by Johanna Marie F. Drece
Los Baños observed “Araw ng Kabataan” on April 12, 2015 as one of the municipality’s activities for its quadricentennial anniversary celebration. Two activities were held to mark the occasion, namely, team building in the morning at the old municipal building and Singtunado: The Voice of TRY and Group Presentation in the evening at the new municipal building.
The participants of the activities, which were organized by municipal tourism office, were members of a newly founded organization called The Responsible Youth of Los Baños (TRYLB). Started in September 2014, the group advocates for youth development and responsibility in order to contribute to the growth of Los Baños.
“Gusto ng organization na maging aktibo at magkaroon ng koneksyon sa bawat kabataan. Minsan lang maging youth. Kailangan may aktibong partisipasyon,” Rommel Maningas of the municipal tourism office said.
For the Araw ng Kabataan event, TRYLB members were grouped according to barangay of residence. The red team was consisted of members from Batong Malake, Maahas, and Tuntungin Putho; the blue team was made up of members from San Antonio, Mayondon, and Anos; the white team had members from Baybayin, Bayog, and Malinta; and the black team was composed of members from Timugan, Lalakay, and Bambang.
The four teams competed in 12 different games, including sack race and ball relay.
The white team was declared the grand winner of the team-building games and bagged the P5,000 cash prize. The team also won during the presentation night and got P2,500. Johnfren Rasgo Magtibay of the black team won first place in the Singtunado contest and brought home P1,500.
“Nakakapagod yung mga laro at nakakakaba, pero masaya kasi panalo kami,” 19-year-old Greg Banzon of the white team said when asked how it felt like when he was playing during the games.
Even if they came in last, Bob Lapis of blue team said they still enjoyed the games. “Nagpunta kami dito para matuto kaya okay lang,” he added.
Maningas said that while Mayor Caesar Perez fully supports the founding of TRYLB and the holding of such activities, he wishes for the organization to stay out of politics to avoid counterproductive criticisms.
According to him, the Araw ng Kabataan activities generally aim to establish camaraderie among the organization’s members and to unify the youth from different barangays.
“Masaya yung activity kasi kahit hindi kami magkakakilala noong una, nabubuo ng laro yung samahan. Halos lahat naman kasi, by barangay lang magkakakilala. Sa ganitong team building, nagkakakilala kami,” Nico Reblora, 23-year old TRYLB chairman of Brgy. Baybayin, said.
“Bago palang yung org. Puro meeting palang yung ginagawa. Mabuti na nagkaroon ng ganitong team building kasi focused sa buong Los Baños yung activity at hindi lang sa isang particular na barangay. Mas nagkakakilanlan ngayon yung members,” said Crissar Joy Munding, a TRYLB councilor of the Brgy. San Antonio chapter.
Members of TRYLB are Los Baños residents aged 17 to 25 years. According to Maningas and Ervim Malabanan, the designated president of the organization, the members were pre-selected through their 1) voluntarism, 2) dedication, 3) willingness to be a part of the development of Los Baños. It was not only after the “Araw ng Kabataan” did the organization became open for new members.
“Hindi naman kasi pagpaparami ang purpose namin. Gusto kasi muna naming makapag-establish ng magandang organization bago kami maging open sa new members. Gusto naming makilala ang TRYLB sa kagandahan nito at hindi sa dami ng members,” Maningas said in an interview on April 10, 2015.
Maningas said that young residents of Los Baños can now be a part of the organization through expressing their willingness to be a part of the organization with the TRYLB chairman in their barangay. In case of not knowing who the chairman is, they can visit the Tourism Office personally at the second floor of the New Municipal Building.
The organization does not have a complicated membership process.
“Willingness na makatulong, dedication sa organization, at hangaring maging kasali sa pag-unlad ng bayan lang ang kailangan para maging member ng TRYLB,” Maningas said.