Ateneo SHS students crowned 1st Asian champions of Cambridge Schools debates

Ateneo SHS students  Cambridge Schools debates
The winning ASHS debaters Naomi Ang and Anton Abiera. Photos from Ateneo de Manila website.

Ateneo de Manila Senior High School (ASHS) debaters have made history by becoming the first Asian team to win the Cambridge Union Schools Debating Competition in the United Kingdom.

The winning Atenean team is the first from Asia to win the debating tilt since it was established 20 years ago.

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Senior High Schoolers Naomi Ang and Anton Abiera represented the Philippines and won the championship in this year’s Cambridge Schools Finals Day hosted in the historic Cambridge Union building on March 20, 2022.

The ASHS students went against teams from debating powerhouses and educational institutions around the world such as Eton College, Westminster School, and Wellington College, among others, in the grand finals.

The finalists debated on topics such as environmentalism, social policies, media, and democracy in the tilt. In the grand finals, Abiera and Ang debated on the theme of sociocultural issues and social movements, according to the ASHS Debate Organization’s news release. Ang was recognized as the tournament’s 9th best speaker.

Another ASHS debate team comprised of students David Bejarin and Johann Bernardo also made it to the Finals Day of the competition.

The ASHS teams qualified for the prestigious tournament after being declared the top two teams in the Cambridge Asia BP (CAPB) Southeast Asia Championships held last year.

The Cambridge Union Schools Debating Competition is one of the biggest school debating competitions in the world. Each year, hundreds of talented debaters across the world compete to make it to Cambridge for the tournament finals and ultimately for the prestigious honor of being named Schools’ champion.

Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) students have been hailed as Asia’s best debaters at the United Asians Debating Championship (UADC) and among the best at the World Universities Debating Championships.

Philippine high school students won the historic first gold for the country in the 2021 World Schools Debate Championships (WSDC) virtually held in Macau.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the Ateneo de Manila Senior High School (ASHS) debaters for making history as the first Asian team to win the Cambridge Union Schools Debating Competition in the United Kingdom.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.