Jantzen Eros Mengala, News, PUP School of Debaters
Among 65 teams in the tournament, the contingents from PUP School of Debaters (SOD) took the 13th place besting teams from all over the country in the first Philippine Science Open (PSO) in March 3-5, 2023. A pair of debaters and one adjudicator represented the university in this national tournament.
Jeggo Regis, fourth year Marketing Management student and Rovelyn Generalao, a sophomore student majoring in Political Science, competed under the Team Name ‘PUP Tidy Rawr Rawr.’ Despite having a limited time to train as finals commenced alongside their preparation for the tournament, the team clinched another win. Regis clinched the Overall Best Speaker award, and Generalao was hailed as the Fifth Best Open Speaker. Meanwhile, Robert Umayam, a second-year Secondary Education (English) student, competed for the first time as a judge contingent.
“Critical thinking and strong speaking skills are some of the important traits we want to develop among our students. Congratulations to our varsity debate team for clinching this win. We’re looking forward to future achievements in the field of competitive debating, who knows, our next win may be in the international arena,” President Manuel Muhi shared in an email interview.
“You are only good as your last debate -- this is the mantra we live by as competitive debaters. I think this is also a good metric for our academic and professional performances. Debating shaped my outlook and I am proud that our students continue that tradition -- of ceaselessly sharpening their skills and wit by joining competitions. We win, we lose, but always, we go home smarter and much better because we learn something good and new from these activities,” Dr. Sanjay Claudio, adviser of the School Debaters, shared in a text message. A former debater in his college years, he expressed his elation and also congratulated the team for this feat.
The students also shared their happy experience in the competition. Generalao was particularly excited during the case preparation -- a short period before the actual debate where speakers are expected to build their arguments and anticipate the case of the opposing side. She added that debate competitions such as these pushed her to expand her knowledge and read up things, they were not usually familiar with. “Matterloading” or studying various topics that may come up in competitive debates, when done strategically, could be a powerful weapon for a competitive debater.
“Interesting trying to talk about matters of science through a subjective lens and it’s a positive experience as we were able to extrapolate very interesting ideas in the lens of science. I think we were able to execute; our strategy was solid throughout the four rounds. We get to break, so that’s good,” Regis says about his experience in the tournament.
For Umayam who competed as an adjudicator, competitions are platforms to learn and represent the university well. He adds that “It’s never my first time competing as an adj in a debate tournament and as always, I need to perform the crucial duty of being able to give the correct calls with the most constructive justification you can build within the limited given time you have.”
PSO is an online debating event hosted by Larynx Debate Society and Flux Debate Society of De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute. With core adjudicators from the field of sciences namely Justin Guda (UP Diliman), Rivaldo Aquino (Ateneo De Manila University), Raffy Perez (UP Manila), and Giovanni Vallejo (Ateneo de Davao University), PSO aims to highlight the “issues of sciences and all its fields.”
SOD is the university-wide public speaking organization in the campus with over 85 members from various colleges. With an intensive apprenticeship process upon membership, SOD sends its best contingents to different tournaments hosted by local and international institutions. The tournaments and events do not just serve as platforms to discuss the issues of today, but also serve as networks to help connect PUP students to the global debating community.
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