The Mariano Marcos State University-Laoag Team won for the second time the Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Debate Cup held on September 10, 2014 at the Laoag City Auditorium.
With the topic “Haanmi a kayat nga agbalin a parte ti Metro Ilocos Norte” (We don’t want to be part of Metro Ilocos Norte), the MMSU debaters beat rival Northwestern University Team 1 in the championship ‘battle of the brains’ in an Asian Parliamentary System-style.
NWU’s trio Antonio Guerrero III, Michael Quiambao and Aurelio Garcia argued that the proposal to modernize Ilocos Norte, particularly Batac City, will destroy its vast agricultural land, cause problems on transportation and spark crime rates—and will eventually discard the cultural identity of Bataqueños.
On the other hand, Gillian Karl Bolo, Johanna Calaycay and Romel Calasag of MMSU-Laoag reasoned out that while industrialization does not mean destroying the city, the use of high technology will contribute to better modes of farming, transportation and safety measures.
The center of debate evolved from the recent State of the Province Address (SOPA) delivered by Gov. Imee Marcos on August 26, 2014 at Plaza del Norte hotel and convention center.
The SOPA launched the vision ‘IN2020: The Best Little Province in the Country’ by introducing new initiatives—to diversify housing efforts, expand transportation and develop sustainable water resources—towards the attainment of a ‘Metro Ilocos Norte.’
Governor Marcos stressed in her SOPA that while urbanization takes place in Ilocos Norte, efforts will be made to preserve the rich culture and heritage of the province.
Impressed by her keen support to debate tournaments in Ilocos Norte, tournament organizer Herdy Yumul described madame Imee as the most debate-friendly governor in southeast Asia.
Through Gov. Imee’s initiative, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte conducts at least three debates annually—Sirib Debates, Tan-ok Ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals and Marcos Fiesta—highlighting talents of the Ilocano youth.
“Today all of us in government build the future for Ilocos Norte,” she said.
“The future belongs to you and that even today you are the dominant voice not only in the university but in the city and the province of Ilocos Norte,” she added.
The event was part of the recent week-long celebration here of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ 97th birth anniversary. He was said to be a great debater during his time.
He was known for delivering unwritten speeches before the audience. So far, he was the country’s only president who had delivered the longest State of the Nation’s Addresses (SONA) to date.
He was admired and honored by fellow world leaders including the late United States President Ronald Reagan.
In Ilocos Norte, the debate became an opportunity to revive Apo Lakay’s legacy—to let the Ilocano leaders’ voice be heard for the successful attainment of goals in their own community.
The FEM Debate Cup 2014 was participated in by five colleges and universities in the province namely MMSU-Batac, MMSU-Laoag, NWU, Northern Christian College and Datacom Institute of Computer Technology.
Adjudicators led by Mark Jayson Maulit had declared Bolo of MMSU-Laoag as the Best Debater and Guerrero of NWU as Best Speaker.—Jennifer T. Pambid-PGIN-CMO