Naga student wins 1st Voice of Asia international contest
By Fatima Cielo Cancel
MANILA — A 16-year-old Bicolano was hailed as the first ever champion in the first Voice of Asia International speech competition held at the TanghalanYamanLahi of the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) in Manila on Wednesday.
Six high school students from different countries competed—Frinsen Johnny Hutagalung of Indonesia, FerasAbdulrahman Al Anazi for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dzung Hoang of Vietnam, Ye Eun Park of South Korea, Liu HuiTse of Taiwan, and Aloysius Francis Bresnan of the Philippines.
In the semifinal round, the contestants were asked to make a speech answering questions like “Does the Internet makes teachers unnecessary?” “Should Asian students read more Asian books rather than European books?” “Who is more effective in making you learn, a teacher who lectures through the whole class all the time or a teacher who works with you individually?” and “Should students be forced to compete in at least one sport?”
In the final round, they were asked to listen to a recorded speech—about the positive and negative aspects of traditional books and ebooks—and to explain their stand.
Bresnan of the Philippines won the grand price of $500 with full scholarship from the dual degree program of the Manila Times College and EAC. He was followed by South Korea’s bet Park, who received $300 and a full scholarship. Taiwanese Liu was the 2nd runner up with a prize of $250 and full scholarship. Anazi, Hoang, and Hutagalung, ranked 3rd, 4th, and 5th, respectively and received $200, $150, $100 and partial scholarship.
Bresnan had just completed his high school at St. Joseph School in Naga City.
EAC President Jose Paolo Campos, in his opening speech, said he was glad that the Philippines hosted the first Voice of Asia speech competition, “the first of its kind in the country.”
“Asia is emerging with a dynamic and vibrant identity and it is about time that Asian neighbors meet to get to know one another,” he said, adding that Asian youth “should take time to meet and express their views” so that they can determine their “common aspirations and differences that enriches” the Asian region.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro expressed hopes that the speech contest will continue as he congratulated Bresnan.
“I am very, very proud of Aloy. Early on when I heard his first speech, I said ‘this guy will work his way up.’ I am also certain that anyone who listened to Aloy’s speech would know that this is a really wonderful time to acknowledge and affirm that the Philippines is really competitive in this kind of competition,” Luistro said.
“What is more important is that we continue this kind of contest, sayang naman kung dito lang matatapos. It’s a wonderful format even for learners and other young people so that they can get feedback and other points on how to speak publicly. I think what’s more important than the Philippines bagging the first prize is that the country is hosting this contest,” he added.