On the fifth leg of the much sought-out DOST-SEI Scholars Leadership Boot Camp 2022, 98 undergraduate scholars from the Eastern Mindanao Cluster engaged in a 3-day leadership training project of the DOST-SEI Filipino Patriot Scholars last October 23-27, 2022 at Almont Inland Resort, Butuan City.  


Attended by some of the most seasoned mentors in the country today, the Leadership Boot Camp gathered scholars from Region 11 (Davao), Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN), and Region 13 (Caraga), in the hopes of instilling the spirit of servant leadership, social responsibility, and professional excellence, which are the core values of the DOST-SEI Scholars. 


Spirit of National Development


With the battle cry, “Science for the People; Scholars for the Nation,” the Patriot Team intended an intensive training ground for the future leaders of the country, where scholars honed their organizational skills, communication skills, and other skillsets necessary for making a good leader.


In his opening statement, Robby L. Reyes, Event Master, and Science Research Specialist II at the DOST-SEI, emphasized the life-changing nature of the boot camp, assuring a fun and productive learning opportunity that transforms scholars into different versions of themselves. 


“DOST-SEI promises it’s going to be the best 3 days of your lives. Those who doubt if meron silang leadership potential, those who question if they can make a change- we will change that. Just give us your attention for the next 3 days, and we will try to change the world,” Reyes underlined. 


The activity encompassed a series of modules focused on the core values of DOST-SEI scholars, self-leadership and personal growth, communication skills, project management skills, and the concepts of democracy and the common good. Some of the most prominent ideas posed in the lectures focused on goal setting, having a growth mindset, public speaking and persuasion skills, problem-solving, and constant self-reflection.


Shaping the Youth, One Module at a Time


Dedicated in providing the best learning experience for the DOST scholar-leaders, the Patriot Team ensured that only the most highly-esteemed mentors in the country were invited as resource speakers during the 3-day Leadership Boot Camp. 


Present in the round-up were DOST-Planning and Evaluation Service Director Cezar R.  Pedraza, ADMU Professor Jayeel Cornelio Ph.D., DLSU Asst. Professor Michael Charleston Chua, Central Philippine University (CPU) Iloilo Professor, Engr. Bernie C. Cangrejo, and Mindanao State University (MSU)-Marawi Professor Nestor G. Acala, Ph.D. 


The event was also graced by Engr. Noel A. Ajoc, Regional Director of the DOST Regional Office XIII. Dr. Joy C. Capistrano, Ph.D., President of the Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology, delivered the graduation message.


Accenture Instructor/ Analyst Rosejelynn Bulante also spoke as one of the key resource speakers for the majority of the event, providing interactive activities that stirred the competitive nature among the participants, and aided them in learning more by doing.


Establishing Linkages


The Leadership Boot Camp in Butuan was an episode of the 5-part nationwide training project was conducted by the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), through the Filipino Patriot Scholars Project. Before the Eastern Mindanao Cluster leg which included Regions 11, 12, and Caraga, the project initially spanned the North Luzon cluster (Regions 1,2,3 and Caraga), the NCR Cluster, South Luzon Cluster (Region 4A, 4B, and 5), Western Mindanao Cluster (Region 9,10 and BARMM).  


Throughout the boot camp, interactive activities like role-playing, fora, plenaries, talk shows, and reporting were dotted, ensuring the active presence and participation of everyone. 


“We want you guys to have clout, good clout outside your regions. Your connections. A strong network of scholars that have this linkage with each other that you can easily tap during volunteering works, and during disasters,” Reyes explained.  


This goal was initially realized during the advent of Super Typhoon Karding which swept through Luzon on the latter part of September 2022, just moments after the conclusion of the boot camp in the South Luzon cluster. Through the efficient action of the scholars and boot campers from Luzon, scholars were able to facilitate and organize a successful donation drive for the affected areas of Bagyong Karding. 


This October 2022, the same unfortunate fate swept through South Central Mindanao due to Bagyong Paeng. However, the recently returned campers of the Eastern Mindanao cluster have also come to the rescue, and are currently partnering up with various organizations to aid the campaigns for Bagyong Paeng. 


“Years from now, as you enter the workforce or build your own start-up company, you will do well. Because you are smart. The smartest people will be the ones to lead this country.”  

True to these words by DOST RO-XIII Regional Director Noel A. Ajoc, the DOST-SEI scholars are presently striving to make the most out of their boot camp experience, giving back and making positive changes towards their communities. 


As the activity concluded, some of the participating scholars also expressed their sincere appreciation through a courtesy visit to the DOST XII Regional Director Engr. Sammy P. Malawan together with Scholarship Coordinator and Budget Officer Wahid A. Lucas, and OIC of the Technical Services Division Engr. Szalinah S. Mercado.# 


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