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2019 Bar exams No. 1 tells students from provinces: No need to study in Manila to become topnotchers

The top scorer in the 2019 Bar examinations on Wednesday said she wanted to show law students in the provinces that they do not need to study in Manila to become topnotchers.

Mae Diane Azores, a Legazpi, Albay native, topped the 2019 Bar exams with a rating of 91.0490%. She studied law at the University of Santo Tomas Legazpi and got her undergraduate degree from Bicol University.

In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB, she said it would be a privilege to share her knowledge with students in her alma mater.

"Gusto ko rin po talagang i-uplift din yung spirit ng mga provincial law schools," she said.

"Kaya isa rin po talagang pangarap ko na mag-top para ma-inspire po yung mga estudyante na nasa probinsiya na hindi kailangan na mag-enroll sa Manila pa o kung saan kasi nasa estudyante talaga 'yun. Kung gugustuhin nilang mag-top, kakayanin nila," she added.

Azores earlier said she used to study for 10 to 12 hours a day in preparation for the Bar exams.

Five of the top 10 Bar passers came from schools outside Metro Manila: UST Legazpi, also the school of third placer Myra Baranda; Palawan State University, Saint Louis University, and the University of St. La Salle.

The rest of the top 10 came from the University of the East, San Beda College Alabang, UST Manila, Jose Rizal University, and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

A total of 2,103 candidates passed the 2019 Bar examinations, representing 27.36% of the 7,685 examinees who completed the licensure test last November.

Azores, a certified public accountant, said her time as a working student helped her appreciate the law. She now works as an auditor at the Commission on Audit in Bicol but was also with the Department of Social Welfare and Development as a student.

She said in the radio interview that she has a "bias" for labor law and taxation law, but she said she will consider all offers.

Azores said she offers her achievement to her late grandmother. She said she told her grandma to wait for the Bar exam results, but soon accepted it was time to let go. Her grandmother passed away last March 18, just a little over a month before the results came out. -MDM, GMA News