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Triumph Against All Odds

How Trixie Garvida overcame physical limitations and became a lawyer

For many, trying to hurdle the challenges of Law school is like Sisyphus trying to roll a boulder up a hill only to see it roll back down – fruitless and hopeless. But not for Patricia “Trixie” Ulynne Garvida, who suffers from a physical limitation known as dwarfism.

Trixie was born with such a condition, and while most people would have given up, Trixie did not allow her physical limitations to get in the way of her dreams. Although this meant she would be shorter than her peers and limited in her movement – unable to carry her bag, jump, run or walk long distances –Trixie never saw this as an impediment but a challenge, enrolling instead at the FEU Institute of Law.

Trixie Garvida on her graduation

Trixie knew what she signed up for and was ready for the challenge. “During the freshmen orientation, all law students are warned that it takes a lot of effort to be able to stay in, and to be able to graduate from law school. One should be ready for each class every day. And ready means being able to read the assignments, to understand the assigned topics and cases, and to correctly answer the questions of the professor when called to recite in class,” Trixie shared.

What resonated throughout her entire four years in law school was her determination to be treated the same way her classmates were treated. And like a nurturing mother, the FEU Institute of Law ensured that she would be able to maximize her learning opportunities in the institution while being treated no differently from the rest of the students. Her professors also chose to look beyond her physical limitations, and focus on the learning.  

Trixie Garvida with FEU IL Dean Mel Sta Maria

A communication arts graduate who majored in journalism, Trixie was more comfortable with writing than talking. However, law school requires students to talk most of the time and write only during examinations. This meant she had to venture outside her comfort zone.

‘’Law school is chock-full of challenges and trials. It is different every day. There are always different people with different points of view. There are challenges and adjustments that have to be made. Sometimes I can cope, sometimes I get left behind. But I try my best to keep up. When I can’t, I pray. I pray for inspiration, I pray for a better state of mind, I pray for a better me next time,’’ she said.

“FEU has instilled in me the firm belief that we should not allow anything to limit us. With hard work and the right attitude, we can be just as good as the rest of the pack, or maybe even better.”

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