City officials bestowed their highest congratulations and commendation to Robert Nelson ‘Tobi’ R. Leung formerly a Philippine Science High School– Cordillera Administrative Region (PSHS-CAR) and now a second year Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics (data science) student of Ateneo de Manila and his teammate, David Africa, of Team Ateneo A for winning the World Universities Debating championship 2023 on January 3, 2023 in Madrid, Spain.
In a resolution, local legislators stated that the participating teams debated on the African philosophy of ‘Ubuntu,’ which means ‘I am because we are,’ a philosophy that emphasizes self-discovery through others.
The council pointed out that an unprecedented feat in the history of the entire Southeast Asia, it is the first time ever that a team from the Philippines was able to clinch the World Universities Debating Championship, the world’s largest debate tournament held recently in Madrid, Spain, besting other prestigious universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Sandford, National University of Singapore, and the London School of Economics among others.
Further, to make it more special, Leung, who garnered the highest general weighted average in the entire Philippine Science High School system for the schoolyear 2020-2021 which merited him a resolution of commendation from the local government, hails from the city.
Aside from championing the prestigious debating tournament, Leung was named second best speaker of the event, while his teammate and co-student, David Africa ranked 8th best speaker, the first-ever Filipinos and Southeast Asian champions of the said competition.
Prior to the said unprecedented feat, Leung won the overall best speaker title during the World Schools Debate championship in 2021 which is considered to be the Olympics of high school debate and where no other Filipino in history has received the said award since the inception of the competition in 1988.