ADNU continues winning streak in Jose Rizal model student search
By Rodolfo SB. Virtus Jr.
Senior Philosophy student Javier Leonardo V. Rugeria becomes the eighth student from the Ateneo de Naga University to win the Search for ten Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines (JRMSP).
On Rizal Day last year, Rugeria and nine other students in the country received the award from the Order of Knights of Rizal, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and Rizal’s direct descendant Gemma Cruz Araneta, among other national figures. He ranked second, maintaining the school’s place last year and continuing ADNU’s winning streak in the same Search for the last five years.
Rugeria secured the school nomination after going through competitive paper screening and panel interview which was organized by the Office of Student Affairs. The Order of the Knights of Rizal then named him as one of the 30 national finalists from the hundreds of school nominees across the country. In a final panel interview on December 8, he faced prominent educators, historians, and public servants.
The Search’s judges found Rugeria’s academic performance and leadership, the search’s criteria, were most outstanding, thereby epitomizing Rizalian qualities and the virtue of love of country, and serving as living model to his fellow youth.
Rugeria is a five-time President’s Lister and Kristong Hari Foundation scholar. In 2012, he was conferred with the Gawad Natatanging Parangal Pang-Akademiko by ADNU Supreme Student Government.
As a scholar and student leader, he has both international and national exposures. In April 2012, he was chosen by ADNU to participate in the Exchange Program on Education, Culture and Teaching Objectives (EPECTO) in Germany. In this program, he experienced being a student and joined various academic and cultural activities at Alexander Gymnasium, a partner German school of ADNU. This opportunity also allowed him to have cultural exposure not only in Germany but also in France and Switzerland.
In 2009, Rugeria was the school’s ambassador to the Ateneo Student Leaders Assembly, a leadership program organized by the Ateneo de Manila University.
In ADNU, he is currently the Secretary-General of the Student Tribunal, the student government’s judicial branch, serving as arbiter in some constitutional disputes in student politics. He also sits in the school’s Disciplinary Board for students.
He is a peer counselor and volunteer of the College Guidance Office. He has served during group guidance activities, orientation seminars, and Alternative Class Program activities, among others. He is also an active member of the Days with the Lord-Men, Philosophical Society, and Triumph Yearbook staff.
Like Rizal, Rugeria aspires to be a doctor and teacher someday as his contribution to Bicol development. In his essay, he shared: “Sweet are the hours in one’s country; and should I study, or go overseas, I shall always return to the Philippines, my Inang Bayan, where the real battle is; and there I shall strive to realize my visions for my country and become a Dr. Jose Rizal of my own as each and every one of us Filipinos potentially could become.