Cebuana Bar topnotcher: No need to go to Manila for good education
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Athena Plaza, the 2015 Bar examinations second placer from the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City, said that quality education in the Philippines is available not only in Manila.
Her success in the Bar examinations that was conducted in November 2015 is the best proof of her assertion – she got a grade of 87.25%.
"I think that this would inspire students especially from what they call 'provincial schools'," the 25-year-old Plaza said on Tuesday, May 3, after the Supreme Court released the results of the examinations. (READ: UP Law graduate is 2015 Bar topnotcher)
"I don't believe that it is harder for provincial schools to top the exams...I stayed here all throughout my review and I relied on my foundation in law school, and it just goes to show that graduates from so-called 'provincial schools' can make it," the Bar topnotcher noted.
Plaza, who obtained her undergraduate degree in business administration from USC, magsaid she plans to pursue commercial law, but will explore other areas before choosing what she would specialize in.
Pride of Cebu
The dean of USC's College of Law, Joan Largo, shared that Plaza was constantly on the Dean's list and graduated wirh cum laude honors in 2015.
She has also brought pride to the college by helping them win local and international debates and moot court competitions, according to Largo.
Plaza, the only child of a retired policeman and a public school teacher, said her parents were her greatest motivation.
“It was my father’s idea. He told me that I should become a lawyer to protect my family, and that inspired me to work hard.”
“You should shoot for the moon. If you miss it, you land among the stars,” Plaza said.
Rest and social media
However, aiming for success does not only require diligence and perseverance, Plaza shared. Her well-rested body and mind could have also helped her earn her spot in the top 10, Plaza said.
"I really like sleeping. I think I have 9 hours of sleep," Plaza said. "If I don't get enough sleep, I don't perform well."
She acknowledged though that it might not work well for others, noting that it also depends on one's study habits.
Plaza recalled that she would usually just stay at home to review and go out at least once a month for mock bar exams. But there's always time for a good rest. – Rappler.com
Jensen Floren is a Rappler intern and mover