Sunday, April 29, 2012

Discon 2012 Speech Winners

The 2012 district conference showcased the best speakers in the Philippines, from division’s A-K, compete for 1st place in three categories: Table Topics, Humorous and International Prepared. All of them were amazingly talented communicators. However, there can only be one champion for each category. The winners for this years discon are lucky because, aside from the usual trophy, they also get to receive a perpetual trophy. This is one additional baggage the contestants were happy to lug around, I bet. The perpetual trophy contains the names of the past champions for each category. The champions get to keep it for 2 months after which they have to surrender it to the district governor so that it can be passed on to the next speech champion. There is one perpetual trophy for each category – International Prepared, Table Topics, Humorous and Evaluation. All four trophies have been given to the district by TM Khris Albano. District 75 thanks you for your generosity Khris!

Here is a list of the winners for the 2012 Speech contest.

Table Topics Speech Contest
1st Place: Richard John U. Cua-Ho – Division C (Taipan Toastmasters Club)
2nd Place: Daryl B. Ponard – Division G (Pines City Toastmasters Club)
3rd Place: Amanda Fe C. Echeverria – Division E (Durian Toastmaster Club)

Humorous Speech Contest
1st Place: Carminia M. Borja - Division C (Aboitiz Toastmasters Club)
2nd Place: Michael Benedict J. Unson – Division H (Alabang Community Toastmasters Club)
3rd Place: Maria Teresa S. Chiew – Division E (Durian Toastmaster Club)

International Prepared Speech Contest
1st Place: Herminigildo V. Garrobo – Division G (Pines City Toastmasters Club)
2nd Place: Celia Castillo– Division E – (Durian Toastmaster Club)
3rd Place: Meg Angela Amores – Division I – (MEZ 1 Toastmasters Club)

Congratulations to all the contestants who fearlessly competed in 2012 Discon. Kudos to Division C for winning two categories – Humorous and Table Topics and to Division G for winning the International Prepared Speech category – for the fourth year in a row! I wonder what Division can break this streak? See you in next year’s district conference!

Discon 2012 List of Contestants

The sun, the sand, fantastic food and a parade of the best speakers in the Philippines - the perfect ending to any summer. For those who were able to attend the 2012 Discon in Samal Island with me, I’m sure you would agree that this was one of the best discon’s ever. It wasn’t just because of the great venue or even the good food. The real stars were the 29  contestants for all three speech categories – International Prepared, Humorous and Impromptu. I’ve attended several discons already and this year was one of the best contestant-wise. All of the contestants were so good. It was truly a battle of the best of the best. For me, they were all champions.

To give credit to all the contestants, here’s a list of who competed in this years district conference:

Table Topics Speech Contestants
Division A: Miriam Jane R. Santos – Presidents Toastmasters Club
Division B: Arthur Bhenedict K. King – UECP
Division C: Richard John U. Cua-Ho – Taipan Toastmasters Club
Division D: Jared Karl Ulric D. Rubin – Riverside Toastmasters Club
Division E: Amanda Fe C. Echeverria – Durian Toastmaster Club
Division F: Stefanie L. Uy – Iligan Toastmasters Club
Division G: Daryl B. Ponard – Pines City Toastmasters Club
Division H: Jean Marriell R. Cetra – Abojeb Toastmasters Club
Division I: Alpha Mae A. Del Mar – MEZ 1 Toastmasters Club
Division K: Rowena Micah R. Sula – Spi Global Toastmasters Club

Humorous Speech Contest
Division A: Jeffrey H. Garcia – iConnect Toastmasters Club
Division B: Andrew Gonzaga - UECP
Division C: Carminia M. Borja - Aboitiz Toastmasters Club
Division D: Leandro L. Severino – First Farmers Toastmasters Club
Division E: Maria Teresa S. Chiew – Durian Toastmaster Club
Division F: Alquine Roy Taculin – Iligan Toastmasters Club
Division G: Regina T. Pedrono – Pines City Toastmasters Club
Division H: Michael Benedict J. Unson – Alabang Community Toastmasters Club
Division I: Eugene Tan – MEZ 1 Toastmasters Club
Division K: Marilyn M. Mercado – IAME and Associates Toastmasters Club

