Marcley Augustus Natu-el: 2018 Bar Exams 2nd placer fulfills his six-year-old dream
Marcley Augustus Natu-el dreamt of becoming a lawyer when he was only six years old.
The dream was inspired by the stories and examples of his paternal grandfather, Mariano Natu-el Sr., who used to tell him about his experiences in court and with his clients.
Coupled with his keen interest in watching court stories on television, Marcley imagined himself as a lawyer like his grandfather, who defended what is truthful and what is just.
It was this dream that moved him to excel in his academic and leadership endeavors in his academic years in high school and college, and then went on to law school at the University of San Carlos (USC) after becoming a full-fledged accountant.
His six-year-old dream was realized 21 years later on May 3, 2019, when the Supreme Court of the Philippines released the results of the 2018 Bar Examinations.
Marcley, who graduated Cum Laude and Valedictorian of his law school class at USC, did not only find his name in the list of passers; he placed second in the list of topnotchers following Ateneo De Manila University’s (ADMU) Sean James Borja.
The 2018 Bar Examinations had 8, 155 takers with only 1,800 passers, which translates to 22.07% passing rate.
The 10 top examiners came from ADMU, De La Salle University-Manila, University of the Philippines, and USC.
USC is the only university outside of Metro Manila in the list of top 10 passers. Four Carolinians, the term used for those who are from USC, made it to the list of topnotchers.
With Marcley’s success and his three other companions from USC School of Law and Governance, the university once again proved the capability of non-Metro Manila institutions to produce high-caliber individuals, who will soon join the legal profession.
Marcley emphasized that the road to achieving his dream was never smooth.
It was riddled with disappointments and sacrifices.
But most of all it was the support of his family that got him through the tough times.
Marcley grew up in a loving home with his parents and three siblings: older brother, Mariano III; younger brother, Marico Heinrich; and younger sister, Marianne Julia.
Marcley’s father is retired Police General Mariano Natu-el, Jr., the former director of the Mandaue City Police. His mother, Maria Teosania or Sonia, is the Human Resources Director of USC.
General Natu-el describes his second son as a “happy and quite behaved” child.
He says that he supported Marcley in all his dreams and allowed him to pursue his “heart’s desires.”
General Natu-el says it was a conscious decision for him and his wife to teach their children to be a united team; to be always there to support each other.
This reflected on the aspirations of Marcley throughout his journey as he says that his family was the most important part of his life.
“At the end of the day, you would always go back to your family. Your family is your home,” says Marcley.
It was this nurturing environment that made Marcley a young achiever.
He graduated top of his high school class, also at USC. In college, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Accountancy.
Sonia, who is proud to be referred to as the mother of Marcley, says they never pressured their children to be competitive and excel in school.
And yet, Sonia had earlier on noticed that Marcley excelled in several academic feats.
He had the natural knack to be great in what he did.
“There was never pressure from us (for my children to excel). We guided him and rewarded him for his achievements. In the end, he prepared his own way to law school by helping us save money from an early age by always topping his class,” says Sonia.
After graduating from high school, Marcley took up Accountancy at USC for his pre-law college program.
Marcley admits that choosing Accountancy was not predetermined.
He realized that after high school, he could not study law immediately so he heeded the advice of his family and mentors that Accountancy is the best choice to prepare himself for the legal profession.
“A lot of people said that Accountancy was the best pre-law course. It would also be a good foundation on a career because it is already a good program to start with,” he says.
In the university, Marcley allowed himself to shine in academics and in the areas of leadership and extra-curricular activities.
He was very involved in the Student Government and the Junior Philippines Institute of Accountants (JPIA), where he served as a Local Chapter President before he graduated from college in 2013.
He also graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned several awards namely: The Outstanding Leader Award, The Outstanding Graduate, Isla Lipana Academic Excellence Award, Punongbayan & Araullo Leadership Excellence Award, and Minerva & Co. Magnifico Exemplar Award.
Marcley says he was proud of all his achievements.
But these awards may have been the reasons why he did not become a topnotcher in the board examinations for Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
“I was disappointed because it took me some time to realize that I could do accounting. I only started taking the board examinations seriously when I was in my fifth year,” says Marcley.
Being a CPA enabled him to help in the family business.
He also dabbled into teaching at his alma mater.
But Marcley is not one to just sit on his disappointment.
He transformed this emotion into something that fueled him to be the best in the next stage of his journey: law school.
Now that it has been announced that he placed second in the 2018 bar examinations, Marcley is aware that many people would think that it was an easy feat for him.
But Marcley says USC’s School of Law and Governance is a tough training ground
Dean Joan Largo says USC’s training goes beyond knowledge of the law.
Most importantly, being in USC entails an understanding of the law including how the laws are created and implemented.
The faculty members also work as hard as its students and graduates.
The goal is not just to produce topnotchers.
It is their mission to mold ethical lawyers who help the community.
There are no shortcuts to achieve the goal of landing as a topnotcher.
In his case, Marcley says he focused on his studies and listened well in class.
He also managed his time so that he can finish both his required and assigned readings noting that being in law school means going through several materials.
When it was time to take the bar examinations, Marcley temporarily bid his goodbyes to his family.
Admittedly, it was a tough time for him because it was his first time to be away from home for more than six months.
He admits he does not know how to cook, a skill which he eventually learned to do when he was in Manila.
Circle of friends
But Marcley says his life in law school was not all about studying and books.
He also made sure that he spent time with his friends, his classmates from different backgrounds but with one shared goal — to become lawyers.
To Marcley, it was important to have friends who share the same dream as him because they helped him get through the most difficult times.
“Sometimes we have this mindset that in class, we need to be competitive. In truth, we really need to collaborate. Our country needs collaborative lawyers,” says Marcley.
He also describes himself as fun-loving and adventurous; a person who loves seeing new places and meeting new people.
Recently, he went around Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia on a solo trip. He also traveled with his family to Japan.
While he spends time with family and friends, Marcley also believes in the value of spending time with yourself.
When left on his own, Marcley loves to watch film series on Netflix. His favorite is the 1994 hit American television series, Friends.
In the future, he wishes to meet a partner, who is fun and smart, and with whom he can spend the rest of his life with.
Several jobs offers are now lining up for Marcley.
It can be said that he can now choose whatever he wants.
But to Marcley, this is the stage of his life when he needs to think and choose carefully because he is conscious about where he will the plant the seeds that will determine his long-term career.
He wants to choose a firm, company, or institution where he will be allowed to grow in the legal profession.
Yet Marcley, who is ever open to possibilities, says he is not closing any doors.
He says God has taken him this far; he is sure that God will lead the way for his future.
For now, Marcley is an image of a happy, new lawyer, who has fulfilled his six-year-old dream.
It is now time to create another dream as he faces the challenges of being a new lawyer. / celr
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