The results for the 2017 bar exams have been released yesterday, and of the 6,728 examinees who took it in November, only 1,724, or 25%, passed. Suffice it to say that the said licensure exams are never easy, and reviewing for it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, moreso if you are a mom who juggles caring for a child and pursuing a career.
Yet, that's exactly what Atty. Krizza Fe Alcantara-Bagni, from Nueva Vizcaya, did--and she even ranked 8th overall.
"Sobrang sacrifice po, nakakaiyak," Alcantara-Bagni told ABS-CBN News when asked how she was able to achieve a difficult feat. The new lawyer felt quite overwhelmed shortly after the results were released, that she actually cried the moment she heard the good news. She couldn't believe it.
The new lawyer is also a certified public accountant, and currently a budget officer in a local government unit (LGU) of Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya. According to Bombo Radyo, she is the daughter of a farmer and an entrepreneur. She's also a wife, and a mom to a five-year-old daughter.
Alcantara-Bagni has always wanted to be a lawyer. However, she needed to get a job to meet her family's financial needs, so her dream took a backseat. An early pregnancy also derailed her plans, but she didn't let these life circumstances stop her from achieving her dream.
Just two months after her daughter was born, she enrolled at St. Mary's University law school. Alcantara-Bagni was then 22 years old, and her husband Marlon fully supported and encouraged her to do so. At that time, she was also teaching accountancy at the Aldersgate College in Solano, Nueva Viscaya.
When Alcantara-Bagni was still studying law, she would leave home at 7 a.m. to teach, attend law classes in the afternoon, and come home at 10 p.m. By that time, her baby would already be sound asleep.
"Kakaunti ang time ko para sa anak ko," Alcantara-Bagni admitted. Sometimes, when she'd find pockets of free time in her day, she'd drop by her home to spend some quality time with her baby. "Minsan gusto ko nang tumigil, pinu-push ko na lang sarili ko," she said.
It was even more grueling for her after she graduated from law in 2017. Alcantara-Bagni took formal review lessons in Manila to help her prepare for the bar exam, and she endured being away from her family. She knew she needed to pass so all the sacrifice and the money would be worth it.
But after all the hard work, dedication, and perseverance, even the cost and the time she's spent to achieve her dreams, the wife, mom, accountant, and now lawyer is deeply grateful to all her family and friends who helped her achieve her dream.
"It's a blessing," she said of her feat. She prayed that she would pass, but she never expected a Top 8 ranking. Right now, Alcantara-Bagni is content with her life but is excited for an opportunity to practice the profession she had always dreamed of doing.