Press Release
March 14, 2018


The Senate on Wednesday adopted a resolution lauding eight recipients of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) award for 2017 for their invaluable contribution and excellence in diverse fields here and abroad.

Senator Sonny Angara, a Philippine Jaycees member and former recipient of the prestigious TOYM award, sponsored during the plenary session Senate Resolution No. 677 to commend the men and women recipients of the annual award.

"This year's TOYM calls for 'unity towards nation building' - and the men and women that we recognize today proves that there is no single process or method to build a nation. It is done through collective contributions from people with different backgrounds, faiths and advocacies," Angara.

"It is our hope that, by recognizing these men and women, we would be able to empower other Filipinos to do their part - in whatever field it may be - to make our country better. This has always been the goal of the TOYM since its inception in the late 50s," he added.

The TOYM 2017 features a diverse set of honorees from around the country who have excelled in the fields of law enforcement, education, public service, sports, arts, community service, medicine, and journalism. Over the years, it has been a tradition for the Senate to be another venue to give the honorees the recognition that they deserve, not only for their personal achievements, but mostly because their talents have brought service to others.

The Senate is also home to a number of recipients of the TOYM award, including over one-third of the incumbent senators: Sens. Angara, JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian, Bam Aquino, Chiz Escudero, Loren Legarda, Risa Hontiveros, Dick Gordon, Gringo Honasan, Manny Pacquiao.

It has been a tradition for the Senate to be another venue to give the honorees the recognition that they deserve, not only for their personal achievements, but mostly because their talents have brought service to others.

Angara's resolution recognized the following TOYM awardees:

1. Byron F. Allatog (Government Service Law Enforcement) - the Chief of Police in Bogo City, Cebu, who paved the way for the city to earn the first "Drug-Cleared City" status in the Philippines;

2. Hidilyn F. Diaz (Sports in Weightlifting) - the 2016 Summer Olympic medalist who built a weightlifting training facility in her hometown in Zamboanga City where aspiring athletes can harness their skills;

3. Cirilo Joseph M. Javier (Arts in Music) - the award winning musical director of Hong Kong Disneyland, whose successful productions include "Saturday Night Fever," "Shrek the Musical," "Tarzan," and "The Little Mermaid";

4. Eugenio P. Mende (Veterinary Medicine) - known as "Supervet Eugene" for his contributions in veterinary science - the biggest being his US patented research on a vaccine and antibody detection and diagnostic kit designed to control "the biggest and most economically damaging swine virus infection in the world";

5. Ronaldo C. Reyes (Education) - a teacher from Tabaco City, whose advocacy to promote community-based research won him numerous awards such as the Best Paper in Science Education in Malaysia, the SEAMEO Science Teacher Award in Indonesia, the Federation of Asian Chemical Society Award in Taiwan;

6. Jason Roy T. Sibug (Community Development) - the founder of Tuklas Katutubo, an organization composed of indigenous peoples dedicated to protect and promote the rights and welfare of indigenous communities;

7. Mark Anthony J. Torres (Government Service Education) - the head of the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao of MSU-IIT who is actively engaged in various peace-building activities;

8. Chiara Anne G. Zambrano (Journalism and Mass Communication) - an award-winning journalist known for covering the war including documentaries on the West Philippine Sea and the Marawi siege.

"As we are also celebrating Women's Month, this is an opportune moment to recognize the two female awardees - Hidilyn and Chiara - who have broken gender stereotypes by succeeding in male-dominated fields. We expect that more Filipinas will follow in their footsteps and become future TOYM awardees," said Angara, who also chairs the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Local Government.

At the same time, the senator also commended TOYM Foundation headed by Chairman Manuel Pangilinan, President Bienvenido Tantoco III and Executive Director Larry Cruz, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines headed by National President Hegem Furigay, and Judy Roxas and the Gerry Roxas Foundation for another year of celebrating Filipinos' excellence through service.

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