‘Difficulty is not tantamount to impossibility’: Bar exams 6th placer pens advice for future Bar takers

Published May 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Gabriela Baron

“Difficulty is not tantamount to impossibility, nor does it cause struggles to last until infinity. The struggle ends. The goal is possible.”

Bar examinations 6th placer, Kenneth Manuel, also known as “Sir K” from University of Santo Tomas, penned this piece of advice for students and future Bar takers.

(Photo courtesy of Kenneth Manuel)
(Photo courtesy of Kenneth Manuel)

“Law school is never easy. Every day is a struggle. I was academically confident for most of my time during my prelaw, but I rarely had that confidence as a law student, and even as a law graduate. Law school makes everyone rethink their intellectual capacity, and it made me doubt myself,” Manuel wrote on Facebook.

Manuel said that juggling work and law school made him choose to skip vacations and reunions.

“I flunked the scholarship that sustained me. I received a 29/100 on my final exam in Criminal Law. I rushed 50 handwritten case digests in one night, disabling my hands from properly writing for the exams that came thereafter,” he shared.

“It was not easy, but every single day, I thank myself for having survived another day. I thank myself for keeping myself together for four years.”

But it was not all stress and failures. Manuel shared that he also met some of the most wonderful people in law school and it is also in law school where he met inspiring professors whom he will admire for “the rest of his life.”

Manuel, a certified public accountant (CPA), placed sixth at the Bar exams with a score of 88.173 percent.

“I had every opportunity to quit. I am already licensed, and I can just continue practicing my former profession. When I flunked my exams, I could have already thrown in the towel. When I lost my scholarship, I could have saved my money, instead of spending it on tuition fees. There will always be reasons for us to quit. There are many exit doors, and they are just waiting for us to step out,” he added.

“Still, in spite of all of the hardships, I remained, I clung to that hope of finishing this degree. The journey is not smooth nor is it pretty, but definitely, the journey is meaningful.”

“Sir K” also taught Basic, Cost, and Management Accounting at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. He has been a CPA reviewer at the Review School of Accountancy since 2018.

“I always say to my students who are struggling, it is when things become tough that it becomes more worth it in the end. It is when the tears have already dried that it feels good. It is when the rain has stopped that the heat of the sun becomes nourishing,” Manuel said.

Currently, Manuel is a full-time legal assistant at Divina Law.

Manuel dedicated his juris doctor victory to everyone who “struggles to survive every day.”

“This is for the people who continue to believe that there’s a good tomorrow in the sorrows of today. This is for all working students who take the burden of living double lives. This is for those who have less but strive for more. We turn our struggles into success. We make the hurdles our opportunities. We transform our fears into power.”