September 25, 2017

Team Philippines among the Top Four in 2012 World Schools Debating Championships

Six Philippine high school students made history by reaching the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) semi-final in Cape Town, South Africa in January this year, thereby emerging among the top four teams of the tournament. 

Foto / Sharmila Parmanand

Cape Town, Africa. Foto / Sharmila Parmanand

Having participated since 2002, this was the furthest that any team from the Philippines had ever progressed. The team, composed of Joaquin Maria Bonoan Escano from PAREF Southridge School, Donald Felbaum and Nico Lorenzo Flaminiano from Xavier School, Rico Rey Francis Holganza, Jr., from PAREF Springdale School in Cebu, Sanjeev Parmanand from Ateneo de Zamboanga University High School, and Mariella Antoinette Salazar from International School Manila, finished 8th after 8 preliminary rounds of debating, with 6 wins – the highest ever for a team from the Philippines.

Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC extends his greetings to the Philippine team for the honor they have brought to the country. “I am truly pleased with the convergence of young people from different parts of the world to share their opinions on issues affecting their respective countries locally and globally. But more importantly, hats off to the Philippine team for showing the world the great potential of Filipino students,” said Luistro.

He added that the competition has been a golden opportunity for the world to hear and understand the youth’s views on topics that are often discussed only by the older generation – when the issues discussed shall most certainly affect the younger generation.

The team proved to be the tournament’s surprise package, earning the respect of judges and coaches all over the world, as they went on to defeat Canada (2010 champions) in the first round of the finals, and Singapore (2011 champions) in the quarter-finals. They were narrowly defeated in the semi-finals by eventual champions Scotland.

“The team put in a great amount of work, researching topics and practicing their debating, along with having to manage their schoolwork, and it’s good to see their effort and dedication rewarded,” said Sharmila Parmanand, a three-time Asian Champion debater and former member of the Ateneo de Manila Debate Society, who served as coach this year.

Kip Oebanda, a Philippine national champion and two-time Asian semi-finalist, who coached the Philippine team for the previous two championships, noted that this was the first team to field speakers from outside Manila, with a speaker each from Visayas and Mindanao.

“It’s exciting to see debate spreading across the country,” he said.

Source: http://deped.net/team-philippines-among-the-top-four-in-2012-world-schools-debating-championships.html