The Inspiring Story of a Laborer Who Became a Lawyer

From time to time, we hear remarkable success stories of people coming from humble beginnings. Their uplifting stories remind us that a person’s economic status should never be a hindrance in reaching one’s dream.

Before officially becoming a lawyer in 2015, Atty. Howard Chan worked as a laborer, car wash boy, service crew, house painter, virtual assistant, call center agent, and website manager.

Life wasn’t easy for the self-made man who came from a working class family. According to him, their rich relatives didn’t help them during their trying times. Due to this experience, Atty. Chan found it difficult to believe that rich people “genuinely care for the poor”.

PHOTO CREDIT: Filipinolosophy

PHOTO CREDIT: Filipinolosophy

“We’ve had rich relatives who never even bothered to check on us when we had no electricity, water, nor food to eat. It’s not like I’m saying that when you’re poor, you’re immediately entitled to be helped but hey, a little help would have been great,” he wrote in his blog Filipinolosophy.

Now that he is already a legal counsel, Atty. Chan aspires to become the kind of lawyer he admired during the most difficult times of his life.

“I don’t have to be the smartest or the most prominent. I just want to be one of the most judicious and moral.”

Atty. Chan is among the 1126 passers out of 5,984 takers of the 2014 Bar Exams. He owns Filipinolosophy, a blog which focuses on “understanding Pinoy life in all aspects”.

To read Atty. Chan’s full article, visit his blog Filipinolosophy.

Famous Bar Topnotchers in Philippine History

In the Philippines, eight out of 15 Presidents were bar placers.Here’s a list of Philippine Heads of State who became bar topnotchers.

  1. Manuel A. Roxas- 1st placer (92%), 1913 Bar Exams
  2. Diosdado P. Macapagal – 1st placer (89.85%), 1936 Bar Exams
  3. Ferdinand E. Marcos -1st placer (92.35%), 1939 Bar Exams
  4. Jose P. Laurel- 2nd placer, 1915 Bar Exams
  5. Elpidio C. Quirino- 2nd placer, 1915 Bar Exams
  6. Sergio S. Osmeña- 2nd placer, 1903 Bar Exams
  7. Manuel L. Quezon- 4th placer, 1903 Bar Exams
  8. Carlos P. Garcia -7th placer, 1923 Bar Exams