MANILA - Women claimed the top 5 spots of the last year's Bar exams, based on a list that the Supreme Court released Wednesday.
Below is the list of examinees who garnered the 5 highest scores:
1. AZORES, Mae Diane M. – University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi
2. PARAHIMAN, Princess Fatima T. – University of the East
3. BARANDA, Myra M. - University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi
4. BANDIOLA, Dawna Fya O. – San Beda College-Alabang
5. FABELLO, Jocelyn B. – Palawan State University
Topnotcher Azores said she prayed that she could enter the Bar exam's top 10 passers.
"Sinabi ko kay Lord, Lord kahit top 8 lang Lord. Kasi may nainiwala ring professor tsaka mga kaibigan na kaya mo yan. Ako naman nag-aral naman ako nang mabuti," she told ABS-CBN News.
(I told Lord, let me be even in the top 8. Some of my professors and friends think I can do it. I studied well, too.)
She also told students from the provinces like her that "No dream is ever [too] big."
"We can always dream bigger. Kung iisipin talaga natin, kung kaya talaga, kaya talaga siya. Tiwala lang sa Diyos. Dasal lang talaga," she said.
(If we really put our minds to it, we can do it. Just trust God and pray.)
Bandiola, the 4th placer, said she couldn't explain how she felt because she had failed the exams when she first took it in 2018.
"I promised po sa sarili ko na baka hindi ko pa po time, hindi pa po will ni Lord na ibigay sa akin iyong pinagpi-pray ko," she told DZMM. "Inisip ko na lang po that it's about timing."
(I promised myself that it might not be my time then, it was not the will of the Lord to give me what I was praying for. I just thought that it's about timing.)
The Supreme Court said 27.36 percent or 2,103 out of 7,685 examinees passed the 2019 Bar exams.
The passing grade this year was pegged at 74 percent.
"The court en banc had decided to lower the passing rate... in light of among other considerations the discerned need for younger and technologically adept lawyers to help different fronts of society as we meet the peculiar challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and transition to the new normal," said Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, head of 2019 Bar Examinations Committee.
The SC magistrate told the Bar passers to "always be reminded that with the distinction you gained as lawyers comes with the concomitant responsibility to further the ideals of justice and the rule of law."
The 2019 Bar exams were held at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) during all four Sundays of November.
It covered various subjects, including Political Law, Labor Law, Civil Law, Taxation, Mercantile Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law and Legal and Judicial Ethics.