Visually-impaired law graduate makes history as first bar exam passer in PH

Anthony Mark Emocling, a graduate of the University of Baguio School of Law, has made history in the Philippines by becoming the first visually-impaired person to pass the Bar Examination.

Despite facing significant challenges, Emocling persevered and achieved his dream of becoming a lawyer.

Emocling placed 1,407th in the 2022 Bar Examination.

Emocling had originally aspired to become a policeman in his younger years. However, when he suddenly lost his vision, his interests shifted towards the legal profession.

“During that time I was lent a radio by my grandfather, and everyday I listened to talk radio programs, and there were lawyers that were being interviewed. I was so fascinated and amazed by the way they talked and explained things,” he said.

His journey was not easy, as he faced difficulties due to the lack of materials suitable for visually-impaired students. However, he credits his family and friends for their unwavering support and belief in his abilities.

“They never gave up on me. They believed in my abilities (and) that I can do it. I also have good friends that supported my dreams, and they are the ones who also helped me in reviews,” Emocling said in an interview with PIA Cordillera.

During the exam, the Supreme Court provided Emocling with an encoder who assisted him in reading questions and inputting his answers into a laptop.

Now a practicing attorney, Emocling hopes to be an inspiration to others who share his dream. He encourages everyone to believe in themselves and their abilities, set goals, and work tirelessly to make them happen, despite the inevitable failures along the way.

“Believe that you can do the dreams that you put in your heart. Set a goal and make it happen. There will be failures along the way but use it as a guide to motivate you to reach your dream.”

And like the blindfolded Lady Justice, Emocling vows to uphold the essence of the legal system that is blind to wealth, status, and power.

Anthony Mark Emocling Anthony Mark Emocling with Mayor Pablito Sanidad Sr., his dean in law school. (Photo courtesy of PIA Cordillera) 

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