International Prepared Speech Contest
Division A: Rey G. Pineda – Greenhills Prime Toastmasters Club
Division B: Louie John M. Banta – TOPS Toastmasters Club
Division C: Darwin John N. Moises – Lexmark R&D Toastmasters Club
Division D: Meliton E. Sillador Jr. – First Farmers Toastmasters Club
Division E: Celia Castillo– Durian Toastmaster Club
Division F:Ramonette L. Olandesca– Golden Friendship Toastmasters Club
Division G: Herminigildo V. Garrobo – Pines City Toastmasters Club
Division H: Maria Lourdes E. Ranario – Metro Lipa Toastmasters Club
Division I: Meg Angela Amores – MEZ 1 Toastmasters Club
Division K: Votaire R. Victoria – PHILCOMAN and Associates Toastmasters Club

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dont Plan Your Life

It's funny how life often turns out differently from what you've planned it to be. Ever since i was a kid i never wanted to manage our hardware store. Ive always thought it to be too complicated and cumbersome. You had to constantly monitor prices, run after those indebted to you and sucker up to your suppliers. Plus it entailed a huge capital while the margin to earn was very little - at least with the fast moving items. Ive always dreamed of starting my own business and going my own way. But then things started happening. Things that were beyond my control. Banco Filipino closed down and my mom had to go away to the States. Since my two little brothers were still in college i found myself left with my Father. There were only two of us left. There was no one else to help him manage our family business but me. My mom had been pleading with me for months to help dad out in the store. But i resisted. I thought, i dont want to. I dont want to be stuck inside a store the entire day. Thats too boring. Im a free spirit. I wanted to be out in the field conversing with people. At first i tried to ignore it but then the guilt got to me. I couldnt turn my back on family. It just wasnt right. That night i couldnt sleep. I tossed and turned all night long. My thoughts were as tumultous as the sea on a stormy night. But when dawn broke I made my decision. Family first.

The first few months were hard. I wasn't used to being enclosed in a store all day long. But eventually I got used to it. I started to have fun. I began to learn the tricks of the trade. Managing a hardware store, I discovered, wasn't boring at all. In fact, it was rather challenging. And the best part was I became closer to my dad because now we were spending at least 8 hours a day together.

It's funny how life often doesn't turn out as you expect it to. Sometimes, just sometimes, it turns out even better. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

5 Reasons Why You Should Join A Speech Contest

Have you ever tried joining a public speaking contest? If you have, then you can understand my sentiments when I say that it’s one of the best experiences anyone can have. Whenever I join a speech contest, I feel so alive. It’s like my emotions are heightened. I feel a combination of many things at the same time. Fear, excitement, trepidation and a sense of anticipation. It doesn’t matter how long you have been a toastmaster or how old or young you are. There is no discrimination here in Toastmasters. Whether you are 18 or 78, as long as you are eligible, you are free to join your category of choice. And unlike beauty pageants there is no height requirement.

How many times have you tried joining a speech contest? Once? Twice? Or perhaps you have yet to try it. The 2012 District Conference is drawing near. Ok, so it’s still 6 months away. But remember that there are many levels - the club, area and division level. If you want to compete at discon, decide now so you can prepare your plane fare, hotel fare and oh, your speech material too in advance.

Here are 5 reasons why you should join a speech contest.

It makes you feel alive. Whenever I join a speech contest I feel many conflicting emotions all at the same time. I feel excited and scared. I feel like I have both diarrhea and constipation. I can feel my heartbeat thundering in my ears and my hands becoming cold and clammy. Really. It’s the best feeling the world. But please. Don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself.

