As Honored Guest Competitors, AHS Debaters are Runners-Up of Int'l Debate Tilt in China
From 17-22 April 2014, the Ateneo de Manila High School Debaters competed at the Hangzhou Schools Spring Debate Open in Hangzhou, China. The tournament was an intervarsity tournament open to both high school and collegiate level debaters from different countries in Asia. The event was attended by different high school debaters by China, collegiate champion Solbridge University from Korea, the Ateneo de Manila High School, and judges from China, the Philippines, Korea, and Singapore.
The Ateneo Debaters were specially invited by Mr. Loke Wing Fatt, coach of the National Debate Team of China, and Chief Adjudicator of the tournament, because the Ateneo Debaters were “among the most prestigious debating high schools in all of Asia,” as described by Mr. Loke to the audience. As honored guests of the tournament, the regustration fee of 100 US Dollars per debater was waived, and discounts to hotel accommodations, and allowances for transportation and food expenses were generously given throughout the tournament.
The team of AHS A, comprised of Captain Jose Rafael M. Lapira (Rafa), and incoming sophomores Luigi Anton S. Alcañeses (Luigi), and Raymond Rowell O. Reyes (Renz), performed remarkably well throughout the tournament. They ended the five preliminary rounds with a record of 5 wins, and 0 losses—the only undefeated team of the tournament, and were effectively ranked as the top seed. Among the notable opponents they defeated were the National Debate Team of China and Solbridge University of Korea, which included the reigning champion of the international university-level competition, Hong Kong Debate Open.
The team battled all the way to the Grand Finals where they fought the developmental team of the National Debate Team of China, “Team Catherine.” The AHS unfortunately lost on a 4-1 split on a motion designed to honor the hosts of the tournament: “That the state of China should actively undermine the Confucian value of filial piety.”
The team, however, dominated the individual speaker awards category. Alcañeses ranked as the 2nd Best Speaker of the tournament, Reyes as the 3rd Best Speaker, and Lapira as the 4th Best Speaker.
After the ceremonies, the Ateneo Debaters impressed local debaters and judges so much, that the Ateneo High School has been promised to be invited as guest competitors to the China High School National Championships in July and the Korea High School National Championships in August. The team will once more possibly be subsidized by the respective hosts. The high school debaters also earned the respect and friendship of local debaters who asked for advice on how the Ateneo High School Team trained and developed its members, truly making the Ateneo High School a benchmark for debate in Asia.
The team was accompanied by coaches Henry Fernando, Nick Fortuna, and Daryl Isla. The Head Coach of the Ateneo Debaters is Mahar Abrera Mangahas.
The team extends its deep gratitude to the Office of Student Activities under Ms. Carol Laforteza for the support and approval it has generously given the Ateneo Debaters. The team also recognizes its major sponsor for this tournament, The Local Government Of Quezon City.