/ 23 March 2022

TWO Senior High School debaters from the Ateneo de Manila University were hailed as champions at the 2022 Cambridge Schools Finals Day held last March 20.

It was the first time in history that an Asian institution won the prestigious debate tournament.

Representing Ateneo in the finals round were Grade 12 students Naomi Ang and Anton Abiera. Ang was also named the tournament’s 9th best speaker.

In the Finals, Ang and Abiera debated on the theme of sociocultural issues and social movements.

“Very few teams get to compete in the Finals Day, as only the top teams of different regional competitions held around the world are invited to the culminating tournament,” Ateneo said.

“In the leadup to the championship, ASHS teams competed against debaters from all around the world in the Cambridge Asia BP Southeast Asia Championships, where they landed among the top teams and qualified for the Finals Day,” it added.

Meanwhile, fellow Atenean debaters David Bejarin and Johann Bernardo narrowly missed the competitive break after four preliminary rounds.

Built in 1815, the Cambridge Union is the oldest speaking Union in the world.

It holds a strong tradition of contentious debates and notable speakers who have addressed the Union, including the Dalai Lama, US President Ronald Reagan, and Stephen Hawking.