(Eagle News) — Ramil Comendador was often late for his law classes at Universidad de Manila.
After all, he worked an eight-hour shift at a Commission on Elections Office in Intramuros, Manila, sweeping and mopping floors dirtied more often than not by soiled shoe soles.
But the father of two knew that he had to keep on going if he wanted to become a lawyer.
Instead of spending the P5000 monthly salary he earned as a janitor to satisfy immediate needs then, he used the same to finance his law studies.
He even borrowed the law books he couldn’t buy for lack of money from his lawyer-friends at the Comelec office.
Five years after he enrolled in the program, Comendador passed the 2016 grueling bar exam, along with 3746 others.
That exam registered the highest passing rate in over a decade, or 59.06 percent.
According to the former janitor who lives at a Manila government housing in Malabon, what really kept him focused on his dreams were his two boys aged 8 and 4, and his wife Cristy.
He also cited his mother, who he said raised him and his siblings on her own.
“Lahat ng pinaghirapan ko, para sa pamilya ko,” he said.
Admired by many
The amazing feat of Comendador, who now works as a Comelec researcher, has earned him the admiration of many.
Comendador’s feat went viral on social networking sites, with many expressing their respect for the 35-year-old who never gave up.
Comelec Chair Andres Bautista himself has shared pictures of himself with the former janitor, who was seen simply wearing a red T-shirt and jeans.
“Commending Comelec’s Ramil Comendador, who started out as a utility worker with us. By passing the 2016 Bar exam, he can now become an EO [Election Officer]!” Bautista tweeted.
What then is Comendador’s secret to success?
For the 35-year-old, it’s actually no secret at all.
“Matuto kayong mangarap…at pagsumikapang maabot ang inyong pangarap. Yun lang,” he said.