We’re Back!

Mario and Mai's 25th Wedding Anniversary-363

Most definitely. And here to stay.

We launched the original spaslaw.com way back in August of 2007 (seems like ages ago). Even then, we’d veered away from the static brochure-look of traditional law office sites and opted for a (at that time, not yet that popular) blawg format – the web+blog/site.

We sort of disappeared from the online community the past year and a half or so. During that stretch, in the real world, we reverted to the firm name of its original founding partners, Eric Santos took over the helm as Managing Partner, Tony Paruñgao rejoined us after serving the government as Undersecretary for Legal Affairs of the Department of Agrarian Reform from 2010 to 2014, more associates and staff members were added to our team, 25th wedding anniversaries were celebrated (Mario and Mai Santos marked their milestone with an intimate posh dinner with family and friends at the Manila Pen upper lobby just last Monday; yup, that’s all of us partners and beautiful spouses in that pic up there), plus other transitional events. Not to forget, we finally pushed through with the plan to revive the website.

With the  help of our ICT consultant, Mr. Davi Palma (thanks Davi!), we’ve upgraded the site to a responsive design – a nod to the trend of more and more surfing the web from mobile and handheld gadgets than on bulkier desktops and laptops. That’ll make for faster loading, accurate resizing, easy scrolling (especially vertically), convenient touchable actions, and other snazzy features that younger Gen Xers and the Millennials expect from their browsing. Naturally, in this frenetic social media age, spaslaw.com wouldn’t be complete without the links to the firm’s FB, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

For eye candy, most of the great images you see integrated in the lay-out came courtesy of Raffy Aquino, culled from his chronicles of travels in and out of the country. We feel they’re reflective of our virtual persona.

Posts from the old website (from 2007 to 2009) have been “reconstituted” here. Unfortunately, we couldn’t retrieve comments made on those posts (*sigh*); no matter, they still make for a good read, even though some articles may seem outdated (e.g. see the color-coded Google Cached Link screenshots). Nostalgia does have its place, but, hey, we’ve all got to move on, right?

So, we’re here once again, better, older, wiser, and stronger than ever. Hope you didn’t miss us too much! 🙂

Oh, btw, happy birthday Tonipi!


Happy birthday Tonipi!

The Lighted Inn: Tolkien, Diliman, and Lean Alejandro

"Lean was like Gandalf ..."

“Lean was like Gandalf …”

My nephew, Ruben “Benc” Canlas, is a member of the Tolkien society. He was also an activist in the ’80s, in Diliman, a blogger, and an admirer of the martyred political leader Lean Alejandro.

Writing about his world the first time he read “The Hobbit,” Benc identified the year 1983 as “pivotal.” Sometime in December 2006, I commented on this by email and he posted it in his blog “The Couch Kamote”, for me to stumble upon only a couple of months ago. I’m reclaiming it and posting it here, in my space.


Alright then, Benc, I’ll bite. Lean and Tokien is it?

I was with Lean in the 1981 University Student Council (USC); he was our Vice Chairman. One of his “gifts” to me was this new appreciation for things British. First were Dunhills (nabibili ng medyo mura sa Shopping Center, doon sa stall na meron pang maliit na mezzanine). Next were Chariots of Fire and Galipoli, both in lousy betamax format. Then came Tolkien in yellowed pages and ripped but lovingly scotchtaped paperbacks.

(There was actually a Tolkien book in the house in Quezon City and I remember it gathering dust on the shelf there, lying unopened since the long night before Iluvitar wove his music. But I found the shorter Reader’s Digest articles more readable then.)
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Maximizing Legal Research With Multiple Windows and Tabs

multiple tabs browsers-wp

Browsers used to to be a one window-one webpage-only affair. For doing legal research, this was a bummer. If you Googled a topic and got a Results page, this meant that you could only check potentially relevant links one at a time. You would have to click on one result and by doing so, leave the Results page. If the link wasn’t to your liking, you’d have to hit the browser’s Back button to return to your Results page, wait for it to reload, before you could view another listed link. You’d have to repeat this viewing process over and over. That’s how cumbersome it was.
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On Cory


I was never terribly impressed with the presidency of Cory Aquino. I wanted her to go one way and never quite forgave her when she went down another path. My thoughts on her presidency – at least those I bothered to write down during the first half of her term – chronicle the growing disappointment shared by many Filipinos, the frustration over Cory’s seeming inability to break through the entrenched forces of elitism and privilege, the sense that Cory was betraying the great reform agenda that defined her relationship with the Filipino nation.

