BACOLOR -- Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) finalist Emmanuel G. Lozano could not help but feel an overwhelming sense of joy when it was announced that he made it to the roster of 20 finalists in Central Luzon for this year's search.
Amid his joy is also an immense pride for his alma mater -- Don Honorio Ventura State University -- which was represented this year in the finalist listing of mostly students from Angeles City schools and Pampanga State Agriculture University.
TOSP is an awards program seeking young role models of the country who have personified academic excellence, exemplary leadership and deep sense of social responsibility, all anchored on good moral values.
And while the competition has a long way to go with the odds of making it further into the national screening becoming even more stringent, Bautista is keeping a level-headed approach.
"Of course, knowing that DHVSU is not exactly the most known institution among those with finalists, I'm really hoping to make it to the top 10 for the sake of my alma mater. In the end, though, being in the top 10 is something you cannot force. The basis for judging and selection is something that's been established long ago and it's something you can't change anymore: your resume of accomplishments and your personality so I'm still hopeful but not expecting," Lozano said.
Lozano has a degree in Biology from DHVSU. The TOSP finalist had a very active school life at DHVSU, having finished his degree with distinction and bestowed the Leadership Award and Journalist of the Year Award for his exemplary service as president of the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council and as editor-in-chief of The Industrialist, respectively.
Lozano said he is mostly thankful for the mere experience of being able to be included in the initial finalists.
"It's still a long way to go since there will still be the regional eliminations and the nationals, but it's been a great experience so far, being the only DHVSU nominee to make it to the regional finalists," he said.
He added that his experience with TOSP changed his viewpoint drastically. He said he was able to interact with other students from the region who also excel in their own field.
"I realized how much that pool of talent, skill, dedication and inspiration can be a great resource for the future of the Filipino," Lozano added.
Lozano also made history as the third DHVSU nominee to make it to the finalist listing of the TOSP.
TOSP envisions youth participation in nation building by establishing role models who will galvanize young people into action and help bring about total human and economic development.