Sixteen high school students from eight regions will compete on Wednesday in the Second Voice of Asia’s Speech Contest, an English speech competition.
John Gabriel Lalu, Voice of Asia organizer, said the 16 students made the national finals after winning in the regional level.
Two students will represent each region.
The national winners will go against students from other countries.
The contest’s theme this year focuses on “internationalizing education.”
Voice of Asia is a project of the Department of Education (DepEd), The Manila Times and The Manila Times College in cooperation with the Coordinating Council of Educational Associations (Cocopea), Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) and other private entities.
Last year, the Philippines’ entry, Aloysius Bresnan of the Bicol region, was declared champion.
“We are expecting to get the trophy again this year. I have heard them [contestants]speaking a while ago and I can say that they can bring the trophy home,” Lalu said.
The winners in the national level will each receive P50,000; the second placer P40,000, the third P30,000; the fourth, P20, 000 and the fifth, P10,000.
In the international finals, $5,000 will go to the champion, $4,000 to the second placer, $3,000 to the third, $2,000 to the fourth and $1,000 to the fifth.
The winners will also receive a full scholarship program from The Manila Times College.
Jan Andre Aquino, a student from the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu who is representing Region 7, expects the competition to be heated.
“I am expecting a very challenging competition because this is already the best of the bests from the regions,” Aquino said.
Alyssa Palencia, of the Ramon Teves Pastor Memorial Dumaguete Science High School said that after winning in the regional level, the contestants in the national level will be on equal footing.
“All of us reached the national. We are all equal here, nobody is above, nobody is below,” Palencia said.
Mimaropa representative Kyra Marie Ng Du from General Santos Hope Christian School said the competition will help enhance the use of English among Asian countries.
Du said English helps unite people from all races.
“Because we are a growing society it will bring us together.
Many [Asian] nationals have already learned to speak English. It helps us bond together,” Du said.
The other contestants are Hannah Faith Saab from region 4-B and Claircley Beatrice Leach.