The PSU College of Law, a school that opened in 1993, is a newbie law school compared to the old institutions that have traditionally dominated the bar rankings. Reckoning this comparison back during those days when it was still struggling to produce bar passers could be easily dismissed as inconsequential.

This year, it has come out of the woodworks as a player to contend with. One of its graduates made it to the elite roster of topnotchers, landing 5th. Jocelyn Fabello is as homegrown as one can be – an authentic proof to the notion that the PSU College of Law is officially a contender in the big leagues if ever there is still one these days.

Ms. Fabello’s feat was not a flash in the pan. In the past decade or so, the PSU law school has been exceeding the national passing rate; a few years back, all of its takers hurdled the exams.

There is one important takeaway here for the Palawan educational community, which is that academic excellence is no longer exclusive as it had seemed, and reserved only for those outside the island.

The law college, even with its modest 3-storey edifice, now stands as an equal to the venerated institutions that have produced leaders and personalities who have shaped history. This is simply because, in this day and age, the determinants for success have evolved to the individual and his or her purpose.

We take note of the fact that its college dean, Dr. Perry Pe, hardly even holds office in Valencia Street but conducts his business largely on remote, unhampered by physical distance to provide leadership, direction, and inspiration. The cold fact is that it is under his watch that the PSU law college has matured.

Reflecting on the 2019 bar outcome, bar examiner and former peace negotiator Rene Sarmiento had this to say: “There is now a level playing field; law students here in Manila or in the cities have now easy access to the same legal materials via the internet that has revolutionized the study of law.”

In today’s easy access to the tools of learning, other disciplines of education can draw inspiration from the accomplishments of the PSU College of Law. The opportunity lays perhaps more importantly to other fields of learning that are taking center stage in today’s emerging new normal – those that deal with the challenges of medicine, food security, community development, even the arts.

Our collective experience with the quarantine allows us to reflect deeper on the truism that victories can be achieved by harnessing the capabilities that are within ourselves and the knowledge that is within physical reach, as individuals, and as a community.

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