TOSCA, an eye-opener

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By Betsy Gazo


Thursday, March 20, 2014

WITH all the negative comments and observations on the youth of today, judging at the 14th Three Outstanding Student Council Award (TOSCA) was an eye-opener for me.

Ten school councils vied for the award. Four were public schools: Negros Occidental High School, Bacolod City National High School, Mansilingan High School, and Luisa Medel National High School; and six were private schools: St. John’s Institute, St. Scholastica’s Academy, University of St. La Salle-Integrated School, Bacolod Tay Tung High School, La Consolacion College – Integrated School, and St. Joseph School-La Salle.

Sponsored by the Jaycees, or the Junior Chamber International – Metro Bacolod, the TOSCA showcases what the youth can do if they only harnessed their knowledge, God-given talents, and love of country.


Each school council was interviewed by the board of judges composed of Francis Gerona who came over from Iloilo, Sheryll Ong, owner and school directress of Bright Kids Pre-school, and yours truly.

An allotted time was given to each group to explain the various projects the council had done for the year and we judges discoursed with the students as thoroughly as we could within the time limit.

Here, I was very impressed with the enthusiasm, the vision, and the ambition displayed by the council members.

As I listened to the young ones explain their projects with passion in their voices, I was almost moved to tears at the thought that if this generation thought like them, envisioned like them, and moved like them, our country has nowhere to go but up.

I certainly wasn’t like them when I was their age, with much regret. Most of the council members came from happy homes but those who didn’t rise beyond their situation by being strong and making the most of what they had.

The Jaycees was founded to create positive change in the community, according to Mary Cris “Dhin-dhin” Lopue, outgoing president of Metro Bacolod Chapter.

The Metro Bacolod Chapter was established in 2000 with Rowena Lopez Lizares as charter president. Fourteen years later, TOSCA, their original project is still going strong.

The project’s vision is to recognize, inspire and motivate future leaders in our society. The schools have always been the most fertile ground in producing and developing the future leaders. We will focus the search on all student councils of the different high schools accredited by the DepED in Bacolod City.

The TOSCA not only awards three student councils but also recognizes council projects that explore special activities.

The following are the winning school councils for special awards:
*Bacolod Tay Tung High School – Hernan D. Lopez, Jr. Business Leaders Award

*Negros Occidental High School –Bright Kids Preschool Science and Technology, Arts, Culture and Sports Award

*Bacolod City National High School – Community Award

*Luisa Medel National High School – Environmental Awareness Award and Values Formation Award

And which schools won the Three Outstanding Student Council Awards? They are, in no particular order:
*La Consolacion College–Integrated School
*Negros Occidental High School
*St. Scholastica’s Academy

The awarding ceremony was held at the People’s House (formerly the Bacolod Government Center) last March 16. Atty. Marie Crystal May Vega, the young, intelligent, and pretty, TOSCA chairperson, did a splendid job in organizing the event seamlessly. My warm congratulations to Atty. Vega, to Dhin Lopue and the rest of the officers of JCI-Metro Bacolod.

And congratulations to the bright minds who, I hope, will inspire the rest of the student population of their respective schools to reach for the stars and fill our country with ambitious yet selfless citizens for the Philippines’ future.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 20, 2014.


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