University of Baguio visually-impaired graduate passes bar exam

Atty. Anthony Mark Dulawan Emocling, aged 33, hailing from Baguio City, has achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first visually-impaired student to pass the bar exam in the Philippines.

Emocling revealed that he lost his vision completely at the age of 10 due to retina detachment. Despite facing significant difficulties, particularly with the extensive reading required in law school, he persevered and overcame his exceptional challenges to make history.

“I know po kasi from the start na I’m in a disadvantaged situation so kailangan ko magbasa ng longer time. I utilized technology to my advantage. I used gadgets with screen reading software. And malaking tulong din po yung friends and family. My family na nagsupport sa dreams ko, and my friends na kasakasama ko sa review. Kung nagrereview sila is binabasahan din ako,” he said.

Emocling shared that he was assigned by the Supreme Court to take the bar exam at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. To assist him, the SC provided a person who read the questions for him and he dictated his answers. He also had a watcher present in his room during the exam.

Emocling expressed disbelief upon learning that he had passed the bar exam. He further revealed that his dream was to become a lawyer and represent his fellow Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) by becoming their voice in legal matters.

“A lot of PWDs po kasi are being discriminated and they don’t have a voice. There are crimes committed against PWDs pero tinitiis nalang nila. I want to be an advocate to help people.”

Emocling completed his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2013 and later earned his Juris Doctor degree in 2017, both from the University of Baguio.

His parents have humble professions; his father works as a taxi driver while his mother sells frozen products.