“Eloquentia et sapientia.”
This seems to be the Ignatian ideal that that the debaters of Ateneo de Iloilo-SMCS High School took by heart when they clinched the championship trophy in the recently-concluded 4th Sangguniang Panglungsod Inter-High School Competition.
The blue-and-white team—composed of Vincent Carlo Legara, Gianina Ng, and Mikaelo Lorenzo Bombeo—won against the formidable squad of University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) High School in the final round held August 24, 2015 at the SP Conference Hall inside Iloilo City Hall. The motion was “This House believes that marijuana is good for the Philippines,” with UPV as government and Ateneo holding the opposition stand.
“This victory is sweet since we did it against a strong UPV team,” Prime Minister Legara said, adding, “the fact that it is our first win in three final round attempts in four years makes the feat sweeter.”
Ateneo also bagged the top spots as Best Speaker in the Final Round (Ng), and Overall Best Adjudicator (You Kyoung Song). Bombeo got into the Top 4 Best Speaker (Elimination Round) list.
Overall, the team won PhP17,000-worth of prize money, two trophies, six medals, and certificates.
“We hope that more Ateneans will be inspired to continue the eloquentia et sapientia (eloquence and wisdom) tradition in school,” debate coach and social studies teacher Val Justin Deatras said. “Debate is one of the many venues that the school offers where students can hone their public speaking, reasoning, and analytical skills. We pray that as they become better communicators, they can likewise transcend and use this gift in service to others.”
Debate Club moderator Deatras added, “aside from our supportive administrators and teachers, we also would like to thank our Ateneo de Iloilo-SMCS alumni who helped us prepare our debaters, most especially Lcid Crescent Fernandez (UP Diliman Law and former UPV debater), Michael Ray Quitana (UPV Debate Team alumnus), Shih Hao Hsu (member of De La Salle University Debate Team), and UPV Debate Society prime ministers Megan Cortez and Dayanara Buensuceso.”
In the 15-school competition, ADI-SMCS started slow in the two-day elimination round held a week earlier, but managed to clinch the top four spot to earn a semifinal opportunity. They were able to survive the strong challenge of defending champion Colegio de las Hijas de Jesus before making it into the finals.
Runner up UPV was powered by best tournament (elimination round) speakers Rowella Mari Berizo, Ariel Timothy Sinon, and Silay Liwanag Martinete. CHJ, on the other hand, was led by best tournament (elimination round) speakers Sophia Cuenca and Gabrielle Nina Trivilegio. Next to Song as best adjudicator were Josh Serillo of UPV and Allen Dave Evidente of SPED-ISEC, respectively. (Herman Lagon/Magis)