Congratulations Gian, winner of the prestigious English Speaking Union's International Public Sol student at the Philippine Science High School. He bested other contestants from 30 countries, most of whom are college students. You make us proud to be Pinoy!
Gian is the second Filipino to win the contest. The first was Patricia Evangelista, whose winning piece and picture we already posted in this blogsite (please see the archive).
Who would have thought of a speech about fish mucus and aliponga in a public speaking competition? Gian says, he hopes people will pay attention not only to his winning but to his speech as well! I am posting a copy of his speech below, but it would be good if we can listen to his actual delivery. I'll check the You Tube and other web/blogsites.
Credits: picture of Gian is from the ABS-CBN as posted in http://www.bugitsrepos.blogspot.com; background article also from ABS-CBN as posted in http://www.luciotan.com (i'm sure he's not the taipan that we know).
16-yr-old Pinoy wins UK public speaking contest
A 16-year-old student from the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) won the prestigious English Speaking Union's (ESU) International Public Speaking Competition held in the United Kingdom on May 9.
With his speech titled "Fish Mucus and Foot Fungus," incoming senior Gian Karlo Dapul bested other contestants, including college level students, from 30 countries at the ESU’s headquarters in London.
"A hindi pa po nagsi-sink in. It doesn't. Hindi pa po nagre-register ‘yong panalo. Siguro po pag-uwi ko," the scholar said."
Dapul was the first speaker in the highly competitive Heat 1, which was participated mostly by the world’s native English-speaking countries.
"A lot of people wanted to win pero especially people in my Heat kasi I was put in the Heat along with the native English-speakers such as ‘yong taga US, UK, Australia along with some others like China, Pakistan Hong Kong, the Netherlands. So there was a lot of competition especially in my Heat. The speakers were really, really good… I wasn't really expecting to win, although I was hoping to win," he said.
The finals were held at the US Embassy in London. Dapul was the last speaker among finalists from Thailand, Poland, Bulgaria, Argentina, Lebanon and China.
Dapul won praises not just because of his speech delivery but with his confident way of responding to questions from the panel of judges.
"Well deserved, and an honor again for the country ... and when Gian beat all of those contestants from English speaking countries I felt very confident ... especially Gian being a very young, 16 years old, participant when the other participants are all college students, it makes me feel very proud that Filipinos can do better than the other nationalities," Philippine Ambassador to the UK Edgardo Espiritu said.
Dapul was the second Filipino to win the prestigious contents. Four years ago the top prize was won by 19-year-old Patricia Evangelista.
Dapul became the official Philippine representative by accident when he was invited by a friend to join the a local contest for 16- to 19-year-old students held at University of the Philippines Diliman a few weeks ago.
His family said they were not suprised when he won the competition, noting that Dapul is an achiever. He graduated valedictorian from Claret Elementary School and a consistent dean's lister at PSHS. He is also an officer of the Student Council and member of the debating team and drama club.
Dapul is also a long term member of the Kilyawan Boys Choir whose choirmaster and conductor is Mark Anthony Carpio. Carpio is also a conductor and trainor of the world famous Madrigal Singers.
Dapul will fly back to London in November for the ESU awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace. He will receive his certificate from less than Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
"I hope people pay attention to this kasi there are some of the more important aspects 'yon nga I spoke about in my speech... I hope they will pay attention to my speech, not only to my win, yon so I hope a lot of people realize what I have been trying to say doon sa speech ko," he said.
Although extremely proud of his win, Dapul insisted that this shows that Filipinos can win such prestigious international events provided they work at it.
"Ang masasabi ko lang po is na the Filipino can talaga, and ang kailangan lang talaga hard work... maraming Filipinos na so long as they keep at it magagawa nila. Kaya naman talaga natin, hindi lang dito pero sa napakarami pang fields... in future marami pang ganito maraming pang Pinoy in the future that will have something like this. So this is just my I don't know 15 seconds," he said.
Gene Alcantara, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau