This Girl Wrote a Very Important Response to Those Who Doubt the Bar Exam Results

"People say Bisaya people passed because the questions were in Bisaya. People say that we must expect a breed of low quality lawyers from now on."
IMAGE Rachel Amestoso | facebook.com/therachelravana

The results of the recent Bar Exam have been released and it's been talked about a lot on social media because, for the first time in years, no student from a Luzon-based school made it to the top 10. (via ABS-CBN.com)

TBH, we don't know why it even matters because we believe excellence isn't because of one's school alone. But it seems like Bisayas, who made it to the top 10, got some flak online after the results came out and Rachel Amestoso, a graduate of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, won't have any of it anymore. Instead of talking about the results of the licensure examination alone in her viral Facebook post, she touched on the issue of discrimination on Bisayas, which we've been dealing with "all our lives," she wrote.

"People say the results of the recent bar exam smell fishy. People say it's impossible that no one from those who placed in the top 10 came from a Luzon-based university," she began. "People say that it has something to do with the president being Bisaya. People say Bisaya people passed because the questions were in Bisaya. People say that we must expect a breed of low quality lawyers from now on."

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Rachel then talked about how this all stemmed from the way Bisayas have been portrayed in media.

"People from the Visayas were always portrayed in television as dumb and ridiculous and can do nothing more than being a mere house helper. People made fun of our language; people made fun of our speech. Radio stations use words from our language only when the intention is to make a joke or say something dirty at least."

There were even times, she wrote, when she overheard people "commodifying" Bisayas, especially when it came to looking for household help.

She then went on and wrote something from her own experience when she got in a Luzon-based university. "I got laughed at for my weak Tagalog communication skills. No worries, I told myself, at least I can understand what's going on. Still, I got questioned for being there when I could've been back home, as if I did not deserve to study there."


What's heartbreaking is when Rachel wrote some of the things Bisayas have been told, which may sound funny to some people but is actually offensive when you're on the receiving end of these statements. Some of them are the following: "Bisaya ka, ba't ang puti mo?"or "May kuryente sa inyo?" or "Bisaya ka? Paano ka nakapag-aral dito?" or "Pag Bisaya 'di ba Jejemon?” or "Jologs no'n, e. Bisaya kasi." The list goes on.

At the center of it all, Rachel just wants to understand why it's even an issue that no Luzon-based university made it to the top 10.

"I don't get it. Pag topnotchers from a Visayas-based university, smells fishy agad. Pero pag topnotchers na Bisaya from a Luzon-based university, okay lang?" she wrote. "So you're saying universities from Luzon are automatically of higher quality and universities from the Visayas are always less? FYI, there are so many universities from the Visayas who breed excellent and competitive students. You're so complacent with the thought that you're superior you actually overlooked the fact that you're not. You try so hard to appear bigger you ended up inhaling too much air inside."


"You're so complacent with the thought that you're superior you actually overlooked the fact that you're not. You try so hard to appear bigger you ended up inhaling too much air inside."

Rachel even wrote that the fact that students from other parts of the country made it to the top 10 should make all of us happy because it only means that we have a good education system.

She ends her message with a note that she doesn't really want us to fight over this, which is right because it's pointless and we're all part of one country. She just found the need to write about it because this discrimination's been going on for years…and it really needs to stop ASAP.

Read Rachel's entire post below:









About the author
Ayessa De La Peña
Candymag.com Assistant Section Editor
I am Candymag.com's resident fangirl and ~*feelings*~ girl. When I'm not busy researching about what to write next on the website, I sleep, read books, and re-watch episodes of Friends.

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First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.

The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.

There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.

Bea Alamis Just now

If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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