MANILA, Philippines– Jzev Villanueva, a proud Iskolar ng Bayan, failed in his first attempt at the Bar exam.
Undeterred, he forged on and prepared for the 2019 Bar.
On April 29, Julius Voltaire Saljay Villanueva was on the list of 2,103 examinees who passed the country’s toughest licensure exam.
Villanueva is no stranger to failure – and redemption. As he won his latest hard-earned victory, he recalled the many times second chances had brought him to where he is today.
“I never learned a skill at first try. I never picked up a concept at first reading. I did not possess the ‘natural talent’ that most of my peers in high school, college, and law school have,” he said.
“But I became good at one thing: getting back up and marching on,” Villanueva added.
Villanueva displayed his capacity for perseverance early on, when he was in high school. When his grades didn’t meet the cut-off needed to enter the Bulacan State University-Laboratory High School, he sent a letter to the administration seeking reconsideration for admission. He was later put on the wait-list, and got to study there until he graduated in 2008.
When Villanueva failed the University of the Philippines College Admission Test in 2007, he enrolled at the Bulacan State University until his grades allowed him to transfer to the University of the Philippines Mindanao. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts at UP Mindanao in 2013.
Hoping to continue his studies in UP as he pursued his dream of becoming a lawyer, Villanueva took the UP Law Aptitude Exam twice before he managed to worm his way into the list of applicants for interview.
He didn’t make the list of interview passers. Believing his UP journey had come to an end, Villanueva opted to study at the Ateneo Law School instead.
UP Law, finally
It was during his midterms exam in constitutional law at Ateneo Law when Jzev suddenly received a message from UP Law’s Office of the College Secretary that he made it to the second list of interview passers.
Jzev immediately enrolled at UP Law and began his first semester as a freshman again – this time in the institution he believed truly shaped the way he thinks. Luckily, the UP System had just shifted its academic year and moved the start of classes to August.
“At first attempt, I never made it outright in those lists of passers or of ‘qualified’ applicants. There was always a need to be waitlisted, interviewed, to write an explanation on why I should get the remaining slot, to submit transcripts, or to come back for a second interview, among others, in order to dispel any doubts about my qualification,” Villanueva recalled.
Even when he had to try over and over again, Jzev emphasized how his experiences taught him to persevere and find ways to move forward despite the challenges. (READ: Now a CPA lawyer, Bar 3rd placer wants to stay as auditor for the people)
Jzev encouraged aspiring lawyers and failed Bar takers to never stop striving for their goals.
“Persevere with all your might and make use of whatever luck there is in your stars, until such time that the universe is led to no other choice but to make your will happen. Make it happen,” he said.
The passing rate for the 2019 Bar Examinations is 27.36%, equivalent to 2,103 examinees who passed out of the 7,685 takers. – Rappler.com