AJHS Debaters are Overall Champs of UP’s Ped Xing thanks to 1st place wins in Debate, Quiz Bee, and Essay Writing tilts
The Ateneo Junior High School (AJHS) Debaters won the overall championship in the UP Political Society’s annual Ped Xing Political Science Competition last November 26-27, 2016. They accomplished this feat by winning First Place in three of the five events of the competition: debate, political science quiz bee, and essay writing (English category). Ped Xing is an annual event for high school students that consists of lectures and talks from professionals and a series of competitions that revolve around a specific theme.
In the Debate Competition, AJHS A, comprised of Matti Tan (10-Mayer), David Africa (10-Mayer) and Matthew Mercado (10-Southwell) defeated Team Marist B in the Grand Finals. AJHS A successfully defended the motion, “This house believes that the government should be allowed to encroach on its citizens’ privacy for counter-terrorist efforts” and won on a 3-0 unanimous decision. Matti Tan was named as the Best Speaker of the Finals, as well as the Overall Best Speaker of the competition, out of 54 debaters in total. AJHS B, comprised of Shawn Tongson (9-Lewis), Gareth De Leon (8-Favre), and Joaquin Reyes reached the quarterfinal stage of the competition. AJHS A's win marks a three-peat victory in the Ped Xing Debate Competition. It is also the third year in a row that an Atenean was named as the Best Speaker of the competition.
In the Quiz Bee Competition, AJHS A, comprised of Tan, Africa, Mercado, Carlo Pastor (10-Meyer), CJ Carlos (10-Meyer), and Matthew Varona (10-Meyer) won first place over 20 other teams from as many schools, both inside and outside Metro Manila. The Quiz Bee was comprised of 10 questions each with difficulty levels of easy, average, and difficult. The range of topics included concepts in Political Science, local politics and personalities, current international affairs, and other similar categories. The team won first place overall by garnering the highest total number of points among all the teams. What makes the win even more memorable is the last-minute registration of the team for the event. The AJHS Debaters were originally only registered for the debate competition of Ped Xing; but on the morning of November 26, the team realized that there were enough members present in training at the Ateneo High School to represent the team in other events as well. The team rushed to UP Diliman and registered only five minutes before the quiz bee began, and fortunately went on to win first place in the event.
The essay writing competition (English category) was won by Matthew Varona, who was also only registered for the event on the afternoon of the competition. The topic he wrote about was the power of social media to influence current political events, and whether governments had the right to encroach on privacy in order to protect national security.
CJ Carlos represented the team in the poster-making event, while Carlo Pastor competed in the essay writing competition (Filipino category) as well. These final two events likewise revolved around the theme of media and politics.
The total points earned from all events were sufficient to give the AJHS Debaters the overall championship and trophy for the competition. This is the first time that the Ateneo Debaters have won a multidisciplinary competition such as Ped Xing. Whereas other schools fielded competitors from various organizations and teams, the AJHS Debaters proudly represented the school in events beyond debate and public speaking.
The moderator of the team is Mr. Joel Falgui of the English Department. They were also accompanied by coaches Mr. Tres Yap and Mr. Henry Fernando to the Ped Xing competition. The team extends its deepest gratitude to the AJHS administration and faculty for its unwavering support in the competition.