Ramon Magsaysay Technological University
April 18, 2013
By Danilo Villar Rogayan Jr.
Dr. Cornelio C. Garcia, RMTU President, our distinguished keynote speaker Mr. Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata, the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes (TOSP R3ACH) headed by its chairperson, Mr. Jonathan de Quiroz, officials, faculty and staff of this university, the outstanding 17 regional finalists of this year’s search, friends, ladies and gentlemen, a historical evening!
Trailing back the history, it was on June 19, 1961, in simultaneous with the centennial birth of Dr. Jose Rizal, when Mr. Jose Concepcion Jr., then the publisher of Student Life magazine, founded the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines, an awards program that honors outstanding students who have dispensed academic excellence, exemplary leadership and deep sense of community involvement.
For more than half a century now, TOSP has gone a long way. From a mere awards program, it has transformed into a formation program which primarily aims to hearten and enthuse the youth towards building the nation.
Here in our beloved Central Luzon, the TOSP Regional Formation commenced only in 2008 in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education Region III and led to the birth of the TOSP Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes (TOSP R3ACH). The community has successfully implemented the annual regional formation program, rotating the host province around the region – Bataan in 2008, Pampanga in 2009, Nueva Ecija in 2010, Bulacan in 2011, Tarlac in 2012 and this year here in Zambales.
What makes this formation program more special is because we in TOSP R3ACH are celebrating our fifth year as one community and as one family harmonized with our burning passion, fervent love and ignited commitment in serving Central Luzon and the nation in the entirety. TOSP R3ACH, as the home of humanized and positively disturbed leaders, continues its mission for proactive actions towards nation-building, learning, leading and serving for life.
“i CHOOSE Bayan” bespeaks the quintessential roles of each one of us to dedicate ourselves, our time, our efforts and even our lives in serving our fellow kababayans and rebuilding our bayan. It will always start with a choice, a choice that will truly change the course of our nation’s history, a choice to take the road of servant leadership and nation-building as our life-long commitment.
And I know that our choice to choose bayan will give us a brighter and a more prolific kinabukasan. And as we heed the call of our bayan, we are affirming that we are indeed bayanis, the genuine pag-asa that this nation is yearning for.
I would like also to take this opportunity to thank the administration of this university headed by Dr. Cornelio C. Garcia, RMTU president, for the warm welcome and great assistance in hosting this year’s regional formation program. Our profound gratitude Sir to you and to all who extended their hands in making this event possible.
To the 17 regional finalists, the battle is just about to begin. You are here tonight not just because you are the best of the bests in your respective institutions; you are here because you are challenged to think more and to do more as change-makers and transformation agents of our beloved Central Luzon and our dear Philippines.
Marami pa tayong kailangang gawin, naghihintay ang ating bayan na tayo’y tumugon sa kanyang panawagan. Nanaisin ba nating magbingi-bingihan at magbulag-bulagan o titindig tayo nang sama-sama para ibandila ang kanyang karangalan? Ano kaya ang magiging taya mo para sa bayan? Ano kaya ang maiaambag mo na magmamarka sa ating kasaysayan? Ngayon na ang panahon ng pagbabago, buksan natin ang ating mga puso’t isipan at sabihing “I Choose Bayan.”
Once again, good evening to all of us! Mabuhay ang Gitnang Luzon! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!