Reginald Laco. Photo courtesy of De La Salle Lipa
MANILA - Reginald Laco can't believe he placed fourth in the 2014 Bar examinations.
Laco, a De La Salle Lipa graduate, said he did not expect that he would be in the top 10 since, as a working student, he had less time to study law.
He had a rating of 84.55%.
"Nung nag-aaral ako sa law school, sa loob ng apat na taon, nagtatrabaho ako sa tatlong schools. So Lunes hanggang Linggo, nagtuturo ako. Normally, nakakapagaral lang ako tuwing gabi at madaling araw. Nakapag-focus lang ako yung formal review sa Bar exam," he said.
Laco also topped the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) board exam in 2009, placing second.
His father, Eduardo, said Laco passing the Bar exams is a wish come true for him.
"Pangarap ko yun para sa sarili ko. Kaso dahil mahirap ang buhay, hindi ko na natupad. Sabi ko'y dahil ikaw na rin naman ang nariyan, ikaw na ang tumupad," Eduardo said.
"Hari nawa nga'y siya'y maraming matulungang mahihirap. Yung nangangailanga'y matulungan niya. Ako'y masaya na kung anong meron kami. Ang hangad ko'y siya'y makatulong sa mga nangangailangan," said Laco's mother, Zenaida.
According to Laco, he plans to continue teaching for another year before practicing law.
Gil Garcia (left) and Michelle Liao (right)
Like Laco, fourth-placer Gil Garcia and fifth-placer Michelle Liao (84.5%) are also certified public accountants.
The 27-year-old Garcia, a graduate from the Ateneo de Davao University, shared that his inspiration was his father who is also a lawyer.
"I was inspired by my father and Atty. Grace Fabero of the city prosecutor's office of Panabo City," he said. "I reviewed, prayers and sleep talaga."
Aside from Garcia, 23 others from Ateneo de Davao passed the 2014 Bar exams.
Meanwhile, Liao, who graduated cum laude from the University of Cebu, said she was overwhelmed upon knowing that she made it as a topnotcher.
She said she immediately went to the Carmelite Monastery to thank the Lord for the blessing she received.
She shared that there was even a point when she thought of not taking the Bar exams since she knew that it would be time-consuming, but she decided to face the odds and survived. -- Reports from Val Balita, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog; Vina Araneta, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao; and Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas