He only wanted to have friends and develop his self-confidence, but he was given more than what he had wished for.
Scout Earl Justin Harina joined Scouting when he was in grade 4 at Roosevelt College, Inc. (RCI)—Rodriguez. From then on, his Saturdays were intended only for attending scouting meetings and training and camping activities. In high school, he joined the RCI Rodriguez Senior Scout Movement which intensified his desire to live out the Scout Oath and Law. His free time, holidays and summer included, were devoted to community service and leadership training programs and many more scouting activities. Then came the 2017 Search for the Ten Outstanding Boy Scouts of the Philippines (TOBSP) and Earl Justin aspired to be one of them. He would be prepared when his time arrived.
His selection in the Rizal Council’s search for the TOBSP in July this year earned him the ticket to the Regional Search for the TOBSP in August in Los Banos, Laguna. “The regional level was the hardest part of my journey. From among 9 contenders, only 5 would be chosen to compete in the national level. With that, the panel interview and screening of documents became doubly difficult,” recalled Earl Justin. But in the end, he came out the 5th among the 9 representatives to the national level.
The national level search was a most unforgettable experience for this TOBSP awardee and his 24 co-participants. “I’ve gained 24 friends from all over the Philippines and become a best friend to some,” he said poignantly, adding, “It was stressful (what with the scrutinizing interviews!) and productive at the same time, bringing out the best in each one of us.” The criteria in selecting the winners were 20% academic performance/institutional and community service (20%), accomplishments as a Scout (35%), and communication skills and personality (45%).
On the day of the awarding at the BP International Hotel (BSP National Office), Earl Justin even served during the Holy Mass. When the time to announce the winners came, his heart was beating so fast that praying was the only thing he could think of to do until the secretary-general of the BSP called him as the first winner of the TOBSP! Trying to contain his emotions, our TOBSP winner whispered a prayer and glorified God for this blessing that was just bestowed on him.
“The real and true essence of the search for the TOBSP is not having passed through tough challenges, activities, and interviews. It is all about upholding and giving justification to the title as Outstanding Scouts of the Philippines,” Earl Justin noted.
The recognition of being an outstanding scout is the start of a whole new journey for Earl Justin and his fellow awardees as they lead programs that benefit the community, the country, and the world. This RCI Rodriguez TOBSP winner will continue to live under the Scout Oath and Law with his own battle cry (adapted from TOBSP Association’s tagline) “A Scout can be outstanding, always, in all ways, and in his own ways.” (Based on the article by Karl Lyel Lim.)
Earl Justin Harina, one of the 2017 Ten Outstanding Boy Scouts of the Philippines