Xavier Debate Team Goes International

by Jaime Siy (11D) and Steven Sy (11A)
Photo by Mr. Pierre Reniva, XS HS SAP Coordinator

The Xavier Debate Team is back.

After two years of absence from the Asian debating circuit, the Xavier Debate Team made its triumphant return at this year’s Asian Schools Debating Championship held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last June 5-12, 2016. Three teams were sent from Xavier School’s contingent, and once again, its debaters have made us proud.

Xavier School 1, composed of Ignacio Villareal (12A), Jaime Siy (11D), and Steven Sy (11A), advanced to the tournament’s open semifinals, defeating Singapore Debate Development Program 2 in the quarterfinals and narrowly losing to Ateneo High School 1 in the semifinals.

Moreover, Xavier School 2, composed of Jacob Wee (12A), Lorenzo Ngan (11A), and Harry Paragas (11B), put up a valiant performance in the tournament, missing out on reaching the quarterfinals by only one point in the preliminary rounds.

On the other hand, Xavier School 3, composed of Martin Velasco (11D), Kyle Chan (10A), and Leonardo Ngan (11B), reached the pre-semifinals of the tournament’s novice division, losing on a close decision against PAREF Southridge 2.

Furthermore, Steven Sy and Kyle Chan also managed to advance to the semifinals of the tournament’s public speaking competition. In the public speaking division, participants are expected to deliver powerful and emotionally-charged speeches about certain topics, in sharp contrast to the logical, well-structured debate speeches they are used to.

In addition, Mr. Jean Pierre Reniva, Xavier School’s own Student Activity Programs Coordinator and the team’s mentor in Malaysia, Mr. Melchizedek Babilonia, the Xavier Debate Team’s coach, and Matthew Araneta (XS ‘16), the team’s former captain, participated as adjudicators in the tournament, with Matthew Araneta being chosen to judge the tournament’s open semifinals.

The Asian Schools Debating Championship, first started in 2009 and held at De La Salle University, Philippines, is one of the most prestigious debate competitions in Asia. Teams from all across the continent were present, including institutions from Malaysia, India, Mongolia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Korea, and the like.

This year, the tournament, held in Methodist Boys’ School, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was won by Ateneo High School 1, having narrowly defeated Singapore Debate Development Program 1 in the tournament’s grand finals.

Although the spotlight of Asia’s debate circuit may have been stolen from the Xavier Debate Team at this moment, with this tournament bringing Philippine debating into the international picture and with the British Parliamentary debating season right on the horizon, the Xavier Debate Team will no doubt bring even more prestige to Xavier in the years to come.

Photo by Mr. Melchizedek Babilonia, XS HS Debate Team coach

Photo by Mr. Melchizedek Babilonia, XS HS Debate Team coach

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