PERSONALITY PROFILE: No. 4 of just 18%

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Friday, March 27, 2015

ALL the hard work and sacrifices has paid off for newly-named lawyer Gil Garcia II after he emerged with the fourth highest rating in the October 2014 Philippine Bar Exams.
Garcia, a graduate of the Ateneo de Davao University (Addu) College of Law, posted an 84.55 rating placing him in a tie with two other fourth placers.

In an interview with Sun.Star Davao, Garcia said the news of him emerging as one of the topnotchers has yet to sink in as he did not expect to have a high score, saying the exam was very difficult.

The preparation for the exam was rigorous, he had too many sleepless nights, matched with homesickness as he did his review at the San Sebastian Recoletos in Manila for five months.


"During sa first weeks kay ma-feel gyud nimo ang homesickness kay mangita man gyud kasa imong family but after ana maanad langka. Then during sa course sa review, naa gyud three weeks nga wala ko katulog because of anxiety (You will feel homesick especially in the first weeks since you'll be looking for your family but you just get used to it. Then during the course of the review, there was a time when I had not had a decent sleep for three weeks because of anxiety)," Garcia said.

His study time was also a staggering 17 hours starting at 9am and ending at 2am. He admitted, however, that in between the 17-hour study he had to take a few breathers.

He was dripping with sweat when he saw his fellow examinees finishing ahead of him; the pressure just multiplied.

Still, he kept his composure and just recalled the lessons taught at the Addu College of Law saying, "The review was basically a reinforcement of what we have learned in Addu and I am very grateful that I was given a good foundation."

He added that his family was his primary motivation and it fueled his conviction to pass the exam.

Prior to passing the bar, he was named as the top graduate in the Addu College of Law in 2014. He acquired his bachelor's degree in accountancy also at Addu in 2008 and in the same year, he became a certified public accountant after passing the licensure exam.

He had a short stint with the Land Bank of the Philippines after passing the licensure exam until he was urged to take up law. Garcia said his father, who is a lawyer working for the legal department of Social Security System (SSS), was among the top reasons why he entered law.

Now employed at the ACCRA Law Office at the Pryce Tower in J.P. Laurel Ave., he said he still testing the waters of lawyering and so far his current employment provides a good training ground for him.

He said he is currently fond of taxation and corporate laws but he said is more than willing to learn the ropes of other specialties in law. While he has already contemplated on entering public service, he said he has not actually made a decision claiming that he still has a lot to learn and he needs to stack up some experience.
When asked about his advice to the upcoming "baristas", Garcia said examinees should study, pray and sleep prior to the tests. He also said that from the get go, law students should already have established a clear goal and that is to pass the bar. Topping the test will follow as long as you put in some work on it. Honesty, humility and generosity, meanwhile, are values that guided him en-route to topping the bar and he hopes to inspire other baristas to follow the same.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 28, 2015.


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