ATTY. JOSE RAMON NAKAO IS A SILLIMAN ALUMNUS AND FORMER PROFESSOR AT THE COLLEGE OF LAW. HE IS AN AUTHOR OF A FICTIONAL BOOK ENTITLED, “FIRE DRAGON,” WHICH WAS RELAUNCHED THIS WEEK IN DUMAGUETE. THE BOOK IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON AND POPULAR BOOKSTORES SUCH AS BARNES AND NOBLE. NAKAO IS NOW BASED IN NEW ZEALAND.
- What are your most treasured memories as a Sillimanian?
Hanging out at San Moritz and El Amigo after or during class hours (these places no longer exist)
- What are your other fields of interest?
The outdoors. I’m into competitive shooting, SCUBA diving and tramping. I also love dogs, though I don’t have one right now.
- What is the most difficult/rewarding thing you’ve ever accomplished?
When I was a young lawyer, I defended, pro bono, a young man wrongfully accused of frustrated homicide. The charges were trumped up. Grit and determination paid off and he was acquitted.
- What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I tried being a vegetarian last year. Didn’t work out.
- How do you deal with stress or conflict?
Sweating it out at the gym or firing off a few rounds at the range.
- What are some of the most imaginative and creative things that you have done in a job?
My best legal strategies came from my precipitous actions as a young lawyer. I acted on instinct and my actions may seem reckless or out of the box, but they turned out to be the most effective. With age, you tend to be more circumspect but your actions end up to be more predictable.
- What do you think are the most important characteristics and abilities for any person’s success?
Perseverance and adaptability. The latter involves moving on from failure.
- Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing your novel Fire Dragon?
The script has been floating in my head for about 10 years, but I never got the time when I was still practicing law. Got more idle time in New Zealand, plus the recent spate of events in the South China Sea inspired me to start the project.
- How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
The characters were based on real persons whom I met. They’re not soldiers nor spies but I transplanted their personas into the script. The theme and subject are inspired by recent geopolitical events.
- What lessons do you want your readers to learn from your book?
That our freedom and patrimony is under threat and if we allow ourselves to be cowed and bullied, the next generation will curse us as a generation of cowards.
- What made you relocate to New Zealand?
I had a good job before we left for NZ. I was prosecuting drug traffickers for the DOJ. But after sending dozens of persons to jail, you tend to realize that you’re merely addressing the symptoms rather than the cause. It’s like emptying the ocean. In NZ, we live simpler lives. I still work for the courts, minus the stress, the status and the perks. In return, I get to spend more time with my wife and enjoy fantastic nature trails, less crime, less traffic and getting to shoot off a few hundred rounds 2 or 3 times a month.
- What important life lessons have you learned through the years?
Things don’t always happen as you plan it. But life goes on and you just have to pick up the pieces and move along.