AHS Debaters are 4-Peat Econvergence Champs & bag gold medals in Mini-Documentary, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Mr. Econvergence tilts!

February 09, 2016
AHS Debaters


The Ateneo de Manila High School Debaters bagged gold medals in three categories in the recently concluded Econvergence 2016, including a fourth consecutive championship in the event’s debate competition. A lone AHS debater also won the "Mr. Econvergence" title.   Luigi Alcañeses (left) of 11-A and Hans Gonzalez of 10-M won the Grand Final of the Econvergence debate competition
Econvergence is an annual event for high school students hosted by the UP Los Baños Economics Society. The event consists of a series of lectures and seven major competitions, all centered around a theme in Economics. This year, the theme was “Making The Rational Choice: The Role Of The Youth In Economic Development.” For the first time ever, Econvergence was hosted as a two-day event, from February 6-7, 2016. A total of 15 schools, and close to 200 student delegates, participated in the event.
AHS A, comprised of Luigi Alcañeses (11-A) and Hans Gonzalez (10-M) won the Grand Final of the debate competition—the fourth consecutive year that Ateneo High School has won the event. They were given gold medals for their achievement. AHS B, comprised of Red Nadela (11-A) and Phil Javellana (11-H) were the second placers of the final, and won silver medals. AHS C, comprised of David Africa (9-A), and Matthew Mercado (9-H) were the third placers, and were awarded bronze medals. The motion for the grand finals was “This house believes that developing countries should allow parents to sell their babies in exchange for monetary compensation.” AHS A—the winning team—successfully opposed the motion from Closing Opposition.
Luigi Alcañeses was named Overall Best Speaker of the tournament, and Best Speaker of the Finals, and won a PhP10,000.00 scholarship at John Robert Powers for his achievement. This victory also marks the sixth time the Ateneo Debaters have won the debate competition in eight years.
In the Impromptu Speaking/Extemporaneous Speaking competition, Luigi Alcañeses won the Gold Medal as well, besting twelve other contestants in the competition. (Video of Luigi's extemporaneous speech can be viewed at the top of this page.) Each school was tasked to send one representative who would be shown a picture related to the theme of Econvergence for 10 seconds, and then proceed to discuss their interpretation and insight of the photograph for three minutes. This marks the first time that a single person won both the Debate and Impromptu Speaking Competitions.
Finally, in the Mini-Documentary Production Competition, the Ateneo Debaters won the Gold Medal as well, after submitting their entry two weeks before the event. The competition required students to make a three to five minute presentation of a topic related to the role of the youth in Economic Development. The entry of the Ateneo Debaters, entitled “Youth Hacks: Digitizing The Business Model” made the argument that the technologically-savvy youth have transformed the way business is done, by bringing their skills and talents on social media to improve sales, marketing, accounting, and operations of student-run businesses. The film was directed by and starred Luigi Alcañeses and was edited by Hans Gonzalez. The screenplay was written by Ateneo Debaters Nicky Solis (11-B) and Ervin Grana (11-L). You can watch the video at the top of this page.Nicky Solis (left) and Ervin Grana were the scriptwriters of the documentary that won 1st place in the Econvergence Mini Documentary Production competition.
Another special award was won by Hans Gonzalez, who, in the first ever Econvergence Socialization Night, was crowned as “Mr. Econvergence.” Gonzalez was nominated as a contestant in a pageant-type competition that consisted of six teams—each comprised of a male and female—competing in a series of contests to determine the winner. The pageant consisted of a model walk across the stage, a talent show, and a question and answer portion. Gonzalez and his partner were awarded as Mr. & Ms. Econvergence, and won prizes for their victory.
The Ateneo Debaters won second place overall in Econvergence 2016, narrowly missing winning the Overall Championship for Econvergence for the first time in the event’s eleven year history. Philippine Science High School won the event for the fifth straight time.
The Ateneo Debaters look to perform even better next year, by sending representatives to the Essay Writing and Poster Making events to earn points for participation. The second place finish resulted in silver medals for all, and a cash prize.
Hans Gonzalez was crowned “Mr. Econvergence” in the first ever Econvergence Socialization NightThe debaters extend their gratitude to the AHS CLE Department, headed by Mr. Noel Miranda. The department has generously sponsored the Ateneo Debaters in Econvergence since 2012, and has made every success to date possible. The team also wish to thank the Office of Student Activities (OSA), headed by Ms. Kristine Valdellon, for their support and approval of activities.
The debaters are moderated by Mrs. Fe U. De Jesus of the AHS English subject area, and are coached by Henry Fernando, Miguel Ventura, Isaac Lee, and Rafa Lapira. The team was accompanied by Henry Fernando to the two-day event. The Ateneo Debaters continue to train for upcoming competitions as the school year comes to a close.