MANILA - No dream is ever too big for Mae Diane Azores, who studied for 10 to 12 hours straight to pass the 2019 Bar Exams.
Azores, a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi, said she disconnected from social media and prayed the rosary before the release of the exam results.
When she returned online, Azores found she led the 2,103 passers of the exams. The certified public accountant who works as a state auditor had gotten a score of 91.049 percent.
"No dream is ever big, especially po sa provincial schools. We can always dream bigger. Kung iisipin talaga natin, kung kaya talaga, kaya talaga siya. Tiwala lang sa Diyos. Dasal lang talaga," Azores told ABS-CBN News.
(No dream is ever big, especially for provincial schools. If we really put our minds to it, we can do it. Just trust God and pray.)
In an interview with radio DZMM, the Bar topnotcher said she woke up at 4 a.m. and studied for 10 to 12 hours straight to prepare for the tough exams.
"Nung bago pa lang po magstart yung review, may mga tao na nagsasabi na kaya mo yan magiging topnotcher ka, ayusin mo ha. Yung pressure po na 'yun ginamit ko as motivation and thinking ko na rin po na sige baka kaya naman," she said.
(Before the review began, there were some who said I could be a topnotcher so I should do a good job. I used that pressure as motivation, thinking I could achieve it.)
"So ang prayer ko po talaga, Lord ipasa mo ako sa 2019 Bar Exam, and let this be according to your will sana maging topnotcher na rin po ako Lord. Kahit top 8 lang, yun po talaga sinasabi ko kaya nung nakita ko pong top 1 di ko po talaga inexpect."
(My prayer was, 'Lord, let me pass in the 2019 Bar Exam and let this be according to your will that I also become a topnotcher. Even just in the top 8.' I didn't expect to be number 1.)
She added: "Then dedication po talaga, disiplina kasi alam ko po talaga na gusto kong maging abogado so yung effort na binigay ko is grabe rin po."
(Also dedication and discipline, because I knew I wanted to be a lawyer so I gave my all.)
Azores said clinching the top spot in the exams was "good news" amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the Luzon lockdown. Her grandmother had also passed away last March 18.
"Before siya pumanaw sabi niya sa'kin, inaantay ko na lang sana yung results mo bago ako umalis," she said. "I believe she’s watching from heaven, cheering for me."
(Before she passed away she told me she was only waiting for my exam results before she leaves.)
Azores said she would like to practice as a litigator and delve into labor law.
"Considering the violations of the rights of our employees right now, I think it’s a risky area lawyers should pay attention to," she said. --With a report from Thea Omelan, ABS-CBN News