 You might win. I’m not kidding. Even if you've been a toastmaster for only a few months and think that you don’t know anything at all about public speaking, there's a good chance that you might win. Especially if there are only 3 contestants and you are guaranteed a spot no matter how badly you do. Even if you don’t get to be the champion, hey, they also give trophies to the runners up. You can then proudly display that at home people will think you are such a good speaker. You can even include that in your resume to impress potential employers.

Learning experience. Joining a speech contest is a great learning experience. Whether you win or not you get to improve. You learn. You become better. It’s not only the contest itself that allows you to become a better speaker it’s the preparation involved. The more time you invest in preparing for the contest, the better your chances of winning. Aside from it being a learning experience, it’s also a humbling experience. You learn how to accept defeat graciously.

You might meet your next love match. This is another excellent reason for joining a speech contest. Who knows? Your next boyfriend/girlfriend might be a fellow contestant. I have a clubmate who met his girlfriend through a speech contest. They were both contestants for the international prepared speech. He wasn’t able to get the trophy but at least he got the girl.

Registration refund. Are you a bit tight on budget? Here is the good news. If you represent your division in the District conference in any of the categories, you get a 50% or full refund on your registration fee. I know someone who joins contestants for this very reason. You know who you are. But seriously I get a kick about getting freebies too! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Recommended Blogs

Learning is a continuous process. One way to do so is by sharing ideas and networking with other people.

Do you have something you want to share to the world? Contact me here and let's exchange links!

Here is a list of blogs I find worth reading:

1. Bo Sanchez
2. Jomar Hilario
3. Think Rich Pinoy
4. Seminar Philippines

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Midyear 2011 Evaluation Contest Results

The Midyear Conference is held once a year every October. Its main purpose is for the district officers to be able meet and give updates on the progress of District 75. Other districts only have a “midyear meeting”. But here in the Philippines, we have a “conference.”

For this years Midyear Conference one of the highlights was the Evaluation Speech Contest. This was facilitated by the Discon 2011 Evaluation Champion – me. I know. I’m so humble. ^_^ But, nevertheless, I had to pass along my crown to the new champion. There where 10 contestants, one representing each of the 10 divisions in District 75. Division A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and K. Although all the contestants where good, there were three that stood out. Sadly there was one who went overtime. But then, I know the contest has been a great learning experience for everyone. For those who weren’t at the conference here are the contest results.

Evaluation Contest Results

Champion: Susanne Lauria Osorio – Division B

1st Runner Up: Celynne Grace Echeveria – Division E

2nd Runner Up: Jamielyn Yaneza – Division G

Discon 2012: Sama na sa Samal!

The District Conference is the biggest event of Toastmasters. It is a 3-day event that is held once a year every April. This year it was held in Manila Ocean Park. For 2012, the District officers have opted to go tropical. Why? Because the conference is to be at the beautiful island of Samal in Davao.

The 2012 Discon Chair, DTM Elisa Tay, promises to give her fellow Toastmasters an experience they will never forget. Imagine frolicking at the beach, eating delicious food and having fun with your toastmaster friends. And lest you think Discon is all fun and games, there are also educational sessions where you’ll get to hear well-known speakers from around the country. And, of course, let’s not forget the contests. There are to be three main speech competitions for Discon 2012: Table Topics, Humorous and International Prepared Speech.

Whether you are long standing member of Toastmasters or a neophyte, this is one conference you shouldn’t miss. So mark your calendars people! Here are the details for Discon 2012.

When: April 27-29, 2012

Where: Camp Holiday, Samal Island, Davao (tip: book your flights early to get a good rate)

Registration Rates:

October - December 31, 2011: P3,000

January-February 29, 2012: P3,500

March- on site: P4,000

Where to pay: BPI account number 2030-0046-07
(disclaimer: please check with Discon chair Elisa Tay to verify account number first before making a deposit)

After paying scan deposit slip and email to or fax to 082-228-6695.

The earlier you register, the more you save. So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on all the fun. Register today. See you in Samal!

For more info call or text Discon Chair Elisa Tay at 0917-700-8891.