Couple shares success of passing Bar exam together
MANILA, Philippines – A couple from Leyte shared the sweet success of how love fueled their dream of making it through law school and passing the Bar exams.
Michael Calzado, 25, of Tacloban City, and Charmaine Lynn Tan, 26, from Pastrana, Leyte, were both graduates of the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City.
The couple was attending a Holy Mass when they learned both had passed their exams after the Supreme Court announced the results on Friday, May 3.
Calzado recalled both of them were kneeling when he felt his phone vibrating. Soon after, he checked it and found out that a lot of his friends and relatives tried to reach him to inform them of the good news. (FULL LIST: Bar Exams 2018 passers)
He said both of them got teary-eyed singing the Lord’s prayer while strongly gripping each others' hands.
“We were shocked. We can’t believe we passed. It took hours before we realized that,” Calzado said.
Calzado dreamed of being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) but because he failed his qualifying exams on his second year in college at the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC) he was forced to shift course to BS Management.
“Since then, I stopped dreaming and told myself to just graduate and look for an easy high paying job,” Calzado stressed.
On the other hand, Tan studied Computer Engineering in UP Diliman on her first year but shifted course to BS Management in UPVTC afterwards.
Although both of them were acquaintances in high school, it was only during college that they started to get to know each other better, until they officially got into a relationship in 2012.
Calzado recalled how he never really planned to take up law in the first place but Tan, who decided to be a lawyer, encouraged him because she saw his potential. (READ: 'A dream come true': 2018 Bar passers celebrate success)
“I knew he could do great things but he was just discouraged for some reason so we took the entrance [exam] together and luckily passed,” Tan said.
Failure is not a hindrance
Their law school journey wasn’t smooth sailing at all though.
Tan had to retake two subjects in her third year of law school. Despite the difficulty, she never let it get in the way of her dream.
“My greatest struggle in law school was how to deal with failures. In law school, you'd feel brokenhearted many times. There would be examinations which you'd prepare so hard for but you'd still fail....[but] I love what I was doing – learning the law and how to apply it. So every time I failed, I would remind myself why I was studying law in the first place,” Tan added.
On the other hand, Calzado almost got kicked out in his third year. A classmate of his was able to convince their professor to give him a removal exam – he fortunately passed it and was able to continue his journey through law school.
He worked hard to redeem himself. Also, his professors in law school motivated him to do better.
“I was inspired by the experiences of my mentors. They convinced me that our country needs more lawyers who are ethical. I realized how important it was to be knowledgeable of the laws. With this knowledge and the license to practice, I will be able to help a lot of people, including my family and relatives,” Calzado added.
During these difficult times, Tan also shared that they would often eat out every after failed recitation or examination.
“That's the reason why we've both grown bigger,” she jokingly said.
Both of them also took jobs to support their living expenses in Cebu. Calzado worked as a chat support specialist and online English tutor during his first two years in law school while Tan also worked as a sales representative in a publishing company during her first year and an online english tutor until her third year, and she worked as a content writer on her fourth year.
Evidently, their love and support for each other played a big role in helping them achieve their dreams.
Tan also said that being in a relationship with Calzado did not distract her but instead it made her focused in achieving her dreams. Besides, they share the same goal of passing all their subjects, being able to graduate and in passing the Bar exams.
“Charm encouraged me to dream again and aim high. She told me I had the potential to become a lawyer and I should pursue it. She made me believe that I was capable of passing the Bar and she promised me her full support. She always had my back,” Calzado expressed.
Being in a relationship now for almost 7 years, the couple has some advice to other couples taking up law.
"As what our seniors would usually say, law is a jealous mistress. You have to focus on it so you could learn, graduate, and pass the Bar. So if both of you are taking law, you have to understand that you will not be the priority... But be there to back each other up…Pray for each other, for both of you,” Tan said.
And as for the arguments that would get in the way, she said, “no one would win your arguments– you will both be good at it. So always learn how to compromise.”
Now that both of them are lawyers, Calzado wants to pursue business related or commercial law related ventures, and fight for the farmers’ rights while Tan hopes to work at the Public Attorneys’ Office (PAO) to extend her legal services to those who can’t afford to have private lawyers.
The passing rate for the 2018 Bar Examinations was 22.07%. Calzado and Tan were among the 1,800 examinees who passed the Bar exams, out of 8,158 takers. – Rappler.com