Nothing has changed in the way I understood the Aquino regime and I dust off these decades-old words and phrases, reproduce them below and once more present them for the public record. After all, if we should remember Cory’s presidency, we should do so first by firmly situating it in its time in history.

But I call attention to something that may not be apparent from the writings below. Through this estrangement with the Aquino presidency, I never doubted the sincerity of Cory Aquino herself. Even when regard for her regime was at its lowest and indignation over its policies at its peak, I never ceased to be awed by her personal courage and heroism, and her remarkable capacity for sacrifice. Having long ago put away the spectacles of the armchair revolutionary, I have grown to realize that it was precisely these personal qualities of Cory Aquino that the people instinctively responded and related to. It was there all the time: Cory made history precisely because she was, above all and beyond doubt, a kind and decent human being.
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My Dad: An Authentic Public Servant

My dad, Leoncio “Leo” R. Parungao, Jr. served as Press Secretary of the first President Macapagal at the very young age of 31. The call of public service was difficult to resist, and despite having a high-paying public relations job then at the Central Bank, my dad took the plunge, much to the chagrin of my late mother who craved for financial stability and a peaceful and quiet life.
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Doing Legal Research Online: The Basics

You have a few days left to finish a pleading and you need some authorities to back up an argument.

The traditional way of getting those authorities meant poring over the old reliables: commentaries by well-recognized authors such as Tolentino for Civil Law, Moran or Regalado for Remedial, Reyes for Criminal, etc., or scanning through the SCRA Quick-Index Digests for those snippets quoted from Supreme Court decisions. The latter was (and still is) especially tedious, as this meant having the whole array of the SCRA (Supreme Court Reports Annotated), 500+ volumes as of this year, at your immediate disposal, so you could shuffle back and forth from the Quick-Index Digest to your SCRA library to check the accuracy of the quotations and the context in which they appeared. (Some lawyers don’t bother doing this, which is very risky. The Quick-Index Digests have their fair share of typos and wrong citations, plus you never can tell from the QID alone if the quoted portion was applied to defeat or support your position.)
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SPASLAW Welcomes UP Law 1987 Batchmate Ronnie Geron


Ronnie Geron, UP Law Class of 1987 batchmate, joins SPASLAW as a consultant of the firm.

A former Provincial Administrator of the Batangas Provincial Government, Ronnie is also an ardent environmental protection advocate and maintains a blog, Love the Environment, where he writes out his Random Thoughts on the Follies of Human Acts and Their Impact on Mother Earth.

The Rotary Club of Makati BelAir Presents “Art For A Cause” at Galerie Joaquin

The Rotary Club of Makati Bel-Air (RCMBA), of which SPASLAW’s Raffy Aquino is a member and Past President (RY 1997 – 1998), will be holding its “Art For A Cause” painting exhibit at Galerie Joaquin Main, The Centre Gallery, from 25 September to 04 October 2007. The exhibit is RCMBA’s way of showing its support for its adopted Gawad Kalinga (GK) community in Welfareville. Please visit the RCMBA website for further details.
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Welcome To SPASLAWCOM: The Santos Parungao Aquino & Santos Law Offices Web+Blog/Site

Santos Parungao Aquino & Santos Law Offices (SPASLAW) welcomes you to SPASLAW.COM, its Web+Blog/Site.

Right there, you know that this is not going to be a run-of-the-mill cyberspace brochure for a law office. Sure, we have the usual information about the firm, who the lawyers are, what fields of law it engages in and so forth (see the Pages tabs on the Sidebar to the left). But that won’t be all.
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