Visually impaired defies odds, becomes first to pass Philippine Bar Exam

Anthony Mark Dulawan Emocling Philippine Bar Exam
Anthony Mark Emocling graduated from the University of Baguio. Photo courtesy of Anthony Mark Dulawan Emocling FB.

History has been made as University of Baguio (UB) alumnus Anthony Mark Dulawan Emocling became the first visually impaired exam taker to pass the Philippine Bar Examinations.

UB announced Emocling’s feat on the day the list of new lawyers in the Philippines was announced on April 14, 2023, with the University of the Philippines sweeping the top 5 spots.

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UB social media expressed the community’s pride in Emocling’s achievement, adding that the 33-year-old Emocling’s journey to becoming a lawyer was guided by 1967 Bar Topnotcher and former UB School of Law dean Pablito V. Sanidad Sr. who was also the former president of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) before he was elected Mayor of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur.

In a Facebook post, Sanidad celebrated his former student’s accomplishments, highlighting Emocling’s determination and perseverance despite his disability.

Born with sight, Emocling became visually impaired at the age of 10 due to retina detachment, which led to total blindness. The aspiring lawyer acknowledged the challenges he faced in law school, particularly the extensive reading required. However, he utilized technology, such as screen reading software, and the support of friends and family to overcome these obstacles.

Emocling expressed disbelief upon learning he passed the bar but is committed to using his new role to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). He aims to be a voice for those who experience discrimination and crime without recourse to justice.

A graduate of Political Science in 2013 and Juris Doctor in 2017, both from the University of Baguio, Emocling comes from a humble background. His father is a taxi driver, and his mother sells frozen products. His mother, Angela Emocling, has been a pillar of support throughout his education, ensuring that he could study despite his condition.

The University of Baguio is also a top-performing school in Architecture licensure examinations.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to visually impaired Mark Anthony Emocling for becoming the first blind examinee to pass the Philippine Bar!

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