A month after the release of the 2022 BAR results, the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi, through its College of Law, hosted a traditional testimonial dinner dedicated to its new Legazpi Thomasian Lawyers. This year, forty-nine attorneys with their loved ones were cordially invited to a banquet to celebrate their hard-earned success.

Present, too, that evening are the College of Law’s Dean, Atty. Leandro M. Millano and his Assistant Dean, Atty. Ma. Edelyn Z. Zaragoza-Ventura, along with other prosecutors and trial court judges who serve as lecturers of the college.

On behalf of the university’s rector and president, Rev. Fr. Gallardo “Butch” Bombase, OP, MBA, delivered the Rector’s Speech focusing on one of the core values of UST-Legazpi – truth.

“Justice is based on truth. Remove truth and justice crumbles. This is the reason why a lawyer should be a lover of truth. You must have the will to follow the truth wherever it leads you,” says Fr. Butch as he reads the Rector’s message.

He also strongly added that a lawyer should be allergic to anything that violates the truth as they push the desire to work for justice.

“Please don’t allow the color of money, the smell of fame, and the power of influence to extinguish the devotion and noble spark in your heart,” he addressed the fresh lawyers present that evening.

Serving as the highlight of this year’s testimonial dinner are the nine lawyers who gladly shared their experiences towards becoming an attorney. They are Atty. Joyce Amara Vosotros, Atty. Maria Louella T. Gianan, Atty. Romina Villamor, Atty. Jennine R. Oribiana, Atty. Charmaine Grace Cabria, Atty. Liza Maria Sia, Atty. Bjorn Salvador, Atty. Jeffrey Aguilar, and Atty. Mary Joy Acobera.

Atty. Joyce Amara Vosotros boldly shared how she battled her anxiety disorder, a prevalent health condition experienced by many law students due to the high demand their studies required. Hesitant at first, Atty. Joyce chose to share her journey in a public setting to crash the stigma surrounding mental health issues and to further inspire others overcome their own adversities.

“One month before the bar exam came the pressure, my anxiety disorder relapsed, which caused me to have sleepless nights, endless remunerations, lethargy, sweaty palms and countless panic attacks,” Atty. Vosotros told the crowd that night.

For the first time in her life, as an individual who tries hard all the time, she felt like not trying anymore. She was exhausted in all aspects which overwhelmed her and gave her an isolating experience.

“I felt as though I have reached the end of my rope, with no strength left to carry on,” Joyce continued.

Atty. Vosotros realized that trying hard wasn’t rainbows and butterflies like it used to be in her younger years. As she grew older, she understood that trying hard requires greater strength and courage to face one’s demons, to step out of comfort zones, and to have the courage to keep going when everything seems to be falling apart.

To her fellow bar passers, Atty. Joyce added that “the journey towards earning the final dot may not be perfect as we hoped it to be, but it is the magnitude of our efforts that makes its victory sweet. Some people may doubt us for aiming too high, or worse you have been your worst critic but always remember that trying hard is not a sign of weakness but a testament to your inner strength.”

“Together, we have achieved something truly remarkable, and I am humbled and honored to share this moment with all of you,” she ended her testimony.

After which, the forty-nine new Legazpi Thomasian Lawyers signed individually in the university’s own roll of attorneys.

On the other hand, capping the night through a gratitude remark is Arian Ramirez, Chairperson of the 2022 BAR Operations Commission of UST-Legazpi.

“The bar is not an easy feat but each and everyone of you is a symbol of inspiration that even the hardest obstacles can be hurdled.” Arian said.

She also manifested that one day, the law students who attended the testimonial dinner will be soon seated in the places of the new lawyers and be as grateful and as satisfied in passing the bar.

“We would like to thank you for continuing to serve as an inspiration to us law students to persevere, continue, and fight in achieving the dreams we all share,” she added.

“May we all be reminded that passing the bar is not the end but the beginning of a life long endeavor.”

Copyright 2019. University of Santo Tomas - Legazpi