Recommended books for the Philippine bar exams review

I’ve received several requests asking me what law books I used in reviewing for the Philippine bar exams. Now that I have a blog I don’t have to enumerate them one by one to every single person that ask me that question. All I have to do is give them the url of this site and tell them to check this post.

Basically, there are two sets of books that I will be giving. The first set are the ones that are to be used during the 6 months review. (From April to August) while the next set should be used during the “pre-week” review. (1st week of August and within September)

Take note that these are the books I used. I am not saying that any of these books are more superior than others. For those who want to follow my lead then go ahead. But if you find a material that suites you best than use that instead. Books are like food, one man’s meat may be another man’s poison. There are some books that I like which you may not like. You should know how to select a material that suites you best.

The books I used is further divided into two, Primary review material and secondary review material. Primary review material is what I read from cover to cover while secondary review material is what I only use as reference. (If there are some stuff that needs clarification and is not well explained in the primary material I go to the secondary material, but I do not read all stuff in the secondary material, this is just for reference)

1.) For the 6 month review aside from the codals here is the list of my recommended books/authors:

– SUBJECT –                      -PRIMARY-                          – SECONDARY –
Political                         Nachura                                  None
Labor                             Alcantara                                None
Civil                               Albano                                   Jurado
Tax                                Untian, Dimampao                 Domondon
Mercantile                      Sundiang                               Villanueva
Criminal                         Ortega Notes, Sandoval         None
Remedial                        Lakas Atenista notes             Albano
Legal Ethics                   Lex Pareto Notes                    Albano


2.) For the pre-week, Aside from the codal the main material I used is the LEX PARETO NOTES, one of the best statistical, bar problem based, codal based bar exam reviewer today. If you would like to know more about the Lex Pareto Notes, check out

I also used some of Professor Abelardo Domondon’s notes. Professor Domondon is one of the best bar reviewer today. The notes distributed by his review center, Primus bar review is also one of the best as it statistically points out the possible questions in the bar exams, helping the bar reviewee focus on what is truly important. It was Professor Domondon who inspired us to create the Lex Pareto Notes. I bought some of his notes, to supplement the Lex Pareto Notes that I used. If you want to know more about Primus, check out their blogsite at I highly recommend that you enroll in the annual Primus “wrap-up” review in every August, as this will integrate your review. Prof. Domondon has knack of getting a high success rate in forecasting possible bar exam questions.  You might also want to check out the Primus blogsite from time to time especially 2 to 3 days before the bar exams as they sometimes release some great tips.

Please maintain your respect for the authors by not photocopying their notes or books. If you want to get a copy of Professor Domondon’s notes buy them at the Primus pre-bar review center. This appeal also goes for the Lex Pareto Notes. Please get your legitimate copies at the nearest law bookstore where it is available. The Lex Pareto Notes is available in all National Bookstores nationwide. Check out the Lex Pareto Notes blogsite for more information.

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35 Responses to Recommended books for the Philippine bar exams review

  1. Katherine says:

    Thanks for the tip ! At least now I have an idea on what to use on my review

  2. Christian P. CASTRO says:

    napaka – Strict nung warning nyo dun sa mga nag – Aatempt na ipa – photocopy or i-Xerox yung libro nyo. ginaya nyo si Professor Domondon….. SOBRANG STRICT nung warning pati yung mga reviewees na TAKING NOTES WHILE READING parang kasama dun sa WARNING…… Anyway, I’ve bought the 3 volumes na available dun sa CONANAN………… and I’ve enrolled at JURISTS BAR REVIEW….. sana ginaya nyo na lang yung warning nung rex bookstore or central bookstore…………

  3. Christian P. CASTRO says:

    BAKIT nyo ginaya yung warning ni Atty. Domondon sa mga gustong magpa-XEROX ng book nya. Medyo naiba lang yung sa inyo kasi yung sa inyo DIVINE LAW kay Atty. Domondon KARMA. Parang yung mga TAKING NOTES WHILE READING A BOOK kasama dun sa WARNING.. Actually kulang kasi yung warning nyo. KULANG sya ng phrase na “FOR DISTRIBUTION OR SALE”….. sya nga pala naka enroll na rin ako sa JURISTS BAR REVIEW CENTER – Manila…. Sana ginaya nyo na lang yung warning nung rex bookstore or central bookstore, yung warning nila dun sa mga gustong MAGPA- XEROX or MAGPA – PHOTOCOPY ng mga BOOKS na binebenta nila. MAS COMPLETE YON, parang Centrum, ha ha ha .

