Ako Bicol Partylist is set to honor this year’s crop of Ten Outstanding Students of Bicol (TOSB) in an awarding ceremony to be held on March 4, 8 AM, at the UNC Social Hall, University of Nueva Caceres, Naga City, Camarines Sur.
The annual search is part of Ako Bicol’s desire to recognize Bicolano students who have shown exemplary performance in scholarship, leadership, service, and social responsibility. All Bicolano youth are assessed according to all four parameters to determine Region V’s crème de la crème.
“As much as possible, we want to encourage our Bicolano youth to unceasingly strive to excel not just academically, but in other noble pursuits outside the four corners of the classroom.” Ako Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe said. “We believe that holistic development is the key to produce future leaders in the person of these outstanding students, who will aid in securing a brighter future for the Bicol region.”
Winners underwent a rigorous screening process as all 10 finalists were culled from an initial 20 finalists by a pool of experts headed by Dr. Jean Paulette M. Salalima-Go, from CHED ROV, after a paper screening and final interview. Part of the panel were Evangeline A. Saculo Of DepEd ROV, Dr. Susana S. Cabredo, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of Aquinas University of Legazpi, Salvi Rufina Angel M. Morcoso, Director On Finance of Socio-Economic Development Program – Simbag sa Pag-Asenso, Inc. and Romy Tan, Chief Operating Officer of Liberty Commercial Center Corporation.
Awardees for this year include Joshua Arsenio Espiritu III (University of Nueva Caceres), Froilan Celetaria (University on Northeastern Philippines), Norman Manlangit (Ligao Community College), Francis Orasa (University of Nueva Caceres), John Jorge Rances (University on Northeastern Philippines), Aggie Zephaniah Gonowon (University on Northeastern Philippines), Angel Parado (Ligao Community College), Jiesel Pesito (Ligao Community College), Darwin Racadag (Ligao Community College), and Ron Ephraim Roluna (Ateneo De Naga University).
Winners will receive a laptop and a personalized plaque while all finalists receive a tablet. Aside from the distinction of being one of the TOSB, special awards will also be awarded, which include the Top Inititative of Bicolano Advocacies of the Youth (TIBAY) – a project proposal competition, and the People’s Choice Award, each with special prizes from LCC Malls and Supermarket and Php 5,000 cash from AYOS Bicol.
Philippine Red Cross Chairperson Richard “Dick” Gordon, a dedicated public servant and multi-awarded individual who has served for almost 28 years in government, will join the anticipated event as Keynote Speaker.
The search is yearly done in partnership with the Commission on Higher Education ROV. AKO Bicol has been in close contact with previous batches of the TOSB, tracking their progress after college and organizing efforts in line with the partylist’s vision of helping Bicolanos reach their full potential.