Today’s achievers, tomorrow’s leaders

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By Mimi Olarga

Points of View

Saturday, March 29, 2014

THE late Senator Raul Roco once said, “When I was 20, I want to change the world. When I was 40, I want to change society. But when I was 60, I want to change myself.”

These year’s Buglas Youth Leadership awardees are not yet on their 20s but they have made the lives of many people around them better.

In retrospect, the Buglas Youth Leadership Training Program (BYLTP) is a leadership grant offered by Buglas Foundation to promising student leaders of Bacolod City.


The program is an integration of several components that aim to provide holistic formation of students to become future leaders.

BYLP’s objectives include fostering academic excellence and social responsibility; imparting a personal formation component to develop students into morally upright and responsible leaders; and inculcating the need to reciprocate and propagate the benefits which the student-beneficiaries received.

In January 2013, Buglas Foundation invited student leaders from both private and secondary schools in Bacolod to participate in the program. A total of 100 students took the qualifying exams and underwent rigid leadership trainings and community outreach programs.

After a thorough evaluation of the applicants, 10 were chosen as finalists for the leadership award. They had to practice and apply what they have learned from the BYLP in their respective high schools.

The academic performance and club activities of the finalists were monitored by the Buglas Foundation program directors.

The Buglas Youth Leadership Award (BYLA) is given to the top three grantees on the basis of their overall performance in the Buglas Youth Training Program. The award consists of a medal and a cash reward.

Based on their academic and leadership performance, the three BYL awardees for 2014 are Louie Raner of Bacolod City National High School (BCNHS), Christian Siaton of Bacolod Tay Tung High School and Alphonse Brillantes of the University of Saint La Salle- Integrated School (USLS-IS).

A National Eagle Scout and an Outstanding Boy Scout of Bacolod, Louie lives the BSP dictum of “Ang Scout ay Laging Handa” — to be prepared at all times not only from accidents and disasters but also to face life’s challenges. As Louie quipped, “even if not all of us can be scouts, we must learn to help other people at all times without expecting any return.”

As president of the Supreme Student Government of BCNHS, Louie was able to apply the BYLP principles he learned. Not only is Louie an advocate of students’ rights and privileges but also of respect and civil liberties of Persons with Disability (PWDs).

Louie helped made BCNHS a PWD-friendly school. Louie’s father, a polio victim, inspired him in his worthy cause. Though it is a tough job to lead the local Katipunan ng mga Kabataan in Purok NGO Village in Barangay Handumanan, Louie encouraged the out-of-school youths to stay away from drugs and play basketball instead.

Meanwhile, Christian Siaton, Student Council Organization (SCO) president of the Bacolod Tay Tung Student Council, received the AY Foundation Discipline Award. During the Rotary Boys and Girls Week 2013, Christian was elected as the Boy Councilor No. 11, the counterpart of Honorable Councilor Sonya Verdeflor.

Christian also represented his school in the annual Jaycees’ THOS (The Outstanding Students) awards and was able to make it to the Top 10 finalists. Christian also participated in the SYL International Education Summit and IKTHUS 2013 Global Leadership Summit.

As SCO president, Christian organized student-led activities to help the less fortunate. Worth mentioning is the “Bundle of Joy Project” which had rice, noodles, canned goods, and other basic necessities given to the families of students of Old Sagay Elementary school, to the orphans of Holy Infant Nursery, students of Paglaum Village elementary school, and to the poor of Murcia and Barrio Dulao.

SCO launched “PaSCOsaEnero” to raise funds for the maintenance staff of the school. For “Project Enkindle,” selected SCO officers went to the Yolanda victims of Sitio Matabas in Sagay City and installed solar power systems in their houses.

On the other hand, Alphonse is a consistent academic excellence awardee of USLS-IS. He is a Red Cross Youth advocate. As such, Alphonse helped in the formation of an Emergency Response Team in order to assist the institution in alleviating human suffering.

Alphonse also represented USLS-IS in the St Paul’s National Bible Quiz, the 34th National Quiz Bee, the Jaycees’ THOS Awards, and the Rotary Club’s Annual Academic Excellence Contest.

As an active officer of the Citizens Army Training (CAT), Alphonse believes “by training oneself in the virtues of integrity, loyalty and service, one can serve and work for the betterment of the community.”

With these three achievers, the BYLTP has nurtured young leaders with ethical values. By planting virtues and forming them as ethical leaders, the BYL awardees show a bright future and hope for a better Philippines. The initiators for a better society had made their start. Christian, Louie and Alphonse had made a big leap to become harbingers of positive change in our community.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 29, 2014.


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