For FLP scholars, little things mean a lot
Listening to the heartwarming stories of the scholars of the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity (FLP) and the Tan Yan Kee Foundation (TYKF) on how they passed, and for some, topped, the last bar exams uplifted me no end as they reminded me of my own youth.
The peering questions of the board of judges at the Supreme Court’s inner sanctum, the midnight toil of the screening panel, the scholarship prizes given by our generous donor, and their bits of learning on liberty and prosperity opened a whole new world for the scholars. Truly, these little things must have meant a lot in inspiring their stories of faith in passing the bar for attorneys.
Leading the FLP-TYKF passers is 6th placer Kenneth Glenn Manuel, a cum laude graduate of UST. Already a CPA and “Sir K” to his students, Manuel dedicated his feat to “all of us who struggle to survive every day. This is for the people who continue to believe that there’s a good tomorrow in the sorrows of today… for all the working students who take the burden of living double lives… [and] for those who have less but strive for more… ”
After finishing his bachelor’s degree from UP as a college scholar, 9th placer Jun Dexter Rojas, a farmer’s son, worked for several years to help his siblings to college before enrolling at PUP to become its first bar topper.
Eight of the 11 other FLP-TYKF scholars finished their pre-law with Latin honors while being active in leadership, sports, and other co-curricular activities. Leo Francis Abot obtained his BA in history, summa cum laude, at ADMU. And at the ADMU law school, he aspired to be “the king’s good servant but God’s first” and graduated as class valedictorian.
John Anthony Almerino finished his AB in political science, magna cum laude, at USC. He balanced his law studies also at USC with his rock music guitar, occasional poetry, and captainship of the law school’s chess team that won the university-wide championship twice, yet he still graduated as class valedictorian.
Arvin Paolo Cortez graduated cum laude from UP (BA-political science) before proceeding to the ADMU law school to pursue his aspiration “to liberate the people from poverty and misery.”
King Anthony Perez finished mass com at UP Cebu, cum laude, started as a broadcast journalist at TV5 Cebu and online editor of the Cebu Daily News, and later concurrently enrolled in, and became law valedictorian, at UCebu.
Ma. Vida Malaya Villarico’s cum laude at UP Diliman (BS-Community Development) influenced her advocacies for the marginalized. At PUP where she topped her graduating law class, she solidified her studies on developmental policy-making and public-interest law.
Micah Celine Carpio earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing, magna cum laude, at DLSU. She proceeded to the DLSU law school to realize her dream of helping people “live the good life of justice and freedom” and to finish as class valedictorian.
Alimar Mohammad Malabad (SBU-Manila) got his social sciences, cum laude, at UP-Manila and received several awards, including the “Youth Leader for the Preservation of the Ibanag Culture.” Pursuing law, he was acclaimed champion in the San Beda Moot Court Competition.
Dion Ceazar Pascua (SBU-Manila) graduated magna cum laude in accounting from the FEU. After passing the CPA board exam, he enrolled at the San Beda Law College while working part-time in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, Supreme Court, and Department of Finance.
While taking up law at USC, Tess Marie Tan became a decorated national and international debater and mooter, being the first Filipino woman to be acclaimed “World Champion and Best Over-all Oralist” in the 21-year history of the Stetson International Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. She also won prizes in the Price International Media Law Moot Court, Jessup International Moot Court, and ANC Square-Off Debates, and placed second in the FLP Dissertation Writing Contest in 2018.
Though Mikael Gabrielle Ilao (UCordilleras) and Julienne Therese Salvacion (SBC-Manila) did not catch Latin honors in their pre-law, they nonetheless displayed in their law schooling the same passion for excellence and diligence as their fellow FLP passers.
All in all, the FLP trusts that the modest assistance given the scholars will be little things in their young lives that would mean a lot in building their careers as the future leaders of our country.