In the recent release of the November 2015 Philippine Bar Exam Results, four alumni of Southville Internationals School and Colleges officially become lawyers by passing the said exam.
Ms. Akemi Aida, Mr. Ernest Levenza, Ms. Kathleen Clareza, Ms. Maicha Lucaylucay and Ms. Jeanne Carla Ferrer, graduates of Southville High School Class 2005, are now full-fledged attorneys-at-law.
In a special correspondence, the new attorneys shared their happiness and excitement on reaching their dreams.
SISC: Can you tell us about your student days in Southville? What is your favorite experience in Southville?
ATTY AKEMI: My student life is, in itself, my favorite experience. Southville provided me endless opportunities to unlock my potentials. Its academic and non-academic activities enabled me to be a well-rounded student. Undoubtedly, Southville helped me prepare for the real life.
ATTY CARLA: I enjoyed my days as a student in Southville. There was a perfect balance between academic and non-academic activities. While we were taught to excel in our regular schoolwork, we were also molded to become well-rounded individuals. My favorite experience in Southville would be the annual international week celebration. It was a fun event where students and teachers get to participate in different activities outside the classroom. There, we were able to form stronger bonds with our classmates, friends and teachers. It was really a memorable experience because of how the entire Southville community came together and enjoyed the festivities.
ATTY KAYCE: It would probably be my third year. Section 3D. I had the kindest adviser. Don’t let the strict aura deceive you, Ms. Arguelles has the kindest of heart. It was also the year when I met friends that I still have till now. They are my core. The people who kept me sane through my path of becoming a lawyer, and is continually keeping me sane. It was that year that I met my lifelong friends. Third year high school was not only my favourite, but it was also memorable.
SISC: What Southville teaching do you live by?
ATTY AKEMI: For me, the most importance “C” of the 5Cs is Character. Without character, you would simply adopt other’s opinions. Your achievements would mean nothing if you do not have character. This sets you apart from the rest.
ATTY CARLA: The Southville teachings that I live by are the 5Cs (Competence, Character, Collaboration, Commitment to Achieve and Creativity). These are the core values that Southville had imparted which truly made an impact in my life.
SISC: How do feel about becoming a lawyer?
ATTY AKEMI: I always dreamt of becoming a lawyer. I cannot count the number of sleepless nights that I had to go through just to finish my assigned readings for my classes. The preparations for the bar exams was long and tedious. But now that the dream is real, I still can’t find words to describe the feeling.
ATTY CARLA: I am excited to embark on another journey in my life as a lawyer considering that there are so many possibilities and opportunities that may arise. However, it makes me equally anxious because I know of the challenges that lawyers have to face on a regular basis that will have an effect on other individuals and society in general.
ATTY KAYCE: Ecstatic. I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer since I can remember. I was just always scared of whether or not I could rise up to the challenge. Passing the bar in one take is my validation that I can overcome any trial. Though the road to becoming a lawyer was emotional, physically draining, and mentally challenging, if given the chance, I do not think I would have chosen a different path. Words are not enough to express this euphoria that I am currently in.
SISC: Now that you are a lawyer, what are your plans for the future?
ATTY AKEMI: After graduating law school, I wanted to venture into corporate practice. But there is a part of me that really wants to make a difference in our society. So I’ve decided to continue my career in the government because I felt that working for the people will enable me to achieve that purpose.
ATTY CARLA: At this point, it would be too early to tell, as there are so many paths where my career can take me. But I will definitely do my best to excel in the particular field of law that I choose.
ATTY KAYCE: I plan on taking the Foreign Service Exam. If by some miracle I pass the bar, I plan on becoming a diplomat or an ambassador. For some reason, I feel like foreign service is my calling.
SISC: What advice can you share with your fellow Southville students to be successful like you?
ATTY AKEMI: I was just an average student. I do not consider myself “gifted” in math, in the sciences or in any academic matter. As a matter of fact, I failed the bar exams during my first shot at it. But I never gave up and I did not allow that to get in the way of achieving my dream. My advice to you is simple – never give up. There is no shame in failure. Always remember that your dreams are worth fighting for.
ATTY CARLA: While success may come in different forms, I believe the recipe for it has always been the same – determination and a positive attitude. Every person will encounter setbacks in life. But it is how we rise to such an occasion that will separate us from others. When you fall, stand up and just keep going.
ATTY KAYCE: I wouldn’t call myself successful just yet. But if I were to give an advice, it would probably be: know your priorities. Experience life as much as you can, but always know your priorities.
Like our alumni-lawyers, let us all adopt a growth mindset. We may not all be gifted, but we are all learners ready to absorb and grow in knowledge. With determination and hard work, no failure is too embarrassing to make us stop because our dreams are worth fighting for.