Love of reading a great help in preparing for bar exams, says topnotcher
MANILA, Philippines — For Amilyn Alkathiri, passing this year’s bar examinations was a fulfillment of what she considers a “prophecy” made by one of her grandfathers when she was just a little girl.
Her mother, Lina, said her daughter was feeling quite nervous about the outcome, so she did not personally check the results released at the Supreme Court grounds on Tuesday. It turned out, however, that the “prophecy” was true as Alkhatiri was among the 3,812 takers who passed.
“Amilyn vividly remembers what her grandfather told her when she was still in elementary — that she’s going to be a lawyer someday,” Lina told the Inquirer a few hours before the results were released.
This year’s Bar topnotcher, Ephraim Porciuncula Bie of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), who ended up with a rating of 89.2625 percent, said that he was actually “bracing for the worst but hard work and prayers really worked for me.”
He told the Inquirer in a phone interview that he encountered some difficulty in answering the labor law part of the tests.
Out of the 10,387 who took the Bar exams in September, only 3,812 passed compared to 3,992 in 2022.
36.77% passing rate
In a press conference, bar chair Justice Ramon Hernando said this translated to a 36.77 percent overall passing percentage. He refused to say if the figures meant this year’s Bar exams were more difficult as the 2022 passing rate was higher at 43.47 percent.
The 2020/2021 bar exam has the all-time highest passing rate of 72.28 percent or 8,241 passers out of 11,402 hopefuls.
“There are things we cannot change, but I would like you to believe that the efforts that you have expended to pass the bar are absolute. Dreams shall come true in their own time. Perhaps and for most of you, that time is now,” Hernando told the aspiring lawyers.
Asked for his advice to those who flunked, Hernando said: “It is not the end of the road. Please consider this a challenge to do more, exert more. It is not the end of the road for those of you who did not make it.”
‘Just read and read’
Bie, who said he had wanted to become a lawyer ever since he was a boy, said his love for reading was also a great help in preparing for the Bar.
“Just try to read and read … read everything. And of course, you have to be sure that you want to pursue something. It’s hard to finish law if you’re not sure about it, if your motivation is not solid,” he advised aspiring lawyers.
The eldest and only boy in a brood of four, Bie said that burnout and meeting other people’s high expectations for him were among the struggles he experienced while reviewing for the Bar.
“Of course, there was a pressure for me to do good at the Bar since I graduated magna cum laude from the Faculty of Civil Law. I felt pressured that I had to meet that expectation. For me that was part of the struggle,” added the 28-year-old Bie, who finished Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at the UST in 2015.
A former business news writer, he now works at Divina Law, one of the top law firms in the country.
Mark Josel Padual Vivit from Ateneo de Manila University got the second top spot with a score of 89.1250 percent, while Frances Camille Altonaga Francisco from San Beda University placed third with a score of 88.9125 percent.
According to the Supreme Court, the Bar oathtaking and roll-signing will take place on Dec. 22.