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Delegates at the recent English Speaking Union’s International Public Speaking Competition. Photo from ESU Facebook page 

Johanne Jazmin Tan Jabines, a 20-year old student from the University of the Philippines Diliman, was hailed the champion at the recent English Speaking Union’s International Public Speaking Competition. She bested 50 other contestants in the world’s largest public speaking competition where each finalist was only given a mere five minutes on stage.

One Hour A Time

Jabines impressed the judges and the audience when she shared a story of her meeting with her aunt, whom she missed very much. In the said meeting, her aunt only had an hour to spend during a layover in Manila.

Her brilliant speech was entitled “One Hour at A Time” and told the lives and travails of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and undocumented immigrants.

Johanne Jazmin Tan Jabines delivering her winning speech. Photo from ESU of Malaysia Facebook Page

An excerpt of Jabines’ speech includes, “Our clock started ticking when a voice announced the arrival of her flight.”

“As soon as I saw my aunt pass through the airport gates, I knew. I am lucky to have a family member who could make the journey back,” she emphasized.  

The third Pinoy to bring home this honor

Johanne Jazmin Tan Jabines is the third Filipino to win the contest, the world’s largest public speaking competition. Patricia Evangelista first won the contest in 2004 and by Gian Karlo Dapul four years later in 2008. Jabines is a third year college student taking up BS Business Administration and Accountancy at UP Diliman.

About the English Speaking Union

The English Speaking Union (ESU) was founded by writer and journalist Sir Evelyn Wrench following World War 1. According to Sir Evelyn, if the world was able to communicate more effectively, global understanding between nations would improve. English became a unifying language.

Sir Evelyn’s ideas are as relevant today as they were during his time. For people who knew Sir Evelyn personally, he is that person that had an energy and idealism that moved things forward. In the courtyard of Dartmouth House, in honor of his work, is the engraving "What others have dreamed, he has done".

At the heart of what ESU does is international friendship and understanding. There is strong focus on young people, enabling them to utilize the skills of public speaking and debate to become confident communicators. ESU, being a membership organization, offers the opportunity to be part of a global network, bringing people together to consider different ideas and to ponder the intricate richness of the English language.

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Credits: Philippine Daily Inquirer, English Speaking Union website

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