Get to know the 10 Most Outstanding Young Filipinos of 2015!

For the past 54 years, the Junior Chamber International – Philippines has undertaken the search for The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM), a select elite group of individuals who have shown selfless dedication for their work, passion for excellence and compassion towards the communities they belong. It is by far, the biggest, and most coveted award recognizing excellent individuals from ALL FIELDS of profession or trade.

TOYM seeks to give national recognition to young men and women whose selfless dedication to their profession or vocation has resulted in significant contributions to the welfare of the country.

How are the awardees chosen?

The JCI receives hundreds of nominations every year. And it falls upon their shoulder to carefully select the awardees for every year. With over a hundred fields of specialization to look into, how does the JCI and its co-sponsors select the most outstanding young person? Of course, through a criteria.

Essentially, the major criteria for the TOYM Award is contribution to the common good. Generally,  a nominee is judged by their outstanding leadership and excellence in their contribution to the cause of humanity. Proof of nominee’s outstanding leadership and excellence in their field of endeavor and proof of nominee’s outstanding contributions to their fellowman constitute the basis for the TOYM Award.

They are expected to have complied with all the rules governing nomination such as age, citizenship, etc., and have engaged in his/her field of endeavor for a substantial part of their life with documented proof subject to verification by the TOYM search committee.

In other words, the nominees must have been engaged in contributing to the cause of humanity for a substantial part of his/her life with documented proof.

Here are the other criteria for the award:

  • Filipino citizens (including naturalized citizens between the ages of 18 and 40) are eligible for nomination. Nominees must be aged of 40 or below by December 31 of the current year. Nominees must not be former TOYM awardees. By “Filipino” nominees must be either be:
    • Those wherever born in the Philippines or in a foreign country.  In this case, the father or the mother may be a natural born or naturalized citizen of the Philippines or;
    • Those, at the time his or her bid was received by the TOYM Committee, is a naturalized citizen of the Philippines and those who have elected Philippine citizenship or;
    • Those despite having renounced his Philippine citizenship at the time his or her bid was received by the TOYM Committee has one or both parents who is/are citizen(s) of the Philippines or;
    • Those despite living outside the Philippines as resident aliens or immigrants of another country, has one or both parents who is/are citizens of the Philippines.
  • These annual awards are given to recognize the young men and women who have proven themselves worthy of honor and emulation based on the following criteria:
    • Service to the community and/or to the nation – 40 points
    • Professional excellence and integrity in their field of endeavor – 40 points
    • Leadership, including moral rectitude, innovativeness and pioneering spirit – 20 points

Without further ado, meet the Ten Outstanding Young Men of 2015. May they inspire us all to be the best in whatever we do, of course, for the good of the Filipinos!

1. Raymond Abrea (Accounting and Finance)

Raymond Abrea is a former examiner at the Bureau of Internal Revenue, he is an advocate of “genuine” tax reform. The “Tax Whiz” is the founding president of the Center for Strategic Reform of the Philippines Philippines, which “seeks to empower… Filipino micro, small, and medium enterprises.” Through this, “he offers strategies to help small businesses achieve their bottom line while paying the appropriate taxes.”

2. Jose Ramon Aliling (Civil Engineering)

Jose Ramon Aliling is an engineer. He has overseen over 100 construction projects worth over P100 billion. At 36, he has already become a trusted and sought-after construction manager. When he was 29, he became the youngest elected president of the Construction Project Management Association of the Philippines, as well. He is also the youngest director of the Confederation of of Filipino Consulting Organizations, Inc. Aliling is the president and chief executive officer of the Jose Aliling Construction Management Group of Companies, “the only construction management company in the country to have triple ISO (in) management system, environment, and occupational health and safety.”

3. Michael Barney Almazar (Law and Legal Aid)

A lawyer, he works to protect Filipino migrant workers in the Middle East. He was named Dubai 2015 Filipino Lawyer of the Year, heading a monthly free legal aid clinic at the Philippine Embassy and Consulate. His approach is “the pilot model in advancing the rights of more than three million Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Bahrain”. He has helped over 100 overseas Filipino workers become entrepreneurs in Dubai, assembled repatriation-with-livelihood programs, and taught livelihood projects for the unemployed back home.

4. Geoffrey Bryan Chua (Education)

Geoffrey Bryan Chua is a scientist. He is an assistant professor at the Nanyang Business School in Singapore, winning the Teaching Excellence Award here and teaching for 15 years now. Chua has “published six papers in top-tier international journals” and “reviewed at least 30 papers written by other scientists.” Part of the Editorial Review Board of Production and Operations Management, he also won the President Graduate Fellowship Award in the National University of Singapore twice, the Research Excellence Award in the Nanyang Technological University, also twice, and the Young Scholar and Best Theoretical Paper Awards. He is working with the Red Cross, as well, to design strategies that will “improve logistics during disasters in Asia”.

