Nurse-turned-call center agent among this year’s Bar exam passers

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2019 04:49 PM

Neil Genzola with friends from Arellano University. 

Neil Genzola, accompanied by a friend, wipes away tears of joy after learning he passed the Bar exams. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

In a sea of expectant faces, Neil Genzola silently wept as he received news that he passed the Bar exam. Around him, people were still looking at the large LED wall inside the Supreme Court complex, waiting for their name to appear on the screen.

Genzola, a former nursing graduate, has been working in a call center for the last 10 years. When he received the news, his friends - who were still taking law - cheered him and convinced him to be interviewed by the media. “This is your moment,” one of them said.

“10 years ago kasi ang hirap makapasok sa ospital. 2013, nagdecide akong mag-law school, fruitful naman,” Genzola said.

(10 years ago, I had a hard time finding work in a hospital. It was in 2013 that I decided to enter law school. It was fruitful.)

He used his earnings from working at a call center to pay for his tuition at Arellano University.

After his shift at work on Thursday night, he immediately went to the Supreme Court on Friday morning to wait for the results. 

He said he was nervous throughout the morning but kept praying. “Pasalamat ako sa maykapal na at last pinagbigyan nya yung konting dasal na pumasa,” he said.

(I am thankful to the Lord for granting my wish to pass the bar.)

Genzola said it wasn’t easy studying law. He didn’t expect that he would pass.

“Kasi ang hirap ng exam. Sabi pa ang baba ng passing rate. Ang hirap eh. Magdoubt ka talaga sa sarili mo,” he said.

(The exam was very difficult. And they said the passing rate was already low. It was so hard. You’ll really doubt yourself.)

He is only one of the 22% who passed the 2018 bar exam, which attracted 8,155 examinees - the highest in history.

Genzola believes all his hardships were worth it. 

Asked where he plans to work as a lawyer, he said, “Maging part ng ...siguro government para makatulong na rin. Balak ko kasi pumasok sa PAO o sa OSG.”

(I hope to be part of government to be able to help people. I want to join the Public Attorneys Office or the Office of the Solicitor General.)

He is hoping to find fulfillment in his second career.