FAITH and hard work enabled four graduates of the University of San Carlos (USC) School of Law and Governance to top the 2018 Bar Examinations.
Marcley Augustus D. Natu-el of USC placed second in the Bar Exams, considered the most difficult professional exam, with a score of 87.530 percent.
Mark Lawrence C. Badayos, ranked third with a score of 85.842 percent. Jebb Lynus Q. Cane, scoring 84.805 percent, and Alen Joel R. Pita, scoring 84.693 percent, ranked ninth and 10th, respectively.
Dean Joan Largo said they are happy and thankful that four of their graduates brought honor to the school and to the Cebuanos.
Even from the start, Largo said, they were already claiming spots in the top 10 of the Bar Exams as most of those who topped had performed well in school.
Natu-el, a certified public accountant, is the class valedictorian, while Badayos was a constant achiever in local and international moot court and debate competitions.
Largo said their only secret to success was hard work, faith in God, faith in themselves and faith in USC’s training.
Natu-el said the best preparation before taking the Bar Exam is to take the law school classes seriously.
“I believe preparation should start as early as possible. My preparation started ever since I was in my first year in law school. I already had in mind the Bar Exams, and I made sure that I learned and understood everything because the six months review would not be enough. It’s to listen to the teachers attentively. When I took the Bar Exam, it was their voice I heard in my head telling me the correct answers,” he said.
Although his family did not put pressure on him to top the Bar Exams, Natu-el said he still had to deal with it as the people around him expected him to perform well in the exam.
“I’d been praying hard for it, since first year. My faith is one of my weapons,” he said.
Hours before the release of the Bar Exam results, Natu-el said he was praying inside the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel and came home in time when the results came out.
Natu-el is the son of retired police general Mariano Natu-el Jr., who said: “Our only wish for him was to become a lawyer, and we knew that he would really become a lawyer. Topping the exam is a bonus. We really prayed hard for him. We are his prayer warriors.”
Badayos and Pita were also in church while waiting for the results.
Badayos, a Political Science graduate, said their bonding in law school and during the review helped them cope with the pressure.
“It’s easier to go through the journey if you have unified struggles, unified goals. You just have to understand each deeper and better. We learned to support each other,” he said.
Apart from friends, Badayos said his sister who also took the 2018 Bar Exams also passed the exam.
For his part, Pita gave credit to the quality of education that USC is giving its students.
“I did not go to Manila for the review. I stayed in Cebu for the review, and most of the notes I read were from USC. I relied on those materials and the training of USC, and I believe that the training of USC even after the graduation, during the Bar review was enough (for me) to pass and even top the Bar,” he said.
Cane, for his part, was shocked to learn that he had topped the Bar Exam because his only goal was to pass and become a lawyer.
He went for a long drive hours before the results came out to deal with anxiety.
Cane, a graduate of management accounting who works as a legal assistant in the Provincial Legal Office, said it was his mother who informed him about the result.
On Friday noon, May 3, the Supreme Court (SC) released the list of Bar Exam passers for 2018.
SC Associate Justice Mariano Del Castillo, 2018 Bar chair, said 1,800 out of the total 8,158 examinees passed the 2018 Bar Exams, which translates to 22.07 percent of the total examinees.
Sean James B. Borja of the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), who got a score of 89.3060 percent, was the first placer of the Bar Exams.
Other graduates who made it to the top 10 were Daniel John A. Fordan (AdMU) with a score of 85.4430 percent (fourth), Katrina Monica C. Gaw of (AdMU) with 85.4210 percent (fifth), Nadaine P. Tongco of the University of the Philippines (UP) with 85.0320 percent (sixth), Patricia O. Sevilla of UP with 84.8590 percent (seventh) and Kathrine T. Ting of De La Salle University-Manila with 84.8570 percent (eighth).