Better Than Flowers: Naga City student gets law books on Valentine’s Day

Law student Malia Annellie Laynes holding the gifts she had received from her boyfriend. Photo: Laynes/FB
Law student Malia Annellie Laynes holding the gifts she had received from her boyfriend. Photo: Laynes/FB

Most women receive flowers and chocolates for Valentine’s Day, but a student from Naga City got something more unique from her boyfriend — eight law books.

Malia Annellie Laynes, a junior at the University of Nueva Caceres Law School, posted photos of herself holding her lawbooks early this week.

“A bit late but I can’t contain my happiness for being blessed with a man who supports me with my goals and dreams,” she wrote.

“Thank you so much for granting me eight books from my wish list,” she told her boyfriend, sailor Eugene Barrogo Jr.

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Laynes told Coconuts Manila in an interview that her boyfriend asked her what she wanted for Valentine’s Day as early as last month.

“He asked me if I wanted a food bouquet or [a bouquet of] flowers. I told him I need to think about it first or he can just decide on his own,” she said in English and Filipino.

“This happened on the first week of the second semester. I thought I needed to be practical, and why not [ask for] law books. So I made a wishlist from where he can choose the gift that he was going to give to me,” she added.

She didn’t expect that she would end up getting the books, which arrived on Feb. 17. Her long-distance boyfriend, who works as an engineer on a ship, had already serenaded her on Instagram before the books arrived.

Laynes said she is glad to have a supportive boyfriend, after getting stuck with a former partner who didn’t encourage her to reach for her dreams. She and Barrogo were actually a couple from 2009 to 2017 but reconciled when she broke up with her ex-partner.

“I had a boyfriend before who wasn’t supportive and was very demanding with my time so it didn’t work. So when he learned that I was single, he decided to court me again,” she said.

Laynes said she went to law school because she wanted to be a politician, but her goal changed as the years went by.

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“I realized that it is not politics per se that I wanted after all, but the opportunity to serve the people, especially the poor and disenfranchised,” she said.

“In law school, my purpose became clearer and my resolve stronger. I want and I need to be a good lawyer because I want to live in a world where people get what they are due and treated the way [that] they deserve,” Laynes added.





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