Bar topnotcher ‘to provide voice’ to the voiceless

Published May 3, 2019, 5:46 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Erma Edera

This year’s bar topnotcher Sean James Borja revealed that the road to success was difficult but what pushed him to continue his journey in becoming a lawyer “is being able to provide a voice to those who don’t necessarily have it.”


Borja obtained the highest score of 89.3060 percent, leading the roster of 1,800 bar passers, Supreme Court (SC) said on Friday.

He shared that he wanted to be a lawyer back in college.

“Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a detective. Eventually, that turned into an interest in criminal law,” he said in a television interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.

Now that he had passed the Bar, he said he was looking at his options and would “really keep pushing the limits.”

“A lot of lawyers in the Philippines think it ends with passing the bar, with getting the “abogado” title. But it doesn’t. Just keep pushing keep achieving your dreams and contributing to society,” he said.

Borja also thanked his parents for their support and hoped that he had made them proud.

He recalled that as soon as he received the call that he topped the exams, he started shouting.

“I purposely holed up myself at home and told my parents to let me know the results when it came out instead.  They called me at about 12nn to tell me that I topped the bar. I was shouting out of happiness,” Borja said.

Borja said there were times that he doubted himself because he was “bullied for being different” when he was in grade school.

“But I did overcome those doubts and insecurities and I’m happy with who I am right now,” he said.

Borja, the valedictorian of the Ateneo Law School Class of 2018, said he felt some pressure when he took the bar exams.

“It was my dream to top the Bar,” he said.

“When you’re valedictorian, a lot of expectations come out. There was definitely that pressure going into the bar. But I thought that I don’t owe anything to anyone. So I decided that if I were to top the bar, it’s because I wanted it for myself,” he added.

Read more: 1,800 pass 2018 bar exams; ADMU grad topnotcher