Once you commit yourself to accomplish a goal, there’s no telling what you can achieve no matter what stage of life you are in. In fact, late bloomers often sprout the biggest and brightest petals. While others’ aspirations may wilt and fade, those who work hard and commit to their dreams will transform them into lifelong passions, showing there’s no right or wrong time to go after what you want.
Retired Police Colonel Ibarra Mariano is living proof that it’s never too late to accomplish your goals and exceed expectations, including your own.
At 87, Mariano who is a native of Tacloban currently spends his day at schools lecturing young police officers on “how to die or not to die in combat.” He had served the government for decades as an officer of the Philippine Constabulary, eventually known as Philippine National Police, but is still not done sending some inspiration to us.
Sporting a transparent backpack and I.D. while holding a reviewer in his right hand, Mariano is one of the oldest among the 8,701 bar examinees this year. He was also among the first to come out of the University of Santo Tomas after finishing the second set of Bar examinations in his journey to become a lawyer – proving that it’s never too late for another dream to prosper.
“It is not really that hard but it is confusing and time-consuming. All the important provisions of the law are not even asked in the bar [examination],” Mariano told ABS-CBN News, referring to the Civil and Taxation Law which is considered as among the hardest subjects in the test. Moreover, he worries about his handwriting, being affected by his old age. He just hopes that the bar examiner would be able to make sense of his answers.
“I have a problem with my right hand. Sometimes it’s aching. An even orthopedic doctor wanted to operate me but I said no, I may not be able to write during the exam so the operation will be done after the examination,” he added.
As it turned out, Mariano graduated in Philippine Law School in 1967, but only had the opportunity to take the bar examination in 1995 after his retirement from the service. Unfortunately, he failed with a grade of 70%, falling short of the passing grade back then.
Nonetheless, Mariano is still optimistic about his second attempt to be admitted to the bar in order “to help other people, especially the unruly cops.” The remaining two sets of examinations are scheduled this month, which makes the former cop preoccupied from reading provisions of the Laws and the Constitution.