Philippine Bar Exams Trivia

(Originally posted in 2006 on my previous website. Updated 22 March 2017.)

1st Bar Exams:

  • 1901 with only 13 examinees

Highest Grade of All Time:

  • 96.7 in the 1954 Bar Exams by Florenz Regalado of San Beda College

2nd Highest Grade of All Time:

  • 95.95 in the 1954 Bar Exams by Renato L. de la Fuente of San Beda College

3rd Highest Grade of All Time:

  • 95.85 in the 1949 Bar Exams by Anacleto C. Mañgaser of the Philippine Law School (PLS)

4th Highest Grade of All Time:

  • 95.5 held by Manuel G. Montecillo of Far Eastern University (FEU) in the 1948 Bar Exams &  Antonio R. Quintos of Ateneo de Manila University in the 1954 Bar Exams

5th Highest Grade of All Time:

  • 95.3 in the 1944 Bar Exams held by Jovito R. Salonga of the University of the Philippines & Jose W. Diokno, who did not finish his law studies

Bar Topnotchers (1st Placers) to become Presidents of the Philippines:

  • Manuel A. Roxas (University of the Philippines), 1913 Bar Exams with a grade of 92.

  • Diosdado P. Macapagal of the University of Sto. Tomas, 1936 with a grade of 89.85

  • Ferdinand E. Marcos of the University of the Philippines, 1939 with a grade of 92.35

Other Bar Placers to become Presidents of the Philippines:

  • Sergio S. Osmeña (University of Santo Tomas), 2nd Place – 1903 Bar Exams

  • Manuel L. Quezon, (University of Santo Tomas), 4th Place – 1903 Bar Exams

  • Elpidio R. Quirino (University of the Philippines), 2nd Place – 1915 Bar Exams

  • Carlos P. Garcia (Philippine Law School), 6th Place – 1923 Bar Exam

The only non-Bar Placer to become the President of the Philippines:

  • Rodrigo R. Duterte of San Beda College, 1972 Bar Exams

Facts about the Jose W. Diokno Legend:

  • Diokno was born on February 26, 1922.

  • Diokno earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce Summa Cum Laude in 1940 at De La Salle College (now De La Salle University).

  • He took the CPA Board Exam in 1940 while he was in his second year in law school and placed No. 1.

  • In 1944, he petitioned the Supreme Court to take the Bar Exams without a law degree.

  • The Supreme Court granted his petition, and he took the Bar Exams in 1944 and tied with the Class Valedictorian of U.P. for the 1st Place with a grade of 95.3.

  • Diokno is the only one who placed 1st in both the CPA board exams & the Bar Exams.

Facts about the Claro M. Recto Legend:

  • Recto was born on February 8, 1890, at Tiaong, Tayabas (now Quezon Province).

  • He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ateneo de Manila where his grades were all perfect (1.0), except only for one 1.3. He was conferred by Ateneo with Maxima Cum Laude honors (highest honors conferred by Ateneo).

  • He took the Bar Exams in 1913 while he was still in his senior year in law school at the University of Santo Tomas – and FLUNKED.

  • He finished his law degree in 1913, Class Valedictorian, University of Santo Tomas.

  • The 1913 Bar Exams marked the first time that the test questions in Civil Procedure were in English, a new language in which Recto could not express himself very well.

  • Justice Fischer, the examiner in Civil Procedure, also noted that Recto’s handwriting was very difficult to understand.

  • Justice Fischer gave Recto a grade of 41 which automatically disqualified him.

  • Recto took the Bar Exams again in 1914 and passed. The No. 1 topnotcher of the 1914 Bar  exams was Manuel Goyena.

  • After passing, Recto wrote two books on Civil Procedure.

  • When Recto studied in Ateneo and UST, the medium of instruction was Spanish. Manuel Roxas, on the other hand, UP’s Class Valedictorian who topped the 1913 Bar Exams was a product of the US public school system and had spent a year in Hong Kong to better equip himself with American English before taking the Bar.

Facts about the Ferdinand E. Marcos Legend:

  • Marcos was born on September 11, 1917.

  • In college, Marcos’ principal interest was the .22-caliber college pistol team.

