Karmela Mirriam Ebreo: Law and Behold!

Women are expected to handle their careers in a way that wasn’t very authentic and to adopt a behavior far from their own, especially in a male-dominated industry, but our featured woman in this article has strived to be true to who she is.
Being a female lawyer may be a tough job and if you think it’s impossible for someone who’s already practicing law to insert a different kind of work, you’re wrong.  Only a few people can slay in their chosen profession while pursuing their other passions, but Mirriam is one of the few women who can excel in all the roles she chooses to be in.
Karmela Mirriam A. Ebreo, Karmie or Mirriam to her friends, is a public attorney, lifestyle blogger, Soroptimist, crafter, and a published author. She graduated BS Development Communication at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and Juris Doctor at the University of Batangas.
In college, Mirriam was a dancer-theatre actor of the UPLB Group of Artists and UPLB Dance Troupe. She wanted to pursue it but her parents couldn’t see a promising future for her as an actor. She opted to go straight to law school after college since she also enjoyed enacting the By-Laws of the Philippine Development Communication Students when she was its Secretary-General.

Apart from performing, another thing I consider my dream is to work for the United Nations. I grew up being adept to a life on the go, of volunteering, and of always looking out for other people's needs. This desire is also what pushed me to pursue law. After college graduation, I was browsing through UN's vacancies and most of the jobs I wanted require either a master's degree or a lawyer. I think the universe really wanted me to be a lawyer. (lol)

Being a Soroptomist is one of the many hats that Mirriam gladly wears. Soroptimist International is an international organization for women by women. It is composed of women doing their best and working to help others be their best. It has clubs worldwide, and she’s one of the newest members in Batangas, Soroptimist International Kabatangueña.

I wanted to be a part of the organization not because it looks prestigious or the women are just so affluent. For so long, I wanted to be a part of it because of the difference the organization makes in the society. I am all for women empowerment. I am a non-conformist by birth. I really hate it when people tell me that "hindi yan pwede sa'yo or hindi mo 'yan kaya kasi babae ka". Ever since I was a kid, I would do things on my own - like open my own car door, wash my dad's car, stand on my bicycle saddles as I traverse downhill, and climb our fence just to play with other kids. I did everything my guy playmates would do just to prove that I can do them even though I am a girl. That mindset "babae ka kasi" should really go.

Last year, during the Pandemic, Mirriam was invited to participate in the Blogger to Author Program of Ukiyoto Publishing. She seized the opportunity and was able to publish her first DIY book entitled “Life un-counselled: a case of quick craft projects.” Mirriam shares her love for crafting in this book and her other random musings in life. This book is about uncomplicated craft counselling, a collection of the easiest and quickest projects she has ever done. Every do-it-yourself activity featured in this book can be done in less than an hour with only a few materials required.

Mirriam Dictionary

Mirriam Dictionary is the name of Mirriam’s lifestyle blog. The name idea came from her first name and the famous dictionary, Merriam Webster. She thought that since her initial blogposts were just random things, why not name it Mirriam Dictionary?
She created the blog when she was in college around 2009. Back then, she just wanted to share her musings as a UP student. When she continued to law school, she had to stop writing because she needed to prioritize her studies and work part-time. She said she had to work back then because books were terribly expensive and she had to make ends meet.
In 2015, she decided to revive her blog and ventured into lifestyle blogging. Unlike most blogs, Mirriam Dictionary is not income-generating. It is simply a platform where she shares her advocacies, crafts, and products she loves. 
Mirriam Dictionary is basically an authentic but free publicity platform for civic-minded individuals, crafters, and lovers of local goods. 

I only feature those I truly experience and care about to maintain the blog's genuineness. Making my advocacies known and sharing about them is my little way of influencing others to do the same. I also feature small businesses or local products to help them flourish. We do not need to give money to show support. We do not need to be affluent to incite action. Combined small efforts also have meaningful impacts. Life has a lot of ups and downs but, at the end of the day, a sunset will always be followed by a sunrise. There is always hope. I try to exhibit that hope, motivation, and auspiciousness into Mirriam Dictionary as well.

Embrace life as it is and always look on the bright side

According to Mirriam, one of her biggest challenges was when she didn’t pass the bar exams on the first take.
Growing up, she was the typical A-grade student and geek in the class despite having many extracurricular activities. She said that she’s allergic to numbers and laughed at the thought that her greatest failure in school was not getting a perfect score in math.

In a flick of a switch, I failed the greatest exam of my life – the bar exams. It was followed by a second failure. It was downright painful. How I had my resolve in both years, I still do not know. Maybe because I trained myself to see the good in everything even when I was a kid.

On the third, she drew the line and told herself that if she still doesn’t pass the bar, she’ll move on and spend her energy on other things in life. Her plan includes being a full-time blogger in Mirriam Dictionary in case things go south. 
Mirriam believes that what really helped her through was acceptance. 

Accepting that it is not yet my time, that there is a different path for me. I have that gift - to easily accept things as they are. I get anxious and mad but I just embrace whatever life throws at me. If I can share an attitude in going through struggles, it's to embrace life as it is and to always look on the bright side.

Motivation, Self- Care, and Perseverance

Mirriam emphasized the importance of self-care especially when things are rough.

Whenever I feel down, unmotivated or fatigued, I just do 3 things. First is to take a rest, a breather. Self-care is important because we cannot share our sunshine if we are under a rain. Second, I spend time with my life’s pillars – my siblings, my one and only niece, my boyfriend @potatoking_tv, and my closest of friends. Third, I look back and reassess what I have done and who I have helped. Going back to those moments keep me grounded and have a sense of heightened well-being.

Mirriam believes that women are born innovative and visionaries. To succeed, she said, we, women, must keep on persevering. Life will always throw obstacles for us to take on. We cannot falter. 

Stand your ground, be courageous, and just keep on going. It gets better, it always does.

For Women By Women

Soroptimist International of the Americas Philippines Region (SIAPR), in which Mirriam is a part, will have its 28th Mid-Biennial Conference on June 5, 2021, with the theme “We Nxt: Women Empowered Initiatives in the Next Normal”.
Soroptimist International is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. Here in the Philippines, we are truly fortunate to be led by a woman with a penchant for service and empowerment, Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo, in these challenging times. 
Soroptimists from all over the country will gather virtually to celebrate each club’s relentless effort to pursue the mission despite the pandemic and reignite the fire of service to continue weaving dreams for women in the next normal. This year’s host is Mariverde District.
For more information, you may visit SIAPR 28th Mid-Biennial Virtual National Conference page on Facebook. 

Creating a nurturing ecosystem

For Mirriam, success is all about growing, empowering, and making a contribution. And for women with big dreams, here’s Mirriam message for you:

Sometimes, it is easy to get self-absorbed with what is happening around us. We must not let that takeover. To truly be successful, we only need two things. First, to understand that we are powerful and capable. Second, to work together for each other and for our community. In the path to growth, no one must be left behind. Only when our community is empowered can we say that we have truly triumphed.

Follow Mirriam's Journey

About The Author
Nira Macaspac

Nira Macaspac

Nira is a a brand strategist, startup coach and an advocate of women empowerment.
She is also an educator and a digital media publisher. She has worked as a content producer for different digital media publications in Asia and the Philippines such as Marketing in Asia, Manila Bulletin, StyleMNL, and When in Manila. She has coached several women about branding, personal, and professional development. Visit her website at http://www.niramacaspac.com

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