Philippine representative Johanne Jazmin Tan Jabines, a third-year BS Business Administration and Accountancy student of UP Diliman, won the International Public Speaking (IPS) Grand Final on May 18, 2018 at the Royal Institution, Mayfair, London.
The 38th annual IPS Competition of the English-Speaking Union, a London-based international charity, marks the 100th year of the Union. It was joined by country winners, all aged between 16 and 20 years, flying in from 51 countries before being whittled down to seven for the grand final.
The finalists were made to write and deliver a speech on the theme “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” After delivering their piece, they answered three questions from the audience.
Jabines, a UP debater, spoke on inventions to pursue success, family, and culture in the context of the OFW (overseas Filipino workers) phenomenon. “We can’t change circumstance, but we can predict the future of our families by inventing it. We pick up the pieces they’ve left behind, and invent a new kind of dream for ourselves and for them.”
Taking off from a family maximizing a one-hour layover of an OFW aunt at a Philippine airport, Jabines ended her speech on a positive note. “For the last time, I saw my aunt pass through the airport gates, but this time, without a heavy heart. After all, our futures can still be written – one hour at a time.”
Watch the video here:
Read the award winning piece here.
The six other grand finalists were from Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, the US, China, Lebanon, and Estonia.
Alan Johnson, former British Home Secretary and the chair of judges at the final, was impressed by the finalists, but, “In the end, it all comes down to what Aristotle said about rhetorics: ethos, pathos, logos, those three things about touching the heart, emotions, and about credibility–because the point about logos is logic,” he said.
“I think that we have seen some of our future leaders here and I’m enormously encouraged by that,” Johnson added.
Jabines is the third winner from the Philippines since the competitions, said to be the biggest public speaking competition, began in 1981. The first was UP student Patricia Evangelista in 2004, followed by Philippine Science High School student Gian Carlo Dapul in 2008. (Jo. Lontoc, UP MPRO)