At the start of the semester, when I was to choose from gender sensitivity, community development, environmental change, or economic nationalism, it is community development that appealed to me the most. It was because I have this deep-seated endeavor of wanting to contribute very significant changes in our society and correlating community development with social work made me think this would serve as an avenue for me to help others while fulfilling my CWTS requirements.
It turns out, my soft perception of our social work turns out to be an intense kind – more like an extreme form of social work. It is because in our assigned NGO – the Akbayan party list – all five of us will serve as the paralegals of the said party under the supervision their senior legal officer, Atty. Torrevillas. We were all excited when he referred to us as the paralegal interns of the said institution knowing that it is actually a prominent political party. (Plus, in their headquarters, we would always see Ms. Risa Hontiveros roaming around gracefully.)
When we had our first taste of paralegal work, it was really an experience like no other. We were actually hearing very sensitive cases of graft and corruption and this gave me a feel of how lawyers do their job since I’m actually planning to be one hopefully someday, plus, this is in line with my personal interest of anything related to public governance. Of course, the confidentiality contract that they made us sign was a little terrifying since a breach of that contract would require us to pay a whopping P100,000.00 pesos to the said party. The party gave us a chance whether we would back out or continue and of course our group still took the risk since we’re thrilled of being trained as paralegals as our form of social work. Also, we know that that confidentiality is really needed given the nature of the institution we are having our internship in.
The fun did not end in the party list headquarters since now, we are reporting at the House of Representatives (south wing to be specific, room 513) every Monday for our current project. Personally, it’s always a thrill for me to go inside. (In order to be safe, I won’t disclose the nature of our current project since I don’t want to risk being penalized.) Who knows maybe someday, i’ll get use to it (since it’s still mid-semester, of course).
I hope our internship would really result to a more fruitful. I am now excited to have our group presentations to see what I’m missing in the other internships. Good luck to all of our endeavors!