Father, daughter pass 2021 Bar examinations

By Rhaydz B. Barcia


After his seventh attempt, a 57-year-old father has finally passed the 2021 Bar examinations along with his 26-year-old daughter who took the exams for the first time.


The Supreme Court (SC) on April 12 released the result of the exams, which were held on Feb. 4-6 this year at the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City and other parts of the country.


Bernardo Belarmino, a senior agrarian reform program officer of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Albay, who is now a lawyer, passed the exams after taking it seven times, the first in 1998 and the sixth in 2017, before he finally made it this year.


Belarmino said it was the examination results in previous years that motivated him not to give up from taking the rigorous tests. “In all those attempts in previous years, I nearly got passing grades that is why I decided not stop from taking the Bar exams,” he said.


He said that three years from now he will be retiring as DAR employee and that he is planning to work as practicing lawyer.


What made Belarmino and his entire family doubly happy was that his 26-year-old daughter, Marie Bernardine, also successfully passed the Bar exams.


“My daughter hurdled the examinations in her first try,” he said. “Marie Bernardine is a graduate of the University of Sto. Tomas-Legazpi. She graduated in 2020, took the Bar exams in 2022 and passed it in the same year,” he said.


The Belarminos are among the 11 new lawyers in their hometown Bacacay and among the 96 new lawyers who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi.


In a statement, the UST-Legazpi City said that “obtaining grades from 85 to 90 percent, the university puts the spotlight on its six new Legazpi Thomasian lawyers who achieved exemplary performance in the 2020-21 BAR Examinations.”


The six new Bar passers whom the SC said had exemplary performance in the exams are lawyers: Mark Anthony O. Arimado; Darwin B. Bradecina; Andrew G. Lanzuela; Marvin Toni Dulci R. Maraña; Marie Charlotte G. Olandriz; and Leo Nekko A. Romero.


“UST-Legazpi recorded a new rate of 83.54 percent for its new takers and 73.85 percent for its overall rating performance. We cannot help but beam with joy and feel extremely proud of these new Legazpi Thomasian Lawyers,” the university administration said in the statement. Rev. Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo is the rector and president of the university.


The 96 new lawyers of UST-Legazpi are among the 11,378 examinees who took the exams across the country.


It should be recalled that in 2019, UST-Legazpi graduate Mae Diane Azores topped the Bar exams with a grade of 91.0490 percent. Azores bested 7,699 examinees who took the four-day Bar exams at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in November 2019.


Myra Baranda, also a graduate of UST-Legazpi, landed on No. 3 spot with a grade of 88.825 percent.