BAGUIO CITY- The B Debate Team of the Saint Louis University emerged the winners in the 2015 Inter-school Debate competition held last October 10, 2015 at the YMCA Function Hall here. The team, composed of May Jorette Polon, Prysten Summer Andal, and Francesca Louise Villota, bested seven other teams from four colleges and universities in the locality during the event.
With the theme: “EMPOWERING THE YOUTH THROUGH EXPRESSION”, YMCA President Engr. Rex L. Ludaes emphasize the importance of youth participation in society as messengers to help solve current issues, locally and nationally as well as international issues through expression, by exchanging of ideas and opinions through debate.
Following the Asian Parliamentary Debate Format, and a single elimination contest format, the team participants for the affirmative and negative side engaged themselves in clashes to defend their sides in motions raised by the adjudicators as follows: Clash 1 – “That Senator Grace Poe be declared a natural born Filipino Citizen”, Clash 2 – “That the age of criminal liability be lowered to fifteen (15) years old”. Clash 3 – “That the income tax brackets be lowered to alleviate poverty”. Clash 4 – “That Session Road be pedestrianized”. Clash 5 – “That the YMCA endorse Cordillera Regional Autonomy”. Clash 6- “That the number of taxi cabs in the City be reduced to alleviate traffic congestion”. Clash 7- “That the management and operation of the Burnham Athletic Bowl be privatized”. Clash 8- “That the Philippines go back to the two party system”.
First runner up went to Saint Louis University Team A of Alfredo Campanano, Regis Eliav Quilala, and Heather Ann Pulido, while the University of Baguio Team B emerged second runner up’s defending the opposition side with team members Aisha Barry, Agape Bayawa and Ralph Radoza.
The Best Opposition Speaker for this year was awarded to Francesca Louise Villota of SLU Team B, while the Best Government Speaker was awarded to Heather Ann Pulido of SLU Team A. Alfred Campanano of SLU Team A was awarded the Best Debater.
Also gracing the competition on opening day was members of the local YMCA Board of Directors, Jerome Gawidan, Mark Dereck Baquian, Joshiah Balawag, Dennis Basal and YMCA General Secretary Aida R. Aquino with competition adjudicators, Atty. Matias C. Angiwan Jr., Vice President for Administration and Legal Officer of the Benguet State University, Atty. Isagani Liporada, Journalist and Information Officer, and lawyer for the City Government of Baguio and Mr. Alfred Dizon, Publisher and Editor of the Northern Philippine Times and Past President of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club.
Of the three members of the winning team, Polon is the most seasoned, having been involved in debate competitions for already four years. Villota is in her second year in official competitions while Andal was in her first year. “Having tasted my first championship made me thirst for more.”, said Andal, who incidentally turned 19 on the day the competition was held. Polon was a previous Octofinalist debater in the 2015 La Salle Inter-varsity Debate Tournament while Villota was the 7th Best Judge in the same event. Both Polon and Villota were grand finalists as debaters in the Baguio Debate Open.
They were in unison that the format used made the event more challenging to them because the Asian Parliamentary format was usually used during the months of January to May and they were preparing under the British Parliamentary format given that it was normally used during the months of June to December. All three considered their grand finals round, Clash 8, as their finest performance of the tournament while they would chose the topic of Clash 2 as a theme that they best love to debate on.
The Louisian debaters are now preparing for the National Debate Championship. This event will be hosted by SLU to be held on December 17-23, this year. They will be facing the likes of Ateneo De Manila University, who is the defending champion for two consecutive years.
The members of the winning team belong to SLU’s School of Accountancy and Business Management. Polon, a native of Baguio City, is majoring in Marketing under the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program. Andal, of Marilao, Bulacan, is taking up the same course but majors in Human Resource Development Management. Villota, of Baguio City, is finishing up her Master of Science in Public Management.
The members of the SLU Team are, likewise, members of the SLU Debate Society, an organization made to harness the debating talents of the students. The organization is under the advisement of Dorothy D. Silva, a faculty for the School of Teacher Education.
By: BOBBY VINLUAN with complementary reports from ARMANDO BOLISLIS.