Disability, old age no hindrance for Bar exam takers

Ron Lopez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2018 12:21 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2018 02:54 PM

Juan Molo was in his prime when he entered law school in 1989. But it was only in 2011—22 long years in the making—before he finally finished his law degree.

Now at 64 and on his second try, Molo is taking another step forward to achieve his childhood dream of becoming a lawyer by finishing the grueling four-Sunday Bar Examination at the University of Sto. Tomas yesterday.

"Masaya kasi wala ka ng iintindihin sa mga susunod na linggo. Ito na 'yung last na pagkakataon para mahirapan ka sa pagbabasa. Ngayon makakatulog na kasi alam mo na medyo maayos na. Tapos na [ang examination],” Molo told ABS-CBN News.

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Working as liaison officer at the office of the vice governor of Romblon, Molo had to take two months' leave at his work to enroll in a review center and stay in Manila for the examination.

Before this, Molo said he had faced bigger sacrifices such as setting aside his dream to prioritize the needs of his growing family.

"Yun ang pangarap ko simula pa noong bata kaya lang mahirap lang kami. Yung mga anak ko muna ang pinatapos ko [ng pag-aaral],” Molo said.

When he became financially capable, Molo went back to school and got his diploma at the age of 57, among the oldest of his batch.

While he is set to retire next year, Molo remains optimistic that he can start a new career. "Hopefully with an A-T-T-Y period before my name," he said, describing it as his “number one” dream.

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Aside from Molo, among the over 8,000 bar examinees who came out of the gates of UST yesterday is Angelo Tomas Ildefonso from Makati City.

But unlike the majority, Tomas arrived on a wheelchair while being assisted by his mother.

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A person with disability (PWD), the 25-year-old law school graduate is not hindered by his condition and instead used it as his motivation to pass the bar.

 “Maraming rason [kung bakit gusto kong maging abugado] pero para sakin, bilang isang PWD, gusto kong magrepresenta ng mga kagaya ko, para may boses ang PWD,” Tomas said.

Spending months self-reviewing his notes from his four years of law school, Tomas is determined he will become a lawyer next year and start a new journey even on two wheels.