TV Patrol and DZMM anchor Ted Failon threw a party for Mano after he passed the bar exams. (Photo from e-Frequency)
Since he was a kid, Chris Maño, 28, had always wanted to become a lawyer. He recalls a moment with his father when he was just in grade school watching an F-P-J classic ("Epimaco Velasco: NBI, 1997"). “My father would tell me that I should be a lawyer someday because we were so into that movie, and he was right”, he told e-frequency. But what triggered his desire and passion for the law was when, during his 3rd year in high school, a law suit was filed against his mother. Having no lawyers in his family or relatives and being the eldest son, he felt the need to protect his family.
Maño decided to take up a pre-law course (Bachelor of Arts in Journalism) in University of Sto. Tomas (UST). “I took journalism in UST not because I like to write but because I need to find a job right after college to support my dream of becoming a lawyer. If I took up political science, it might be hard for me to find a job right away,” he shared.
After graduating college, he applied in the Kapamilya network as a production assistant in DZMM (News and Information Center). Two years after, he became a News Writer. Maño decided to pursue law in 2008 with the financial support he receives as an employee of ABS-CBN. “It was never my intention to let my parents shoulder my law school finances. So when I started earning for myself and learning about loans, I decided that was the time to make my dream of becoming a lawyer come true”, he said.
Juggling law school and work, Maño was honest to say that he had a hard time being a working student. “I had to take leaves. Having a four-hour sleep was a rarity since most of the time, I get to rest for only two to three hours.”
Apart from the struggle of being a working student, law school finances also made things difficult for him. One of the problems he encountered was before the Bar Exam. He did not enroll in any review centers because according to him, he could not afford it, “I just asked my law school classmates to record the review sessions for me,” he recalled. He also had a problem during the Bar Exam fee, “It came to the point that I had to borrow money from UST’s Civil Law dean, Nilo Divina,” Chris recounted. “Thank God I passed. But I have yet to pay the dean. But of course, I would return the money I borrowed.”
Maño shared that he intentionally went for a vacation on the dates of the release of the Bar exam results. The funny story was Maño thought he did not pass the Bar Exam. The “ñ” in his surname, made the “looking-for-his-name-in-the-BAR-exam-passers-list” more heart-thumping.
“My surname is Maño hence, people would think that my name would probably be positioned before or after surnames whose first three letters are ‘Man’. But that was not the case,” he said.
“My friends called and thought I failed since, they said that, “Maño” was nowhere in the list. After ‘Manzano,’ the next surname was ‘Maputi,’” Chris further explained. “Then when my girlfriend finally broke the news that my name was in the list of passers, the feeling was unexplainable. I even cried.”
Maño’s inspiration, apart from his parents and loved ones, is the dean of San Sebastian College, Willard Riano. “He’s really an amazing speaker. The thought of failing didn’t scare me ever since I heard him say ‘Pag bumagsak, delayed success lang yan.’
Chris still works for DZMM as a news writer. He has yet to plan his career as a lawyer but wishes to join a law firm in the future that centers in labor and criminal law.
(This article was published on e-Frequency last April 4, 2014)