15th EVDC Debate Champion

Under the Novice Category, our #ProudViscans from the VSU Debate Society (DebSoc) emerged as the grand champion in the 15th Eastern Visayas Debate Championship - Asian Parliamentary.

The team of Geoffrey Ociones, Dhea Angela Capuyan, Ephraim Philippe Sarabia (VSU B) was hailed as the overall winner of the Novice Finals with Capuyan, a first-year nursing student earning the Best Speaker award. 

“It was shocking to me that our team won, even more so that I won as best speaker, because I was literally recruited out of chance so for me to get that far was like destiny of some kind. It was surreal seeing and hearing my name on stage and being congratulated by both my teammates and opponents. I did my best, but in the end, it was always God’s grace that got me that award,” revealed Capuyan in an interview.

She added that she did not focus on worrying about the results, but set on doing her best for her team.

“Honestly, reaching the Novice Finals was already a big achievement for me. My main goal and principle during every round was just to do my personal best and whatever happens next, I surrendered to the Lord because I knew I couldn’t control the results. So I did not hold onto any unnecessary worries and focused more on absorbing the tips and strategies to create the best arguments possible,” Capuyan added.

Meanwhile, despite not reaching the final round, the VSU Team A composed of Sam Josephus J. Biliran, Lim Vincent Antonio, Den Michael Malayo, with Ryan Spencer Secadron as adjudicator did not fail to showcase their prowess in the debate competition.

According to Biliran, the VSU DebSoc Interim Deputy Prime Minister, their participation in the regional debate championship is a testament to their existence and their capabilities to compete with other universities.

“...the VSU DebSoc’s participation in the event and many more events like this in the near future, allowed us to remind other institutions of our presence as a debate society, and further showed them that the debate culture is indeed alive in our dear university. Furthermore, joining this event, and with the eventual win, the VSU DebSoc has set its foothold in the Eastern Visayas Debating Scene,” he declared.

The 15th EVDC happened from May 31 to June 2, 2024, at the University of the Philippines Tacloban College.

The VSU Debate Team was accompanied by their DebSoc advisers from the Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences (DPSS) who supported their stint in the debate championship.

“I want to extend my biggest thank you to my coaches, Sir Beljun Enaya and Ma’am Angelie Genotiva as well as Harriett Nabonillo because everything I did came from what they have taught me and their efforts in teaching us were the primary reasons why we won. To my teammates as well, Geoffrey Ociones and Ephraim Sarabia for making our chemistry work. And to Sam Biliran for trusting me, as well as to Lim Antonio and Den Malayo for teaching me how to debate. Lastly, thank you to the support of my department, the College of Nursing, especially to our dean, Sir Christian Baldonado, and to all the clinical instructors who praised me when I arrived back at VSU,” the Best Speaker winner shared.

VSU DebSoc Interim Deputy Prime Minister Biliran extended his gratitude, especially to the Office of the President who supported them in participating in the regional event. He highlighted that they will further establish the debating culture at VSU.

“I would like to thank our dear coaches, Sir Beljun Enaya and Ma’am Angelie Genotiva, for their unwavering support and passion in the pursuit of debating, which impacted us heavily and will always be remembered. Finally, I would like to thank VSU DebSoc, my teammates, VSU Team B, especially Dhea (whom I scouted), and of course our very own Prime Minister, Ms. Harriett Nabonillo, for their continued presence along the way. You guys made the experience fun and fulfilling,” he continued.

The team also thanked Harriett Nabonillo, the VSU DebSoc Interim Prime Minister for coaching and mentoring the VSU debate team, while having her leave of absence.

DebSoc has been inactive during the pandemic but now, the members of the organization are eager to raise its banner and promote willful and intellectual discourse according to Biliran.

“The achievement of winning the 15th EVDC AP Novice Category is merely a stepping stone, and the VSU DebSoc, as we continue to train more and become better debaters, will strive for further greatness, even reaching the international stage (hopefully, in God’s perfect time),” he said.

Capuyan also added that the competition has inspired DebSoc to connect with more institutions and join more debate competitions in the future.

“I also think before, Viscans were not totally aware of what DebSoc really does and its impact on the school, but now that we have gained traction, I would hope that more Viscans would be willing to audition once the screening is open again and that we could create a healthy culture of debate here in VSU. Because having this culture of debate creates a deeper level of comprehension and perspective that can be used in a lot of situations, especially in facing conflicts,” she concluded.

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