By Cleo Angeline B. Cachapero, College of International Relations, Editor-in-Chief, The Sentinel, the official publication of the Lyceum of the Philippines University
The K-Search Oratorical Contest is an annual event held by the Lyceum of the Philippines University’s College of International Relations sponsored by KSearch Asia Consulting Inc., now on its 5th year running. This competition aims to be a platform to showcase the public speaking talents of interested graduating students from the College of International Relations, College of Arts and Sciences and College of Business Administration, as well as to foster the urgency to improve the proficiency in the English language of the student population at large.
This year, 41 students joined the initial phase of the elimination process who were all asked to compose their speeches within four hours on January 25 with the theme “Proud to be a Filipino”. Only 27 students made it through the initial Elimination Round (i.e., the delivery portion) held last January 28 at the LPU Mini-Theater, from which seven students survived to the Final Round (Written portion) held on February 8, this time using the theme “The Perils of Indifference”.
The finalists delivered their pieces in a culminating event on February 11 at the LPU Mini Theater in front of fellow students, professors, and university officials.
The event was opened with remarks from KSearch’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Manuel Guillermo. The Board of Judges was introduced, which was composed of Amb. Alfredo Almendrala, Jr., CIR Chairperson of Dept. Politics, Government and Diplomacy, Amb. Aladin Villacorte, CIR Faculty member and a professor of public speaking, Mr. Guillermo Santos, CAS and CIR faculty member and a veteran journalist, and Amb. Josue Villa, CIR faculty member and Comparative Politics and Government professor. They were joined by Mr. Guillermo as the Chairman of the Board of Judges.
Maria Melyssa Ponsaran, a 4th year student of International Relations was adjudged as the Champion of this year’s Oratorical Contest, winning the top cash prize of Php12,000. The other finalists were Hany Rose Bien Bien King who placed 7th, Mark Anthony Goh -- 6th place, Ronell Delerio -- 5th, Krizel Balasabas -- 4th, Precious Joan Narciso nabbing 3rd spot with Php 8 000 in cash prize, and Gladys Yuson bagging 2nd place and 10 000 Php. The fourth up to the seventh ranked finalists received Php 2 000.
The event was graced by LPU President Atty. Roberto P. Laurel and VP for Finance Sarah Laurel – Lopez. CIR Dean Amb. Reynaldo Arcilla delivered the closing remarks to formally conclude the contest.