Mrs. Virginia S. Lim
In the electric quiet crackling with furtive whispers, a thunderous face-off is brewing at the Law library. At the reading corner a lawyer wannabe fidgets as he contemplates a future tyrannized by the dictum dura lex, sed lex; at the counter the librarian eyes him with a steady gaze, sizing him up, and all the while mentally cataloguing her Duralex/Pyrex collection at home, along with her Tupperwares and the disposable plastic food containers that she bought from the 143 thrift store.
But as the Bard said, all’s well that ends well, and indeed things turn out fine as Mrs. Virginia Lim, (Ma'am) Virgie to College of Law students and faculty, approaches and finds out that he is a graduating student who is but caught in a passing bout of existential doubt about his chosen would-be profession. As days go, such is one of those daze-dazzled days that make her day.
Virgie embarked on her professional odyssey as a Medical Technology student in Silliman in June 1972, barely three months before Marcos declared Martial Law. But the goddesses of wisdom and inspiration were on Sabbatical leave at that time (or perhaps really on holiday somewhere in Siquijor), and after three years of waiting for them to return to bail her out of the doldrums, she transferred to another school to pursue, well, MedTech. But the MedTech deities seemed to snub her still, so she came back to Silliman after only one semester of self-imposed exile. This time, after three years and a half of struggling with bacterium, paramecium, and all the other nasty little critters that go “um!” inside us, she did a 180-degree turn and took up Management. And the gods of wealth acquisition said, “Yes!” in unison.
Virgie has been working as a Librarian in Silliman since 1978. At the College of Law library, she walks the extra mile – sometimes even two miles or more – just to find the cases on the list that the students scribble on yellow pad and leave on her desk or simply text to her in advance during off-duty hours. But she doesn’t mind pulling more than her weight because nothing gives her more pleasure than one day looking at the list of bar topnotchers and recognizing someone who used to ask her for an extra favor.
As far as librarians go, Virgie is a sassy worm that goes by a different book. An out-and-about fashionista who loves to perform, she abides by the creed of Credo: If you got it, flaunt it. And that’s what just she does – with flair and self-confidence – when occasion calls for it. As they say, you may judge a book by its cover, but you can never cover the Silliman University College of Law librarian with a book.
At the home front, Virgie is doing just as well. Her youngest is now graduating, and her two other kids are now settled in their well-paying jobs, though yet to settle down (and this, if anything, is the only thing that gets her down – that she’s yet to hold an apo in her hands). And for all her blessings, Virgie can only thank Silliman. Though she and her siblings had to go through college by the skin of their teeth as student assistants, they are ever thankful that this university by the sea showed them the way to better days. The same generosity has been extended as scholarship benefits for her children, and for this she is doubly grateful to Silliman.
If there’s really such thing as reincarnation, Virgie wishes nothing else for her return: to come back not as a worm, but as a living book on Silliman.
Describe yourself in three words.
Fashionista. Performer. Energizer.
What is your mantra in life?
Old is only in the mind.
What makes you laugh?
Witticisms and witty retorts.
What makes you cry?
I’m not really the crying type. But I do cry when my children show me up. Or when I laugh so hard.
What’s your favorite time of the day and why?
Evenings. It’s silent at home, and everybody’s asleep (read: I have total control of the remote control).
What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Thursday, because the next day is Friday.
What do you love doing when not working?
KKK (Knitting. Kross-stitch. Krochet).
What is your favorite hangout in the University?
What makes you blush?
Back in the day I used to blush when people told me I look beautiful. Not anymore. These days I just smile and say, “I know.”
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Pokwang, because she’s got style and spunk. But, of course, I’m more beautiful.
Tell us a fact about yourself.
Remember Pokwang? She dances and sings really well. But I think I’m better – ask Jan (hehe).
What was your favorite game growing up?
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
Chillaxing by the pool, staring at empty space, contemplating the coffee that I just had earlier.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
I plan to take up mountain biking when I retire.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko” by VST and Company. It just makes you dance!
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Cleanse my face to get rid of the churva-ek-ek that I applied the night before.
What’s your idea of a family?
Family is my life, the only group of people that I will fight for – and like to fight with.