Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Josenian Debatista, the debating team of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), won the 2nd Visayas Universities Debate Championship held last Oct. 27-30 at the UC Banilad campus.
Philip Hope Mamugay and Charles Ray Alfeche bested 29 other teams from all over the Visayas to emerge as champions of the debate that used the British Parliamentary format.
“It was a nice win for us,” said Mamugay, who was also named Best Speaker in the championship round. His partner, Alfeche, was named Top 2 Best Speaker.
After 5 rounds of debate in the elimination, the Josenian Debatista were ranked second and immediately qualified for the semifinal round before vanquishing their opponents in the final series.
Alfeche said they have debating practice every day and even engage other schools in cross trainings.
“To be a good debater, one needs to stay,” he said. “You always have to persevere.” They have promising recruits, he said, who would then give up after only months of training.
“The ones who opted to stay are the ones who really improve,” he said.
Alfeche said that a debater must be a voracious reader and a skilled writer and researcher.
“Everything is matter, so read everything. Any information you encounter will have its proper use down the road,” he said.
The Josenian Debatista were finalist of the same competition last year.
Meanwhile, Josenian student leaders Vanessa Mae Cabalhug and Clofer V. Suson were elected to different posts in the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) during its 10th National Congress held in San Beda College Alabang on Oct. 21-23.
Cabalhug, a 4th year psychology student, was elected Finance Officer for the Visayas and is included in the National Executive Board. She serves as College of Arts and Sciences representative in the Supreme Student Council (SSC) of USJ-R.
Suson, on the other hand, was elected National Ambassador of SCAP. He is a graduating industrial engineering student and serves as executive treasurer of SSC. Both will have a two-year term with SCAP.
“Since we no longer have the Sangguniang Kabataan, it’s as if SCAP takes up the cudgels for SK since this is a gathering of student leaders all over the country,” Cabalhug said. “So if there are issues or policies that directly affect the students, SCAP makes sure that its voice is heard by our leaders.”
SCAP is the largest formation of student councils, student governments, student political parties and organizations in the country representing more than 30 chapters and 150 campuses nationwide.
It is working for reforms in the educational system through executive and legislative advocacies by forging partnership with various institutions that advance accessible, relevant and quality education.
“It’s a daunting task ahead,” Suson said. “Even if we graduate this March, we will still have responsibilities with the students not only in the local level of USJ-R but in the national scope as well.
Text and photos by Ioannes P. Arong
University of San Jose - Recoletos
Year Founded 1947