The Languages Department, in coordination with the Ateneo Debate Union and the Office of the Scholarships, successfully hosted the Ateneo Debate Forum 2009 (The Col. Salipsip Cup), a series of educational debate-related activities that gathered eloquent, issue-oriented, and competitive minds in Ateneo.
ADF09 re-introduced British Parliamentary Debate to students taking up English 211 (Public Speaking with Debate). Parliamentary debate is an off-topic, extemporaneous form of competitive debate which stresses a breadth of knowledge ranging from the political, economic, social to cultural and humorous topics. The format pits four two-person teams against each other in a contest of argument, wit, and rhetoric.
The month-long event kicked off with a debate workshop last September 14-16 for faculty members of the Languages Department. Mr. Henry F. Segovia, a public speaking and debate lecturer oriented the participants on the rudiments of British Parliamentary debating – its rules, dynamics, and case-building.
A heated and equally hilarious all-teachers exhibition debate took place on September 23 in the LRC Garden using the said debate format. The Opening Government for the said round was composed of Mr. Randy S. Magdaluyo and Ms. Michelle A. Celestino. Mr. Brian Bango and Mr. Marco Alfino V. Miranda played the role of Opening Opposition. The closing half of the debate was run by Mr. Robin A. de los Reyes and Mr. Henry F. Segovia for the Closing Government, and Dr. Claribel C. Conception and Ms. Mary Rose Jean C. Andrada for the Closing Opposition. Given the motion “This house believes that Disney princesses are a stepback to women empowerment”, teachers wrestled on principles of feminism, the portrayal of women in children’s stories, and the contribution of these caricatures in either strengthening or loosening existing prejudices and stereotypes against women on the ground. Dr. Mary Sheildred D. Angeles, chairperson of the Languages Department, hailed the event as a critical aspect of debate education – a pioneering thrust of the School of Liberal Arts.
Thirteen teams made it to ADF09’s Col. Salipsip Debate Cup held last September 27. Three rounds of debate took place in the elimination rounds. Student-debaters delved on the following motions: “This house regrets the iconization of the Aquinos in Philippine society”, “This house believes that posing nude for the environment has done more harm than good”, and “This house believes that women should celebrate Katorse”. In the end, the top four teams (based on win-lose record) automatically qualified to the Grand Finals.
On September 28, the grand finals debate was held in NCB 201-202. Mr. Kelvin Culajara and Danica Bustillo from English 111 X bagged this year’s Col. Salipsip Cup, given the motion “This house believes that political leaders should be prevented from publicly attributing their achievements to God”. Leyson San Juan, from English 211-H, was awarded as Best Speaker of the tournament.