National athlete who passed bar exams recalls tough play-study-work grind

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2019 05:07 PM

National athlete who passed bar exams recalls tough play-study-work grind 1
Maria Dublin is one of the only 1,800 who passed the bar examinations. Photo from Touch Association Pilipinas Facebook page

She was shocked to hear that she made it.

Then tears began streaming down Maria Rodielita Dublin’s face when she found out that only 1,800 law graduates passed the bar exams this year.

Dublin, a member of the Philippine women’s national touch football team, was in Kuala Lumpur competing when she first heard the news.

“I cried so hard. I actually started crying the moment I found out that the passing percentage was 22.07 percent,” she told ABS-CBN News. “I still couldn't believe it, but I am very happy that I made my family proud.”

Dublin is a journalism graduate at University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman. She set up a writing agency, which accepts writing and editing work for clients abroad. She later took up law at San Beda Alabang. 

Somewhere along the way, she discovered touch football. Dublin is presently with her team competing in the Touch World Cup.

Dublin acknowledged juggling her work, law studies and training was tough. Touch football had to take a backseat to make way for the review, she said.

“Playing touch football was one of the sacrifices I had to make because I can't review, work and train at the same time. I was paying for my review so I couldn’t sacrifice my work. I had been playing the sport for 11 years so it was easier for me to jump back in training,” she said.

She went back to training after the examinations, but acknowledged that she could not stop thinking about the exam results.

“I didn't think I would be able to concentrate properly during games if I was anxiously waiting for the results. I guess I thought at least if I don't make it, at least I made it to the World Cup,” Dublin said.

Prior to the release of the results, Dublin requested her parents not to go to the Supreme Court at Taft Avenue to avoid disappointment. Still, her family pressed on and discovered the great news.

“They wanted to be there because they wanna see it firsthand,” said Dublin. “I still couldn't believe it but I am very happy that I made my family proud.”

Even her team celebrated in Malaysia after hearing she has officially became a lawyer.

“One of my teammates got so excited that she shouted and told everyone. We were inside our team tent and everyone gave me a round of applause and some gave me a congratulatory hug,” she said.

Dublin said that preparing for the bar is a lot harder than playing touch football. Sure, there’s a lot of physicality involved in the sport, but that’s nothing compared to the mental stress she had to go through while reviewing for the exams.

“At least with training for the World Cup, I know the level of fitness and skills where I want to be. Sa bar, you sort of don’t know if enough na ’yung na-aral mo. Parang hindi natatapos. I was reviewing until 2 a.m. every Sunday and maiiyak na lang ako sa pagod tapos hindi pa rin tapos ’yung coverage,” said Dublin.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.