MANILA -- Accountant Regino Reyes heard mass at Quiapo Church before dawn and camped out at the Supreme Court gates on Friday, hoping his eldest daughter's name is included in the list of the Philippines' new lawyers.
The crowd of parents, relatives and examinees along narrow Padre Faura Street is expected to swell towards noon, in an annual ritual where the list of bar passers is greeted with tears of joy and despair.
"Gusto ko kasi ma-experience ko naman ito makita ko yung pangalan nya na pumasa," Reyes said of his daughter, Regine, who chose to wait for the results online in their home.
(I want to experience seeing her name in the list of passers.)
"Iisa ang nasa isip ko. Papasa sya, he said.
(There is only one thing on my mind. She will pass)
Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo, head of the 2018 Bar Examinations Committee will announce the results at the SC quadrangle. The list of successful examinees will be shown on an LED wall.
Among the hopefuls is Inspector Jesus Ducusin, a 37-year-old policeman assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport who juggled work, studies and family life before taking the bar exam last year.
"Kahalong excitement at kaba. Lahat po ginawa ko yun nga lang di ako nakapag-formal review. Hindi ako nakapag-leave. Kasi that time nung June kakopo-promote ko lang," he said.
(It’s a mix of excitement and nervousness. I did everything except take a formal review since I was not able to take a leave. I was promoted in June.)
Ducusin said he was inspired to take law after he was assigned to the criminal investigation unit. If he passes the bar, he plans to continue working for the airport police although he is not sure of his plans after that.
A record 8,155 examinees took the bar last November at the University of Santo Tomas. It was administered by the Office of the Bar Confidant and tackled subjects such as Political Law, Civil Law, Labor Law, Taxation, Criminal Law, Remedial Law and Legal and Judicial Ethics.
Only 25.5 percent passed the bar exam in 2017 while 59 percent passed in 2016. Last year’s bar exams is the 117th in the country.