  • On September 20, 1935, Julio Nalundasan was at home celebrating that day’s Congressional election victory over Mariano Marcos when he was shot and killed by a .22-caliber bullet alleged fired by the 18-year-old Marcos.

  • On December 13, 1938, Marcos was arrested for Nalundasan’s murder but he successfully petitioned for release on bail, allowing him to complete his law degree from the University of the Philippines.

  • In 1939, Marcos was found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison.

  • Jailed, Marcos spent six months writing his own 830-page appeal while reviewing for the Bar Exams at the same time.

  • Marcos posted bail to take the 1939 Bar Exams and passed with scores so high he was suspected of cheating.

  • Legends say that his unofficial Grade was 98.5 and so he was summoned to appear before the Supreme Court en banc for an oral re-examination, after which his official grade was released as 92.35.

  • Marcos is the only Bar candidate who was called by the Supreme Court for an oral re-examination.

  • In 1940, Marcos orally argued his own case in front of Supreme Court Justice Jose P. Laurel and on October 22, 1940, he was acquitted of the charge of murder and forthwith liberated from imprisonment.

  • The next day, he returned to the Supreme Court where he was administered his oath as a lawyer.

1st woman to Top the Bar (1st Place):

  • Tecla San Andres-Ziga of the University of the Philippines placed No. 1 in the Bar Exams of 1930 with a grade of 89.4. She served as Senator of the Republic of the Philippines from 1963 to 1969.

2nd woman to Top the Bar (1st Place):

  • Cecilia Munoz-Palma (University of the Philippines) became the 2nd woman to place No. 1 in the Bar Exams in 1937 with a grade of 92.6. She later became the 1st woman Supreme Court Justice in 1973 and the 1st female President of a constitutional commission in 1986.

Bar Flunker who Placed 1st on his Second Take:

  • Francisco Noel R. Fernandez (University of the Philippines) failed in the 1993 Bar Exams but placed No. 1 in the 1994 Bar Exams with a grade of 89.2.

1st Aeta Lawyer:

  • Wayda Cosme (Harvardian Colleges) passed the Bar Exam in 2001 to become the 1st Aeta Lawyer.

Enrollees of my Online Coaching who successfully passed the 2015 Bar Exams

I’m glad to have been a part of the preparation of the following 2015 Bar Passers through my Online Clinic & Coaching on Bar Answering Techniques. To God be the glory!!

