By Terence Repelente
Intelligence cannot be defined by exams and greatness isn’t measured by grades or scores—it’s what you do outside the four corners of the classroom and outside the gates of your school that truly matters. And that’s how Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) measures greatness and intelligence. With their mission, to shape role models and leaders who will spark action and inspire change among the youth of the country, TOSP gathers 20 finalists—student leaders from different programs who just graduated from different universities and colleges in the region—then judiciously selects, through a regional formation process, 10—the most outstanding. The best of the best.
TOSP is not an exclusive club or a high-class organization—it’s a community. There’s more to this community than just naming a list of students. They speak through their actions, through leadership training seminars, outreach projects, and many more.
This year’s awarding ceremony, held at the Fuller Hall of Asian Institute of Management (AIM), was definitely a glorious night for everyone—the TOSP alumni, the finalists, the awardees, and, most especially, the parents.
More than just an award
“This award means that I’m officially part of a community of people who have these advocacies coming from different backgrounds but are all toward the same goal, which is nation-building. This award is just an extra for me. What’s more important is how I met this family and how they have shaped me over the past three days,” shares Adrielle Reyes Bersola. Bersola graduated summa cum laude, Bachelor of Sports Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is a former team captain of the UP Lady Maroons. “I will continue the advocacies I’ve been pushing in college and I’m going to go to med school and be more immersed in a different field. I’d still be sticking to my passion, however, which is volleyball,” says Bersola.
“It’s a continuous struggle to live by the values of TOSP. And I think excellence is really something that should be lived every day,” says Raymond John Naguit. Raymond studied Medicine at the University of Santo Tomas. A two-time recipient of the Manuel L. Quezon Leadership award, he is the national chairperson of Youth for Mental Health Coalition.”With hope, this award would be a platform for us to connect with the bigger TOSP community,” Raymond said.
When asked about her primary advocacy, Beverly Buco Cumla said: “Ang uunahin ko po is the youth [I will give priority to the youth]. Lalo na po yung mga bata na hindi po alam kung ano yung meron silang kakayahan [especially the kids who do not know their capabilities],” she said. Cumla graduated magna cum laude, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication at the Lyceum of the Philippines University.
The rest of the 10 awardees are Janvier Saclao Bastian of Far Eastern University, John Rey Enjambre Burce of Adamson University, Janelle Mae Bermas Frayna of Far Eastern University, Jay-bee Reyes Landayan of Technological Institute of the Philippines, Zedrick Ferrer Laqui of De La Salle University, Jan Laurice Nueva Magbuhos of St. Scholastica’s College, and Lyonel To Tanganco of Ateneo de Manila University. Their success doesn’t mean the failure of the finalists who were not chosen though. All of them are now legitimate members of the TOSP alumni community. The outstanding passion for nation-building, learning, leading, and serving for life isn’t limited to those who possess the title. TOSP will function as one community, a family charging to a common goal, crafting a better future for the Philippines.