Educator who juggled teaching with Law school, ranks No. 6 in 2019 Bar Exams

MANILA, Philippines – Kenneth Manuel, a certified public accountant (CPA), juggled teaching with law school. Yet he managed to rank No. 6 in the 2019 Bar Exams, something that truly inspired a lot of people.
Kenneth Manuel CPA Top 6 bar exam 2019

According to The Varsitarian, the official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas, Manuel worked as a taxation instructor in Colegio de San Juan de Letran, his alma mater, and as a reviewer at the Review School of Accountancy in Manila.

Content on being an educator, Manuel reportedly did not have plans to pursue law studies until Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina offered him a scholarship through Letran’s vice president for academic affairs, Fr. Juan Ponce, O.P. Grabbing the opportunity, he studied Law at the University of Sto. Tomas where he would graduate as cum laude.

Kenneth Manuel CPA Top 6 bar exam 2019
Photo credit: Kenneth Manuel / Facebook

“The inspiration changed as I tread my way through law school and started teaching. [It] ceased from becoming a self-serving one and it became a drive to contribute to the society, helping spread the important principles of the rule of law, human rights, and equality through classroom education,” Manuel told the paper.


Manuel shared a copy of his hectic schedule as he juggled teaching with law school, working from 7AM until late in the afternoon. Then, he gets a short break before heading to law school for his classes that usually start at 5PM.

Kenneth Manuel CPA Top 6 bar exam 2019
Photo credit: Kenneth Manuel / Twitter

He admitted that it was difficult. He felt that the hectic schedule and everything he needs to accomplish were “seriously battering – physically, emotionally and financially”. But he did not give up.

On April 29, 2020, he learned that he ranked #6 in the 2019 Bar Exams! All his hard work and sacrifices definitely paid off.

“Hindi ako umasang magtatop ng Bar. Ganito isang sched ko during my working Bar review days. Kaya hindi ako nagrereply sa mga good luck niyo kasi alam ko madidisappoint kayo. “Sure topnotcher yan” and I’m like “luh kung alam mo lang”. I should have believed you guys! Thank you!!!” Manuel later tweeted after passing the bar exams with flying colors.

Though he is among the topnotchers, it is possible that Manuel might continue with his job in the academe.

“Teaching is really in my heart. The main goal is to leave a legacy by making a positive impact on people, and it is my belief that my existence would be most meaningful in the academe,” he said.

“As a professor, I give a premium to education and it is my conviction that having an educated public is the cure to most societal ills. I am forwarding the thought that, with an educated public, those who are in power cannot abuse their positions and deceive the people.”

Of course, he is also capable of juggling his time as educator and being a full-fledged lawyer. As such, he believes he might be inclined to take pro bono cases, if his time and finances allow. But he told the paper that he “intends to focus on fighting for one’s right to education and protecting students and faculty members from unlawful and unfair labor practices within educational institutions.”

I survived another day.

It was a typical Monday afternoon – hot, humid, and heavily tiring. My classes in law school...
Posted by Kenneth Manuel on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Congratulations, Atty. Kenneth Manuel!

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express


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