READ: RESULTS – November #Bar2018 Exam List of Passers
Bullied as a kid for being gay, Borja persevered to become the valedictorian of the Ateneo de Manila University Law School and now believes topping the exams gives him a platform to push for LGBT rights.
“Other than the mundane, I think what I would really want to show is to keep pushing my limits to show that people like me, people from my community can achieve so much if people will just listen and look out for us,” Borja told ANC on Friday.
In a Facebook post in 2017, he said: “For a long time, I was made to believe that members of the LGBT community could never be anything beyond mere providers of entertainment. The moment we come out, we will never make CEO, president, or senior partner. After all, society itself has charted our destiny to become marginalized, second-class citizens.”
“There were a lot of times I doubted myself… I did overcome those doubts, those insecurities. I’m just happy to be myself,” Borja then told ANC yesterday.
He said he hopes to “provide a voice for people who don’t necessarily have that” and “cause ripples in our society.”
His achievement capped a day of victories for the 1,800 bar passers—and a flood of tears and regrets from those of the 8,154 applicants who tried but failed arguably the toughest government career examination.
Nats Magbalon, Angelo Liaño, Kirk Reboroso and Mark Navarro, all graduates of the University of Santo Tomas, jumped for joy as they saw their names included on the list of successful examinees displayed outside the Supreme Court building along Padre Faura in Manila, where hundreds had gathered to await the results. Jed Flores and Regine Reyes
Magbalon shared to Manila Standard how happy they were that all of them passed the bar on their first take.
“We’re just very happy that we all passed. No one will be left behind,” he said, adding that the UST foursome went to different bar review centers but took the exam together.
Orlan Mauricio, the Bulacan provincial correspondent for the Standard, choked back tears of joy as he proudly reported that his daughter, Olivia Paula Mauricio, also passed the bar.
“Thank God for this blessing,” said Orlan, as he noted that Olivia also graduated from the Ateneo with a bachelor’s degree in business management, but went to law school at San Beda University.
Other passers included current Binibining Pilipinas candidate Bea Patricia Magtanong, who again personified “beauty and brains” as the University of the Philippines graduate followed in the footsteps of her lawyer father.
Vincent Joshua Bohol, son of detained senator and lawyer Leila de Lima, joined Magtanong in the passers’ list, as well as another Bedan, Ma. Rodelina Dublin, a member of the country’s women’s touch football team―whose parents initially thought she did not make it.
“We were nervous, and I was close to crying,” Dublin’s father, who was visibly emotional, told a GMA television crew.
Neil Genzola, a nurse turned call center agent, wept silently amid the throng at the SC front yard after he saw his name on the electronic billboard among the passers.
“The exam was very difficult. And they said the passing rate was already low. It was so hard. You’ll really doubt yourself,” Genzola, who took law at Arellano University, told ABS-CBN News.
“Ten years ago, I had a hard time finding work in a hospital. It was in 2013 that I decided to enter law school. It was fruitful,” he added.
Those who failed the bar exams this year can only, like Genzola, keep trying and hope for the best.
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