy passed for ginisang bagoong with kangkong leaves; lechon kawali was downgraded as roasted dried fish; and nilagang baka was relegated into some steaming stew of garden-produced veggies. The children gamely adopted them and soon became everyday jokes.

A twinge in her stomach and Marla realized she was famished.

In no time, the despondent Sebastians were approaching their desolate and spooky barong-barong where an irrigation canal was not far somewhere. The house was almost makeshift. Its four columns were large boughs of mango trees, coconut slabs lashed together by nylon strings which served as its walling while the roof above consisted of dried cogon grasses. Flooring was all earth. Lando and Martha, who had personally built it, couldn’t help but be very proud of their crude handiwork despite its forlorn simplicity.  Situated at the rear end of the town’s public cemetery, it was surrounded by a lush of wild vegetation under acacia trees, an idle yet fertile area at the risk of being overrun by the rising death statistics. Lando, in his ever critical forecast, predicted it would take five years for the first tomb to come creeping at their shabby doors and that there’s nothing to worry because everything was just temporary. A big, fancy house on the top of the hill was coming. Again, all the family members bought the idea save for Marla. She used to be but she was too old and smarter now to give such trash talks attention. She had already grown tired of all the futile calculations, empty assurances and hopeless longings. She needed a break from daydreaming.

As promised by Lando, the family had “nilagang baka” for lunch and made a fool out of themselves once again. Not that they were already numbed to the hard realities but because they refused to accept their below-grassroots status. At the table, Lando assured again that someday, and he was so stupidly sure about it, they would be sitting over truckloads of money and all the well-off folks of the town would grovel at their feet. The family again saw the absurd vision and exchanged jokes about it. Not for Marla. The usual ridiculous crap.

Pretending to be full, Marla decided to excuse herself and made her way out the back door towards a threadbare hammock tied together between two guava trees. She lounged herself and closed her eyes. She could overhear the giggling of her sisters in the kitchen. Lando was perhaps regaling them again. Marla wondered at how they could afford to laugh things off with so much poverty around. Or was it just her?

While her father, and to some extent her mother, always caught sight of sunshine and rainbow, Marla however saw storms coming from the horizon.  Their abject poverty is no funny story and certainly her father’s humor cannot change a thing. The family knew it in their hearts. It was just too huge and overwhelming that they continually shun the shadow of poverty all their lives. They were all living a lie. Not Marla. Poverty was all too real for her and she was determined to uproot her impoverished family out of it. And Patricia? Well, she had better prepare to lose herself of the prominence she enjoyed now.

Past 2 o’clock, the sound of a guitar breached the monotony of the afternoon. Lando’s hoarse voice then rode on the lyrics of America’s “A horse with no name.” Martha joined along, and soon the little kids picked up the stream of melodies in the air. If there is one thing the family can boast of around town, it should be voice quality. Lando the bass, Martha the soprano. Both used to impress upon their children that they had been singing duet together during fiestas, birthdays, wedding parties, even during funeral wakes when they were still a lot younger. The truth this time. Marla inherited much of Martha’s penetrating sweet voice. The one thing she could be proud of her mother. It would soon be their saving grace.

Slowly, Marla rose to her feet and felt something urging her taste buds. Soon, she was silently humming as she took a leisurely walk towards the sari-sari store across the wooden plank over an irrigation canal. Finally, the “a horse with no name” virus entered her system and by the time she reached the overhang of Manang Biday’s Store, the song got its justice from Marla’s pro-level performance.

“Wow, that was great,” Manang Biday gamely commended. She was always Marla’s all-time fan. And a voice trainer too, for good measure. She claimed she was a frustrated singer but her voice says otherwise.

“So what will it be, Marl?” Biday added. “Hope and Fortune are out of stock. It’s either Phillip or nothing for you.”

At 16, Marla was already a certified smoker. What started as a curiosity at first, along with peer pressure from high school buddies, ended up as an addiction. Now, she was stuck into it. Of course, everything was discreet. She couldn’t afford to risk Lando and Martha’s ire. Thankfully, she disliked the taste of liquors where her friends found their craving.

“Thanks Manang for the compliments. I’ll take Phillip on credit. I’ll pay it tomorrow first thing in the morning,” Marla said.

“Your list is getting longer, Marla. I’m afraid I’m going to tell Martha about this,” Biday warned as she handed three sticks of Phillip cigarettes to Marla. “You’re hooked. When will you stop? You’re killing yourself.”

“Thanks, you’re such a good ninang! I’ll just take this as a Christmas gift,” the grinning Marla immediately cut Biday almost in mid-sentence as she grabbed the cigarette sticks. “How’s Carlyn?”

