Two-peat! Just eight months from their first appearance in a regional grand finals, and four months from winning the national Sinag Cup at UP Diliman, UP Debate Circle (UPDC), the official debate organization of the University of the Philippines Visayas College of Management (UPV-CM), has once again claimed a spot amongst the top collegiate debaters in the country by reaching the grand finals round of the recently concluded Visayas Universities British Parliamentary Debate (VUBP) Championship held in Siliman University, Dumaguete City, October 25-27.
The team of Gene Dofitas and Christine Otadoy outranked over 33 teams in the biggest Visayas debate tournament to qualify for the grand finals round where the top 4 teams clashed against each other and debated the idea of shutting down of the Philippine Military Academy. Despite honorably losing the round, the two still managed to win speaker awards with Dofitas winning as the 3rd Best Speaker and Otadoy as the 5th Best Speaker.
The two veteran debaters were happy not just because of their accomplishment, but also because they brought along two new teams from the UPDC to contend with them. It has been two years since the debate organization was able to send more than one team and an adjudicator to VUBP due to the reduced number of incoming recruits brought about by the implementation of the K-12 program.
Faith Alarde and Peter Leo Ladigohon, who are both new to the parliamentary debate scene and have only been debating for less than a year, made it to the pre-grand finals round of the tournament where they competed for a chance to proceed to the grand finals round. Moreover, Sophia Cuenca and Arianne Maghirang, despite having a rocky start, managed to qualify as a reserve team who would take the place of any other team if they were unable to show up on the pre-grand finals round. Jona Mae Antiquiera, on the other hand, adjudicated at the tournament and was able to win as the 5th Best Judge and also the Best Rookie Judge of the tournament.
For the UP Debate Circle, these successes are signs of greater things to come for the organization in the near future. Given a higher number of current active members in the organization and the heightened efforts for training, things seem promising for the local Ilonggo debate circle.