Of triumphs and inspiration

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Just last week, Region 7 held its annual Regional Schools Press Conference (RSPC). Over 5000 campus journalists from Negros Oriental, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor brought their A-game as they competed in News Writing, Editorial Writing, Feature Writing, Column Writing, Science and Technology News Writing, Sports News Writing, Editorial Cartooning, Radio Broadcasting, Photojournalism, and TV Broadcasting. Their goal was to break into the top three in order to qualify to the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) which will be held in Pangasinan on January 28-February 1, 2019.

Allow me to personally congratulate Fiona Harielle Sariego and Jerusalem Christian Torres, my students from ABC Learning Center Tanjay, for winning First Place in Editorial Writing Filipino and Fourth Place in Editorial Cartooning English respectively. I am truly proud of your accomplishments. In the same breath, I would like to extend my congratulations to all the winners from the different divisions all over Region 7. May we rise up to the challenge of representing our region well in the coming NSPC. And to all those who didn’t make it, I am positive that the experience is certainly an achievement in itself. Keep on writing, kids. With your words, you can change the world.

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Last November 20, amid an ominous Samuel-induced overcast, the Dumaguete Festival and Arts Society pushed through with its 3rd Interschool Extemporaneous Competition. Held at Robinson’s Place Dumaguete, the event gathered eight amazing speakers from the different secondary schools in the city. I had the honor of being one of the judges alongside public speaking heavyweights Dr. Henry A. Sojor and Dr. Peter T. Dayot. We reached a unanimous decision to declare the representatives from St. Louis School – Don Bosco, Catherina Cittadini School, and Ramon Teves Pastor Memorial-Dumaguete Science High School as the top three winners. Congratulations to the speakers and their coaches!

One of the highlights of the program was an inspirational speech delivered by last year’s winner and BSP National Extemporaneous Contest Champion Brian Stefan R. Mack. I would like to share with you an excerpt of his amazing speech.

Do it (public speaking) for yourself to evolve, then do it for everyone else once you’ve become an even better person. Speak with a cause. Let your words transcend thought to the point wherein they can be physically felt. Because that is what makes a speech count. That is what sets it apart. This kind of event is an outlet for brilliant young minds to be heard just a bit louder. If no one is listening, then you aren’t doing it right.
He goes on to say:

Your words should stay firm, no matter how awkward or clean the experience was. Your words echo throughout this very place. Make sure your voices continue to matter every day and everyday it will get a little bit easier. The hard part is making sure you matter every day.