‘Banish illusion of perfection,’ 1,800 Bar passers told at oath-taking

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2019 11:44 PM

As the new batch of Bar passers took the lawyer’s oath, Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe told them "not be afraid to take calculated risks." File/Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe on Thursday told the 1,800 passers of the 2018 Bar Examinations to "banish the illusion of perfection," as they took their lawyer’s oath before the Supreme Court (SC).

The new lawyers were led by topnotcher Sean James Borja of Ateneo Law School.

Bernabe delivered the message to the new lawyers on behalf of the court en banc, and advised them to persevere in the practice of their profession and maintain the highest standards.

“You will have your own lives to live, and your own stories to tell. As authors of your individual careers, never allow anybody else to hold the pen. Banish the illusion of perfection, and do not be afraid to take calculated risks," Bernabe said.

"I have often heard it said: When making a choice, go with your heart even if it terrifies you. Hardly will there be a perfect first choice and rarely will everyone have a perfect beginning. And so do not be anxious and just treasure every experience.”

Associate Justice Mariano Del Castillo, the 2018 Bar Examinations Committee chairman, meanwhile, injected funny anecdotes and jokes in his speech to punctuate his reminders to the new entrants in the law profession.

His key message was for the new lawyers to act in a “lawyerly-like manner” and for their “sense of morality” to remain strong.

“Membership in this exalted profession does not give you the license to assume an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement, so conduct yourself in a lawyerly-like manner . . . You will have great opportunities to do much good, but equally great temptations to go astray,” Del Castillo said.

“I pray that your sense of morality remains strong. Besides, as you may realize by now, acquiring material possessions and attaining the highest positions of worldly power and authority are something you cannot bring with you when you depart from this world and do not really matte in the afterlife.”

Meanwhile, Borja told his fellow passers that ”as millennials we’re often branded as mga self-entitled but I think, at the end of the day, we’re also dreamers . . . Let’s make a better Philippines, I think we can do it.”

Newly crowned Bb. Pilipinas International Patch Magtanong, who also took her lawyer’s oath, told reporters she will take the cudgels for detained persons.

“I’m super, super grateful and I feel super blessed; not everyone has the chance to be a lawyer and I’m also Bb. Pilipinas International, and I just feel like when you’re this blessed you have to give back, you have to do something about it.”

The Supreme Court said 22.07 percent or 1,800 of 8,158 candidates passed the 2018 Bar Exams, lower than last year’s 25.5 percent.