Ateneo SHS Debaters Alcañeses and Gonzalez are among the Top 10 best speakers in collegiate debate tilt in Korea
Ateneo de Manila Senior High School (SHS) debaters Luigi Alcañeses (12-A) and Hans Gonzalez (11-Hoyos/HUMSS) performed extraordinarily well in a recent debate competition in Korea, placing among the Top Ten Best Speakers in the tilt. They were the only high school students competing out of 80 debaters and judges in the KIDA Open. In addition, their team Ateneo High School A was ranked as the third best team in the competition after six preliminary rounds.
From August 22-24, 2016, the Korean Intervarsity Debate Association (KIDA) hosted the 4th KIDA Open, a prestigious international competition attended by debaters and judges from all over Asia. This year, the tournament was hosted in Korea University, Seoul, and was attended by debaters from Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and China.
Ateneo High School A, comprised of Luigi Alcañeses (12-A) and Hans Gonzalez (11-Hoyos HUMSS) was the only high school team in the entire debate competition of nearly 80 debaters and judges. Every other participant was of the collegiate or post-collegiate level.
Alcañeses and Gonzalez excelled in their performance, ranking as the third best team of the competition after six preliminary rounds and finishing their run in the Semifinals. The team was highly praised by everyone for consistently defeating top college debaters from different universities.
Individually, both Ateneans impressed the participants even more, when Alcañeses was awarded as the 7th Best Speaker of the Tournament, while Gonzalez was ranked as the 10th Best Speaker of the tournament.
Their coach and adult companion, Mr. Henry Fernando, participated as an adjudicator and bagged his own award as well. He was ranked as the 1st Overall Best Adjudicator of the tournament, and qualified to judge the Grand Final of the competition.
Perhaps the greatest highlight of the competition was when Alcañeses and Gonzalez were judged by former World Champion Mr. Andy Hume, who won the World Universities Debate Championship (WUDC) in 1997. After adjudicating the students and giving feedback, Mr. Hume told the team, “Your institution has produced so many great debaters over the years. You are some of those next in line. Job well done. I am very impressed by both of you.” The words of high praise not only allowed the debaters to learn more, but affirmed their pursuit of continuing to build a tradition of debating excellence in Ateneo High School.
The team was accompanied by their parents as well: Mr. Anthony Alcañeses, Mrs. Lisa Alcañeses, and Mrs. Hanna Gonzalez.
The team moderator is Mrs. Fe U. De Jesus. The team extends its thanks to the Ateneo de Manila High School, especially Dr. Carmela Oracion, Mrs. Jennifer Concepcion, and Mr. Noel Miranda, for providing the logistical and financial support to make the trip to Korea possible. The team continues to work towards its goal of turning the Ateneo High School into a global benchmark of debating excellence.