AHS Debater Luigi Alcañeses of 1A Shines, Qualifies To Judge Int'l College Tournament Grand Final!
The inaugural Philippine Debate Open (PDO) was held at the Malayan High School of Science from 24-26 August 2013. It featured close to 400 Debaters and Adjudicators from all over Asia, including college debaters from Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and mainland China.
The Ateneo de Manila High School Debaters competed in the PDO for the purposes of learning and training from higher level debaters, especially those who compete with different styles from different countries.
Two AHS Debaters were of particular note. Luigi Alcañeses (1A) participated as an adjudicator, and was ranked high enough by debaters and Chief Adjudicators alike to be named among the “Breaking Judges”—adjudicators qualified enough to judge in the elimination series. Among the judges whom Alcañeses adjudicated alongside were Ms. Sharmila Parmanand, the Chief Adjudicator of the World Universities Debate Championship 2013 (Worlds), and Mr. Rohan Jain, Asian College Debate Champion of 2012. Both Ms. Parmanand and Mr. Jain were so impressed with Mr. Alcañeses that they decided to allow him to provide debaters the oral adjudication for debate rounds in their place, due to the fact that Mr. Alcañeses (1) provided the correct decision and (2) had the same justification and reasoning as the more noted judges.
Mr. Alcañeses so impressed the organizers and Chief Adjudicators that he was allocated to judge the Grand Final of the entire tournament—a feat which only the best, most trusted, and most qualified adjudicators are given by Chief Adjudicators. He is the first high school freshman of any international competition thus known to be given this distinction, and was awarded and recognized for his achievement.
AHS Debaters Captain Miguel Ventura (4A) competed as a debater and broke as the eight seeded team out of over one hundred with AHS Debaters Assistant Coach Nick Fortuna (4N 2011). Ventura was named as the 7th Best Speaker of the Tournament—the only high school debater in the whole competition to be named to the top ten- while Fortuna was named as the 5th Best Speaker. Unfortunately, their team had to pull out of the elimination rounds due to schedule problems.
Meanwhile, AHS Assistant Coach Henry Fernando (4A 2010) competed and reached the Semifinals, and was named as the 10th Best Speaker of the Tournament. Up and coming juniors Rafa Lapira (3A) and France Santos (3A) also competed and earned enough points to break into the Octofinals, though lower aggregate speaker scores compared to other college teams in their bracket disqualified them from doing so. Finally, Derrick Ampil (3L) competed as a judge and earned enough points to break as an Adjudicator and was named as a Reserved Breaking Adjudicator in the tournament—the only other high school judge in the whole tournament to be granted this distinction.