Wednesday, June 29, 2011

March 17, 2011: The Day I Earned Those Four Letters and a Period

MARCH. It's the month that every 2010 bar candidate dreaded--because it was the month the results of the bar examinations would be released.

As far as I was concerned, I had rather ambivalent feelings for the month. On one hand, I didn't want it to arrive simply because I didn't want to be told that I flunked. That's understandably every bar examinee's worst nightmare. On the other hand, I just wanted the agony of waiting to end. I no longer wanted Damocles' sword hanging over my head. I wanted to know the results so I could plan on what to do next and get on with life. Or end it. Kidding. But yeah, I did think of killing myself if I failed. I know, I'm such a loser.

Days before the bar results actually came out, I received an SMS from a friend, saying that judgment day (or Doomsday, at least for me) would be March 18. From then on, I started weeping like a bereaved mother.

On March 16, my best friend informed me that the results would be  released the following day. Wait, I thought. I was earlier told that it would be on March 18. I argued with her. I didn't want to believe what I was just told. I wasn't ready. No, I wasn't prepared to be told that I didn't make it...because the pessimistic schizo that I am, I'd never fully convinced myself during the entire six-month waiting period that I would pass.

I finally surrendered and stopped pointlessly arguing with her when she said that the information came from our school dean. 

So it must be true. Can I die right now?

I went to bed and started crying. It was the only way I knew  how to do to deal with something as overwhelming as the bar exam results.

For someone as desperate to pass as I was, I surprisingly didn't pray that I make it. I just felt that it would serve no purpose since the results had already been determined. It was just a matter of putting them out publicly, a matter of letting the examinees know whether they made the cut or not. So instead, I prayed for strength, for courage to let me accept whatever the result might be.

March 17. It finally arrived. My best friend and I decided to wait for the news together. We headed to SM Mall of Asia  at around 2:30 PM to watch a movie. We thought it was the only way we could half distract ourselves from being too immersed in the "imminent peril" that was about to hit us.

We chose to see the animated film Rango, "starring" Johnny Depp's voice. When we got inside the cinema, I dragged my best friend to the uppermost seats because I knew that, although we were about to watch a light-themed, animated film, I was going to cry (yes, again) for the rest of the day. Or maybe for the many years to come.

Midway through the movie, we were informed that the release of the results would be at 5 PM. It was around 4:30 PM when we received that information. At that point, I already accepted my fate--that I failed the bar exams. 

I did my best. It's not time yet. Maybe it's not the end of the world. I'll take it again next year. So what if people will laugh at me? They have no fcuking idea what I went through. Those were the thoughts running around my head at that point in time.

At around 4:45 PM, my best friend texted her friend whose mom is a clerk at the Supreme Court. She sent her a list of names, including ours, and asked if those names were in the list.


My best friend's phone rang. Her friend replied. GULP. The message read:

"You (my best friend) passed! X, Y and Z made it. Nesrin B. Cali also passed. Congratulations! x x x"

My brain went completely blank. I didn't know what to say. I hugged my best friend so tight and cried (uh-huh, I told you I was  going to cry infinitely) silently.

We decided not to finish the movie and headed outside.  We were walking around the mall, not exactly knowing where to go. We were flying. We were floating. We wanted to scream and jump around like crazy but our rational selves prevented us from doing so. Oh boy do I want to preserve that feeling beyond forever. By far, it the HAPPIEST MOMENT of my life.

We didn't want to inform our families of the news because the official announcement from the Supreme Court wasn't out yet. We wanted to be careful--what if the news relayed to us was incorrect for some reason? 

Minutes after 5, my best friend's sister called, telling us that she saw our names in the list of passers published in the Supreme Court website. That's when it utterly sank into me that, fcukyeah, I AM NOW A LAWYER.

We stayed in the mall for an hour or so. We were just running, and dancing around (by that time, our rational selves were suppressed by  the uncontainable happiness, excitement and elation that overtook us), loudly calling each other "Attorney!" in public (yes, losers, I know) until we got exhausted and went home to get some sleep...peaceful, sound sleep that wasn't interrupted by horrific nightmares of us failing the bar. Ahhh, we hadn't slept like that in a long, long time.

During the months that I was waiting for the results, there was never a moment that I felt confident that I would pass. And that's because I knew I wasn't able to give my 1000% in preparing for the exams. I was going through some personal turmoil during the bar review. I was so distracted and unfocused then that I started properly reviewing  in July (the exams were held in September). Plus, there were times too that I was slacking off. I would sleep more than I should (haha). I knew that if I failed, I had no one to blame but myself.

But with Allah's grace and with the help of the people who took care of me during the bar review/exams (Hello to my best friend's family! I love you guys!), I earned my "Atty." in my first take. Alhamdulillah, ya Allah

To this day, I still get teary-eyed every time I remember the whole crap I went through to have those four letters and a period before my name. Law school, bar review, bar exams month (which will be the subject of another blog entry if I get the time to do it), waiting for the bar results--they make up the whole of that crap. Working as a lawyer is an entirely different story. Or crap. Haha. But I'm not being querulous. Being a lawyer may entail more hardship than law school but I have no reason to complain. This has been my dream since high school. It's finally a reality. But even so, it still feels surreal. Up until this point, I still can't believe I'm a lawyer. I always forget that I am. I am only reminded of such fact when I sign my pleadings. :)

Taken during the testimonial dinner for new UST lawyers. :)

April 14, 2011: Oath-taking ceremony of the 2010 bar exams passers. :)

This is so Kim Kardashian. The pose, that is. Eeew.

With my lovely sister, Nellie. She's been with me all throughout the bar exams/results crap. <3
Office of the Solicitor General. :)


Till my next post. 


ATTY. Nesrin B. Cali
Admitted to the Bar on April 18, 2011
Roll No. 59447
IBP No. 859521

(I know this is too "provincial", if you know what I mean, but I've been a lawyer for barely three months and I'm still euphoric about yeah, forgive me if I seem to be overly excited about placing that designation before my name. :D)


  1. Haha! It's perfectly cool to put that designation up. Best way to show the haters (haha, is there such a word?) where you've gone despite their hate! :) Way to go, Nessie! <3

  2. Lay! Thank you! You'll have your "four letters and a period" too! Soon! Just keep going and never give up! Dreams do come true! :)