Fresh Graduates Rafa Lapira (12A) and Adrian Padilla (12J) Bag Second Consecutive IDeA Grand Championship For Ateneo High School
The back-to-back dream has been fulfilled.
For the second time in the eighteen-year history of the Interscholastic Debaters Association (IDeA), an institution has won the seasonal grand championship for two consecutive years. It was Ateneo High School (AHS) that accomplished the feat in 2005 and 2006, and it is once again AHS that has clinched the back-to-back victory in 2014 and 2015.
Every year, IDeA holds a total of five invitational tournaments open to over twenty schools from Metro Manila. The five are IDeA Lite, IDeA Invitationals 1,2, and 3, and IDeA Grands—the grand championship where only the top sixteen teams based on points accumulated in earlier invitationals are allowed to compete.
On April 11 2015, AHS A, comprised of recently graduated Ateneo Debaters Team Captain Rafa Lapira (12A) and Adrian Padilla (12J), clinched the IDeA Grand Championship on the slimmest of margins. They defeated Immaculate Conception Academy, PAREF Southridge, and PAREF Woodrose on a nail-biting 3-2-2 split before a panel of seven judges. Lapira and Padilla successfully opposed the motion, “This house prefers a genderless world.” Their winning argument was that in a world where other divisions such as social or racial divisions would still exist, the choice to use gender identity as a rallying point to unite different groups in society allowed unity to spring from diversity. This allowed them to argue that a world where gender differences existed was still a world where unity could be achieved.
The grand championship is the most coveted and prestigious of all IDeA invitationals. What makes the victory even more impressive is that AHS has now won the IDeA Grands for a second consecutive year, with Miguel Ventura (A 2014) and Isaac Lee (D 2014) winning it in the previous season.
Five Ateneo Debaters were likewise ranked among the Ten Best Speakers of the Year. Poch Kalagayan (12A) came in 3rd, Miguel Guerrero (12A) ranked 4th, France Santos (12A) and Tres Yap (12B) tied for 6th, and Rafa Lapira (12A) ranked as 9th best speaker of the year. For the second year in a row as well, at least half of the Top Ten list was dominated by Ateneans.
The moderator of the team is Mrs. Czari Oliveros-Manlapaz of the English Subject Area. The head coach of the team is Mr. Mahar Abrera Mangahas. He was assisted by Henry Fernando, Isaac Lee, Ryan Abis, Martin Abis, Miguel Ventura, Bas Claudio, and Nick Fortuna in preparing the team for the grand championships.
The Ateneo Debaters extend their sincere gratitude to the Ateneo High School community for their enduring support and prayers.