  1. ABAD, Rachel Ann Katrina – San Beda College
  2. ALICANDO, Krister Shaun Prinz – Far Eastern University (FEU)
  3. ALIVIO, Hanes Louise – University of San Jose – Recoletos (USJ-R)
  4. ALVAREZ, Ma. Jessa – University of the Philippines (UP)
  5. ANDERSON, Mandy Therese – Ateneo de Manila University
  6. ARUGAY, Glory Grace – San Beda Alabang
  7. BAGGAY, Joefer  – University of the Cordilleras
  8. BALLESTA, Ma. Norma – San Beda College
  9. BALTAZAR, Kimberly – New Era University
  10. BANIQUED, Janet – University of the Cordilleras
  11. BANZON, Kris Marian – Ateneo de Davao University
  12. BASAN, Emelita – University of Perpetual Help System DALTA
  13. BAUTISTA, Sid Angelo – De La Salle University (DLSU)
  14. BAYON, Paula Bianca – University of the Cordilleras
  15. BELDEROL, John Alexander – Bukidnon State University
  16. BIALA, Dan Paul – University of the Cordilleras
  17. BIDES, Reden – Saint Louis University (SLU)
  18. BUNA CRUZ, Greta – University of the Cordilleras
  19. BUSTONERA, Maria Carmela – University of Santo Tomas (UST)
  20. CABALLERO, Krisna Samantha – Ateneo de Davao University
  21. CALMARES, Ian – San Beda College
  22. CAMPILLA, Adrian – San Beda College
  23. CARINGAL, Kristia Lorraine – Far Eastern University (FEU)
  24. CIRUELOS, Mary Grace – Far Eastern University (FEU)
  25. COBARRUBIAS, Maria Graciela – Arellano University
  26. CORRALES, Marlon – San Beda College
  27. COSICO, Michiko – San Beda Alabang
  28. CUA, Michael Pio – Ateneo de Manila University
  29. DATUDACULA-GURO, Farhana – Notre Dame University
  30. DAYAG, Richard – Saint Louis University (SLU)
  31. DAYTO, Mary Grace – Aquinas University
  32. DE LOS SANTOS, Marifel – Far Eastern University (FEU)
  33. DE LUMEN, Ramonchito – Arellano University
  34. DELA MERCED, Nicu – Philippine Christian University (PCU)
  35. DELDIO, Manuel – Arellano University
  36. DIZON-CATBAGAN, Ma. Liberty Rio – Philippine Christian University (PCU)
  37. DUREZA, Christy Theresa Bernadette – Cor Jesu College
  38. DY, Zara Marie – Silliman University
  39. ESPIRITU, Peter Guan – De La Salle University (DLSU)
  40. ESTRADA, Nestonel – Saint Louis University (SLU)
  41. ESTRADA-BANIQUED, Rona – University of the Cordilleras
  42. FANTILANAN, Chary Lou – University of Santo Tomas (UST)
  43. FERNANDEZ, Jessa Mariz – San Beda College
  44. FLORETE, Mary Christine Salome – University of Iloilo (UI)
  45. GALLEGO, Rajane – University of San Carlos (USC)
  46. GALVEZ, Genaro – San Beda Alabang
  47. GARAY, Florentine – Bukidnon State University
  48. GARONG, Daisy Mae – University of San Carlos (USC)
  49. GERONG, Dael Churchill – College of Maasin
  50. GIVERO, Katrina Kris Gabrielle – Ateneo de Davao University
  51. GUIFAYA, Florence Kathleen – University of Santo Tomas (UST)
  52. GUILLERMO, Marvic Vonn – University of Mindanao (UM)
  53. HADJIUSMAN, Jamalodin – Mindanao State University (MSU)
  54. JADAP, Daughnilen – Bukidnon State University
  55. KING, Kathleen Anne – University of St. La Salle (USLS)
  56. LADOT, Delight – University of San Jose – Recoletos (USJ-R)
  57. LAGROSAS, Sheryl Christine – Ateneo de Manila University
  58. LAMEN-LEGANO, Florence Gay – University of the Cordilleras
  59. LAUBAN, Norhussien – Ateneo de Davao University
  60. MACATUNO, Honey Leth – University of the East (UE)
  61. MATEO, Jemen – Cordillera Career Development College
  62. NEYRA, Prince Arthur – University of Mindanao (UM)
  63. PABICO, Kristine – Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation
  64. PALMONES, Eloisa – Far Eastern University (FEU)
  65. PASCUA, Marvin – Cagayan State University
  66. PIO-MEDEZ, Josie – Northeastern College
  67. PONGAS, Mike Burton – University of the Cordilleras
  68. QUINTANA, Retzelyn Mae – Cor Jesu College
  69. REGIDOR, Romylyn – Pagadian Capitol College
  70. RILLON, Ruth Maureen – DLSU-FEU Consortium
  71. ROJAS, Ralph Anderson – San Beda College
  72. ROMARATE, Geralyn – Andres Bonifacio College
  73. SAGUIN, Rogelio Jr. – Western Mindanao State University (WMSU).
  74. SALAS, Pearl Joy – Father Saturnino Urios University
  75. SALIZON, Benedic – University of San Jose – Recoletos (USJ-R)
  76. SALLY, Ferdinand – University of Baguio
  77. SERASPI, Chinky Dane – University of Santo Tomas (UST)
  78. SEVILLA, Prince Junel – Misamis University
  79. SUBA, Nasrifa – Mindanao State University (MSU)
  80. SUPE, Mary Hariette – San Sebastian College – Recoletos
  81. TABILISMA, Marlon – Tarlac State University
  82. TAGUINOD-MAGGAY, Tshaine – Cagayan State University
  83. URSAL, Ernesto – University of San Jose – Recoletos (USJ-R)
  84. UY, Paul Angelo – Isabela State University
  85. VALENZUELA, Chery Sheil – University of St. La Salle (USLS)
  86. VILCHES, Gian Frances Nicole – Arellano University
  87. VILLANUEVA, Joeyfer – Cor Jesu College
  88. VILLORDON, Barwin Scott – Far Eastern University (FEU)