Ateneo HS is champion of Interscholastic Debate Association (IDeA 2) tournament

December 17, 2012
Photos by Henry Fernando

The Ateneo de Manila High School Debaters successfully swept and dominated the Second Interscholastic Debate Association (IDeA) Invitational for school year 2012-2013. The tournament was commonly referred to as IDeA 2.

Last 15-16 December 2012, IDeA 2 was hosted by the PAREF Woodrose Debate Varsity, but the tournament took place in Claret School of Quezon City. Approximately eighty-eight students from schools part of IDeA joined the competition. The competitors included Xavier School, Immaculate Conception Academy, Miriam College High School, and PAREF Southridge among others. The tournament’s debates were held in the British Parliamentary Format.

Team AHS D, comprised of Miguel Ventura (3A) and Isaac Lee (3D) were named as the champions of the invitational by successfully defending the affirmative side of the motion, “This house believes that the international community should never support non-united opposition to dictatorships.” They were the team at the Closing Government. The other three teams in the final were Xavier C, Miriam D, and ICA A. ICA A came in 2nd place, Xavier came in 3rd place, while Miriam came in 4th place.

Ventura was declared as the Best Speaker of the Grand Final because of the depth and sophistication of his arguments. He argued that making international aid contingent on the unity of divided opposition groups in countries such as Libya would help unify the opposition and lead them to make compromises, instead of letting civil wars result in more deaths and violence. He also argued that their process would be the key to nation building in the long term, because a united society is key to the success of the future. Isaac Lee successfully summarized the debate as the last speaker of the affirmative by answering the questions, “What functions better (between) a united opposition and a divided opposition?” and “Does the affirmative’s policy truly create a false sense of unity among the opposition?”

Four of the debaters also received individual awards. Isaac Lee and France Santos (2A) were also named Overall Best Speakers of the tournament, as their accumulated speaker scores resulted in a tie. Tres Yap (2B) was named the 5th Best Speaker of the Tournament, and Kiko Santos (4A) was named 8th Best Speaker Of The Tournament. The AHS team had the most number of debaters in the list of top ten speakers.

Teams AHS A- comprised of Kiko Santos and Martin Abis (3B)- reached the quarterfinals of the tournament, while Team AHS B comprised of France Santos and Tres Yap reached the quarterfinals as well. The team would also like to commend Rafa Lapira (2A) and Joshua Guico (4A) for competing and performing commendably well also. All Ateneo Debaters were ranked among the top thirty speakers of the tournament. 

The coaches of the Ateneo High School Debaters are Henry Fernando, Mahar Mangahas, Nick Fortuna, Daryl Isla, and Vince Barona—all of whom helped the team prepare for IDeA 2.