Young movers: 10 students win TOSP-NCR award
The TOSP award recognizes students who excel beyond academic work

BATCH#21. The 21 TOSP finalists, stepping up to the challenge of being movers and shapers of this country. Photo by Maika Bernardo

MANILA, Philippines – For excellence, leadership and selfless service, 10 young Filipinos from the National Capital Region were given the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) award last April 30 at the PLDT Innolab in Mandaluyong. 

The theme of this year’s award, “@TOSPNCR2012: Making the mission of #NationBuilding trend,” revolved around new technology and social media.

“Nation-building is not an overnight thing. In our own way of doing formation programs, grounding our leaders, making them realize what they stand for, those are some examples [of nation-building],” said TOSP-NCR alumni community chairperson Marie Eugenie Dizon.

Jerome David of the De La Salle University, one of the awardees, said he’s always wanted to do something that would change society for the better. “You must find where your passion is, where you are happy, where you can contribute the most and just do it,” David told Rappler. “It is something that can impact or affect change.”

David has been a Philippine representative to the Ministers of Youth World Forum in 2011. He’s also a scholar in an exchange program with the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

The annual TOSP award was founded by RFM Corp and foundation chairman Jose Concepion Jr. It’s designed to recognize students who excel not only in academics but in meaningful activities that help society.

In 1994, the program was set up in key regions nationwide. As of today, there are 8 TOSP regional search programs: NCR, the Cordillera Autonomous Region, Regions 2, 3, 4-A, 5, 6  and 7.

“If every ten outstanding students do their part as a catechist for change, we can move forward,” Concepcion said in his remarks. (Rappler’s Natashya Gutierrez, one of the judges, blogged about the awardees in this heartwarming piece titled ‘Tears of the nation’s leaders.’)

Rigid screening

From a list of nominees submitted by schools in the NCR, a total of 21 finalists were chosen through a rigid pre-screening and selection process. A panel of judges selected the region’s TOSP awardees who were each given a medal and a certificate during the awards night on April 30.

The names of the NCR awardees were submitted for the national search, which will be held this year as well.

Aside from David, this year’s TOSP-NCR awardees are:

  • Kenneth Isaiah I. Abante (Ateneo De Manila University)
  • Angelita A. Bombarda (De La Salle University – Manila)
  • Muhammad Muktadir A. Estrella (University of the Philippines – Manila)
  • Rocelle O. Obleno (University of Santo Tomas)
  • Floramante Sir John Don King Howard T. Ponce III (Polytechnic University of the Philippines)
  • Kurt Gerrard T. See (De La Salle University – Manila)
  • Glenmore L. Sibal (Far Eastern University)
  • Ada Marie S. Tayao (University of the Philippines – Diliman)
  • Juan Carlo P. Tejano (University of the Philippines – Diliman)

The other finalists are the following: Florence Marie D. Bayer (Assumption College), Geneve Praise T. Bontogon (University of the East – Caloocan), Mary Ann R. Briones (Miriam College), Gerand Boy O. Elinzano (Mapua Institute of Technology), Dyna Jeanne D. Godoy (Centro Escolar University), Angela Lou R. Manuel (Far Eastern University), Joemer C. Maravilla (Far Eastern University), Jansen B. Ramirez (Centro Escolar University), Jaymie Ann R. Reyes (Ateneo De Manila University), Camille Emiko V. Robles (Technological Institute of the Philippines), John Jerick C. Santos (Centro Escolar University). 

Dizon challenged the awardees to “continue building your skills, continue to value what you stand for, continue to value what is right, value that idealism and make use of that in order for you to reach your goals not only for yourself, but also for your family, for your school organizations and your country.”

In his keynote address, lawyer and former TV host Ricardo Puno stressed that “only fidelity to one’s own conscience can a man both find freedom and security armed thus against the idle wind living in truth.” 

Responding to the challenge, this year’s finalists said in a statement: “TOSP is no longer just an award-giving body but a support group for the youth like us with big dreams and big hearts.  We can count on each other to rekindle our passions when their fire gets weak.”

They added: “We will step up to the challenge of being movers and shapers of this country. We shall run the race together, and our success will not be a product of our own toil but the different roles that each of us plays,” the group of young awardees and finalists vowed. – with a report from Mark Kenneth Cabusay

(The search for Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines or TOSP was founded by businessman Jose Concepcion, Jr. on June 19, 1961, the 100th birthday of Dr. Jose Rizal. Mr. Concepcion’s vision of recognizing young role models became a continuing project of the RFM Foundation, Inc., the Commission on Higher Education, and the RFM Corporation. Rappler is a proud partner of this year’s TOSP search.)