A CORPUS Christi student took home the championship in the recently concluded Voice of Democracy, an inter-high school oratorical contest organized by the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan Alumni Association (XUAAA) and Xavier University Alumni Aff airs Offi ce with the Junior Chamber International (JCI) – Bai Lawanen, Inc.

Camille Rio Dumaraog outperformed 11 other high schools in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro to win first place during the grand finals held at the Xavier University Little Theater.

All of the contestants developed a speech around the theme “I Speak for Democracy,” but it was Dumaraog’s piece encouraging her fellow youth to work for meaningful change to diminish poverty and inequality that wowed the judges and the audience.

She received a medal and a cash prize of P10,000. Jason Tadeo of Kong Hua School came in second place receiving a medal and P5,000 cash prize, while Dinah Marie Estenzo of Lugait National High School settled in third place. She received a medal and a cash prize of P3,000.

The other high schools in Misamis Oriental that participated were Gingoog City Christian College, St Peter’s College in Balingasag, Sta Rita’s College of Balingasag, St Joseph’s Academy in El Salvador, Opol Secondary National Technical School, St Mary’s Academy in Jasaan, and Medina Comprehensive National High School. Xavier University High School and Angelicum Learning Center also participated in the competition.

The contestants were each awarded a medal for reaching the grand finals and a Voice of Democracy commemorative mug. Gift certificates were given as consolation prizes.

Voice of Democracy was originally a project of the Philippine Jaycees intended to help students develop their public speaking skills and instill in them a sense of nationalism. It ceased in the 1970s and was revived at the local level by the XUAAA last year. With the success of the province-wide Voice of Democracy this year, and the partnership with JCI-Bai Lawanen, Inc., plans of bringing Voice of Democracy to the regional level next year and on to the national level the year after are in the works.

PHOTO: Voice of Democracy Winners L-R: Dinah Marie Estenzo of Lugait National High School (3rd place), Jason Tadeo of Kong Hua School (2nd place), and Camille Rio Dumaraog of Corpus Christi School (1st place)

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