Zamboangueňo youth leader – 2012 TOSP Awardee PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 05 August 2012 00:00

Congratulations to John Michael Dellariarte, new medical graduate student of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University College of Medicine for being one of the coveted Top Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines 2012.  The formal awarding ceremony was held at the Heroes Hall of Malacañang last August 2, 2012 with President Benigno Aquino III who called on the youth to “remain committed to initiating and inspiring endeavors for the country’s progress.”

There were 243 entries from regional screening, which was trimmed down to 87 then to 30 national finalists before the top ten was carefully selected. Aside from Dellariarte, the other awardees are Kenneth Isaiah Ibasco Abante (Ateneo de Manila University), Angelita Adajar Bombarda (De La Salle University), Jerome Ven David (De La Salle University), Daniel Philip Villaranda Dy (Ateneo de Naga University), Jay-R Mesa Mendoza (University. of Rizal System-Morong Campus), Ruthell Angusto Moreno (West Visayas State University), Maria Janua Bacolod Polinar (Central Mindanao University),Kurt Gerrard Tiu See (De La Salle University-Manila) and Juan Carlo Pe Tejano (University of the Philippines-Diliman).

The TOSP, established 51 years ago, honors students exemplifying exemplary leadership and superior academic performance and actively contributing to nation-building through the auspices of RFM Foundation Inc. in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education and National Bookstore. Jose Concepcion Jr., chair of the RFM Foundation, said TOSP awardees and finalists “represent our greatest hope and brighter tomorrow for our beloved country.”

The Philippine Star columnist Joey Conception (July 30, 2012) shared that the process of selecting the 10 outstanding students of the Philippines is tedious. It takes around three screenings within the respective regions before it reaches the National Screening Assembly. This year’s national screeners included COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza, Philippine Marketing Association president Gwenn Albarracin, NYC Usec. Leon Flores, the national chair of the Board of Optometry Dr. Vivian Sarabia, and RockEd director Gang Badoy-Capati.

Concepcion wrote that the TOSP is not just about recognizing students who have shown academic excellence, they are now gearing towards looking for the next leaders who have actively shown their participation in nation building. A,new breed of bayani — someone who has shown academic and professional excellence, leadership and social responsibility anchored on good moral values, he added.

The final judges were ABS-CBN Maria Ressa, child development specialist Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, AIM Professor Soledad A. Hernando,  Inpsirational speaker/author Francis Kong,  and COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza. It took them 10 straight hours to select the final top 10.

Magna cum laude Dellariarte was cited for being the founder of the I Can Make a Difference – an advocacy group who have helped a community in Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur have better lives, established an ecowaste management in rural aeras, and supports the Yellow Boat Foundation among others. His latest humanitarian project is the UpLift that aims to help pediatric patients of Zamboanga Medical Center with cancer.

Indeed, if we have a good heart like Dellariarte, we can also a difference in the lives of others.

By Dante Corteza