Manila, Philippines—Believing in the power of prayer paid off for Atty. Mae Diane M. Azores, CPA, has realized how powerful prayer is after she topped the 2019 Bar Exams. “The results were so unexpected. I never thought my prayers would be answered. The power of prayer is unbelievable,” she said.
The topnotcher of the 2019 Bar Examination shared how she received the good news.Mae Diane Azores of the University of Santo Tomas in Legaspi aced the bar with a rating of 91.0490%.
It was a five-month long wait for Azores and the 7,685 other aspiring lawyers since taking the battery of tests last November. Of them, 2,103 test takers made the cut.
On Wednesday noon, Azores tried to keep herself calm as the day of the results came. As aspiring lawyers, their relatives and friends aggressively refreshed the website of the Supreme Court for answers, the alumna of the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi in Albay tried to stay calm.
“Before ko tingnan ang results, nag-rosary muna ako tapos nung kalmado na, sabi ko ‘tingnan natin’ [Before I looked at the results, I prayed the rosary and it was only when I was calm when I said, ‘let’s check’],” She said.
The certified public accountant took her phone out of airplane mode and heard the amazing news from a fellow Bar passer.
She reluctantly revealed that she had been fervently praying to be part of the Top 10, specifically to place eighth. She was claiming that spot: Azores said it was on her planner and even written behind a copy of her ID picture required from examinees.
She is currently an auditor at the Bicol regional office of the Commission on Audit.
“Ang inspiration ko po talaga is yung willingness ko rin po talaga na makapagbigay ng tulong sa mga vulnerable members of our society, na kahit papaano po ay may maitulong ako sa bansa natin sa mga pinagdadaanan natin ngayon,” Azores said.
“‘Yun lang po yung nagbigay sakin ng inspiration na ang ginagawa ko ay hindi lang para sa akin kundi someday, I will touch lives.”
[Translation: My inspiration is my willingness to extend help to the vulnerable members of our society, that I may be able to help our country especially through these challenges we face. That’s what gave me inspiration: knowing that what I’m doing is not just for me but so that someday, I will touch lives.]
With her experience of working in the government, Azores is interested to practice labor law after witnessing what she called unfair treatment towards civilian employees, particularly those who are under contract.
“I believe the government is also doing everything it can to end contractualization in the private sector, but I think it should also realign its focus on the government itself, since we have a lot of job order and contractual employees,” she said in another interview with CNN Philippines’ News Night.
Azores added, “The contractualization does not only exist in the private sector, but maybe more in the government sector. So I saw employees in that status and they end up having no benefits, only receiving their salaries. So I told myself, this is unfair.”
She said that she would like to offer her services for free as part of her advocacy to help the vulnerable.
“Most of the employees are not financially capable, so most probably most of the cases will be pro bono… I do not intent to make the labor law practice as a money-making [job],” the Bar topnotcher said.