Atty. Margarita Ignacia “Migs” B. Nograles has yet to be officially a public servant, but she’s already serving the public in her own way. Through her online show, “Ask Atty. Migs Nograles”, she provides free legal advice to people across the country. She does this while teaching in five law schools—Ateneo De Davao School of Law, Rizal Memorial Colleges School of Law, Jose Maria College School of Law, St. Thomas More School of Law and Business, and University of Mindanao main campus. It’s her way of giving back by helping those who aspire to become lawyers achieve their dreams.
Migs is not new to public service as she grew up in a family of public servants. She’s the daughter of the late Speaker Prospero C. Nograles. Her two older brothers are also in government service—Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and Congressman Jericho Nograles.
She narrates that when she was in preschool and was asked what she wanted to be when she grows up, she said, “I want to be in public service.”
Migs recalls that, even as a child, she always wanted to help those who did not have it as lucky as she did. She would wipe out their cupboards clean and gave their canned goods to street children, or she would help cook food to give to them.
“It has always been a dream of mine to serve the people and our country. As I grew older, that never stopped as I have always tried to be in the Student Council and even worked for non-profit organizations abroad. When I was in New York studying for college, I remember really saying to myself, after I graduate, I have to go back home because I want to serve the people,” she shares.
Atty. Migs was a very accomplished student. She took up her AB Management Economics course at the Ateneo de Manila University, then continued her degrees in BA Political Science and BA Economics at Fordham University, College of Lincoln Center in New York. She took up various law courses abroad while taking her double degree in Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from the De La Salle University and Far Eastern University Consortium.
One of her treasured moments was when she graduated in law school as Valedictorian. It was very special to her because she knew that her father would be so proud of her achievement. “He really had no idea until the day itself. He always said his only wish was to walk up on stage and pin a Valedictory medal on his children, and I would always remember that, at least before he passed away, I was able to make that dream of his come true.”
Migs was admitted to the Bar in 2019. Now, she is a managing partner at Nograles Ilagan Sagarino Selgas Cayco Aban & Dabi Law (NISSCAD Law) that was established in June 2021 and is based in Davao. She continuously updates her knowledge and skills through online classes, like the Public Leadership Credential classes at the Harvard Kennedy School; and does her law school teaching and online show, which has a strong impact on her as she is able to help people protect their rights and settle legal issues.
She is also the legal counsel and head of the Legal Aid Program of the Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party List. She is the party list’s first nominee for the 2022 elections. Once elected, her priority would be towards sports and the youth, by helping protect their rights, and to discover and cultivate world-class Filipino athletes and artists.
She says that she wants to address the gaps in the current laws, especially in protecting the basic rights and providing support for athletes and artists. She will also continue the already existing projects and programs of PBA through education, sports training and livelihood programs, scholarship programs, medical and financial assistance, among others.
As she dreams of serving the people, especially the youth, athletes, and artists, Atty. Migs is armed with prayers, hard work, and perseverance. She hopes that by making a difference in the lives of people, those people she helped would help others in return.
“I learned that you can make a difference by being a ripple of change – every person you help, even in the smallest way, can help create that ripple of change within the community.”