If you work hard, you get results. – Atty. Allana Babayen-on, 4th Place, 2016 Bar Examinations
University of San Agustin-College of Law Class of 2016’s valedictorian placed 4th in the 2016 Bar Examinations. Atty. Allana Mae Babayen-on, a native of Brgy. Belen, Banate, Iloilo got a passing percentage of 88.75%. She is just one of the Republic of the Philippines’ 3,747 new lawyers who comprise the 59.06% of the total examinees. The result was released the late morning of May 3, 2017, at the Supreme Court grounds.
The Augustinian law topnotcher is a proof that beauty and brains work in the bar. She is also the 2005 Mutya sang Banate (a local pageant in her hometown) and is USA College of Law’s representative during the 2012 Mr. and Ms. Intramurals.
The lady attorney’s topping the bar didn’t surprise her classmates and colleagues because she completed her pre-law course with flying colors, finished her Bachelor of Law as Class Valedictorian as well as she topped four subjects when she took the law comprehensive exam.
Unlike those surrounding her, she personally had late night inhibitions before the results were released. “Being number 4, it was really a surprise,” Atty. Babayen-on shared in one of her interviews. She related that when she learned about her ranking 4th in the bar, she felt the feeling that she envisioned ever since she started law school. Of course, she never failed to credit her conquering the bar to the Highest Power and also to her parents and professors who supported her.
“The University of San Agustin prepared me and my batch,” she remarked.
The College of Law dean, Atty. Jose Mari Benjamin Francisco U. Tirol, is very proud of the success of his students. He said, “Our success would not be possible without the support of the University Administration, our alumni, our faculty, and our students – especially those involved in the Bar Operations. Our success depends on our team effort and teamwork as an Augustinian family. Bulahan kita tanan!”
Atty. Babayen-on’s secret in making it to the top matches the words of her dean, “About friendship, I think very very important gid nga maka-find ka sang core group. Since first year, may ara ako girl friends nga super close gid kami until fourth year. Sang nag-review ko sa Manila, upod ko akon best friend, so daw nakabulig gid nga maka-adjust ka sa life nga very kapoy, may somebody nga daw buffer mo bala. Ulupdanay kami, then pasar kami tanan!” Truly, in law school, having a support group is an asset, and teamwork works best.
On the other hand, Atty. Babayen-on is currently connected with the Province of Iloilo’s Bids and Awards Committee. When asked about her plans after earning a rank in the bar exam, she said that she is going to celebrate this time with her family, friends, and mentors who were instrumental in her success. According to her, the six long months of agonizing in waiting is enough to justify every law taker’s break whether or not they made it in this year’s exam.
Unmatching to the stereotype of academically excellent students, Atty. Babayen-on manages to make quality time for her family, friends, and special someone.
She’s the next Augustinian Bar Topnotcher after almost three decades of waiting. She’s succeeding Atty. Cyril Regalado who ranked 7th in the 1988 Bar Examinations. Other Bar Topnotchers produced by the University of San Agustin are Antonio Montelibano, 3rd place (1947); Rodolfo Taasan, 12th place (1950); Wenceslao de la Paz, 3rd place (1963): Carmelo Betita, 7th place (1963); Mario Guarina, 2nd place (1966); Eduardo Aguillon, 9th place (1971); Ricardo Chu, Jr., 3rd place (1972); Dolores Abad, 3rd place (1984); and Ma. Elena Opinion, 10th place (1986).
Alongside with the successful bar examinees, she took her oath at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, on 22 May 2017.
Based on the unofficial count (subject to final verification), there are 60 new Augustinian lawyers which comprise the 84.50% consolidated passing percentage of the institution. On the other hand, the passing percentage for the first-time takers is 82.82%, while for the retakers, it is 86.66%.
Furthermore, as Atty. Babayen-on's way of giving back to the University which was instrumental to her success, she will be joining the top-caliber law professors of the USA College of Law in honing aspiring lawyers starting this AY 2017-2018.