Carlyn was Marla’s playmate until the former dropped out of school two years ago and decided to live with her aunt in Manila because Biday can no longer afford her education. The last time Biday received news from Carlyn she was into “dancing practice” under some dubious talent manager. Biday kept digging Carlyn for more details about it and how in the world she, Carlyn, her soft-spoken daughter, came to love dancing. Carlyn offered vague information. Six months later, Biday received an LBC air pouch from her, postage paid at Okinawa. Inside were photos of Carlyn and the rest of her pals, in sexy outfits and under heavy make-ups. No caption, no explanation. The pictures were enough to paint a thousand words. Biday broke into tears, locked inside the room for a week, went depressed thereafter, but finally came out accepting the inevitable. Cash soon flowed steadily and Biday was surprisingly all right again. Money was her anti-depressant. To hell with the neighborhood stares.

“She’s okay. She called last night. She’s coming home next month,” Biday proudly said.

“Give my regards to her, ninang,” Marla replied as she inched away. “And please remind her about mypasalubong.”

“I will.”

That night, the family feasted on lugaw mixed cocoa and sugar and roasted dried bolinao fish. A little later, Lando was back again on his guitar while Martha and kids huddled around. Martha went out for a walk.

*    *    *

The town of San Antonio was a 2nd class municipality. Like all rural places, there was not much in the way of amusement and recreation which Santa Fe and other outlying cities offered. Other than videoke joints, no real form of high-end entertainment existed in the area which could draw crowds. on Saturday nights, however, the town plaza would be brisk and alive as folks met together for the weekly Amateur Contest sponsored by the local government. Marla and her sisters never missed the occasion.

Too bad it was a Sunday. And the town plaza was miserably quiet at 8 o’clock in the evening. Few souls however were chilling out in the darker shades. Marla rambled around to look for a cozy place to slouch. She found a log bench in one corner under a tree and took her seat. Despite the backwardness of San Antonio, it boasted of low crime rate. The local police force had been effective in cracking down wayward elements and maintaining peace and order. Violence in the place is in short supply. The safety of the town plaza is the Police Chief’s crowning glory.

It was disturbingly quiet. But the serenity of the night allowed Marla to contemplate on a lot of things. She had just graduated high school and college classes would open next month. How in the world could her parents fund her college education when they even lack the basic amenities to get by everyday? And if she opted to forego college what would she do? In a maze of indistinct characters playing in her mind, Marla became someone waitressing a local restaurant, one flash and she saw herself working on a cash register at a grocery store, another flicker and there she was checking stocks at the town’s only clothing store.

To be continued…

Posted by: Atty. Oliver Bulang | January 21, 2011

The Compassionate Vampires of the Twilight Saga



Twilight is a phenomenal fantasy novel which became a huge success when it hit the book shelves in 2005. Authored by Stephenie Meyers, Twilight captured the hearts of love-stricken teenagers the world over when it was first released in 2005 and eventually joined the prestigious list of New York Times Best Sellers shortly thereafter. Reaping awards as the bestselling book from various outfits such as the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly,, School Library Journal and the American Library Association, Twilight sold over 17 million copies around the globe up till now.

The novel’s rise to popularity was indeed sensational. What started off as some random dream of Stephenie Meyers had transformed into an outstanding feat that gripped juveniles from all walks of life. Now available in 37 languages, the novel revolved around a forbidden love between two unlikely beings: a mortal human, Isabella Swan and an immortal vampire, Edward Cullens. Twilight is the forerunner of the New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn which made up the Twilight series. It invaded the big screen when a film adaptation of the novel was launched in 2008.

The main characters of Twilight, Isabella Swan and Edward Cullens, portrayed in a subtle way the boldness of young love caught in the crossfire. Like most romance stories, it has its own unique brand of intrigue that beleaguered lovers, the kind of plot that has seen the likes of the proverbial Romeo and Juliet only that Romeo was human while Edward was a vampire. Twilight reviews have been one in saying that the novel captivated the soul of teenage love in a romantic and bloodcurdling way.  But the horror it tried to depict was clouded by ceiling-high emotions that sometimes bordered on oddity: Isabella trying to be a non-conformist and the Cullens struggling to defeat their beastly ways.

Twilight was initially thought to be as another gripping tale of bloodsuckers out to spread carnage. As a vampire-themed novel, what the aficionados anticipated as a teeth-gnashing and blood-squirting scenario turned out to be a brilliantly crafted narrative of love and adoration. And for that, it has become quite a deviation of the previous vampiric stories of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles and the classic Dracula. For example, in Rice’s novels, the main vampire character, Lestat de Lioncourt, was shown to be a ruthless beast preying on unsuspecting humans. Dracula was even worse. In both depictions, the whole vampire-dom thrived on human blood; in Twilight, vampires lived on the blood of animals. They went out of their way in acting more human than the humans themselves. Most of all, they showed unmistakable compassion. Lately, Edward Cullens and Lestat de Lioncourt have been pitted against each other.

Who do you think will outshine whom?

This departure from the traditional notion of vampire behaviors is radical and innovative. It shows maturity in transforming vampire lores into profound portrayals of such grand life themes as life, choice and free will. Not only that, it demonstrates how love, in a world where good and evil collides, powerfully conquers all. It is this differentiation of vampire metaphors in the novel which made it a distinctive class of its own and stood among the rest.  *


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