At 66 and newly retired from being Dean of the College of Criminology at the Lyceum of the Philippines-Batangas, Zosimo Bolaños faced an uncertain horizon. He had also just lost his wife of 38 years, Rosalinda. “By abrupt reduction in physical and mental activities, I was afraid my productivity would suffer an irreversible trend,” Zosimo says. Months after, he decided to enrol in law school.
Hello Again, Challenge!
Zosimo has had “challenge” as his companion throughout his life. With parents who could not afford to send him to college, he worked as a janitor in the municipality building, and attended school at night. When he became a college junior, Zosimo was hired as a teacher cum disciplinarian in his high school alma mater. Such hardwork allowed him to complete a degree in Education and Liberal Arts and earn junior and senior teacher eligibilities from the Civil Service Commission.
After he graduated from college, Zosimo entered the police force. With Civil Service eligibilities, he was appointed Chief of Police with the mandate, as he saw it, “to professionalize what then were mostly uneducated, politically appointed members of the police force.”
Law School Life
Upon retirement, Zosimo pursued a degree in law. His being senior in years to all of his law school classmates did not faze him. In fact, he enjoyed a lively relationship with his younger colleagues, and never felt he was “a liability or nuisance to them.” It was a relationship of equals. “While I sought their help in the interpretation of some complicated legal issues, my long experience in criminal law enforcement enlightened them when they were dealing with unfamiliar terms,” he said.
Zosimo graduated from law school on March 27, 2013 at age 70. Unfortunately, Zosimo has yet to pass the Bar, which he has tried to do for three times now. Nevertheless, being the feisty man that he is, Zosimo intends to make a fresh stab at the Bar examinations. “If a genius like the late Senator Claro M. Recto failed in his first attempt; no wonder others less scholarly than he might suffer the same.”