Central Philippine University

By Karren Jay G. Asgar

Awardees of this year’s The Outstanding Students of Iloilo Awards (TOSIA). Photo credits to Jennifer Erika P. Angeles.

Centralians emerged victorious as they were hailed as awardees for this year’s The Outstanding Students of Iloilo Awards (TOSIA): Salute to Excellence held at Robinsons Place Pavia on June 22, 2024.

Graduating students from the College of Arts and Sciences, namely Anthony B. Lorca (Social Work), Jennifer Erika P. Angeles (Social Work), and Gazelle Faith G. Boko (Psychology), together with Robby Marvyn R. Arnillo from the Junior High School Department, surpassed the rigorous evaluation processes from the online bid screening, essay writing challenge, and interview rounds.

Out of the 10 TOSIA awardees from the tertiary level and 12 awardees from the high school level, Angeles was named the TOSIA Top Circle of 5, Arnillo also secured the same spot, and TOSIA Speaker (a student who exudes confidence and wit during the interview round) from the junior high school category.

“I do believe that my years as a student at the same time as someone who is passionate in serving others, prepared me for this, and lead me to this great opportunity. I am always sincere and dedicated on my work. I didn’t anticipate this one, but grateful to be part of it. It feels like my effort, and the people who are with me all throughout my journey were recognized because of this. I am happy and blessed,” Angeles said in an online interview.

She also shared that she had doubts, hesitations, and a hiatus before TOSIA came in. Along the way, she never thought that she would be representing CPU since everything seemed unexpected to her.

“I am truly grateful for everyone who have supported me along the away, especially those people who believed, and still believes. I always thank the Lord for the gift of life and people he had given me,” she added.

Moreover, Robby Marvyn R. Arnillo from the JHS Department shared that he had limited time to prepare. He needed to find time to practice for both the essay and interview rounds and to process papers for his bid book. He also oftentimes talked to himself during free time to rehearse for the selection process.

“Among the many obstacles I faced, time management was the most challenging during my experience as a TOSIA awardee. This was particularly true during the online bid book submission, which coincided with the final weeks of our 4th grading period. During this time, performance tasks and final exams were taking place, and I had to prioritize passing all my requirements and studying for my exams. Fortunately, things worked out in the end, and I gave my all in the last few days before the online bid book submission,” he emphasized.

Arnillo also shared that he gives this award back to the Centralian community, where he has grown so much in character over the past four years. The various opportunities provided by this university to him paved the way to becoming this year’s TOSIA Speaker and TOSIA Top Circle of Five awardee.

“At the same time, I’m eternally grateful for the effort and support provided by my family and friends, and so I offer this award to them too. Ultimately, I accept these accolades in the name of our Lord, who has showered me with immense love and blessings throughout my life. I would not be who I am today without the presence of these people in my journey towards excellence,” he added.

The awarding ceremony event was attended by the CPU representatives: Dr. Esther Rose A. Romarate, Vice President for Student Affairs; Pastor Alfred Morales (College Coach), Student Development and Programs Director; Dr. Stella Fernandez, College of Arts and Sciences Dean; Ma. Nilfa Salanio, Junior High School Assistant Principal; and Mrs. Sheila Java (HS Coach), faculty.

TOSIA 2024 recognizes students who are exemplary in their performance in academics, community service, student leadership, and faith in creating positive change. The annual search for outstanding students is held in partnership with the Department of Education – Schools Division of Iloilo & Iloilo City, and the Commission of Higher Education Region VI, spearheaded by the JCI REGATTA.