Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan
By Izah Morales INQUIRER.net AS cliché as his declaration may sound, the words of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal still resonate up to this day: "Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan." On the 110th celebration of Independence Day, the Department of Education-Special Event Unit held the 4th Pambansang Gawad Ulirang Kabataan, which recognized five young Filipino students. Among 51 nominees, Paul Julian Hao (Chiang Kai Shek College), Ben Ralph Yu (Davao City National High School), Stephen Panol (Fort Bonifacio High School), Jamil Repors (Kidapawan City National High School), and Kate Marie F. Benitez-Colmenares (Samal National High School) stood out as the grand winners of this year’s Ulirang Kabataan. Community service, scholastic achievement, versatility, personality and character, and interview served as the criteria for selection. The grand winners took home a total of P45,000, a plaque, medal, and a certificate. But more than the recognition is the responsibility that comes with it. “Nais lang namin ay patunayan sa buong Pilipinas at buong mundo, ang pagiging Pilipino. At ang pagiging Pilipino holds so much responsibility. And being awarded as Ulirang Kabataan is a great responsibility,” said Panol. And if Rizal were still alive up to this day, Benitez-Colmenares would live up to his words through service. “Kami po ay magseserbisyo sa abot ng aming makakaya upang mas makilala pa ang Pilipinas,” said Benitez-Colmenares. Gone are the days of just nodding or shaking heads. The youth of today are now more vocal and expressive of what they think and feel.
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