MANILA - University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law graduate Rachel Angeli Miranda was at a loss for words after learning that she topped the 2015 Bar Examinations.
"It was a shock. It's very surprising," Miranda told ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) shortly after the results were released.
Miranda, who obtained a grade of 87.40%, said she's overwhelmed as she never thought that she would top the Bar, which she said was difficult.
"I never expected it. I did my best, I tried my best during the exams, but the result still came as a surprise," said Miranda, who only learned of the news after a friend sent her a message on Facebook.
"I couldn't believe it because what I was really just hoping for was to pass. I just wanted to pass, that's it."
Miranda noted that she and her batchmates from the UP College of Law barely had five months to review for the Bar, having graduated in June 2015.
The Bar Examinations were held on the four Sundays of November 2015.
"We were all pretty scared that we didn't have enough time to prepare for it, but our professors kept telling us that we already had four years in law school to prepare for this, that we shouldn't be scared of passing, that we will pass. That helped me get through it," she said.
The Bar covers eight subjects, namely Political Law, Labor Law, Civil Law, Taxation, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law, and Legal and Judicial Ethics.
"It was very overwhelming because you didn't know what the questions were going to be, how the exam was going to be like. So I was just trying to get my head around the enormity of the exam.
"Each of those four Sundays, you have to do your best. You can't just...stop at the first Sunday. You have to keep going," Miranda said.
A total of 1,731 examinees passed last year's Bar, representing 26.21% of the total number of examinees.
Rounding up the top five are Athena Plaza of University of San Carlos (87.25%), Jayson Aguilar of UP (86.75%), Reginald Arceo of Ateneo de Manila University or AdMU (86.70%), and Mandy Therese Anderson of AdMU (86.15%).