What’s in a Barrista’s bag

Updated: Jan 13

By: Atty. Jez Charlemagne Arago


It is the last week of October and few days before the first Sunday of the Philippine Bar exams, you know that you are already prepared for the Bar, but are your things for the Bar exam ready?


For everything to go smoothly on the four (4) Bar Sundays, Barrista Solutions made a list of things to prepare a few days before the Bar weekend.





Transparent or see-through bags


Since 2014, the Supreme Court required barristers to use transparent or see-through bags, purses, containers, etc. for the Bar. All the bar exam essentials must be placed inside the transparent bag. So you must ensure to have your Bar bag ready early.



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Bar Permit


A few days before the Bar, you must secure your permit and place it inside the Bar bag. This is to make sure that you have the permit when you enter the gates of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on the Bar Sunday.


Please note that you will not be allowed to enter the premises without the permit. These permits can be claimed from the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) as early as the first week of October, depending on the Bar Examinee number.



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Pens and ruler


Your pen is a must-have item. We suggest that you invest in good pens. The ink must be blue, black, or blue-black and the suggested thickness is either 0.5 or 0.7.


Many barristers are taking time in choosing their pens. They want pens that do not have much friction when writing and glide on the paper to prevent straining the writing hand and arm caused by eight (8) hours of writing. Left-handed barristers choose quick-dry pens so that the ink will not smudge on their booklets as they write. Barristers usually bring four (4) pens, using one (1) for each Bar Sunday. Others also bring refills to make sure that they do not run out of ink. Barristers usually insert their pens on the jacket of the permit to make sure that the pens are there when they enter UST. All pens must be of the same brand and color to avoid markings in case a barrister needs to change pens mid-exam.


Some proctors allow the examinees to use a ruler for margin; so, it will not hurt if you will bring one.



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Lunch


We also suggest that you bring your lunch with you to avoid going out of UST during lunch break. Many people outside UST are cheering for their barristers, and it is hard to move around when there is a big crowd. Better use the time spent going outside by reading notes and last-minute tips.



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Snacks and drink


As each exam lasts for four (4) hours, you must not forget to bring your snacks and drinks. There must be chocolates, candies, and crackers to munch, and water to keep you hydrated during the exam. You can also bring coffee to keep you awake throughout the day. Some barristers, however, opt to drink less liquid during exams to prevent them from going to the restroom and just use all their time answering.


In case you eat chocolates for snacks, you must ensure that there will be no chocolate smudge in the booklet, as it may be considered a marking.


Snacks should be placed in a Ziploc so that it will not take much effort to bring them in and out of the examination room.



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Prescribed medicine and emergency medicine kit


If you are taking medicines, you must also bring those aside from the emergency medicine kit that must be prepared. Emergency medicine kit usually contains Paracetamol, Loperamide, Antihistamine, Antacid, Mefenamic Acid, and No-drowse colds medicine.


Barristers experience all kinds of pain and discomfort during Bar exams. And to alleviate these pains and discomfort, we advise you to bring oil, medicated patches, pain reliever spray, band-aid, etc.


Oil helps you feel relaxed when you feel dizzy and stressed. Medicated patches and pain reliever sprays, on the other hand, are for the pains on the writing hand and arm, to make sure that you can still write after the first exam. These medicated patches and pain reliever sprays can also be used to ease back pain. It is also common that fingers get sore while writing; so, some barristers cover their fingers with band-aids to prevent soreness while others use cushions on their pens.



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Tissue, wipes, alcohol, and sanitary pads


You must also prepare tissue and wet wipes, as aside from their usual function in the restroom, you might also need them for wiping your hands and face after eating your snacks during the exam and after lunch. Also, as an alternative to queuing to the restroom during lunch break to wash your hands, just use alcohol to save time. Lady barristers must also always bring sanitary pads for red days.



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Last-minute tips and notes


Last-minute tips from different law schools become available as early as 3 am of the Bar Sunday. You need to have them before leaving for UST. Personal notes, if preferred, must not also be forgotten. It is always best to have something to refresh your memory before the exam. A clipboard may be used to hold the notes together and for easy reading.



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Money


This may seem a no-brainer, but some barristers forget to bring money to UST. Maybe due to panic or excitement, or they are just thinking a lot of things. But you must not forget your money as you might need them for fare when commuting back home, for dinner or drinks after the exam. Just place it inside one of the bag pockets and it will be good. No one will take it because of “Bar Karma”.


Barrista Solutions knows how hard the Bar exam process is. With this list, explaining why each item is necessary, we hope that we helped future barristers like you in your Philippine Bar exam preparation.



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