MANILA, Philippines – The yearly and the most prestigious award-giving body called The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM), which recognizes young Filipino men and women, between 18 to 40 years of age was recently held at Malacañang on Wednesday, January 9, Rizal Hall with 2012’s seven awardees from different sectors.
His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III described the awardees as among the country’s partners in making the Philippines a better place for the next generation.
Emmeline Yan Aglipay, 30, awardee for Public Service, is the principal author of the ‘Kasambahay Bill’, the ‘Magna Carta for Informal Sector Workers’, the ‘Magna Carta for Seafarers and the Act to Strengthen Security of Tenure’.
She is a passionate lawyer and a determined advocate that is described as a woman who exemplifies the idealistic, driven and committed Filipino youth. She is a major player of DIWA Party List that won a seat in Congress in 2010.
Aglipay is a magna cum laude graduate of AB Economics at De La Salle University in 2002. That same year, she was given the Most Outstanding Student Leader Award, the Brother Gabriel Connon Award for the Most Outstanding Graduating Student, and was also recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines.
Waren Navarra Baticados, 39, awardee for Veterinary Medicine, is the youngest recognized scientist in the University of the Philippines College of Veterinary Medicine.
Also, he’s the recipient of the prestigious awards e.g. Outstanding Young Scientist of the Philippines (2011) by the National Academy of Science and Technology, UP Scientist 1 (2011-2013).
Dr. Baticados has demonstrated the capability of undertaking good and relevant science throughout his personal life. He was known for his years of Outstanding and pioneering work on the molecular detention of top-priority protozoan and bacterial organisms in the Philippines that cause economically-devastating animal diseases, particularly tryparosomasis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, salmonellosis, and zolibacillosis as well as vital small companion animal diseases as ehrlichiosis.
Currently, he is an associate professor at the University of the Philippines College of Veterinary Medicine teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses.
Emelio Asada Caligdong, 30, awardee for Sports, is a ‘proof-positive’ that one doesn’t need to be tall to excel in football. He’s compared to Argentine football legend Diego Maradona with a height of 5’5” tall. Despite that height, Caligdong outruns and outwits even the talent and the brawniest defenders and plays with a lot of heart and passion. He’s serious with his desire to promote the country through sports particularly football, which is currently enjoying a great popularity in the country.
‘Chieffy’ as recognized by many is a veteran of international competitions. He’s been with Philippine Azkals in matches held in Southeast Asia, e.g. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, paying as the left-winger midfielder and vice-captain.
He started playing football at the age of seven and was inspired by his brother to pursue the said sport. He was an enlisted member of the Philippine Air Force and was a former player for its football club.
Today, he helps aspiring young players in his hometown of Barotac, Nuevo, Iloilo—to learn football by conducting regular football clinics and tournaments using his own resources and support of partners where he teach kids the techniques of the sport. Each year, more and more students get to be interested with football.
Abelardo Apollo Ilagan David Jr., 35, awardee for Community Occupational Rehabilitation, has six presidential and three prestigious national awards. Among these are: 2008 Grand prize in World Bank’s Panibagong Paraan: A Competition for Innovative Ideas and the 2008 Apolinario Mabini Presidential Award for Rehabilitation Volunteer of the Year. He is considered to be the Filipino PWD’s silent yet effective champion.
Better known to his students and patients as ‘Teacher Archie’ is an embodiment of hope, which truly prevails. Even with his vast experience as an occupational therapist and with his education from the University of the Philippines-Manila and University of Queensland in Australia with an AusAID acholarship grant, he still chose to stay and serve his countrymen.
He’s recognized as the local authority in the field of occupational therapy, specifically as a leader and visionary on the areas of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) and in the life skills training and transition-to-work education of youth with developmental conditions.
Ivan Anthony Santos Henares, 33, awardee for Heritage Conservation, has provided a voice for previously muted by other equally important national priorities.
For over a decade, he has championed the cause of Philippines heritage conservation to the mainstream by serving as one of the advocacy’s most visible voices, pushing for the enactment of national laws and local legislations for heritage preservation, educating Filipinos on the importance of preserving the country’s heritage, monitoring heritage conservation issues around the Philippines and ensuring the protection of significant historical and cultural sites.
He established the ICOMOS, short for International Conference on Cultural Tourism, which brough together Expert Members of ICOMOS from around the world to Vigan, Ilocos Sur to share cultural tourism best practices to hundreds of local stakeholders. With that effort, the Philippines earned encouraging feedback from foreign and local delegates—making the country as a global leader in community-based cultural tourism.
In 2001, his blog was named Best Travel Blog at the 1st Philippine Blog Awards. In 2008, he was also included as a Philippines’ 21 Fellows by Asia Society to join the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit. The website Spot.ph listed him as one of the ‘10 City Heroes You Should Know’ in 2010 for his advocacy on heritage conservation.
Rodrigo Defeo Manicad Jr., 37, awardee for Broadcast Journalism, has repeatedly laid his life on the line as a journalist.
The documentary he did on Fuga Island has brought the attention to the public, about the plight of the Fuga people. He united civic groups for relief operation for the said island. Also, he was instrumental in the surrender of two controversial, wanted figures—Lintang Bedol and Buhari Jumiri, where these two chose to submit to the government through his intervention.
‘Jiggy’, as most of his friends and colleagues know him, is a person who live a life that sparkles with glitz and glam via blood, sweat, and tears.
Today, he hosts ‘Reporters’ Notebook’, ‘GMA News TV Quick Response Team’ (QRT), ‘GMA’s Flagship News Program on Weekends’, and ’24 Oras Weekend’. He’s also GMA News’ senior producer.
Allan Lindo Pineda Jr., 37, awardee for Contemporary Music, strongly believes that poverty shouldn’t be a hindrance in getting an education.
Born in Pampanga, Pineda’s African-American father (then stationed in Clark Air Base) left the family, leaving seven siblings to fend for themselves. In order to support his struggling family, Allan was forced to ride the carabao to do farming of agricultural staples, e.g. potatoes, sugar, corn, and rice.
When he was 14, Pearl S. Buck Foundation, an organization that finds better conditions for abandoned American children, accepted Pineda and allowed him to move to Los Angeles through a foster parenting sponsoring program.
At John Marshall High School, he met his future band mate will.i.am a.k.a. James Adams and together they started the group Black Eyed Peas. His band sold over 65 million album worldwide.
Taking pride of his Filipino heritage, he injected elements of Pinoy culture in his Black Eyed Peas’ songs. He has been active in various non-profit causes in the country. In 2011, Pineda and Hewlett-Packard (HP) donated computer equipment to students in his province of Pampanga.
The Apl.de.ap Foundation he established in 2010 gives back to communities and children within the country and throughout Asia.
President Aquino in his speech, lauded the 2012 awardees for ‘advancing and exceling in their respective professions and advocacies. He also mentioned and guaranteed all Filipinos that there will be no shortage of brilliance in the country—there will be people who can carry collective quest to accomplishing permanent change in the country and the people.
TOYM has become an institution, having honored countless leaders who have accomplished considerable, tangible results in the pursuit of excellence. Its first awarding ceremonies took place at St. Louis Auditorium in Baguio City on October 15, 1959 as the highlight of the 11th Philippine Jaycees (now Junior Chamber International Philippines) National Convention’s Opening Ceremonies, which was attended by more than 250 Filipino JCI delegates.