  4. zigfred says:

    Christian: The “Domondon” warning was used with the permision of Prof. Domondon. We like the warning kasi eh parang na ka kilabot. So iyon ginyaya nalang namin to prevent others from photocopying the note. Kaya namin ginawang “divine law” kasi karma parang sa “hindu” eh Christian tayo kaya “divine law” nalang. Isa pa kaya we used the “Domondon” warning, kasi idol namin si Sir Domondon. He was the one who planted the idiea that the bar exam has a pattern. So it’s a matter of us finding the scientific theory that fits what Domondon believed in, compute that statistics and coming up with a layout, style of presentation and form for the book that made the Lex Pareto notes what it is today. Domondon is one of the most brilliant among our legal minds today.

  5. lovely says: says: thanks for the guide. I agree with nachura being the best author for political law. I am also planning to use the materials used by my former dean at the ateneo de davao law school, the late dean hildegardo iñigo especially for remedial law. i am curious about the lex pareto notes–will check them out. i am not sure really if i will take the bar this sept for work reasons but you never know. thanks a lot and keep them coming!

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  7. hyacinth says:

    Hi, I’ve a query. Do you know if we can just buy Atty. Domondon’s notes at the Primus pre-bar review center without having to enroll for the lectures?

  8. zigfred says:

    hyacinth: Yes you can. I’ve tried it before. You can go to Primus and just buy the notes.

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  10. henry says:

    hi! i’d like to ask lang where i can get a copy of the lakas atenista notes in remedial law? baka naman meron kind soul pwede magpahiram 🙂 thanks!

  11. zigfred says:

    Henry: I sell to you my copy f you like, but somebody told me there’s a new updated version, I am not just sure.

  12. henry says:

    that would be cool zigfred! how do i get in touch with you? thanks so much you’re a God-send!

  13. Manny Riguera says:

    Hello Zigfred! I have just completed the manuscript of “Primer-Reviewer on Remedial Law (Vol. I, Civil Procedure).” It will be published soon this February. The work includes case updates and mnemonics and is in a reader-friendly Q&A format.

    I think the book would be of some interest to those preparing for the 2009 Bar.

    I’ll keep you posted.

    Yours truly,

    Prof. Manny Riguera

  14. zigfred says:

    Hi Sir Manny,

    That’s great ! I’ll help you promote the book. Just send me details and if possible a copy of the book.

  15. john says:

    Zig, can u recommend a reviewer for taxation?

  16. zigfred says:

    John: If you still have lots of time, Domondon would be a good Review book. But if you do not have time to spare, the shor Untian reviewer on taxation would be my reccomendation.

  17. romeo q. carbo says:

    where can I buy the Political Law Reviewer Outline by Justice Nachura?

  18. estrella m. lanticse says:

    where can i buy the Lex Pareto notes. tnx

  19. zigfred says:

    Estrella: Check out our site on where to buy the Lex Pareto Notes. Our publishers has informed us it is available nationwide through National bookstore.

  20. boytoy says:

    sir, where can i get a copy of lakas atenista notes in remedial? thanks

  21. Karen Lopez says:

    Using the first edition of Atty. Riguera entitled Primer-Reviewer on Remedial Law is also recommended.

  22. christian castro says:

    hi zigfred… How much ba kung bibilhin ko na lang yung Primus Notes WITHOUT attending the lectures of Prof. Domondon.. I’ve called Leon Valdez, sabi nya kasi I have to attend the lectures pa. Hindi raw sila nagbebenta ng Primus Notes.. I hope you could HELP me to buy na lang yung PRIMUS notes WITHOUT attending the lectures of Prof. Domondon.. thank you very much and GOD BLESS..

  23. zigfred says:

    Christian Castro: They use to sell the notes. Perhaps they have changed their policy. Sorry I can’t help you with regards to that matter. Hope you understand. 🙂

  24. Glenn says:

    It was during law school when I first conceived this idea.