5. Patricia Evangelista (Journalism)

Patricia Evangelista is a journalist (and my friend). She has worked in television production, documentary film, and collaborative projects on “human rights, conflict, disaster, development, and public interest issues.” She writes for online and print, and is a nonfiction panelist for the National Writers’ Workshop. She speaks regularly in forums on citizen journalism, human rights, and women’s rights. Her work has earned her six international and nine local awards.

6. Sofronio Fortich, Jr. (Arts and Music)

Fortich, is a pianist, composer, and musical director for a theater in Manila. He also works in Hong Kong as a musical director for Hong Kong Disneyland. He wrote the first Disney song to ever feature Filipino lyrics in “Find Your Light”. His other works include “Celebration in the Air” for Hong Kong Disneyland’s fifth anniversary and the award-winning musical “Bluebird of Happiness”, which he was able to bring to Hong Kong. He headlined “Best Seat in the House” last year, with “Manila’s finest theater actors in one sold-out venue.”

7. Donald Patrick Lim (Community Development)

Donald Patrick Lim is a leader in digitizing the Philippine business industry. He is “considered the founder of digital marketing” in the country. Lim was the founding president of the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines, and has won awards for his work for businesses and advocacies. He created digital products such as the “Sagip Kapamilya” mobile app. His awards include Asia’s Most Influential Digital Media Professionals, Digital Marketer of the Year, Digital Leader of the Future, Young Market Masters Award in Online Marketing. He is also an honorary Certified eMarketing Consultant, as well as a Certified Entrepreneur from the Canadian Institute of Entrepreneurship. At the Asia CEO Awards, he was the first recipient of the SPi Global Young Leadership Award. His nonprofit work includes the development of SECONDCHANCE.PH.

8. Nico Jose Nolledo (Business)

Nico Jose Nolledo is a popular angel investor in a number of technology companies in the Philippines and abroad. Nolledo is also the chairman and CEO of the “largest listed consumer technology company in Southeast Asia” – Xurpas Inc. As the Philippine venture partner of Wavemaker Pacific, he is in the know with regard to the “global technology space” and the trends that will affect the economy and daily life.

9. Roderick Salenga (Public Health)

Roderick Salenga is a public health pharmacist. He is also an associate professor at the University of the Philippines College of Pharmacy. As chairman of the UP Department of Pharmacy, he introduced “breakthrough academic models… to enhance the training of pharmacy students.” With over 70 local and international conference presentations, as well as a number of publications, he has focused on quality use of medicines, drug accessibility, pharmaceutical education, and public health policies. He is the youngest recipient of The Outstanding Recipient Award in Pharmacy Education.

10. Rogelio Santos, Jr. (Social Entrepreneurship)

An entrepreneur, the Filipino-American co-founded Amylex to do nano-molecular research and clinical studies in Alzheimer’s and other diseases. He has been “raising the bar in business by merging pioneering technologies… with social enterprise.” He invented the Butterfly House (which is also the name of his nongovernmental organization), a product “designed to meet the needs of internally displaced people.”

The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) from 2010 to 2014:

2014 Government and Public Service – Marlyn B. Alonte-Naguiat

2014 Agricultural Engineering – Jessie Pascual P. Bitug

2014 Journalism – Doris Dumlao

2014 Public Administration – Vincent Franco D. Frasco

2014 Medical Science and Public Health – John Mark S. Velasco

2014 Law – Oscar Franklin B. Tan

2013 Social Entrepreneurship – Emerson Bautista Atanacio

2013 Community Service – June Cheryl Cabal-Revilla

2013 Sociology – Nicole Paula Cayco Curato

2013 Science Communications – Custer Calingasan Deocaris

2013 Government and Public Service – Miguel Rene Alcantara Dominguez

2013 Food Science and Technology – Alonzo Alolud Gabriel

2013 Medicine – Karl Michael Gutierrez Reyes

2013 Medicine – Paolo Antonio Sandico Silva

2012 Public Service – Emmeline Aglipay

2012 Veterinary Medicine – Warren Baticados

2012 Sports – Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong

2012 Community Occupational Rehabilitation – Abelardo Apollo David

2012 Heritage Conservation – Ivan Anthony  Henare

2012 Broadcast journalism – Rodrigo “Jiggy” Manicad Jr.

2012 Contemporary Music – Allan “apl.d.ap”  Pineda

2011 Biotechnology Advocacy – Maria Antonia Arroyo

2011 Medical Science – Raul Destura

2011 Public Service – Sherwin Gatchalian

2011 Government and Public Service – Paulino Salvador Leachon

2011 Arts and Music – Gerard Salonga

2011 Business Entrepreneurship – Edgar Sia

2011 Agribusiness – Antonio Tiu