62-year-old woman passes bar exam on first try

Those who successfully passed the 2023 Bar examinations, numbering 3,812 individuals, were visibly emotional at the Supreme Court courtyard, with many unable to contain their tears.

Among the successful candidates was Rosula Calacala, aged 62, who, as a first-time taker, experienced this significant achievement.


“Anak ko, attorney na ko! Oh my god,” Calacala said while hugging her son. “Hindi ko inaasahan kasi matanda na ko (I wasn’t expecting it because of my age), Lord.”

Amidst tears, Calacala shared that she attended North Eastern College in Isabela. She expressed her hope that her success in passing the Bar would serve as inspiration for others to pursue a career in law.

“I have already finished my— my children have already finished and so I don’t have nothing— I don’t have anything to do. So eto, nag-aral ako para to spare my time (so I studied in my spare time),” Calacala said.


“First time and I took the Bar, the law school for only four years. Wala akong failing grade (I didn’t have a failing grade). I’m a working student,” she added.

Calacala offered advice to future Bar exam takers, cautioning them against the frequent use of cell phones.

3,812 applicants pass the bar

The Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that out of 10,387 examinees, a total of 3,812 individuals successfully passed the 2023 Bar examinations.


This figure represents a decrease compared to the 3,992 passers recorded in the previous year.

During a press conference, Bar chairperson Justice Ramon Hernando disclosed that this achievement corresponds to an overall passing percentage of 36.77%.

“It’s not really a downward result no, number, comparing to last year’s bar. It’s only about 6 percentage points,” he said.

“But I would say, I would think based on what I have seen from the numbers between Bar examiners that it’s not far off from the… immediately receiving bar,” he added.

Ephraim Porciuncula Bie, representing the University of Santo Tomas, secured the top position in the Bar exams with an impressive score of 89.2625%.

Following closely, Mark Josel Padual Vivit from Ateneo de Manila University claimed the second spot with a score of 89.1250%. Frances Camille Altonaga Francisco from San Beda University secured the third position, achieving a score of 88.9125%.

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