Age is only a number: 60-year-old man self-reviews, passes November 2016 bar exams

  • Senior citizen fulfilled his long-cherished dream of becoming a lawyer
  • He passed the bar on his second try after reviewing for it by himself
  • He advised aspiring lawyers never to give up on their dreams

MANILA, Philippines – For Jessie Savilla, this was 36 years in the making.

The 60-year-old law graduate’s journey to becoming a full-fledged lawyer finally bore fruit when he became one of the 3,747 successful examinees in the November 2016 bar exams.

A 2015 graduate of Naga City’s University of Nueva Caceres, Savilla first took up law in 1981 but quit midway in his second year to get married and raise a family.

“Nag-asawa na ako, may anak. Wala na ‘yung personal na pangarap, pangarap mo na ay para sa pamilya,” he told ABS-CBN.

[I married and had children. My personal dreams were gone, my dreams were now for my family.]

However, Savilla again began taking an interest in law after the bank he worked for closed. Subsequently, his children offered to pay for his tuition.

“Kasi nawalan ako ng trabaho, wala na akong ginagawa, nakita ko ‘yung mga libro ko dati, inumpisahan kong i-scan sila and parang may fire na, nagkaroon agad ako ng interes, sabi naman ng mga anak ko, kami na ang magpapaaral sa ‘yo.”

[Because I lost my job and I didn’t have anything to do, I saw my old books and the fire burned again after I started scanning them. I began taking an interest, after which my children offered to pay for my schooling.]

The road wasn’t all rosy for Savilla though, as he fell short during his first try at the bar.

“Hindi naman namamatay ‘yung pangarap. Tapos noong nakita ko ‘yung resulta, kulang lang ako ng .3%. Sabi ng mga anak ko, ‘Pa, continue. Laban ka ulit.”

[My dreams didn’t die. When I saw the results, I was only .3% short. My children told me, ‘Don’t stop, Pa. Fight.’]

Now that he has hurdled the bar, Savilla advised aspiring lawyers never to give up on their dreams no matter how long it takes.

“In your younger years, strike while the iron is hot. But in your senior years, you have to strike and strike unceasingly hard to make it hot,” he said.