February 1, 2023

The Bar is a yearly examination administered by the Supreme Court to qualify candidates so that they may be allowed to become advocates of the legal profession. It is a rite of passage that separates the worthy from the unworthy, the proficient from the unproficient, the able from the unable, and the “men from the boys,” in a manner of speaking.
Historically, the Bar is one of the most difficult qualifying examinations among all professions, not only in the Philippines, but in the world.
For good reason, Filipino lawyers are among the toughest, brilliant, and most resourceful attorneys in the world. They are a proud bunch of professionals who hold their legal privileges close to their hearts. Nobody can come close to a lawyer. Hence, it had repeatedly been said that it is the “noblest profession.”
This year, the examination was held for four Sundays, Nov. 20 being the last day. What is evident in this version of the Bar is the grade “A” questions that were asked. The questions were more than difficult. It bordered on the improbable. The average law students obviously had a rough time answering it.
Towards the end, some examinees as early as the second day of the examination walked away from their classrooms. In exasperation, they gave up on themselves. It was much the same on the third day. They went home crying to mama forfeiting any fighting chance to qualify as a lawyer.
Justice Benjamin Caguioa, the Supreme Court Justice who chairs the committee for the Bar examination, came out with a 20-minute video, urging the Bar candidates not to quit.
He advised them to toughen their minds, steel their nerves and calm their souls so they may “cross the line.” He admonished them “not to quit.”
He reminded them that they are going through this test not only for themselves but also for their loved ones, their school, and their country. To resign at this point is a cowardly act unworthy of a future lawyer.
Good for the examinees that the chairperson had the concern to remind them that by enlisting themselves as candidates for the Bar, they have imposed upon themselves the obligation to finish the course.
Therefore, for those who finished the four rigorous days, it is already an accomplishment by itself. They deserve commendation and congratulation.
On the other hand, for those who quit, good riddance. Their empty chairs will hardly matter. The legal profession needs fighters and not quitters.