An Open Letter to the BAR Topnotchers
Dear Alana, Marie, and Andrew (who I should now address in Philippine legal lexicon as "companieras and companiero")
If the above sounds odd, I wish it to be. I was greeted that way by one of my former legal professors when I passed the bar years ago and it has stuck with me. I like it because it represents a rite of passage - from being students to that as colleagues in the legal profession. I find no better label than to be called a companero.
Heartiest congratulations to all three of you - and to your class. You have done what I thought would never ever happen in the College of Law - three in the top ten and an almost 100% passing average. Your feat may never be replicated and for it you should congratulate yourselves. In 1966, the College of Law obtained a passing average of 100% and a fourth place finish, Frank Yap. That was the senior class when I left for the U.S. that year. It is interesting that Atty. Yap will now have to give a car to Allana for finishing second. Frank and Whelma Yap wrote saying that car is forthcoming. I want you to know we are all delighted to part with whatever we have promised as rewards in hopes our barristers might find them worthwhile incentives. I promise to keep those rewards applicable also for this year and barristers in the immediate future for the College of Law.
I write not only to extend congratulations but also to officially inform you that the money will certainly be there during the August SULAW celebration. Dean Besario informs me that the prizes will be distributed at that time. The money is now in the process of being sent to the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (Silliman's sponsoring agency here in the U.S.) and they have assured me it will be sent during their next monthly remittance, likely this June. The email I sent to the United Board and to Silliman states the following: $4,000 for Alana and $2,000 each for Marie and Andrew. I also remitted $2000 to the Law faculty in deep appreciation of the job they did in teaching and mentoring your class. I understand they are meeting in Siquijor this weekend to plan out the future so the College of Law, great as it currently is because of what you have done, can be of even greater service to the country, and to celebrate your accomplishment. I wish them well.
As with the rest of the scholars in the College of Law and the University, the only condition I have set for such grants is that if and when financial fortune improves, the scholar or prize winner gives back to society, preferably through Silliman, in the form and manner they deem best. That is for you to decide.
Again, congratulations. Should time allow, please email me what your plans are now and how your topping the bar has changed your lives, if at all. What has it been like for you since the bar results?
I am so proud of the three of you, as I am of every graduate in the College of Law.
Rolando del Carmen
741 Elkins Lake
Huntsville, Texas 77340


Former residents of Silliman’s Davao Cottage will have a reunion this coming Founders Day 2017. Emma Linda L. Madrazo-Chavez and Angelita Thompson are spearheading the arrangements for the said gathering set for August 25, 2017, 9am – 3pm at the Davao Cottage. Former residents of Davao Cottage are invited to attend the reunion.

You may contact Emma Linda at [email protected] or