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PATRICIA Evangelista. an 18-year-old communications sophomore at UP Diliman. won the 2004 Best Speaker award in the International Public Speaking competition conducted annually by the English-Speaking Union ( ESU ) in London.
The petite. poised and reasonably Filipina emerged triumphant in a field of 60 contestants stand foring 37 states that are members of the esteemed international British establishment dedicated to the thought of “Creating Global Understanding through English.
Evangelista won her topographic point in the finals after clinching one of two slots in her heat during the tension-filled. heatedly contested forenoon preliminaries held at the ESU central office in London. With the eight finalists known by lunch period. the action shifted to the Kinema theatre hall of the enforcing South Africa House on Trafalgar Square for the decisive confrontation in the afternoon.
The seven other finalists came from Malaysia.
Pakistan. Czech Republic. Argentina. Brazil. Morocco and Mongolia. The “native speakers” of English — from the USA. England and Wales. and Australia — had earlier been eliminated in the heats. South Africa. ever a strong rival. besides failed to do it to the finals.
The subject of the competition this twelvemonth was “A Borderless World. ” with as many readings coming out as there were talkers. The diverseness added exhilaration to the event.
Patricia was easy a crowd favourite even during the preliminaries.
Her address was praised by one of her heat’s Judgess as “very good crafted. ” Her capable affair was the Filipino diaspora and the parts of the planetary Filipino. every bit good as her ain dreams of going abroad but coming back to assist her state.
This. plus the confident. relaxed and prosecuting mode with which she delivered her piece. won the judges’ nod. and for her the award of being the best in a field of outstanding immature communicators from all over the English-speaking universe.
There was a stillness in the hall as the president of the board of Judgess – BBC veteran journalist Brian Hanrahan — announced their “unanimous determination. ” He foremost read out the names of the victors of the “Best Non-Native English Speaker” value — Malaysia — and the runner-up award — Mongolia.
At the reference of Patricia Evangelista’s name as Best Speaker. deafening hand clapping erupted.
Ambassador and Mrs. Edgardo Espiritu and the remainder of the Philippine embassy deputation congratulated the victor. who was in cryings as she called up her parents in Manila on her cellular telephone.
Evangelista accepted her prizes as Best Speaker from Lady Dean of ESU’s board of governors and Dame Mary Richardson. main executive of the HSBC Education Trust and member of the board of Judgess stand foring her bank which is this year’s major patron of the competition.
The Best Speaker received a salver. a certification. a dictionary and an encyclopaedia. She will return to London in November to officially accept her award at the Buckingham Palace from Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh who is besides the president of the English-Speaking Union.
BLONDE AND BLUE EYES
BY: PATRISIA EVANGELISTA
When I was small. I wanted what many Filipino kids all over the state wanted. I wanted to be blond. fair-haired. and white. I thought — if I merely wished difficult plenty and was good plenty. I’d wake up on Christmas forenoon with snow outside my window and lentigos across my olfactory organ! More than four centuries under western domination does that to you. I have 16 cousins. In a twosome of old ages. at that place will merely be five of us left in the Philippines. the remainder will hold gone abroad in hunt of “greener grazing lands. ” It’s non merely an anomalousness ; it’s a tendency ; the Filipino Diaspora. Today. about eight million Filipinos are scattered around the universe.
There are those who disapprove of Filipinos who choose to go forth. I used to. Possibly this is a natural reaction of person who was left behind. smiling for household images that get emptier with each wining twelvemonth. Desertion. I called it. My state is a land that has perpetually fought for the freedom to be itself. Our heroes offered their lives in the battle against the Spanish. the Japanese. the Americans. To pack up and deny that individuality is equivalent to ptyalizing on that forfeit.
Or is it? I don’t think so. non any longer. True. there is no denying this phenomenon. aided by the fact that what was one time the other side of the universe is now a twelve-hour plane sit off. But this is a borderless universe. where no person can claim to be strictly from where he is now. My female parent is of Chinese descent. my male parent is a one-fourth Spanish. and I call myself a pure Filipino-a loanblend of kinds ensuing from a combination of civilizations.
Each square stat mi anyplace in the universe is made up of people of different ethnicities. with national individualities and single personalities. Because of this. each square stat mi is already a microcosm of the universe. In every bit much as this blessed topographic point that is England is the universe. so is my vicinity back place.
Seen this manner. the Filipino Diaspora. or any kind of dispersion of populations. is non every bit baleful as so many claim. It must be understood. I come from a Third World state. one that is still seeking mightily to acquire back on its pess after many old ages of absolutism.
But we shall do it. given more clip. Particularly now. when we have 1000s of eager immature heads who graduate from college every twelvemonth. They have accomplishments. They need occupations. We can non absorb them all.
A borderless universe presents a bigger chance. yet one that is non so much forsaking but an extension of individuality. Even as we take. we give back. We are the 40. 000 skilled nurses who support the UK’s National Health Service. We are the quarter-of-a-million mariners manning most of The universe s commercial ships. We are your package applied scientists in Ireland. your building workers in the Middle East. your physicians and health professionals in North America. and. your musical creative persons in London’s West End.
Nationalism isn’t edge by clip or topographic point. Peoples from other states migrate to make new states. yet still remain basically who they are. British society is itself an illustration of a multi-cultural state. a runing pot of races. faiths. humanistic disciplines and civilizations. We are. so. in a borderless universe!
Leaving sometimes isn’t a affair of pick. It’s coming back that is. The Hobbits of the shire traveled all over Middle-Earth. but they chose to come place. richer in every sense of the word. We call people like these balik-bayans or the ‘returnees’ — those who ollowed their dream. yet choose to return and portion their mature endowments and good luck.
In a few old ages. I may take advantage of whatever chances come my manner. But I will come place. A borderless universe doesn’t preclude the thought of a place I’m a Filipino. and I’ll ever be one. It isn’t approximately merely geographics ; it isn’t about boundaries. It’s about giving back to the state that shaped me And that’s traveling to be more of import to me than seeing snow outside my Windowss on a bright Christmas forenoon.