Good News! We have yet another win to celebrate this month. Johanne Jazmin Tan Jabines, a student from the University of the Philippines, just bagged the championship for the 38th English Speaking Union’s International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC) last May 18, 2018.
The competition spanned across more than 50 countries with roughly 600,000 participants. With a total of 51 delegates each representing their country, they battle their way with weapons of wit, eloquence, and impact.
The finals were held in London at the Royal Institution where the remaining 7 finalists from the Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea, the United States, China, Lebanon, and Estonia face off.
She is the third Filipino to win the championship. Almost a decade after Gian Karlo Dapul won in 2008 and Patricia Evangelista in 2004.
A Snapshot to the lives of OFW’s
The clash for the title commenced with the theme “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”.
“One Hour at a Time”, as what Jabines’ speech is titled. Jabines guided us in her experience with her OFW Aunt who has been a teacher in Thailand for the past 10 years.
She conveys that for the past 10 years, she didn’t even meet her in person. Just in pictures and video calls. The only chance they got? A one-hour layover before her Aunt’s subsequent flight.
Stories of Migration Touched Not Only Filipinos But the Hearts of the World
In a tear-inducing speech, Jabines did not only touch on Filipinos in general. The speech was relatable to almost everyone with a migrant relative. A family member migrates to a foreign land to bring them a better future. Some with deprived economic advantages even resort to becoming undocumented immigrants with new identities.
“It is an ironic fact of a migrant’s life that to show someone you love them, you often have to leave.” The heart-wrenching truth every family with an OFW can relate to.
And our relationships in this global migration trend are difficult to cultivate. In line with the theme, Jabines heed on reinventing our ties as the best way to predict the future of our families.
It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. As she has said:
“We pick up the pieces they’ve left behind and invent a new kind of dream for ourselves and for them.”
We work on what we can do and change. We adapt and take effort as a family. Like how she closed her speech:
“After all, a future can still be written, One Hour at a Time.”
(Watch the finals in the English-Speaking Union’s Recording in their FB Page. Jabines’ speech starts at roughly 54:35).