Nielson Pangan, a University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law graduate, has had no sleep after learning that he topped the 2013 Bar Exams.
Pangan said he had been busy taking calls asking him about his landing first in the exams—which were so difficult that, according to the bar exam chair, Associate Justice Arturo Brion, it prompted the high court to lower the passing grade to 73 percent this year.
Pangan said he did not even know how he fared in the exams, prompting this reporter to tell him he had scored 85.8 percent.
Pangan, a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo, was at the INC temple when he heard the news.
Pangan revealed that one of the reasons why he did not expect to perform well in the Bar is because he only ranked 96th in his batch in the UP College of Law.
Asked for his secret to topping the Bar, he said:
"Siguro maliban dun sa pagbabasa ay kasama din yung panalangin.
"Siguro yung paraan din ng pagsagot, talagang ipilit mong ayusin yung sulat. Yung English pilit mong ayusin kasi yun yung sa guidelines e at yun nga po, hingin sa panalangin na tulungan."
Pangan is the first member of his family to become a lawyer. His father is an engineering professor at the New Era University (NEU). His two brothers are also engineers.
He was born in Tondo, Manila and was raised in Antipolo City.
Before studying law at UP, Pangan finished BS Business Administration major in legal management at NEU, graduating magna cum laude in 2008.
Pangan now teaches Business, Political Science and General Education subjects at the NEU, and works for a legal firm in Makati — Migallos and Luna law offices — where he is an associate.
A devoted INC member, Pangan plays piano for the INC choir.
The NEU is run by the INC. It is the largest non-Catholic school in the Philippines and in Asia. It is run by the INC for the educational needs of the members although it does accept enrollments from non-INC members as well.
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