MANILA - The night leading up to the release of the 2019 Bar examination results last week, 30-year old Princess Fatima Parahiman dreamed about failing her first take of the exams.
But reality turned out the opposite: not only did she pass, she also scored the 2nd highest with 89.52 percent.
"The night before, napanaginipan ko na wala ako sa list. So may mga ganung thoughts. Kaya, nung morning, may ganun ding doubt," Parahiman told ABS-CBN News.
The University of the East graduate shared her support system in preparing for last year's exams.
"Kahit mahirap, tapos nakakapagod, nandoon 'yong focus na malapit na, kaunti na lang. At saka kasi, may group of friends naman na sama-sama naman kaming nahihirapan, sama-sama lang kaming tumatawa. So masaya naman. Hindi ka naman nag-iisa sa goal mo," Parahiman said.
(It was hard and tiring, but I focused on how near I was to the finish line. And I have a group of friends with whom I share the same hardship. We just laugh together. So, it was fun. I was not alone in eyeing that goal.)
Parahiman recounted the hours that led to her finding out the results, with her waking up early to do Ramadan prayers and rituals.
"I wanted it to be just an ordinary day lang. So, I wrote a prayer, parang an hour before ko nalaman ang results. Tapos nung iniisip ko 'yun, nagbabasa lang ako," Parahiman said.
Parahiman opted to wait for a call from her friends, but received the good news instead from her boss.
"Kahit yung nanay ko na katabi ko nun, hindi ko sinabi na alam ko na. Gusto ko pang makarinig ng confirmation. Actually, sabi ko sa boss ko, iche-check ko. And sabi niya nga po, iche-check niya raw po. After nung call niya, meron akong friend sa sorority na nag-text at may friend ako na tumawag. So, na-confirm na. Tsaka lang kami umiyak.," Parahiman shared.
(At first, I wanted to wait for a confirmation after that call. So I did not tell my mom yet. My boss did the same. And after my boss called, a friend of mine from my sorority told me the news. That's when I started crying.)
Parahiman was born and raised in Manila. Her father, who hailed from Lanao Del Sur, settled down in the metropolis and started a family here.
Despite not having lived in Lanao Del Sur, Parahiman said she felt overwhelmed with how her father's hometown has been beaming with pride over her feat.
However, she downplayed being declared the second Muslim woman Muslim to have achieved it.
"Nakakatuwa na masaya din sila. Nandun yung suporta nila, ganun yung pride nila, happiness ng success of one of their own. Pero in terms of siguro pangalawa sa topnotcher, marami na ring nauna, babae na nauna din sa'kin," she said.
(I feel happy about their support, how they treat my success as one of their own. But if you talk about how I placed second, I feel that others have already achieved the same feat before.)
Parahiman said she plans to pursue Labor law after taking her oath.
She also shared her advice to those who will take the exams, and to those who have failed it.
"You really have to prepare your mindset. You really have to know that you want it. You have to commit to it," she said.
"Kapag naandoon na ang commitment, may darating na araw na tatamarin ka, (When you have that commitment, there will come a time where you will slack off a bit) but somehow you will find that motivation at tsaka yung disiplina sa sarili, kasi nakatanim na sa'yo yun (self-discipline is already instilled)."
"Kahit mahirap, hindi naman iyan imposible. Kahit dun sa mga hindi nakukuha this year, laban lang (It can be difficult, but it's not impossible. And for those who did not pass, fight on)," she added.