THE 2022 Bar Exam saw 3,992 passers out of the 9,183 hopefuls that took the exam, and only a fraction of it was recognized as the Top 30 passers.
One of them was Atty. Michael Delgado, who graduated from the Ateneo de Davao University (Addu) College of Law. He earned a rating of 86 percent.
It’s difficult enough to pass the grueling Philippine Bar Exam and even harder to achieve one of the highest scores out of thousands of examinees. So how do these top notchers do it?
Aside from studying cases day and night, Delgado said a healthy classroom setup with students who lift each other up, rather than drag each other down, helped him survive Addu’s law school program.
He narrated how a good circle of friends, who share the same goal and dreams as him, made him feel comfortable even in his failures.
“It's very reassuring and comfortable ka na may avenue ka na (to know that you have an avenue) to fail. Because sometimes when you fail, you think it's your struggle alone but when you have people who fail with you, who pass with you, it's a much more big of a celebration,” Delgado said.
But Addu’s academic standard, without a doubt, is also a factor in consistently producing top notchers and representing Dabawenyos in the field of law.
Law school Dean Atty. Manny Quibod admitted it’s a tough journey to be in Addu’s law school program since their retention policy is rigid. He said students must maintain a certain grade in order to pass and advance to the next school year.
Delgado said that even though there’s a lot of pressure, he’s always motivated to “bounce back” from his failures. It helps that his professors appreciate whenever he makes an effort to try again and give his best.
“I remember in one subject, it was my lowest grade in law school. I was so annoyed but after that I really worked hard then I passed na. I realized that the professors see that. Yes, you failed your first exams but they will give you a second chance, a third chance, and so on. I think that was part of the program that I appreciated,” he said.
Coming from a family of lawyers, Delgado shared how grew up wanting to be a lawyer but he started to question his purpose after he graduated college.
“I thought maybe law school isn't cut out for me kasi I don't see myself as a lawyer in the long run. But a year later, I realized (I wanted to do it). I just needed to evaluate myself first if it is really a dream that I wanted or a dream that was only instilled in me,” he said.
Throughout the years he spent in law school, Delgado said his friends and family also kept him motivated, especially his mom who wanted him to become a lawyer but sadly passed away before he passed the bar exams.
“Although she (my mother) did not live to see this day, I think she would be very happy right now seeing me and seeing my name in the roll of attorneys,” he said.
When asked about his inspiration, the new lawyer answered that it’s important to remember the reasons or the “why” behind his hard work.
“I think one answer to that is to make my family and friends proud. Sometimes, it's not really for you but for your family. It's really fulfilling to know na your achievements are not really just yours but it is a shared achievement,” he said. ICM