MANILA, Philippines—Unsung heroes dominated this year’s Ten Most Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines awards.
Presiding at the TOYM awards ceremonies in Malacañang for the fourth time on Thursday, President Aquino noted that the country did not seem to be running out of young leaders willing to take on the task of nation-building.
“Events like this remind all of us that there will never be a shortage of Filipinos who are willing to take on the task of nation-building—that, in fact, there are so many of us who are working to uplift and empower our fellow men,” he said in a speech that concluded the awarding ceremony on Thursday.
Except for basketball player Chris Tiu, all the honorees are mostly unsung heroes, from medicine to academe, communication, chemistry, community work and government and public service.
Tiu, whose full name is Christopher John Alandy Dy Tiu, was cited for youth leadership and development.
The other awardees are Emerson Atanacio (social entrepreneurship), June Cheryl Cabal-Revilla (community service), Nicole Paula Curato (sociology), Custer Deocaris (science communication), Miguel Rene Dominguez (government and public service), Alonzo Gabriel (food science and technology), Karl Michael Reyes (medicine) and Paolo Antonio Sandico Silva (medicine).
The 2013 TOYM awardees represented “knowledge, passion [and] service,” said Jose Pardo, chair of the board of judges who presented them to the President before handing out the trophies and medals.
Besides Pardo, the event was witnessed by Judy Araneta-Roxas, chair of Gerry Roxas Foundation, TOYM Foundation officials Lorenzo Tan and Bienvenido Tantoco III, and Junior Chambers International (JCI) Philippines officials Ryan Ravanzo and Luciano Frederick Puyod III.
The TOYM is given to young Filipinos between the ages of 18 and 40 who are “experts in their field and contributed and continue to contribute outstanding work for their country, which other young Filipinos can emulate,” said Pardo.
It confers national recognition to men and women whose “selfless dedication to their profession or vocation has resulted in significant contributions to the welfare of their countrymen as well as to the advancement of their fields of endeavor,” according to award organizers.
The awards are conferred annually by JCI Philippines, TOYM Foundation and Gerry Roxas Foundation to uphold the tradition of excellence and integrity among young Filipinos.
The President said that TOYM awardees exemplified the “very principle of bayanihan,” which he said referred to “everyone doing his part for a common purpose.”
“At these events, when I meet people who are as committed to helping others as you are, I know I am looking at these men and women who are working alongside us in building the future of this country—a future characterized by solidarity and genuine, meaningful progress—a future where no one definitely would be left behind,” said Aquino.
Tiu, a player of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters team of the Philippine Basketball Association, delivered the acceptance speech on behalf of this year’s awardees.