Notes on the Bar

Taken sometime in April 2018, a few days after our results came out, when I claimed my bar clearance and set my schedule for Roll Signing.

It's still quite surreal to realize that it's been two years since our bar results came out. Every time it gets mentioned, my muscles tense up and my brain blanks out. (Talk about post-traumatic stress.) Considering the amount of pressure we all had to endure in the years leading up to our own bar exams, the feeling of anxiousness remains. I guess one never fully recovers from the experience of being at the mercy of such a long, arduous exam. Every year, even after your own results, you will find yourself saying, "Wow, lives are going to be changed today."

On the day of our bar's release, my mom, grandparents, and I went to Mass at Baclaran Church, in an attempt to make a final, desperate plea to God, Mama Mary, all the angels and saints. But the Mass finished at 10:00, and the results are coming out at noon, so there was still a long and agonizing two-hour wait. My grandma, as if on cue, decided they needed to buy some groceries, so off to S&R Macapagal we went. For the next hour or so, we all pretended to care about wholesale deals and rotisserie chicken. 

At around 11:30, somewhere along the aisle of bread and pastries, my mom received a call. It was from a family friend affiliated with the Supreme Court. She put it on speaker phone for the entire family (and quite frankly, that entire row of shelves) to hear:

"She passed! Her name is on the list."

And thus began what seemed like the longest, most bizarre, time-warping, continuum-shattering minute of my life, all while jumping, skipping, and hopping - in a dress. I could not believe it. I made it.

Minutes later, my phone got flooded with call, texts, and messages. The rest of the day went by like a blur. (The only other thing I could remember was the Razon's Halo-Halo they treated me to after shopping at S&R. It was the best reward/comfort food I could have asked for.)

Nothing has been the same since.

Life as a lawyer thus far has had its ups and downs. Some days are slow, some days are exciting; no two days are ever alike. I still doubt myself sometimes, and often feel like I'm still much closer to my wide-eyed, anxious bar reviewer self than some version of a confident, aggressive attorney. But I'm quite happy. Since then, I've appeared in court, reviewed contracts, prepared pleadings, attended search warrant enforcements, drafted university IP policies, and even got to teach. So many great things have happened since that day, and much of my families' prayers were answered on that fateful Thursday afternoon.

Two years ago, on April 26, our bar results came out. I took the bar and passed the bar at 26 years old. My birthday is also on the 26th (of October). On the list, I was bar passer 242 too. 24+2 = 26.

And interestingly enough, World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated on April 26.

Synchronicities are peculiar. I've never been one to anchor my fate on numbers, and I'm not sure if there really is a grand design to all this - but I'm inclined to think perhaps life gives us these patterns to remind us to trust in the Universe and its mysterious ways, and to always just believe that maybe, just maybe, some things are really meant to be. We just have to wait and let them unfold.

Happy anniversary, self! ❤


Today, thousands await the results of the 2019 bar exams.

For any #Bar2019 hopeful who might come across this blog: Whatever the outcome, your lives will be changed for good today. I hope this day will constantly remind you to remain humble, to always be of service, and to keep fighting.

Remember that you survived law school, hurdled bar review, and successfully took on all four Sundays of the bar exam. Those were all seemingly insurmountable, but you managed. Today's results are not an affirmation of your capability to overcome hardship. You already did! Trust me, ALL the experiences & lessons you learned in the last four to five years are what will help define the kind of lawyer you will be, not just the bar.

So when you do get admitted to the practice, don't stop reminding yourself that you are worth more than just an exam. Cheering for all of you! Claim it. Life can only get better from here on out.

 There's still so much more to learn, to do, and to achieve. Today is just the beginning. 🌻🌻🌻 



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