Two kinds of tears for Bar examinees

By Alex P. Vidal

“Before the reward there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.”— Ralph Ransom

WE always see two kinds of tears each time the result of the Bar examination in the Philippines is released by the Supreme Court: tears of joy and frustration.

Television networks stationed in the Supreme Court where the examinees and their parents converge to wait for the Bar examination chairman (usually a Supreme Court associate justice) to announce the result and check the list of passers outside the SC building normally focus their cameras on the passers and the passers’ parents while whooping it up and shedding the tears of joy.

That’s good for prime-time news.

Their electrifying and rapturous reactions reverberate all over the country and anywhere in the world where the news is delivered on “live” telecast or via Youtube for those watching abroad. Many news viewers touched by the euphoric animation couldn’t help but also become emotional.

The TV cameras seldom catch the faces of those who didn’t pass because, in the first place, camera crew cannot immediately recognize the crestfallen.

Unless they volunteer to talk before TV cameras and summon enough courage to reveal their heartaches, many flunkers and their parents are not shown on national TV.

They normally opt to walk away and silently nurse their grief and unhappiness. Our heart goes out to them.


Their “defeat” is actually not the end of the world in their quest to become lawyers, especially if they decide to try their luck one more time.

Who was it who said that every failure is a blessing in disguise, providing it teaches some needed lesson one could not have learned without it?

Most so-called failures are only temporary defeats.

Bruce Lee once said: “To me defeat in anything is merely temporary. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.”

Theodore Roosevelt also succinctly put it: “The world wants the kind of men who do not shrink from temporary defeats in life; but come again and wrestle triumph from defeat.”

And another reminder from Napoleon Hill: “You are fortunate if you have learned the difference between temporary defeat and failure, more fortunate still if you have learned the truth that the very seed of success is dormant in every defeat that you experience.”

“The court commends the Bar candidates who successfully scaled what time and again has proven to be a Herculean battery of exams. Congratulations to the families and supportive communities of the bar candidates for through your love, this victory is certainly shared with you,” Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa said.

“For those who may not find their names on the awaited list for now, I call on each of you to recall how the Bar examinations can never approximate what you are worth.”

He added: “Allow this setback to be only temporary, but your will to overcome the Bar examinations unchanged. The Bar examinations cannot begin to, nor will it ever measure the weight of your conviction, the strength of your courage, the depths of your compassion, and the height of your dream.”


INSECT. The most destructive insect in the world is the desert locust (Schistocera gregaria), the locust of the Bible, whose habitat ranges from the dry and semi-arid regions of Africa and the Middle East, through Pakistan and northern India. (Carneigie Library of Pittsburg)

SEX ADDICTION. According to sex therapist Mark Pines, having abusive parents can lead to sex addiction. Pines has a practice in Irvine, California. He told the Orange County Register in an article dated April 9, 2010 that “it’s common for men who cheat to have a bottomless need for adoration.”

MEANING OF A.M. AND P.M. — A.M. means ante meridiem, Latin for “before noon.” P.M. means post meridiem, Latin for “after noon.”

WHAT IS GOD? God is the arm that will hold us at our weakest, the eye that will see us at our darkest; and the heart that will love us at our worst.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT AFTER THE INDICTMENT. Pre-trial proceedings could take several months, and with former President Donald Trump due back in court in December 2023, it could be some time before we see any motion on the next steps of this trial. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg noted that the Manhattan DA’s office will “uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law, no amount of money and no matter power, changes that.”

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)