It was a wet afternoon last November 5, 2010 at the Army Testing Centre, Fort Bonifacio when the 11th NCRRCDG Regional Speech Contest took place. This year’s theme was “ROTC: How It Can Help In The Peace and Development Effort”. Aside from talking about ROTC’s role in peace and development, this contest also helped develop the cadets’ communication skills At around 1400H, the program started with the opening remarks, the reading of the rules of the contest, and the introduction of the judges. The judges were Dr Edna A Sajo, Col Edilberto L Suratos GSC (AGS) PA, and as the chairman of the board of judges, Col Marcelo B Javier Jr GSC (RES) PA. And as a measure against bias, to keep the contest fair, university identifiers were prohibited from the speeches and the judges were not privy to the contestants’ universities.
With weeks of preparation and tireless practicing, it was the moment everybody’s been preparing for. Everybody was all ears as the first contestant stood up, walked to the front, and delivered her speech. She ended, she bowed, then the next contestant took the floor. And the next one, and the next. Some went well, some went better than others, and some, well, went less well. The 18 participants from all over NCR gave their speeches everything they’ve got. It was a tough competition; everyone was out to win it. But only one could rise the victor and represent NCR in the Nationals. The contestants and the audience were on the edge of their seats as they waited for the decision of the judges. Everyone was tense as the chairman of the board of judges made his way to the front to make the announcement. Due to his exceeding the time restriction of 5-7 minutes, the original participant, Amaddeus Celestial, who’d placed 1st with a total of 94.00 points, was disqualified. As such, Julie Nombrado from the UP ROTC, who’d originally placed 2nd with a total of 93.67 points, was then named the champion and representative of NCR in the Nationals division. The 2nd placer was the representative from Lyceum of the Philippines, and the 3rd placer was the representative from PUP.
In her speech, Nombrado points out that times are troubled but that “we Filipinos deserve better”. ROTC cadets are not only trained in combatives, but are also trained to also serve the nation to further peace and development. “Our duties as cadets do not end once we finish a year of training. What continues is the dedication to serve.” Being an ROTC cadet is not just about passing the course to fulfill the required NSTP units, but it is a way of life with values instilled by the program. With the traditions of duty well performed, honor untarnished, and country above self, each cadet can make a difference. “It just takes one person to step up and shout, “Left! Left! Left, right, left!” and lead the path to peace and development,”
The contest ended with the presentation of the trophies to the winners, and congratulations and warm handshakes all around.