    I noticed that despite having two degrees, i.e., Pre-Law and Law Proper, and further considering having passed the Civil Service Professional Exam for those Pre-Law courses which have no Licensure examination, law graduates have no title by which they can be properly addressed.

    Before going further, let me get this straight. I know that once I post this message, a lot of comments will surely flood this thread. I am certainly not after titles or designations but let us be practical and realistic. Having two degrees or more, one of which is Law, is definitely something. Everybody knows that. But just because a Law graduate did not make it in the Bar Exams, it seems that his or her two degrees have no value at all.

    Let’s face it: not all Bar examinees are going to become lawyers. At least during the moment when he or she failed on his or her first, second, or even up to fifth attempts. But what happens if he or she never makes it after the fifth attempt? Will his or her two degrees amount to nothing? As I’m saying this, again, I know, those who read this would like to post their comment right away.

    But hear me on this first. I know you want me to spell out what I have in mind. Here it is: I’m proposing a Resolution to the Hon. Supreme Court for the latter to grant title to Law graduates who have passed the Career Service Professional Exam or other equivalent licensure examination. You might want to suggest the title for the Hon. Supreme Court to consider.

    I had been looking for my proposed Resolution for sometime now in my files. There I have stated in the preamble the reasons why law graduates should have appropriate title by which they can be addressed. Of course, not the title “Atty.” but at least a more dignified one. We don’t want them to be ridiculed just because they failed the Bar exams.

    As you well knew, non-lawyers are allowed to appear in lower courts. In my practice, I am quite uncomfortable each time the Hon. Judge calls a law graduate simply as “Mister” or “Miss”. A distinction between a plain high school graduate and a Law graduate should at least be made.

    So, what do you think? Am I just wasting your precious time making unmeritorious proposal or will you be bold enough to consider it? Your suggestions and even your own version of the proposal will certainly be appreciated.

  25. zigfred says:

    Glenn: Thanks for commenting. While I respect your proposal, I really do not support it. However I support the idea of having more lawyers in the Philippines. Currently there are only more than 50,000 lawyers for a population of more than 90 million people. This is really not enough. The more than 50,000 in the roll of attorneys include those who are already dead, those not practicing, those in government service and those abroad. Only an estimated 20,000+ are actively practicing. There are towns that don’t even have a judge, a prosecutor or a private lawyer. What the Supreme Court should do is relax the mock bar a little bit and somehow increase the passing percentage to about 50 to 70 % per year. To do this I suggest that they revise the exam to 60 % multiple choice 20 % essay type and 20 % oral argument. I think this is so much better than today’s bar exam format.

  26. cielina says:

    I want to give the bar one last (4th) try. As such, may I beg that you give me the Lakas Atenista Notes for remedial law? I have been looking for a remedial law reviewer which could uplift my spirit on the subject. Could you help me?

  27. zigfred says:

    cielina: Where are you located ? You can get Lakas Atenista in Cebu and Manila and of course Davao which is the source. You are taking the bar the 4th time ? I suggest you try Jurists Bar Review Center which is now located in Cebu and Manila.

  28. cielina says:

    Hi! I am from Baguio City. Yes, i have been so unlucky three times and now i wanna give it my last hurrah. So where exactly do i get the notes? Am afraid they might not share to non-ateneans. Okay i will try Jurists Bar Review.

  29. shokran-uae says:

    thank you for the recommended books/authors. salam…

  30. zigfred says:

    shoran-uae: You are most welcome !

  31. brazil says:

    Hi Atty. Zigfred

    I just want to ask if I can order and mail to me a copy of the PRIMER-Reviewer In Remedial Law of Prof. Riguera? How much would it cost me including the freight? And Also if you have the latest version of the Lakas Atenista Notes. Thanks a Lot Appreciate your reply.

  32. cecile j says:

    pls. anybody, is there going to be a primus pre-bar review in davao in 2011? If none, where is it in manila and when does it start, and how much is the review feE? THANKS!

  33. zigfred says:

    cecile: Hi ! Please contact Primus. Contact information is in their site at

  34. zigfred says:

    brazil: Are you still interested in this ? Email me at

  35. zigfred says:

    brazil: Are you still interested in this ? Email me at (Please remove NOSPAM to reveal the true email address) Thanks.

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